CUNY Digital History Archive

CUNY Digital History Archive

A participatory project to collect and preserve the histories of the City University of New York — A work in progress
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Queens College Campus Unrest

Like so many colleges across the country during the late-1960s, CUNY, too, was swept up in the wave of student unrest that took the form of protests, strikes, and sit-ins. This collection focuses on the events surrounding one incident at Queens College in the spring of 1969: the student occupation of the Social Sciences (SS) Building. The collection contains papers, correspondence, and flyers produced by many of the key figures, including faculty members, student activist organizations and the campus administration.

Beginning on March 27, 1969, the student led Ad Hoc Committee to End Political Suppression staged a sit-in of the SS Building largely in protest of the college's refusal to drop charges against three students from the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) who had forced the removal of a General Electric recruiter during a protest earlier in March. After holding the SS Building for several days, in the early morning hours of April 1st, college administration requested police assistance in clearing the students from the building, at which point thirty-nine were arrested, including one faculty member. Each was charged with trespassing. In subsequent weeks, activists from SDS and the Ad Hoc Committee continued their demonstrations with an increased vigor that contributed to the school administration's decision to temporarily close the college in early May.

The documents in this collection primarily concern the fallout in the weeks immediately following the April 1st arrests. While several items may give some hint to the other happenings on campus, it is important to note that simultaneous with those protests organized by the Ad Hoc Committee—the focus of this collection—were additional separate demonstrations organized by right wing student groups, and minority students from the college's SEEK program.

Go to all 41 Items in collection.

5 Featured Items:

"Answer Back / Don't Strike"

Another anti-protest flier, this one again calls for students to attend class instead of striking. It features a quote from an "Ad Hoc 'Sympathizer'," a member of the group largely responsible for much of the ongoing disruption [...]

"Support the 5 Demands"

Despite being printed on official Queens College letterhead, this handout was created by student activists in the Ad Hoc Committee. The flier calls for support of the five demands put forth by the group to the school's administration. Those [...]

"Concerned Faculty Statement"

This is a statement presented by concerned Queens College faculty at a meeting of the college's Personnel and Budget Committee. Agreed upon by approximately 150 faculty members, the paper expresses concern over the college's handling of [...]

Supplementary Fact Sheet

This is a fact sheet that was prepared by the Ad Hoc Committee in attempt to correct, what they perceived to be, a distorted version of events presented by Queens College President John P. McMurray and other college administration in the preceding [...]

Queens College Dean's Report

Produced by the office of Queens College Dean George A. Pierson, this report summarizes campus events from March 1969 that resulted in student unrest and protest that would continue into May. As the report describes, the initial cause of the [...]

Go to all 41 Items in collection.

Queens College Campus Unrest