1400 Washington Ave Albany NY
1400 Washington Ave Albany NY

University on the Make, 1960-1970

Timeline of UAlbany's unrest during its transition from a small teacher's college to a large research university

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Dining Hall Boycott

Boycott of Brubacher Dining Hall claiming slow service and lack of cleanliness. First known protest on campus.

State College News Article 1961 January
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Peace Corps

Barbara Gladysiewicz becomes first Peace Corps volunteer from SUNYA. Signals awareness of wider world.

State College News Article 1961 December
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“Albany State: A Teachers College in Transition.”

David Boroff in a Saturday Review article, “Albany State: A Teachers College in Transition.” Says that though the College is perhaps the best in the country at training teachers, the student body is primarily from “small towns and the country”, the typical student “is conservative politically, somewhat passive, and conformist….” and as a teacher unlikely to “discredit superstition and prejudice, and inspire courage to accept truth in every form” as called for in the college catalog.

1962 January 20
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New Campus Construction Begins

Construction begins on new campus on site of Albany Country Club. Projected student body rapidly grows from 4,500 to 10,000, with plans for another 10,000 students early in the 1970s. New mix of students, no longer pledged to a teaching career, with predominantly Upstate students rapidly overcome by swelling Downstate student population attracted by the general (non-teacher training) curriculum.

1962
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Introduction of Tuition

SUNY Board of Trustees vote to impose tuition on all students.

1963 January 22
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Tuition Boycott

First SUNYA student boycott of classes, picketing and march on the Capitol Building by 500 students protesting the imposition of tuition.

State University News Article 1963 February 5
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Civil Rights Bill

Civil Rights Bill passes House of Representatives.

1964 February 10
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John Savage Speaks Out

Two articles on SUNYA student John Savage who had served in the Special Forces as an advisor in Laos. Articles denounce Communist murder of village officials and intimidation of villagers.

Albany Student Press Article 1964 March
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Students Register Voters in North Carolina

Seven SUNYA students and chaperones “Dr. and Mrs. Daniel [Gloria] DeSole” and the Reverend Frank Snow spend Easter break in Raleigh, North Carolina, canvassing “Negroes” to register to vote. Return to campus and speak in favor of voting and equal rights for “Negroes.” (Claudia George, “Group Canvasses Raleigh in Voter Registration Drive,” Cynthia Goodman, “Experiences in Registration Drive Makes Segregation Very Real Problem”).

Albany Student Press Article 1964 March 24-April 14
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Faculty support Civil Rights Bill

Committee for a Citizens Lobby made up of SUNYA faculty members Gloria DeSole, John Reilly, Joan Shultz, and Fred Silva publishes open letter calling for community support of the Civil Rights Bill.

Albany Student Press Article 1964 April 24
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Anti-War Protests

First known anti-war protest by SUNYA students.

Albany Student Press Article 1965 February
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Protest at NYS Capitol

Students protest murder of Reverend James Reeb in Selma Alabama in march on NYS Capitol.

Albany Student Press Article 1965 March
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Budget Cuts Protest

Students march to NYS Capitol from Draper Hall to protest budget cuts to Higher Education. ("SUNY Faces $6.8 Million Budget Cut")

Albany Student Press Article 1965 April
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SCOPE Rally

Summer Community Organization and Political Education group (SCOPE) sponsors a voter rights rally.

Albany Student Press Article 1965 April
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Yearbook Format Changes

Changing form of student yearbook, the Torch, which describes SUNYA as a “University on the Make,” and a reduction of traditional group photos in favor of more informal photos (including "pictures of students 'making out'"), calls forth strong student protest and leads to call for censorship. William Colgan, Editor-in-Chief of the Torch, a Long Island student, defends his departure from tradition. By 1970 the Torch would drop most group photos in favor of photo journalism.

Albany Student Press Article 1965 May
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Draft Call-ups

Article in Albany Student Press about increased draft call-ups.

