Browse Exhibits (6 total)
While diversity and equity weren't actively engaged by the administration until 1957, Occidental has always been positioned within a diverse community. Issues of race, gender, and class permeate the campus even without administrative interventions. This exhibit examines how issues of diversity and equity were written about in the Occidental student newspaper between 1938 and 1952 in terms of national, gender, and racial diversity. World War II shaped the college through the draft of many college-aged men, skewing with ratio of men to women, the classes taught, and the activities enjoyed by the students. The War's legacy at Oxy was an increased racial consciousness, and an increase of women in leadership positions. The students led the charge to the administration's later support for a school which values diversity and equity, but even so the language that was used may not be what we would today assume to be advantageous for a more socially conscious college.
Coinciding with the peak of the Civil Rights movement, the Occidental community initiated its own dialogue on race and diversity through the years of 1963-1975. The counterculture of the 1960's fed into the anti-Vietnam War movement, as well as controversies surrounding the corruption of the Nixon Administration, labor unions, and civil rights. These events sparked a new wave of political consciousness and laid the foundation for policy revisions on campus. During this period, Occidental began a multifaceted approach to addressing issues on enrollment, funding, and curriculum. With support from the Rockefeller Grant and the Minority Scholarship Fund, the college significantly increased its minority admission and enrollment rates. This set in motion a movement towards increased student minority organizing. Collectively, students represented themselves through activist clubs on campus, including BSC, MECHA and the Asian Student Alliance.
From Anti-Apartheid Activism to welcoming the first African-American President of Occidental College, the 1980s at Occidental College was a time of dramatic change in diversity. A lot of conversations occurred around the question of diversity, and this collection represents the complex discourse present during this time of transformation. The eighties was a decade full of pushes and pulls towards and away equtiy at Oxy. Essentially the 80s was a time of incredible preparation and change leading up to the activism of the 1990s.
This exhibit titled the Decade of Diversity exemplifies the college's best efforts to create a multicultural enviornment that fosters conversations about diversity and equity. The turn of the decade brought a new president and with him a new focus that attracted the nations attention in terms of the school as a national leader in multicultural education. The middle of the 90s witnessed conversations and dialogue trying to define what a multicultural education looks like in higher education. Often these conversations led to action and activism and this exhibit demonstrates a portion of those students work. The end of the 90's demonstrated more activism and campus wide conversations on whether or not the administration was upholding their promise on diversity as well as the end of Slaughter's presidency. This exhibit is called The Decade of Diversity because it exhibits the school when the forefront of the schools academic, social, and public conversations were about multiculturlalism and diversity.
From 2000-2014, there was constant conversation and repeated rhetoric on diversity at Occidental. However, these conversations resulted in little administrative change-- especially as the campus shifted away from tangible commitment to the “Excellence and Equity” model. Throughout this time period, student activism came in waves. Some activism around diversity was successful, but students and faculty from 2000 to 2014 continually expressed frustration with the same issues surfacing year after year.
This exhibit highlights interviews from current C.O.D.E. members at Occidental in the Spring of 2014. The interviews focus on current issues at Occidental regarding equity and diversity and the actions that C.O.D.E. has done and continues to do to enact change. The interviews also paint a general picture about ways the college has changed or is changing.
The goal of this exhibit is to provide a closer look at what was happening on campus while our class was creating this archive.
From Anti-Apartheid Activism to welcoming the first African-American President of Occidental College, the 1980s at Occidental College was a time...