Hampden-Sydney College, an all-male school in central Virginia, is investigating an election-night incident in which a group of students upset about President Obama’s reelection set off fireworks, threw bottles and then shouted racial epithets at members of a minority student organization, officials said Thursday.
Some in the group also threatened violence against the Minority Student Union members, college officials said, but there was no physical contact. Officials said about 40 students were involved, but it was unclear how many were active and how many were bystanders.
College president Christopher Howard expressed his disappointment in those students who participated:
“I am terribly disappointed with the students who participated in this harmful, senseless episode including those men who stood idly by and watched it happen,” college President Christopher B. Howard wrote in a statement addressed to the Hampden-Sydney community. “There is no place for bigotry or racism of any kind on this campus.”
The incident at Hampden-Sydney, a private liberal arts college in Prince Edward County, occurred as another racially charged episode was unfolding at the University of Mississippi. There, the Daily Mississippian student newspaper reported, hundreds of students “exchanged racial epithets and violent, politicized chants” about midnight as the nation learned that its first black president had been reelected.
At Hampden-Sydney, about 300 people attended a forum Wednesday to address the incident. “We were all impressed with the number of students who stood up and condemned this,” said college spokesman Thomas Shomo.
Christpher Howard himself is Hampden–Sydney’s first black college president. The college is also one of the few all male colleges in the United States.
I watched raw video of the uprising at Ole Miss. It made me sad to think that in the United States young people were acting so immature and hateful. However, at Indiana U security has to take down brass fish from a fountain to keep those fish from being stolen and these schools are all far away. At UWV there is a favorite pastime of burning sofas after a big win. In other words, it was there, not here. Students get liquored up and do stupid things. I know this. I grew up in a college town.
Hampden–Sydney is another story. The college is a Virginia college. True, its private but it’s in Virginia and those students who participated in racial uprising have disgraced this state. There is no place in Virginia for race riots. That chapter of our history closed in the 60’s.
I would hope that President Howard orders an investigation of the incident. Those students, regardless of race, who participated or aided and abetted should be expelled and sent home. They have disgraced their college and their state. We are Virginia and we don’t do race riots. The People of Virginia have spoken and have chosen their president.
The people of the United States have selected their president, by 3 million popular votes.