Albany Student Press Article 1965 October 1
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Food Drive

Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity sponsors a food drive for U.S. Soldiers in Vietnam.

1965 October 4
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Berkeley Riots

The Golden Eye Coffee House hosts a discussion of the Berkeley Riots.

Albany Student Press Article 1965 October 15
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Expansion of Vietnam War

Article published in Albany Student Press denying that there is any proof that the North Vietnamese Army is in the South, and criticizing the expansion of the war to the North by U.S.

Albany Student Press Article 1965 October 15
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Forum on Politics

“Forum on Politics” speakers defend the Vietnam Peace March.

Albany Student Press Article 1965 October 22
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1st African-American Homecoming Queen

First African-American Homecoming Queen is chosen at SUNYA. At the time, African Americans are a very small minority of the student body.

Albany Student Press Article 1965 November
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ASP Criticizes South Vietnam

Editorial in the Albany Student Press criticizes the corrupt government of South Vietnam, opposes any escalation of the war, but supports U.S. troops currently in South Vietnam.

Albany Student Press Article 1965 December 3
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SCOPE Voter Registration

SCOPE announces its second year of the southern voter registration drive and call for student participation.

Albany Student Press Article 1966 March 4
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Aparteid Discussion

Golden Eye Coffee House hosts discussion on apartheid in South African and U.S. policy.

Albany Student Press Article 1966 March 22
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Selective Service Deferrals

Selective Service Board announces deferral exams will be given on May 14, 21, and June 3 at colleges and universities nation-wide.

Albany Student Press Article 1966 March 29
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James Farmer Speaks Against Segregation

James Farmer, former head of CORE, speaking at Page Hall, attacks segregation in the North as more of a long term problem than Southern segregation. He also say “integration” is not the only answer to the problems of African-Americans, but that areas like Harlem should be made “livable.”

Albany Student Press Article 1966 April 20
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Selective Service Protest in Buffalo

Sit in to prevent Selective Service exams at State University of New York at Buffalo.

Albany Student Press Article 1966 May
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Wayne Morse Speaks on Campus

U.S. Senator Wayne Morse, Democrat of Oregon, opposes the escalation of the war in Vietnam. Morse, in a well received address at Page Hall, states that “The only way you can stop Johnson’s bullets in Vietnam is with your ballots at home starting with the next election.”

Albany Student Press Article 1966 May 22
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Uptown Campus

University occupies the new Uptown Campus.

Albany Student Press Article 1966 September
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"Alpha Phi Alpha Sponsors Early Christmas"

Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity works with American Red Cross to sponsor gift boxes for G.I.’s in Vietnam.

Albany Student Press Article 1966 October
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George Bunch Arrested

Students protest the arrest of George Bunch at the Trinity Institute in conjunction with the newly formed Brothers. Bunch had slapped a girl who called him “Blackie.” The demonstrators view the "Albany political machine" as the instigator of Bunch's arrest

Albany Student Press Article 1966 October
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Changing Role of University

In loco parentis, the traditional role of the school as the guardian of student morality, begins to crumble. The Golden Eye Coffee House hosts debate asking “Is God Dead?” The University allows alcohol on campus and, in subsequent years, loosens, and then drops, restrictions on women's hours.

Albany Student Press Article 1966 November
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Students Arrested

SUNYA students are arrested for picketing at polling places protesting the $5.00 vote.

Albany Student Press Article 1966 November
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Birth Control

Psi Gamma Sorority sponsors lecture on birth control.

Albany Student Press Article 1966 December
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Vietnam War Debate

Debate between The Committee to End the War and The Committee to Win the War leads to a vote of sixty-six to thirty-seven in favor of the proposition "That this House should condemn current American policy in Vietnam."

Albany Student Press Article 1967 April 5
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Vietnam Protest in NYC

Fifty SUNYA students and faculty join NYC protest against war in Vietnam.

