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Student Protests Collection

Identifier: U219


The Student Protests Collection is a collection of materials related to student protests, whether against the University, as in the case of a tuition protest, or American policies, as in the case of Woodstock West and anti-draft demonstrations. The collection includes newspaper clippings as well as University documents and other published material.


  • 1911-1991


Digital Repository

Student Protests Collection

Biographical / Historical

The University of Denver has experienced protests by students since early in its history. Most of the early protests were about internal University issues, such as disciplinary actions or tuition increases. Later protests were generally about national and international issues, joining national student protest movements.

The earliest protest relates to a 1911 strike by students in support of twenty members of the Junior class disciplined for rioting at a school event. The latest in the collection is about the Gulf War of 1991. In between, students protested such issues as tuition hikes or against a preacher who opposed Kennedy's election because he was Catholic.

As with most Universities, the majority of the protests happened in the 1960s and 1970s, when the Vietnam War and the draft were the focus. There was a major sit-in in 1968 which began with protests of recruitment on campus by the CIA and Dow Chemical, but expanded to encompass a general Student Bill of Rights allowing students to determine policies on student governance.

The most well-known protest happened in 1970, when students erected Woodstock West on the Carnegie Green as part of a national student strike protesting the killing of students at Kent State by National Guard troops. The student body and faculty were split between supporters of the strike and those who stood behind Chancellor Mitchell as he demanded the cessation of protest. The police were called, the shanties were pulled down only to be rebuilt. Finally the National Guard were called in and Woodstock West was dismantled peacefully.

After Woodstock West, the energy left the protest movements. There were small protests over the Iranian takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran, the Tienemen (Tiananmen, Tienanmen, Tien'an Men) Square in China and the Gulf War in 1991.


5 Linear Feet (3 letter document boxes, 4 legal document boxes, 1 flat box 15 x 19 x 3 inches)

Scope and Contents

The Student Protests Collection contains information on student protests from a 1911 protest over a University disciplinary action to the 1991 Gulf War. Included are Administration documents related to the protests and responses, faculty responses and involvement, and material created by the students, such as fliers, statements, and posters. Also included are numerous newspaper clippings about the events and, especially for Woodstock West, publications on the happenings.


The Student Protests are organized into three series: 1. Student Protests, General. 2. 1968 Sit-In. 3. Woodstock West. There is an online supplement at

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Material was accumulated by various faculty and staff members during and after the events.


This collection is closed. Further student protests will be processed under the University of Denver Records Management Program.

Related Materials

Related materials will be found in: Richard Wihera Woodstock West Photographs, M473, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Denver, Denver, Colo.


Description rules
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428