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Student Activism

Historical Foundations of Higher Education

Sharon Jackson

on 16 April 2013

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Transcript of Student Activism

Student Activism Karen Fettig, Sharon Jackson, Katie Kuntz, and Ryan Routh
The University of Akron April 2, 1768 December 20, 1859 1927 1934 February 1, 1960 December 3, 1963 May 4, 1970 October 11, 1985 March 1, 2012 April 22, 1969 Rebellion
at Harvard
recitations Southern medical students' exodus from Philadelphia American
Federation of
Conference Formation of the American Youth Conference The sit-in at Woolworth's lunch counter Mario Savio's speech prior to the sit-in at UC Berkeley CUNY open admissions protest The shootings at Kent State University National Anti-apartheid Protest Day National Day of Action for Education References Altback, P. G. (2007) American student politics: Activism in the midst of apathy. In Weschler, H. S., Goodchild, L. F., Eisenmann, L. (Eds.), The history of higher education (pp. 775-789). Boston, MA: Pearson Custom Publishing
Altbach, P. G., & Peterson, P. (1971). Before Berkeley: Historical Perspectives on American Student Activism. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 395, 1-14. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/1038571.pdf?acceptTC=true
Associated Press. (1985, October 12). Thousands of students across nation observe Anti-apartheid protest day. The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved from http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1314&dat=19851012&id=lFlWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Me8DAAAAIBAJ&pg=1890,6845065
Breeden, J.O. (1995). Rehearsal for secession? The return home of Southern medical students from Philadelphia in 1859. In Paul Finkelman, ed., His soul goes marching on: Responses to John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.
Burton, J. D. (2007). Collegiate living and Cambridge justice: Relating the colonial Harvard student community in the eighteenth century. In Wechlser, H. S., Goodchild, L. F., & Eisenmann, L. (Eds.), The history of higher education (pp. 126-138). Boston, MA: Pearson Custom Publishing.
Chafe, W.H. (1980). Civilities and civil rights: Greensboro, North Carolina and the black struggle for freedom. New York: Oxford University Press.
Cohen, R. (1998). Student Activism in the 1930s. In Buhle, M. J., Buhle, P., and Georgakas, D. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of the American Left (pp. 799-802). Retrieved from
Crain, W. (2001). The battle for social justice at the City University of New York. ENCOUNTER: Education for Meaning and Social Justice, Volume 14(4), 36-41.
Crow, J. J., Escott, P. D., & Hatley, F. J. (2002). A History of African Americans in North Carolina. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Division of Archives & History. Draper, H. (2001, September 16). Berkeley: The New Student Revolt. Free Speech Movement Archives. Retrieved from http://www.fsm-a.org/draper/draper_ch1-10.html
Eckert, E. (2010). Learning from the tragedy at Kent State: Forty years after May 4. About Campus, 15(1), 2-10. DOI: 10.1002/abc.20009
Goodchild, L.F. (2007). History of higher education in the United States. In Wechlser, H. S., Goodchild, L. F., & Eisenmann, L. (Eds.), The history of higher education (pp. 36-48). Boston, MA: Pearson Custom Publishing.
Harms, H. E. (1970). The concept of in loco parentis in higher education. U.S. Department of Health, Education & Welfare. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED042421.pdf
Harvard University. (2010). Harvard University. Records of the faculty relating to disorders, 1768-ca. 1880s: an inventory. Retrieved from http://oasis.lib.harvard.edu/oasis/deliver/~hua31010
Heinman, K.J. (2008). Youth Activism. Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society. Retrieved from http://www.faqs.org/childhood/Wh-Z-and-other-topics/Youth-Activism.html
Hoerl, K. (2009). Commemorating the Kent State tragedy through victims’ trauma in television news coverage, 1990-2000. Communication review, 12(2), 107-131. DOI: 10.1080/10714420902921101
Inside Out Documentaries. (2011). Apartheid timeline. Retrieved from http://insideout.wbur.org/documentaries/kwaito/apartheid.asp Nessen, J. (1986, Fall). Student anti-Apartheid newsletter-Africa fund. Retrieved from http://kora.matrix.msu.edu/files/50/304/32-130-E68-84-AL.SFF.DOCUMENT.acoa000127.pdf
Noguera, P.A. & Cohen, R. (2011, February 11). Remembering Reagan's record on civil rights and the South African freedom struggle. The Nation. Retrieved from http://www.thenation.com/article/158506/remembering-reagans-record-civil-rights-and-south-african-freedom-struggle
Occupy Education. (2012). Retrieved from http://occupyedu.tumblr.com/
Occupy Education. (2012a). Actions. Retrieved from http://www.occupyed.org/actions/
Occupy Education. (2012b). March 1 national day of action for education. Retrieved from http://www.occupyed.org/
O’Hara, J. F. (2006). Kent State/May 4 and postwar memory. American Quarterly, 58(2), 301-328. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.uakron.edu:2119/stable/pdfplus/40068365.pdf
Peterson, P. M. (1972). Student organizations and the antiwar movement in America, 1900-1960. American Studies, 13(1), 131-147. Retrieved from https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/amerstud/article/viewFile/2416/2375
Rosas, Marisela. (2010). College student activism: An exploration of learning outcomes. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Iowa Research Online. (589)
Savio, Mario. (1964, December 3). Mario Savio's speech before the FSM sit-in. Free Speech Movement Archives. Retrieved from
Thelin, J. R. (2004). A history of American higher education. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
The Regents of the University of California. (2010). Free Speech Movement Digital
Archive. Retrieved from http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/FSM/index.html
Wallenstein, P. (2007). Higher education in Civil War Virginia. Presented at Civil War Weekend on the campus of Virginia Tech, March 10, 2007.
Youth Rights Network. (2007, May 11). American Youth Congress. Retrieved April, 2, 2012
from http://www.youthrights.net/index.php?title=American_Youth_Congress  References Philadelphia was the medical center of antebellum America, and during the 1859-1860 school session Southerners made up nearly 63 percent of the graduates in Philadelphia’s Jefferson Medical College (Kilbride, 1999). In October 16-18, 1859, John Brown, a white abolitionist, attempted to start an armed slave revolt in Virginia by seizing a United States arsenal at Harper’s Ferry in Virginia. Brown's raid was defeated by a detachment of U.S. Marines led by Col. Robert E. Lee (Breeden, 1995). Brown was hanged for treason in December 2, 1859 due to his failed attempt. In the North, Brown was thought of as a martyr, while in the South he was viewed as a terrorist (Breeden, 1995). The Southern students in Philadelphia’s medical schools engaged in several confrontations with Northern abolitionists who, enraged by Brown’s death, held public meetings and demonstrations (Breeden, 1995). Around Dec. 20, 1850, 244 medical students from the South abandoned their studies in Philadelphia and headed back south. The students left to protest the hostile atmosphere in the city following Brown's hanging and the arrest of several armed Southern students at a lecture by George W. Curtis, a New York abolitionist (Kilbride, 1990). The 244 students arrived in Richmond on December 22, and were greeted with a tremendous celebration as returning Sons of the South. Thirteen of the students enrolled at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, 28 enrolled at the Medical College of the State of South Carolina in Charleston, and 144 enrolled in the Medical College of Virginia (Wallenstein, 2007).

