What They Were Fighting For
The students’ disappointment in the University’s treatment of their housing concerns was the biggest cause of the protest. During their first week at the University, SEOP students stayed in rooms much like the one pictured here. Completed in 1964, Illinois Street Residence Halls had the most desired rooms on campus in 1968. Project 500 students were upset when, after a week of orientation, they were asked to leave ISR and wait for permanent room assignments in locations around campus. During orientation, the academic rigor of the school was stressed to the students in the program. SEOP students were concerned they might not be able to meet the high academic requirements when many of their new rooms featured falling plaster and were clearly unsuitable for studying.