Ambler addresses Student Assembly over beer pong table ban

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September 16, 2010

10:57 PM

Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler ’88 Ph.D. ’06 spoke at the College of William and Mary’s Student Assembly meeting held Tuesday.

Ambler responded to student criticism of the recent ban on beer pong tables by explaining that the Division of Student Affairs oversees student safety.

“We are here to support individual students in their personal growth and to support a healthy learning community,” Ambler said.

Ambler — who with her staff oversees departments for academic support, career counseling, Residence Life, student activities and the Student Health Center — also responded to Senators’ questions about Student Handbook changes, money set aside for the Counseling Center and the recent ban of beer pong tables from campus.

Sen. Michael Douglass ’11 asked why proposed changes to the Student Handbook were presented to students over the summer rather than during the school year.

Ambler said the proposed changes were not completed until the end of April, and that she and College President Taylor Reveley felt it would be better to ask for student comment during the summer instead of during the hectic final exam period.

“Perhaps we need to move the deadline for proposed changes up to April 1 or spring break to give everyone more time,” she said.

When asked about the $57,000 the SA set aside last spring for the Counseling Center to hire an additional full-time counselor, Ambler responded that because a new case manager and part-time psychiatrist have been hired, the money will likely not be used.

“[Director of the Counseling Center Warrenetta] Mann wants to use the money to augment other services for students,” Ambler said. “Our common goal is to provide students with additional counseling services, but hiring a full-time counselor is not what we have in mind.”

Sen. Adam Stokes ’12 asked for clarification on the College’s choice to ban beer pong tables from campus, a response to the recent Coalition Assessment Project report of the College’s Greek life, published last year.

“I do feel strongly, that as Vice President for Student Affairs, I need to be clear about what we expect,” Ambler said. “When we have a policy that drinking games are not allowed, yet these tables are present on campus, our expectations are not clear.”

Two new bills were introduced at the meeting.

The Swem Library Study Room Renovation Act would allocate $1,280 for the creation of two new group study rooms, if passed.

Bill sponsors Sen. Mike Young ’11 and Chairman Stef Felitto ’12 said they felt it is difficult for study groups to find space in Swem, particularly during final exam periods.

The money would be used to convert two individual study rooms into group study rooms through the purchase of additional furniture and whiteboards.

The Charter Day Concert Act was also introduced, a bill which would allocate up to $50,000 to assist AMP in bringing a big-name performer to campus in February.

The list of potential bands includes Band of Horses, Regina Spektor, MGMT, The Strokes and Wilco.

Both bills will go through SA committees before they are brought to a vote.

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