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Student Activism & Activities Exhibit: The New Dialogue

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.

Campus Protests in 1967

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.

New Dialogue Editor Remembers

New Dialogue editor Paul Harkness in 1967

The Need for an Alternative Newspaper


The Campus Climate in Fall Quarter 1967

I started as a junior at Cal State Hayward in the Fall Quarter of 1967 (a couple of years earlier it had been Alameda County State College at Hayward and was situated in the old Hayward High School, on Foothill Blvd.).

Right away I became aware of numerous political tensions on campus. One day, early on, I was walking into the Music Building and found myself tripping over a huge TV camera cable – In so doing, I literally stumbled upon the new CSCH president, Ellis McCune, who was having a news conference! This was remarkable, since the CSU Trustees had just summarily dismissed the founding president of the college, Fred Harcleroad. The Trustees had replaced him with McCune after much faculty political in-fighting on campus.

And that was just the administration – the student body had its own share of turmoil brought about by all the issues boiling over in the mid-60s, including Vietnam, the Draft, and Civil Rights. At one point a little later, I was sitting in the small cafeteria in the Fine Arts Building [now the Art Gallery in AE], when I overheard an argument erupting, which escalated in heat and volume to a point where most people could hear it. I believe that there was an African American man who was due to be executed at San Quentin that day. Some black students were arguing with at least one white student about the unfair application of the death penalty to blacks, and other issues. It boiled over to the point where the black students marched out, into the hallway, and down to the President’s Office, where they made their complaints known. I believe that this event was a trigger in the formation of the on-campus Black Student Union.

During this time a number of us - many of my friends - were involved in student demonstrations, teach-ins, and class boycotts. 

All Issues of The New Dialogue: 1967-1968

Editor Remembers (continued)

There was a time when an anti-war demonstration ended in a sit-in, occupying of the Fine Arts Building. People were prepared to stay overnight and brought sleeping bags and food. At one point Dean Vandenburgh came out to read a prepared speech. He told us that we were criminally trespassing and a bus had been sent from Santa Rita. We could have our meeting to decide, but if we decided to stay, we would be arrested by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and put on the bus to Santa Rita. All those present took a vote and agreed to vacate the building and reconvene the demonstration the next day.

In 1967-68, the campus’ Pioneer newspaper was edited by a former Marine. The tone of the paper was such that it implied that anyone who was on the left was, by definition, a Communist or a Communist sympathizer. The Pioneer became a right wing student newspaper during this period, with letters from students on the political left either not accepted, or heavily edited.

The same practice was in effect at the local Hayward Daily Review, where the owner, Floyd Sparks, was sympathetic to the John Birch Society. When my brother Robert was in the Free Speech Movement, at U.C. Berkeley, his letters to the Daily Review were heavily edited to alter the meaning and make the right wing political agenda appear to be the obviously correct position.

As a result of all this, some of us founded The New Dialogue newspaper in direct opposition to the Pioneer, and to allow articles that the Pioneer would never print. The obvious idea was to give voice, if you will, to the Left, and at least attempt a balance in the reporting on campus. I was a Soliciting Editor and went out to acquire articles, letters, poetry, etc., that we would publish.

I started as a junior at Cal State Hayward in the Fall Quarter of 1967 (a couple of years earlier it had been Alameda County State College at Hayward and was situated in the old Hayward High School, on Foothill Blvd.).

Right away I became aware of numerous political tensions on campus. One day, I walked into the Music Building and immediately tripped over a huge TV camera cable – I literally stumbled upon the new CSCH president, Ellis McCune, who was having a news conference. This was remarkable, since the CSU Trustees had just summarily dismissed the founding president of the college, Fred Harcleroad. The Trustees replaced him with McCune after much faculty political in fighting on campus.

That was the administration itself – the student body had its own share of turmoil brought about by all the issues boiling over in the mid-60s, including Vietnam, the Draft, and Civil Rights.

At one point, I was sitting in the small cafeteria in the Fine Arts Building [now the Art Gallery in AE], when I overheard an argument erupting, which escalated in heat and volume to a point where most people could hear it. I believe that there was an African American man who was due to be executed at San Quentin that day. Some black students were arguing with at least one white student about the unfair application of the death penalty to blacks, and other issues. It boiled over to the point where the black students marched out, into the hallway, and down to the President’s Office, where they made their complaints known. I believe that this event was a trigger in the formation of the on-campus Black Student Union.

During this time a number of us - many of my friends - were involved in student demonstrations, teach-ins, and class boycotts. There was a time when an anti-war demonstration ended in a sit-in, occupying of the Fine Arts Building. People were prepared to stay overnight and brought sleeping bags and food. At one point Dean Vandenburg came out to read a prepared speech. He told us that we were criminally trespassing and a bus had been sent from Santa Rita. We could have our meeting to decide, but if we decided to stay, we would be arrested by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and put on the bus to Santa Rita. All those present took a vote and agreed to vacate the building and reconvene the demonstration the next day.

At this time, the campus’ Pioneer newspaper was edited by a former Marine. I believe that his name was Drake Trumpe. The tone of the paper was such that it implied that anyone who was on the left was, by definition, a Communist or a Communist sympathizer. The Pioneer became a right wing student newspaper during this period, with letters from students on the political left either not accepted, or heavily edited.

The same practice was in effect at the local Hayward Daily Review, where the owner, Floyd Sparks, was sympathetic to the John Birch Society. When my brother Robert was in the Free Speech Movement, at U.C. Berkeley, his letters to the Daily Review were heavily edited to alter the meaning and make the right wing political agenda appear to be the obviously correct position.

As a result of all this, some of us founded The New Dialogue newspaper in direct opposition to the Pioneer, and to allow articles that the Pioneer would never print. The obvious idea was to give voice, if you will, to the Left, and at least attempt a balance in the reporting on campus. I was a Soliciting Editor and went out to acquire articles, letters, poetry, etc., that we would publish. 

- Paul Harkness, March 2015

Staff of the New Dialogue

Birth of The New Dialogue


Staff of the New Dialogue in 1967 pose

Student staff of The New Dialogue included Mike Neff, Paul Harkness and (not pictured) Mike Recknor.

Campus Counterculture Newspaper Attacks
Pioneer’s Pro-War Stance

In the Fall of 1967 draft resistance to the rapidly escalating war in Vietnam was in full swing. Many students objected to the Johnson administration’s policies, but found little sympathy in the Pioneer newspaper of the late 1960s.

Several CSCH (Cal-State College at Hayward) students banded together to form an alternative newspaper for the campus that would be more open to a variety of views, albeit sympathetic to the Left. They called it The New Dialogue.

In the image gallery on this page you will find most of the paper’s run for that turbulent academic year of 1967-1968 that saw protests at the Oakland Induction Center, President Johnson’s announcement that he would not seek re-election, and the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, and Robert Kennedy.

As you read these pages you will catch a glimpse of the numerous concerns that preoccupied Cal-State students of the time.