This month in history: April

Student protesters occupy DU administrative offices in 1968Student sit-in

April 1968


On April 30, 1968, DU students gathered in the Office of the Registrar to demand the inclusion of several controversial amendments, known as the “Student Bill of Rights,” to the AUSA constitution. Days earlier, Chancellor Maurice Mitchell had warned students against such measures, saying “this University is not going to be run by threats, by ultimatums, by intimidations, or by force exerted by any single member of the community.” Nonetheless, as promised, a group of 45 students crowded into the office, took their places and began singing “we shall not be moved” and “we are not afraid.” Some of the protestors, however, could be moved by fear and chose to leave without incident after Barbara Mertz, the dean of students, informed the assemblage that not only were they in violation of city ordinances, they would be dismissed from the University if they did not vacate the office. In all, 39 students were dismissed from the University. But after further consideration by the Conduct Review Board, the punishment was revoked in favor of a less-extreme period of probation. Unfortunately for Mitchell, the sit-in of 1968 would pale in comparison to Woodstock West, a May 1970 student demonstration that lasted several days, grabbed national headlines, and involved the intervention of the Colorado National Guard.

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