Tide Hop, Sept. 1968

Tide Hop, Sept. 1968

Photo Illustration / Kylie Cowden

Rebecca Rakowitz

Hey Bama, welcome to the sixties! For this Tide Hop we look back at the week of Sept. 19, 1968, a year when Bear Bryant was celebrating his eleventh year in coaching, bus rides to football games at Legion Field cost 75 cents, jumper dresses were all the rage and Paty Hall had a book store.

Weird News: A page three news article details the story of Steve Ross, University student, Florida native and volunteer monster hunter. For the “worthwhile” sum $750, Ross took a trip to Scotland where he spent two weeks studying “one of the great mysteries of biology – the mystery of what manner of creature, if any, may be in Loch Ness.”

Ross – who said he had been interested in the monster since he was a kid – volunteered with a British non-profit organization, Loch Ness Phenomenon Investigation Bureau, that was dedicated to solving the mystery.

As far as can be told, he did not find the famed Loch Ness monster.

Throwback: The Crimson White did their own Tide Hop of sorts this week, when they looked back at a student revolt that took place in December of 1900.

The cause of the Capstone rebellion was animosity toward the new commandant of the military school who was considered a strict disciplinarian.

Students met in Woods Hall and agreed to create a disturbance to embarrass the commandant. The group decided to have cadets sign a pact to resign if any one of them were expelled, but only eight of the 120 students signed the pact.

Regardless of the unsuccessful pact-signing, the revolt was a success. Students barricaded Woods Hall with barbed wire and set off fire crackers and “other noise-making devices” at 1:30 a.m.  Both the commandant and the president of the University were unable to bring the students under control.

The group then set up a student Board of Control.

“The rebellious students pledged themselves to attend their regular classes, to maintain discipline and respect the regulations of the school,” the report said, “and to refuse to have anything to do with military affairs until West was removed from office.”

The Board of Trustees – seeing that the students were unified in their demands for the removal of the commandant, and their later demand for the removal of UA’s president who they accused of ineptitude – announced the “resignation” of both campus leaders.

Health News: A front-page report described the inadequacies in the sanitation of fraternity and sorority kitchens.

In the past year (1967), seven active cases of tuberculosis had been found in food handlers in the kitchens. It was also found that, of those workers who were tested, 7 to 9 percent tested positive to oral parasites.

The University announced that it would be facilitating skin tests and x-rays for all food handlers in order to quickly detect diseases.

Most kitchens did poorly on health checks, and some even fell below the standards to remain in operation.  A big problem in most was the lack of an adequate hand washing apparatus.

New Additions: From residence halls, to academia, to athletics, 1968 brought a lot of new additions to the University.

It was the year that Tutwiler Hall opened.

While today Tutwiler often receives a bad rep for being outdated, in the 60s it was its modernity that was its downfall. The CW bitingly refereed to it as both “Hilton-Tutwiler luxury hotel” and “10th Street, A Space Odyssey,” complaining that its elevator was too fast, that the luxurious dining room was strictly formal and that the only way to distinguish between floors was by memorizing the different style of furniture on each.

“The cold atmosphere, very similar to the big city hotels, is the result of an attempt to produce an environment similar to the big-cruel-world-out-there,” said the unimpressed review.

Another large addition was the creation of the New College, which was then known as the New Alabama Experimental College. Different from what the New College is today, the NAEC didn’t offer credit, grades, nor lectures within classes.

“Rather, the student is offered an opportunity to explore selected areas of interest,” the article said.

Instead of being a place where students could create a field of study that is personalized to their interests and goals, like it is today, the NAEC was a supplement to a student’s education: “an instrument to fill an academic void on campus.”

The NAEC also attempted to deconstruct the power structure in student-teacher relationships. Instead, it wanted the two to view each other as peers, with the instructor acting as a “stimulant to learning.”

1968 also saw the addition of a computer honors program, a supposed pre-cursor to the University’s current Computer Based Honors Program. Ten straight A high school graduates were chosen for the prestigious program.

“The new computer honors program seeks to combine the talents of bright, energetic scholars with the swiftness and accuracy of well-programed computers to broaden the scope and depth of undergraduate education and contribute to vital research projects in all fields of knowledge,” the report said.

As far as sports go, it was in 1968 that wrestling was brought to Bama.

According to the article, Athletic Director Paul (Bear) Bryant made the announcement, saying that wrestling is fast becoming a popular sport in the South and that UA wanted to expand its varsity sports program.

Bama Belle:  The sixties were a glorious time for sexism.

The Crimson White used to have a series where they would feature a different female student for each issue who was dubbed the “Bama Belle.” This week featured a freshman from Athens leaning up against a brick pillar and smiling for the camera.

“The shapely Chi Omega pledge is welcome to the University. Huh, fellas,” reads the caption.