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Student Activism & Activities Exhibit: Full Text of This Exhibit

This exhibit chronicles the development of student activism and social groups on the CSUEB campus from its inception to 2015. Special attention is given to the anti-tuition and anti-war protests on campus in the 1960s.

Note on Full Text

Please note that the text on this page comprises that of the entire exhibit where available.

There may be additional information on other pages within this exhibit's Guide that expands on the production, as well.

Together, the text from these two sources comprise all the information covering this topic.

Full Text of This Exhibit

LM Panel 1:  The Vietnam

As on most U.S. college campuses in the late 1960s, many CSCH students could not accept their government’s undeclared war in Vietnam.

Mandatory military service for males over 18 only added to student anger over U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

The Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) held a teach-in on the Agora that addressed American war policy, and also distributed literature.

There were campus protests over CIA recruiting, and the campus’ Anti-Draft Union focused on educating individual students about their rights within the Selective Service System that ran the country’s Draft.

Fifty CSCH members joined hundreds of other protestors at the Oakland Induction Center in late 1967, actively networking with other Bay Area anti-Draft movements.

 

LM Panel 2:  The Vietnam Debate on Campus

In fall 1967, The Pioneer ran several editorials that strongly supported the Johnson Administration’s policies in Vietnam.

During that Fall Quarter, there was an alarming increase in local draft inductions, followed in early 1968 by American military setbacks during the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. The reaction of many Cal-State students to the war was surprisingly strong and swift.

In spite of a campus culture that had already been noted as apathetic just a year or two earlier, several CSCH students now formed their own campus newspaper, The New Dialogue, to represent the anti-War and anti-Establishment views of the time.

The new paper published for several years, but, like any issue-driven venture, it had trouble sustaining itself as both the war and the Draft wound down in the early 1970s. It ceased publication sometime after 1970.

 

LM Panel 3:  The Tuition Protests of 1967

In the post-WW II years, California had made a commitment to free and accessible higher education for all. With the election of Ronald Reagan as governor in 1966, however, the state reneged on that promise, establishing tuition in the state university system where before fees had only been nominal.

CSCH students took action under the Alliance for California Higher Education. They ran an information table handing out buttons, bumper stickers, and gathering over 1,000 student signatures.

Student body president, Rod Brown, along with campus leaders from around the state, held a televised press conference.

On February 11, 1967, members of the ACHE marched on Sacramento. CSCH sent 150 students and faculty to join an estimated 10,000 marchers and attended a rally in which labor rights organizer Cesar Chavez addressed the crowd.

 

LM Panel 4:  The Tuition Protests of 2009 - 2010

With the nation-wide financial meltdown of the late 2000s as a backdrop, the University of California Board of Regents announced a 32% tuition hike for all 10 universities in the U.C. system, as did the California State University Trustees for all 23 universities in the CSU system.

Although there had been protests against staff cuts, layoffs, and student fee hikes at California campuses in September and October 2009, the Regents’ November 18th vote that officially raised tuition sparked student action both at Berkeley, and within the CSU.

At SF State, students occupied and held a campus administration building for 23 hours in before being forcibly ejected.

A nationwide day of action against tuition increases and budget cuts was called on March 4, 2010. There were dozens of actions around the country, the largest being in California.

In April, 100 CSUEB students marched to the 4th floor of the Student Services Building demanding the removal of Chancellor Reed, whose response to state budget cuts to education, had been a tuition and fee hike for all the CSU campuses. After meeting with administration officials, the students eventually dispersed.

 

UM Panel 5:  Student Service Groups and Clubs (1962 – 1965): Traditional Alignments

In 1962, a year before Cal-State moved to its current campus, the new college had several student clubs, including a Women’s Service Organization, the Catholic Newman Club, and the Methodist Wesley Club.

In 1963, CSCH established many campus clubs and organizations typical of the time period. These included a fraternity (Alpha Phi Omega), a Jazz Club, and a debating society. There was even a lower-division version of the Women’s Service Organization called the Calettes!

With the start of the CSU’s first-ever Summer Quarter in June 1965, there was a brief moment before the full effects of American military involvement in Vietnam took hold of so many U.S. campuses in the form of Draft and Anti-War protests.

Fraternities still figured importantly to many CSCH students. Added to the clubs already mentioned, were new religious associations, including Lutheran, LDS, Christian Science, and Hillel Clubs. Young Republicans and Young Democrats formed associations, as did a Rifle and Pistol Club.

 

UM Panel 6:  Student Service Groups and Clubs (1965 – 1968): Changing Social Culture

The 1964-65 Elan yearbook was dedicated to blind students on campus, and the following year it celebrated International Students, noting the many benefits of mutual understanding and dialogue fostered by personal contact with members of other cultures.

Juxtaposed to these lotifier sentiments, the Elan included the usual campus silliness, such as a Pie-Eating Contest, and Alpha Phi Omega’s “Ugly Man on Campus Contest.”

New clubs included the campus’ first sorority, Gamma Delta Epsilon, as well as the Archaeology, Art, French, Spanish, and the Psychology Clubs. The Circle K, a college offshoot of the Kiwanis Club was also new to campus.

The Libertarian League, the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and Young

Americans for Freedom sprang up alongside the Young Democrats and Republicans.

Other new groups included the Touring Club, a Sailing Club, a Surf Club, a Rugby Club, and the Lutheran Student Fellowship.

The new International Club held an International Day on campus in February 1967.

 

UM Panel 7:  Student Service Groups and Clubs (1970s–2000): New Directions

From the mid-1970s, with a growing, multicultural student body, the CSUH campus took up the dual banners of Diversity and Inclusiveness.

The Student Disability Center was established in 1979, and numerous clubs and activities flourished around themes of multiculturalism and minority rights and representation.

In the Foreword to the 1978 yearbook, a full page was devoted to “Awareness” when speaking of accommodations for the disabled, but the message could just as easily have been focused on the larger issue of Inclusiveness, when it stated “People are people, regardless of physical differences, [and] ...we are all members of this society and have the same right to all educational facilities....”

By 1979 the campus had added many clubs based on students’ cultural backgrounds and political orientations: the Afrikan Students Alliance, Asian American Alliance, Chinese Students Association, Native American Solidarity Committee, Native American Tribal Council, Student Friends of the Deaf, PASA (Pilipino-American Students Association), and the Iranian Students Association, among others.

 

UM Panel 8:  Student Service Groups and Clubs (2000 – present)

CSUEB student organizations and clubs have grown in number to almost 100, and meet just about every conceivable student interest.

Among those currently active are long-established campus groups like the Newman Club, the Anthropology Club, the Pilipino American Student Association (PASA), and the Young Democrats

Many newer groups reflect the ever-growing diversity of cultures and academic interests of the student body. These include the African, Afghan, Saudi Arabian, Vietnamese, and Sikh Student Associations among many, many others.

To be officially recognized on campus, leaders of a CSUEB student club or organization must show that they recognize their organization’s roles, rights, and responsibilities, as well as the resources available to CSUEB student clubs and organizations.

CSUEB’s current club roster consists of 49 academic, 24 cultural, 28 Greek, 13 recreational, 7 religious, and 40 special-interest organizations. A full listing can be found on the CSUEB web site under Student Life and Leadership.

 

UM Panel 9:  Don’t See Your Group? Tell Us Your Story! Contact the Archives Today

The University Library houses the official archives of CSUEB.

As we began producing the current exhibit on student activities and campus groups, it became apparent that significant gaps exist between the 1960s and the current day in terms of which groups were active at various times, and just what their stories might be.

If you represent a campus group and want your story preserved for future generations of students and others interested in campus history, now’s your chance to go on record!

The first step is to contact the University Archives here in the Library at archives@csueastbay.edu!

We welcome photos, newspaper articles, press releases of past events, posters, or even oral histories of officially sanctioned groups on campus