The day after the students’ arrival in Richmond, a bill to provide $30,000 in new funds for the Medical College of Virginia was introduced into the General Assembly, and it passed—providing the basis for the Medical College of Virginia to become a state facility (Breeden, 1995).
  By the middle of the 1950s, racial divide in the United States still thrived, blocking black equality and progress. However, developments from the post–World War II era propelled civil rights activism and coordination (Crow, Escott & Hatley, 2002).

With the 1954 victory in Brown v. Board of Education and the encouraging success of the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955, the modern civil rights era was ignited (Chafe, 1980). Jim Crow—America’s version of racial apartheid—would soon end as well-coordinated protest movements pushed the civil rights agenda foward (Chafe, 1980). On February 1, 1960, four students from the Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina sat down at the lunch counter inside the Woolworth's store at 132 South Elm Street in Greensboro, North Carolina (Crow, Escott & Hatley, 2002).

The men, later known as the Greensboro Four, ordered coffee. Following store policy, the lunch counter staff refused to serve the African American men at the "whites only" counter and the store's manager asked them to leave (Crow, Escott & Hatley, 2002). The four university freshmen – Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, Jr. (later known as Jibreel Khazan), and David Richmond – stayed until the store closed (Crow, Escott & Hatley, 2002). The next day, more than twenty African American students who had been recruited from other campus groups came to the store to join the sit-in. White customers heckled the black students, who read books and studied to keep busy. The lunch counter staff continued to refuse service (Crow, Escott & Hatley, 2002).

Newspaper reporters and a TV videographer covered the second day of peaceful demonstrations and others in the community learned of the protests (Crow, Escott & Hatley, 2002). On the third day, more than 60 people came to the Woolworth's store. A statement issued by Woolworth's national headquarters said the company would "abide by local custom" and maintain its segregated policy (Crow, Escott & Hatley, 2002).

More than 300 people took part on the fourth day. Organizers agreed to spread the sit-in protests to include the lunch counter at Greensboro's Kress store (Chafe, 1980). As early as one week after the Greensboro sit-in had begun, students in other North Carolina towns launched their own sit-ins, including Winston-Salem, Durham, Raleigh, and Charlotte (Chafe, 1980). The movement then spread to other Southern cities including Lexington, Kentucky; Richmond, Virginia; Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Jackson, Mississippi, where an angry mob formed and attacked the protesters (right) (Crow, Escott & Hatley, 2002).

Sales at the boycotted stores dropped by a third, leading the stores' owners to abandon their segregation policies (Crow, Escott & Hatley, 2002). Black employees of Greensboro's Woolworth's store were the first to be served at the store's lunch counter, on July 25, 1960. The next day, the entire Woolworth's chain was desegregated, serving blacks and whites alike (Chafe, 1980). Internationalist supporters, and Class Struggle Education Workers members, had gone all-out both to help mobilize students and to get endorsements from a range of groups including the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, Jobs with Justice, the Frente Unido de Inmigrantes Ecuatorianos, and many others (McGuire, 1992). On April 22, 1969, Black and Latino commenced the Open Admissions Strike at the City University of New York (CUNY) City College(McGuire, 1992).

Several hundred Black and Latino students, with tremendous support from their communities, chained the gates of City College’s South Campus shut, occupied their school and renamed it the University of Harlem (McGuire, 1992). Per Crain (2001), the students had five demands:

A School of Black and Puerto Rican Studies (later reformulated as a demand for a School of Third World Studies);
A separate freshman orientation program for Black and Puerto Rican students;
A voice for students in setting the guidelines and governance of the SEEK program, including the hiring and firing of faculty;
A revised admissions formula that would ensure that Black and Puerto Rican students would comprise a proportion of the freshman class at least equal to the proportion of Black and Puerto Rican students in New York City public high schools; and
A requirement that all education majors take courses in the Spanish language and Black and Puerto Rican history.

Their main demand called for admitting non-white students in the same proportion to non-white graduates from New York City High schools.  Prior to this, City College, in the middle of Harlem, had a student body which was 92 percent white and only 2 percent Black (Crain, 2001). Students took over 17 buildings in City College for two weeks to force the administration to accept minority students.  Actions also spread to other CUNYschools in support of Open Admissions, including Queensborough Community College, Brooklyn and Queens College, Bronx Community College and Hunter College (Crain, 2001).  Through militant student struggle, Open Admissions was won, along with the creation of Black and Puerto Rican Studies Departments. That meant any student who was either in the top half of their high school class or had an 80 grade point average, regardless of race, could enroll in what was a premier public institution of higher education (Crain, 2001).

Open Admissions nearly doubled the size of City College, and transformed the university forever (Crain, 2001). CUNY schools contain the largest number of Black and Latino scholars ever to attend a single university in the history of the United States (McGuire, 1992).

The importance of CUNY as a source of opportunity for non-white students and their communities is highlighted by the fact that CUNY traditionally awards the largest number of Master’s degrees to Black and Latino students of any institution in America (McGuire, 1992).

In l969, students of color comprised only 19 percent of CUNY undergraduates; by 1998 they constituted 72 percent (Crain, 2001). Eyewitness account from Ron McGuire:

“I believe it was May 6th or May 7th when approximately 400 white students opposing the strike held a rally on the North Campus and marched to the South Campus chasing and sometimes beating Black and Latino students and white students with strike armbands. While the mob chased strike supporters several hundred cops marched in formation along Convent Avenue, but did nothing to interfere with the attacks as long as the racists had the upper hand.

The white mob swept through the South Campus (the stronghold of the strike) and finally cornered what appeared to be the last group of 30 Black students on campus at the gate by Wagner Hall at Saint Nicholas Terrace. Most of the 30 trapped Black students attempted to flee the mob, climbing over the fence to escape into Harlem. However, four young Black women stood and faced the mob at the locked gate and eventually the other students who had climbed over the fence came back over the fence and stood shoulder to shoulder with their comrades facing the mob that now numbered about two hundred.” “Students from both sides grabbed tree branches and rocks and in a furious battle the 30 Black students routed the much larger white mob in a fight that broke the back of the organized student resistance to the strike and sent seven white students to the hospital” (McGuire, 1992). Note: Ronald McGuire (pictured at right, addressing CUNY students) is a former City College student who participated in the open admissions strike in 1969. He was active in radical social movements throughout the 1970s and 80s, and is currently an activist lawyer who is dedicated to defending CUNY student activists and fighting the CUNY administration’s attempts to cut programs and dismantle open admissions. University of California
at Berkeley Beginning in the fall of 1964 Berkley became the site of the largest student v. administration demonstrations (Draper, 2001)
The battle was focused on the Freedom of Speech, also known as…. The Free Speech
Movement Political Roots
Students were banned from setting up tables and passing literature anywhere on University Property to promote social/political goals
Bancroft-Telegraph area The University enforced this policy as a way to prevent becoming too partisan

Students felt this violated their 1st and 14th Amendments Protester:

"The Bancroft-Telegraph issue has alerted us to the free speech issue all over campus. We won't stop now until we've made the entire campus a bastion of free speech." ASUC President Charles Powell said:

"Placards like `Sproul Hall Will Fall' and constant heckling and disruption among an audience... are... unnecessary at this stage of the issue, and a reflection of student sentiment of which I can no longer be proud." Sit-ins, pickets, and protests led to suspension and dismissal of students, which only led to more protesting

