Student Movements at GW 1960s/1970s

The paper’s initial purpose is to educate the reader on the student movements that occurred at The George Washington University during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The number of college students greatly increased during the 1960s and began including students of all economic backgrounds. This diversity led to a wide degree of ideologies on campus, many influenced by New Left thinking, which preaches equality and the end to American militarism. Images depict the violent nature in which anti-war protests led by New Left leaders occurred at political hotbeds like the University of Wisconsin and Columbia University. On such campuses there was a strained relationship between students and the administration. Students felt the administration was oppressive and unwillingly to reform. The administration had little tolerance for political activism and often called authorities, turning protests violent. I claim that images prove that at GW there was a different result. Students were still politically charged and protested but administration handled it a different manner. President Elliot of GW listened to students concerns and was open to change. Furthermore outside intervention to stop a protest was the ultimate last resort, not an initial reaction. Moreover, all disciplinary action would be concealed within the university.  I argue that these differences contributed to a less violent student movement.

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8 thoughts on “Student Movements at GW 1960s/1970s”

  1. I dont know if you’ve looked at the Hatchet articles from that time, but I think It’d be interesting if the Hatchet Articles mentioned anything about the protests or nature of them

  2. I think it would be interesting to see the perspectives of students, faculty, and administrators from that era. It could be insightful to seek out some of that Hatchet staff from the late ’60s to get their perspective, particularly the photographers. Although President Elliot passed away earlier this year, you could reach out to other people who were part of the GW administration at that time to see their opinions about the protests and images.

  3. You mention diversity, but it would be interesting to see the exact make-up of the student body at the time compared to the diversity at other universities. You say that calling the authorities was a last resort, but how did administration end the strikes?

  4. This is interesting, it will be nice to see change within the Hatchet throughout that period. Do you think you will find other types of evidence to support your claim, like interviews from both sides?

  5. What was it about George Washington that attracted such a diverse population of students and what drew them to the New Left way of thinking? Why was there such hostility towards student protests by administration at other colleges? What was the reason for concealing all disciplinary action within the university? I’m sure you go more in depth on both of these in your paper but these are the first few questions that came to mind.

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