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History Professors Help Organize SCOPE Project



History Professors Help Organize SCOPE Project


This newsletter talks about the collaboration between the history department and the Columbia-Barnard Democratic Club to get students and faculty involved with the SCOPE project. SCOPE sought out volunteers to help with projects over the summer in southern states.


Summer Community Organization and Political Education (Organization)
Mississippi Freedom Project


Newman, Jeffrey




Queens College Department of Special Collections and Archives (New York, N.Y.)



Date Created



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New York (N.Y.)


[Page 1]
History Profs. Help Organize SCOPE Project
Plan to Support SCLC On Voter Registration
By Jeffrey Newman

Several members of the history department are cooperating with the Columbia-Barnard Democratic Club in an effort to organize student and faculty participation in the Summer Community Organization and Political Education project (SCOPE).
The project, which is being administered by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, calls for large numbers of college students from across the nation to form civil rights “teams” and to spend their summer involved in tutoring and voter registration projects throughout several southern states.
Naomi Achs ‘66B and John Akuk ’66 have been designated campus coordinators by the SCLC regional office.
Student volunteers from the various colleges will travel to Atlanta, Georgia, June 15, where they will receive educational and practical instruction from university faculty members as well as from SCLC staff representatives.
From there, volunteers will be assigned in single college units to towns and counties across the South. They will remain in the designated community for a period of eight weeks.
Four Columbia professors have instituted a drive to indicate faculty support for the program. They include Richard Hofstadter, DeWitt Clinton Professor of American History, Professors of History Robert D. Cross and William E. Leuchtenburg, and James P. Shenton, associate professor of history.
Last month, these four Columbia historians participated in the last phases of the civil rights march to Montgomery, Ala. Upon returning to the University, they issued an appeal for funds to be donated to the SCLC. More than| $465 has already been forwarded to the Atlanta-based rights group,according to Professor Shenton.
The Democratic Club has agreed to man desks on Low Plaza and

[Page 2]

May 3, 1965
Seek Volunteers For SCOPE Project

in Hamilton and Ferris Booth Halls this week in an effort to raise funds for the cost of the summer project. In addition, they will canvas the dormitories Thursday night, according to Carlton Carl ‘67. president of the group.
Faculty members will be asked to underwrite part of the expenses incurred by the student volunteers and to participate in the project’s training program. Professor Shenton estimated that the cost of the program will amount to $250 per student.
Although students from all divisions of the University are eligible to volunteer, undergraduates from the College and from Barnard are “especially desired,” Professor Shenton said. “I’d like to think that the heart of the movement comes from the College,” he stated.
Assistant Professor of History David J. Rothman and Richard Weiss, instructor of history, will take part in the program’s five day training session. Several more faculty members are expected to assist the group, according to Professor Shenton.
Faculty from many colleges and universities will conduct training sessions for the volunteers in a seminar-type format. There instructors will try to communicate “ a sense of the American experience, with special reference to the success of voluntary action,” according to Professor Rothman.
“We’ll try to show the students the significance of the ballot they are working so hard to get,” he added. Professor Rothman noted that the student involvement in social protest movements is not without precedent. “We want them to realize they’re not working in a vacuum,” he declared.
Professor Shenton appealed to Columbia students to involve themselves in the program, if only through financial contributions.
Speaking for his organization, Carl reiterated Professor Shenton’s request for widespread student participation in the program.
“Our generation has a responsibility to involve itself in the civil rights struggle as well as in politics,” he stated. “After all, it’s our society to improve.”
The project will offer students the chance to commit themselves to an issue “that must be faced,” said Professor Shenton. He stated that he welcomed the assistance of the Democratic Club in sponsoring the drive.
Professor Shenton will participate in the training program and will then join the Columbia “delegation” of volunteers at their assigned location. He will stay with the group until late June when he is scheduled to return to the University, for the summer session.

Original Format

Newspaper clippings



Newman, Jeffrey, “History Professors Help Organize SCOPE Project,” Queens College Civil Rights Archives, accessed May 17, 2022, http://archives.qc.cuny.edu/civilrights/items/show/279.