A Further Look into Campus Strikes

Two books called, The Long Walk at San Francisco State by Kay Boyle (which is an account from her own perspective of the 1968 strikes on SF State Campus) and Confrontation on Campus by Art Seidenbaum (a collective view of many well-known strikes on California university campuses), were recently donated to the ROMC Library. To be given these books means that the collection for the 1968 strikes can grow further as well, and can help give information to students about how the University was able to get the Ethnic Studies program that it’s well-known for today. It also means that students can get a detailed look at what campus protests looked like from decades ago, how these protests rose, and what issues these protests were based on.

As many students today have gone to the recent Occupy SFSU movement’s general assembly meetings, and are continuing to work together against CSU tuition hikes, the feelings of wanting to get our opinions heard as San Francisco State Students are rising. The donation of these two books give the ROMC archives more growth, as well as more of a power to educate students about the culture of our school from long ago, in comparison to today’s culture, as well as reinforcing that we as individuals at San Francisco State have voices. In other words, it is an awesome opportunity to have gotten these books, while our current events of the Bay Area have had a lot to do with protest.

In the book The Long Walk at San Francisco State, Kay Boyle who at the time was an instructor in the English Department in the late 1960’s, recalls the relationship that developed between students and faculty, as well as between all different races, because of the cause they fought for:

“We saw our students for longer periods, and in many instances more frequently than we had in our classrooms, for without willing it, and without wholly understanding it, we had become outcasts together, and the old artificial barriers were no longer there. Black, oriental, white, and Mexican, were resisting together the armed invasion of a territory we knew was entirely our own.”

–Kay Boyle, The Long Walk at San Francisco State

Art Seidenbaum, author of Confrontation on Campus, says that even peaceful efforts to fight can be seen as violent pushes for the cause:

“Society’s attention has effectively been called with predominantly hostile result. Polls indicate that the general public—more than administrators, more than politicians, and certainly more than faculty members—is more than fed up with college unrest and in a mood to punish. Legitimate questions concerning campus governance, obscured for the public by the ‘non-negotiable demands,’ nonsensical vandalism, and Anglo—Saxon name calling.”

–Art Seidenbaum, Confrontation on Campus


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