The Case for Participation
Following the tumultuous tidal wave of social change created in the 1960s, the 1970s and 1980s came to represent a period of general stability and conservatism. For a new generation of college students, though, this assumption could not be farther from the truth.
As one of the most diverse generations yet seen on Mount Holyoke College’s campus, the students of the late 1970s and early 1980s faced a future defined by rapidly changing technology, thousands of new career opportunities, and internationalism on a massive scale. However, in examining their goals, these students also faced a dilemma. Mount Holyoke College’s curriculum, though gradually adapting to the new era, still reflected traditional academia in the study of predominantly white, male, and European views of the world.
Additionally, in the process of altering the curriculum, students were excluded or else hidden behind faculty and staff discussions so that the historic records of their influence on scholastic decisions are diluted or entirely absent. “The Case for Participation” document, written by several students of the Student Government Association in 1968, strove to change this culture of absolute administrative control by encouraging and, in fact, demanding that students be more involved in all College decisions, especially curricular ones.
Jorie Thuon, Class of 2019