"Students turn nation around"
Hamilton, Howard D. “"Students turn nation around".” Digital Gallery. BGSU University Libraries, 18 June 2020, digitalgallery.bgsu.edu/collections/item/17460. Accessed 15 July 2020.
|Title||"Students turn nation around"|
|Subject||Bowling Green State University -- Students -- Political activity|
|Hamilton, Howard D.|
|Description||A letter to the editor of the BG News from BGSU political science professor Howard D. Hamilton describing the benefits of student activism.|
|Creator||Hamilton, Howard D.|
|Source||BG News; Center for Archival Collections; University Libraries; Bowling Green State University|
|Publisher||Bowling Green State University|
|Format||Letters to the editor|
|Spatial Coverage||Bowling Green (Ohio)|
students turn nation around
Only a fossilized professor can fully appreciate some of the significance of the incredible behavior this week of a clear majority of the BG student body. In October, 1965, a symposium on the Vietnam "police action" attracted about fifty students and faculty. On that occasion I presented an analysis of the origin and nature of the dirty little war, the identical analysis which I had presented the preceding April at the Indiana University teach-in.
The analysis was cheered by the Indiana students but not a BG. The BG News ran an editorial calling me a "traitor," which elicited a chorus of letters in the Sentinel and News (some from faculty). BG students and faculty-even the administration-have moved some distance in five years.
Naturally an old peacemonger is thrilled by the achievements of the student body this week, but from the perspective of an old man it appears that a whale of credit also belongs to President Jerome and the other administrators and faculty who enabled the affair to be a success rather than a debacle. Trapped in the middle of terrific pressures, their performance was stellar, and BG remains open and stronger rather than becoming a casualty.
Among the significant fruits of the crisis was that for the first time a majority of BG students (and faculty?) became concerned about the paramount problems of American society: war and race. But I became concerned about them thirty years ago and they are still with us, and they will never be exercised by student excitement in front of Williams Hall.
No amount of student oratory will compel the Nixon administration to make peace or cease being racist. In May, 1972, the war will be going on with 200 to 400 thousand American troops busily liberating the peasants and solving the problem with napalm. The war will be stopped only by political action like the student campaigns for McCarthy and Kennedy in 1968.
"But we tried that in 1968 and look what happened!" Yes, the political process was "fixed" in 1968 and failed miserably. However the war, race, poverty, and the urban crisis are still here and there is no feasible alternative but to keep trying.
If BG students or faculty are more than dilitants, they will ring doorbells this year for such candidates as Gilligan, Metzenbaum, or Goodell; they will spend the next two years exposing the Nixon "Vietnamization" hoax; and in 1972 they will be campaigning harder than ever before. Only the assassination of Kennedy prevented students from turning this nation around in 1968. I hope they will try again.
Howard D. Hamilton
Professor, Pol. Sci.
significant, moving week
The past week has probably been one of the most significant and moving times ever experienced here at Bowling Green. For once, we have all opened our minds and given something of ourselves in an effort to understand the deaths at Kent State and our move into Cambodia. It is a shame that a few faculty members found it too hard to give of themselves--found it too hard to forfeit their lectures for class discussions, too hard to postpone their exams, or too hard to offer make-up exams for student strikers.
Why? Because it might disrupt their schedules, or hinder the so-called process of education, or conflict with their obligations as "educators." Isn't caring about war and peace, and life and death a worthy enough cause to stop the sometimes senseless routine of classes, lectures and tests for a few days?
Most students, faculty members, and administrators have shown that it is their obligation, not just as educators, but as human beings, to be concerned with these issues. It is unfortunate that a few professors could give so little to the great opportunity to really learn.
103 Treadway Hall