by Jeremy Simer
University of Washington became well known in the late 1960s for student
mobilizations that at times rivaled activist hubs such as Berkeley and
Columbia. Thousands demonstrated against the war in Vietnam, against
militarism on campus, for civil rights. Among the protesters were students
of color, primarily African Americans and Chicanos, who created
organizations based on race and class and demanded proactive measures to
address racial inequality, especially in higher education.
students were recruited into the UW for the first time by the Special
Education Program, enrolling in the fall of 1968. There they were
politically activated by their personal connection to the social problems
facing Chicanos in Washington, the momentum of the Civil Rights and farm
worker movements, and the milieu of radical student mobilization they found
on campus. They formed the United Mexican American Students (UMAS), which
joined and soon led a campaign in solidarity with one of the Chicano
Movement’s central activities: the boycott of California table grapes in
support of the United Farm Worker Organizing Committee (UFWOC), which had
been on strike since 1965.
will attempt to show that as the UFWOC grape boycott helped galvanize the
nascent Chicano Movement on a national scale, the UW boycott effort also
helped define and empower UMAS in its early stages. The first rumblings of
the campus grape debate began before UMAS came to be, and were attributed to
non-Chicano activists by the University of Washington Daily. Soon,
however, the campaign’s leadership became identified with UMAS, as the
organization gained strength and the campaign moved into its most publicized
and intense period: a boycott of all UW food services, which centered around
the student union building, known as “the HUB.” The successful boycott made
the UW the first campus in the United States to stop selling grapes
and turned a small group of Chicano students into a force to be reckoned
comes to campus
In May of
1968, the UW chapter of the Black Student Union (BSU) waged a successful
campaign to make the University more accessible and relevant to
African-American students. Their vociferous demands, delivered during a
four-hour sit-in at the Administration Building, called for improving
recruitment and treatment of minority students, doubling Black enrollment,
increasing financial aid and funding for minority student programs, and the
creation of Black Studies courses.
One of the
steps President Charles Odegaard took in response was to create the Special
Education Program (SEP).
The program’s goal was to “increase the enrollment of historically
underrepresented minority and disadvantaged students” and provide them
assistance with academics and adjusting to the university environment.
 In June, Bill Hilliard, a former counselor for the
Department of Penal Institutions and the YMCA,
was hired to direct recruitment efforts. That summer, he was assisted by
eight BSU members who accompanied him on trips around the state to convince
“Negro,” “American Indian,” and Mexican-American students to attend the UW.
One of the group’s recruiting sites was the Yakima Valley, where recruiters
talked with many Chicano youth.
This connection between the BSU and Chicano students would later be
strengthened by collaborative efforts on campus.
program was successful in enrolling 247 new students of color,
including 35 Chicanos.
This brought the total “Hispanic”
population to 60, or 0.19% of the student body of 31,913.
Before 1968, the UW’s only census of students by ethnicity had been an
estimation based on observing students on the Suzzallo Quad (today’s Red
Square), but one administrator guesses there was a total of 15-20 Hispanic
students before recruiting began.
Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, who would become a friend and advisor to many Chicano
students, claimed that before SEP there were only three.
By any estimation, Chicanos made up only a tiny fraction of the student
population, even after the implementation of a recruitment program.
large university can be a daunting experience for any first-year student,
and this was perhaps especially true for Chicanos from east of the Cascade
Range. Erasmo Gamboa, who would later become a Chicano student leader,
was intimidated by the fact that “there were more people in the HUB than
there were in my hometown.” Overwhelmed by the size of campus, he skipped
his first day of classes, and happened upon other Chicano students in a
U-District coffee shop who were doing the same. Most Chicano students felt
isolated, even from each other, because they came from different
communities and were spread out in residence halls across the campus.
However, some of them quickly recognized their common bonds of culture,
ethnicity and class. They shared Mexican roots, spoke Spanish, and came from
families that engaged in farm work or other labor.
They adopted a buddy system to keep tabs on each other and began building a
social network that would soon evolve into an influential organization.
the UW, like college campuses across the nation and overseas, was embroiled
in social upheaval. Student movements and the police and legal actions that
countered them reached a fever pitch in Europe, Mexico, and across the
United States. In the spring, the UW chapter of Students for a Democratic
Society (SDS) participated in a national campaign of protests, including a
class boycott waged by more than 2,000 students. In August, Chicago police
viciously attacked protesters at the Democratic National Convention, and the
City of Berkeley declared a “civil disaster” as police and protesters
clashed in the streets. On September 18, someone set fire to UW’s Clark
Hall, which housed the Navy ROTC program, and on October 24, 2,000 UW
students “liberated” the Faculty Club after a speech given on campus by
Yippie organizer Jerry Rubin.
These are only a few of the tumultuous events that helped set a militant
tone for political student organizations.
Chicanos had even more reason to become politically active than the average
student, because a movement of their own was gaining strength. Many
political and social organizations had been created during the “Mexican
American Generation” of the 1930s. These were focused on the concepts of
assimilation into American culture while maintaining pride in Mexican
By 1968, the ideology and tactics of Mexican American activism had changed.
That year, California’s university campuses were home to about 50 Mexican
American student organizations, with thousands of members, many of whom were
undergoing an acute radicalization.
On the morning of March 3, 1968, more than one thousand students walked out
of Abraham Lincoln High School in East Los Angeles, protesting the school’s
racist teachers and policies, restrictions on students’ freedom of speech,
and the lack of Mexican American teachers and curricula. By that afternoon,
more than 10,000 students from five other primarily Mexican American schools
had joined them.
As author Carlos Muñoz puts it, “In addition to its historical significance
to Mexican Americans as their first large-scale protest, the strike marked
the entry by youth of Mexican descent into the history of the turbulent
According to the Los Angeles Times , this was the “Birth of Brown
The founding of UMAS
no organization for Chicanos or Latinos at the UW in the fall of 1968, but
Gamboa was accepted as a member of the BSU, whose activities became an
inspiration and blueprint for the new Chicano organization soon to form.
Little more than a month after the academic year began, Gamboa and others
organized the United Mexican American Students (UMAS). The group was also
modeled after the UMAS at University of Southern California-Los Angeles,
which was helping organize new chapters around the country. The first UW
UMAS meeting, on November 1, 1968,
was held in the Lander Hall dormitory, which would later become a hub of
social and political activity for the group and other students in SEP.
group’s first activity was to find a room of its own. UMAS members demanded
and received a meeting place, an old barber shop recently purchased by the
Later in the quarter it established itself as an organization affiliated
with the Associated Students of the UW (ASUW), the “student government.”
