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1960s: Student activism

February 10, 2010

On Feb. 11, Founders Day, Colorado State University will celebrate 140 years of academic excellence, research, service, and outreach to the citizens of Colorado and the world. Since 1870, Colorado State has impacted individuals around the state and the world with world-renowned research in infectious disease, atmospheric science, clean-energy technologies, and environmental science.

Student activism included a demonstration in April 1969 by the Black Student Alliance, or BSA, and the Mexican American Committee on Equality, or MACE. The speaker in the center of the photo is Manuel Ramos of MACE.

Students rise up

The students of Colorado State University rose up against the institution’s predominantly conservative attitudes in the 1960s. Student activism became the norm at universities around the country, fighting for racial and women’s rights and for peace between nations engulfed in war.

James Meredith

In 1963, a highly publicized lecture by James Meredith, the first African American to enroll at the highly segregated University of Mississippi, drew a large crowd of both CSU and Fort Collins community members. Meredith’s talk inspired other controversial lectures to be held on-campus.

Fighting for equal treatment

The treatment of CSU’s female students came under fire in 1964, when Vicki Hays, the managing editor of the Collegian, moved out of her residence hall into an unsanctioned off-campus house. University rules required female students to be inside their residence hall rooms by 11 p.m. on weeknights while male students had the freedom to come and go as they pleased.

Campus demonstrations

In May of 1967, over 2,500 people participated in an on-campus demonstration staying out past 11 p.m. in hopes to sway the administrations views on the curfew. In response to the protest President Bill Morgan enacted policies to allow female students a curfew of midnight on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends but retained the rule on males visiting female halls. The equality battles of the sixties were only the beginning of the student-ignited activism at Colorado State University.

Written by Sarah Gianti, CSU Department of Public Relations Intern, Journalism and Technical Communications ‘10.

Contact: Jennifer Dimas
Phone: (970) 491-1543