Student Activism

August 28, 1998 • Volume 8, Issue 32
Are student protests still alive?
By David Masci

Introduction

Student protesters from the University of California sit in front of the federal building in Los Angeles on Oct. 23, 1996, to protest Proposition 209, ending affirmative action in California college admissions. (Photo Credit: Ben Margot, Associated Press)
Student protesters from the University of California sit in front of the federal building in Los Angeles on Oct. 23, 1996, to protest Proposition 209, ending affirmative action in California college admissions. (Photo Credit: Ben Margot, Associated Press)

Three decades ago, hundreds and thousands of student protesters marched for civil rights and an end to the Vietnam War. Today's activists say they are just as passionate about change as their predecessors, fighting for causes ranging from gay rights and environmental protection to affirmative action and workers' rights. But they complain that they do not get the media attention that they deserve, leaving the impression that students today are apathetic. Many of today's activists say they have been inspired to activism by their professors and that teachers should encourage students to care about and press for social and political change. Others, however, say that such behavior is inherently coercive, since professors grade students and thus have power over them.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Protest Movements and Counter Culture
Aug. 28, 1998  Student Activism
Jan. 04, 1991  The Growing Influence of Boycotts
Aug. 22, 1986  Student Politics 1980s Style
May 13, 1983  Christian Peace Movement
Apr. 08, 1970  Politics and Youth
Nov. 19, 1969  Challenges for The 1970s
Aug. 21, 1968  Reorganization of the Universities
Jan. 10, 1968  Universities and the Government
Jan. 03, 1968  Peace Movements in American Politics
Oct. 12, 1966  Alienated Youth
Feb. 24, 1966  Protest Movements in Time of War
May 19, 1965  Campus Unrest
Aug. 14, 1963  Mass Demonstrations
Dec. 11, 1957  Student Movements
Aug. 17, 1939  Conscientious Objection to War
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Civil Rights and Civil Liberty Issues
Student Movements
Undergraduate and Graduate Education