Bomb Explodes at Bluefield State College

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
November 14, 1968

It Is Time To Clean Up The Mess At Bluefield State

Outrageous is the most fitting term for what is going on at Bluefield State College, in the opinion of this newspaper and virtually all area residents.

And it is equally outrageous that state, county and city authorities haven't done something about the violence and threats of violence that threaten this institution.

Mailed death threats, telephoned bomb threats, countless acts of arson and vandalism, food- throwing sprees in the college cafeteria, all sorts of incident calculated to disrupt, disturb and destroy the college, have become routine.

It is high time they were stopped, and stopped cold.

If a tight curfew has to be clamped upon the campus, then let that be done.

If a squadron of state policemen must be stationed on the campus - or in every classroom and dormitory - to preserve order, then let that be done.

Bluefield State College is too important to this state and this area to permit it to be destroyed by a very small group of criminal "students."

Until recently the new wave of outrages has had little publicity because college authorities have done their best to hide what was going on in hopes that the trouble would cease.

It hasn't ceased, of course. It has grown worse.

Gov. Hulett C. Smith, the State Board of Education, all state officials concerned with the problem know what is going on. And so far it appears that not one single, solitary thing has been done about it.

The besieged college administration headed by President Wendell G. Hardway has been left to suffer in silence, and to undergo the very real risk of serious injury, at least.

The small group which has been acting under the flag of "black power," on the campus cannot be permitted to continue these activities. If state authorities want to end this mess they can do it

If they don't have the political and moral courage to take action, the taxpayers who pay money to support this institution have a right to know of their cowardice.

The tragedy of this situation is that the number of students involved really is only a tiny fraction of the enrollment, possibly no more than 10 or 20 of the 1500 who attend Bluefield State. It is simply beyond belief that this little group of hoodlums could be permitted to do what it is doing while area authorities remain uninterested and uninvolved.

This newspaper has closely followed the work of President Hardway since he assumed office at Bluefield State, and it is convinced that he is a sincere, dedicated and able educator who has made great improvements in the school in the face of the most severe difficulties.

Few men could or would have stuck to this job the way he has done in the past two years. Even fewer would have remained as silent as he has under such extreme provocation.

It is time for an end to this criminality and for a return to the supposed basic function of this college - which is to educate young people for a productive life in an atmosphere of law and order.

The administration, faculty, and the vast law-abiding majority of students at Bluefield State should make known to the Governor's office in no uncertain terms that they want to be free to obtain an education, and that they want to be freed of the few hoodlums in their midst who are bent on making this an impossibility.


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