VPSA candidate Loredo addresses diversity, community

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April 24, 2009

3:34 AM

Ángel Martínez Loredo, the final candidate for the position of vice president for student affairs at the College of William and Mary, spoke to a group of approximately 15 students Thursday in Blow Memorial Hall.

Loredo currently serves as the associate dean of students at the University of Maine, a position he has held since 1999.

He began the forum by stating his plans for the Office of Student Affairs.

“My vision is to make the division of student affairs into one that achieves excellence,” Loredo said.

As the son of Mexican immigrants, Loredo said his experiences give him unique insight into the difficulties of maintaining a multicultural community like the one at the College.

Loredo said that supporting diversity at the College is a key aspect of his vision for the Office of Student Affairs.

“I credit my parents for giving me the opportunity to study my cultural background,” Loredo said. “[But] my philosophy for diversity is that, to appreciate it, one has to understand oneself.”

While many interpret diversity to mean bringing together students of all ethnicities, Loredo takes it a step further.

According to Loredo, true diversity is not limited to skin color.

“We have to define what diversity means,” Loredo said. “It’s more than skin color. It’s sexual orientation, international and domestic students. But it’s also how we learn and how we live together.”

During the question-and-answer session, Loredo fielded queries from students regarding the three-person rule, challenges facing out-of-state students and the future of Greek life at the College.

While discussing the three-person rule, Loredo said that responsibility lies with the city to enforce its regulations, and that the College must protect students but also preserve good relations with Williamsburg residents.

To aid out-of-state students, Loredo said he wants to initiate a new orientation program aimed at familiarizing students with both the state of Virginia and the traditions of the College.

He also said he would be an advocate for Greek life, calling it an integral part of higher education.

Loredo said his focus would be on building connections between the administration and students.

“I want to deal with students in a kind, caring and compassionate manner,” Loredo said.

Student Assembly Sen. Brittany Fallon ’11 said she thought Loredo was one of the most engaging candidates for the VPSA position.

“I actually found him to be the most compelling … dean candidate that has visited so far,” Fallon said. “I think he demonstrated the most commitment to students and had the most examples of things that he had done to act on behalf of students.”

Ginger Ambler ’88 Ph.D. ’06, also a candidate for the VPSA position, has served as interim VPSA since Sam Sadler ’64 M.Ed. ’71 resigned from the post last year.

The Search Committee is expected to make a permanent appointment to the VPSA post by July 1.

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