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Timeline
Key
 
Rutgers-Newark
 
Rutgers-New Brunswick
 
Douglass College
 
Rutgers-Camden
 
Administrative Policy / Reaction
All page references in the timeline are from the following text: McCormick, Richard P. The Black Student Protest Movement at Rutgers. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1990.
Click on a date to see the details, otherwise click show all to see the details for all dates.
1968 1969
    4/19         2/6     2/21 2/24 2/25 2/26 2/27   3/1     3/6 3/8 3/13  
4/5 4/11 4/19   9/68   2/69   2/12 2/19     2/25 2/26   2/28   3/3 3/4        
4/5 4/8 4/19     10/68         2/21   2/25 2/26   2/28   3/3 3/4 3/6      
                2/10         2/26 2/27 2/28   3/3 3/4        
  4/9   5/19           2/20 2/21 2/24 2/25 2/26     3/2 3/3 3/4     3/14 5/28
4/19/68 Rutgers-Newark

The Black Organization of Students (BOS) met with the Board of Governors and presented 9 proposals including the recruitment of more black students, the hiring of more black faculty and administrators, scholarships for Newark students, more black resources in the library, a new department encompassing African & Urban Affairs and Urban Education, and an institute to study the Newark community (p37).

2/6/69 Rutgers-Newark

The BOS showed up uninvited at a conference of faculty members and administrators discussing admissions where they presented 12 demands and demanded a response within 2 weeks from the Newark Campus' vice president, Malcolm Talbott (p38).

2/21/69 Rutgers-Newark

The BOS responds to VP Talbott that his response is totally "unacceptable" and a conference is unproductive (p39).

2/24/69 Rutgers-Newark

BOS members occupy Conklin Hall, Rutgers-Newark's main communication building, ask the security guard to leave, and chain the doors shut. A banner is dropped from the rooftop, renaming the building "Liberation Hall" (p39-40).

2/25/69 Rutgers-Newark Classes cancelled (p41,42, 45).

The BOS negotiates with President Mason Gross, who does not use force to remove the students. They quickly agree on the hiring of additional black faculty and personnel, monies for black scholarships and remedial programs, and a Black Studies Department (p41).

2/26/69 Rutgers-Newark Classes cancelled (p41,42, 45).

BOS negotiations with President Gross hit a snag over admission policies which were in the hands of the faculty (p41).

2/27/69 Rutgers-Newark Classes cancelled (p41,42, 45).

At 5:45am BOS students vacated Conklin Hall, claiming victory (p42).

3/1/69 Rutgers-Newark

BOS students met with the faculty and administration to resolve previous misgivings concerning admissions (p42).

3/6/69 Rutgers-Newark

Rutgers-Newark professors reject the agreement between the BOS and President Gross by a vote of 95-40, claiming it would lower admission standards (p43).

3/8/69 Rutgers-Newark

The BOS announces the University has reneged on its offer to enroll more minorities (p44).

3/13/69 Rutgers-Newark

The BOS and a group of 300 protestors including Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) stage a rally on campus, ignite a bonfire, and struggle with the firefighters (p44).

4/5/68 Rutgers-New Brunswick

Rutgers Student Council passed a list of resolutions/grievances of black students (p25).

4/11/68 Rutgers-New Brunswick

Members of the Student Afro-American Society (SAS) appear in front of the University Board of Governors in support of the Student Council grievances and to ask for a commitment that the Board of Governors would act on the list promptly. The Board agreed to continue the dialogue at a meeting on April 19th (p27).

4/19/68 Rutgers-New Brunswick

SAS met with the Board of Governors in a three hour meeting. They demanded, among other things, that the College Avenue Campus Center be renamed in honor of left wing political activist Paul Robeson (p28).

9/1968 Rutgers-New Brunswick

There was an "authorized" black section in Clothier dormitory. A major in Black Studies was under consideration. Few cultural activities for blacks existed nor did academic support (p47).

2/1969 Rutgers-New Brunswick

Jerry Harris requests a house of Dean Clifford to be used as a coordinating center for all black groups / activities on the New Brunswick campus. The request went unanswered (p50).

2/12/69 Rutgers-New Brunswick

SAS sends a letter to the Dean of Rutgers College, restating demands of previous April, and requesting status on each demand. They give the Dean 2 weeks to respond (p50).

2/19/69 Rutgers-New Brunswick

The Rutgers College Student Council endorses a criticism of the administration issued by the SAS, based on its failure to establish an Afro-American Studies Department (p50).

2/25/69 Rutgers-New Brunswick

50 black students throw trays of food on the floor in the main dining hall and depart silently (p51).

2/26/69 Rutgers-New Brunswick

All black students ate together and then stood on the balcony together looking down on the other students (p51).

2/28/69 Rutgers-New Brunswick Classes cancelled (p51).

Student Convocation in the gymnasium where 2,800 (including 300 faculty) in attendance heard student Randy Green speak on black issues and Professor Warren Susman speak on the reconstruction of the curriculum (p52).

3/3/69 Rutgers-New Brunswick Classes cancelled (p51).
3/4/69 Rutgers-New Brunswick Classes cancelled (p51).
4/5/68 Douglass College

Black students met with Dean Margery Foster to request a course on the history of blacks in America. She agreed (p24).

4/8/68 Douglass College

A list of resolutions / grievances of black students is adopted by the Government Association (p25).

4/19/68 Douglass College

The Douglass Black Students Committee attended the meeting with the Board of Governors (p27).

10/1968 Douglass College

Student grievances reemphasized by DBSC through student Karen Predow (p57).