For months there were riots which also led to the government's involvement December 3 & Mario Savio Roughly 1000 students protested
Faculty dismissed and the building locked
635 uniformed police officers from various counties arrived to assist in arrestings
Took 12 hours to clear the building Faculty had watched the campus being turned into a war zone
On December 8, the faculty held a meeting and one thousand members showed up to vote
Faculty supported the students
The turnout for the ASUC elections was twice as high as normal Students had more authority on the rules that would affect them
This is the legacy that the Free Speech Movement gave to all college students “It had everything in terms of American superlatives: the largest and longest mass blockade of a police operation ever seen, the biggest mobilization of police force ever set up on any campus; the biggest mass arrest ever made in California, or of students, or perhaps ever made in the country; the most massive student stake ever organized here. It was, in sum, by far the most gigantic student protest movement ever mounted in the United States on a single campus. “ (Draper, 2001) Apartheid History Around 1835 slavery finally ends in South Africa, four months after all other British colonies
In 1948 the National Party gains power again, this time on a platform of apartheid
The Population Registration Act is passed in 1950. This causes all people to be registered as either white, black, or native (or Bantu)
Classifications are based mostly on look
Group Areas Act dictates where certain “races” of people could live and work. ID had to be carried at all times Fast Forward to 1985 South Africa is consistently in a state of emergency due to a significant amount of unrest around the country
“Artists United Against Apartheid” which consisted of 54 American pop artists released “Sun City”, a song about the oppression of apartheid. It later receives a Grammy nomination
Some of the artists included Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Run DMC, and Bono
Nelson Mandela refuses to renounce the protests even though doing so would free him
On April 4 (the anniversary of MLK’s shooting) there was a march on the South African Embassy in Washington D.C. National Anti- Apartheid
Protest Day October 11, 1985/6
Students from over 100 colleges and universities around the country participated
Students actually scheduled when they would protest or sit-in so that they could still attend class
Many campuses considered these protests to be the most polite What Were They Protesting? Students were more concerned with raising awareness than about expressing their rage
The main goal of the day was divestment
Students wanted administrators to stop all investments they and the school had in any South African companies or sympathizers
Students wanted institutions to believe that morals were more important than profit
Nationwide this was considered the largest instance of civil disobedience since the 1960s
Besides sit-ins, students also built shanty towns in front of administration buildings to represent how blacks lived in South Africa The Aftermath The protesters were not only fighting the horrific things happening in South Africa, they also wanted to let the world know they did not support how legislation was handling it, especially President Reagan
Many schools ignored the student's cry for divestment which only inspired the students more
Eventually schools gave in to the protests
The first was Columbia who fully divested in right after the protest day
In that school year about 120 schools divested How It Ended Unlike movements in the past, the divestment movement ended because it was a success
So much so that even the President began to change policy in regards to South Africa
This also made people reconsider their opinion on Reagan which also inspired the completion of the movement Why was this important? It united millions of students across the nation
They utilized technology
Created newsletters and schedules
It united administrators
No one really knew how to handle such a huge event so many administrators met to brainstorm how to approach
It was a focused and intentional protest
Played on the importance of economics in society Kent State University. (2012). Center for Applied Conflict Management. Retrieved from http://www.kent.edu/cacm/index.cfm
Kilbride, D. (1999). Southern medical students in Philadelphia, 1800-1861: Science and sociability in the “republic of medicine.” The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 65(4), pp. 697-732.
Lindemann, E. (2004a). Early student rebellions. True and candid compositions: The lives and writings of antebellum students at the University of North Carolina. Retrieved from http://docsouth.unc.edu/true/chapter/chp01-04/chp01-04.html
Lindemann, E. (2004b). The early faculty. True and candid compositions: The lives and writings of antebellum students at the University of North Carolina. Retrieved from http://docsouth.unc.edu/true/chapter/chp01-02/chp01-02.html
McGuire, R. M. (1992). April 22, 1969: Some memories. Retrieved from
http://cunyunderground.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=history&action=display&thread=267 The 1920s Attitude The Red Scare caused a huge number of activists to go underground or stop protesting in general
