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Example research essay topic: Police Officers Student Movement - 1,658 words

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Devoted to Student Movement in Barkley The Free Speech Movement started as a dispute over 26 feet of sidewalk and escalated into a pitched battle for control of the University of California at Berkeley. In the process, an entire school, students and faculty alike, was polarized into two camps fundamentally at odds with each other, both ideologically and in terms of rhetoric. The Free Speech Movement represented the adoption of civil rights protest techniques-pickets, sit-ins, and other non-violent methods-in a hitherto untested arena, the university. As it turned out, it was the opening salvo in a long, drawn-out battle, a tumult that would ultimately affect one out of every ten college and university campuses nationwide (a conservative figure), rending the country in two along ideological and generational lines. Over the summer of 1964, the administration of the UC Berkeley changed its rules on political activism on campus, eliminating a narrow strip of sidewalk at the intersection of Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way that had been a main point of egress to the campus, and a traditional location for political activity. To the student activists, the administration's ruling was an attack not only on their individual rights but also on the civil rights movement itself.

Concerned student activists met with administrators, and were able to win back their right to set up tables, but the administration refused to budge on matters of fund-raising or political advocacy. This set the stage for a series of escalating protests, as students tested the power of their as-yet-untried political muscle. Fundraising and advocacy activities resumed at the Bancroft/Telegraph intersection under the auspices of the United Front, an ad-hoc organizing committee, and after a week had passed without incident, new tables were set up at Sather Gate, a hundred yards inside the campus. On September 30, five students were cited for manning them. Five hundred students signed a letter of complicity, crowded Sproul Hall, which they occupied until early morning, and demanded that the administration discipline all of them. Eight students were suspended indefinitely, and the following day Jack Weinberg, a recent graduate and a leader of the campus Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), was arrested as he manned a table.

Hundreds of students surrounded the police car containing Weinberg and, for the next 32 hours, the crowd maintained a vigil, with speakers holding forth from atop the car's bonnet. The more intransigent the administration appeared, the more radicalized the movement became. Beginning with concern about rights to a small strip of territory, wrote Max Heirich, a sociologist who studied the movement as it was happening, the students had shifted their focus to freedom of expression and advocacy on the campus as a whole. After the arrest of October 1, they began to talk about the proper purpose of the university. The weeks wore on without resolution and more students were swept up in the conflict, forced to choose a side amidst the growing rancor. Chancellor Edward Strong remained firmly opposed to any concessions, convinced that student opinion was volatile and would peter out of its own accord.

There were indeed indications that the protest was losing steam: after the UC Board of Regents ruled against the FSM in a November 20 meeting, a rally and sit-in the following Monday ended in disarray, with the student leadership disheartened and student support flagging. Over the Thanksgiving break, however, disciplinary letters were sent to four FSM leaders, rekindling the fickle flames of student unrest and inflaming the FSM leadership by this show of bad faith. The FSM reacted by submitting an ultimatum to the administration -- if the charges were not dropped, a sit-in would begin on Wednesday, December 2, followed by a general strike. The administration did not deign to respond, and students set about occupying Sproul Hall. Far from housing an angry mob, the occupied premises had a festive air as the students passed the time square dancing, and conducting teach-ins and religious services. Joan Baez led a folk sing-along; Laurel and Hardy films were shown.

On Governor Pat Browns orders, police officers began clearing Sproul Hall early Thursday morning. By daybreak, the exhausted police officers were growing rough with the students-who went limp in classic civil rights fashion -- and those en route to their morning classes were treated to the sight of fellow students being manhandled by the California Highway Patrol, and cries of police brutality echoing through Sproul Hall. The next day pickets appeared. In the end, the administration capitulated. Perhaps it was the threat of a prolonged strike, perhaps the pressure of faculty members, who voted at an Academic Senate to support the students demands. However, the tenor of the conflict can be summed up in a single event: at an assembly on the Monday following the successful strike, the entire student body watched as Mario Savio, one of the most charismatic of the movements leaders, strode to the lectern, only to be tackled by Berkeley policeman and quickly hustled offstage.

