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Finding Aid for "Thoughts About The War" Banners from Tate Student Center, March - April, 2003 (UA 03-013)

6 Linear Feet : 14 Sheets in 5 Map Storage Boxes, One Hollinger Box

Introduction to the Collection:

In response to the opening of the war with Iraq in March, 2003, the Department of Student Activities announced that they would hang banners on which students could express their opinions. The banners, titled "Thoughts About The War: a Forum Sponsored by the Department of Student Activities" were mounted on the glass walls of the study room on the third floor of the Tate Student Center, beginning on March 24. When the initial three banners were filled with comments, three more were posted on March 25. This pattern continued with empty banners being posted on March 27, April 3 and April 8. Thus it is possible to chart the course of opinion during the course of the war.

Pat Daugherty, Director of Student Affairs, described the event:

...we hung up several sheets at one time, left them until they were filled, and then took them down and put up several more. . I was struck by the philosophical musings, the quotes, the very strong feelings that came across. And it was all done very quietly, usually. Every time I walked by, people were either quietly writing or reading, and sometimes there would be several people gathered around reading. One of my staff members told me that a couple of times he heard a debate going on, but for the most part it was not a loud demonstration area at all. In fact, I would describe the atmosphere as almost reverent, if anything.

With the collapse of the Iraqi government, the final set of filled banners were removed on April 23 and the collected banners were transferred by Student Activities to University Archives.

Scope and Contents:

The main collection consists of 14 sheets of white paper each approximately seven feet long. They are divided into five chronological groups according to the period when they were posted and each group is stored in its own map storage box. Most of the remarks and graphics on the sheets have been recorded with felt-tip marker or pen. In some cases other pieces of paper were taped to the sheets, as were the title sheets placed on each banner by Student Activities.

For preservation purposes all tape has been removed from the materials, after photographs were taken to show original configurations. Placement notes have also been penciled on the banners and items formerly attached with tape have been stored with the appropriate banner.

Photographs, news clippings and other items are stored in an accompanying manuscript box.

Contents Inventory:

Box 1: 3 banners posted and inscribed, March 24-March 25, 2003

Box 2: 3 banners posted and inscribed, March 25 - March 27, 2003

Box 3: 2 banners posted and inscribed, March 27 - April 3, 2003

Box 4: 4 banners posted and inscribed, April 3 - April 8, 2003

Box 5: 2 banners posted and inscribed, April 8 - April 23, 2003

Box 6: Photographs showing original configuration of items taped to banners, newspaper clippings, samples of duct tape from banners.

Processed by Steven Brown, documentary photography by Frank Hamrick. Our special thanks to Pat Daugherty, Director of Student Affairs, and her staff for their careful preservation of the banners.