Monday, February 8, 2016

Neo-Black Society at Risk: The 1973 Challenge of NBS's Funding

In last week's Spartan Stories post, we looked at the 1967 Black Power Forum and its impact on the founding of UNCG's Neo-Black Society (NBS) in 1968. The founding of the NBS, however, did not come without controversy. Some students accused the NBS of "reverse racism," claiming that they refused to admit white students to the organization.

In February 1973, six white UNCG students filed a complaint with the Student Government Association's Committee on Classification of Organizations, calling for the revocation of NBS's standing as a financially-supported student organization. At the time, NBS had a membership of approximately 145 students. This petition cited two major complaints from those students regarding NBS membership and activities. At least four of the six petitioners were current Student Government Association (SGA) senators.

Two students in the NBS Lounge, 1973
The bulk of the petition focused on a claim that NBS was in violation of SGA bylaws due to "a direct link between NBS and YOBU -- a Black Separatist, anti-White group." YOBU (the Youth Organization for Black Unity, previously the Student Organization for Black Unity) was a Greensboro-based group that formed in 1969, growing out of the Black Power Movement. The petitioners claimed that YOBU "is limited to Black persons only," and, due to their alleged affiliation, NBS would limit its membership too. The petitioners noted that this violated SGA bylaws requiring organizations to "be open to any and all undergraduates." It also claims that UNCG's support of the NBS "placed both UNC-G and NBS very possibly in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, given NBS's association with YOBU."

On Sunday, February 25, 1973, a hearing was held by the SGA Committee on Classification of Organizations to investigate the claims made in the petition. The Committee determined that the petitioners statements did not meet the burden for reclassifying NBS and revoking its funding. Specifically in regards to affiliation with YOBU, the Committee stated that "no direct link has been proven to exist between the NBS and YOBU for the 1972-1973 school year," noting that the only evidence that the petitioners brought forth in support of this claim was that an NBS member "had her way paid to a YOBU open state conference with funds provided for her by NBS."

The Committee also found that additional claims of membership limitations based on race did not violate SGA bylaws. The Committee did suggest a small wording change for the NBS constitution to clarify the organization's intent, noting that the current wording of the NBS constitution "might induce misapprehension in the minds of those uninitiated in the intricacies of constitutional legality." Specifically, the Committee recommended replacing the sentence "Members and their invited guests may attend" to "Meetings must be open to the entire student body unless business pertinent only to NBS membership is being considered." You can read the full decision by the Committee here.

A full meeting of the Student Senate was held on March 20 to discuss the Neo-Black Society. Additionally, "open" and "executive" Senate sessions took place on March 26 and 27. In these sessions, SGA "heard appeals, rebuttals, and counter-rebuttals from delegations representing both the Neo-Black Society and the Senate." A Senate vote was taken over the NBS funding, and, acting counter to the findings of the Committee on Classifications of Organizations, the Senate voted to reclassify the NBS, removing its funding and rights to use university facilities.

A scuffle ensued in the Senate chambers after the decision was handed down. At least one student received treatment at a hospital after the incident. One Neo-Black Society member was later found guilty of assault by the Greensboro District Court. On the night of March 27, hundreds of students gathered at the Mossman Building for a sit-in demonstration to protest the Student Senate's decision. Estimates of student participation on that first night of demonstration are as high as 750 (including both black and white students).

Letter from Ferguson to NBS Coordinator Leon Chestnut
stating his decision to invalidate the SGA decision, Mach 31, 1973
Chancellor James Ferguson immediately convened a faculty committee to investigate the Senate's actions. An official report from the committee was filed with Chancellor Ferguson on March 31, advising "that the reclassification of the Neo-Black Society by the Student Senate was not justified. The Committee finds that the evidence presented did not establish the validity of the substantive charges. Furthermore, the Senate's procedure in dealing with the charges against the Neo-Black Society involved such serious improprieties as to limit the rights of the Society under rules of due process and fairness." Specifically, the report found that "new evidence of a substantial nature was introduced during the executive session, beyond the scrutiny of the NBS representative." It also reported that the Senate questionably chose to exclude NBS and Senate member Donna Benson from voting on the issue, while allowing four other Senators who had been original petitioners to vote.

