Jacob Eisler contends in his op-ed from last week that All Campus Entertainment (ACE) needs to sponsor more diverse events that do not “drag us down as a cultural institution.” We welcome Eisler’s criticism, although we disagree with it. Additionally, we encourage students to visit our website, ace.williams.edu, to fill out our “Suggest an Event” form which sends event suggestions immediately to the leaders of ACE. Some of our best events this year came from student suggestions.
ACE is an organization that is open to every student on campus. Those who feel they are misrepresented are welcome to join and help in the event planning process. While we realize that ACE is an institution with the responsibility of representing the entire student body, there is already an abundance of events that Eisler would call “erudite and culturally enriching,” such as lectures and performances sponsored by academic departments, the Dean’s Office, and a cappella and theater groups. ACE hosts events that these other groups are not responsible for and fills an important niche on campus. We provide a release for students from the intellectual rigors of a Williams education.
In addition, ACE has a large amount of money specifically set aside for co-sponsoring events with other student groups. The Williams College Jewish Association (WCJA) and the Students of Mixed Heritage (SOMH) are examples of groups this year that have received funding from ACE.
Eisler claims that the General Entertainment group has not fulfilled its plan to sponsor “non-traditional social events.” He claims ACE “degrades the cultural and social environment and represents a very narrow slice of this campus.”
Eisler fails to mention General Entertainment’s weekly movies in Bronfman, a subsidized trip to a Red Sox game, the distribution of cheerstix at Homecoming, the three comedians brought to campus this fall, the renting of Mt. Greylock bowling alley and van transportation to the Amherst-Williams game. This does not include events sponsored by the other committees of ACE such as the Ben Folds concert, the hugely successful Homecoming parties and stress-busting Wednesdays at Goodrich, all of which contribute to a diverse and expanded offering of activities for students to participate in this year.
In addition to ACE organized events, we also extend the invitation for all groups and individuals to utilize ACE funding. The WCJA, SOMH and Frosh Council are several examples of succesfully executed co-sponsored events.
The Social and House Events group is the only student group on campus that can pay for alcohol, so naturally a seemingly disproportionate number of ACE events offer alcohol.
ACE does not create or foster the drinking culture on this campus, but rather fulfills its responsibility to provide a safe and regulated drinking environment for students. When there are no all- campus parties on a given weekend, more students wind up in the health center.
ACE is a new organization that has replaced the more fractured social planning groups that existed in the past. Like any new organization, it faces the challenges of recruiting student volunteers and defining its role and character. We want to improve social life on campus and welcome all new members and new ideas.