d Wolk made his presence known at the Ellis Hall common room on Feb. 12 for a Q&A session in which any and every student was welcome to attend and put forth insight on matters of their choosing. Sitting at the head of a rough circle of students, Community Advisors, and Resident Life Staff, Wolk took the one-on-one time as an opportunity to give insight on Castleton’s future.
“What would you do if you were president for a day? For a week even?” Wolk asked at the start of the meeting. Using this as a cornerstone for the evening, an intimate bond was established in the room. By the nights end the group was no longer teacher-student discussion, but a family discussion.
“Most of the session was a two-way discussion where I probably learned more than the students,” Wolk said after the sit-down.
As with many prior public appearances, Wolk reiterated that current construction does indeed have some time to go before the official opening of the new campus center and stadium, which is set to occur Memorial Day weekend next semester.
Despite some student quandaries about construction, the bulk of the session was in fact dominated by talk of what would be awaiting the college next upon the completion of the current projects.
Wolk revealed that renovations making Huden Dining Hall more accommodating and restaurant-like, as well as improvements to Ellis Hall and the construction of a new housing facility, are just some of the future projects waiting in the wings.
“We need new dorms,” CA Kyle Kelly remarks strongly. “And Ellis Hall is long overdue for modernization.”
The last official improvements were made to Ellis in 2006, adding blinds to replace the window curtains in the rooms.
One matter taken to heart by Wolk and the students alike was the issue of lighting on campus, particularly in areas under construction. Many Ellis residents expressed interest in seeing dangerous areas better illuminated and lighting added to the outdoor volleyball court, as well as the future skate park area for night time sports.
Jazmin Averbuck, also an Ellis Hall CA, remarked on the president’s attitude on hearing the thoughts of the students.
“He really wanted to know our opinions on matters,” she said. “It’s nice to see that in contrast to other people where you don’t feel like they’re really taking in matters to consider.”
Another surprise came in the form of interest to merge the nursing programs with that of the Wellness Center so that the two might better support each other. The prospect of training nursing students and having them as a part of managing the daily routines at the Center was something that all parties agreed could and should happen in the future.
Although the potential of such coming changes to Castleton may seem insignificant to the untrained onlooker, communication between the school’s administrators and its students plays a vital role in maintaining the interests of everyone at CSC.
“It’s a fairly ambitious plan the president has and I don’t think students are seeing the full idea,” said senior Heather Alle. “But once it’s all done, I know the students will appreciate it more.”
Running for well over an hour, the discussion has been held in high regards by both the students and the president, who saw it as a mutual learning experience.
“I loved it,” Wolk said. “I came away from the meeting inspired by the care and compassion our students have for their college and our future together.