With ASUW recognition, the group was eligible for an office cubicle in the
HUB’s second floor “activities lounge,” as well as access to a telephone and
mimeograph machine. By the end of the first quarter, UMAS members had
convinced both the College of Arts and Sciences to offer a new class on
Mexican American History, and the Department of Romance Languages to create
a Spanish grammar course especially for native speakers.
also building ties with Mexican Americans back in the Yakima Valley. Members
went home on weekends to register and educate voters,
and even before UMAS was officially organized, they participated in a campus
clothing drive for the Yakima Parent-Child Service.
In the autumn of 1968, an invitation to join the board of the Mexican
American Federation, organized by 40 Mexican Americans in Yakima the year
before, was extended to UMAS.
moving in a sense at breakneck speed, then,” recalls Erasmo Gamboa. “And we
were energized by the fact that the University at the time was pliant, if
you will — we were able to move the University relatively easy.” It was this
energy and desire for change that would soon bring UMAS to its toughest
project: convincing the University to stop selling grapes.
UFWOC and the grape
the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) had been building rank-and-file
strength in various agricultural areas of California, and gaining a national
reputation for its nonviolent but gutsy tactics. Since farm workers were not
(and are not today) covered by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA, also
known as the Wagner Act), the federal law that protects most workers’ rights
to organize unions and bargain collectively, cofounder César Chávez and his
allies knew that traditional union organizing methods would not work in the
fields. They planned to build the union’s strength over many years, until
they had the funds and organizational capacity to take on growers, one by
one, and win the kind of contracts that would make a significant impact on
farm workers’ lives. Due to the pressing need for public support and his own
dedication to nonviolence, Chávez cultivated the image of the union as a
participant in the Civil Rights movement. He employed a combination of
grassroots organizing, Ghandian fasts, solemn marches like those of Dr.
Martin Luther King, and imagery and prayer from the Catholic faith.
winning a wage increase for rose workers in 1965 and contracts for
wine-grape workers in 1966, the NFWA merged with the Agricultural Workers
Organizing Committee (AWOC) to form the United Farm Workers Organizing
Committee (UFWOC). UFWOC
soon decided to take on the huge table-grape industry, beginning with
Giumarra Vineyards Corporation, the largest table-grape grower in the
country. Owner John Giumarra swore his fields would never be unionized, so
UFWOC organized a national boycott of Giumarra grapes. Despite great
investments made by organizers and support committees across the country,
Giumarra was able to get around the boycott by illegally using the packing
labels of other table grape companies, which allowed “scab grapes” to sneak
past supermarket pickets. Once UFWOC found out about this, it decided to
boycott all California table grapes, since other growers had proven
themselves to be complicit in Giumarra’s strikebreaking.
of table grapes lasted four years. It brought the issue of injustice against
Mexican Americans to the nation’s attention and involved many hundreds of
volunteers across the country, radicalizing and training them in grassroots
organizing. Although the “Friends of the Farm Workers” committees, as they
were often called, were multi-ethnic groups, they gave a boost to the
Chicano Movement, especially its student activists. UFWOC organizers were
dispatched to every major city in the nation. Dale Van Pelt, a Methodist
minister and UFWOC organizer,
arrived to Seattle in the winter of 1968-69 and began working with UMAS,
training its members in strategy and organizing skills, while coordinating
boycott efforts among church groups, unions, and other organizations.
boycott also gave the movement new icons and cultural traditions, such as a
new form of agit-prop “teatro” theater created by Teatro Campesino, which
worked closely with the union. The UFWOC flag, an angular Aztec eagle on a
red background, became a sort of Chicano coat-of-arms. Its significance to
UMAS would later be captured by a Daily photograph of four UMAS
students holding the flag, with a caption that calls it “their Huelga banner
... used to symbolize the cause of the Mexican-American farm workers
throughout the country.”
The genesis of the
Exactly how the boycott began at the UW
remains unclear. In the beginning, the Daily reported that it was
led by the combined efforts of the UW chapters of the Young Men’s and Young
Women’s Christian Associations (YMCA & YWCA). Mostly Anglo
names are listed in the first Daily articles.
However, according to one of the boycott’s central participants, Erasmo
Gamboa, Chicano students were part of the effort from the start.
It is entirely plausible that the Daily might have ignored the
contributions of a small group of nonwhite students, but resolving this
question would take further research. In any case, it is clear that there
was significant participation of non-Chicano students in the preliminary
boycott activities, but that at a certain point, UMAS became the visible
By the end
of September 1968, the supermarket chain A&P had agreed to halt local grape
sales and UFWOC was claming a national drop in grape sales of 20 per cent.
That week, the UW YMCA issued a position paper calling for a grape boycott
on campus, starting with residence hall cafeterias.
By October 1, food services director J. Arthur Pringle announced that
dormitory residents would decide for themselves whether to boycott grapes,
calling it “an individual matter instead of an institutional one.”
This would become the administration’s position on the matter for the
duration of the grape struggle. As a state institution, administrators said,
the UW was not in a position to take stances on political issues. Selling
scab grapes, boycotters countered, was in itself taking a political position
in favor of grape growers.
8, the student-run Residence Hall Council (RHC) was urged by YM-YWCA to
support the boycott,
and it decided to allow each individual hall decide for itself. A vote was
scheduled for October 21, and the film “Huelga” was shown by the campus
chapter of the National Grape Boycott Committee five nights of the week
leading up to the vote.
Residents of each of the dorms weighed in overwhelmingly in favor of the
boycott: Terry-Lander Hall voted 378 for-189 against, Haggett 361-200,
Hansee 111-53, and McCarty 294-94.
14-18, John Azelle, campus chair of the National Grape Boycott Committee,
and three other UW students took part in a four-day fast in support of the
strikers in California. Their fast began with an all-night vigil in front of
a Seattle franchise of the Albertson’s supermarket chain, which was a target
for boycott actions off campus.
(Although Quality Food Centers and A&P stores throughout the Seattle area
had discontinued grape sales, Albertson’s was one of the chains whose line
was “let the consumer decide.”)
The five hunger strikers
spent the rest of the four days at the Luther House in the U-District,
ending their fast with the breaking of bread. It is useful to note that
religious symbolism and sentiment had spread from the nonviolent leaders of
Delano to supporters throughout the movement, including students; and that
the names of the participants as reported by the Daily indicate that
the YM-YWCA was not predominantly Chicano. UMAS had formed just days
earlier, and though the record does not show its members as major
participants up to this point, they would soon be taking the lead.
Sparks in the Husky
residence hall vote and the well-publicized fast, the boycott’s opponents
decided to get organized too. The Young Republicans (YRs), staunchly opposed
to the secondary boycott they deemed “illegal,”
hosted a presentation by three grape growers from Delano, California, on
January 10. They faced off with Dale Van Pelt and a sizeable group of
boycott supporters, turning up the heat between the YRs and their opponents.
