Claiming the Castle program helps students develop
By Sarah Whitmire
Knightly News Reporter
Claiming the Castle is an evolving program that began during the summer 2021 term at Central Penn for residential students to attend to maintain their housing scholarships.
This program came as a result of a conversation Janet Bixler, director of first-year experience, had with a residential adviser who spoke from their perspective on what was important for first-year students when living on campus.
The concept of Claiming the Castle wasn’t just to be a program to keep students’ housing scholarships; it was also meant to have pockets of fun in the process.
Bixler noted these program goals:
- Boundaries: establish and communicate personal boundaries and respect those of their suitemates
- Communication: intent vs impact
- The consequences of the choices we make when we choose how to solve a conflict
Insights lead to improvement and growth. Bixler has a vision for Claiming the Castle, and would like students’ input.
Claiming the Castle began to give students more autonomy and responsibility over their communication and actions.
“The goal is to keep it going,” Bixler said. “The activities haven’t changed really that much; it’s just how it’s structured.”
Bixler said that each term, Claiming the Castle has the same concept and content, but accommodations must be made for group size.
Bixler said students are more aware of one another now, and students agreed.
“One of the things I’m trying to do is be conscious of time commitment,” Bixler said.
Claiming the Castle is evolving because it is new. It’s important for students to provide input for programs such as Claiming the Castle so future students can learn values for terms to come.
For more information on Claiming the Castle, contact Bixler at JanetBixler@CentralPenn.Edu.
Comment or story idea? Contact KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.
Edited by media club co-adviser and blog editor Professor Michael Lear-Olimpi.