Having just ended World War I, many students were adamant about keeping the peace which started the beginnings of anti military feelings
The “Roaring Twenties” hit campuses in interesting ways ROTC In the 1920s ROTC was still compulsory for all male students
Across forty campuses students organized to disrupt drills to express a dislike for not only the military but for the mandatory nature of ROTC
The Young Peoples Socialist League (YPSL) wanted to get rid of ROTC and the Boy Scouts all together In Loco Parentis A shift in social behavior was happening on campus
Prohibition and Birth Control were hot button issues
Schools administrators began to strictly enforce in loco parentis
Many students were expelled for “loose” morals
Numerous court cases came from this issue
i.e- Meisner v. U.S. and Woods v. Simpson Why Do I Tell You All That? These all fueled founding or reenergizing in many organizations
Young Democracy (1919)
New Student Forum (1922)
Young Peoples Socialist League (regrouped in 1925, it broke up because of the Palmer Raids)
Student League for Industrial Democracy (1928, formally the Intercollegiate Socialist Society)
YMCA/YWCA American Federation of Youth Conference About 50 youth organizations attended and began networking at this conference
It gave students from different social, political, religious, and economic backgrounds a forum to discuss militarism on campus
The outcome of this conference was that the organizations involved wanted to eliminate compulsory ROTC, militarism, and imperialism Laying The Groundwork Though there were not many epic events of activism in the 1920s the organizations created laid the groundwork for future activists
These organizations began to plant the seed of skepticism of “the system” “For every Columbia student such as Whittaker Chambers who joined the Communist Party–and later achieved fame before the House Committee on Un-American Activities–tens of thousands of students remained apolitical” (Heinman, 2008) Blame Canada The anti-consumerist Canadian Magazine Adbuster is what began the Occupy Movement by calling for people to occupy Zuccotti Park on September 17, 2011
By September 24 OWS has moved to Chicago and other major cities
By October 3, the Occupy Movement is nationwide. By October 15 it is worldwide, having protests in Europe, Asia, Egypt, and South America
OWS protested mostly corporations but in November and December they joined CUNY students that were protesting a sizable tuition hike What is it all About? “Occupy Wall Street is a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.
This #ows movement empowers real people to create real change from the bottom up. We want to see a general assembly in every backyard, on every street corner because we don't need Wall Street and we don't need politicians to build a better society.” (Occupy Wall Street, 2012) Occupy Education Began around February 2012 by having General Assembly Meetings where people from around the country could call in to be a part of. These are basically gigantic conference calls
The main belief of this movement is that resources exist to improve education (Prek-12 and higher education) and make it more accessible.
They believe that those individuals and corporations with the financial ability should be investing in education in order to eliminate tuition hikes, budget cuts, retrenchment, etc. March 1 National Day of Action for Education This was the big kick off for Occupy Education
There were 20 registered events nationwide and probably countless unregistered ones worldwide
It was a day of protest against education administrators and politicians
Faculty, students, and staff were protesting together side by side
The nature of the protests were different at each event
Some were rallies, sit-ins, and marches
Some protests the cost of education, others the quality What This Means? Occupy Education represents the issues people have around the world not just with higher education but also Pre K-12
It truly summarizes the Millennial Generation
The Next Great Generation
The Occupy Movement is viral! Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, etc. are all utilized by the Occupy Movement to communicate, and get the word out
Team- Oriented What We’ll Discuss Early rebellions in the late 1700s
A shocking event in the 1800s
Numerous protests throughout the 1900s and into the new millennium
How these events have impacted higher education over the years Understanding Student Activism (Thelin, 2004) Rebellions occurred in American higher education as early as the late 18th and early 19th centuries
“…students seemed to be expressing genuine dissatisfaction with archaic administration, disrespectful faculty, and a dull course of study irrelevant to the issues they would face as adults” (Thelin, 2004, p. 65)
Over time, student revolts will continue to take place against
Peer groups
The government Activist Roots Revolts are often “an expression of youth’s typical impatience with its elders, of the ‘war between the generations’” (Thelin, 2004, p. 65)
Many of the events discussed this evening will reflect the aforementioned inter-generational conflicts
Reasons for early rebellions included:
Bad food
Restrictions on student activities
Limited autonomy Thelin, 2004 Additional Activist Roots Revolts also broke out against:
mandatory confinement to the campus after dark

