A new exhibit from WSU’s Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections reveals the history of student protest on the Pullman campus during the incendiary years of Kent State and Vietnam.
“Protest: Students, War + Racism, WSU 1969-70” runs in the MASC main lobby at Terrell Library through December. Exhibit hours are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, except holidays. A delayed opening reception is planned for the end of August after WSU classes resume.
Mark O’English, university archivist and the exhibit’s curator, said the inspiration for “Protest” came from a wall at the former WSU Koinonia House where WSU students posted fliers in the 1970s. In 2015, the university demolished the building; but several sections of the wall were saved and are being stored in Holland Library until a permanent home for them can be found.
“I think it’s worth looking at what students were passionate about,” O’English said. “Students took risks by protesting for something they thought was worth fighting for. You have to admire that. Without these types of protests, we wouldn’t have the space for students to voice their present-day concerns.”