You SHOULD…Watch: Diary of a Student Revolution

 

“You SHOULD…Watch: Diary of a Student Revolution

This documentary, part of the UConn Library’s Archives & Special Collections, portrays the conflict between the radical student movement and President Homer D. Babbidge at the University of Connecticut over ten days in the Fall of 1968.  In addition to its spontaneous takes and candid behind the scenes footage, this minimally narrated piece of Vietnam-era journalism about a very local place in America documents the range of voices, gathering places, and aesthetics of dissent at an important moment in our campus’ history.  In a period when the American invasion of Vietnam was shaken by the Tet Offensive earlier that year, the draft of eligible young men into the military continued, the lack of diversity in the student and faculty body on campus was evident, and the administration’s business as usual approach to campus recruitment for the petrochemical industry drew out students who sought to ‘bring the war home.’  Despite its brevity in timespan, this 1-hour film makes accessible a corresponding archival collection measuring roughly 30 linear feet of Administrative Records, Press Clippings, Underground Newspapers, Photographs, Student Government Documents, SDS Fliers and Posters which document the “Crisis at UConn.”

Diary of a Student Revolution poses many questions to the archive about the role of institutional memory and its power to document, surveil or reflect; its ability to share the voices held within and what they may say of the present; as well as its role in erasure and resuscitation of the historical past.  As documented, student chants of “Keep the Status Quo” mirrored those sentiments of the silent majority which would lead this country to seven more years of war and a deepening rift between parents and children, workers and students, soldiers and statesmen.  This film gives me hope for a student body to make change by clamoring for the impossible till it grows from a din to a deafening.”

 –

Graham Stinnett
Archivist
Human Rights and Alternative Press Collections
UConn Library

Diary of a Student Revolution (1969):

http://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A860070394

 

D’Archive Ep. 4 “Abbie Hoffman, UConn and the War in Vietnam”(2017):

http://whus.org/2017/09/darchive-episode-4-abbie-hoffman-uconn-and-the-war-in-vietnam/

 

UConn Archives Alternative Press Collection:

http://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A19920001