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Cyan Magenta Yellow Black Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009

News / A3

[ KeeneEquinox.com ]

New administrator keeps focus on students Chris Robinson

Equinox Staff The administration roster at Keene State College switches more often than the majority of students care to notice. Unless a professor or staff member has a recurring connection with his or her students, they go unknown after the last day of classes. However, this year, KSC has an addition to the staff whos’ impact on the student body makes them too influential to go unnoticed Meet Gail Zimmerman, the new Dean of Students and Associate Vice President of Student Affairs. Zimmerman was born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y. She completed her undergraduate studies at D'Youville College and earned her master’s degree at SUNY Buffalo. She holds a doctorate degree from the University of Massachusetts in Boston, with a dissertation on post-secondary access for students with psychological disabilities. She has worked in higher education jobs at the University of Wisconsin, Texas Christian University and Dartmouth College, where she stayed for 16 years until her department faced budget elimination. It was then that she saw KSC as an opportunity to further serve students in need. Zimmerman's resume fits her new job's description like a glove. As the Dean of Students, she oversees individual students' adjustments into the KSC community. She is a strong advocate for systems that help students transition, adjust and progress in their studies and social and academic lives, both on and off campus. Zimmerman, who casually goes by “Dean Z”, meets one on one with individuals as they run into such difficulties as; thoughts of withdrawal or difficulties managing life outside classroom. “I try not to solve their problems—I show them how to solve them themselves,” Zimmerman said. “I help them learn how to become self advocates.” Zimmerman started her new position at the college last August. Since then, she has spent most of her time immersing herself in the culture of Keene. She has also helped many individual students who thought about withdrawing from school. “The transition into college is not always a smooth one, so I've been helping students through that,” Zimmerman said. As the associate vice president, Zimmerman oversees the school's health, counseling and disabilities departments. She asks the important questions

Danielle Rivard / Equinox Staff

Buffalo, N.Y. native, Gail Zimmerman fills the position of the Dean of Students and Associate Vice President of Student Affairs. Zimmerman said she tries her best to connect with students and wants them to feel free to stop by her office located on the third floor of the Elliot Center.

about these departments and ensures that the policies in place are implemented in a smooth and effective manner. If they aren't, she revises them, keeping the students best interests at the top of her priorities. “There are a lot of things [to deal with] when you come into a new position like this,” Zimmerman said. “It's great to have fresh eyes come in and look at policies … and ask, 'What do we have? Is it working?' And if it's not, let's work at changing those things.” But Zimmerman is more than just a person behind a desk. Her life expands far beyond the walls of her office. She lives locally with her husband and 13-yeaold daughter, along with their miniature schnauzer, Lucy. Her New York heritage lends heavily to her support for the Buffalo Bills, which makes for a “nice rivalry”

between her and her husband, a Chicagonative Bears supporter. An avid chef, she has taken cooking classes at the New England Culinary Institute. She is also a ballet teacher, a hobby that she said, “keeps her going.” While most students and faculty are still in bed, Zimmerman is up and active, walking Lucy every morning at 5:30 a.m., and she is in the office every morning by 8 a.m. “There's always something to do,” Zimmerman said. Additionally, Dr. Andy Robinson, Vice President of Student Affairs, had nothing but good things to say of Zimmerman’s performance. “I think she's doing an absolutely wonderful job,” Robinson said. “She came in with good experience and a new set of eyes for policies and procedures.” In such a short time on campus, she has

already made improvements and asked important questions. Robinson said everything Zimmerman does is for the good of the students. It's very visible how dedicated she is to serving KSC. “As the Dean of Students, you have to be prepared to deal with whatever comes through your door or across the phone line, or the crisis from the night before,” Robinson said. “She's very even-keeled, able to respond to any issue that comes her way.” “She's bringing a really good combination of experience, intelligence and personality [to the school],” Robinson said. He stressed the importance of those elements for a position that deals with the full range of student issues, as well as parent and faculty concerns. “She's part administrator, part counselor and part magician,” Robinson said. “It's good for fresh eyes to be able to compare

Student Assembly

Student government elects to amend by-laws Brian Anderson

Equinox Staff More elections to fill vacant spots in Student Government took center stage at the Student Assembly meeting on Tuesday night. Two Senior Class Representatives and the Sophomore Class Treasurer were elected for positions in student government. Aaron Mercado-Reza and Dean Gunnison were elected as Senior Class Representatives while Dayna Coleman was elected to the open Sophomore Treasurer position. All three ran unopposed. Mercado-Reza said the position offers him a chance to use the knowledge he gathered throughout his four years at KSC to benefit the class. “I know so many people and so many ideas overlap in our social networks. I thought we should connect these ideas,” Mercado-Reza said. For Gunnison, he hopes Student Assembly will offer him the chance to take on more leadership responsibilities. Dayna Coleman said her experience as Treasurer of Social Activities Council led her to the position of Sophomore Treasurer. “I had a lot of fun doing that and it provided