The HUB had
sold grapes intermittently for a number of years,
and at some point in January, grapes went back on sale after a request from
YRs Richard Sanders
and Bob Lint. On January 16, 1969, a group of SDS members
noticed that grapes were on sale in one of the HUB’s food facilities, and
presented an ultimatum to John Bickford, assistant HUB manager. They told
him that if grapes were not immediately removed by management, they would be
“confiscated.” Bickford explained to the Daily that “Our general rule
is to play it cool ... [s]o we removed the grapes and called a HUB Advisory
Board meeting to suggest that hearings be held to determine a policy for the
HUB food services to follow.” Sanders called it “give-in politics”
manipulated by “screaming militants,” and fired off a telegram to Governor
Daniel Evans, requesting his intervention. Amidst heated demands from both
the right and the left, the special Advisory Board meeting was set for the
next Wednesday, January 22.
heat of the issue would not allow a week to go by without incident. The day
after the SDS ultimatum, a scuffle broke out between members of the YRs and
the SDS. The Republicans set up a literature table in the HUB, including
leaflets against the grape boycott. SDS members tried to stop them, and the
ensuing “fracas” put them on the front page of the Daily and in hot
water with John Bickford, who threatened to suspend them all. The
Republicans showed that the leftists were not the only demanding ones, by
issuing an open letter calling for the suspension of John Bickford and the
resignation of UW President Charles Odegaard “unless he agrees to protect
the individual liberties of non-militant students.”
Which side are you
January, UMAS had developed a presence on campus. In less than three months,
the small group of newcomers had gained the confidence and organizing skills
to assume the leadership of the boycott and make themselves heard throughout
the city. The Seattle Times wrote about the UW grape issue, including
references to UMAS as the leading organization and quotes from both
Guadalupe Gamboa and President Jesús Lemos.
(UMAS had a policy of rotating spokespeople to train new leaders.)The
Daily, which UMAS had learned to employ toward its own ends,
ran a front-page article on the group’s activities and opinions
in addition to the boycott stories it published at least weekly.
January 21, UMAS held a press conference in Lander Hall, where Guadalupe
Gamboa, a first-year law student and UMAS Minister of Education,
read a statement condemning the sale of California grapes on campus. He
The time has come when
the University should show more concern and responsibility toward poverty
than merely studying it .... We, the Mexican-Americans, being largely of
farm-worker families, identify completely with the strikers and thus we are
the real issue at stake. Not grapes. Will we be denied the basic
labor-economic rights and thus the consequent socio-political influences
that emanate therefrom?
question and answer session, BSU leader E.J. Brisker expressed his support
for UMAS. “These guys have a lot of guts and they have the whole-hearted
support of the BSU. As we see it, the main role of the BSU [in the boycott
effort] is to support and advise the UMAS group.”
night, the newly-formed ASUW Student Assembly
weighed the issue. As the Daily reports it, the discussion boiled
down to the essential arguments of the opposing sides: Erasmo Gamboa
introduced a bill recommending a ban of grape sales in the HUB, arguing that
a lack of action meant tacit support for labor exploitation; Richard Sanders
offered an alternative bill, leaving the question up to individual choice.
The Assembly resolved with a two-thirds majority that no grapes be sold in
the HUB. It was the nascent body’s first resolution, and was forwarded on to
the HUB Advisory Board.
Advisory Board met the next night to hear testimony before recommending a
course of action to HUB manager Steve Nord. The meeting, described as
“stormy at times,” was attended by about 150 people.
The Board heard arguments from both sides, including statements from
representatives Richard Sanders and Erasmo Gamboa. Sanders presented a
petition against the boycott, signed by 250 students and “just put out to be
signed today.” Don MacKinnon presented the Student Assembly’s resolution in
favor of the ban. At least one union representative was on hand to stand in
solidarity with grape workers: George Starkovich, a UW gardener and member
of AFL-CIO Local 1488, “drew the biggest ovation of the night when he told
the crowd and the board .... ‘We are either for the grape growers or the
grape workers. Take your choice.’”
The next day, the Advisory Board recommended to Steve Nord that grapes be
served in the HUB only to students who specifically ordered them and paid in
advance, and it expressed its support of “the plight of the migrant worker
in the California grape fields.” Nord then punted, passing the decision on
to his superiors.
assistant Attorney General Jim Wilson accepted a request to meet on January
24 with four members of the Advisory Board, including Larry Gossett,
a member of the BSU.
Wilson told them “the University as a state institution cannot take a
political position on the matter” of HUB grape sales, but that “a decision
could be made not to buy grapes if the decision was based on such day-to-day
factors as price and demand .... [I]f the University discontinues sales
because it is losing money by selling them then it is no longer a political
decision.” Leaders of the Grape Boycott Committee
must have paid close attention to the statement, from the University’s chief
Considering the intense energy and dedication of the students involved, and
their exhaustive attempts to use administrative measures to rid the HUB of
grapes, Wilson was practically begging them to find a way to bring down HUB
about the grape boycott had clearly reached the highest levels of the
University administration. The same night, President Odegaard attended a
Faculty Senate meeting, where a discussion of the boycott was on the agenda.
He warned professors to carefully deliberate the issue, and not “shoot from
Also on January 24, SDS formally endorsed the boycott with a unanimous vote.
later, on Monday, January 27, the administration’s ruling came down. Ernest
M. Conrad, Vice President for Business and Finance, mandated the free sale
of grapes in the HUB, contrary to the HUB Advisory Board’s recommendations.
Having exhausted all official channels in their effort to rid the campus of
California table grapes, student organizers realized that the gig was up.
“We knew that the University wouldn’t act politically,” one UMAS member said
later, “but we hoped that they could make an economic decision.” The HUB
boycott was on.
Push comes to shove:
the HUB boycott
student groups reacted quickly to the administration’s decision. UMAS met
the same night and called for a complete boycott of campus food services,
including “the HUB Cafeteria, the Husky Den, Evergreen Room, Husky Hollow,
Commons Cafeteria (Raitt Hall), and the sandwich machine in the
SDS met the next afternoon, and the Daily reported SDS’s support for
UMAS “whatever course of action it takes.”
The Student Assembly met that evening, and voted to actively support the HUB
morning, Wednesday, January 29, about 100 people began picketing the HUB at
11 a.m. The boycott organizers’ immediate goal was to bring down HUB food
sales by 10%, the loss they estimated would convince management to remove
the grapes altogether. Students passed out food in an effort to prevent
hungry, hurried students from crossing the picket line,
and planned a teach-in in the HUB Ballroom to convince the uncertain.
The Daily defended “the University’s right to remain apolitical”
while cheering on the boycotters in their effort to force the administration
ASUW President Thom Gunn reaffirmed his association’s support for the HUB
food boycott and attacked UW Vice President Conrad and President Odegaard
for “belittling this university committee [the HUB Advisory Board] ...
precipitating a crisis and emerging in its own brand of irresponsible
night, a formal boycott coalition was formed and a steering committee chosen
with representatives from UMAS, SDS, BSU, Young Socialist Alliance (YSA),
Black and White Concern (BWC), the University YMCA Boycott Committee, the
Student Assembly, and the ASUW Board of Control (BOC).