This, however, did not end the question of funding and status for the Neo-Black Society at UNCG. Check back next week to learn more about the SGA reactions to Ferguson's faculty committee report and the ensuing legal procedures.

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Founding Years of UNCG's Neo-Black Society, 1968-1973

In November 1967, UNCG hosted a Black Power Forum, organized in large part by the UNCG Student Government Association to "inform students and faculty members of this movement and its actions and to give us a chance to discuss Black Power, its history, its political and social implications for us and the nation." The forum was organized around three topics: "Black Power past and present," "the ghetto," and "Black Power and the self-image of the Negro." Speakers from across the country were brought in for presentations and discussions held in Cone Ballroom.

This event on UNCG's campus took place in the midst of major national protests, riots, and changes. African American students at UNCG began discussing the need for a formally-recognized student organization to represent their needs and issues. As Marie Darr Scott (class of 1970) noted in her 2011 oral history interview, "this Black Power Forum was just—I mean, it just opened up a whole new thought and mind for the black students at UNCG ... Not everyone got involved but almost all of the black students were interested in forming a black student organization on campus."

At the start of the 1968-1969 academic year, students officially petitioned for and received university recognition for the Neo-Black Society (NBS). The NBS stated three major goals of the organization: "1) to help in voter registration drives, 2) to work with the Greensboro United Tutorial Service (a community group aimed at connecting college students with community educational efforts), and 3) to try to help establish an Afro-American history course on this campus." An October 18, 1968, editorial article in The Carolinian student newspaper reported that the organization was "a group of students who are willing to work within the framework of our society to bring about constructive and much-needed change."

From the outset, there were tensions; some students accused the NBS of "reverse racism." But the NBS continued pushing towards its stated goals and mission of working for change. In 1968, the NBS was recognized by UNCG's Student Government Association (SGA), meaning it was able to acquire funding from the university to support its work and events.

In 1971, the NBS received lounge space in Elliott Hall following a petition drive which garnered 106 signatures. The petition itself stated that "the lounge can serve the following three basic functions: a) the lounge will provide an atmosphere conducive for a united effort towards educating ourselves in respect to those elements of our culture that are beyond the traditional realms of the university curriculum, b) it will develop a cultural awareness of those artistic accomplishments of Black people that should be used to further the cultural enrichment of this campus, and c) it will provide a positive atmosphere that will enable Black students to enter into meaningful relationships which we believe will alleviate the following problems of Black students on this campus: 1) the lack of social activities that are appealing to Black students, 2) the lack of appeal to prospective and incoming Black students, and 3) the lack of an atmosphere that is beneficial in alleviating the tensions and the apprehensions caused by our position as a minority group on this campus."

Two students in the NBS lounge in late 1971

By 1973, however, the allocation of student funds to NBS was questioned by several white students who claimed that the organization was in violation of the SGA constitution and by-laws because it "discouraged white membership" and was allegedly affiliated with a "national militant organization." Stay tuned next week for a post on this funding conflict and its resolution.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Jazzing-Up the Campus with Ray Gariglio

This blog post was authored by Anne Myers, Library and Information Studies practicum student at the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives, December 2015.
Ray Gariglio, 1975

Raymond J. Gariglio came to UNCG in 1966 as a Professor of Music and became the bandmaster for all UNCG performing band ensembles, many of which he founded himself. In 1969, he established the UNCG Jazz Ensemble, the first university-accredited jazz ensemble in North Carolina, and by 1983, his tireless work in the field had laid the groundwork for the development and debut of UNCG's Miles Davis Jazz Program to begin offering undergraduate degrees. In addition to developing funding and support for the program, including beginning a series of benefit concerts in 1974 funding the university's first Jazz Scholarship Fund, Gariglio also personally designed and developed the curriculum for the new program's teaching of Band Literature, Clarinet Performance, Instrumental Methods, Jazz Arrangement, Jazz Ensembles, Jazz Improvisation, and Wind Ensembles, laying the foundation for faculty to come to improve upon.

