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Student Unrest (1960s-1970s): Home

Connecting the Past with the Present

 

Student Unrest Collection

 

By Amanda Walck / Sara Baum

 

Historical/Biographical Note

 

In the revolutionary age of the 1960’s, students at Albright began to question their government and demand more for their education.  Student protests, sit-ins, demonstrations and revolts had been going on throughout the country during the decade in a response to feminist movements, civil rights, censorship, and protestation of the Vietnam War. 

 

In Fall 1968, trouble began brewing at Albright when two students, editors of the Albrightian, began to publish scathing remarks, editorials and comics about issues on campus and the problems that were not being solved by the administration.  One of the main issues was the restricted residential life of female students, who were still under curfew and regulations permitting guests.  The administration pushed aside this issue and formed an “ad hoc committee” which would meet and discuss the issues brought up by the students.  Other students with complaints about the college policies began to write into the Albrightian to express their opinion.  The administration did not react favorably to this outpour of complaints and they discontinued the publication of the Albrightian and put censorship restrictions on WXAC radio.

 

 In the Spring of 1969, the student organizations recruited the “Residence-In-Learning” program to come to campus for a weekend.  This program had previously been presented at other colleges and left the campuses in complete upheaval and protests.  The faculty of Albright College saw this program as a catalyst that would serve for rebellion among the students and begged President Schultz to not allow the program.  Schultz allowed the program because it was funded by student monies, the students demanded it and he hoped it would open lines of communication between the administration and students to fix some of the issues.  The program, which took place the weekend of April 11 – 13 1969, opened the lines of communication but also caused the issues at Albright to come to a boiling head.

 

After the last event ended on Sunday April 13th, approximately 600 students marched into the college library and staged a peaceful sit-in from that Sunday to April 18th.  The students issued out 24 demands to the ad hoc committee and demanded that they be addressed by the end of the week.  These demands consisted of formation of new committees made up of students, faculty and trustees, removal of the College’s censorship of the Albrightian and WXAC, remove female curfew hours and open the dorms to male visitors, allow students to eat off campus and live off campus, look into providing audited courses, and recruit at least 50 black students to be in the class of 1974 as well as the full time employment of at least one black professor.  President Schultz and the administration came under attack from parents, non protesting students, trustees and alumni and the ad hoc committee worked quicker than ever before to solve some of these issues.

 

Ultimately, most of the demands were met or tabled in favor of other issues and the College began to collect itself from the matter.  The biggest changes were the institution of students into policy committees, uncensoring and reformation of the student media, resolving female student limitations, and employment of a black professor.  In the 1969-1970 school year, the College was still a site of student unrest, this time in protest of the Vietnam War.  The students drafted a document asking for all students who could stay out of the political drama to stay out but, for the students deeply entangled in the issues, they would be excused from their classes to voice their opinions.  The document also called for students who left the school for political reasons to be able to take incompletes from professors and complete the work when they returned.  This document was met with much discussion from the faculty and was ultimately passed at a faculty meeting in 1970.

 

There has been little student unrest in the eras after the 1960’s and 1970’s but the administration does remain open for discussion of issues as a result of the sit-in in 1969.  The Student Unrest Collection contains documents primarily from the sit-in in 1969 and War protest in 1970.

 

Scope and Content

 

The Student Unrest Collection consists of documents, news clippings, publications and correspondence on the issue of student dissention and unrest.  Most of the documents are from 1969 and 1970 and mainly focus on the student unrest seen on Albright’s campus, the sit-in in 1969 and the Vietnam War protest in 1970.  The documents related to the 1969 sit-in include the devlopement of the Residence-In-Learning on campus, the correspondence during the sit-in between students and President Schultz and the formation and reports of the committees which came out of the event.

 

Arrangement

 

The Student Unrest Collection is made up of 1 box containing 5 series.  Series 1 is the documents from before, during, after and related to the Library Sit-in in 1969.  Series 2 consists of the documents and resolves related to the Vietnam War in 1970 and the agreement on “student standing”.  Series 3 contains documents on other, smaller issues of unrest, including a debate on faculty dress code and questioning of presidential power.  Series 4 is a set of publications from outside sources on Student unrest as well as the Albright Alumnus 1969 with the Sit-In discussed.  Series 5 is news clippings from the Reading area about the student unrest at Albright.

 

Box and Folder Inventory

Box 1.Student Unrest

Series 1.Library Sit-in 1969

Sub-Series 1.Prior to the Sit-in

Folder 1.Letters/Planning of Residents-in-Learning

Folder 2.Days Before Sit-in

Sub-Series 2.During Sit-in

Folder 3.Correspondence between Students and Schultz during sit-in

Folder 4.Letters President Schultz sent out to faculty, students, alumni, trustees, parents during sit-in

Sub-Series 3.After Sit-in:  Committees

Folder 5.Formation of Committees

Folder 6.Convocation Committee

Folder 7.Curriculum Committee

Folder 8.Faculty Evaluation Committee

Folder 9.Media Committee

Folder 10.Policy Evaluation Committee

Folder 11.Residence Hall Committee

Folder 12.Students Rights Committee

Series 2.Vietnam War 1970

Sub-Series 4.School Year 1969-1970

Folder 13.Welcome Back mailing sent to Students from President Schultz, reminding them of the events of the previous Spring and enclosing a publication on Student Unrest

Folder 14.Faculty Meeting on Student Standing

Folder 15.Resolves on Student Standing

Series 3.Other Issues

Sub-Series 5.1972

Folder 16.Faculty Dress Code

Folder 17.Presidential Power

Sub-Series 6.Letters on Issues

Folder 18.From Dean Kelsey, Vice President of Business Affairs

Folder 19.From Dale J. Vandersall, Dean of Students

Folder 20.From Dr. Arthur L. Schultz, President

Folder 21.Other Albright Issues

Series 4.Publications

Sub-Series 7.Albright College

Folder 22.Albright Alumnus Summer 1969

Sub-Series 8.Other

Folder 23.Publications on Student Dissent 1965-1973

Series 5.News clippings

Sub-Series 9.About Albright College

Folder 24.News clippings 1966 – 1970

Series 6.Satirical Materials

Sub-Series 10.Articles

Folder 25.Miss Daisy Articles

Sub-Series 11.Cartoons

Folder 26.The Adventures of Queen – ee and Captain Admin