Savio had been forbidden to address the students, and his decision to take the platform appeared to be calculated for maximum impact. The incident had the desired effect, cementing student support for the FSM. In the weeks following the strike, Chancellor Strong was relieved of his duties by the regents, and a chancellor who was sympathetic to FSM goals was appointed. In the elections held the week following the strike, FSM candidates swept into ASUC office. In the space of a semester, the climate of UC Berkeley changed irrevocably from comfortable complacency to overt radicalism. The campus would remain at war for the next five years.

The triumph of the Free Speech Movement against Berkeley's administration encouraged a wave of protests over alleged administrative abuses nationwide. The following year, 14 schools experienced outbreaks of student unrest, and student revolt developed into a worldwide phenomenon, culminating in the massive protests, strikes, and general unrest of 1968. Berkeley itself became the site of bitter, protracted battles that eventually led to fatalities. Max Heirich wrote, of the protests that followed, with increasing momentum each side seemed to create its own self-fulfilling prophecies of what opponents would do, adding to the rampant paranoia (Heirich M, p. , 34). For three decades, higher education has been discussing the coming of internal revolutions. In the 1960 s and 1970 s, the heralded revolution was managerial, as institutional research became a key aspect of institutional decision-making.

In the 1980 s, that study of organizational activities was refocused to support the improvement of academic management. Now, in the 1990 s, the emphasis is on student assessment - on the evaluation of student performance and its prospects for improving the delivery of a college education. While considerable effort has been invested in promoting and supporting such changes on college campuses, there has been little systematic examination to gauge their use and impact - particularly in the more recent case of student assessment. Given the lack of quantitative information, it is no wonder many assume that what began, as good ideas have, as a matter of course, become widespread institutional policies. This issue of The Landscape fills this empirical gap, using a new National Center for Postsecondary Improvement (NCPI) national survey - the first of its kind to examine the nature, extent, and impact of student-assessment strategies.

Although these efforts hold great promise, what the survey suggests is that student assessment does not yet constitute a revolution. Instead, the assessment movement represents an important evolution in how institutions go about the business of improving their educational processes and outcomes. NCPI researcher Marvin Peterson of the University of Michigan, and colleagues Marne Einar son, Catherine Augustine, and Derek Vaughan, worked together to paint a national picture of institutional student-assessment strategies. Peterson and his team set out to design a survey examining how colleges and universities support, promote, and use student-assessment data to improve student learning and institutional performance. The survey received responses from chief academic officers at 1, 393 public and private institutions to questions about their student-assessment practices: What approaches had they adopted? What organizational and administrative supports had been instituted?

How was the information being used - in expected areas such as decisions on instructional programs and faculty, or in more innovative ways affecting students, faculty, governance, and external relations? While the responses often varied by institutional type, in this initial report the focus is on general patterns across all institutions. Ironically, a consequence of segregation was the development of institutions in close-knit communities, churches, schools, and organizations that nurtured and encouraged the fight against white supremacy. The young people who began the 1960 student sit-in movement lived and learned among such institutions. The student movements goals were described to the Democratic Conventions Platform Committee in 1960 by Snccs first Chair, Marion Barry, as seeking a community in which man can realize the full meaning of self, which demands open relationships with others (Barry M. , p. , 03).

He declared that southern students wanted an end to racial discrimination in housing, education, employment, and voting. Snccs goals were set out in similar terms by Executive Secretary James Forman in 1961 as working full-time against the whole value system of this country and by working toward revolution; in 1963, as a program of developing, building and strengthening indigenous leadership; and by third SNCC Chair John Lewis, at the 1963 March on Washington, as building a serious social revolution against American politics dominated by politicians who build their careers on immoral compromises and ally themselves with open forms of political, economic and social exploitation. (Forman J, p. , 12). Bibliography. Forman James.

Official Report on the Achievements of the Movement; Barkley University, California, 1991 -reprinted version. Barry M. , Goals Of Student Movement; Democratic Conventions Platform Committee Annual Report, 1960. Heirich M. , The Protest; Newsweek, vol. , 12, 1999 - revised version of the speech. Peterson Marvin, Making Students Believe in their Dream; Random House, New York, 1995.


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Research essay sample on Police Officers Student Movement

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