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“Five Demands” Exhibit Commemorates 40th Anniversary Of CCNY Campus Takeover

NEW YORK, April 24, 2009 – "The Five Demands: The Student Protest and Takeover of 1969," an exhibition to mark the 40th anniversary of a student occupation of The City College of New York (CCNY) campus, will be on display May 4 through July 24 in the Cohen Library Atrium and July 27 through October 28 in the Cohen Library Archives Gallery.

On April 22, 1969, a group of CCNY students, whose demands included greater minority enrollment, occupied the South Campus and Klapper Hall.They did not vacate the buildings until May 4, two weeks later.  The protest led to the implementation of The City University of New York's (CUNY) controversial open enrollment policy and resulted in the resignation of City College's seventh president, Dr. Buell Gallagher.

"The Five Demands" exhibit sets the takeover in historical context, noting anti-war activism and internal protests at City College in the earlier part of the 20th century; the pressing need to expand the College's mission and the broader influence of the tumultuous late 1960's as contributing factors," said Pamela Gillespie, Associate Dean and Chief Librarian of The City College Libraries.

"In addition, the exhibit examines the role of various ethnic groups on campus, in particular, African-American and Puerto Rican students, whose quest to achieve greater representation in the student body as well as in the curriculum, served as a catalyst for the protest," Dean Gillespie noted.It also reviews the evolution of the SEEK (Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge), Black Studies, Latin American Studies and Caribbean Studies programs at City College and the CUNY open enrollment policy.

"The Five Demands" exhibit is curated by Professors Philip Barnett, Judy Connorton, William Gibbons and Sydney Van Nort of The City College Libraries.  Adolfo Cuevas, a student in the Black Male Initiative at CCNY majoring in Psychology, was a contributing writer.

The exhibit is free and open to the public.Cohen Library is located in the North Academic Center Building.For more information about "The Five Demands: The Student Protest and Takeover of 1969" exhibit, please call the Cohen Library at (212) 650-7609.City College is located at 138th Street and Convent Avenue, Manhattan.

About The City College of New York

Since 1847 The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines.  Over 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College ofLiberal Arts and Sciences, The School of Architecture, The School of Education, The Grove School of Engineering and The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. For additional information,




Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580