Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler sent the following message to the student body Nov. 15, 2016 - Ed.
Dear William & Mary Students,
Each year on the day new students move in and begin their orientation, I have the privilege of offering words of welcome to this Tribe family. The one element of those opening remarks that remains unchanged from one fall to the next is an unwavering affirmation, “Who comes here belongs here.” If ever there was a time for William & Mary to re-affirm that foundational claim in both words and actions, now is that time. Each one of you belongs here – you were specially chosen to be a part of this campus community, and you are of immeasurable worth because of the diverse experiences, perspectives, identities, traditions, affiliations, and abilities you bring with you.
What can never belong here at W&M are any behaviors that harass, intimidate, or threaten others. It grieves me to know that students in our community are witnessing or directly experiencing such behaviors, as well as the accompanying pain, confusion, and fear they engender. Since last week’s presidential election, students have shared with us, both anonymously and through more formal channels, information about such threats and harassment. Just yesterday, we received a disturbing report about graffiti written on a paper towel dispenser in a hall bathroom in a residence hall. An image of the graffiti, which included the words “Go Trump” with a swastika substituting for the “T” has been widely circulated on social media. No one has come forward to claim responsibility or motive, and we encourage anyone with information about the incident to contact William & Mary Police at 221-4596.
Yesterday afternoon, students, faculty and administrators gathered in Tucker Hall to talk about the climate on campus, to ask questions, and to support one another during this turbulent time. A number of you asked for more information about our campus policies, avenues for reporting discrimination and harassment, and a list of campus resources. I hope this specially-designed website is helpful – please reach out and let us know what else you might need. The university will follow-up on reports to the best of our ability using the information provided. Above all, leverage the trusting relationships you have established at William & Mary with faculty members, with administrators, with mentors, and with your friends. And may we each commit to listening more, with compassion and with respect.
Virginia Miller Ambler ‘88, Ph.D. ‘06
Vice President for Student Affairs