This fall will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Free Speech Movement on the campus of U Cal-Berkeley. One can expect a number of reflections and retrospective studies, and indeed I’m working on another piece that examines student activism then and now. I want here to ask some questions, focusing especially on the experience of students at Catholic colleges and universities. If you were there in ’64, on the campus of Fordham or Notre Dame, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Santa Clara or wherever, how did the FSM strike you? What issues were important to you then, and how did Catholic identity (your own or that of the school) affect the articulation and formation of those issues in political terms? For those of you teaching at Catholic institutions now, what political issues are important to your students? How has the terrain shifted in the intervening fifty years?
Robert Geroux is a political theorist.