1968: Columbia in Crisis

Consequences > Black Students and the Legacy of the 1968 Protests

Columbia Daily Spectator, 2/28/69

Columbia Daily Spectator: "Cordier Will Ask Trustees to Abandon Gym Site; SDS Stages Anti-ROTC Sit-ins in Hamilton, Dodge; SAS Presents Plan for Autonomous Black Institute, " February 28, 1969.

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After the police cleared campus buildings in the early morning hours of April 30, the Society for Afro-American Students (SAS) agreed to endorse the boycotting of classes. Yet after the protests of the spring of 1968, the black student organization also chose to work within the University framework, rather than against it, to gain concessions from Columbia’s administrators. In addition to the cessation of the building of the Morningside Gym, SAS leaders demanded admissions, financial aid, and campus space concessions, as well as the creation of a Black Studies program and an increase in black faculty.

In contrast to a small, but vocal, radical faction of SDS, the leaders of SAS proved more successful at negotiating with the administration and with the Faculty Executive Committee over their demands. This tactic brought them some success, including the administration’s abandonment of the Morningside Gym plans in March of 1969.

"Trustees Drop Gym, Rockland Sites"

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Columbia Daily Spectator article: "Trustees Drop Gym, Rockland Sites," March 4, 1969.

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