Pan-African studies to present documentary about CSUN activism

Crystal Chwierut

The Pan-African studies department will present a documentary highlighting the struggles of students in the 1960s and 1970s as they sought to establish ethnic studies programs.

“The Storm at Valley State” also depicts how students protested the the Vietnam War during this time.

Student activists at CSUN formerly known as San Fernando Valley State College, were once enraged with the lack of minority professors and culturally diverse courses offered.

There were essentially no African-American professors on campus and there were no courses that related to the cultures of minority students.

The documentary, directed by CSUN alum Paul Kulak, shows how students organized with the community in order to rally support for departments that teach courses having to do with minority cultures.

Between 1967 and 1971 students participated in six protests in order to get ethnic studies instituted at CSUN.

The protests in the Valley began before much more notable demonstrations at UC Berkley and Kent State.

Eventually, student uproar culminated in the takeover of the administration building in order to show how serious they were about the issue.  Many students and faculty were arrested for their efforts.

The second half of the documentary focuses on the campus anti-war movement as whole. The Kent State massacre being a main part of the film. In 1970 National Guardsmen killed four students protesting the Vietnam War.

The documentary will be shown in the Grand Salon on February 12, 2014 from 6 to 8 p.m.