The N.C. Essay
May 27, 1970
“WHAT’S COMING NEXT YEAR” Letters
By Robert Ward, NCSA President To the Editor:
Commencement will offer an opportunity
for me to bid our graduating classes Godspeed.
But for everyone else who will soon be leaving
for the summer holiday I am using the N.C.
Essay to tell you a bit about things to come.
There seems to me no doubt that the next
year will put the nation to severe tests of a kind
unknown since World War II. Every aspect of
our economy is going the wrong way; and, as
the economic picture worsens, the social prob
lems that were already grave become graver.
Again the leadership of our country has chosen
to pursue a course of military escalation in
Southeast Asia in betrayal of its campaign
promises and with only the most dubious
sanction of our democratic processes.
We all know too well the tragic outcome on
campuses in all parts of the country. Once
again I have been greatly encouraged by the
stability and intelligence displayed by our stu
dents and faculty in a moment of crisis. Some
have interpreted the lack of violent display as
apathy. I would interpret it as the result of a
real communal sense of the constructive and
responsible without which no artistic effort can
by Gwen Spear
Almost nothing about Jadcson State College
woukl remind you, ordinarily, of Kent State
University, the one being primarUy black and
in Mississippi, the other being largely white
and in Middle America. By race, as well as
geography, they are mUes apart, yet today it is
the similarities between them that are striking.
What is so particularly appalling about the
killing of two Jackson State students, and the
wounding of another nine, by police officers is
that it could haye happened in a way so
strikingly similar to the shootings at Kent
•State, within two weeks.
The two tragedies began the same Tvay, with
student demonstrations. They evolved the
same way, with the calling in of police and
National Guard units, with an outbreak of vio
lence, with the throwing of rocks and bricks at
the security forces. Both ended in the same
way. At Jackson State the Guard was hekl
back, and the local and state police moved in;
at Kent State, the Guard engaged the demon
strators. Essentially, it was horribly the same.
The seciu’ity forces were armed with live
ammunition; they shot not to warn or to
disperse, but right into the crowd. They shot
to kill. According to the authorities, they
shot, in both cases, without order, spontan
eously, claiming self-defense.
So it was very much the same at Jackson
State, except for one thing - we had just had
Kent State. We hid just had the example of
sending tense, ill-trained Guardsmen with load
ed weapons up against a group of studeni
demonstrators. Not the least of lessons, al
ready learned on other campuses, was that
tear gas in ample quantities works better than
Clearly the message that it will take more
than ‘marches, protest meetings, or demonstra
tions’ has come to be understood. This is im-
portnat. It is only terrible that it has taken
such tragic events to show us the light.
Meanwhile the fact that we have continued
the educational process without interruption
through the turmoil is to everyone’s credit.
The spring marathon of recitals, concerts, ex
aminations, and auditions has shown that great
progress has been made and that still more is in
store for the future. The ‘Dream’ at Summit
school was indeed a dream. The evening of new
dance works by students and new student
works on the final chorus and orchestra con
cert were lively and well realized.
This year a number of important ‘starts’
have been made: the SC A Constitution-finally;
a Tenure Policy for faculty; revised dormitory
regulations, and the first meetings of the All-
School Advisory Council. Also much plann
ing for next year.
With the Student Center in operation, an im
proved food service and increased experience
and know-how in our staff, campus living in the
Fall will be very much easier.
We are negotiating with a number of impor
tant artists to spend some time on the campus
next year. The first one that can be announced
is a three-day Festival in honor of Aaron Cop
land’s seventieth birthday in March. His three
days on campus will include concerts involving
all of our music groups, the premiere of one or
two new ballets, a lecture and informal meetings
with Mr. Copland, and a session devoted to his
film music. The various events will be open to
people from all parts of the State.
Now many of you are beginning to think
about Siena, Asolo, and London. I am certain
that all of these sessions will prove again highly
stimulating and rewarding.
(con’t on page 4)
At Jackson State this lesson was applied by
not using tear gas at all. There was no first
effort to disperse the demonstrators before
they could become a menace to security
forces. At Jadcson State, white policemen
went for their guns against black students.
We are being toW, as we were told at Kent
State, that snipers started the shooting, that
security forces had to fire bade to save them-
seKes. The inevitable invest^ation is under
way and if it establishes that the police at
Jadcson State were under fire, then this would
go some way towards explaining why they
might have been under extreme pressure to
fire back out of fear for their lives. But this
would not explain why tear gas was not even
tried. It would not explain why the crowd
was not warned and ordered to disperse before
the police went for their guns. And nothing
can explain the hardest fact of all about the
Missisappi tragedy: it is not just that it was
senseless and needless, but that only two weeks
before Jackson State there had been Kent State.
I wish this letter could be printed
three times the size of normal print-
then mayoe someone would.read it arid
possibly be a tiny bit ashamed.
The vast majority of students in this
school consists of a bunch of lazy slobs.
Why is it that after seven people spent
over 18 hours setting up for a dance (for
everyone!) the same people worked until
5 A.M. striking (to clear for a 10:00 A.M.
filming session that was never held.)
It was not as if we didn’t ask for
help - but it was like talking to brick
walls! I know everyone had their excu
ses - I’m tired. I’m sick, I’m drunk, I’m
stoned, I don’t want to. WELL‘ WHAT
ABOUT US? By the end of it (and
some from the very beginning) we were
sick and tired - not just only literally,
also sick and tired of the disgusting
student body in this school!
Some of us didn’t even get to enjoy
the full benefits of our efforts. Someone
had to work lights and keep the refresh
ment table full.
Does it have to be this way?
To the Editor:
I’m glad that the end of this year is
here because after this weekend I don’t
think I could stand to stay here any
We started weeks ago to plan a dance
for the end of the year. This weekend
seven people started at 6:30 Friday even
ing to set up, working around rehearsals
so as not to cause any inconvenience to
anyone. After working 18 hours to set
up this dance, why did the same seven
people have to work until 5 A.M. strik
ing to clear for a 10:00 filming session
Sunday morning that no one bothered
to tell us was cancelled? Why then did
no one make an effort to help us as we
finished dragging the tables back into
the cafeteria during lunch today. It’s
not as if there were no aWe-bodied boys
in the cafeteria to help. The only comm
ent we received for anyone was ‘Why
don’t you carry them, it’s so noisy
when you drag them?’ Because we were
too damn exhausted and the tables are
too heavy to carry anyway!
At one time I was proud of this school
and felt I was a part of it. Now, I don’t
want any part of it! It is no longer a
unit, but a group of selfish individuals.
I am sorry if this letter is not legible
but I am too exhausted and angry to