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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Oral History Interview with Stuart Schaar

This interview with Stuart Schaar, Professor Emeritus of Middle East History at Brooklyn College, was conducted by Douglas Medina for his research on Open Admissions at CUNY. Stuart Schaar was raised in the Bronx and attended the City College of [...]

Oral History Interview with Stella Zahn, Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education

In this impromptu interview conducted on July 27, 2013, Stella Zahn discusses the mission, students, and founding years of the Sophie Davis Biomedical School established in 1973. Stella was initially hired to be Director of Student Services but [...]

Oral History Interview with Anselma Rodriguez

In this oral history, Anselma Rodriguez discusses her experiences as a student at Brooklyn College from 1969-1973. She was a founding a member of Movimiento Estudiantil Dominicanos and active in Brooklyn College's Puerto Rican Studies Department. [...]

Oral History Interview with Henry Arce

In this interview conducted about CUNY’s Open Admissions program, Arce describes his journey from the NYC Public School system to graduating from college. He credits his mother, who raised him alone in a Puerto Rican, immigrant community, for [...]

Oral History Interview with Allen Ballard

This oral history interview was conducted on April 4, 2014 at SUNY Albany. Allen Ballard grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and arrived at the City College of New York in 1960 as an assistant professor of Political Science. He was one of the [...]

Oral History Interview with Blanche Wiesen Cook

Blanche Wiesen Cook, Eleanor Roosevelt biographer, grew up in the Bronx and Queens, and attended Hunter College as an undergraduate when it was an all female school. She treasured her time learning from Ruth Weintraub and Mina Rees, whom she [...]

Newton Hall Statement

“We as white students, can either be a part of the solution or a part of the problem. At Huey P. Newton Hall of Political Action we are attempting to become a part of the solution.” In solidarity with black and Puerto Rican students, a group of [...]

MCC Strike Committee Bulletin #1

The 1976 contract negotiations between the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) and the university occurred in the midst of the city's mid-1970s fiscal crisis. Radicals at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) formed a strike committee in order [...]

Faculty Action, Fall 1977

This issue of Faculty Action focuses on the Bakke case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the policy of affirmative action in college admissions but ruled out the use of racial quotas. Writing before the decision was issued, the editors [...]

Faculty Action, May 1976

Published in May 1976, in this inaugural issue of Faculty Action, the lead story urges members of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) to reject a recent contract negotiated by union leadership with the city and state. The issue also presents the [...]

"Letter to Class of 1970"

Sample Pittman was an Associate Dean of Students at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) during the early 1970s. He became known to politicized students and faculty as a hostile opponent of the Third World Coalition, the radical group that [...]

Professional Staff Congress: BMCC Chapter Newsletter, March 8, 1974

The Professional Staff Congress (PSC), the union which represents CUNY faculty and staff, was formed in 1973 from the merger of the Legislative Conference and the United Federation of College Teachers. This is an early newsletter from the PSC [...]

Professional Staff Congress: BMCC Chapter Newsletter, February 22, 1974

This is an early newsletter from the Professional Staff Congress chapter at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). Dated February 24, 1974, the newsletter features an article attacking BMCC president Edgar Draper for using the school's [...]

People's Handbook: Manhattan Community College, 1970-71

This handbook, a precursor to today's "disorientation" guides, offered incoming students a view of life at BMCC from the perspective of radicals in organizations that included the New University Conference, Third World Coalition, Night Students [...]

Celebration for the first group of LaGuardia Community College paraprofessional students , May 1971

Fern Khan (at center of photo) and her students who were the first group of students to enroll at LaGuardia. These students were paraprofessionals employed by the Board of Education. The program was funded following an agreement between the [...]

Joe Shenker, founding president of LaGuardia with the first group of students who were paraprofessionals

In 1970, Joseph Shenker was appointed president of what was then still called "Community College Number Nine," which would soon become LaGuardia Community College. Still in his twenties, Shenker brought a youthful optimism and a spirit of [...]

"Accountability: A Reply to the Deans' Letter"

This leaflet, published by an ad hoc committee of Professional Staff Congress members at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), defends the committee's actions from critics in the CUNY administration and challenges those critics to an open [...]

"College Head Here Quits After Strife"

This New York Times article reports the resignation of Borough of Manhattan Community College president Murray Block following May 1970 demonstrations that ended with students and faculty occupying the college's buildings. Block's replacement was [...]

Prometheus, January 26, 1972

This issue of Prometheus, BMCC's student newspaper, reflects the evolving editorial concerns of the increasingly black and Latino/a student body. The paper contains articles on university funding, drug abuse, corporate enablers of [...]

Prometheus, February 10, 1971

This issue of Prometheus, BMCC's student newspaper, is dubbed by its editors as "Liberated" Prometheus, a reflection of the editorial sensibilities of the new student government dominated by the Third World Coalition, a group of black and Latino/a [...]

Prometheus, November 13, 1970

This issue of Prometheus, BMCC's student newspaper, was the first published after the Third World Coalition assumed control of the student government; it leads with a story on the appointment of Edgar Draper as president of the [...]

"Testimonial Dinner: Opposition Grows "

This leaflet, published by an ad hoc committee of Professional Staff Congress members at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), denounces a plan by then-BMCC President Edgar Draper to hold a testimonial dinner to himself at the Americana [...]

The Scorpion, April 3, 1974

In 1974 a new group called Students for Better Government took over control of the Borough of Manhattan Community College student government from the Third World Coalition. The new leadership criticized both the Third World Coalition and their [...]

Tiger Paper, April 1972

This edition of the Tiger Paper includes: interviews with BMCC students who were veterans of the Vietnam War, criticism of the college's registration process, a front page article detailing the firing of a professor, and an interview [...]

Tiger Paper, April 1973

This issue of the Tiger Paper leads with a story describing student demonstrations against the "threatened" implementation of tuition across CUNY campuses. It also features articles centered around "International Women's Day" and the Vietnam [...]

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