IWU Student Civic Engagement and Activism: Actions by Student Senate, the Religious Activities Commission, and the Methodist Student Movement

Publication Date

Spring 2024


The 1960s was a decade of movements and social change in the United States that affected everyone to some degree. This research paper examines those effects on students at the small liberal arts college of Illinois Wesleyan University. During the 1960s, IWU was a Methodist private institution with fewer than 2000 students. National scale movements such as the civil rights and women’s movement played a big role in students' lives, activism, and participation in American society. Using feminist theory to examine the documents that are available of student organizations and activism at Illinois Wesleyan throughout the 1960s, I am able to decipher the lived experience of social change at a small local level in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. Looking closely at a small private university gives a different perspective on how large-scale national movements affected close-knit communities, which in turn contributed to the changing social standings and debates of the 1960s.


Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | History

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