Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Virginia Ambler ’88 Ph.D ’06, one of the four candidates for the VPSA position, addressed a group of nearly 30 students at Blow Hall Monday.
Ambler discussed her background working in student affairs at Ohio State University and Franklin and Marshall College, as well as her ties to the College of William and Mary as an undergraduate and masters student, alumna, faculty member and administrator.
Diversity was a recurring theme in the discussion.
“The diversity challenge continues, and we’re not there yet,” Ambler said. “It’s a continual learning process. Lots of people are doing good work in the interest of community.”
She discussed finding ways to help international students fully integrate into the College community.
“Those students who are falling through the cracks are part of [a situation] that requires a lot of collaboration between the Reves Center and the Student Affairs office,” Ambler said. “It is important to identify, ‘Who are we missing and why are we missing them?’”
Ambler also addressed housing, noting that on-campus fraternity housing has been controversial this year.
“The impression [is that the] administration is out to do in the Greek system,” Ambler said.
“The needs of the Greek community have changed in the past ten years and need to be readdressed,” Ambler said regarding the present situation of the Units, which are no longer serving their original purpose of supplying fraternity housing. While at the College, Ambler was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
“It was really good to see Ginger’s responses [compared] to the other two candidates,” Tom Milteer ’09 said.
While a lot of the same concerns were brought up in the previous two VPSA candidate-student forums, Milteer said that Ambler was unique in that she is already familiar with the issues and concerns of the students.
Ambler finished her talk by discussing her work with her mentor and former VPSA Sam Sadler ’64 M.Ed. ’71 and her priorities for the Student Affairs office.
“Those things that are important to this community need to stay important to this community,” Ambler said. “It has been like changing the tire while the car is still moving. It has been so important for me that the student interests have been well represented [when planning for the next five years].”
Ángel Martínez Loredo is the next and final VPSA candidate to visit the College. He will arrive April 23 and speak to students that night in Blow 221.