Please I'd Like to Grow: 60 Years of Student Activism: September 28 - December 30
A new exhibit on the first floor of Lied Library highlights student activism at UNLV from its founding up until the present day. Rebel Yell articles and other items, including posters, T-shirts, fliers, and other documents from UNLV University Archives provide evidence of student-led social and political activism around issues such as education, racism and civil rights, war, gender and sexuality, immigration, and the environment.
The exhibit, curated by Social Sciences Librarian Heidi Johnson, highlights the voices of students and administrators alike, with their unique perspectives on student activism at UNLV. The exhibit explores how activism has been a part of student life ever since the campus’s days as Tumbleweed Tech, the nickname the university earned when students constructed a mock campus out of shipping crates and plywood as a protest against the university’s inadequate funding and the desolation of its campus. Documents show evidence of students working with administrators to help meet the needs of minority students on campus through changes in curriculum and programming. Yearbooks and student newspapers also illustrate student opposition to national events such as the Vietnam War. Throughout the exhibit, quotes from individual student activists highlight how their activism has impacted their lives and careers beyond their time at UNLV.
The title of the exhibit, “Please I’d Like to Grow: 60 Years of Student Activism at UNLV,” evokes the idea that the growth of the university has mirrored the growth of individual student activists. As students address issues of immediate concern and look inward to discover themselves, they also look outward to the causes of others, including more local, national, and global concerns. So too, the university has grown from a small, fledging commuter campus where budget issues were the primary concern and minority groups advocated for more support for their unique identities to a premiere research university with a very diverse student body, providing more opportunities for the university to grow in order to support these identities.
View the exhibit on the first floor of Lied Library.