Power to the People

   Posted by: rring   in New acquisition, Uncategorized

From another institution, we recently received the gift of a box of the papers of Trinity alumnus Steven H. Keeney ’71 (on the right in the photo), relating to the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and their activities at Trinity College between 1967-1969.  These activities are documented in primary source materials such as letters and memos, newspaper clippings, and “ditto” copies of documents such as Student Senate minutes, budgets, organizational structures, and flyers created by the SDS to publicize their activities.  Of these activities, the April 1968 sit-in was probably one of the most noteworthy of the SDS nation-wide movement.  There are also indications that the uprising at Columbia just a short time later was spurred by the SDS, who urged students to become active during their 10-day “Shake-up” in 1968.

Arising from a climate of frustration and miscommunication, SDS along with the Trinity Association of Negroes (TAN) rallied together a group of 168 students in April 1968 to hold the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees and President Jacobs hostage.  In their manifesto, included in this collection of material, the agitators requested that President Jacobs and the Board consider increasing scholarship support for black students, additional classes focusing on urban studies, and community development amid other requests.  Unknown to the agitators, President Jacobs and the Board not only had the same mandate in mind but they were working at that time to achieve the same goal as the students.  Due to a series of miscommunications, this was undisclosed at the time of the sit-in.

This collection joins scores of others in the Archives which collectively document Trinity’s history and place in American society, and are rich sources for research.

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