Albany Student Press Article 1967 April 18
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Disagreement About Vietnam War

Major Anderson of the Marine Corps speaks in favor of U.S. participation in Vietnam. In the same Albany Student Press, 52 SUNYA faculty members took out a full page ad backing Dr. Martin Luther King’s speeches connecting the Vietnam War with a worsening of internal U.S. social problems.

Albany Student Press Article 1967 May
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Marijuana Panel

Phi Delta Sorority present panel discussion on "Why is Marijuana Illegal."

Albany Student Press Article 1967 October 22
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Peace Mobilization March

SUNYA students participate in Washington, D.C. Peace Mobilization March. (Greg Kiersz, “Civil Disobedience Marchers To Converge on Washington.”)

Albany Student Press Article 1967 October 21-22
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Recruitment Protest

SUNYA students protest Navy recruitment.

Albany Student Press Article 1967 December 4
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SUNYA President's Conference

Deferments, drug problems and State funding main issues of SUNYA President’s Conference.

Albany Student Press Article 1968 February
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Dow Chemical

Students protest on campus recruitment by Dow Chemical. Protesters physically block people trying to interview. Ten students are arrested.

Albany Student Press Article 1968 February 21
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Robert Kennedy Campaign

Senator Robert Kennedy opens campaign office on campus attracting 200 students.

Albany Student Press Article 1968 March
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President Johnson

President Johnson announces that he will not run for re-election.

Albany Student Press Article 1968 April
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MLK Assassination

Dr. Martin Luther King is assassinated. Eight hundred students attend memorial service for Dr. King. Graduate School of Public Affairs (GSPA) students raise scholarship fund for underprivileged inner-city residents wishing to attend the University. SUNYA students conduct survey to study Albany housing conditions in the South End and Arbor Hill.

Albany Student Press Article 1968 April 8
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Campus Strike and Teach-in

Campus strike and “teach-in” planned as part of a nation-wide strike sponsored by the National Student Mobilization Committee (SMC). The strike is supported by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Suppression, and the Student-Faculty Committee to End the War. The strike will feature teach-ins on the war. Eight hundred students participate in teach-in. (“Collins Lauds Teach-In, Makes War Comments.”)

Albany Student Press Article 1968 April 26
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Anti-War March

Six hundred people including SUNYA student participate in Albany march against the Vietnam War and racial injustice.

Albany Student Press Article 1968 April 27
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College Opportunity Program

Announcement that the University will participate in a summer College Opportunity Program (C.O.P.) to bring in 30 high school graduates between the ages of 17 and 20 from urban and poor rural settings.

Albany Student Press Article 1968 May
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RFK Assassinated

Robert F. Kennedy assassinated while on campaign in Los Angeles.

1968 June 6
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Educational Opportunities Program

One hundred and eighty-five disadvantaged students enrolled in the renamed Educational Opportunities Program (EOP). For the first time there was a large block of African-American and minority students at the University.

Albany Student Press Article 1968 September
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Huey Newton

SUNYA students participate in “Free Huey Newton” rally behind the Campus Center. Newton was a Black Panther founder and leader convicted of killing an Oakland, California policeman.

Albany Student Press Article 1968 September
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Collins Announces Resignation

President Collins announces that he will step down in June after twenty years leading the school.

Albany Student Press Article 1968 October
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Students participate in Senate

The Faculty Senate allows students to participate and vote in all Senate policy making bodies. Students are made members of the eight deliberative councils. This is a major move in the student rights movement.

Albany Student Press Article 1968 October
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Chaperone and Curfew Policies Dropped

Requirements for chaperones at campus parties are dropped. Curfews for female students now apply only to freshmen (soon to be abolished), mandatory sign-outs for women abolished, 24 hour open house policy allowed (Don Stankavage, “Council Abolishes Chaperone Policy.”)

Albany Student Press Article 1968 November
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African History Course Cancelled

Announcement of the cancellation of African History course during the Spring semester sparks student protest. One hundred and forty-one students sign petition to reinstate the course.

