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  • 1970s

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  • 1970s Timeline

    February, 1970 -- The faculty having agreed to be evaluated (for the first time) by the students, one-page evaluations of faculty teaching are to be carried out at end of winter quarter. The Mystic (established off-campus as a student newspaper to replace the suspended Mistic) praises this long-sought accomplishment.

    May, 1970 -- The nation is stunned on May 4 by the incident at Kent State University (Ohio) when national guard troops fired on protesting students, killing four and crippling others. MSC is one of the few campuses to hold a memorial service to commemorate not only the Kent State victims, but also two African-Americans killed at Jackson State College (Mississippi) where state police fired on a protest there on May 14. A moratorium is then called at MSC, suspending normal classes and effectively ending the spring term -- some students attend Vietnam-related teach-ins, others leave for an early summer break.

    In 1970, three new buildings were completed and opened on campus: Murray Commons (planned as a second dining hall for a growing student body; a new, fifteen-story dormitory (to be Neumaier Hall); and King Biology Hall (see King dedication information). In administrative changes, Don Engberg is named Registrar and will supervise the transformation of student record keeping from a paper to a computerized system.

    September, 1970 -- Classes begin and Abbie Hoffman (of the "Chicago Seven") speaks at MSC on invitation from students. Hoffman entertains (and offends) his audience, making jokes about "farmer bumpkin protestors." The Mystic notes that many "walked out on Hoffman," and that his issuing a call for "Up against the wheat-fields" might gain few converts to a "new revolution ...much of the audience seemed bored."

    September, 1970 -- Incoming fresh-women are encouraged by upper classmen to note the "policy allowing the parents of freshmen daughters to determine the hours that the student should keep" by obtaining "written parental consent to determine her own hours" when coming and going in dorms.

    November, 1970 -- A delegation of MSC students meet with Moorhead police to discuss recent "drug raids" and other incidents in which citizens' rights may have been violated. A more minor scandal is exposed when a student reveals the existence of a comprehensive "midterms and finals file" used by MSC students to cheat on exams.

    December, 1970 -- President Dille sends an "olive branch" letter to the Independent Mystic -- "every week has its tensions, but every day presents us with opportunities for victories of communication and rational discussion" in the changing educational mission of the college (read Dille's letter).

    Discussions and studies are undertaken through 1970 on the subject of alcohol use on campus. Three options are considered -- seek to gain permission to allow on-campus students, 21 and older, to use alcohol in their rooms; gain permission to open a campus; retain the current rules barring alcohol use on campus, with more lenient penalties for violations.

    January, 1971 -- Activist student Tim Madigan, claiming to represent the "Conspiracy to Take Advantage of Technicalities," charges that MSC students who are members of the ROTC program violate the student conduct code by having firearms on campus. Pressure to ban all ROTC activities at MSC (and other colleges) has grown since the Kent State incident in 1970.

    January, 1971 -- Large numbers of students worry about the announced raise in tuition cost for the next academic year -- rising 25% from $6.25 per credit to $8 per credit.

    February, 1971 -- John Sherman, professor of English, gives lectures on "Women in the Workplace," noting that women are "treated as commodities" in jobs where "conditions are lousy, women are not protected from harassment and they still are badly paid." This is true for colleges and universities as well as mainstream businesses, he notes.

    February, 1971 -- About 125 students rally on campus to protest the presence of US troops in Laos. Noting the small numbers in the protest, and the increasing withdrawal of US troops in Vietnam, a "conservative student" predicts that "radical chic" politics is "losing its appeal." The decline in the military draft is mirrored in a nationwide drop in college enrolments.

    March, 1971 -- The MSC Intra-Resident Hall Council, in an ongoing effort to change dormitory regulations and end curfews for women, begin to sell "birth control handbooks" to students and campus organizations at cost -- 8-and-a-half cents per copy.

    April, 1971 -- Outgoing Student Senate President Tom Clark admits that he is glad to see his term end. "As MSC's first non-Greek [fraternity-backed] president, I'm glad it's over," because trying to effect change is very hard when most of the "student body are basically an unconcerned bunch of people."

    May, 1971 -- After trying several expedients to continue publishing, including a short-lived attempt to merge with editing staff at North Dakota State University, the editors of the Independent Mystic announce the last issue of the newspaper, due to financial difficulties.

    June, 1971 -- The last class graduates at the MSC Campus High School. The elementary campus school will not accept more students and plans to close in June 1972, with some teachers assigned to new duties.

    September, 1971 -- "Moorhead State College has an on-campus, student-subsidized newspaper for the first time since the spring of 1969" -- the first story in the Moorhead State Advocate. The new editorial staff pledge to act as a voice "for many voices," and to "strive to see both sides of an issue."