Gariglio's musical career did not begin with the university, however; he earned three separate Bachelor of Music degrees from the American Conservatory of Music (now, sadly, no longer in operation), one each in the fields of Theory and Clarinet Performance in 1952, and one in Composition in 1955. He earned his Masters of Music from Northwestern University, after which point, he entered the military during the Korean War, serving as the Band Director and clarinetist for the 89th Army Band until his honorable discharge in 1960.

A native of Illinois, Gariglio established himself as a premier clarinetist and musician in both the classical and jazz worlds of Chicago in the 1960s, performing as first clarinet and featured soloist for such major ensembles as the Lyric Opera Company of Chicago and the Chicago Little Symphony, the latter company touring all over North America. After touring extensively throughout the U.S. as a soloist, he relocated to North Carolina to begin his work with UNCG, where he founded and performed in various faculty and professional groups, including the East Wind Quintet, the Dixieland Band, the Ray Gariglio Jazz Quartet, and the University Commencement Band, all incorporating members of UNCG faculty and local artists. A great deal of the sheet music collection now held by the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections & University Archives dates from this time period, and features arrangements and original compositions by Gariglio designed for performance by either student ensembles or his own artistic groups.

Not content with limiting his touring to the United States, Gariglio also took his teaching prowess abroad, serving as an instructor and performer for the Holy Trinity Music School's summer music camp in Leogane, Haiti, where he gave private lessons, tutoring in the clarinet as well as leading ensemble performances. Gariglio visited Haiti to teach at the camp multiple times from 1974 through the mid 1980s, and several of his original compositions and arrangements in the university's collection feature music written specifically for the Haitian Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as many that were based on native Haitian musical themes that he encountered there.

As a member of the Greensboro musical community, Gariglio was also heavily involved in its performance and musical landscape for his entire residency, up until his death in 2003. His various performing ensembles were frequent staples of Greensboro society, performing at country clubs, benefit events, and community concerts, as well as acting as a soloist for many local high school and children's festival band performances.

The Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections & University Archives is proud to house the donated collection of Raymond J. Gariglio, an expansive collection of sheet music, handwritten musical manuscripts, and personal papers from one of the University's most beloved music faculty.
Having left a lasting legacy of students taught, ensembles founded, and UNCG's jazz department itself created and thriving, Gariglio's influence is still heavily felt in the Greensboro music landscape today.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Co-education: Through a Woman’s Eyes

This blog post was written by Brittany Hedrick, an undergraduate history department intern who worked in University Archives in Fall 2015. As part of her internship, she also conducted two oral history interviews -- one for the University Archives' Institutional Memory Project and one for the Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project. 

In 1963 Woman’s College was officially renamed the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This name change correlated with the decision to make all UNC system schools co-educational. There were several reasons for this new change. Parents and prospective male students sent letters insisting admittance to the school because of financial situations. Additionally, Woman’s College enrollment continued to steadily decrease and the state could no longer afford to refuse male enrollment. The decrease in enrollment was partly due to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s decision to begin admitting women as freshmen.

Opponents to co-education felt that female enrollment would decrease due to parents sending their children elsewhere. Some opponents felt that male applicants were apt to be rejects from Chapel Hill and State. Female students were divided on the issue, and reactions were mixed. Opponents and supporters of co-education took turns painting the McIver Statue pink and blue. In December of 1988, Maynard Southern spoke to the Greensboro News and Record stating, “Some resented the decision while others were pretty receptive.” In a 2006 oral history interview, Gail Hicks Fripp (Class of 1963) recalls feeling, “It would be the end of the university as we knew it…we thought we were equal to Ivy League Sister Schools. Many women thought it was going to be the end of the world, and there was no way we could fight it…so nobody protested.” In fact, public opposition was minimal and this might be due to the fact that women during this time period often did not challenge authority. They might have felt their voices would not be heard or their opinions would not matter. Some of these women had been following orders their entire lives.

