This Week in Amherst History
Eighteen years ago this morning, students began a sit-in at the office of Acting President G. Armour Craig and throughout Converse Hall to protest “injustice in the examination of fraternities.” Members of local and national media were present, including Associated Press, United Press International and several Springfield television stations.
Student sources also said to expect a separate 12-person hunger strike to begin the next day to draw further attention to the protest. These demonstrations took place a week before the Trustees were to make their final decisions regarding the place of fraternities at the College.
The sit-in was coordinated in fraternity meetings the night before, with the participation of the Interfraternity Council (IFC). Students unaffiliated with fraternities were urged to join the cause. Hal Ball, president of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, as well as the whole IFC, maintained, “It’s a student protest, not a fraternity protest.”
According to The Student, both the Dean of Students and the Office of the President received a press release from the protesters stating, “Students are infuriated over the fact that the administration has abused the privileges of its position as neutral moderator by savagely attacking the College’s fraternities at every possible opportunity.”
The sit-in protesters kept themselves occupied by playing Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly, studying and writing letters to the Trustees. Theta Delta member J. Falcone recognized it all as “sort of a last-ditch effort. Everyone’s making a final stand. Not much else you can do.”