ERIC Number: ED030365
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Dec-5
Reference Count: 0
The Dilemmas of an Unavoidable Confrontation.
Truman, David B.
The inevitable confrontation at Columbia University during the Spring of 1968 was instigated by a small group of student extremists whose objectives were to destroy the university. These students gave some legitimacy to their activities by associating themselves with other students to exploit basic issues of widespread concern: the war in Vietnam, the selective service system, and racism in the US. The black students had their own genuine issues and were essentially uninfluenced by the white extremists, although the activities of both groups eventually converged. The dilemma faced by the university was either to capitulate or to use force. The situation was further complicated by faculty grievances and local criticisms of the university's relationship with its surrounding community. The Columbia experience may have been different if responsible, effective communications existed within the university to compete with the unreliable student press and local media, thus making it difficult for a small minority to exploit the uninformed majority. Also, a body of faculty members representing several of the university's schools --and not several self-constituted faculty groups-- should have constituted the mechanism for decision making. Campus disorders may continue, but only the legitimate faculty bodies can decide to resolve differences by means of civility and reason, on which the survival of the university rests. (WM)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council of Graduate Schools in the U.S., Washington, DC.
Note: Paper presented at the 8th Annual Meeting of the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States, San Francisco, California, December 4-6, 1968