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WVU students should clean up their act

October 13, 2012
The Herald-Star

It's sad that West Virginia University President James Clements had to address that actions of a few on campus during his annual State of University speech earlier this week.

A speech that was glowing with the university's recent achievements and accolades and outlined new projects and initiatives was preceded by a warning, and rightfully so, to the relatively few - given the university's overall attendance of about 30,000 students- who decided to celebrate the Mountaineers' football win over Texas last Saturday by starting street and trash can fires in Morgantown.

What's worse is some police officers were injured after bricks and bottles were thrown at several city fire engines, vehicles and officials, and in one incident, a light pole was toppled and tossed into a fire.

These kinds of post-game victory "celebrations" are well-known in Morgantown and on other campuses across America, but that certainly doesn't make them acceptable.

We've said it before in this space and will reiterate now that this behavior is juvenile and should not be tolerated.

Reports indicate that several people have been charged with malicious burning following Saturday night's events, but will that stop further outbreaks of burning following WVU wins? We have our doubts. Common sense must prevail among the young students on campus who would even consider such behavior.

There's much to be proud of and anticipate at WVU, least of which is the football team's inaugural season in the Big 12 and it's successful start thus far.

There's also the new "Mountains of Excellence" program, which includes plans for strategic investment in research programs that will help generations of West Virginians to come as well as showcase the university's international leaderhship in areas such as natural gas and water resources.

The university's impact on education and research has been invaluable in the Mountain State - history has proven it.

So we agree with Clements that the actions of some last Saturday were "unacceptable, inexcusable," and it should not be tolerated. We truly hope the disciplinary route taken by the university will stave off further incidents.

It was embarrassing for all students, faculty, staff and alumni. It always has been and always will be.

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