Cornell History: Students occupy the Straight
April 19, 1969
Members of the Afro-American Society (AAS) occupy Willard Straight Hall for 36 hours, ejecting parents who were staying in the hall’s hotel rooms for Parents Weekend. The AAS was protesting Cornell’s perceived racism, its judicial system and its slow progress establishing a black studies program. The takeover was prompted in part by a handmade, 2-by-2-foot crucifix left burning on the porch of Wari House, a cooperative housing black women, at 2:45 a.m. that morning.