A new exhibit in Special Collections, “The Power and the Principle: 50 Years Ago at SUNY Binghamton”

A collage of photographs and ephemera about campus and students
A selection of images from The Power and the Principle exhibit

This new exhibit takes a look at Binghamton University through the lens of the period experienced by the class of 1972. The most pressing issue of the day on college campuses was, of course, opposition to the U.S. war in Southeast Asia. SUNY Binghamton students led teach-ins, moratoriums, and strikes, and participated in local and national marches. Another force in students’ lives was the financial crisis, beginning in 1969, which had major repercussions on tuition and housing for State University students in particular. Within this context, many academic and social innovations arose. Students, demanding more self-determination, questioned all manifestations of “the establishment.” As the formal curriculum lost its relevance for those keenly attuned to current events and national issues, opportunities for experimental education began to flourish in 1970. The ecological movement, too, was a national issue which was gaining adherents on campus.  Additionally, inclusion efforts came to the forefront of campus life between 1969 and 1972, as new multicultural student groups formed, global studies programs were founded, and organizing around women’s and gay liberation gained traction. The Off Campus College was founded as well in recognition of the need for a sense of community among the large number of students not living in dormitories.

Please enjoy these items from the University Archives that illustrate the dynamic campus environment during the late 1960s and early 1970s. This exhibit is on display outside of Special Collections through the end of the fall semester.  The department is located on the second floor of Bartle Library, North.  Viewing is available during the hours when Fine Arts is open. For a closer read, browse or search digitized issues of Colonial News and Pipe Dream from 1946-1974 available on the NYS Historic Newspapers site.