Records in the Archives reveal student activists have been working hard at Smith throughout its history, to bring awareness of and change to social, political, consumer, racial and gender challenges in the world.
The following images reflect some of the activist work by students on campus. They have worked for women’s suffrage;
led boycotts against purchasing Japanese silk products as a way to curtail the Sino-Japanese War. The boycott lasted a number of years and hit the Smith-fashion crowd hard, as this editorial cartoon from a December 1937 issue of the Smith College Weekly suggests.!
Students marched in sympathy for Hungarian students in 1956 when the Soviets invaded the country.
They took up political protests for African-American voting rights in 1960. This image shows Smith students marching in downtown Northampton.
Students participated in the Strike of 1970 activities against the Vietnam War and forced the College to consider divestiture of its South African ties in 1986. Today’s students are more likely to protest corporate injustice, labor relations, and push for ecological sustainability. Come view records of all sorts regarding student activism in the College Archives!