Erasmo Gamboa was appointed Chair of the committee, which today he frankly
characterizes as “highly undemocratic.” The coalition agreed to follow the
lead of UMAS, the group that knew most about farm workers. “We felt
pressured by the far left groups that we were giving in, not going far
enough,” but “those organizations tended to defer to us.”
committee’s foes were active, too. On the first day of the boycott, 28
pounds of grapes sold in the HUB in 45 minutes,
presumably because of the YRs’ efforts. Nevertheless, it seemed the boycott
might be working. Both the HUB Cafeteria and the Husky Den reported about
700 fewer customers than the Wednesday before, and though John Bickford
admitted that the number of patrons had dropped significantly, he did not
claim to know exactly why.
Depending on who was asked, the drop in sales was attributed to widespread
support for the boycott, the heavy snowfall that had stuck around since the
week before, or the boycotters’ intimidation of would-be HUB patrons.
Thursday, the Seattle chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union
expressed its support for a campus-wide referendum for all faculty, staff,
students and administrators to decide the grape boycott issue, as had been
recommended previously by the campus chapter.
Meanwhile, boycotters gave out 1,500 peanut butter sandwiches to ward off
would-be HUB patrons, and worked into the night to prepare more.
The ASUW Board of Control passed a resolution condemning the administration
for “blatant disregard of student opinion and decision making,”
and on Friday, it allocated $150 from its emergency fund to the YMCA Boycott
Committee for more PB&J.
3, Day Four of the boycott, hard numbers were released that were hard to
ignore. When combined, the average sales of the Husky Den and the HUB
Cafeteria had repeatedly dropped $831 each day of the boycott and their
customer count went down in average daily slumps of 1,745. The boycott had
far surpassed the goal of reducing HUB food sales by 10% — average daily
sales had dropped 18% in the Husky Den and 24% in the HUB Cafeteria. That
day, the boycotters also received a favorable resolution from the UW chapter
of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).
Yet the boycott’s early successes were
tempered by logistical setbacks. Seattle health officials shut down the
peanut butter sandwich brigades because volunteers didn’t have the required
food handler’s permits, and HUB manager Steve Nord cautioned the YMCA
University Boycott Committee that they were not allowed to use HUB
kitchenettes for public food service. “It was not an effort to squash the
boycott,” he said, “but we have to follow the proper health and sanitation
Considering the to-the-letter nature of today’s HUB administration, Nord’s
denial of political motivation was quite possibly sincere.
fifth day of the boycott, Tuesday, the situation seemed to be progressing.
ASUW officers traveled to Olympia to discuss the boycott with legislators,
and reported a favorable reception from lawmakers who encouraged them to
remain moderate. The boycott executive committee delivered a letter to
President Odegaard asking for a definitive decision from him by Thursday.
Instead, the administration agreed only to a meeting with students on that
were positive for the boycott one week after it had begun. On February 5,
the HUB Advisory Board unanimously passed a resolution to immediately stop
selling grapes, and Nord intimated that the resolution might be presented to
the administration in a coming meeting between administrators, faculty and
students. The list of organizations endorsing the boycott effort had grown
long: UMAS, BSU, SDS, YSA, BWC, University YMCA Boycott Committee, Student
Assembly, officers of the ASUW, BOC, Graduate and Professional Student
Senate (GPSS), AAUP, 74 independent faculty members and the Inter-Fraternity
Soon after, the Residence Hall Council added its name to the list.Only
the YRs and the New Conservatives actively opposed the boycott, and
Assistant Attorney General Jim Wilson affirmed the legality of the ASUW’s
$150 allocation to the central boycott committee, stating that secondary
boycotts were illegal only if staged by labor unions covered by the NLRA.
Thursday summit between the administration, UMAS, and the YRs was
inconclusive, but at least a proposal for compromise came out of it. The
ACLU’s simple suggestion of a campus referendum was dismissed because of the
time it would take to set up,
but two ASUW officers suggested another way to decide the issue: a
moratorium on both the sale of grapes and the HUB boycott, as well as a
period of sales assessment to equal the time the HUB boycott had been going
The YRs called the idea “the most ridiculous proposal heard today,” but it
was the only proposal made at the reportedly unruly face-off.
February 7, saw the publication of an open letter from President Odegaard in
the Daily. Odegaard, who was out of town, expressed virtually the
same sentiments as the conservative opponents of the boycott and the
supermarket chains that kept selling grapes: the matter was one of
individual choice. He took an ideological stance against the methods of the
boycotters while claiming to respect their aims. He wrote: “Unfortunately,
there are those who would use any plausible cause as an excuse to abuse the
University when their basic goal is the wrecking of the very society which
the Mexican Americans wish to join more fully.” He also warned that
“[t]yranny easily takes over a people who have already let the safeguards of
their individual freedoms be eroded by sloth or folly in a succession of
individual cases,” citing Hitler’s rise to power as an example.
How a University president could get away with comparing the Third Reich
with college students advocating on behalf of farmworkers is hard to fathom,
but I believe this a telling example of the administration’s perspective.
Only those absolutely mired in the status quo would think to link the
nonviolent disruption of commerce with the systematic dismantling of civil
liberties that Germany saw in the 1930s.
Friday, Vice President Frederick Thieme announced that indeed grapes would
be removed from HUB shelves while a before-and-after study of sales was
conducted. Average sales for two weeks in February would be compared with
average sales from Jan. 6-28, the weeks leading up to the boycott. If total
sales increased during the test case, grapes would remain off the shelves.
If sales decreased, grape sales would resume. If figures remained roughly
the same, grapes would be made available to those students who ordered and
paid for them in advance. The full rationale of this plan is never made
clear in the Daily’s coverage (possibly because it so puzzled
reporters) and none of the boycott participants interviewed for this paper
could remember its obtuse details. It appears that the plan was meant pacify
all sides of the conflict, and somehow demonstrate to the administration
whether or not the student body supported the boycott. It was a
“cooling-off” period. But was it also a cop-out by the administration?
The YRs would be allowed the chance to
stage their own boycott of the HUB during the “statistical phase,” and would
be allocated the same $150 from the ASUW that grape boycotters received, if
requested. Thus, in a sense, the YRs were being asked to prove that their
cause also had student support, and barring such proof, grape sales would
not resume. They refused to mount a counter-boycott, not wanting to “roll in
the gutter with the administration.”
The convoluted situation was perhaps best summed up by John Greely, the
Daily’s verbose grape correspondent:
Thus, at this point of the
grape issue, a controversy whose beginnings on this campus are shrouded with
placards and angry words and whose end is not yet in sight, there is a
curious state of bewilderment. Each student faction, although of opposite
idealogy [sic] and intent, in this issue, is dissatisfied with the decision.
