Last week, Cornell University commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Willard Straight Hall Takeover, a historic event that has greatly influenced the nature of student activism on the Cornell campus. Besides the numerous articles published by The Sun, the Schwartz Center sponsored a screening of Straight ’69, a student film by Catherine Galasso ’05 that was made in her final year at Cornell. The screening also included a talk by Ed Zuckerman ’70, the managing editor of the Sun at the time of the takeover.
In April 1969, 80 African American students took over the Straight to protest the lack of minority rights, spurred by a culmination of events along with the tensions of the time period with the tumultuousness of the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War. In commemoration of the Straight Takeover’s 40th anniversary, The Sun hosted a panel on Saturday with people involved or affected by the event in order to discuss the history and its ramifications.
A large metal ash tray is hurled out a window of the Straight after the black students inside ejected a dozen white students, primarily members of the Delta Upsilon fraternity, who had entered the building. (Photo Credit: Richard A Shulman / Sun File Photo)