Student activism is often connected to politics and other events going on outside of the university (Altbach & Peterson, 1971) (Goodchild, as cited in Wechlser, Goodchild, & Eisenmann, 2007) Recitation Rebellion March, 1768: the administration decided that only seniors could abstain from participating in recitations (Burton, as cited in Wechsler, Goodchild, & Eisenmann, 2007)
April 2: word got out that Joseph Williard, a tutor, locked freshman, Thurston Whiting, in his room all day without food for refusing to recite (Harvard University, 2010)
More than 60 students attacked Williard’s room, and even broke his windows (Burton, as cited in Wechsler, Goodchild, & Eisenmann, 2007)
This rebellion lasted 3 days (Harvard University, 2010) Recitation Rebellion A panic-stricken faculty member called the Middlesex county sheriff to assist with the ongoing revolt
Students were armed and ready to attack the county authorities
Stephen Peabody, a student, announced that they were just there to protect the campus, so students then disarmed themselves Burton (as cited in Wechsler, Goodchild, and Eisenmann, 2007) Recitation Rebellion Thomas Whiting later confessed that he was not held against his will by Williard
He also dropped his charges against Williard
As was tradition for over 100 years, the students confessed their wrongdoings before the faculty and their peers
They were then welcomed back and resumed their normal life and studies Burton (as cited in Wechsler, Goodchild, and Eisenmann, 2007) Spring 1799 A similar case took place at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill UNC Chapel Hill Students revolted against principal James Smiley Gillaspie
Gillaspie was given the title of principal because Thomas Caldwell, the president, did not want to serve as an administrator and threatened to leave if required to fill the role of president
He preferred to just teach mathematics, and got his way Lindemann, 2004b UNC Chapel Hill Note: college presidents and tutors filled the role of disciplinarians
In addition to bad food, disciplinary practices also served as catalysts for revolts in the colonial colleges
By the end of the 18th century, college students were more like young men than boys
Therefore, they challenged the ideals of their authority figures and the generations preceding them more so than before Thelin, 2004 UNC Chapel Hill Gillaspie was a natural philosophy professor and was extremely disliked by the students
They ended up rebelling against him and the rest of the faculty
The revolt lasted a week (Lindemann, 2004a)
Enrollment dropped that term from 115 to 70 students
As a result, the faculty resigned Lindemann, 2004b Colonial College Punishments Early disciplinary practices included “rustication” (Thelin, 2004, p. 21)
This was essentially campus expulsion for a set period of time
Whiting, from Harvard, was rusticated on April 3, 1768 (Harvard University, 2010)
“Degradation” also occurred (Thelin, 2004, p. 22)
This meant that a student’s academic class rank was lowered
Much different than 14th century discipline in Paris, where offenders had to provide wine for their instructors and peers to reconcile (Thelin, 2004) Harvard & UNC
Historical Significance Some of the first documented rebellions discovered through our research
Showcased widespread student dissent
Gained attention beyond the walls of the campus
Centered upon inter-generational conflicts
Required assistance from the local law enforcement agency Harvard & UNC
Historical Significance Forced the administration to notice the students’ frustrations
As a result, faculty began to document the disorderly conduct of individuals
Set the tone for future rebellions
“Loud noise and disturbances often drifted into the town as well” (Burton, as cited in Wechsler, Goodchild, & Eisenmann, 2007, p. 132)
As we will see with future events, the college towns are impacted by these revolts and frequently become key players in the happenings, as well Timeline of Events April 30: President Nixon announced the invasion of Cambodia in a speech aired on national television
This escalated the span of the Vietnam War and enraged college students everywhere (Eckert, 2010) Timeline of Events May 1: KSU students gathered to bury a copy of the U.S. Constitution
