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1970s Dille and students

1970s:  The Fluctuations of Power

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Status quo image
The new decade would turn issues of power and freedom, as students sought an end to rules that "treated them as children." Click to read student editorial from October 8, 1970 Independent Mystic.




Students who opposed various parts of the "change" movement distributed flyers of their own (click to read).



72 dedication cover

 MSC dedicated several new buildings in 1972 (click on image to read entire dedication ceremony).



cannes award
MSC professors Walter Kimmel (Music, left) and Dale Amundson (Art, right), win a Silver Medal at the 1971 Cannes Film festival, for their collaborative film, "General Motors Enters Into Heaven."



ROTC vote
In 1971, the faculty and students proposed a referendum to consider banning ROTC recruitment on the campus (click image to read the proposal).



McGovern ad
The McGovern campaign drew many students into the 1972 presidential election (the first time 18-year olds could vote) -- but national post-election polls showed that most 18-21 voters who voted were for Nixon.



"Scorch" was increasingly used in the 1970s -- click image for a 
roundup of Moorhead States sports in the 1970s



stage band cover 1971
Click program cover to see the
Stage Band program



1973 constitution

The 1973 College Constitution redistributed power among administration, students and faculty. Click to read the full constitution


FOR THE REST OF THE  1970s      

TIMELINE                       (**some linked documents require Adobe reader)

February, 1970 -- The faculty having agreed to be evaluated (for the first time) by the students, one-page evaluations of faculty teaching are to be carried out at end of winter quarter.  The Mystic (established off-campus as a student newspaper to replace the suspended Mistic) praises this long-sought accomplishment.

May, 1970 -- The nation is stunned on May 4 by the incident at Kent State University (Ohio) when national guard troops fired on protesting students, killing four and crippling others.  MSC is one of the few campuses to hold a memorial service to commemorate not only the Kent State victims, but also two African-Americans killed at Jackson State College (Mississippi) where state police fired on a protest there on May 14.   A moratorium is then called at MSC, suspending normal classes and effectively ending the spring term -- some students attend Vietnam-related teach-ins, others leave for an early summer break.

In 1970, three new buildings were completed and opened on campus: Murray Commons (planned as a second dining hall for a growing student body; a new, fifteen-story dormitory (to be Neumaier Hall); and King Biology Hall (see King dedication information).  In administrative changes, Don Engberg is named Registrar and will supervise the transformation of student record keeping from a paper to a computerized system.

September, 1970 -- Classes begin and Abbie Hoffman (of the "Chicago Seven") speaks at MSC on invitation from students.  Hoffman entertains (and offends) his audience, making jokes about "farmer bumpkin protestors." The Mystic notes that many "walked out on Hoffman," and that his issuing a call for "Up against the wheat-fields" might gain few converts to a "new revolution ...much of the audience seemed bored."

September, 1970 -- Incoming fresh-women are encouraged by upper classmen to note the "policy allowing the parents of freshmen daughters to determine the hours that the student should keep" by obtaining "written parental consent to determine her own hours" when coming and going in dorms.

November, 1970 -- A delegation of MSC students meet with Moorhead police to discuss recent "drug raids" and other incidents in which citizens' rights may have been violated.  A more minor scandal is exposed when a student reveals the existence of a comprehensive "midterms and finals file" used by MSC students to cheat on exams.

December, 1970 -- President Dille sends an "olive branch" letter to the Independent Mystic  -- "every week has its tensions, but every day presents us with opportunities for victories of communication and rational discussion" in the changing educational mission of the college (read Dille's letter).

Discussions and studies are undertaken through 1970 on the subject of alcohol use on campus.  Three options are considered -- seek to gain permission to allow on-campus students, 21 and older, to use alcohol in their rooms; gain permission to open a campus; retain the current rules barring alcohol use on campus, with more lenient penalties for violations.

January, 1971 -- Activist student Tim Madigan, claiming to represent the "Conspiracy to Take Advantage of Technicalities," charges that MSC students who are members of the ROTC program violate the student conduct code by having firearms on campus.  Pressure to ban all ROTC activities at MSC (and other colleges) has grown since the Kent State incident in 1970.

January, 1971 -- Large numbers of students worry about the announced raise in tuition cost for the next academic year -- rising 25% from $6.25 per credit to $8 per credit. 

February, 1971 -- John Sherman, professor of English, gives lectures on "Women in the Workplace," noting that women are "treated as commodities" in jobs where "conditions are lousy, women are not protected from harassment and they still are badly paid." This is true for colleges and universities as well as mainstream businesses, he notes.

February, 1971 -- About 125 students rally on campus to protest the presence of US troops in Laos.  Noting the small numbers in the protest, and the increasing withdrawal of US troops in Vietnam, a "conservative student" predicts that "radical chic" politics is "losing its appeal." The decline in the military draft is mirrored in a nationwide drop in college enrolments.

March, 1971 -- The MSC Intra-Resident Hall Council, in an ongoing effort to change dormitory regulations and end curfews for women, begin to sell "birth control handbooks" to students and campus organizations at cost -- 8-and-a-half cents per copy.

April, 1971 -- Outgoing Student Senate President Tom Clark admits that he is glad to see his term end.  "As MSC's first non-Greek [fraternity-backed] president, I'm glad it's over," because trying to effect change is very hard when most of the "student body are basically an unconcerned bunch of people."

May, 1971 -- After trying several expedients to continue publishing, including a short-lived attempt to merge with editing staff at North Dakota State University, the editors of the Independent Mystic announce the last issue of the newspaper, due to financial difficulties.

