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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Guidebook for the Implementation of Asian American Studies at CUNY

This guidebook, published in November of 1995, was assembled by members of the Asian American Studies Faculty Development and Curriculum Project, a $15,000 initiative funded by the CUNY Office for Faculty Development. The guidebook provides [...]

CUNY Edu-Factory

“CUNY is becoming an Edu-Factory… and we need to be talking about it.” In conjunction with Equity Week, this poster was created as a teaching-resource. Using the factory as a way to visualize the precarity of contingent labor and how it [...]

CUNY Forum - Future of Public Higher Education

Airing on May 6, 1998, this episode of CUNY Forum features an hour-long discussion on the future of public higher education in New York City. Moderated by Brooklyn College Professor Ed Rogowsky, the forum includes several participants including [...]

“Graduate Center Student Strike Update”: 16 Demands

On April 18th, a "Graduate Center Student Strike Update" document confirmed the students' 16 demands and announced that a negotiation process had begun with Graduate Center administrators. Some of the demands were tied directly to the building [...]

#CancelRent And Eviction Blockades in Brooklyn: Black Queer Women and Femmes Fight for the Right to Housing

Written and submitted by Brooklyn College student Emily Batista over the summer of 2020, this autoethnography focused on the eviction defense of 1214 Dean Street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Batista framed this research project as a "vessel to [...]

"An Open Letter to CUNY Admins"

Posted on July 7, 2020, this Reddit thread recorded one unnamed student's open letter to the City University of New York (CUNY) administration in the interest of drawing critical attention to the persistent mix of unclear, conflicting, or otherwise [...]

Student Week of Action in Defense of Education

Occupy CUNY circulated this informational leaflet for a “Student Week of Actions” (November 14-21, 2011) in defense of education, and in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. The schedule of Graduate Center Events included a student strike, a [...]

Occupy CUNY Curriculum Session Samples

Curriculum made for CUNY classrooms in conjunction with the "Occupy the Octopi" poster (made for an October 21, 2011, Occupy CUNY teach-in at Washington Square Park) and a flyer for the November 17, 2011, OWS Student Strike, both created by the [...]

Free University Week Flier

This Free University of New York flyer is call for workshops for the first Free University Week which was held at Madison Square park. The Free University of New York City is an experiment in radical education building on the historic tradition of [...]

Item Type: Text (Flier / Leaflet (1 or 2 page handout))
Radical Teach In

This flyer announces a radical-teach by CUNY Graduate Center students on October 21, 2011, in Washington Square Park. An offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Occupy CUNY organized around fighting the militarization of CUNY campuses, and [...]

Student Help Project Timeline

The Student Help Project was a collective of Queens College student activists who volunteered to tutor schoolchildren in Jamaica, Queens and Prince Edward County, Virginia in 1963. The Student Help Project Timeline exhibits archival items donated by [...]

Student Help Project Art Book

The Student Help Project Art Book was produced by Queens College graphic design students to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Student Help Project. The Art Book visualizes the legal struggle for desegregation and equal opportunity to quality [...]

Graduate Center General Assembly Working Groups

Informational leaflet with a list of Graduate Center General Assembly Working Groups for Fall 2011: direct action, faculty liaison, inclusion, knowledgewerk, press, online presence & media, outreach, structure/process, support, and write in. The [...]

CUNY Faculty Statement of Support for November 17, 2011, Student Strike

CUNY Faculty Statement of Support, written primarily by Graduate Center faculty, for the November 17, 2011, Student Strike, in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. Several of the CUNY faculty who spearheaded this statement, and a few visiting [...]

Violence Against Protesters at CUNY

Occupy Wall Street People's Library blog post and video round-up about the November 21, 2011 incident at Baruch College, in which NYPD and CUNY security attacked and arrested students, faculty, staff, and community members who were peacefully [...]

Free University Week

This web page features information regarding "Free University Week," a five-day event in Madison Square Park from September 18-22, 2012 that offered free educational workshops and classes to the general public. Founded around May Day 2012, the Free [...]

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 [...]

"A three-pronged experimental approach to the problem of undiscovered college potential among the young men and women of New York City"

This memorandum from Chancellor Bowker’s office called for three new forms of CUNY desegregation programs (pp. 1-2). This “three-pronged experiment” would be excused from CUNY’s general obligation to admit only students with the highest [...]

Minutes from 4/8/1965 CCNY Faculty Council Meeting

In these notes from a liberal arts and sciences faculty council meeting at City College, CCNY President Gallagher describes a tentative plan to admit 100 “disadvantaged” students into an experimental program in fall 1965. After discussion, the [...]

