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On Strike! Shut it Down! (Exhibit 1999)


Case 3: Prelude / Demands


September, 1966

Dr. John Summerskill is appointed seventh President of San Francisco State College. He is young, liberal, and has the reputation of being able to get along with faculty, administration, and students.

May 2, 1967

Sixty students "sit in" in Dr. Summerskill's office, protesting the college practice of providing students academic standing to the Selective Service Office.

June 22, 1967

Students and faculty picket campus administrative offices to protest Chancellor Glenn S. Dumke's directive to continue supplying academic standing records to the Selective Service Office.

November 6, 1967

James Vaszko, Gater editor, is assaulted by black students offended by the content and tone of a Gater editorial.

November 18, 1967

While San Francisco State's Board of Appeals and Review has a closed hearing on the suspension of students accused of assaulting Vaszko, sympathetic students picket outside.

December 2, 1967

Two writers for the campus literary paper Open Process are suspended after publishing a poem which uses offensive language and contains sexual connotations. 450 students protest against Summerskill's "liberalism" and the Vietnam War.

December 6, 1967

Students protest over the suspension of the black students in the Vaszko incident, and break into the Administration Building. Summerskill closes the campus rather than calling in police.

February 22, 1968

President Summerskill resigns, effective in September.

March 23, 1968

The Third World Liberation Front (a coalition of the Black Students Union, the Latin American Students Organization, the Filipino-American Students Organization, and El Renacimiento, a Mexican-American student organization) occupies the YMCA office on campus, and moves the YMCA staff out.

March 26, 1968

Several San Francisco State College student leaders call on State Superintendent of Schools Max Rafferty to protest campus activities of the Black Students Union and the hiring by the student government of black playwright LeRoi Jones as a visiting professor.

May 1, 1968

300 high school and junior college minority students come to campus to ask for waivers of admission requirements for the fall semester. The Dean of Admissions says that he does not have the authority to grant such waivers.

May 21, 1968

Police are called in to remove students from the Administration Building after a nine-hour sit-in. Approximately 400 students protest various issues, including an end to Air-Force ROTC on campus, the need for programs to admit 400 students from the ghetto in the fall semester, and the hiring of nine minority faculty members to help the minority students. 26 persons are arrested.

May 23, 1968

Students again protest for campus reform. Demonstrations are led by the Students for a Democratic Society and the Third World Liberation Front.

May 24, 1968

Chancellor Dumke asks President Summerskill to resign immediately.

June 1, 1968

Dr. Robert Smith, a professor of education, is appointed President of San Francisco State College

September 10, 1968

George Mason Murray, a graduate student in English and Black Panther Minister of Education, is hired as a teaching assistant to teach special introductory English classes for 400 special students admitted to the college.

September 18, 1968

President Robert Smith announces the creation of a Black Studies Department and names Professor of Sociology, Dr. Nathan Hare, Acting Chair.

September 26, 1968

California State College Trustees vote to ask President Smith to reassign George Murray to a non-teaching position after he allegedly made inflammatory statements at Fresno State College and at San Francisco State. President Smith refuses.

October 31, 1968

Chancellor Glenn Dumke orders President Smith to suspend Murray after Smith refuses to carry out the Trustee's request. President Smith delays. The Black Students Union threatens a strike on November 6 and presents their 15 demands.

November 1, 1968

President Smith suspends George Murray.

November 6, 1968

The student strike begins exactly one year after the "Gater incident." Strike is led by Black Students Union and Third World Liberation Front members, as a protest for a larger Black Studies Program and for the reinstatement of George Murray. Most students attend classes. Police are called in after students march on the Administration Building.

November 13, 1968

The campus is closed after a week of confrontations between students and police. During the week there has been widespread minor damage by striking students to various areas of the campus. Some faculty members consider striking.

November 15, 1968

The faculty meets to consider the problems. President Smith asks the faculty and administration to consider plans under which the campus could be reopened.

November 18, 1968

Governor Ronald Reagan wants the campus reopened. The trustees order President Smith to reopen the campus immediately. President Smith wants the students to return for discussion, not formal classes. A faculty grievance committee says that George Murray was suspended without due process.

November 19, 1968

The faculty do not want to reopen the campus, but want to have a convocation to discuss the issues.

November 20, 1968

Approximately 10% of the students return to campus for departmental discussions. Few classes are held. The Convocation begins.

November 26, 1968

Convocation continues. President Smith resigns. Dr. S. I. Hayakawa is named Acting President, and his first official act is to close the campus.

December 2, 1968

Campus is reopened. Striking students position a sound truck at the corner of 19th and Holloway Avenues, urging students to continue the strike and not attend classes. President Hayakawa climbs on top of the truck and receives international attention by disconnecting the wires from the speakers.

December 10, 1968

Ronald Haughton, University of Michigan professor and labor arbitrator, is called in to mediate the strike. Mayor Joseph Alioto organizes a citizen's committee to help settle the strike.

December 11, 1968

The campus local of the American Federation of Teachers seeks strike sanction from the San Francisco Labor Council. More than 50 AFT members set up an informational picket line around the campus, urging the Trustees to negotiate with the students.

December 13, 1968

School is closed for the Christmas holidays one week early. Campus offices remain open.

ecember 15, 1968

Trustees meet with AFT representatives to hear their grievances. Mayor Alioto's Citizen's Committee works on mediation efforts.

