Tag Archives: student protests

Lessons From Columbia ’68

12 May Columbia students had occupied the school buildings, April 1968. Courtesy Life magazine

NINETEEN sixty-eight was a year that shook the world. It also shook Columbia University, rattling it so hard that the president, Grayson Kirk, and the provost, David Truman, fell down—their reputations so tarnished that they had to “retire.” It is a time that haunts the secret underground tunnels under the main campus at 116th Street where student protesters once swarmed. Its ghosts linger in the five buildings—Fayerweather, Math, Hamilton, Avery and Low—that were once occupied by students for an entire week. It blankets the grass where police kicked, beat and arrested hundreds of demonstrators and bystanders.

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