Series Descriptions

Students and Student Activities (1908-1934)

1.5 Linear Ft. Contents List

Correspondence, reports, news clippings, programs and statistics arranged in alphabetical files according to student, student activity or organization. Order was imposed in this series where original order was either inconsistent or nonexistent. Photographs, brochures, programs, Springstreet Republican parody, and duplicate reports were transferred to the Archives. Warnings to students and other confidential material were removed pending final disposition.

This series provides an interesting view of student life during Garfield's tenure. Evident is Garfield's accessibility to parents and students and his method in addressing their concerns. President Garfield maintained contact with many of the student organizations. The Commons Club, Liberal Club and Student Council were all established with his support.Among the many student issues that Garfield faced were student drinking, fraternity problems, automobiles on campus, financial aid, students in war service and student government. Garfield also responded to several noteworthy controversies. The abolishment of the Cane Contest in 1914 received some protest, but most of the correspondents offered their support. The Williams Record (Springstreet Republican) parody issue in 1922 was criticized for printing an "indecent" cartoon. When members of the sophomore class kidnapped freshmen class officers, preceding the annual tug of war contest in 1923, Garfield justified the students' suspension. Garfield was criticized for his handling of the Ralph Wright controversy in 1924. Wright, an African-American student, had been denied access to the Commons Club. An Old Gold cigarette advertisement, that supposedly pictured Williams students, and the William Z. Foster lecture on Communism in 1932 also drew comments from alumni and concerned friends of the college.