By Wendy Young
The message was clear from Student Association President Ed MacEnulty and Castleton State College President Dave Wolk: do more than perform in classes, get involved on and off campus and make a difference.
After Wolk’s opening remarks, MacEnulty was the second person to welcome everyone to the Aug. 28 convocation.
He, like Wolk, then he went on to talk about some of the many changes to the school since he came here, from the caliber of student to the various building projects.
But then he got to the theme of the day.
“Students can’t restrict themselves to just school,” he told the full Casella Theater. “I say get involved.”
The importance of civic engagement and community involvement was then driven home further by Castleton student Justin Garritt.
Garritt produced a six-minute video put to music that showed dozens of pictures of Castleton students working on campus and in the community. Whether they were volunteering at a nearby school or collecting tabs for Shriners, the photos documented the difference students are making in the lives of local residents.
Also at convocation, Castleton alumnus Art Delerenzo was honored for his efforts to make a difference at Castleton since his graduation in 1964. He talked about how important Castleton was to his life, whether it was on the soccer field or in the classroom.
And despite having graduated 44 years ago, he talked about how he has remained very involved with the school through the Alumni Association Board and he urged students to do the same. In his speech, after being presented a rocking chair as this year’s outstanding alumni, Delorenzo explained his reason for getting and staying so involved with the community.
“I need to get through this life by making a difference in the lives of other people,” he said.
When Wolk took the floor again, he talked about two things that he said are important to the campus: sustainability and sexual tolerance.
By making sure that students and faculty recycle and reduce the school’s impact on the environment, the college is acting as a leader among colleges, he said. Regarding sexual tolerance, he talked about the new group on campus called CHANGE, which stands for Creating, Honoring, Advocating, N, Gender, Equity.
Following the reported sexual assaults on campus last school year, CHANGE has been trying to transform the campus’ attitudes toward others through such efforts as the Got Consent? Campaign.
Wolk noted that the campus is benefiting from CHANGE’s efforts.
He also talked about how there are so many clubs and activities on campus and ways for students to leave a positive impression on people and the community.
“No one can be bored here,” he said.
Getting more involved now helps students to prepare for the time when they will leave college and often have no choice but to get involved. Although convocation is primarily thought of as a welcome to the new semester, this year’s came with a powerful message to get involved.
Asked about the event seconds after it ended, freshman Becky Dorman talked about how much she had enjoyed both the instrumental and vocal music by student performers.
She also mentioned the transformation of the college
“It is interesting to see what the college is going through,” she said.