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Action Party collection


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 0

Action Party collection, circa 1964-1970 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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Collection Overview

Title: Action Party collection, circa 1964-1970Add to your cart.

ID: 3/RG 82/RG 82-7-1

Primary Creator: Action Party

Extent: 1.0 Cubic Feet

Arrangement: The files are organized by topic or record format.

Date Acquired: 10/23/2007

Subjects: College student government - Illinois - Carbondale, College students - Civil rights, College students - Legal status, laws, etc., College students - Political activity - Illinois, Student movements - Illinois - Carbondale

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Action Party collection consists of various records documenting the party’s political agenda and activities pertaining to student rights at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in the 1960s.  The records include party constitutions and by-laws, policies, membership records, correspondence, and voting records.  Other records include minutes, legislative bills, financial records, constitutions, and policies of the university’s Student Government, with emphasis on the Action Party’s involvement in student government.  Also included are clippings and issues of KA, a banned student-edited insert in the Daily Egyptian, on Action Party and Student Government activities in the 1960s.  Political activity in these papers document the women’s curfew, transportation and motorcycle rights, an experimental final examination schedule, among other topics.

Biographical Note

The Action Party was the first student political party on campus at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC).  The party began in the spring of 1965 as the Rational Action Movement, and its establishment was influenced by the 1964-1965 Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley.  It was a student led movement against “in loco parentis” rules and regulations imposed upon students at SIUC, and advocated for various student’s rights causes.

Shortly after 1965 the Rational Action Movement evolved into the Action Party.  At the time, it was against university policy to allow students to form political parties.  But the party was eventually approved by the Dean of Students.  It was committed to nonviolent political action through the student government political process and discussions with university administration.  Party members attended resident hall meetings to promote the group.  The nonviolent approach and promotional efforts gave the party broad appeal.  It was comprised mostly of students ages 20 and older, and included students of Greek organizations, Young Republicans, and Young Democrats.  From roughly 1966-1968, the party achieved significant representation in SIUC’s student government.

The Action Party campaigned against the limited visiting hours in the women's dormitories, the curfew imposed on women students, issues pertaining to the curriculum and General Studies, experimental final exam scheduling, the administrative attempt to shorten spring break, the administrative censorship of the Daily Egyptian, and issues pertaining to student motorcycle rights on campus, among other causes.  The Action Party was also responsible for bringing entertainment to campus including the New Christy Minstrels and The Supremes.  The Action Party was not a catalyst in the student protests against the Center for Vietnamese Studies and the Vietnam War that eventually closed campus in May 1970.  Robert Wenc, former SIUC student and chairman of the Action Party, credited the violent nature of the Vietnam protests as a reason the party was not involved.  While the exact date of the party's dissolution is unclear, it had lost influence by 1970 as the Vietnam protestors became increasingly active and prominent.

Subject/Index Terms

College student government - Illinois - Carbondale
College students - Civil rights
College students - Legal status, laws, etc.
College students - Political activity - Illinois
Student movements - Illinois - Carbondale

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright.  Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection.  Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Acquisition Source: Accession 681

Acquisition Method: Gift from Robert Wenc.

Preferred Citation: [Items], Action Party collection, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Processing Information: Processed by Brooke Dunn in April 2015.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],

Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Clippings, circa 1965Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Clippings, circa 1965Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Letters of support to student government candidates, circa 1969Add to your cart.
Folder 4: New Student Week, 1964Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Miscellaneous, circa 1964Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Correspondence, circa 1965Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Letters to the editor, 1963-1967Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Spectator and Action Party Bulletins, 1966-1968Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Propoganda, circa 1965Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Experimental Final Exam Schedule, 1964Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Coleman Commission Report, 1965Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Model United Nations, circa 1966Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Magazines, 1967Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Student Government and Student Council Documents, circa 1968Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Finances of Student Government and Student Council, 1963-1965Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Constitution documents of Student Government and Student Council, circa 1966Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Student Council Minutes, 1964-1970Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Student Council Bills and Resolutions, circa 1966Add to your cart.
Volume 1: History of Student Council, circa 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Action Party platform and policies, circa 1968Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Action Party voting records, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 21: Action Party meetings, 1966Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Rational Action Movement Consitution and By-Laws, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 23: Case Study of Rational Action Movement, 1966Add to your cart.
Folder 24: Action Party Membership, circa 1966Add to your cart.

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