New AC adjusts to Cabrini life

By Jillian Milam
December 10, 2004

The new area coordinator for residence halls Woodcrest and Xavier Hall, Bill Zimmerman, acclimates himself with the help of others in the Cabrini community.

He left his similar job at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, also known as IUP, and came to Cabrini just days before resident assistants arrived on-campus for their training in the summer of 2004. After coming to Cabrini, one of the first differences he saw was the size of the two schools.

“IUP had 4,000 students on campus…14,000 overall. “So there is a huge size difference,” Zimmerman said

While he was at IUP, he worked in a residential building that contained mostly upperclassmen. The vast majority of these students lived in singular rooms, making it easier for Zimmerman to handle.

“The upperclassmen I worked with at IUP knew how the university worked and what was expected of them. They were able to manage conflicts with neighbors without the need to take it to higher levels,” Zimmerman said.

However, he is now working with freshmen who need more attention. “The freshmen here are new to the institution and don’t exactly know how things are run,” Zimmerman said. “It’s the first time I’ve had to deal with things like that.”

The fact that Cabrini’s residential department is still growing also made it a little bit harder for his transition. “There was a lack of instruction or direction, but that can be a positive thing as well,” Zimmerman said. “It gives you a chance to create your own path, and to put your own footprint on what you’re doing.”

John Pino, a sophomore RA whom Zimmerman supervises, said, “He’s got a good positive attitude. As a new area coordinator, he’s working really well with the staff.”

One element about the school that Zimmerman really enjoys is the small, family-like atmosphere. “Most of the students care about the school, why they are here, and what they want to do,” Zimmerman said.

“Something that surprised me when I came here was noticing the willingness of students to self-enforce policies. Students will stand up and tell what they don’t like and who is doing it. It was hard to get information like that from students at IUP,” Zimmerman said. “Students seem to be a bit more cooperative here.”

As Zimmerman gets used to the changes and gets acclimated with the rest of the staff, he made clear that he is working hard to improve what he can, especially in regards to bettering students’ perceptions of student development and residence life.

“We need to repair our image…we do like you guys and we are working for you!” Zimmerman said. “We need to develop as a whole and move forward to where we need to be- a more communicable campus.”

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Jillian Milam

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