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S.F.V.S.C., November 4, 1968

Many are unaware that the campus unrest of the mid-1960s and early 1970s left a lasting impression on the campus of San Fernando Valley State College (now CSUN). Special Collections is home to several books and archival collections that discuss this discord, including two books representing different sides of what is known on campus as the "November 4th Incident."

The facts surrounding the incident are as follows: 

An on-field incident occurred between an African-American football player and his own (white) coach in which the coach (Markham) assaulted the player. The Black Student Union (BSU), led by Archie Chatman, demands Markham be fired for his actions. A meeting is held between Athletics Director, Glenn Arnett, and the BSU. The BSU insists on seeing acting campus president, Paul Blomgren. There is an apparent occupation of the Administration Building (now Bayramian Hall). A negotiation occurred (or demands were made) between Blomgren and BSU representatives that included educational reforms.

The 1971 book by Earl Anthony, The Time of the Furnaces, recounts the events surrounding November 4th as told by BSU students. In the telling, the students discuss what they considered on-going, systemic racism on- and off-campus and specifically within Athletics. They recount a meeting with Athletics Director Dr. Glenn Arnett, the decision to discuss the matter with Acting President Dr. Paul Blomgren, the walk to the Administration Building, and the ensuing events, up to and including their convictions on multiple felonies. 

Several members of the faculty and administration told their stories differently. Many of these renditions included terms such as "coerced," "intimidated," and "duress." Dr. Blomgren later said, "It appeared to me that the personal safety of the college personnel was definitely in jeopardy." 

The events are also retold in John Broesamle's Suddenly A Giant: A History of CSUN, in this case primarily through the recollections of Dr. Stanley Charnofsky, the (white) director of the Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) who had taken on the role of intermediary between the BSU and other factions on campus. In this version, the BSU wanted both Markham and Arnett fired. Charnofsky confirms Anthony's contention that Arnett passed responsibility to Blomgren but insists he could have dismissed Markham because he was a volunteer. 

These events polarized the campus for several years and their effects were even more long lasting. The negotiations subsequent to the November 4th Incident  resulted in an increase in the number of African-American and Chicana/o students admitted to the college as well as the creation of today's Africana Studies and Chicana/o Studies departments.  

In addition to these two books Special Collections and Archives holds Broesamle's research files, including several oral interviews conducted specifically for the book, the Campus Unrest and Related Campus Activities Collection, the Dr. Richard Abcarian Campus Unrest Collection, and the Campus Unrest Court Transcripts Collection, which deals with the appeals of many of those convicted on charges related to the "November 4th Incident". 

Statement by Dr. Paul Blomgren regarding Nov 4, 1968, Acting President San Fernando Valley State College. Campus Unrest and Related Campus Activities Collection.
Student flyer regarding arson in Administration Building, December 1968. Campus Unrest and Related Campus Activities Collection.
Parody of BSU Demands issued by SFVSC students sympathetic to the College Administration. Campus Unrest and Related Campus Activities Collection.
Letter from College Board of Trustees to all Faculty regarding community support for Administration, dated February 20, 1969. Dr. Richard Abcarian Campus Unrest Collection.
Page 1 of letter to Acting Campus President Delmar T. Oviatt regarding vigilante justice perpetrated by pro-administration students, January 20, 1969. Campus Unrest and Related Campus Activities Collection.
Page 2 of letter to Acting Campus President Delmar T. Oviatt regarding vigilante justice perpetrated by pro-administration students, January 20, 1969. Campus Unrest and Related Campus Activities Collection.
Statement to the Press issued by the November 4 Committee, dated November 8, 1968. Campus Unrest and Related Campus Activities Collection.
Page 1 of pro-Administration student newsletter, Open Campus. Includes a point-by-point discussion of BSUs 12 points, dated January 17, 1969. Campus Unrest and Related Campus Activities Collection.
Page 2 of pro-Administration student newsletter, Open Campus. Includes a point-by-point discussion of BSUs 12 points, dated January 17, 1969. Campus Unrest and Related Campus Activities Collection.
Student newsletter, OutCry, "Administration Conspired to Arrest Students," April 7, 1970. Campus Unrest and Related Campus Activities Collection.
Flyer for a rally in support of four BSU leaders convicted for their roles in the November 4th occupation of the SFVSC Administration Building. Campus Unrest and Related Campus Activities Collection.
Flyer, "Resist the B.S.U," ca. March 18, 1969. Campus Unrest and Related Campus Activities Collection.
Cover of student publication, Outcry. Includes student assemblies in the Open Forum free speech area of campus. Text of Articles I, IV, IX, and XIV of the US Constitution. Campus Unrest and Related Campus Activities Collection.
Cover of Scene magazine featuring SDS leader Cliff Fried, January 1969. LB3621.65 .S34
Index page from court transcript of appeal of several SFVSC students convicted for actions taken during the November 4th occupation of the Administration Building. Campus Unrest Court Transcripts Collection.
Flyer, "Give to the Student Bail Fund." Campus Unrest and Related Campus Activities Collection.
Cover of the SFVSC campus newspaper, the Sundial, from November 5, 1968. Dr. Richard Abcarian Campus Unrest Collection.
The SFVSC campus newspaper, the Sundial, from November 5, 1968. Dr. Richard Abcarian Campus Unrest Collection.

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