Students, past and future, react to SVC closing
BENNINGTON — For one alumnus and one prospective student, Monday's announcement that Southern Vermont College would close brought sadness, disappointment, and sympathy for those who must now find another school to attend.
Garrett Vogel, a 2009 graduate of SVC, woke up Monday morning to the closure news on Facebook.
"I was already having a bad morning, and then I saw it, and I was like, `aw man,'" he said.
He loved SVC, as it was the perfect school for both his learning style and his personality. Plus, he said, the college worked with him to help him graduate in light of his physical health challenges.
"It really helped me get through," he said. "Because there was understanding by the professors, the staff and the administration."
Vogel majored in criminal justice and psychology; he now works for a medical cannabis advocacy group and lives in Virginia.
As much as the announced closure saddened him, he said he wasn't surprised. He comes to the area regularly, and one day last November, he drove through the SVC campus again. It was a weekend, and almost no one was there.
"When I was there, nobody wanted to go home on weekends," he said.
The surrounding community, for the most part, really accepted the presence of the students, he said.
"I feel bad for the town now," he added. "There's just going to be a lot of money that's just not going to be coming back into the town."
Having attended an all-boys Catholic military high school n the South, Vogel said SVC provided a valuable perspective. "It was a good experience to see both sides of the field," he said. "That's something everybody has to do — see both spectrums. And SVC allowed that."
Without SVC, he said, he wouldn't have met his former wife, or had his daughter, who's now five and a half years old. "I feel really bad for the students that are now there that are having to scramble," he said.
Accepted into nursing program
Karlee Cross isn't a current student at SVC, but she planned on being one in about six months. She received her acceptance letter to the college only about two weeks ago.
Cross, a senior at Hoosac Valley High School in Cheshire, Massachusetts, found out about SVC's plans to close from a text from her mom Monday.
"I was just really excited to go, and actually go to my top school," she said. "I was just very disappointed and heartbroken."
Cross planned to enroll as a pre-nursing student. "I thought it was great to be there for the nursing program," she said of the college. "I've heard so many nice things [about] the school, and it's not too far from my house. I could go home on the weekends if I wanted to."
Cross still hopes to attend college as a freshman this fall. But she doesn't know where, yet.
"I just always had my mind on that school, and now I just have to figure out something else," she said of SVC.
And it's later in the season for other colleges to accept applications, she said. "I still have to figure out what schools are taking applications now," she said.
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