The Amherst Student issue from April 18th, 1968
Written by Tim Hardy ’69.
“A proposal calling for Amherst College to adopt broad new programs designed to respond to the current racial crisis in the United States will be presented to the Board of Trustees tomorrow night. The [Mudge-Marx-Denig] proposal is co-sponsored by Professors Lewis Mudge and Leo Marx and Bob Denig ’68. It calls for addition to the College of a Negro administration to work with the admissions office and as a counselor dealing with the problems of disadvantaged students… The proposals were aimed at two major goals: increasing the number of Negro and other disadvantaged students at Amherst and making Amherst a more socially responsible institution.”
Below is the Mudge-Marx-Denig proposal as published in The Amherst Student.
Proposals from the Admissions Committee:
- work with disadvantaged students and their teachers to improve secondary education.
- recruit in Negro schools where Amherst does not normally find applicants.
- encourage more Negro applicants to visit the campus.
- seek more Negro transfer students.
Proposals from the Curriculum Committee
- make Amherst more attractive to Negro students
- support an educational program to teach whites at Amherst about the black experience
- loosen the number of requirements in the Amherst curriculum
- institute a five year work-study program, especially oriented to community organization and including academic credit for student-professor work in the field
- add a number of new courses to the Amherst curriculum, including African and Asian languages, urban problems, grassroots democracy, the third world, and the Black arts
- hire more Negro professors, and bring in more visiting Negro professors, especially from all-Negro schools
- bring to campus for the entire year persons who have been active in civil rights programs
Proposals from the Preparation Committee
- contribute $1,000 to provide for an additional scholarship to the town of Amherst’s A Better Chance tutorial program for Negro high school students
- start a summer orientation program for entering disadvantaged students to prepare them for the Amherst academic environment
- begin a program of paid student teaching assistants to tutor disadvantaged students during the school year
- participate in Upward Bound, a government financed tutorial program for high school students
- work to improve secondary school teaching for disadvantaged students
Proposals from the Student Life Committee
- the establishment of a Black Arts Center on campus
- integration of all four classes in all College dormitories
- a summer program, modeled after the Amherst Amigos program in Mexico, with Amherst students doing community work during the summer for academic credit
The Amherst Student issue from April 22nd, 1968
Written by Allan Webber ’71.
“The seventeen member Board of Trustees voted down a College Council Proposal to waive the on campus residency requirement next year, and gave symbolic support to the Mudge-Marx-Denig and the Afro-American Society proposals to radically alter Amherst’s relation to black students and black communities. The Trustees appropriated extra money to the Admissions department to recruit more black students, but they did not specifically endorse the ad hoc committee’s proposal to hire a Negro administrator.” Read second part here.
Written by A. Michael Webber ’70.
“The four faculty-student committees on “commitment to the racial problem moved last week to propose specific programs to remedy deficiencies in four aspects of Amherst life. The committees, meeting on admissions, curriculum, preparation, and student life, organized in subcommittees to study specific proposals within each division.”
Photo credit Amherst College Olio