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Student Activism and Institutional Change - A Presentation

Student Activism and Institutional Change: A History of the Difference, Power, and Discrimination Program


In 1990 a group of Oregon State University student organizers sent a letter to then university president John Byrne with a series of proposals for addressing the climate on campus for underrepresented students following a series of racist incidents on campus. Among the student proposals was an item insisting that “the University must develop and implement a series of courses dealing with cultural and ethnic diversity, as well as racism/discrimination and their origins” (Concerned Students, 1990, pp. 17–18). This letter started a chain of events that ultimately led to the creation of the Difference, Power, and Discrimination (DPD) program. The creation of the DPD program and its continued survival at the institution is due to the combined efforts of multiple actors including students, faculty, the faculty senate, and the DPD program itself. Each of these entities have parallel histories on campus that intersected for the purpose of establishing and maintaining the DPD program. Through the use of university archival materials over the past twenty-five years this talk discusses the relationship between student activism, faculty involvement, and institutional change in the history of the Difference, Power, and Discrimination program at Oregon State University.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at 2:00pm to 3:00pm

The Valley Library, Willamette East
201 SW Waldo Place, Corvallis, OR 97331

Event Type

Lecture or Presentation

Event Topic

Academic, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion


Faculty and Staff, Student




OSU Libraries and Press

#Resident Scholar

Contact Name

Chris Petersen

Contact Email

Contact Phone


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