The Flat Hat

Working for The Flat Hat took me from Baltimore to New Orleans. I owe all credit to my editors, copy section and staff.

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Mental Health: Progress Over Platitudes
Written by Chris Weber and Jack Powers | April 20, 2015

Suicide isn’t unique to the College of William and Mary, so why does it feel like it is? There is an impulse to question our Counseling Center’s perceived failings in light of recent tragedies. To argue a direct link between the Counseling Center and suicides is erroneous; denying any association of the two is asinine.

The College must reevaluate how it treats a problem far more pervasive than suicide: reducing the stigma surrounding mental health is important, but falls short of addressing another important stigma — that of the Counseling Center itself.

The College deserves — and must demand — a more accessible, effective Counseling Center.


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Men’s Basketball: Good As Gold
Written By: Chris Weber | January 26, 2015 | Posted In: Games, Sports

Standing 6’6”, freshman guard Oliver Tot averages about a point and a half and 10 minutes per game through 11 games this season. Saturday’s five-point, 10-minute performance wasn’t remarkable for the numbers, but was for William and Mary’s bid at an upset win.

After Northeastern cut an 11-point halftime deficit to just two, Tot hit a three from the left wing. Junior guard Terry Tarpey came up with a steal on the ensuing Huskies possession, only to watch the layup attempt rim out.

“I saw a missed layup, then I saw a flying European coming behind me to finish it,” Tarpey said. “I’m really excited for him. We work out together a lot. He came home with me at Christmas because he couldn’t go home. It’s great to see him have a great game like he did.”

Tot’s emphatic one-handed slam keyed a run that cemented the College’s 78-62 win. The decision moves the Tribe (12-7, 6-2 CAA) into a first-place conference tie with Northeastern (14-7, 6-2 CAA).


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Commentary: It’s Good To Be Tony
Written By: Chris Weber | January 11, 2015 | Posted In: Commentary, Sports

It’s good to be Tony Shaver.

Ten months removed from his third appearance in the Colonial Athletic Association Championship in the last seven seasons, William and Mary’s head coach fields a 9-6 squad that’s playing as well as any team in the conference. Saturday’s 81-73 win over James Madison pushed the College to 3-1 in league play.

Even after losing career 1,000-point scorers Brandon Britt ’14 and Tim Rusthoven ’14 in May, Shaver has found ways to win and ways to score. Sophomore guard Daniel Dixon and sophomore forward Omar Prewitt each chip in significant minutes, while junior big man Sean Sheldon offers his best Rusthoven impression night in and night out.

Not as prolific as last season, Shaver’s bench holds its own. But it’s what is still prolific that makes Shaver’s job one of the best in the CAA: senior guard Marcus Thornton and junior forward Terry Tarpey.


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In Light Of Ebola Virus Spread, College Adopts Preventative And Reactionary Protocol Measures
Written By: Chris Weber | December 4, 2014 | Posted In: Latest News, Student Life

While the chances of contracting the Ebola virus remain minimal for most Americans, the College of William and Mary has adopted a series of preventative and reactionary measures regarding the infectious disease.

In July 2013, the school’s Emergency Management Team adopted a plan for infectious disease control procedures. The 14-member team — chaired by Vice President for Administration Anna B. Martin and staffed with individuals from an array of offices — holds responsibility for the College’s emergency preparedness. The adopted Infectious Disease Plan outlines the “framework for the University’s response to infectious diseases that present a threat to members of the campus community.”


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Basketball: Tipping Off
Written By: Mick Sloan and Chris Weber | November 13, 2014 | Posted In: Features, Sports

As head coaches Ed Swanson and Tony Shaver return courtside for the 2014-15 season, The Flat Hat Sports desk takes stock of both the men’s and women’s programs.


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Flat Hat Sports Talk
Written By: Mick Sloan and Chris Weber

A weekly podcast hosted by sports editors Mick Sloan and Chris Weber.


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Making Mental Health Services A Priority
Written By: Chris Weber and Jack Powers | October 6, 2014 | Posted In: Columns, Opinions

Peter Godshall and Troy Pelish were both members of the Class of 2015. Both committed suicide on campus, and their absences shape our legacy as a class.

We need to have an active discussion of mental health. Last week’s Mental Health Awareness Week showed the passion many students feel toward mental health; additionally, the week made strides to change perceptions of mental health on campus while increasing awareness of the services offered to students.

But an honest assessment of mental health issues on campus must start with the Counseling Center’s lack of access and effectiveness. To truly combat the spate of mental health issues on campus, we must hold the administration accountable.


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Aromas Leases Williamsburg’s Triangle Building
Written By: Chris Weber | September 22, 2014 | Posted In: Latest News, Williamsburg

Aromas signed a 30-day lease to operate in Williamsburg’s Triangle Building, located at the corner of Prince George Street and Armistead Avenue.

“This is a short lease to assist an existing business until they complete needed additional space at their current location,” City Director of Economic Development Michelle DeWitt said in an email.

DeWitt added that the space will be used for food preparation and will not be open to the public.


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Respectfully Remembering 9/11
Written By: Chris Weber | September 18, 2014 | Posted In: Columns, Opinions

It isn’t etched into memory by routine, like the Pledge of Allegiance. It isn’t faintly recollected, like the Constitution’s Preamble or the Declaration of Rights.

It is entirely ignored.

It is the first chapter of Title IV of the United States Code, and it deals with the American flag. The College of William and Mary showed its utter disregard for ten sections of that chapter last week, disrespecting the American flag in the process.