This was done to illustrate that they felt Pres. Nixon’s decision was unconstitutional
Later that evening, they vandalized downtown businesses, breaking windows and holding a bonfire in the street
As a result, the mayor of Kent requested the National Guard to be on call Eckert, 2010 Timeline of Events May 2: A group of KSU students, along with non-student protestors, burned the ROTC building on campus (Eckert, 2010)
Later that evening, the National Guard arrived, releasing teargas and occupying the campus The Burned ROTC Building National Guardsman at an
Entrance to Campus Timeline of Events May 3: Governor James A. Rhodes visited Kent
He declared martial law on campus (Hoerl, 2009)
In a press conference, he compared the protestors at KSU to Nazis and Communists (O’Hara, 2006)
Students orchestrated a sit-in that evening in an effort to speak with KSU’s president
When they refused to disassemble, teargas was used once again (Eckert, 2010) Governor James A. Rhodes Arrives Timeline of Events May 4: KSU administrators prohibited all protests on campus
A group of an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 congregated anyway at approximately 12 p.m. on the commons
They protested the U.S. invasion of Cambodia, as well as the National Guard’s presence on campus
When the crowd became increasingly angry, members of the National Guard used teargas once again
Students then threw rocks, shouted, and made obscene gestures
In response, the guardsmen marched up the hill toward Taylor Hall Eckert, 2010 National Guardsmen on Campus Guardsmen Marching toward Taylor Hall Timeline of Events Then, according to O’Hara (2006), “…twenty-eight Ohio National Guardsmen abruptly turned and fired into a crowd of protestors, leaving two dead and two dying, one paralyzed for life, and eight others critically or seriously wounded” (p. 302) Students Take Cover Photo pictured on the cover of The
New York Times, May 5, 1970 The May 15, 1970
Cover of Life The Aftermath Students were stunned and shocked
Some attempted to attack the guardsmen
Glenn Frank, a geology professor, however, encouraged them not to do so
He begged them to disperse, and quickly Eckert, 2010 Professor Glenn Frank The Aftermath Students were instructed to go back to the dorms
A court order was issued which demanded that all students leave campus
The campus then closed
Gov. Rhodes contacted J. Edgar Hoover, FBI director, about investigating the campus violence
By 5 p.m. a curfew was ordered in Kent, and Stow and Ravenna were placed in a state of emergency, as well Kifner, 1970 The Aftermath O’Hara (2006) noted that 2 of the students killed, William Schroeder & Sandra Scheuer, were not antiwar demonstrators
Eight members of the National Guard appeared before a grand jury in 1973 for civil rights violation charges, but the case was eventually dismissed O’Hara, 2006 Prentice Hall Parking Lot Memorials These were not added to campus until the year 2000…30 years after May 4 (O’Hara, 2006) Historical Marker on KSU’s Campus Historical Significance According to Thelin (2004), the events that happened at Kent State University, as well as at Jackson State University, thrust student activism on college campuses into national news
Strikes occurred at other colleges as a result, closing 337 campuses (Eckert, 2010)
This event showcased young adults passionately questioning the authority of the American government (O’Hara, 2006) Historical Significance Garnered national attention
Did not just involve students at KSU, but also the town of Kent, as well
Exemplified inter-generational conflict, seen in previous protests discussed, to the extreme
Highlighted widespread dissent regarding the Vietnam War
Defined a generation of anti-war demonstrations Historical Significance The Center for Applied Conflict Management was established at KSU in 1971
Serves as a living memorial
Offers a bachelor’s degree in peace and conflict studies
One of the oldest and largest programs of its kind in the U.S.
Being in Akron’s backyard, this tragedy hit home for many people
Do you have any personal stories/connections to this event? (Kent State University, 2012) May 4, 1970 Memorial at KSU American Youth
Congress Great Depression
Political Unrest
International Tensions American Youth Congress American Students felt the economic hardships from the depression