1967 - 1968 Annual Report of the SEEK Program

This is a CUNY-wide report for the SEEK program during the 1967-68 academic year. Included in the document is a cover letter from SEEK director Leslie Berger to CUNY Chancellor Albert Bowker, a table of contents, a list of SEEK administrators, and [...]

A New Role for Psychology: Working with Disadvantaged Persons in a College Setting

In this 10-page "position paper," Berger describes and offers a theoretical rationale for the central role of psychological counselors within SEEK. A handwritten note adds an additional source on page 10. Short for "Search for Education, Elevation, [...]

To Help Them Achieve: The Academic Talent Search Project 1966-68, Part II

In the Fall of 1964, (armed with a Rockefeller Foundation grant) Brooklyn College’s School of General Studies launched a 42 student pilot program using Bowker’s model, which it called the “Academic Talent Search Project” or “ATSP.” The [...]

The Pre Baccalaureate Program at the College

In this December 1966 City College Alumnus article, Leslie Berger publicly describes and advocates for the City College SEEK model and challenges all traditional college admissions criteria as incompetent measures of student potential. Short [...]

Janet Mayes: An Oral History of the CCNY 1960’s SEEK Program

In this oral history interview, Janet Mayes, a City College SEEK writing teacher reflects on her experiences with the program. Mayes joined CCNY in the spring of 1967, making her one of the seven original SEEK writing lecturers. She co-taught a SEEK [...]

Statement of Professor John A. Davis

In this 1965 statement Professor John A. Davis demands that his colleagues at City College take action to increase minority representation at the school. He writes that two years had “passed since various units of City College have been [...]

Educational Opportunity Programs: Are They Academically Justifiable?

In this 22-page, July 1969 Milwaukee speech to the first annual conference on educational opportunity programs in higher education, Leslie Berger--director of CUNY's SEEK program--describes the birth and rapid growth of SEEK from 1965 to 1969; [...]

Anthony Penale as a Young Man

Anthony Penale was a City College lecturer and writing teacher in 1965 when he was appointed by English Chair Edmund Volpe as the first SEEK English coordinator/director. Penale became ill in the summer of 1967 and Volpe then appointed Mina [...]

Allen B. Ballard: An Oral History of the CCNY 1960s SEEK Program

In September of 1965, City College launched SEEK, a desegregation and supportive teaching program that quickly became the direct model for new Equal Opportunity Programs at dozens of New York colleges. Here SEEK founder Allen Ballard remembers the [...]

Francee Covington: An Oral History of the CCNY 1960s SEEK Program and The Paper

In 1966, Francee Covington entered City College as one the first class of SEEK students. Here, Francee remembers growing up in Brooklyn, her years as a City College student and her student journalism work on The Paper. Short for "Search for [...]

Marvina White: An Oral History of the CCNY 1960s SEEK Program

In this interview, Marvina White recounts growing up on Dyckman Street in Upper Manhattan and entering City College as part of the first class of SEEK students in 1966. White also analyzes how SEEK-- especially SEEK teachers and counsellors Barbara [...]

Eugenia Wiltshire: An Oral History of the CCNY 1960s SEEK Program

In this oral history interview, Eugenia Wiltshire (nee Dorothy Robinson) recalls her time attending City College in 1966-70 as one of CUNY's first SEEK students. Short for "Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge," SEEK was established in [...]

"Pre-Baccalaureate Program Student Statistics -- Fall Term 1965"

This early summary of the first semester of SEEK (then known as the Pre-Baccalaureate Program) details the courses, schedules and teachers for the 113 SEEK students in Fall 1965 at CCNY. These first SEEK students took a mix of mainstream and special [...]

"Will Everyman Destroy the University?"

In this article, CUNY’s new Vice Chancellor Timothy Healy writes of SEEK as both a practical and theoretical model for open admissions. He cites the success of the program--intended to improve higher education access for the underserved--as proof [...]

"The Faculty Council Interim Report of the Committee on Enrollment Policy"

This April 1964 report shows the deep conflicts within the CCNY faculty with regards to expanding access to new students. Complaining about limited facilities and student unreadiness, the faculty committee resisted both loosening admissions [...]

Occupying our Education

Drawing on experiences with Occupy CUNY, the Adjunct Project, and teaching an ‘Occupy Class’ at Brooklyn College, Steve M. shares insights into the conditions for organizing around universities today. In the face of the challenges of divisions [...]

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