Rooymans revamped: Residence Life answers calls from students, opens RAC

By Rachael Renz
October 25, 2010

Rooymans Hall, inactive as a residence hall since June, was re-opened Monday, Oct. 25, as a student center.

The idea of an activity center has been discussed within student development for years.  Recently, the Student Government Association and Residence Life joined forces to bring a student center to the Cabrini College community.

Rooymans Activity Center (RAC) is located next to the Holy Spirit Library.  It was named after a beloved college chaplain from the 1970s who died on Christmas Eve.  Rooymans kept its name for donation and historical purposes.

Nick Casey, junior accounting major, plays pool in the new RAC building. RAC offers students a variety of activities to pass the time. -- rachael renz / copy editor

“We’re hoping the RAC will bring a sense of community and an opportunity for students to have a place of their own. We hope that it’s a place where people can come together and share a common interest whether it be video games or movies,” Laura Shapella, assistant director of residence life, said.

The RAC contains several rooms like a video game room, a room with a pool table, several rooms with televisions, a SGA office and a meeting room for clubs and organizations.

The walls in RAC were knocked down in two rooms and every wall was freshly painted before the opening.

John Solewin, student body president, was directly involved with the birth of the RAC. Solewin, along with the association, created a name contest for the student center and also helped decorate the rooms with Cabrini pennants and framed t-shirts.

“I think freshmen this year and years to come will benefit the most. I think it will be successful because the first-year students will have a place to go and have fun besides their dorm room or lounge,” Solewin, senior political science and history major, said.

Catie McNab began her college career at Cabrini in 2007. After completing one semester, she transferred.

McNab believes that if there were a student center when she attended Cabrini she might not have transferred.

She feels that the student center would have given her a better opportunity to socialize and make friends.

“As a freshman, I felt disconnected from the other students in my class, especially in the sense of having a place to interact outside of dorm rooms and dining halls,” McNab, senior communication major, said. “I currently attend The College of New Jersey and the student center here is where most people interact and meet others.”

Rooymans Hall has stood vacant since June. On Monday, Oct. 25 the former residence hall was opened as a student center with video game systems, pool table and more. -- rachael renz / copy editor

Some students went to the RAC’s opening day to see what the student center offered.

“I think the RAC is a nice alternative for people to come hang out, talk and spend time with their friends,” Dean Bergey, junior management information systems major, said. “I think it will be popular for underclassmen. It gives them something to do since they can’t get off campus.”

The RAC is currently hiring work-study students to work in the office. Those hired would be responsible for renting out gaming equipment and assisting students.

The student center will be open from noon to midnight, Sunday through Thursday.

“We are hoping to draw everybody to the activity center, including commuter students between classes to hang out. We want students to come and relax, order pizza with their friends and watch movies,” Susan Kramer, assistant director of community standards, said. will

There will also be a design contest for a RAC logo. Students will have to create a logo for t-shirts, the building and advertisements.

“I like the video-game room the best because I don’t have any video games and it would be fun to come to the RAC and play,” Nick Casey, junior accounting major, said. “Most schools do have a student center and Cabrini was lacking in that department. Now we can say that we have one too. I think it will definitely help with retention and prospective students,” Casey said.

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Rachael Renz

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