Albany Student Press Article 1968 December
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Biafran Fast

University Concert Band sponsors Biafran Fast to raise money.

Albany Student Press Article 1968 December 13
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Student Shot

University student shot in Brothers' office by drive-by shooter.

Albany Student Press Article 1968 December 13
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Collins Responds to BSA Demands

Black Student Association (BSA) members meet with President Collins and Paul Miwa, Assistant Vice-President for Academic Affairs to press non-negotiable demands for:

  • The establishment of a 200 level, three hour course in Afro-American History for the Spring 1969 semester.
  • The establishment, by Fall, 1969, of a program in Afro-American Studies offered by a department of that name.
  • The admission of 300 non-white and minority group students in the fall 1969.

President Collins pushes through the creation of the new department, the first University department created as a result of student demands. The new department is hurriedly approved by the normal University governance body, the University Senate.

Albany Student Press Article 1969 January 10
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Hebrew Student Alliance

Jewish students create the Hebrew Student Alliance to represent their interests and to fight anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli sentiment on campus. Professor Johnpoll calls for Jews to know the “greatness of our History...”(

Albany Student Press Article 1969 February 18
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Women's Rights

Beverly Warren, SUNYA sophomore representing the Radical Women’s Association of SUNYA, urges a joint NYS legislative committee to “abolish all abortion laws.” This marks the beginning of a new Women’s Rights movement at SUNYA.

Albany Student Press Article 1969 March
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Budget Protests

SUNY and CUNY students march on the NYS Capitol to protest proposed budget cuts.

Albany Student Press Article 1969 March 24
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Students Protest Tenure Decisions

Student protests lead to the one year extension of contracts of two popular faculty members: Dr. Waterman and Mrs. Rhoads. Collins bases his decision on the students’ inability to make their voices heard in the Psychology Department’s tenure proceedings on the two faculty members. This was the first of many student attempts to influence the retention of popular faculty.

Albany Student Press Article 1969 May
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Students Admitted to Senate

Students admitted to voting membership (1/3) in the Faculty Senate, subsequently renamed the University Senate. Previously they had only been admitted to councils and committees.

Albany Student Press Article 1969 September
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"Guidelines for Campus Order."

SUNY Board of Trustees draw up "Guidelines for Campus Order." The rules bar physical injury or restraint, willful damage to property, the willful entering of private offices, use of buildings for anything outside their authorized use, staying in buildings after closing without authorization, refusal to leave a building when ordered to do so by authorized personnel, deliberately disrupting classes, lectures, meetings, interfering with the free expression of invited speakers, or knowingly having weapons in one’s possession. Permitted are peaceful picketing and orderly demonstrations in public places. Failure to obey these rules could result in expulsion from a campus, or in the case of a faculty member, dismissal from the University.

Albany Student Press Article 1969 September
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Vietnam Moratorium Day

Vietnam Moratorium Day at SUNYA: Congressman Ogden Reed speaks and names of US Vietnam War dead are read for six hours on the Podium. (Diane McNamara, "Death Vigil, march planned for Oct. 15")

Albany Student Press Article 1969 October 15
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Protests on Podium

Vietnamese huts built on Podium. Ordered taken down, one burned.

Albany Student Press Article 1969 November 13
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War Moratorium

Vietnam War Moratorium held in Washington, D.C.

Albany Student Press Article 1969 November 13-15
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Draft Counseling

Student Association Central Council votes to set up a draft counseling library in its office. In February the SA acts to sponsor draft counseling.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 January 8
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SUNYA Senate Condemns War

SUNYA University Senate “condemned the intervention of the United States in Vietnam” and “denounced the immoral violations of international peace and the unjust interference in the Vietnamese people’s right to self-determination.”