2/21/69 Douglass College

Student newspaper, The Caellian, publishes DBSC letter charging Dean Foster with failure to hire a black woman for questionable reasons. It also claimed she treated blacks on campus with disrespect and had ignored their earlier demands (p57).

2/25/69 Douglass College

DBSC met with Dean Foster for a discussion and left unimpressed (p58).

60 students enter the dining hall and throw trays of fold on the floor and then depart silently (p51).

2/26/69 Douglass College

Students walked out of class, yelled at instructors, refused to speak with white students, clogged bathroom drains and locked the bathroom doors so others could not gain entrance (p58).

2/28/69 Douglass College Classes cancelled (p58).
3/3/69 Douglass College Classes cancelled (p58).

Six committees established to discuss racial issues concerning admissions, counseling, personnel, etc. (p58).

3/4/69 Douglass College Classes cancelled (p58).

Six committees established to discuss racial issues concerning admissions, counseling, personnel, etc. (p58).

3/6/69 Douglass College

Six committees reported to the Douglass College faculty and the faculty agreed to support student demands concerning appointment of black faculty members, administrators, an Afro-American residence house, an Afro-American Studies program, and a summer orientation program (p59).

9/1967 Rutgers-Camden

Students created the Black Student Unity Movement (BSUM) which was dormant until 1968 (p61).

2/10/1969 Rutgers-Camden

Students created a list of 24 demands including recruiting 250 black students, hiring black faculty and administrators; a black studies department; college credit for black life experiences; a black residence hall; more black studies acquisitions in the library; the creation of an educational cultural center, a community foundation, a "Paul Robeson Library;" and the firing of racist professors. (p61, 127-130).

2/26/1969 Rutgers-Camden

Students walk out of the meeting with University President Mason Gross when they feel he is unsupportive of their position. Later that evening, with community support, students and community barricaded themselves in the College Center, claiming they would remain until their demands were met (p62).

2/27/1969 Rutgers-Camden

Students vacate the College Center peaceably when President Gross agrees to their demands and leaves it to the faculty to execute the plan of action (p63).

2/28/1969 Rutgers-Camden Classes cancelled (p63).
3/3/1969 Rutgers-Camden Classes cancelled (p63).
3/4/1969 Rutgers-Camden Classes cancelled (p63).
4/9/68 Administrative Policy / Reaction

The Committee of Concern organized a campaign to restore $ 100,000 to the state budget which was to be used for preparing disadvantaged / minority high school students for college. The campaign was successful (p25).

5/19/68 Administrative Policy / Reaction

The University requested $100,000 from the state to finance special programs and used its own reserve while it awaited the state's decision (p28).

The Board of Governors directed the Provost to meet with and report to SAS that intensified recruiting action efforts were underway and that it was predicted that the number of black students, as well as the faculty, would double by September, 1968. Courses in African and Afro-American history would be added to the curriculum, and the library would expand its collection. A black dormitory would be established on the residential campuses, and a black fraternity would be established. Black professors would be brought to the University to lecture and 20 seats in the next class to enter the Law School in Newark were to be reserved for black students. The only consideration the University stood firm on was its decision not to rename the College Avenue Camus Center for Paul Robeson (p28-29).

1968-69 Academic Year Administrative Policy / Reaction

The University commits $854,000 for equal opportunity programs (p30).

Blacks constitute 3% of the student body (up from 1% in 1965) (p30).

2/20/69 Administrative Policy / Reaction

Newark Campus vice president Malcolm Talbott meets with the BOS and responds to their demands (p39).

2/21/69 Administrative Policy / Reaction

University administrators in New Brunswick are informed that racial tensions on the Newark campus are mounting (p38).

2/22/69-2/25/69 Administrative Policy / Reaction

Equal Opportunity Committee creates a fact sheet to counteract the claims made on Douglass College campus, and to show trends in enrollment and hiring of blacks (p58).

2/26/69 Administrative Policy / Reaction

President Mason Gross goes to the Camden campus to meet with the BSUM, giving them the impression he supported their demands but then wavers to the University as a whole (p62).

President Gross pens a note to the BSUM to alleviate the tension on the Camden campus (p63).

3/2/69 Administrative Policy / Reaction

Informal meeting of 100 faculty members who wished to consider black demands prior to administrative consideration; request to the dean by these faculty members for an immediate "special" faculty meeting (p52).

3/3/69 Administrative Policy / Reaction

Dean Grobman presented his "progress report" as requested by the SAS. He did not have much to report but did allow William Wright to present the list of demands of the SAS the next day to the full faculty (p52).

3/4/69 Administrative Policy / Reaction

300 members of the faculty meet, listen to the demands presented by William Wright, create a Select Committee, and agree to consider no other items on its agenda until these items are resolved. It agreed to reconvene with the full faculty later that evening (p53).

Created a "Transitional Year Program" for high risk students who would combine noncredit remedial classes with regular classes in preparation for matriculation. A six-week summer prepatory program was established. Black faculty and administrators would also be hired, an Afro- American Studies program would be created, black cultural studies activities would be scheduled, and the University library committed to purchase works centered around black culture. A faculty-student grievance committee was to be established and new standards for grades including omission of freshman grades from the cumulative average were adopted by the faculty (p53-54).

3/14/69 Administrative Policy / Reaction

The Board of Governors established a program to admit economically disadvantaged high school students in the communities where Rutgers had significant community obligations: Newark, Camden, and New Brunswick. The goal was to help students receive a "true Rutgers degree" (p69,73).

5/28/69 Administrative Policy / Reaction

Faculty meets in emergency session and agrees to contribute 1% of their salaries to keep programs like the "Transitional Year Program" afloat. $25,000+ was raised (p55).

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