    September, 1971 -- MSC sophomore Rochelle Callendar is named "Miss Black Minnesota" in St. Paul pageant. The prizes for winning include a $500 scholarship.

    October, 1971 -- The new Olympic-size swimming pool opens at Nemzek Field House.

    November, 1971 -- Student group urges making the Memorial Union a "smoke-free" building.

    December, 1971 -- In response to student demand, and by the efforts of faculty members Mildred Treumann and Sylvia Kruger, the first women's studies class is scheduled at MSC.

    January, 1972 -- Following a series of surveys carried out with students on the question of permitting co-educational dormitories, discussions begin on how such dorms would be organized and administered. Consistent survey results showed that about one third of women on campus opposed co-ed dorms, about 90% of men favored such dorms.

    January, 1972 -- Livonia ("Ma") Jackson, who had worked at Moorhead State for some 40 years, as cook and unofficial housemother for members of the Owls fraternity, passes away at age 74.

    March, 1972 -- Construction of the planetarium in Bridges Hall is nearing completion.

    April, 1972 -- Students begin a month-long campaign to convince the members of the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party (7th District) to pass a resolution supporting an amnesty for those who have resisted the military draft, but the campaign fails when the draft resolution is tabled at the DLF district caucus.

    May, 1972 -- One of the last major anti-war rallies when 500 students protest US blockade of North Vietnam by marching through Moorhead to the Red River bridges, chanting "no more war" and handing out anti-war leaflets on the bridges. Some drivers (and other students) mock the marchers, but other drivers "wave the peace sign."

    July, 1972 -- The Minnesota Legislature amends the Public Employee Labor Relations Act (PELRA), granting all state employees the right to join a union. As a result, the Inter-Faculty Organization (IFO), a multi-college lobbying group in existence since the 1960s, is organized as a union representing all state university faculty. Negotiations for bi-annual contracts.

    September, 1972 -- Classes begin at the MSC New Center (in Murray Commons), an "experimental, post-secondary educational option offering students individualized, cross-disciplinary options" for earning an Associate Arts degree (read New Center brochure).

    September, 1972 -- As students age 18 to 20 register to vote in local and national elections, actress Shirley MacLaine campaigns in Fargo-Moorhead on behalf of Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern.

    October, 1972 -- The college, in collaboration with the history department, establishes the Northwest Minnesota Historical Center, which is charged with the dual mission of training history students and preserving information concerning the history and culture of the Red River Valley.

    November, 1972 -- Although a poll suggests that more MSC voted for McGovern, Nixon is re-elected in a landslide (winning majorities in 49 of the 50 states). As he prepares for a second term, Nixon faces questions about the Watergate break-in.

    January, 1973 -- Classes begin and several students take courses in the new American Studies major.

    February, 1973 -- With state revenue strained by rising energy costs and inflation, all state colleges, including MSC, are faced with the "certainty" that tuition will be increased and some faculty and staff will be laid off.

    April, 1973 -- Dorm RAs admit that they are "reluctant" to report violations of "alcohol and pot use" if "the rights of others are not being infringed upon."

    May, 1973 -- As final exams loom, many Moorhead State students seek a break by attending George Carlin's appearance at NDSU.

    May-June, 1973 -- After more than 800 students receive degrees in Spring Commencement, nearly three dozen faculty at MSC are informed that they will not be employed in the next fiscal year, due to revenue shortfall.

    July, 1973 -- MSC hosts its first "Old Fashion 4th of July" celebration, which is attended by over 1000 area residents. The celebration improves campus-community relations and becomes a tradition.

    September, 1973 -- Fall classes begin and Minnesota State College System Chancellor Theodore Mitau reminds students that "there are no perfect solutions in dealing with the many, very tough issues" that higher education is now wrestling with -- alcohol use, co-ed habitation, collective bargaining with faculty and staff, affirmative action, women's rights, and rising costs. Mitau predicts that "frustrations will continue" as these issues are debated.

    September, 1973 -- MSC unveils the new "College Constitution" under which the school is administrated. Another new Federal law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) will now change the ways in which a student's grades and college record are made available to parents and employers.

    October, 1973 -- In retaliation for US support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War, Middle East nations embargo oil exports until March 1974. The price of gasoline and fuel oil quadruples -- from $12 per barrel to $75. The ensuing inflation greatly increases the cost of college educations.

    October, 1973 -- Enrollment at MSC has declined for the first time in many years -- about 4%, the registrar notes, from Fall count of students.

    October, 1973 -- Student Senate passes resolution favoring impeachment of Richard Nixon for the Watergate cover-up.

    November, 1973 -- Despite tight budgets, new equipment in the MSC TV Center (Weld Hall) is used to train students in modern telecommunications.

    January, 1974 -- MSC Placement Director Werner Brand notes that the high price of gasoline has decreased the number of job recruiters on campus, especially among schools seeking new teachers.

