Hello and welcome to the third issue of this advice column! I’m Georgie Gentile and I am a sophomore at Keene State College majoring in film production and English writing, as well as minoring in German. If you have a question that you want me to answer, you can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With October finally here, I am going to tackle some questions related to students who are facing new challenges relating to college.
Question: My friend is trying to join a sorority/fraternity. What do I do?
Answer: Well, you don’t need to do anything, really. Getting involved in Greek Life is their choice, so don’t worry. If you are worried about the rushing process that takes place when people try to join, talk to your friend. They will have a good idea of what will happen during this process and are prepared. I used to be completely against Greek Life because I heard about various incidents which endangered students. However, there are now strong regulations and rules that sororities and fraternities need to follow to remain running. A lot of Greek Life is actually raising money for charities. These groups are able to create a supportive “family” on campus for some students. The best thing you can do is support your friend, but not be afraid to express any concerns you have. The rushing process is long and stressful, so showing that you care will really mean a lot to them.
Question: How do I manage my dietary restrictions while on campus?
Answer: This is a bit tough. The Dining Commons has a vegetarian and vegan section, but there are usually only four or five options to choose from. For people who have gluten restrictions, there is also a section that has gluten-free options. However, there are only a few options there, as well. The salad bar is an option if you have restrictions, but there may be contamination from other foods. Lloyd’s Marketplace has more reliable vegetarian and vegan options, but has very few gluten-free options. Usually, the chefs make a number of gluten-free sandwiches to buy, but these are quickly bought and not replaced for the rest of the day. My roommate is allergic to gluten and ends up having to buy food at Walmart and the supermarket frequently. If you are facing these problems, I recommend filling out the electronic survey the Dining Commons has as well as using the texting service advertised in the Dining Commons to ask questions and express your concerns. People shouldn’t have to eat lower-quality foods if they have a dietary restriction, especially when their meals are pre-paid for.
Question: How do I get a voice on campus?
Answer: If you want to tackle issues on campus, an easy way to start is to join clubs or groups that focus on issues you are passionate about. There you’ll be able to voice your opinion to people who understand the topic. If you want, you can join Student Government or other student-run organizations. For a national approach, one of the most simple things you can do is register to vote. I tend to forget that I have the powers and responsibilities of an adult, because I am in college and pursuing an education. But if you are for or against something occurring in the government, you have the power to vote for or against it. The 2020 Midterm Elections are happening in a year and the 2020 Presidential Elections are right around the corner. Everyone has the power to make a difference.
Question: Can I exercise without going to the gym?
Answer: If you are worried about going to the gym and becoming overwhelmed or insecure, the gym on campus is a pretty good place to go. People exercise at different times, so the building is rarely full of students. There are also multiple locations in the building you can go to, such as an indoor track, yoga studio weight room and cardio room. You can even swim during designated free-swim hours. If you don’t want to go to the gym, you can still exercise in other ways. Walk or ride around Keene on the available bike trails, jog around campus or even do some workouts in your dorm. Since the weather is getting pretty chilly, it’s good to think of options when you want to stay inside.
I hope you enjoyed my advice.
See you next week!
Georgie Gentile can be contacted at email@example.com