On April 10, 1968, several hundred University
of Georgia students marched on campus to demand equal rights
for women. They wanted to eliminate school rules based on double
standards, such as nightly curfews for women but not men, and
a no-alcohol policy for all women, even of drinking age, but not
for men. Women students also had a separate Dean of Women,
a separate student government, and other gender-based regulations.
The demonstrators, including over one hundred women, began
a sit-in at the Academic Building (renamed in 2001 as the Hunter-Holmes Academic
Building). William Tate, the University’s Dean of Men, stayed with
the students at night. University employees worked around the students
by day. Three days later, on Friday April 12, the students ended
their occupation after police threatened to arrest them for violating
the fire code.
In late May, Dean Tate suspended two of the student leaders involved
in organizing the sit-in,
George Langworth and David Simpson, president of the campus chapter
of Students for a
He placed a third student leader on probation. On June 1, the
students seen here erect a tent on the lawn in front of the
Academic Building, christen the space “Persecution City,”
and occupy it through the weekend. Their position is that
the University should punish the entire group rather than singling
out a few individuals.
This protest calls attention to how those who participated in the
movement of the 1960s appropriated tactics of the Civil
Rights Movement. The struggle for racial equality rapidly
expanded to include such issues as gender equality, students' rights,
poverty, classism, and opposition to the Vietnam
War. For example, two years
later students at The University of Georgia organized marches in
protest of the May
4, 1970, Kent State University killings. The conservative
wartime climate, the mandatory
draft for young men aged eighteen and older,
and the election of President
Richard Milhouse Nixon, who supported
the war, made many students openly question authority figures such
as college administrators and police officers.
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1. Read our story Women
Students at UGA. Why would
men and women students before the 1960s tolerate separate policies
based on gender? Why did students in the 1960s begin to question
campus policies about women?
2. As late as the early 1970s, educational institutions like The
University of Georgia assumed a parental role in relationship to
their students. This policy was called in
loco parentis. How have
the roles of universities and public schools shifted since the 1960s
in relationship to this policy?
3. Do you think the Persecution City students organized an effective
way to protest the social conditions on campus? In what ways would
a group of students from your school constructively confront school
authorities about a policy that you disagree with or oppose?
Take it to the Streets!
In American history, speaking truth to power through protest and
debate has been a time-honored way in which the people make their
voices heard to government and civic officials. Research one of
the following moments from American history. Divide into two groups--the
authorities in support of it, and those who oppose it--and stage
a debate between the groups. Here are events we suggest that you
The Fourteenth Amendment
The Nineteenth Amendment
Executive Order 9066
The 1968 United Farm Workers' Boycott
Poor People's Campaign of 1968
Attica Prison Riots of 1971
The Appearance of Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show (Sept.
Tipper Gore's Campaign Against the Lyrics of Rap Artists 2 Live
Writer: Aggie Ebrahimi
Editors: Deborah Stanley and Diane Trap,
Reference Librarians, The University of Georgia Main Library
Lauren Chambers, Aggie Ebrahimi, Courtney Thomas, and Professor
Site Designer: William Weems
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