Regardless of minimal opposition on campus, a large portion of women resented the change. This opposition was especially evident through Woman’s College alumnae. The 1974 summer issue of Alumni News illuminates alumnae opposition and states that initial reaction of alumnae in regards to male admittance were feelings of betrayal; a loss of ideals for which the institution once stood. Alumnae felt the presence of male students would ruin what was once a superior woman’s college. They believed the change would result in a loss of prestige and a decrease in woman’s participation. The alumnae regarded the pre-co-education time period as the “good ol’ days” when leadership potential was easier for woman to obtain while attending Woman’s College. Women feared leadership roles would fall to men and that women would gradually fall from faculty positions. Moreover, there were fears that co-education would bring demands for Greek life and football.

Opponents suggested the institution was shifting from a superior woman’s college to a mediocre university. In a 2015 oral history interview, Dr. Sue Medley (Class of 1965) stated, “There were different reactions, some people resented—to this day—but others were more accepting and realizing the need to perhaps to make some changes, but there was a culture and an atmosphere that was lost.” An October 1963 issue of the Carolinian student newspaper even stated that women were concerned about having to put rollers in their hair at night in order to be presentable for class and feared the loss of individuality and equality.

Although there was opposition and division among the female students in regards to the new changes, an increasing number of female students preferred co-education. The trend in American higher education was toward co-education nationwide; partly a response to World War II and the introduction of the G.I. Bill. Within this national trend, some opponents even compared single-sex education to racial segregation. Ultimately, co-education, to many, was simply an economic response to falling enrollments. For the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, co-education resulted in tripling enrollment. However, many student leadership roles previously held by women were held by men after co-education.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Confronting the AIDS epidemic at UNCG

The AIDS epidemic in the United States officially began in June 1981, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported several unusual medical cases in five homosexual men from Los Angeles. Initially termed gay-related immune deficiency (GRID) for its prevalence to appear in homosexuals, the disease was reclassified in August 1982 as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

The initial uncertainty within the medical community about the pathology of the disease along with its high mortality rate, created uneasiness and apprehension across the United States. The lack of an urgent response by the U.S. Government towards the crisis exacerbated the spread of the infection and stigma associated with the disease. By the end of 1983, the number of AIDS diagnoses in the country had risen to 3,364 with 1,292 having died as a result.

While the number of AIDS cases continued to rise, colleges and universities were unprepared for how to address the disease on their campuses. In 1985, the American Council on Education and the American College Health Association released reports and brochures that outlined the best known information on the disease, as well as guidelines for how institutions should respond.

Reacting to the national initiative to reduce the spread of AIDS through dissemination of information, the University of North Carolina’s General Administration announced in November of 1985 that they intend to launch a campus-based educational program concerning AIDS. The goal was to provide useful information on the subject to members of each campus in an effort to limit the spread of AIDS and dispel ignorance and misinformation that could lead to inappropriate responses to the disease. Several suggested actions included the General Administration producing an informational handout, encouraging the creation of a campus committee to coordinate AIDS related issues, and arranging to have medical and legal experts provide assistance in addressing the problem. Ultimately, the responsibility for ensuring effective communication about the disease within each campus rested with the administration of each university.
UNCG's Student Health Services Policy on AIDS

Following the announcement, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) began outlining policies and approaches for how to best address the potential for AIDS on campus. In November of 1985, UNCG’s Student Health Services drafted a preliminary policy for dealing with AIDS patients. This included procedures such as “advise the patient of possible social problems, particularly in residence halls, if it is known or rumored that he/she has AIDS” and “suggest that if he/she elects to remain in school that it might be in their best interest to consider residing off campus” due to the social consequences. The policy also clearly stated that AIDS victims (as they were described) would not be barred from classes, from using university facilities, or from public gatherings.

In February of 1986, an Infectious Disease Task Force was created by UNCG with the charge of designing educational programming on AIDS and creating an appropriate administrative response with policies towards the disease. This proactive educational approach towards AIDS would continue throughout the year. In April of 1986, a questionnaire was given to students to ascertain their level of concern and their attitude about AIDS.  Schools and department also were encouraged to incorporate information about AIDS into their courses and programming in an effort to increase awareness.

