Chanting Students at Rutgers Disrupt Installation Ceremony
One hundred and fifty students protesting a proposed plan to reroute a state highway through the Rutgers campus, disrupted the inauguration on Wednesday of Dr. Edward J. Bloustein as the new president of Rutgers University.
"I invite difference but dissent must be distinguished from disruption." Bloustein said. He called the disruption "a form of hooliganism reminiscent of the Nazi hordes of the 1930's."
University officials had anticipated a possible disruption and had prepared a statement to warn the protesters. Richard Slater, vice president and university provost, read the statement to the students.
"You have no right to use force for the imposition of contrary views in this society or in this university," he said. "If the disruption continues, disciplinary action will be taken against you and you will be subject to arrest."
The university did not initiate any action against the protesters, who left peacefully when the campus police ordered them to clear the gymnasium where the ceremony took place.
The students charged Bloustein with favoring the construction of the highway. Bloustein had issued a statement saying that he would not overturn the 1969 resolution of the Rutgers board of governors which does not oppose the construction site of the highway designed to ease expected air and noise pollution in the area.
David Meiswinkle, president of the student government and a protester, said yesterday. "There were so many demonstrators, they'd be afraid to take disciplinary action."
The executive council of the student government, which disapproved of the demonstration, sent a letter of apology to the gymnasium saying "the student leaders abhor what has taken place and will take every means in our power to rectify the deplorable situation."
The council, after tabling a motion to impeach Meiswinkle, voted to censor him for his part in the demonstration.
Bloustein emerged from the gymnasium accompanied by a police escort. Many of the students, restricted by New Brunswick police in riot gear, yelled "Sieg Heil" as he left the ceremony.