January 6, 1969

Campus reopens. The San Francisco State American Federation of Teachers' local goes on strike and places a picket line around the campus.

January 19-20, 1969

Striking students, including some student library workers, initiate a "book-in" in the Library. They take books off the shelves and bring them to the Circulation Desk, leaving them there to clog library operations.

February 24, 1969

The San Francisco State AFT local announces a tentative strike settlement.

March 20, 1969

An agreement is signed between "representatives of the Third World Liberation Front, the Black Students Union, and the members of the Select Committee concerning the resolution of the fifteen demands and other issues arising from the student strike at San Francisco State College.

March 21, 1969

Strike ends.

Following is a list of the 15 strike demands as put forth by the Black Student Union and The Third World Liberation Front.

The Ten BSU Demands

  • That all Black Studies courses being taught through various other departments be immediately made part of the Black Studies Department, and that all the instructors in this department receive full-time pay.
  • That Dr. Nathan Hare, Chairman of the Black Studies Department, receive a full professorship and a comparable salary according to his qualifications.
  • That there be a Department of Black Studies which will grant a Bachelor's Degree in Black Studies; that the Black Studies Department, the chairman, faculty and staff have the sole power to hire faculty and control and determine the destiny of its department.
  • That all unused slots for Black students from Fall, 1968 under the Special Admissions Program be filled in Spring, 1969.
  • That all Black students wishing so be admitted in Fall, 1969.
  • That twenty (20) full-time teaching positions be allocated to the Department of Black Studies.
  • That Dr. Helen Bedesem be replaced from the position of Financial Aids Officer, and that a Black person be hired to direct it, that Third World people have the power to determine how it will be administered.
  • That no disciplinary action will be administered in any way to any students, workers, teachers, or administrators during and after the strike as a consequence of their participation in the strike.
  • That the California State College Trustees not be allowed to dissolve the Black programs on or off the San Francisco State College campus.
  • That George Murray maintain his teaching position on campus for the 1968-69 academic year.

The Five TWLF Demands

  • That a school of Ethnic Studies for the ethnic groups involved in the Third World be set up with the students in each particular ethnic organization having the authority and control of the hiring and retention of any faculty member, director and administrator, as well as the curriculum in a specific area study.
  • That fifty (50) faculty positions be appropriated to the School of Ethnic Studies, 20 of which would be for the Black Studies Program.
  • That in the Spring Semester, the college fulfill its commitment to the non-white students in admitting those that apply.
  • That to the Fall of 1969, all applications of non-white students accepted.
  • That George Murray, and any other faculty person chosen by non-white people as their teacher, be retained in their position.

Strike Issues Of The San Francisco State College AFT, Local 1352

  • Strike Issues Directed to the President and Administration of San Francisco State College:
    • Negotiation of and adoption of comprehensive rules and regulations governing:
      • Grievance procedures related to faculty affairs.
      • Personnel decisions (hiring, firing, tenure, promotion, demotion, suspension, lay-off).
      • Conditions under which pay can be reduced or docked.
      • Sick leave and other fringe benefits.
      • Unit and class load assignments for full and part-time faculty.
      • Stipulation of prerogatives and delineation of authority at various administrative levels.
      • Guidelines and standards for professional perquisites (sabbaticals, travel, research leaves).
      • Faculty involvement in decisions on academic matters (curriculum selection, assignment of faculty and staff, grading, graduation requirements, determination of calendar, admission requirements).
      • Faculty involvement in decisions governing all local administrative matters (office space, parking).
      • Recovery of faculty positions bootlegged for administrative purposes.
    • Protection of Constitutional Rights
      • Amnesty for all faculty, students, and staff who have been suspended or have been subject to other disciplinary action and/or arrested, and withdrawal of outstanding warrants as a result of activity to end racism at San Francisco State College.
      • No disciplinary action for exercising constitutionally protected rights.
    • Black Students Union and Third World Liberation Front grievances must be resolved and implementation assured.
    • All agreements on the above to be reduced to a written contract.
  • Strike Issues Directed to the Trustees of the California State Colleges:
    • All agreements made with the local administrations under (1) above shall be binding upon and accepted by the Trustees.
    • Sufficient funds shall be provided from current reserve and emergency funds to:
      • Maintain the present faculty positions (this will prevent the lay-off of 100-125 faculty in the Spring Semester, 1969).
      • Gain new positions to replace those given by various departments and schools to staff a Black Studies Department and a School of Ethnic Studies.
      • Protect the revised work loads presently scheduled in many departments for Spring, 1969, and assure the same for every one who requests it.
    • Rescission of the ten disciplinary rules passed by the Trustees on November 26, 1968.
    • Approval of the Student Union plan presented by the Associated Students at San Francisco State College.
    • Cancellation of proposed changes in Title 5 that would take away student control of student body funds.
    • Recognition of college constitution that emerges from the Constitutional Convention called by the Academic Senate at San Francisco State College.
  • 3. Strike Issues Directed to the Governor and the Legislature:
    • That a special joint committee of the California State Assembly and Senate be appointed to conduct negotiations with the State College Board of Trustees and the Union to agree on systematic and continuing financing for the proposals under I and II above to provide the necessary increases in salary required to maintain a qualified faculty at San Francisco State College.
    • That when the special Legislative Committee, the Board of Trustees, and the Union have reached agreement, the Committee report to the next session of the Legislature so that necessary monies may be provided to put the agreement into effect.