Records of the Bursar’s Office Takeover, May 1968
Series 31/3/155, Photographs: Folder 4 - The following images are from the events of the May 3, 1968 Bursar’s Office Takeover, the first student protest at Northwestern University. On April 22, 1968, members of Black student organizations, For Members Only (FMO) and African American Student Union (AASU), presented a list of demands to the Northwestern University administration regarding discriminatory campus policies and practices. When the demands were not met, on May 3, 1968, approximately 120 African American students occupied the Bursar’s Office, Northwestern University’s business office. The demonstration lasted for 38 hours when members of FMO and AASU and the administration ultimately reached a compromise on May 4, 1968. This effort successfully led to the “May 4th agreement” in which the University promised enhanced support for African American students regarding admission, financial aid, housing, curriculum, and counseling, as well as an official statement by the administration admitting to the existence of institutional racism at the University. Notably, it also prompted the creation of the Department of African American Studies and a social space for Black students on campus, known as the Black House.
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