Strike at San Fransisco State College
In the meantime at San Francisco State College, students in the Third World Liberation Front (TWLF), a coalition of African-American, Latino, and Asian-American student groups, began demanding reforms that addressed the concerns of students of color and the surrounding community. After more than a year of negotiating with the school and organizing students, they called a strike on November 6, 1968, that became the longest student strikein United States history. When it was finally settled in March 1969, many of the students' demands were met, including the establishment of a School of Ethnic Studies.
San Francisco State College
The 1960s were turbulent years. The United States was unpopularly involved in the war in Vietnam, and political unrest ran high at colleges and universities across the country.
At the time, San Francisco State College had an enrollment of approximately 18,000 students. Characterized as an open campus, San Francisco State was known for its innovative approaches to teaching and the development of courses in conjunction with students.
Political turmoil on campus began in 1968 when a Black Panther member, George Murray, was dismissed from school, and student militants called a strike. Using terrorist tactics, these groups intimidated and physically threatened students and professors if they crossed the picket line. Some of their demands included the formulation of an autonomous black studies department, promotion to full professor of a faculty member who had one year's experience, the firing of a white administrator, and the admission of all black students who applied for the next academic year.
While sympathetic to student needs, Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa felt a...
... middle of paper ...
...co police department to maintain peace.
In March 1969, after two months of negotiations, an agreement was reached with the teacher's union. Hayakawa again conceded some demands but held firm on others. At the same time, militant student leaders relinquished some of their original demands and worked out a settlement. The cooperation Hayakawa had sought was finally being realized.
With the media coverage of San Francisco State, Hayakawa launched himself into the public eye. A Gallup poll conducted during the student uprising found S. I. Hayakawa to be the most admired educator in the United States. Among civic clubs and the lay public, Hayakawa represented a no-nonsense position that people identified with. Invited to deliver speeches throughout the country, he used this opportunity to launch a political career that would eventually lead him to the U.S. Senate.