Albany Student Press Article 1970 February 9
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Environmentalism at SUNYA

Acting President Kuusisto queried about the University’s commitment to environmentalism at his Monday press conference. Protect Your Environment Club (PYE) organized. First evidence of a strong environmental movement at SUNYA. The environmental movement soon began to ellipse other student activism.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 February 9
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Chicago 8

300 SUNYA students demonstrate for the Chicago 8.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 February 20
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Day Care Center

Women’s Liberation Front demands Vice President Thorne establish a day care center for students, employees and faculty.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 February 23
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Violence in Buffalo

State University of New York at Buffalo rocked by violent confrontations between police and students.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 February 23-26
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William Kunstler

William Kunstler, lawyer for the Chicago 8, speaks at University Gym, raising his clenched fist in a “Power to the People” and asking students “are we dangerous? I hope the hell we are.”

Albany Student Press Article 1970 March 5
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Sit-in for Gerry Wagner

Student power brings 150 to sit-in in front of Vice President O’Reilly’s office to press for the retention of popular faculty member Gerry Wagner. (Mark Belkin, "Wagner Saved?")

Albany Student Press Article 1970 March 9
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Protests for Gerry Wagner

One hundred and fifty students march on Administration Building and smash windows on hearing news that Garry Wagner’s contract was not renewed. Faculty endorses canceling classes on Thursday and Friday for Dialogue.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 March 13
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Students Arrested

Twenty-nine people including SUNYA students arrested at Albany Induction Center sit-in for “disorderly conduct.”

Albany Student Press Article 1970 March 19
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Dialogue Days

Dialogue Days, Thursday and Friday set aside by faculty for “meaningful dialogue” over the events of the past weeks.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 March 19-20
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Black Cultural Weekend

First Annual Black Cultural Weekend held sponsored by the Third World Liberation Front and the Black Ensemble.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 April 10-12
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Racial Tensions

Racial tensions on campus lead to disruption of Colonial Quad.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 April 15
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Earth Day

First annual Earth Day held at SUNYA and across United States.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 April 22
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Kent State Massacre

Four students killed by the National Guard at Kent State University.

1970 May 4
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Student Strike

SUNYA Student Strike planned as part of a nation-wide student strike. Humanities and Social Science Buildings targeted as well as the Library. Strike supported by the Third World Liberation Front, the Black Panthers, and the Women’s Liberation Movement. (Vicki Zeldin, "STRIKE!") Three thousand students march from SUNYA to the Capitol. Fires are set on campus and Molotov cocktails are thrown.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 May 5
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Classes Cancelled

SUNYA Faculty pass resolution canceling classes for the rest of the Semester.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 May 8
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Protests At Federal Building

Federal Building in Albany shut down for six hours by 3,000 demonstrators.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 May 9
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Judaic Studies

Department of Judaic Studies opens in response to requests from Jewish students and faculty.

1970 September
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"Crib-in"

Sixty women and children of the Women’s Liberation Front, the New Left Organizing Committee, and Concerned Parents stage “crib-in” at President Louis T. Benezet’s office demanding a day care center.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 September 17
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Jewish Holidays

Jewish students and the University Senate urge President Benezet to cancel classes on the Jewish High Holidays, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 September
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Day Care Center Announced

Day Care Center slated for Pierce Hall to open on December 1. Within two years the women’s rights movement would successfully achieve the creation of a Women’s Studies Program.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 October
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Kent State Memorial

Memorial held for Kent State. Calls for reconciliation by some faculty are rejected by some students present.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 October 23
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Anti-War Marches

Fall anti-war marches planned in 30 cities (Kenneth Deane, "Oct. 31 Action"). The march on the NYS Capitol draws a disappointing 300 demonstrators, about ten percent of the previous year's turnout. Subsequent marches also draw disappointing numbers.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 October 31
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Campus Expansion Cancelled

NY State’s worsening financial crisis leads to canceling of plans for expansion of SUNYA campus to 20,000 students by 1975. No new buildings are built on the SUNYA campus until Freedom Quadrangle dormitories open in the Fall of 1988.

Albany Student Press Article 1970 November
 
 
 

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