Histories of Students of Color at Oregon State University
On November 16, 2015, members of OSU’s students of color communities bravely shared their experiences of racism endured throughout their lives and as part of their educational experiences. The “Students of Color Speak Out” in Gill Coliseum was the result of a petition to President Ed Ray to address the students’ need for the university to prioritize their safety and well-being. The “Speak Out” concluded with a call to action for the administration to make institutional changes that move OSU toward being a more socially just and inclusive campus.
Students of color at OSU have a long history of joining together in solidarity. Their actions have resulted in positive changes across the campus that have benefited the entire OSU community. As the struggle toward social justice moves forward, this guidebook offers an opportunity to look back, to see the stories of those students who came before us and paved the way to where we are now. While historically the state of Oregon and OSU have had a tumultuous relationship with people of color, learning about that history can act as a means to move forward in partnership. Both the 2013 and 2015 ALS 199 “Untold Stories: Histories of People of Color in Oregon” classes, along with the Oregon Multicultural Archives, invite you to learn about the histories included in this guidebook and encourage you to take an active role in your community as well. We hope you enjoy this “Histories of Students of Color at Oregon State University” campus tour guidebook!
The Stories Shared, the Oregon Multicultural Archives, and the “Untold Stories: Histories of People of Color in Oregon” 2013 and 2015 Classes
ALS 199 “Untold Stories: Histories of People of Color in Oregon” was a Fall Term 2013 OSU U-Engage class in which students used the OSU Libraries’ Oregon Multicultural Archives to research and write about ten significant people, events, and locations pertaining to the history of students color at OSU. They learned what primary sources are; used critical thinking skills to locate, use, and cite various archival sources; and gained firsthand experience conducting archival research.
These stories, which highlighted the impact and contributions that students of color have had on the OSU campus, were then compiled into a campus tour guidebook. The 2013 edition of the guidebook celebrated the lives of the first female and male African Americans to graduate from OSU, documented student led protests in an effort to raise awareness of important issues, recounted the establishment of four of the campus cultural centers, detailed the desegregation of the men’s basketball team, and finally, honored the Japanese American students who were forced to leave their studies during World War II.
In the 2015 Fall Term, a new group of students researched and wrote about seven additional locations and events; the entries for the four cultural centers represented in the 2013 edition were updated to include photos of their beautiful new buildings; and the location that represented Bill Tebeau was changed from the Kelley Engineering Center to Tebeau Hall because in 2014 a new residence hall was named in his honor. The seven new locations and events include three cultural resource centers (CRCs) and four student-led protests and community initiatives. The three CRCs and their affiliated student of color groups include the recently established Ettihad Cultural Center, the Pride Center/SOL: LGBTQ+ Multicultural Support Network, and the Women’s Center / Women of Color Coalition. The four student- led protests and community initiatives include the 1996 All OSU Boycott and March, the 2014 Solidarity March, the 2014 Ferguson Community Dialogue and 2015 Die-In inspired by the national Black Lives Matter movement, and the formal recognition of Indigenous People’s Day in the city of Corvallis in 2015. There are more stories to be gathered and told in the Oregon Multicultural Archives and we hope that these stories inspire you to learn more about them and to share your own stories as well.
This website provides all of the content featured in the physical guidebook, however, if you would like a PDF version of the guidebook, there are two versions: one is the version to view digitally and the other is the version that when printed and folded in half becomes a booklet; and, both are available online.
Click Here for the Online Version of the Guidebook
For the print version of the booklet, click here for the print version of the file, then follow the instructions listed in the abstract.
And, be sure to check out the article about the guidebook in the Corvallis Gazette-Times!
Tour offers chance to experience ‘Untold Stories’ of OSU’s students of color