The Young Democrats and College Republicans filled the east end of the Sunken Garden with American flags last week, paying tribute to those lost Sept. 11, 2001. When coupled with the Queen’s Guard at the head of the Sunken Garden, the scene leaves passers-by with strong emotions. It’s a high-quality, well-executed operation and deserves due credit.

The scene the following day, however, demands accountability. Shreds of the flags sat in the grass. Heaps of the miniature flags sat discarded in piles. What had instilled pride and patriotism now left a bitter, sour taste.


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Commentary: New opponent, same play calls 
Written By: Chris Weber | September 1, 2014 | Posted In: Commentary, Sports

I started to believe somewhere in God country. Between Country Cookin’ and Mama’s Kitchen, I convinced myself it could happen.

William and Mary could cover the spread.

Challenging a top-flight Football Bowl Subdivision team wasn’t new. The College (0-1) led at halftime before collapsing in the second quarter at Morgantown, W.Va. a season ago. A miserable game against Maryland mercifully ended in the Terps’ favor, 7-6, in 2012.

Winning was different, though, and that wasn’t going to happen Saturday afternoon. Even with an unproven quarterback and Ohio State looming next week, picking the Tribe over Virginia Tech (1-0) was laughable.


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Feature: ‘Tribe For Teddy’
Written By: Chris Weber | March 17, 2014 | Posted In: Features, Sports

After eight weeks, Mary Fish ’07 knew there was something unique about her son. Medical specialists were at a loss and answers proved difficult to find.

“It manifested with eating issues with Teddy, and then it was missing milestones,” Fish said. “I knew something was wrong at eight weeks, and I started going to doctors and asking them to look into it a little further.”

Late in the afternoon on Nov. 14, 2013, doctors and specialists settled on a prognosis — Menkes disease. Characterized by deficient copper levels, Menkes disease has no known cure. Children diagnosed with typical Menkes cases generally don’t live past three years. Teddy Fish, turning 11 months old Sunday, has a typical case.


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Commentary: Teddy Tells More Than Just A Story
Written By: Chris Weber | March 24, 2014 | Posted In: Commentary, Sports

Teddy Fish wore a white shirt, blue bowtie and, for the most part, slept.

Alex Fish ’06 leaned against the cinderblock wall at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center, alternating between shaking hands and watching William and Mary play Sunday morning. Mary Fish ’07 proudly held Teddy, snapping photos and taking in the scene.

If not for a hundred “Tribe for Teddy” t-shirts and a scoreboard that read “Once a part of the Tribe, always a part of the Tribe,” the Fish family wouldn’t have appeared all that different from any other young family taking in their alma mater’s tennis program.

If not for Teddy’s diagnosis, this wouldn’t have been a story.


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Feature: Veteran Broadcaster Relishes Role As “Voice Of The Tribe”
Written By: Chris Weber | March 11, 2014 | Posted In: Features, Sports

Jay Colley wanted to call sporting events as early as 1980, when he graduated Middle Tennessee State with a degree in mass communications. 34 years later, Colley is still realizing that dream.

Colley’s path to William and Mary began with back-to-back two-year broadcasting stints with the Nashville Sound and the Charlotte Orioles, both Double-A minor league baseball clubs. Determined to make it to the majors, Colley took a job with a Triple-A club in Rochester, N.Y.

In retrospect, working alongside a young Cal Ripken, Jr. seemed a positive sign for Colley’s major league aspirations. While Ripken launched his professional career, Colley unknowingly began his turn to the Tribe.

“I was with Cal Ripken, Jr. in Double-A, and then he went up to the Major Leagues and I didn’t,” Colley said. “I stayed nine years in Rochester and got out of baseball in 1990, 1991.”


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Wake Up, Virginia
Written By: Chris Weber | September 6, 2013 | Posted In: Opinions

Virginia, you are, once again, behind the times. Your neighbors are stealing your cherished professors. Your neighbors are benefitting from your grants. You won’t say you discriminate, Virginia, but you do.

Miles behind 13 states and the District of Columbia, you refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of same-sex marriage. When the federal government ruled gay couples must receive the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples in states recognizing gay marriage, you gleefully toasted that you do not, in fact, recognize gay marriage.

You cling to an antiquated set of political beliefs. You throw around words like “progressive,” but you trot out outspoken anti-gay rights Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, R-Va., like a prize sheep at one of your county fairs. You talk business and growth, and yet you use policies that encourage employees to flee from you.

Where do you draw the line, Virginia?


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Assistant Coach Dan Stimson Helps Revitalize Track And Field
Written By: Chris Weber | March 25, 2013 | Posted In: Features, Sports

You’ll find him hanging around the aptly-named Stimson Throwing Events Area, directing his athletes. Dan Stimson, assistant coach for William and Mary’s track and field program, brings more than a few trophies to the table.

In Stimson’s 25 years as the director of the program, Stimson guided the Tribe to 25 of 34 possible Colonial Athletic Association championships. Since 1986, the year of Stimson’s arrival in Williamsburg, the 25 CAA championships rank third most in that span, trailing only James Madison and the rest of the College’s programs in total number of CAA championships won.

Rather than merely setting a tone of conference dominance, Stimson revitalized the track and field program at the College. Arriving in the summer of 1986, Stimson inherited a team lacking talent and struggling to field scholarship athletes. The throwing team, Stimson’s specialty, had a single male thrower — and he was coming off shoulder surgery.

“The team was terrible. John Randolph [the Athletic Director at the time] put the men’s and women’s teams together. Back then, you still had separate men’s and women’s programs throughout the country,” Stimson said. “And then we started putting them together, so a new position was the director of track and field. And the women’s team was pretty bad, frankly. They kind of let the program go for awhile.”



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