Fifty years ago this fall our university’s core values and principles were redefined.
It took the longest held student strike in United States history to redefine these values, and it is all thanks to the courage, persistence and resilience of our university’s Black Student Union, as well as members of the student group the Third World Liberation Front.
Students from these organizations defiantly stood up to an administration that, at the time, actively silenced many minority members of our faculty and student body. This was a time when our university was systematically prioritizing students and faculty members based on the colors of their skins and the origins of their heritage.
The 1968 fall semester at San Francisco State University acted as a turning point not only for our campus, but for universities and educational institutions across the country. This strike, which lasted from November of 1968 to late March of 1969, resulted in the first ever College of Ethnic Studies and emphasized the importance of minority representation on college campuses.
There were many factors working to suppress and discredit the BSU and Third World Liberation Front, and it is important to recognize how the university’s student-run newspaper had contributed to a toxic and oppressive campus culture. That staff’s neglect to be an impartial advocate for the student body was a stain on the paper — one which we strive to acknowledge and correct every year with fair and accurate reporting.
While our university has improved in many ways since the 1968 student strike, it is necessary to acknowledge that students and faculty members still face problems within our campus that go unheard.
This is where we hope to contribute for the better. As a student-run publication, we’ve come to learn how influential our role as journalists are.
We at Xpress recognize the importance and severity our ethics and reporting methods have on the SF State community, and we will work hard to be a platform that welcomes all contributions and sheds light on the issues that affect all community members.
The role of journalism cannot be done alone, and we at Xpress need the help of our student body and faculty to properly cover the many things that go on within our campus. Our doors at Xpress are always open; we can assure you there will never be an issue we turn a blind eye to.
We at Xpress want to welcome you all to the start of this new school year, and hope we can work together this semester to establish our self as the voice of San Francisco State.