One group refuses to
boycott, explaining that boycotting is contrary to their principle. The
other feels that they have made themselves clear on the issue, but wishes
that others would do so also. The administration will rely on statistics to
The irony of the situation:
grapes will soon be out of season and the HUB couldn’t buy them even if they
would later point out, the “Mosier Plan” was heavily weighted in the
boycotters’ favor. The plan’s namesake was an officer of the ASUW, a body
that had overwhelmingly come out in support of the grape strikers and their
student foot soldiers,
and the YRs knew it. But despite the YRs’ aversion to dirtying their hands
in the affair, they accepted $150 from the ASUW on Feb. 11 for their
campaign to restart HUB grape sales. Richard Sanders received the funds on
behalf of a committee known as Students For Responsible Expression (SRE),
which he said would use to produce literature and Daily
advertisements. As with the arrangement providing $150 to grape boycotters,
SRE was required to repay the amount in full, and said it would accept
donations to recoup costs.
the University Boycott Committee wasn’t through yet. On February 12, it
hosted a talk by Fred Ross,
the Community Services Organization leader who had trained César Chávez as
He spoke to 34 students at the University YMCA, outlining UFWOC’s goal now
that grape season was ending and new projects could be begun: to stop grape
sales at Safeway, the supermarket giant.
surprisingly, HUB food sales increased during the moratorium, once the
boycott was called off. To the delight of boycott supporters, sales jumped
18% during the first three days of the moratorium when compared with the
corresponding days of the previous week.
With those figures established, the Student Assembly seemed ready to salve
wounds and move on, passing a resolution February 11 that commended John
Bickford for his “fair and sensitive response” to the difficulties of the
finally, the boycott came to an anticlimactic end. On Monday, February 17,
1969, the HUB halted the sale of grapes and the administration announced
“that California table grapes will not be sold in the building for the
balance of the season.” The Students for Responsible Expression reacted with
a sardonic protest: members gave away grapes at all entrances of the HUB,
beneath placards reading “Purple Power” and “Grapes Is Beautiful.” They
disposed of three lugs of fruit, donated by local food markets, and claimed
to have gathered 1,000 signatures in favor of resuming grape sales.
other boycotters were undoubtedly pleased with the administration’s
announcement. “We set out to get grapes off the HUB food lines and that’s
just what we did. So I guess you could call that a victory,” Jesús Lemos
“The campus was ‘clean,’ as we used the language of the time,” said Erasmo
Gamboa in a recent interview.
Thom Gunn was more reluctant to claim a complete victory. “However,” he
said, “I certainly hope that a lot of the previously side line groups are
proud of their involvement in the controversy. In the future I hope these
same groups will continue to make their feelings known.”
national boycott eventually succeeded in forcing all the major California
table grape growers to the negotiating table in the spring and summer of
1970. The UW grape boycott, however, was more than just a small victory
within a larger movement. In addition to reaching its objective of ridding
the campus of scab fruit, UMAS had become a force in campus politics,
despite its few members. It had given a voice to Chicano students, who were
then able to advocate on their own behalf within the University, as well as
bring to light the injustices suffered by Washington’s Mexican Americans,
who had been largely invisible to city folk until this period.
Editor Ray Hallinan observed in a March 1969 editorial that “it seems likely
that the grape boycott was the issue which began to awaken this campus from
a long apathetic slumber. This was a very positive step.”
While it may seem untrue in retrospect to characterize the campus in 1968-69
as apathetic, at least in comparison with how it has been before and since,
Hallinan had a point. The grape boycott was the first time that such a broad
student coalition (with support from faculty and staff) had challenged the
University administration with a compelling political issue in a highly
strategic manner, employing all possible channels in order to create a
change. The BSU had been successful in creating new opportunities for
African Americans and other students of color the year before, but I would
argue that their accomplishments were based on the force of their political
argument and of their protesting presence, and not as much as the force of
coalition. The same is especially true of the SDS. It mobilized thousands of
students against the war and drove a United Fruit Company recruiter from
among other actions, but its far-left ideology and tactics prevented it from
engaging in the kind of dialogue that occasionally creates lasting change
within the University.
boycott’s organizers, from YMCA to UMAS, were an intelligent bunch, building
their campaign from the bottom up. It started in the residence halls, where
the boycott could be instituted one building at a time, and where individual
residents and floors could be targeted for lobbying. The YM-YWCA quickly
convinced the administration to allow students to decide for themselves how
to deal with grape sales. This was a surprisingly democratic move, and one
which gave the campaign much strength by allowing it an early victory. (From
the time the YMCA released its position paper to the landslide vote favoring
the boycott in every residence hall, less than a month elapsed.)
public food services were an obvious next objective. Although the SDS’s
uncompromising demands kicked off the HUB struggle in January, its brawny
tactics were not sustainable. SDS members did get the HUB to immediately
remove grapes from the shelves with their intimations of sabotage, but that
would have continued to work only as long as they were regularly checking
the shelves, and the administration was willing to bend to the radicals’
threats. When UMAS stepped in to lead the campaign through the maze of the
meetings and strategy revisions, the boycott had an opportunity to really
work. This pragmatic spirit of struggle and compromise is no accident
— Erasmo Gamboa attributes it to the Chicano students’ economic background
and their position as newcomers. While SDS members, largely of the middle
and upper-middle class, could count on the economic safety net underlying
their daring acts, and BSU radicals often had family and community to count
on just a few miles away, UMAS students in urban western Washington were cut
off from their support system in the Yakima Valley. Many also recognized
their unique opportunity to find a career outside the laborious occupations
of their parents, and didn’t want to jeopardize it.
smart, dedicated, and inspired by the historical contexts they came from and
walked into, but the skills they quickly developed were what really made
things happen. UMAS’ media savvy was useful — getting stories run in the
Seattle Times and constant coverage from the Daily kept the heat
on — but its coalition-building, more than anything, was the key to its
success. It won the support of a numerous undergraduate associations (BSU,
SDS, the ASUW Senate and BOC, just to name the major players), graduate
students (GPSS and other groups), faculty (AAUP, Faculty Senate,
departments, individuals), religious organizations, and community leaders.
This assemblage not only gave more weight to the campaign’s claims, but
provided a base of supporters to call on when the boycott and other events
developed. The boycotters’ broad-based support and the force of their
arguments truly made it a movement, a collective effort that changed
the way things worked.
The boycott was also unique because it
engaged the entire campus community. Students from across the political
spectrum, the Daily, faculty, staff, and key players in the
administration took a public stance on the issue.
In the months and years following February
of 1969, Thom Gunn’s hopes for continued student involvement came true.
