The bulk of student activism related to racial justice on UMD's campus began in the late 1960s. As the African American student community on campus grew, the Black Student Union (BSU) was formed in 1968, which provided a way for Black students to organize and advocate for racial justice at the university. That same year, the BSU led a protest on the steps of the Home Economics building in response to racial discrimination in a nutrition study as well as racial violence that had occurred on campus earlier in the year. In the years since, students have continued to organize in defense of racial justice, garnering media coverage in student newspapers and beyond as they fought on behalf of many causes, including: a lack of diversity in the student body, faculty, administration, and educational course catalog; the divestment of UMD funds from companies doing business in South Africa during Apartheid; the ruling that the Banneker scholarship in support of Black college students was unconstitutional; the renaming of Byrd Stadium on campus due to Byrd's storied history as a segregationist; the support of undocumented students amid political controversy over the DREAM Act; an ongoing history of hate crimes on campus; and police brutality across the nation as well as on campus and in P.G. County, most recently with the mobilization of Black Terps Matter, a campus initiative working in the vein of the larger Black Lives Matter movement. In 2016, a coalition named ProtectUMD petitioned the University in support of marginalized, Native American and Indigenous, Black, Latinx, LGBTQ+, Muslim, Pro-Palestine, and Undocumented students. The group utilized hashtags such as #ProtectUMD and #ADifferentUMD to organize, communicate, and share stories of underrepresented experiences on campus.
Efforts toward racial justice at UMD have been historically documented and often supported by student newspapers, especially those created to tell the stories and opinions of communities that were marginalized on campus. For more information, read our blog post about the creation of The Black Explosion in 1970 and search University Archives' digital database for issues of The Black Explosion, The Eclipse, La Voz Latina, The Asian Voice, Public Asian, Hanoori, Expression, and Mitzpeh. A guide on how to search the student newspapers can be found here.
Most of the records collections listed below are a part of the University Publications collection, which consists of a wide variety of printed materials produced by and about the various administrative units, academic departments, student groups, and athletic teams on the UMCP campus. Within this large collection are records of hundreds of Student Organizations and Student Publications. For additional collections, search our archival database here.