Today, the need to inform students, faculty, and staff about AIDS on campus has lessened as knowledge about the disease has become more widespread over the last thirty years. However, UNCG still maintains information about AIDS on its website and periodically offers free, confidential HIV testing for students.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Dr. Anna Maria Gove, Lady Doctress

When it came time to form the State Normal and Industrial College (now UNCG) in 1891, student health was of the utmost importance.  And since the student body was comprised of young women, President Charles Duncan McIver wanted to provide the students with a campus physician who could care for all their needs.  Miriam Bitting served one year as campus physician before marrying and moving to New York.  The start of the second year of the young college saw a need for a new physician to take Dr. Bitting's place.   Upon the recommendations of several of her instructors and mentors, including a letter from Emily Blackwell, the third woman in the United States to earn a medical degree, Dr. Anna Maria Gove was hired as the second woman physician for State Normal in 1893.

Anna Gove was born on July 6, 1867 in Whitefield, New Hampshire to Maria Pierce and Dr. George Sullivan Gove.  As the only daughter of a physician, Anna was exposed to the profession from a young age.  It was said that she often rode with her father on the back of his buggy to visit patients around the area.  So it seemed natural for Anna to pursue a medical career, even in a time when there were so few women doctors.  She attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woman's Medical College of the New York Infirmary where she graduated in 1892.  After a one year internship at the New York Infant Asylum in New York City, Dr. Gove came to Greensboro.

Dr. Gove brought progressive ideas to the little woman's college in North Carolina.  She formulated and put into practice a system for every freshman to have a physical and medical examination upon entering school.  She would then lay out plans to correct minor medical defects while the student was at college.  State Normal was the third college in the United States to adopt this practice.

Even with Dr. Gove's diligence, illness came to the school through a number of epidemics.  She saw the students through a large measles outbreak in 1895.  Keeping the sick women quarantined away from their fellow students and reassuring parents of their daughters' well-being kept Dr. Gove busy.   When the typhoid epidemic descended on campus in 1899, Dr. Gove worked night and day to discover the source of the problem and assist the dozens of sick and dying students.  Shortly after the epidemic passed, Dr. Gove took a leave of absence from the school to recoup and recover both mentally and physically.

Perhaps because the typhoid epidemic left such and impression on Dr. Gove, she had a passion for keeping up-to-date on the changing medical field.  She took several leaves of absence from the school throughout her early career to increase her medical knowledge.  In 1896-1897, she spent a year studying internal medicine in Vienna, Austria.  She returned to Vienna in 1913-1914 to continue her post graduate studies, where she met and worked with the famous orthopedist, Adolf Lorens.  Dr. Gove even assisted on one of his surgeries.
Dr. Gove in her WWI uniform

With the outbreak of WWI, Dr. Gove looked for a way to become involved in the war effort.  Women doctors were not accepted into the army medical corps, so Dr. Gove sought another way to put her skills to use.  In March 1918, she joined the American Red Cross and travelled to France to serve with the Children's Bureau in Marseille.  Dr. Gove worked with refugee children, assisting with dietary and other health concerns.  After the war, she served with the Smith College Relief Unit in Somme, France, before returning to the college in 1920.

Dr. Gove spent much of the 1920s developing a Health and Hygiene Department at the college.  She attended numerous lectures at the University of Michigan on mental and physical hygiene and brought that knowledge back to North Carolina.  Dr. Gove was a pioneer in the detection and control of tuberculosis at colleges and was asked to read a paper on the subject at the meeting of the National Tuberculosis Association.

By the time of Dr. Gove's retirement in 1936, she was being widely recognized for all her contributions to the college and to the medical profession.  The campus infirmary was named for Dr. Gove on May 30, 1936.

Dr. Gove passed away on January 28, 1948 at age 80.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy Holidays!

The staff of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives wishes everyone a happy holiday season! We're taking a break this week, but please join us on Monday, January 4th for a new Spartan Story.

Woman's College students in a snowball fight on campus, 1942