From August to May there has been a campus-wide focus on the negative occurrences of the student body. Between the immensity of drinking tickets, beatings, a false arrest, and vandalism the atmosphere of the Castleton State College community is left to question.
“When I first started here, we didn’t see that type of behavior to the extent that we do now,” said director of public safety Bob Godlewski.
Godlewski said he doesn’t believe this year was abruptly different from those past, but rather that it has been a gradual progression through the years. In his experiences he has found the disturbances to be from the same small group of people who refuse to be held accountable for their actions.
“It’s going to hurt them in all future endeavors,” he said. “In four years or less they’re going to be part of our working world society.”
Senior Community Advisor Peter Marcano agreed that while everyone makes their share of mistakes, some students lack the ability to accept responsibility.
“I think people at the end of the day stop being accountable for their own decisions,” he said.
In his four years living on campus, three of which he has been a Residence Life employee, Marcano believes he’s witnessed almost everything. He says this year’s social climate was nothing new and as far as incident reports and documentation go this has been his easiest year.
“Every year there’s incidents that makes you wonder how admissions chooses their students,” he said with a laugh. “I’m not saying by any means these are bad people.”
According to Marcano and Godlewski, Residence Life and Public Safety try to take a lenient approach when it comes to student consequences.
“We’re trying to teach them life lessons,” Godlewski said. “We’re trying to teach them the difference between right and wrong.”
Marcano said Residence Life approaches consequences in a similar fashion and tries to get to know the students on a personal level in order for them to learn from their mistakes.
“We want to help everyone. But I don’t know where that line between helping and enabling is drawn,” he said.
While they may be walking a fine line, veteran student Stanti Schonbachlor attests that the message is getting through loud and clear to the majority of students.
“This year alone we’ve made a lot of improvements. We’ve made leaps and bounds, especially in the four years I’ve been here,” he said.
Making social changes is a progression and Schonbachlor is hopeful that the improvements will continue on campus and stem into the town in the future.
“There have been incidents in that past, and this year as well, and we need to build a better relationship with the town,” he said.
Like Schonbachlor, Godlewski is looking forward and is hopeful that students have reflected on the year and will be making positive resolutions in the future.
“If they make a mistakes that’s O.K.,” he said. “Move on. Learn from it.”