4 thoughts on “Days of May: Inside the infamous flagpole standoff that put ISU on the brink

  1. E Fizer III says:

    As one of the first African American Academic Senators, I would love to see our stories told as part of the modernity and evolution of ISU as well.

    E. Fizer III ’79
    Political Science

  2. Earl Woods says:

    I remember hat time in 1970 very well. As a black student I felt various forms of discrimination from the community. The student body and faculty were much better. My biggest disappointment was having a former student from a Chicago school complaining of blatant discrimination from members of the cheer leaders of which she was a member with the sponsor doing very little to negate the behavior. As a result I have had very little to do with the university since my graduation in 1972.

  3. Ray Fenton says:

    As the most junior of faculty members in Speech-Communication I remember crossing the campus a few times a day to meet with the students in Speech 110 classes. We held class but about 1/3 of the students choose to join or observe the protests. As John Kirk noted faculty were on a sort of informal patrol to keep the peace. What impressed me most were the Vietnam Vets Against the War who also circulated to keep things calm and at time were a buffer between groups. I lived in Normal and was sorry that some of the Normal politicians and police seemed to work to exacerbate and exploit what was a tense situation. The good people of ISU – students, teachers, and colleagues – are always close to my heart.

  4. Kristen Eilts says:

    When I was an undergrad in the late 90s I worked for the construction council locally. I was talking to my boss (an old union guy) about how awesome the new lab building was and he mentioned how Julian Hall (attached to SLB) was named “because they had to name a building after a “black”, only he didn’t say black. It shocked me at the time because I had never heard my boss say one racist thing ever. It strikes me now that he was very likely one of those construction workers at the flagpole or knew some of them. I had no idea that these events even occurred (my parents were at WIU in the late 60s/early 70s). To current students it seems completely obvious that the Science Lab Building is attached to a building named for a brilliant chemist. The fact that it may have been named for Julian because he was an activist instead because he was a scientist does not change his importance as both.

    Kristen Eilts BS ’98, MS ’17