Boycott supporters kept at it, quickly transferred their efforts from the
HUB to local Safeway stores. The next academic year (1969-70) saw the
campus’s largest antiwar protests of all, Erasmo Gamboa joined the very HUB
Advisory Board he had successfully lobbied from the outside,
and in the spring, a Chicano student named Eloy Apodaca was elected to the
ASUW Board of Control.
Later UMAS changed its name and affiliated with El Movimiento Estudiantil
Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA), a group that today continues to engage in campus
politics and recruit new Chicano/Latino students.
student activism, 30 years later
As a campus
activist and student of Spanish and Labor Studies, I chose to research UMAS
and the grape boycott because of my own interests in grassroots organizing
and Spanish-speaking cultures. Leafing through the pages of old periodicals
and learning of the collaborations between BSU, UMAS, SDS, and other groups,
has been a bittersweet inspiration to me just as my own participation in
similar activities comes to a close. It is my hope that this historical
account can serve other student organizers by putting into perspective some
of the challenges that any group faces when confronting the University
administration. By contrasting the late 1960s with my own era I hope to
identify some of the elements that lead to political gains within the
constraints particular to this massive, idiosyncratic institution.
exceptionally difficult to convince the University to take a political
stand, but the question of the its moral responsibilities regarding labor
and human rights has not gone away. State law prevents government employees
from advocating or opposing any ballot issue or candidate; the difficulty of
getting UW President Richard McCormick to stand up to Initiative 200 is a
This restriction doesn’t stop students from trying to pin the UW down on
issues that don’t appear on the ballot, however. For example, the 1997-98
academic year saw the rise and flop of a new movement to support farm
workers. The Strawberry Workers Solidarity Coalition (SWSC), made up of
MEChA, Student Labor Action Coalition, Classified Staff District 925/SEIU,
and the International Socialist Organization, wanted to support the UFW’s
new effort to organize the California strawberry industry, and began
planning a campaign to convince the Board of Regents to sign a pledge of
support of strawberry workers’ rights, a strategy suggested by the UFW.
After months of contentious meetings and little progress, SWSC members
realized that its goal was not feasible, and gave up.
However, another organization was successful
in forcing the Regents’ hand, later that year. GPSS and the Free Burma
Coalition successfully lobbied the Board of Regents to oppose ARCO (Atlantic
Richfield Co.) as a sponsor of the Pac-10 athletics conference, because of
the company's financial support of the military regime in Burma. The Regents
agreed to write a letter to the conference administrators expressing their
disapproval, and though this did not change ARCO’s sponsorship, the move was
an important precedent. The Coalition for Domestic Partnership Equality,
perhaps the most effective and influential UW student organization this
decade, is another success story. In 1997, it convinced the UW to provide
the same housing and insurance benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of
students that it offers to students’ spouses. Throughout the 1996-97
academic year, it waged a campaign the included the gathering of thousands
of petition signatures, a sizeable rally and other public events,
negotiations with the President and other administrators, and the support of
dozens of student organizations, as well as leading gay rights and other
activists from the Seattle community.
reason to believe that another labor or human rights issue could come to the
forefront of the campus dialogue. In spring of 1998, student voters
overwhelmingly approved an ASUW ballot measure asking if the University
should cease doing business with companies that violate workers’ rights.
This vote of confidence for proactive steps in commerce and human rights
could be a useful wedge if employed by student activists. MEChA continues
its support for a boycott in solidarity with Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del
Noroeste (PCUN), an Oregon farm worker union, and conversations about
joining the national Students Against Sweatshops campaign continue to bubble
among various student organizations and, on occasion, in the pages of the
Daily. The day will come when students once again attempt to make the
University lend its weighty hand to a political cause, and when it does, it
will be essential to remember that tremendous pressure will be required.
this kind of momentum, students face more than just the student apathy that
the Tyee yearbook complained about even in the late 1960s.
The forceful student mobilizations a generation ago ripped from the hands of
the administration the control of campus it had always enjoyed. In the
intervening years, the UW found ways to take back that control. In 1972, the
Use of University Facilities Committee (UUFC) was established, and with it,
a set of rules that regulates students’ and others’ use of campus for
meetings and events. Today the UUFC requires that a special form be filled
out by any organization that plans an event involving amplified sound or
participants from off campus. The committee’s rationale is that it needs to
prevent the kinds of classroom disruptions that occurred at the sixties’
peak, as well as to ensure that campus facilities are used primarily by the
University and its affiliated organizations, not taken over by outside
groups. The requirement that the form be filed three weeks in advance of the
event, however, limits the kind of rapid-response meetings and events that
political student organizations tend to plan. The UUF form also requires the
sponsorship and signature of the chair or director of some “relevant”
department, which slows down organizers who have to hunt down and convince
administrators, who at times refuse to sign for events of a political
nature. In any case, why should an academic department have to validate the
relevance of student activities?
point in the 1970s, student organizations were made independent of the ASUW,
and were cut off from its resources. In the 1960s, the lounge on the second
floor of the HUB, near the ASUW office, housed desks for student
Today the administration keeps “Registered Student Organizations” (RSOs) at
arm’s length. They are not allowed to use the resources of the ASUW or the
administration’s Student Activities Office (SAO), and are technically not a
part of the University at all, but “registered” entities that are allowed
limited liberties on campus. Another example of regulations that stifle
student organizations is the rules regarding fundraising, an activity only
RSOs and the University itself may legally engage in on campus. Even
something as simple as setting up a card table and selling T-shirts or baked
goods is a burden: it requires a form listing each individual item and
price, a meeting with an SAO adviser, permission from the SAO, and another
meeting after the fact to show receipts of earnings and a bank deposit. The
SAO’s recent claim that this process’s intent is to register fundraisers to
ensure that they are not hassled by UW Police does not ring true. It is, at
best, a bureaucratic mess that does not take into account the needs of
student organizations; at worst, it may be an obstacle intended to keep
student groups begging for pocket change.
important asset of all student organizations is the student union building.
Unfortunately, the UW doesn’t have one. The “Husky Union Building” houses
the ASUW and GPSS (whose decisions can be overridden at any moment by the UW
President, according to their own constitutions), but it is otherwise run
like a convention center, with some use relegated to student organizations.
Job recruiters find a happy home there, and private conferences are
regularly held in the Auditorium and Ballrooms, but few student groups can
afford to use the facilities beyond the two free hours of meeting space
allowed them each week. A multi-tiered price system discourages fundraisers
and events that are open to the general public. For example, either of these
conditions makes the cost of an event in the Auditorium jump from about $50
to about $250. Closing the circle of this Catch-22 is the rule against ASUW
appropriations (which normally can be requested for RSO events) for
fundraisers. In effect, students have to hold a fundraiser in order to
afford holding a fundraiser. The end result is the marginalization of
smaller RSOs, which are overshadowed by groups with access to outside
funding and by the large but ineffectual ASUW.
exploration of these regulations, and of the evolution of student
organizations’ relationship to the administration over time, could shed
light on the UW’s current sleepy state of student activism. Changes to these
regulations could help promote a renewed student movement, one with the
confidence and capacity to challenge the administration and produce leaders
as strong as some of those mentioned here.
