Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Students Concerned About Racism, 1968-1969


Students Concerned About Racism (SCAR), an undergraduate student organization, was formed in 1968 to increase enrollment of students of color at Tufts University. The group of approximately 150 students worked directly with high school students and counselors to bring African-American youth from the South and from urban areas to Tufts.

SCAR was formed after a brief, non-violent confrontation between administrators and about three hundred students on April 12, 1968. Two days earlier, a group of black students had walked out of a memorial service for recently assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King, claiming the service was hypocritical. On the twelfth, students confronted the administration, demanding that an extra twenty students of color be admitted to both Tufts and Jackson Colleges. Dean of Admissions John Palmer quickly agreed to the demands, on the condition that students aid the administration in recruiting and finding aid for the new students. In order to meet this challenge, SCAR was formed.

Led by co-chairs Charles Jordan, A1969, and Martha M. Constantine, J1969, SCAR contacted over 270 students, many of whom had not applied to schools for fear that they would be rejected or would not be able to afford the financial commitment. Of the 270 contacted, twenty students went on to enroll in the fall of 1969. To help these twenty cover the cost of Tufts, SCAR campaigned among students and faculty to build funds for financial aid. About half of the Tufts faculty agreed to donate one percent of their salary to aid for SCAR students, and over 600 students agreed to give up Saturday night meals, so that the proceeds could be used for financial aid. The trustees also voted to allot $50,000 to those recruited by the program.

SCAR's statement of goals included the recruitment of black students, procurement of aid and housing for new students, a reassessment of curricula in areas where the place of black men in history and society has been overlooked, establishment of a tutorial program to provide academic support when necessary, and improvement of methods of recruiting black faculty and personnel to teach and work at Tufts.

After gaining national attention for its recruiting efforts, SCAR disbanded, just one year after its founding, in the spring of 1969. SCAR leaders claimed that the organization couldn't fulfill its original intent. Although they had been successful in recruiting students to attend Tufts, leaders felt that the organization had not effectively dealt with racism on campus, especially subliminal racism in courses.

Source: UA024, box 18

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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