The Return of Student Protest

For those of us who were present on a college campus in the 1980s, the tents of the students participating in the Occupy movement on campus this past year provided a feeling of nostalgia, and even a sense that things are as they should be. College students should be protesting, and when a long time goes by without a visible protest on my campus, I think something is wrong. When I was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan in the mid-1980s, I was accustomed to seeing the anti-Apartheid shanties on the quad as I walked to class. As with myself, college student protest makes many people think of a specific era, most often the 1960s. However, college students have always protested. The first recorded student protest in the U.S. occurred in 1766, when students at Harvard protested the quality of the butter served in the campus cafeteria. “Behold our butter stinks and we cannot eat thereof” was their somewhat tongue in cheek rallying cry. Student protest is a part of the college campus landscape and culture, even though at sometimes it is less visible than at others.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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