2 - Friday, December 1, 2006
Birth of the Black Action Movement
Group went on strike to increase diversity at the 'U'
The University still struggles
with maintaining diversity, but
not the way it did 35 years ago.
In 1970, students and faculty
were willing to go on strike until
the University administration
addressed the lack of diversity.
Leading that effort was a group
called the Black Action Move-
ment, which formed to advocate a
more welcoming environment for
BAM asked the administration
to increase minority enrollment,
increase financial aid to incoming
minority students and establish
a Black Student Center to foster
community among black students.
They hoped 10 percent of the
student body would be black by
1973. They also complained that
black students were still officially
designated as "negro" - which,
by 1970, had become an offensive
term to many black students and
In February 1970, BAM sub-
mitted a list of 12 demands to
then-University President Rob-
ben Fleming, student government
organizations and the University
Board of Regents.
The regents denied most of their
requests, although they promised
to increase black enrollment to 7
At that time, black enrollment
was under 5 percent. It remained
below 5 percent until the late
1980s, whenthen-University Pres-
ident James Duderstadt started
his Michigan Mandate initiative.
A month later, members of BAM
on strike. They said they wouldn't
go to class until the administra-
tion reconsidered their demands.
Many students participated in the
strike, disrupting classes for more
than a week.
Picketers block a campus street during the Black Action Move-
ment's student and faculty strike in March of 1970.
WHERE: Parking Lot NC-
51, 2600 Glazier Way
WHEN: Wednesday at
about 1:15 p.m.
WHAT: A white fir tree
was stolen from a Uni-
versity parking lot, the
Department of Public Safety
reported. The tree appeared
to have been cut down with
WHERE: School of Public
Health II, 109 South Obser-
CAMPUS EVENTS & NOTES
Fleming and the group started
negotiations a couple days afterthe
strike began. By the end of March,
BAM and the administration had
reached an agreement that satis-
fied all of BAM's demands. The
strike ended a few days later.
Many members of the Universi-
ty community criticized President
Fleming for giving in to the strike,
calling him soft and indecisive.
Faculty members were split on
the issue. Some worried that the
funds from academic departments
and lower admissions standards in
order to increase minority enroll-
ment. Others were angry that the
administration had not asked for
their input before deciding.
- information for this article
was gathered from documents in
the Bentley Historical Library.
- t RET NSY0
'HUL KNOW TOY
On this day in 1955, black
civil-rights activist Rosa
Parks was arrested for
refusing to give up her seat on
a bus. Her act of civil disobe-
dience led to a 381-day boycott
of the bus system in Mont-
Accordingto Baton Rouge
television station WAFB,
LSU is headed to the Rose
Bowl. They would play either
Michigan or USC, depending
on the outcome of USC's game
FOR MORE, SEE OUR
SPORTS BLDG, "THE GAME"
Starting this week, the
World Chess Federation
is testing professional
chess players for perfor-
mance- enhancing drugs after
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WHEN: Wednesday at about
WHAT: A $400 bike was sto-
len over Thanksgiving break,
DPS reported. The bike's
owner left it locked to a bike
rack next to the School of
Public Health building. When
the owner returned, but
returned from break to find
the bike lock broken and lying
on the ground.
WHERE: West Hall, 550 East
WHEN: Wednesday at about
WHAT: An office was broken
into overnight, DPS reported.
A University staff member
found the window broken, with
shards of glass and a hammer
lying on the floor inside. Noth-
ing was stolen.
WHAT: A lecture titled
"Mouths, Doors, Vaginas,
and Other Dangerous Places
in Mesopotamian Erotic
WHO: Near Eastern Stud-
ies graduate student Patrick
WHEN: Today from 11 a.m.
WHERE: G333 Mason Hall
Free showing of
WHAT: A showing of
Eugene Jareck's documen-
tary "Why We Fight," about
the history of the American
WHO: Anti-war Action
WHEN: Today from 7p.m.
to 9 p.m.
WHERE: Michigan Room.
WHAT: A charity event with
music by DJ Sammy, authen-
tic Iraqi food and a fashion
show. All profits will go to
helping children affected by
the Iraq War.
WHO: Iraqi Student Asso-
WHEN: Today from 10 a.m.
to 5 p.m.
WHERE: William Monroe
Trotter Multicultural Center
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