Brown undergraduates were among 300 college students from Rhode Island traveling to Maryland to protest racial segregation through peaceful demonstrations and sit-ins, The Herald reported at the time.
Roger Wilson ’62, treasurer of the Northern Student Movement — the group organizing the protests — said at the time that the goal of the efforts was “to desegregate restaurants and to publicize the need for a public accommodations bill.”
The students hoped to avoid arrest, and were aware of a Maryland trespassing law that required protesters to leave a premises only upon the arrival of police. The Northern Student Movement was invited to the area by several civil rights organizations based in Maryland, The Herald reported.
After the fraternity Alpha Delta Phi elected a female president, the international organization’s board of governors unanimously voted to put the fraternity’s future in the hands of a board of 48 delegates from local chapters, The Herald reported 40 years ago today.
Though the organization allowed the Brown chapter to include women in some capacities through an “informal agreement,” the election of a woman to the presidency was seen as an overreach by certain members of the organization. Fraternity members stood behind their choice to fully incorporate women into their chapter and hoped they could build support among alums as they faced possible suspension.
If two-thirds of the two local bodies — 24 chapter members and 24 alums — voted in favor of the resolution, ADPhi could have been suspended from the international organization. The fraternity was not suspended, but in 1992 the Brown chapter helped establish an offshoot of the organization — the Alpha Delta Phi Society — which was fully coeducational.
For students at Brown 35 years ago, winter break did not offer reprieve from academic pursuits, as the University scheduled exams for immediately after the vacation. But the formation of the Undergraduate Council of Students Calendar Reform Committee, which was announced in The Herald March 6, 1980, marked the beginning of the end of that pattern.
The committee, created with the goal of reforming the exam calendar by moving finals to before winter break, rather than after, hoped for a faculty and Corporation vote to take place in the fall of 1980.
The committee chair told The Herald at the time that the committee expected President Howard Swearer would stand behind its efforts, and that it aimed to win student and faculty support.
Though a similar attempt in 1977 did not pass, the efforts of the early 1980s did.
Twenty years ago today, The Herald made its internet debut. On March 6, 1996, the then-129-year-old paper took its first steps into the digital world with the launch of “Heraldsphere” — The Herald’s first online version.
But despite the technological advance, personal computers were uncommon. To successfully access the newly launched site, students had to use Mac and IBM computers located in clusters on campus where they could “load the Netscape program” and launch the site, The Herald reported at the time.
The site included “special pages, issue archives and constantly changing projects.”