    March, 1974 -- "Streaking" craze reaches MSC campus.

    April, 1974 -- MSC grants tenure to 14 professors, decline it to 4 others because of "budget difficulties."

    May, 1974 -- Because of higher interest rates, new graduates face greater challenges in repaying student loans. Annual expenses now range from $2000 to $2400 if a student "lives on campus."

    August, 1974 -- "I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as President, I must put the interest of America first. . . .Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow." -- Richard Nixon, 8/8/74.

    September, 1974 -- The administration assures students that the school has sufficient fuel oil for even a "harsh winter." In addition, lawsuits filed across the state challenge the regulation that freshmen are required to live on campus.

    October, 1974 -- Overall enrollment in the state college system declines for the second straight year, to 4700, with rising costs being the main reason why fewer students are choosing college.

    October, 1974 -- 24 women in the MSC faculty file suit, claiming that the college is violating the Equal Pay Act by paying women lower salaries for the same work load as that given to male faculty.

    November, 1974 -- Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion," a new show (debuting in 1973) with rising popularity, airs an episode that was taped in Moorhead two weeks earlier; popular movies among the students this month -- The Longest Yard, starring Burt Reynolds, Death Wish, starring Charles Bronson, and Benji, starring a dog.

    December, 1974 -- State College Board considers ordering colleges to drop majors that have "low enrollment" for cost of operation, raising fears that this would lead to further layoffs. In better news, regulation requiring freshmen to live on campus is repealed.

    January, 1975 -- After consuming a record 819,000 gallons for heating oil in 1974, MSC Vice President of Administrative Affairs issues an energy conservation plan for 1975.

    January-February, 1975 -- Advocate publishes series of articles on Moorhead State history, to mark 90th anniversary of founding of the college in 1885. College holds official celebration at local Ramada Inn (where many students can legally buy alcohol).

    April, 1975 -- MSU New Center is featured at national Change in Liberal Education (CILE) conference.

    May, 1975 -- MSU administration announces that tuition reciprocity with North Dakota, and another tuition increase, are "virtually assured" outcomes of the current Minnesota legislative session.

    August, 1975 -- As a result of actions taken by the Minnesota legislature, all state colleges become universities. Moorhead State University officially marks the occasion on August 1 (read commemoration speech).

    September, 1975 -- Classes begin with overcrowded dorms, where some sleep in lounge areas while room repairs are completed. Thanks to a tuition reciprocity agreement with North Dakota, NDSU students can more easily attend MSU classes.

    October, 1975 -- Campus wrestles with how the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act should be enforced in classrooms, dorms, etc.

    October, 1975 -- Advocate profiles Diane Hitterdal, first female officer in the Moorhead Police Department; editor asks, why are there no female security personnel at University? See essay on women at MSU during the 1970s.

    December, 1975 -- MSU President Dille meets with Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council to discuss future needs for off-campus housing for the growing number of off-campus students, older-than-average and married students.

    January, 1976 -- The "bicentennial year" begins with sub-zero temperatures, heavy snows, and an ongoing study of how MSU can provide more parking.

    February, 1976 -- The MSU Health Center is renamed Hendrix Health, in honor of Noble Hendrix, who as Dean of Students, modernized the health services in the 1960s.

    March, 1976 -- Serious planning begins to implement the Title IX changes in athletics (see the first planning document for Title IX at MSU).

    April, 1976 -- Advocate publishes feature articles on Title IX issues.

    May, 1976 -- MSU baseball team ends season with a disappointing 2-12 conference record. Rising costs of sports equipment, travel and expenses are being raised about the future of some team sports at MSU.

    September, 1976 -- Although the budget remains tight, MSU begins fall classes with rising enrollment, dorms fully occupied, a victory over Concordia College in their annual football game -- and the annual complaint that the school sells "more parking permits than there are spaces for parking" (permits are $9 per quarter of classes).

    October, 1976 -- The majority of MSU students say they plan to vote for Jimmy Carter in the upcoming election. Some say they hope his "moral values" will help the nation recover from Vietnam and Watergate.

    November, 1976 -- MSU alumni of the 1960s talk to Advocate reporter Tim Connolly about going to Moorhead State in the early sixties. "It was nice," says one, "small enough to know everyone and be a part of everything that went on." But "students are always about the same," says another, noting that nostalgia colors every memory.

    December, 1976 -- Staff at the Office of University Relations ask students to contribute photographs toward the publication of a 1977 yearbook, the first attempt at a yearbook since 1971. The slim volume will sell for $4.95.

    January, 1977 -- While some students debate President Jimmy Carter's recent pardon of Vietnam-era draft evaders, the MSU Career and Placement Office announces plans to refocus efforts. With a "tough job market," the Office will move from helping seniors learn about jobs to "proper planning during one's entire college experience." Workshops to "improve job-seeking skills" are being scheduled throughout the winter quarter.

