The 1975 Student Struggle at Brown University


  • Mark D. Matthews



Movements, Inequality


The following article was written by a student participant soon after the events it describes. However, by the time it was ready for the printer, around the beginning of the 1975-1976 academic year, it seemed to us that the situation on most campuses was such as to minimize interest in struggles of the kind that took place at Brown the previous spring, and we decided to hold up publication until we judged the article would meet with a more interested reception. Recent developments, especially in the New York City system of higher education, and mounting financial difficulties at most universities, both public and private, have convinced us that that time has now come. Either students will sit back and passively allow university administrations, controlled as they are by ruling-class-dominated boards of trustees and corporations, to "solve" the problems of higher education according to their own interests and priorities; or students will actively intervene and struggle to impose solutions, or at least compromises, which take account of what they perceive to be their interests and priorities. Those who choose to follow this second course can learn a great deal from what happened at Brown during the early months of 1975.

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