(c) Jeremy Simer
(HSTAA 498, Spring
 The language of racial and ethnic identity is significant to this paper,
because many such terms were the topic of heated debate during the era
that it covers. “Chicano” is a term created in the 1960s by activists of
Mexican descent to represent themselves, but was often rejected by
moderates who preferred to call themselves “Mexican-Americans.” (See the
introduction of Muñoz’s Youth, Identity, Power for a discussion
of the term “Chicano.”) I will tend to use the terms “Chicano” to refer
to citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are of
Mexican descent and who see their ethnicity as a defining factor of
their position in society, and “Mexican-American” for any American
citizen or resident of Mexican descent. But admittedly, I use them
somewhat interchangeably, as with the terms “Black” and
Erasmo Gamboa, personal interview, Nov. 12, 1998.
“La Raza,” Spanish for “the race” or “the people,” is a prideful name
many Chicanos and other Latinos have used to describe themselves at
least since the 1960s.
Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle.
Seattle (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995), 255.
SEP was the forerunner of today’s Educational Opportunity Programs and
the Office of Minority Affairs.
Herman D. Lujan (Vice President for Minority Affairs), “Memorandum on
the Office of Minority Affairs to the Board of Regents,” August 18,
“Program Serves Minority Groups,” University of Washington Daily
17 October 1968: 1.
“Garfield Grad Named To Minority Recruiting Post,” Daily (20
June 1968): 1.
Erasmo Gamboa, Personal interview, Nov. 12, 1998.
Bill Baker, personal interview, December 3, 1998.
Seattle Times (10 August 1969) Fifth section, p. 47.
“Hispanic” is a term that closely associates Latinos with their Spanish
roots instead of the mestizaje that defines their cultures; it is
usually not used by Spanish speakers with leftist leanings.
Office Of Minority Affairs, “University of Washington Minority
Enrollment and Population,” November 1998.
Baker 1998. Baker, now Associate Vice President for Educational
Opportunity Programs, was a UW employee in 1968.
Cathleen Curtis, “Chicano Group Active,” Daily (28 January
Later still, Gamboa would be expelled for his participation in a protest
against the disciplinary hearings of a group of activists, including
Robbie Stern of the SDS. Eventually his enrollment was reinstated, and
today he is a professor of American Ethnic Studies at the UW.
Erasmo Gamboa, personal interview, December 12, 1998.
Muñoz, Carlos Jr., Youth, Identity, Power (New York: Verso,
1989), Ch. 1.
Francisco A Rosales, Chicano! The History of the Mexican American
Civil Rights Movement. (Houston: Arte Público Press, 1996): 178.
As quoted in Rosales, 185.
“Mexican-Yank Group to Form,” Daily (1 November 1968): 5.
Associated Students of the University of Washington, Tyee
yearbook (Vol. 71, 1970): 441.
Gamboa, 11/12/98. According to Erasmo Gamboa, the barber shop was one of
many businesses on Lincoln Way that would later be demolished and made
into Gould Hall. “We sat in the barbers’ chairs and we held our
meetings there, and so forth. That’s how the organization got started.”
Cathleen Curtis, “Chicano Group Active,” Daily (28 January 1969):
“Boycott Clothing Drive,” Daily (3 October 1968): 4.
From an undated bulletin (ca. autumn 1968) of the Mexican American
Federation, in the Tomás Ybarra-Frausto papers, UW Archives Acc. #4339.
Details on UFWOC are from Rosales, Chapter 8: “The Struggle in the
UFWOC later became the United Farm Workers, AFL-CIO.
Van Pelt is identified as a “Methodist minister and former Delano
worker” as well as UFWOC representative in Terry Campbell, “Grape
Growers Clash With Local Boycott Leaders Over Wages, Strikes,” Daily
(14 January 1969): 6.
Cathleen Curtis, “Chicano Group Active.”
“Anglo” is a common Mexican American term for any person of white,
European descent, and does not necessarily refer to Anglo-Saxons.
‘Y’ Sparks Boycott,” Daily (30 September 1968): 5.
“District ‘Y’ Sparks Boycott.”
“No Grapes or Maybe Sour Ones; Dorms Vote,” Daily (1 October
“Dorm Council to Meet Tonight on Grape Boycott,” Daily (8
September 1968): 1.
“Boycott Vote Due,” Daily (11 October 1968). This print of
“Huelga” now resides in the office of Professor Gamboa.
Mary Natale, “Dorms Uphold Grape Boycott,” Daily (22 October
1968): 1. Figures for McMahon Hall were not published.
Azelle’s title reported by Sharon Tobin, “Dormies to Vote On Grape
Gripe,” Daily (10 October 1968): 1.
“University Student Begins 4-Day Grape Boycott Fast,” Daily (14
November 1968): 3.
“Grape Boycott Continues,” Daily (20 November, 1968): 4.
The Daily reported that the names of the fasters: “University
students Dale Van Pelt, Eric Gustafson, Jon Ezelle [sic], Linda Vane,
Phil Hale and Judy Olvera, a Seattle University student”. Though the
reporter incorrectly tagged Dale Van Pelt as a student, the surnames
listed seem to indicate that the participants were not primarily
Chicanos. This is the last publicized event led by YM-YWCA.
“YR’s Oppose Fluoridation, Grape Boycott, Two Bills,” Daily (3
October 1968): 4.
Terry Campbell, “Grape Growers Clash With Local Boycott Leaders Over
Wages, Strikes,” Daily (14 January 1969): 6.
John Greely, “University Grape Controversy: Chaos Over HUB’s Purple
Fruit,” Daily (19 February 1969): 1.
Sanders at this time was a leading Young Republican and a columnist for
the Daily. He is the same Richard Sanders recently reelected to
the state Supreme Court, who made a name for himself by speaking in
favor of anti-abortion protesters on the capitol steps, early in his
One of the SDS members who confronted HUB management about the grapes
was Robbie Stern, who is now the lead lobbyist and special assistant to
the president for the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
Charles Huron, “Protest Flares Over Grapes On HUB Line,” Daily
(17 January 1969): 1.
John Greely, “Group Grapples Over Grapes,” Daily (21 January
“Grapes: Minority Puts Squeeze on UW,” Seattle Times (22 January
Gamboa, 12/11/98. “We insisted on sympathetic people,” he said, “... we
knew who to call.”
Curtis, “Chicano Group Active.”