June, 1971 -- The last class graduates at the MSC Campus High School.  The elementary campus school will not accept more students and plans to close in June 1972, with some teachers assigned to new duties.

September, 1971 -- "Moorhead State College has an on-campus, student-subsidized newspaper for the first time since the spring of 1969" -- the first story in the Moorhead State Advocate.  The new editorial staff pledge to act as a voice "for many voices," and to "strive to see both sides of an issue." 

September, 1971 -- MSC sophomore Rochelle Callendar is named "Miss Black Minnesota" in St. Paul pageant. The prizes for winning include a $500 scholarship.

October, 1971 -- The new Olympic-size swimming pool opens at Nemzek Field House.

November, 1971 -- Student group urges making the Memorial Union a "smoke-free" building.

December, 1971 -- In response to student demand, and by the efforts of faculty members Mildred Treumann and Sylvia Kruger, the first women's studies class is scheduled at MSC. 

January, 1972 -- Following a series of surveys carried out with students on the question of permitting co-educational dormitories, discussions begin on how such dorms would be organized and administered.  Consistent survey results showed that about one third of women on campus opposed co-ed dorms, about 90% of men favored such dorms.

January, 1972 -- Livonia ("Ma") Jackson, who had worked at Moorhead State for some 40 years, as cook and unofficial housemother for members of the Owls fraternity, passes away at age 74.

March, 1972 -- Construction of the planetarium in Bridges Hall is nearing completion.

April, 1972 -- Students begin a month-long campaign to convince the members of the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party (7th District) to pass a resolution supporting an amnesty for those who have resisted the military draft, but the campaign fails when the draft resolution is tabled at the DLF district caucus.

May, 1972 -- One of the last major anti-war rallies when 500 students protest US blockade of North Vietnam by marching through Moorhead to the Red River bridges, chanting "no more war" and handing out anti-war leaflets on the bridges.  Some drivers (and other students) mock the marchers, but other drivers "wave the peace sign."

July, 1972 -- The Minnesota Legislature amends the Public Employee Labor Relations Act (PELRA), granting all state employees the right to join a union.  As a result, the Inter-Faculty Organization (IFO), a multi-college lobbying group in existence since the 1960s, is organized as a union representing all state university faculty.  Negotiations for bi-annual contracts.

September, 1972 -- Classes begin at the MSC New Center (in Murray Commons), an "experimental, post-secondary educational option offering students individualized, cross-disciplinary options" for earning an Associate Arts degree (read New Center brochure).

September, 1972 -- As students age 18 to 20 register to vote in local and national elections, actress Shirley MacLaine campaigns in Fargo-Moorhead on behalf of Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern.

October, 1972 -- The college, in collaboration with the history department, establishes the Northwest Minnesota Historical Center, which is charged with the dual mission of training history students and preserving information concerning the history and culture of the Red River Valley. 

November, 1972 -- Although a poll suggests that more MSC voted for McGovern, Nixon is re-elected in a landslide (winning majorities in 49 of the 50 states). As he prepares for a second term, Nixon faces questions about the Watergate break-in.

January, 1973 -- Classes begin and several students take courses in the new American Studies major.

February, 1973 -- With state revenue strained by rising energy costs and inflation, all state colleges, including MSC, are faced with the "certainty" that tuition will be increased and some faculty and staff will be laid off.

April, 1973 -- Dorm RAs admit that they are "reluctant" to report violations of "alcohol and pot use" if "the rights of others are not being infringed upon."

May, 1973 -- As final exams loom, many Moorhead State students seek a break by attending George Carlin's appearance at NDSU.

May-June, 1973 -- After more than 800 students receive degrees in Spring Commencement, nearly three dozen faculty at MSC are informed that they will not be employed in the next fiscal year, due to revenue shortfall. 

July, 1973 -- MSC hosts its first "Old Fashion 4th of July" celebration, which is attended by over 1000 area residents.  The celebration improves campus-community relations and becomes a tradition.

September, 1973 -- Fall classes begin and Minnesota State College System Chancellor Theodore Mitau reminds students that "there are no perfect solutions in dealing with the many, very tough issues" that higher education is now wrestling with -- alcohol use, co-ed habitation, collective bargaining with faculty and staff, affirmative action, women's rights, and rising costs.  Mitau predicts that "frustrations will continue" as these issues are debated.

September, 1973 -- MSC unveils the new "College Constitution" under which the school is administrated.  Another new Federal law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) will now change the ways in which a student's grades and college record are made available to parents and employers.

October, 1973 -- In retaliation for US support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War, Middle East nations embargo oil exports until March 1974.  The price of gasoline and fuel oil quadruples -- from $12 per barrel to $75.  The ensuing inflation greatly increases the cost of college educations.

October, 1973 -- Enrollment at MSC has declined for the first time in many years -- about 4%, the registrar notes, from Fall count of students.

October, 1973 -- Student Senate passes resolution favoring impeachment of Richard Nixon for the Watergate cover-up.

November, 1973 -- Despite tight budgets, new equipment in the MSC TV Center (Weld Hall) is used to train students in modern telecommunications.

January, 1974 -- MSC Placement Director Werner Brand notes that the high price of gasoline has decreased the number of job recruiters on campus, especially among schools seeking new teachers.

March, 1974 -- "Streaking" craze reaches MSC campus.

April, 1974 -- MSC grants tenure to 14 professors, decline it to 4 others because of "budget difficulties."

May, 1974 -- Because of higher interest rates, new graduates face greater challenges in repaying student loans.  Annual expenses now range from $2000 to $2400 if a student "lives on campus."

August, 1974 -- "I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as President, I must put the interest of America first. . . .Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow." -- Richard Nixon, 8/8/74.