Month: December 2016

An Education is Not Only Learned From Inside the Classroom

Written By: Rebekah Robichaud 18’protest-4

Not only am I part of the community of Castleton University, but I love Castleton. I am always looking for ways to get involved to make the University a better place for fellow and future students. Therefore when the opportunity presented itself to participate in action for change I wanted to be involved. A peaceful protest to change future years fall semester ending date, and to have a student representative on the calendar committee. The idea for the protest was birthed from a discussion derived from the seats of a fleet van over the course of several hours on the road of Student Government Association representatives. The discussion began with the initial problem of the current and more importantly future exam schedule, but quickly involved into frustrated feelings of having our voices become lost in the maelstrom of administration. The exam schedule is inconvenient and causes problems for many students including some international students, athletes, and individuals wanting to go home and spend time with their families. However, the exam schedule was not the heart of the protest.

The pulse of our protest, what made it come alive was the fact that we wanted transparency, communication, and to be treated as equals. We are adults. We wanted to be taken seriously and to get the administration’s attention. The more we talked the more we realized we wanted to be active participants in decisions that affect us directly. We felt that not only was it our right but also our responsibility to our student body to be fully engaged on campus and in campus administration. Being engaged is more work, it means doing our research, scheduling meetings, and having diplomatic respectful conversations with faculty, administration and students alike. When students put in that kind of extra work for no credit and when these efforts are sometimes met with opposition and condescension it means one thing. It means we really want it. This is a new generation. We are no longer sitting on the sidelines asleep. We are curious individuals. We want to know how decisions are made, who makes them, and why. We want a well-rounded education that goes deeper than writing papers and taking notes on lectures.

protest-2That is the real reason why over 20 individuals stood outside Woodruff Hall on Wednesday November 30th. Among the students was a combination of faculty, international students, and Student Government representatives. I participated in this protest because I firmly believe that as culture and society evolves so should our approach to education. During the protest, some of the students discussed with a faculty member our platform for discussion and resolution, the faculty member commented and said “that’s the problem with compromise though, everybody loses”. But, I say the great thing about compromise is that everybody wins. Please understand I don’t say that from a place of naivety or idealism but a place of hope. Hope that we can come together both administration and students to a place of communication, involvement, and compromise. That’s the kind of world I want to live in and the kind of education with which I want to graduate.

Red High Heels are For More Than Just for Walking

Written By: Stephanie Heisler 17′

The Rutland County Women’s Network and Shelter hosted their second annual Walk a Mile event this fall. The event took place on Sunday October 2. This event raised money and awareness towards ending sexual and domestic violence. Community members registered to walk the route, with the option of wearing a pair of red heels. Participants could bring their own set of shoes or borrow a clean pair at the event. Attending this event was eye opening; people of all sizes, shapes, and sexes came out and walked. Sponsors and community partners brought munchkins, bagels, orange juice and apple cider to kick off the cold morning and ending the course with warm chili. Everyone who attended seemed to have a great time.thumbnail_img_0113

There were three of us members of the Community Service house who showed up to assist with registration, cheering, clean up and set up of the event. We were able to interact with a large amount of diverse groups who came out to support the event for a variety of reasons. The event ended up having about 300 participants and raised over $30,000. This event is the biggest fundraiser that the Rutland County Women’s Network and Shelter hosts during the year. Overall, the day was a huge success in my opinion. I was able to walk in the race and represent the Castleton University Cheer Team who were decked out in full uniforms of green, white and silver. Being able to represent my university through my involvement in different groups was a wonderful feeling.

It was important to those of us who volunteered for the event to show that on our own university campus we do not stand for these actions against anyone. Anyone can be affected by sexual or domestic violence, there are no barriers of age, gender, economic background, race, religion, major or any other differences between people here on campus. At Castleton University, we are fortunate to have a multitude of resources available to those who have been affected by sexual and or domestic violence. Being at the event and seeing the massive amount of support from the community around this issue was very inspiring.

It was great to be involved with this event and the wonderful people and groups who showed their support. Our community adviser in North House, Emma Blaiklock, is on the Board for the Rutland County Women’s Network and Shelter and was the one who encouraged us to get involved. If anyone else is looking to get involved with this wonderful organization and help to support those who have been affected and to make a stand against sexual and domestic violence in our community, get in touch with Emma.

My hope is that in future years they host the event at a time when Castleton University is not on break, so we can see more of our campus community connecting with our local communities on this important issue. I am incredibly glad I was able to be involved with this amazing event and can’t wait to see how the event continues to grow over the years!

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Small Competitions Bring in Over 5,500 Items to be Donated to Local Charities

Written By: Emma Blaiklock 17′

15320400_10209557764673512_577036300_nThe Friday after Thanksgiving, lines form miles down the streets for people waiting to trample each other to get great deals on stuff. Three days later, everyone is anxiously searching the web for the best bargains without having to leave the comfort of home or their office. Following our national day of giving thanks for what we have are two days centered solely on getting more things. “Giving Tuesday”, the day following Cyber Monday, began five years ago as a way to bring the focus back to being charitable and kicking off the giving season around the world.
 
Castleton University partook in Giving Tuesday for the second year in a row. Last year about 3,000 items were collected between the community, athletics and student government clubs. It was overall an incredibly successful day and we aimed to beat last year’s record for this year. My focus with helping to plan the events of the day that were centered around incorporating athletics, the student government clubs and the residence halls and increasing all of their involvement to help bring the whole campus together for the day.

e-blaiklock-givingAthletic teams competed against one another in a canned food drive, bringing in a total of 4,373 non-perishable food items! Men’s Ice Hockey ended up winning in the athletics competition with an average of 48 cans per team member. Eric Horsfield was able to organize and motivate not only the athletes but the entire athletics department through his dedication to the project, which alone helped us to surpass our goal of the previous year’s collection total.

On the clubs side of things, there were donations of clothing items, toiletries and non-perishable food items totaling around 1,100 items. HEAL Kenya, Rotaract, and the Student Nurses Association (SNA) were the top three donating clubs (listed in order of first to third). This year’s clubs will be donating their winnings (a total of $900 between the three groups) to local chapters of organizations that focus on working to better individuals lives in different ways.
Other clubs who participated in the day included (in no order): the History Club, Spectrum Pride, Sustainability Club, The Spartan, Business Club, Sports Admin Club, Men’s Rugby, Habitat for Humanity, PlanesWalkers Club, Democratic Leadership, Republican Club, and the Equestrian Club Team. Volunteers from Community Service House, and the Student Government Association contributed a combined total of about 90 hours on the day volunteering their time collecting items, counting and sorting them into distribution piles.
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The day was incredibly successful thanks to the support of all the participating teams, clubs, faculty, staff, administration, community members and volunteers. This year we collected a grand total of 5,528 items to be donated to local organizations for distribution into the community. The benefiting local charities include: Castleton Cares, the Rutland County Women’s Network and Shelter, Fair Haven Concerned and the Rutland Community Cupboard.
On the academic side of campus the Gift of Life Marathon blood drive took place at President Wolk’s House, and the Giving Office collected monetary donations all day from sponsors around the country. It was really wonderful for me to see everyone on the campus able to get involved and be integrated into this important day through a variety of opportunities. I am looking forward to being an alumni and seeing the potential this day has to grow exponentially here on our campus as we all do our part for #GivingTuesday.
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