Staff Editorial: Reaction of ambivalence

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September 9, 2008

9:26 PM

Taylor Reveley became the 27th President of the College of William and Mary on Friday. And in other news, Tom Brady’s out for the season with a torn ACL. Bummer. We’re not sure which one matters more to the student body — if either one matters at all. As far as we can tell, the College met Reveley’s presidential upgrade with a ho-hum. Perhaps the Board of Visitors’ members had this ambivalence in mind when they floated the idea of a Reveley presidency, and then, two days later, sealed the deal. Maybe they had that in mind. Maybe.

Last Wednesday’s campus-wide e-mail from BOV Rector Michael Powell ’85 seemed a formality — an electronic “speak now or forever hold your peace” to students. Faced with such enormous responsibility, students held their peace. That could mean they approved, but it could also mean they just didn’t care. Our lunch money’s on the latter.

Regardless, the whole process for garnering student input seemed quick and dirty. Two days? To assess the impact of an extended Reveley presidency? Nor did the Board employ any system for gauging student sentiment. In spite of his call for input, Powell couldn’t put a finger to the number of responses he received — not even as an estimate. The board evaluated Reveley for months. Tacking on a two-day free-for-all at the end comes across as perfunctory.

But again, we doubt students would have had much to say even if the BOV had extended the period. Perhaps, in time, Reveley’s quirks will earn him a loyal following. But for now at least, it appears the BOV equated student ambivalence with approval. Bummer.

The Flat Hat Editorial Board

Austin Wright — Editor-in-Chief
Jeff Dooley — Managing Editor
Alice Hahn — Executive Editor
Brian Mahoney — Online Editor
Andy Peters — Editorial Writer

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