The ’60s: We’re not talking revolution

By Ryan Laverty

The ’60s was a decade of uprising and revolution. Campuses across the continent came alive with the sentiments of people like Manuel Neira and Eldridge Cleaver. Students began to challenge the authority of the institution and right-wing ideology was rapidly swept under the rug in exchange for a new, more liberal idea of post-secondary education: Minds in every institution across North America began to flicker with the flame of change–every institution except the University of Calgary. Well, that may overstate reality but while long-standing schools like California-Berkley fought "The Man," the ’60s was a time for the U of C to lay its foundation.

Sept.15, 1961

The Board of Governors announced the appointment of University of Alberta, at Calgary’s first principal, Dr. M.G. Taylor. Apparently people born in the first few decades of the 1900s were not given true first names, only initials.

Sept. 24, 1961

The Newman Club is still in its toddler stages on campus. No, this club was not in celebration of the Dinos’ longtime Sports Information Director Jack Neumann–but it should have been (our beloved "Neumann" didn’t start his career until 1978). In reality, the organization was the university’s Roman Catholic club.

Oct. 6, 1961

The Gauntlet first starts bitching about apathy when there is an apparent threat of acclamation in the Student’s Union election. Imagine the horror!

UAC gets a "Computor." This IBM gizmo was found in a small room in the Science and Engineering building. The cost of the machine was a mere $2,000/month to rent and a paltry $30/hour to run. At the time it was one of only three "Computors" in Canada.

Oct. 20, 1961

The ballot box for the Faculty of Education’s Campus Queen nominees was stolen by an unidentified engineering student. Apparently the male geer ripped the box right out of the hands of the girl running the election and took off running. The box was never recovered and a new vote was taken to see who would represent Education in the inter-faculty contest. Even in ’61 those damn geers were startin’ shit.

Jan. 12, 1962

The new UAC Phys. Ed. building opens with the cost of completion coming in at just under $1 million. A basketball game between UAC and the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds headlines in the main gym, while the Commerce Society held a dance in the building’s smaller gym. The theme of the dance, "Playmates ’62."

Sept. 25, 1964

UAC Dinosaurs win their very first exhibition football game. The newly formed squad got past the Royal Military College Redmen 16-7 at McMahon Stadium.

Oct. 17, 1964

Students’ Union president Mike Alcorn demands the abolition of tuition at UAC stating the need for universal access to post-secondary education. Sure, it never happened, but the SU talking about tuition in October? What’s up with that?

Three busses, holding 125 UAC students depart for Edmonton for the school’s first football showdown. The students proceed to steal UAE’s mascot–a live bear cub in a cage–from atop a Golden Bear parade float. Four Calgary students then carried the cub into Edmonton’s stadium and right across the field prior to kickoff. Edmonton fans didn’t do a thing to stop the rowdy Calgarians. My, how times have changed.

Oct. 1, 1965

UAC’s chief librarian announces that within two years the university’s computer will have the capacity to catalogue the library’s 100,000 books.

Oct. 19, 1965

Defending 1964 Olympic gold medallists Russia play an exhibition volleyball game against the brutal United States team in the Red Gym.

Nov. 12, 1965

A student from Mount Royal College is kicked out of the UAC library by an unidentified university official. A new UAC rule states that only UAC students are permitted to use the library’s resources.

Nov. 26, 1965

Two male students are reprimanded for drinking on campus. No alcohol was actually found but the Dean of Men smelled "a distinct odour of liquor" in their room. Had they been caught with alcohol they would have been "booted out" as one university official put it.

Sept. 1968

A small rumbling of revolution becomes audible at the U of C during the Vietnam War. Student disturbances occur in dreaded places such as first-year Sociology courses.

On the other hand, A Gauntlet poll showed that 76 per cent of men and 69 per cent of women supported of U.S. actions in Vietnam. A series of bantering begins between SU President Luigi DiMarzo and Academic Officer for Student Affairs, C.W.H. Linton. Linton accuses students of being a bunch of radical "hippies." DiMarzo retorted stating "real hippies" had dropped out of school long ago.

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