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Queens Students Ransack Office



Queens Students Ransack Office


Article reporting on a student demonstration and ransacking of the Joseph P. Mulholland's office (head of SEEK) on Janurary 13, 1969 at Queens College


Queens College (New York, N.Y.)


Lubasch, Arnold H.




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



Date Created



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295272 bits





Spatial Coverage

Queens, New York, N.Y.


TIMES 1/14/69 {handwritten}
Negroes Invade Quarters of Head of SEEK Program
[Left Column 1]
About 15 demonstrators ransacked an administrative office at Queens College yesterday, ripping out telephones, tearing down pictures and dumping furniture on the street.
The demonstrators, Negroes believed to be students at the college, attacked the office of Joseph P, Mulholland,director of a special program for admitting and assisting students from slum areas. His resignation has been demanded by a militant group demanding radical changes in the program.
Suddenly, at 3:25 P.M., the demonstrators entered the program's headquarters in a squat, one -story building on the campus, brushed past four employees in an outer office, and invaded Mr. Mulholland's unoccupied office.

Laughing Demonstrators
They swiftly carried the director's desk, a metal conference table and eight chairs out of the office and down a long corridor o an exit, where the furniture was dropped in a heap on the asphalt roadway between two parked cars.
Inside the director's office, all four telephones were ripped from the walls and removed.
Pictures, including large photographs of Marin Luther King, Malcom X and Robert F. Kennedy, were torn from the walls and strewn on the
floor, leaving the small office empty, except for the littered green carpet.
The ransacking was conducted in a jovial mood by laughing demonstrators who seemed to regard it as a lark, according to the administrative employes who were present.
When the intruders arrived and swarmed into the office, Steven Zwerling, assistant director, escorted three woman assistants outside, foresaking any attempt to thwart the in invasion. He noted that the dem-

{Caption -AFTER THE INVASION: Joseph P. Mulholland, left, director of a program for minority-group students at Queens College, and Fred Brewington, an aide, in Mr. Mulholland's campus office after it was ransacked by demonstrators. The furniture-which was dumped in the street-had been returned when the photograph was taken.}

[Left Column 2]
onstrators carefully avoided harming anyone in the office or even touching them.
"They took over the office completely," remarked Sonia Pliskewich, one of the administrative assistants who witnessed the ransacking, which was completed in a few minutes.

An Appeal for Restraint
David D. Jones, chairman of outside advisory group investigating recent disorders at the college, appealed to officials last night to "sow restraint regardless of alleged provocations" while his group endeavored to recommend a solution.
Dr. Joseph P. McMurray, the college's president, responded to the appeal by pledging to exercise continued restraint and urging all students to refrain from provocative actions,
Mr. Jones said he was con-

[ Middle Column 3]
tinuing to meet with students and teachers in the disputed program, called SEEK, or Search for Evaluation, Education and Knowledge. Queens College has over 700 participants in SEEK, which is a City University program that provides remedial courses, counseling services and financial aid to students admitted from poor districts.
The Jones group is a special committee of an advisory council of Negro and Puerto Rican community leaders concerned with the SEEK program. The committee was named to study the Queens dispute after a series of demonstrations last week, supporting militant demands.
The militant group, calling itself the Black and Puerto Rican Student-Faculty-Counselor Coalition, has demanded that

[Right Column 4]
SEEK participants at Queens be permitted to hire personnel, admit students, allocate funds and alter the academic program with complete autonomy. Mr. Mulholland's immediate resignation as director has become an insistent demand of the militants, who have characterized him as unsympathetic to the needs of Negroes and Puerto Ricans. He has vehement denied these charges.

[Right Column 5]
About 26,000 commuting students,mosts of them white residents of Queens, attend the four-year college, at Kissena Boulevard and the Long Island Expressway in Flushing.
Shortly before yesterday's incident, a Negro student in the SEEK program, Shirley Williams, a freshman from Harlem, announced the formation of a group supporting Mr. Mulholland.

Original Format

Newspaper clipping



Lubasch, Arnold H., “Queens Students Ransack Office,” Queens College Civil Rights Archives, accessed May 26, 2022, http://archives.qc.cuny.edu/civilrights/items/show/287.