    March, 1977 -- Advocate editorial expresses concern that grades at MSU are being inflated; "students getting workless A's" harm the school's reputation.

    April, 1977 -- A bill supported by all the state universities is stalled in the legislature. The bill would grant special "emeritus status" to long-serving faculty, permitting them to teach one-third class loads and act as mentors to new faculty. The bill is never enacted.

    May, 1977 -- MSU Vice-president Robert Hanson resigns to accept position as president of Winona State University.

    May, 1977 -- As graduation looms, Student Affairs office releases results of a "dropout survey" conducted in the fall quarter -- primary reasons for students dropping out of school are financial problems; feeling isolated; seeking a different program or major; and "boredom" with classes.

    September, 1977 -- Fall enrolment now exceeds 6000. Minors in Fine Arts and Humanities Studies join Women's Studies as programs in the MSU Humanities program.

    October, 1977 -- The Advocate focuses on "Student Power" on campus, citing changes in programs and facilities to meet student needs. Looking back over the pervious ten years, Roland Dille notes "the day that the students stop being interested in what goes on here is the day we are dead as an institution."

    November, 1977 -- As chair of the MSU Computer Sciences department, Professor Martin Holoien predicts that computer programming will become the "fastest growing profession" in the coming decade -- "the job placement rate for computer science majors is 100 percent."

    November, 1977 -- Advocate interview with 'Paul,' an MSU student who is gay; Paul hopes that the college will encourage a "gay conscientiousness group" so that "homosexuality on campus will become more open."

    January, 1978 -- Most members of the Student Senate abstain from voting on a resolution that "no student will be discriminated against because of sexual orientation" -- resolution fails for lack of votes.

    February, 1978 -- Dennis Mathiason, professor of chemistry, offers a night class on the techniques of developing solar energy.

    March, 1978 -- MSU Housing Office begins remodeling dorms to provide better handicap access.

    April, 1978 -- Student Senate passes resolution in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment.

    May, 1978 -- MSU seniors graduate, with much publicity for Ed Schultz (quarterback) and Jeff Tesch (tight end) who will receive free agent tryouts in the NFL after their standout college football careers.

    September, 1978 -- Tuition reciprocity now exist with both North and South Dakota, raising enrollment above 6600. As classes begin, Moorhead Police investigate charges that two MSU students assaulted a Concordia College freshman while "stealing his beanie."

    October, 1978 -- MSU Associate Dean of Students Eileen Hume takes part in a community open forum on abortion, in which she states she opposes abortion but feels "no woman should be required to have a child."

    November, 1978 -- Opposing candidates for Congress, Glen Westrom (DFL) and Arlan Stangeland (GOP) debate in Clay County, disagreeing over the proper level of funding for the US Department of Education. Stangeland wins the election.

    February, 1979 -- In a publicity event, members of the Minnesota Vikings (NFL) play an on-campus exhibition basketball match against members of the MSU track team; the Vikings win 97-47.

    March, 1979 -- MSU track star Ron Graham is honored after winning the NAIA Indoor Championship for the 2 mile run, the first MSU athlete to win a a national title. The Dragon Track team goes on to win its 9th NIC indoor title in 10 years.

    April, 1979 -- Hundreds of MSU students help sandbag homes along the Red River in the worst spring flooding in ten years.

    May, 1979 -- As seniors prepare to graduate, the likelihood of another tuition increase is announced; it seems "inevitable," a state education press release states, that tuition raises will become "annual or bi-annual events."

    September, 1979 -- Classes begin with over 7200 full- and part-time students registered, a record enrollment. But on-campus housing is filled beyond its 2340 bed capacity.

    September, 1979 -- The 10th anniversary of the Tri-College agreement is marked with record cross-college class arrangements; 2500 NDSU and Concordia students attend at least one MSU class and 1900 MSU student take a class at NDSU or/and Concordia. The future looks promising.

    October, 1979 -- When campus maintenance officials announce that Neumaier Hall has "sunk slightly to one side" by about one inch, a student suggests in the Advocate: "everyone should go up to the fifteenth floor and run to the opposite side to push it back"

    November, 1979 -- With enrollment rising, MSU requests a $1.25 million increase for more housing in the next biennial budget.

    November, 1979 -- Minnesota Governor Albert Quie, on a visit to Moorhead, warns students that revoking the study visas of Iranian students in the US would be unwise. "It's time to use cool heads" to protect the lives of Americans held hostage in Iran.

    December, 1979 -- Moorhead State looks at inaugurating a comprehensive "Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures" statement. The policy seems "a logical idea," given that the dorms are now co-educational and "male faculty feel some women students act seductive for better grades." 

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