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1969 Admissions Office Takeover

Clinton Etheridge Jr. '69 and Don Mizell '71

Clinton Etheridge Jr. '69 and Don Mizell '71

In 1969, Swarthmore College’s Black protest movement, spearheaded by students in SASS, took over the Admissions Office demanding increased black enrollment. Their actions, supported by the majority of Black students including those who were not formally a part of SASS, came in response to dwindling numbers of Black students and to the insensitivity and lack of administrative support for Black students on campus.

During the sit-in, classes were suspended, the faculty met in continuous session and negotiated privately with SASS,  and the student body held plenary sessions and moderate and radical caucus meetings. The Phoenix published a daily supplement that detailed the proceedings.

SASS ended the takeover after the unexpected death of President Courtney Smith in his office. It had lasted eight days.