June 5, 2023

Cartland Berge: Convergence Emergence

Students flock to the Hurley Convergence Center’s inviting study spaces, state-of-the-art production studio and versatile Digital Auditorium. So, who’s the man behind all those bells and whistles? Meet Building Manager Cartland Berge.

When the center opened four years ago, he had the right resume for the job – an established career in theater production and a master’s degree in arts management, not to mention the lights he was hired to install during construction.

“One of the prompts in the application was ‘Please describe your experience with theatrical lighting,’ ” he said. “Listing this building as part of that experience felt like a modest slam dunk.”

With all the hustle and bustle on each of the building’s four floors, Berge stays busy behind the scenes, but now and then he finds time to surface. You might have seen him manning the front desk, monitoring meeting rooms and making sure everyone follows the rules. But if you think he’s a little too serious, think again. Check out the link at the end of this article.

Q: What appealed to you about the HCC building manager position?
A: Being a part of getting a new facility up and running, especially one this complex and interesting, was super exciting and has proven to be one of the most fulfilling accomplishments of my career.

Q: How have you been able to shape the HCC?
A: As part of the HCC User’s Group that met regularly when the building first opened, I’ve always advocated for the HCC to be as open and accessible as possible. I’ve also worked hard to keep an eye on how people are using the building and tweak policies and services based on that.

Q: How do you think the HCC has enhanced student life?
A: It’s definitely filled the role of the “third space” for a lot of people on campus; not home, not work or class, but a place in between, where they have the space and resources to pursue whatever endeavors they choose. Twenty-four-hour access has been a huge part of creating a sense of ownership, particularly with the student body. It allows people to use the facility on their own terms, when and how they need it.

Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Working with the student staff at the HCC Info Desk. They are a great crew, and everyone who reads this should stop by and give them chocolate. Also, I really like moving the big barn door of the Digital Auditorium.

Q: What do you like least?
A: Watching the relentless march of time (and the just-as-relentless march of feet!) wear down all the things that were shiny and new just a few years ago, and feeling helpless to stop it.

Q: What’s your favorite area inside the building?
A: It changes depending on what sort of potential use of the facility I’m most excited about at the moment. Right now, it’s probably the Digital Auditorium. Do you know anyone who wants to do a live sketch comedy show (à la SNL), performed in front of a live audience but also live streamed to the web? If so, please put them in touch with me.

Q: What’s the funniest question you’ve been asked about the center?
A: “Is this Vocelli’s?”

Q: Be honest, have you ever tried the red spinny chairs?
A: My experience with the spinny chairs has been well-documented, and I will speak no more on the issue.