A faculty student discussion on domestic issues such as racism and civil rights was held Thursday, May 2, on the drillfield immediately in front of the War Memorial Chapel. This discussion was sponsored by the Virginia Tech Human Relations Council. According to Mark Crowley, the purpose was to "encourage communication between students and faculty members about racial issues and civil rights."
"The last hope of America is black power," according to one of the speakers that participated in the discussion. "There are two societies, Black vs. White, Have vs. Have-nots, and Rich vs. Poor. As long as America practices domestic colonialism, the white man that owns stores and housing in the ghetto drains his money to suburbia and doesn't put anything back. It is up to the Negro to own these stores and put money back into his community. Black power provides a means to channel violence into constructive political power."
There was a discussion of the racist policies at Tech. Students questioned why there were so few negroes at VPI. "If we get Rockfeller money and federal grants to bring Negro students here." one student noted, "I don't think they would like this discriminatory practice."
After providing the activity, the Student Activities Committee specified that only student staff and faculty could participate in the discussion and specified that only students staff and faculty could participate in the discussion and specified that any outsiders, including Radford students and ministers could not. To this, Harry Maney commented, "Ministers are very much part of this campus. Ministers that have participated in the past have acted as a mediating force keeping down the violence and possibility of radical action. Their presence is needed as a steering force."
This discussion was in line with the Human Relations Council viewpoints. The group is concerned with issues on campus such as housing and the very small percentage of Negro students on campus.