me lots of experience,” Coleman said. A discussion tabled from two weeks ago on Student Government by-laws, concerning responsibilities of the copier machine, were also discussed at the meeting. The by-laws were amended to transfer responsibilities from the Student Body Vice-President to the Finance Committee concerning billing. The L.P. Young Student Center will take responsibility of the oversight of the usage of the copier. The amendment was met with much debate upon initial discussion two weeks ago. The final vote was not unanimous with two voting against the proposed amendment. Sophomore Class Representative Brendon McCarthy said the original request for a change in the laws wasn't sufficient enough reasoning for the amendment. “We shouldn't change by-laws because one member has a lot on their plate,” McCarthy said. Student Body President Donnie Clemmenson argued that the Vice-President's responsibilities should be focused on other areas. “There's a lot more pressing stuff that we could get to and work on,” Clemmenson said. “The Vice-President has a lot more important stuff to be doing instead of fixing the copier.”

SoundOFF Sarah Selby Sophomore

“Bob Marley because he’s the man.”

The Assembly debated briefly on the wording of the bill. Initially the Assembly put forth a proposal to put the Student Assembly Treasurer in charge of sending out invoices billing organizations that used the copier. Eventually it was settled that the Finance Committee would handle the responsibility, which was also met with some hesitation. Chairman of the Student Assembly Christopher Cole assured the committee more members would be appointed to ease the work load. The Events Committee was allotted $7,780 to cover the costs of tee-shirts for the upcoming Midnight Madness event. “[Midnight Madness] is one of the larger events Student Assembly does in terms of students who show up and how much money we spend,” Clemmenson said. “It's a pretty good deal.” Campus Safety Director Amanda Warman talked to the Assembly briefly about the upcoming Centennial Harvest Festval on Nov. 13, as well as issues regarding on-campus parking during the Pumpkin Festival this weekend. Brian Anderson can be contacted at banderson@ keeneequinox.com.

Hearing (Cont. from A1)

how we do things and help us see more effective ways of doing them.” Junior Kristen Muller can attest to the quality of Dean Z's service to the students. “I had something happen over the summer that might distract me from school work,” said Muller. “She showed me ways to stay on track and she keeps checking up on me. She's very friendly, she knows what she's talking about and she really tries to remember who you are.” “My door is always open,” said Zimmerman, who works out of her office on the third floor of the Elliot Center. “Students should feel free to e-mail me or come in. If my door is open, then I'm fair game.” Chris Robinson can be contacted at crobinson@keeneequionox.com.

to suspend visitation rights with his two children. Paltrineri faces charges of first-degree assault and two counts of criminal threatening. He faces a possible sentence of 15 years in prison if convicted. In an e-mail sent to the campus on Sept. 25, Vice-President of Student Affairs Andy Robinson alerted students to the incident. “The college has valued Mr. Paltrineri's service to our community and is saddened by this incident,” Robinson said in his e-mail. Earlier this year on Paltrineri's nomination Delta Phi Epsilon won KSC’s Outstanding Greek Organization Award. The Keene Sentinell also reported Paltrineri won a national award for his “efforts to fight hunger.” Paltrineri also served as the chairman of the board of directors at The Community Kitchen in Keene. Dining Services at KSC had no comment on the incident. Operations Manager Bonnie Blanchard is assisting with general manager responsibilities at the current time.

ment. Paltrineri's wife was holding a butcher's knife and had bruises and cuts on her arm. Paltrineri also had a cut on his hand. “He got cut, she got cut, I don't know what happened,” Paltrineri said to police when they arrived at the scene, according to an affidavit from Swanzey police Capt. Thomas R. DeAngelis. The Keene Sentinel reported that the apartment in Swanzey was shared by Paltrineri and his wife. Perrot said the couple had a living arrangement, involving switching off the apartment every week, while the other spent time with their two children in their house in Keene. Perrot was the only witness to take the stand at the hearing. Paltrineri's wife filed a request for a restraining order one day after the incident. The Keene Sentinel described the petition as detailing “a pattern of verbal abuse” from Paltrineri. Paltrineri is currently in police custody with a $500,000 bail Brian Anderson can be contacted at at Chesire County Jail. The Keene banderson@keeneequinox.com. Sentinel also reported that he agreed

“If you could invite any one person to dinner, past or present, who would it be and why?”

Jessica Jodoin Freshman

“Johnny Depp because he is a super awesome actor and he’s super hot.”

Jon Trachim Sophomore

“Gandhi because he’d be good in a fight.”

Christina Rioux Sophomore

“My sister because I haven’t seen her in forever.”

Compiled by: Amanda Downie / Equinox Staff Will Wrobel / Photo Editor

Adam Hogue Junior

“Dana Scully because we are meant to be together.”

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