Were concerned that a new World War was in the making

Formed the AYC in 1934 First organization that advocated for youth rights in U.S. politics

Championed job programs for low income students

By the end of the decade it accumulated 4.5 Million members and over 500 affiliated organizations Between 1936 and 1939 the AYC reached the height of its activity
Lobbied vigorously for racial justice and increased federal spending on education
Had direct White House support from Eleanor Roosevelt
The First Lady was able to use the prestige of the White House with political support from the AYC to protect the National Youth Administration from its opponents in Congress.
In return, ER protected the AYC from its right-wing enemies, including the House Committee on Un-American Activities Declaration of the Rights of American Youth “We declare that our generation is rightfully entitled to a useful, creative, and happy fife, the guarantees of which are: full educational opportunities, steady employment at adequate wages, security in time of need, civil rights, religious freedom, and peace.” In 1939 when Nazi Germany signed a nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union many American leftists, such as those involved in the AYC became divided.

Many AYC organizations and Eleanor Roosevelt were alienated
Without their support the AYC slowly diminished and eventually disbanded American Youth Congress Importance in student activism was its origins as one of the first student political organizations

“The movement's activism on behalf of domestic reform also included free speech fights on many campuses, support work for the Congress of Industrial Organizations' blue-collar organizing, the establishment of campus cooperatives and student labor unions, and campaigns against racial segregation in college area stores, services, recreational facilities, athletic teams, and in university admissions” (Cohen, 2001) Remembering Those Who
Lost Their Lives Allison Krause, 19 - Pittsburgh, PA (top L)
William Schroeder, 19 - Lorain, OH (top R)
Jeffrey Miller, 20 -Plainsview, Long Island (lower R)
Sandra Scheuer, 20 - Youngstown, OH (lower L) Kifner, 1970 The Importance of Student Activism Though all these revolts were different they all boiled down to the same thing
Students are not afraid to speak up against what they think is wrong or unfair
There is strength in numbers
Students can cause great changes in how things are done in higher education
As the world and higher education has evolved so has student activism
Technology has been utilized more and more
Activist movements have gone global The future of student activism is unclear, but one thing is clear, activism is here to stay and will continue to change and evolve as the student body does too. Marisela Rosas has done research that shows that a student involved in activism had a more positive learning outcome and tended to be more involved on campus
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