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April 22, 2014

In Our Opinion: Cheers

To a different type of class offered at Hartwick College.

The class, called Near Death Experience, offers students a chance to spend one-on-one time with individuals who are nearing the end of life.

This is the first year the class, taught by Hartwick Department of Religious Studies Chairman Sandy Huntington was offered.

Each student is paired with a Catskill Hospice client who has no more than six months to live.

Huntington said more than 100 students showed interest in the class when it was announced, which, he said, surprised him. The 16 students who ended up in the class have done an “incredible” and “impressive” job, he said.

Each week the students spend at least two hours with their partnered clients, reading to them, talking with them and listening to their stories. Oftentimes, the students are the clients’ only visitors, Huntington said.

The class benefits the students and the Hospice patients. The students learned about the lives of others and about how to face death — a scary subject for many. The patients are able to share their stories and have visitors as their lives come to an end.


To promoting diversity on the State University College at Oneonta campus.

More than 110 students, staff and faculty members described what diversity means to them for a video that was shown during the college’s annual Diversity Week.

Lizz Ortiz, a junior at SUNY Oneonta, said she and other members of the college’s Disability Awareness Council spent more than two weeks interviewing, filming and editing for the video, titled “Change Begins When.” Ortiz taught herself to edit film specifically for the project, she said.

The video, which can can be seen on YouTube and Facebook, debuted last week during Diversity Week. It will be shown again at 5:30 today in IRC 3 and at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in IRC 5.

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