ERIC Number: ED034492
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Student Power at The University of Massachusetts. A Case Study.
Fenton, John H.; Gleason, Gail
This essay, describing events surrounding a student demonstration at the University of Massachusetts, provides an understanding of the mechanics by which the confrontation came into being, and analyzes relevant opinions and attitudes of students. In 1968, the university's student majority supported radical student leaders in a tactical switch from Vietnam-related issues to others concerning student power. But when the radicals made subsequent demands for change "right now" in the entire administrative structure of the university, the student majority reacted negatively. A sample survey of the student body revealed widely held feelings of discontent with certain aspects of university life but not a desire to overthrow the university's administration. A survey conducted a year later showed that student opinion had shifted toward greater support of student power and black issues, and that there was a close connection between new left positions and black power advocacy. Student power and new left positions were related to age, sex, class, major, and membership in conventional student groups, but advocacy of black power was not. The conclusion of the study is that if there continues to be a wide gap between the radical leadership and a student-government oriented "left wing" of the student body, the prospect is for incremental changes in university policy but little or no challenge to the university's administrative structure. (WM)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Massachusetts Univ., Amherst.
Identifiers: Massachusetts (Amherst); University of Massachusetts