89.1 WEMU

Looking Back & Moving Forward: Archiving Student Activism At EMU

Jul 26, 2018

EMU archivist Alexis Braun Marks (left) and former EMU student and activist Bob Smith (right)
Credit Lisa Barry

An oral history recording of former students at Eastern Michigan University is taking place Saturday, July 28th on the EMU campus.

The event will be recorded for the University archives and includes alumni who held protests and demonstrations in the late 1960's and early 1970's.

89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry spoke to one of those students Bob Smith and current EMU archivist Alexis Braun Marks about the history preserving event...


Nearly 50 years after student activists arranged and participated in protests and demonstrations at EMU, they are returning to campus to talk about what happened as part of an oral history recording.

The alumni will focus primarily on what happened in February in 1969, when students took over Pierce Hall on campus.

Smith recalls he was arrested and charged for the event but was eventually vindicated.

Pierce Hall was the site of a student sit-in in 1969.
Credit Eastern Michigan University

The goal of the event is to hear another aspect of what happened to capture history and provide a lesson for current and future University students.

EMU archivist Alexis Braun Marks says the panel discussion will provide concrete advice for student activists on campus today and will be open to the public for viewing.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu