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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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 [...]

Song: "Hit the Road Matt: Good riddance to a reprehensible Chancellor!"

This version of the Ray Charles classic was written by members of the Graduate Center General Assembly and Adjunct Project on the occasion of CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein's June 2013 retirement. The song references ongoing scandals over which [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

"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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

SLAM! Programs Brochure

This 5-page brochure includes a brief overview of SLAM's history up to the 1999-2000 school year, SLAM!'s 10-point program, and details on three campaigns SLAM! was organizing that year: the High School Organizing Committee, which worked with high [...]

Medgar Evers College - The Pursuit of a Community's Dream

In this short book, Medgar Evers College: The Pursuit of a Community's Dream, CUNY retired professors Florence Tager and Zala Highsmith-Taylor tell the story of the founding of the college. As an institution born largely out of 1960s [...]

Free University Presents Remaking Justice beyond Police, Courts, and Prisons

This workshops pamphlet was created for a May 25, 2014, Free University of New York City event "Remaking Justice beyond Police, Courts, and Prisons" in Battery Park, NY. Workshops were held outdoors at Battery Park and included presentations on [...]

"Subtleties of Resistance" Free University at Kara Walker's A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby

Promotional leaflet for July 5, 2014, Free University-NYC event "Subtleties of Resistance" Free University at Kara Walker's exhibition, A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, at the Domino Sugar Factory, Brooklyn, NY. These site-specific [...]

Free University Week - September 18 Information Packet

"Free Education is a Right" This workshops pamphlet for "Free University Week," September 18-22, 2012, in Madison Square Park, Manhattan, NY announced a variety of topics ranging from Radical Potentiality: Recreating Academic Practices in the [...]

Free University Week - 1st Annual May Day Course Descriptions

This pamphlet features workshops, teach-ins and events planned for the 1st annual Free University of New York City on May 1, 2012, in Madison Square Park, Manhattan, NY. In addition to talks by David Harvey, David Graeber, Francis Fox Piven, Chris [...]

Queens College Civil Rights Archives

The Queens College Civil Rights Archive collects published and unpublished works relating to civil rights activities such as personal papers, community materials, organizational records, non-print materials, and artifacts. The archive, housed at [...]

"Building a Movement"

This is a photocopied Village Voice article that was used to promote a citywide demonstration on April 25, 1995 that united groups fighting for education, jobs, housing, health care and AIDS care. They also called for an end to police brutality and [...]

SLAM! Program Working Document

SLAM!'s 10-Point Program outlines the organization's vision for transformation of the university and society, from access for all to free quality higher education to democratic governance by students, workers and faculty; education for liberation; [...]

"Move the Crowd"

This November 2000 feature article in The Source, the leading national hip-hop magazine at the time, covers SLAM!'s participation in organizing protests against the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia that year. The protests focused on [...]

Spheric: "Birth of an Internation," Vol. X: #1, 1995

This issue of Spheric, a Hunter College newspaper produced by activists from the CUNY Coalition, covers the massive March 23, 1995 protest at City Hall that led to the reduction of Governor Pataki's budget cuts and tuition hike that year. [...]

Student Power Movement, No Cops

This flier produced by the Student Power Movement urges students to resist the increased police presence in schools, on CUNY campuses, and in NYC communities.

Director of Security's Resignation Letter, York College

York College Director of Security Winston A. Burrows' resignation letter explains that he is resigning after 17 years of service at York because he cannot become a party to the City University Director of Public Safety's plan to deny students their [...]

LaGuardia Works: LaGuardia Community College, the First 25 Years

This booklet, published in 1997, tells the story of the first 25 years of LaGuardia Community College, from its conception as "Community College Number Nine" in 1968 through its 1971 opening and beyond. The author describes the social and economic [...]

Project Enable: Training Program for Homeless Heads of Household Residing in Hotels/Shelters

This November 1986 report details the activities of a training program for homeless mothers in New York City conducted by LaGuardia Community College's Division of Continuing Education. The program, which covered personal counselling, job training [...]

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