Guadalupe Gamboa, then a first-year law student at the UW, is also
Erasmo Gamboa’s cousin. Today he leads the Washington state section of
the United Farm Workers AFL-CIO.
Cathleen Curtis, “Mexican-Americans Tell Opposition To Grapes,” Daily
(21 January 1969): 1.
The Student Assembly was the brainchild of ASUW President Thom Gunn,
based on the idea of a “cell” structure to provide more student access
to the ASUW than the seven-member Board of Control could provide. Today
the Assembly is known as the ASUW Senate.
Dick Gollings, “Grape Strike Supported, NSA Membership Urged,” Daily
(23 January 1969): 6.
Today only the Swing Kids dance club can gather 150 people in the same
Bruce Olson, “Board Hears Grape Hassle,” Daily (23 January
“UW Can’t Take Political Stand on Grapes: Wilson,” Daily (24
January 1969): 1.
As Crowley points out (p. 114), Gossett joined the new Seattle chapter
of the Black Panther Party soon thereafter, and years later, became
director of the Central Area Motivation Project and a Metropolitan King
County Council member.
The boycott committee’s name is published in various forms throughout
the entire episode.
“UW Can’t Take Political Stand on Grapes: Wilson.”
Fred Olson, “Odegaard Urges Care in UW Grape Issue,” Daily (24
January 1969): 1.
Bruce Olson, “Administration Rules Free Grape Sales,” Daily (28
January 1969): 1.
Unknown author (presumably UMAS), “Boycott Bullettin [sic], Boycott Day
3,” No. 2, 31 January 1969. From the Theresa Valdez papers, UW Archives,
Acc. #2913-2-80-7. Hungry students were advised to patronize the
student-run cafés in the Art and Architecture buildings.
Olson, “Administration Rules Free Grape Sales.”
“Student Assembly Supports Boycott, Draft Hearings Set,” Daily,
(30 January 1969): 4.
Brian Schuessler, “HUB Sales Down in Boycott,” Daily (30 January
The teach-in was advertised in the “BOYCOTT GRAPES, BOYCOTT HUB FOOD”
leaflet, issued 29 January 1969, signed by UMAS, HUB Boycott
Co-ordinating Committee, BSU, SDS, University [YMCA] Boycott Committee,
and Black and White Concern. I haven’t found any reports from the actual
Greg Heberlein, “On Picketing,” Daily (29 January 1969): 2.
Brian Schuessler, “HUB Sales Down in Boycott,” Daily (30 January
John Greely, “Snow or Boycott, Sales in HUB Fall Still Lower,”
Daily (31 January 1969): 1.
John Greely, “Snow or Boycott, Sales in HUB Fall Still Lower.”
John Greely, “HUB Board Recommends Stoppage of Grape Sales,” Daily
(6 February 1969): 1.
John Greely, “Grape Confrontation Held in Regent Room,” Daily
(20 February 1969): 1.
John Greely, “Snow or Boycott, Sales in HUB Fall Still Lower.”
Steve Weiner, “BOC Hits Administration For HUB Grape Decision,” Daily
(12 January 1969): 1.
John Greely, “HUB Sales Still Down,” Daily (4 February 1969): 1.
Linda Reppond, “Boycotters Ask Decision From President Odegaard,”
Daily (15 February 1969): 1.
John Greely, “HUB Board Recommends Stoppage of Grape Sales,” Daily
(6 February 1969): 1.
“Council Upholds HUB Boycott,” Daily (7 February 1969): 5.
Greely, “HUB Board Recommends Stoppage of Grape Sales.”
John Greely, “The Final Plan—Was It Heavily Stacked in Boycotters’
Favor?” (21 February 1969): 1.
John Greely, “Rival Factions Meet With Administration,” Daily (7
February 1969): 1.
John Greely, “Grape Confrontation Held in Regent Room,” Daily
(20 February 1969): 5.
Charles Odegaard, “President Charles Odegaard: Individual Grape Decision
Favored,” Daily (7 February 1969): 13.
John Greely, “Boycott Enters Statistical Phase; Moratorium Set,”
Daily (11 February 1969): 1.
John Greely, “The Final Plan—Was It Heavily Stacked in Boycotters’
Favor?” Daily (21 February 1969): 1.
“YR Grape Position Funded by F&B,” Daily (12 February 1969): 1.
“Boycott Group Meets Today,” Daily (12 February 1969): 7.
The bitter struggle between UFWOC and Safeway became the stuff of
legend. The grocery chain put up an especially intense fight because the
board of this California-based corporation sat agribusiness leaders.
“Grapeless HUB Sales Go Up 18 Per Cent,” Daily (13 February
“Student Assembly Discusses Issues,” Daily (13 February 1969).
John Greely, “Grape Sales Stopped for ‘Economic Reasons,’” Daily
(18 February 1969): 1.
Greely, “Grape Sales Stopped for ‘Economic Reasons.’”
Ray Hallinan, “SDS Miscue,” Daily (March 1969): 4.
“SDS Ejects United Fruit Rep.: Demonstrator Says Confrontation Only A
Warm-Up for Anti-ROTC Activities,” Daily (25 February 1969): 1.
“HUB Advisory Seeks Out Students,” Tyee yearbook, University of
Washington (Vol. 71, 1970): 86.
Tyee yearbook, University of Washington (Vol. 71, 1970): 75
This is the initiative that is currently dismantling much of
Washington’s affirmative action programs, which were won largely by
students of color in the sixties and seventies.
Chicano/a Movement of Washington State History Project
This essay is part of our special section on the Chicano movement which includes video interviews with movement veterans and hundreds of photographs, newspaper articles, documents. Click link.
Farm Workers in Washington State History Project
The United Farm Workers have been active in Washington State since
1967. This special section features interviews
with activists, photographs and a detailed history of the union.
Erasmo Gamboa describes the events of boycott and the organization of UMAS in a streaming video interview.
photo from the January 28, 1969 edition of the UW Daily carried the
caption: "Four members of the United Mexican-American Students group
(UMAS) display their Huelga banner. This flag is used to symbolize the
cause of the Mexican American farm workers throughout the country. The
UMAS members are from left to right, Jose Correa, Antonio Salazar, Eron
Maltos, and Jesus Lemos, the president of the group."
The documents below belong to
the Manuscripts and
University Archives, University of Washington Library and are reproduced
with permission. Click to enlarge these images, then double click in the
lower right corner.
Leaflets like these were distributed on campus
and in the community during the boycott campaign.
In this January 27,
1969 press release, UW administration announces that HUB food services will
continue to serve grapes despite the protests. Two weeks later after a
boycott that sharply reduced HUB patronage, the policy was reversed, and
grapes were no longer sold in the HUB or dormatories.
Boycott Bulletin Collection
We have preserved five of the seven issues of the newsletter created by the HUB Boycott Steering Committee to keep the public informed of campaign progress. Click on the picture below to read them.