[Posted June 15, 2018] The year of 1968 was one of massive changes and turbulence in America, with the Cold War and the Vietnam War both going strong, wild swings in politics, devastating violence in our cities and against civic and political figures like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.
What was the environment at Uni 50 years ago this spring? From the 1968 Chieftain, this from Fall (1967) Student Body President Dave Simmonds:
“Uni is a fine school, but it is still far from perfect. The day that Uni becomes a perfect school, there will be no need to promote school spirit or to have clean campus drives. The biggest problem at Uni is apathy on the part of many students. To get something out of Uni, each student must put forth an effort.”
Spring ‘68 semester Student Body President Dan Hirsch wrote that Simmonds’s hope for more involvement actually came true:
“We especially stressed ‘involvement,’ and you responded by getting involved, some of you for the first time since you came to Uni. We asked for your increased participation in our school paper, and you responded by writing more letters-to-the-editor than ever before and helping considerably to make the Warrior into a true student paper.
“We asked for increased spirit, and you responded by, for example, packing the gym in record numbers for our gymnastics meet against Bell and by bringing two or three times more rooters than Pali had when we went to Pali for the track showdown.
“We asked for increased turnouts at our activities, and you responded by making our sports nights and special events like the Dating Game and the ‘Heat of the Night’ more successful than any activities we have ever had.
“We asked you to make this semester financially successful to make up for the losses of previous semesters, and you responded by beating Pali in WAC [Warrior Athletic Card] sales for the first time in our history and by making our magazine drive and our other money making activities extremely successful.
“We asked for your interest in our speakers and discussion programs, and you responded by showing up in large numbers to hear Allan Cranston and Dan Moore and Dr. Faber and to discuss the [military] draft and Mexican-American problems at Uni.”
Was that really 50 years ago? Much has changed, but that was Uni in the late 1960s. You can check out the ‘68 Chieftain and Uni’s yearbooks online for free on the UHEF’s Web site here.