Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


University of Northern Iowa--History; Underground newspapers--Iowa--Cedar Falls--History; Cedar Falls (Iowa)--History;


This project examines the changing social dynamic of those affiliated with the University of Northern Iowa during the latter half of the 1960s, with special emphasis on student activism and the changing attitudes of administrators and community members. This project intends to use the medium of alternative newspapers as a central component in the analysis of the time studied and as an unfiltered voice of student dissent. By narrowing the focus of this project to an individual university and community, an intimate narrative emerges that acts as a testament of the overwhelming atmosphere of change that engulfed American colleges throughout the late 1960s. Furthermore, I suggest that apathy at American colleges may not have derived from the characteristics of students, but, in fact, was the result of policies and an authoritarian culture that stressed civility and limited social activism. This culture of cultivated courtesy made Iowa aesthetically pleasing, a place where rural folk were courteous, smiling and civil. But when it came to student protest and dissent, the influence of cultivated courtesy was powerful: protesters were dismissed, vilified, and delegitimized when perceived to be failing to adhere to the social expectation of manners and civility. Finally, this project examines the relationships between administrators, faculty members, and students from within the context of education. This line of analysis suggests a schism in the ideological approaches to instruction; with one school of thought embracing structure and stability, while the other, promoted controversy and experience as modes of self‐enlightenment.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of History

First Advisor

Brian Roberts

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (v, 117 pages)



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