Guide to the Common Ground Collection
RG 9.5.4

Summary Information

Repository
Sarah Lawrence College Archives
Creator
Sarah Lawrence College. Common Ground.
Title
Common Ground Collection
ID
RG 9.5.4
Date [inclusive]
undated, 1969-present
Extent
3.0 linear feet 2 record cartons, 1 flat box
Language

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Sarah Lawrence College Archives 2008

Sarah Lawrence College Archives
1 Mead Way
Bronxville, NY, 10708
914-395-2480
archives@sarahlawrence.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

The collection is open to researchers. Restricted material is marked as such in the finding aid and on the folder itself. See archivist for further assistance with restricted folders.

Acquisition note

This collection was donated by Aja Mujinga Sherrard '11, chair of Common Ground, in October 2008.

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Historical note

Common Ground is a space used by students of color groups on campus. Located on the second floor of Bates, Common Ground functions as a place to hold events and meetings, as a lounge area, and a central location for resources that relate to the student of color groups that utilize the space. These groups include APICAD, Harambe, Unidad, Women of Color and others. The space currently known as Common Ground was not always located in Bates. Prior to its current location in the Student Space, a Students of Color Space existed in the basement of Westlands. The creation of a space for students of color dates to the Westlands sit-in of 1989. During the March 1989 Westlands sit-in by the student group Concerned Students of Color (CSOC) a series of demands were made that included the creation of a space for people of color on campus. The CSOC agenda defined this space as a place that would be a “non-residential center for political and social activity for students of color. It will be a place where growth, nurturing, assertion, and sharing of our ethnic identities will take place.” Four days after the agenda was put forth a panel composed of faculty and administration offered a document which stated that a “lounge space for students of color” would be an important part of forthcoming construction on campus. Approximately five years later, during the 1994-1995 academic year, Marilyn Katz noted in her Dean of Studies Report to the President that although students of color groups, including Asian Student Union, Harambe, and Unidad, had requested a space for a number of years, no such place had been provided. In the spring of 1995 the issue was discussed during a meeting of the Student Senate. It was decided by General Committee that there was a space in the basement of Westlands that could be used by these student groups on a trial basis. The first documentation of this space in the Student Handbook can be found in 2002-2003. The Students of Color Space “serves as a meeting room, gathering area and resource room for HARAMBE, APICAD, UNIDAD and other students of color organizations. The space is also used for speakers, discussions, movie nights and other activities. Mostly, however, it serves as an inviting, comfortable area for all students to relax, hang out and converse with one another.” This space was called Common Ground by students.

Common Ground moved to its current location in the Bates Center for Student Life during the 2004-2005 academic year after the remodeling of the student space was completed.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection contains records and materials pertaining to the student space Common Ground. The collection also includes material concerning student groups that use Common Ground space. These groups are APICAD, Harambe, Unidad, Women of Color, and others. Records documenting the history of the creation of Common Ground, which include the student group Concerned Students of Color may also be found in this collection. Material pertaining to these groups is mainly administrative. Certain groups’ records, such as Common Ground, Harambe, and Students of Color, are more comprehensive than others.

In addition to administrative records this collection includes a series of research files. The records in this series were compiled as subject files by Common Ground before transfer to the archives and have been left in their original order.

Lastly, this collection includes material relating to events and programming on and off-campus, resources for student groups, information about regional and national organizations of interest to student groups, as well as student publications and external publications collected by the student groups represented in this collection.

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Series description

Series I. Administrative Sub-series A. APICAD

Series I. Administrative Sub-series B. Common Ground

Series I. Administrative Sub-series C. Concerned Students of Color

Series I. Administrative Sub-series D. Harambe

Series I. Administrative Sub-series E. QPOC

Series I. Administrative Sub-series F. Students of Color

Series I. Administrative Sub-series G. Unidad

Series I. Administrative Sub-series H. Women of Color

Series II. Research Files

Series III. Subjects Sub-series A. Events

Series III. Subjects Sub-series B. General

Series III. Subjects Sub-series C. Publications Sub-series I. External

Series III. Subjects Sub-series C. PublicationsSub-series II. Student

Series I. Administrative consists of material relating to the administration of the student groups APICAD, Concerned Students of Color, Harambe, Students of Color, Unidad, Women of Color, and the student space Common Ground. These sub-series may contain meeting agendas and notes, budget information, correspondence regarding event planning, mission statements, documents about meeting space, programming resources, and flyers and posters announcing events sponsored by these groups. The records of these four sub-series: Concerned Students of Color, Students of Color, Harambe, and Common Ground provide brief but informative documentation about the development of the Common Ground student space. The material in Sub-series B. Common Ground is more thorough than in other sub-series. This is partly due to the records kept by space managers during the 2006-2007 academic year.

Series I is divided into seven sub-series: Sub-series A. APICAD; Sub-series B. Common Ground; Sub-series C. Concerned Students of Color; Sub-series D. Harambe; Sub-series E. QPOC; Sub-series F. Students of Color; Sub-series G. Unidad; Sub-series H. Women of Color.

Series II. Research Files consists of subject files created and maintained by Common Ground. The majority of this material refers to off-campus events or topics such as housing, political prisoners, labor, immigration, international political sanctions, and police brutality. The research files provide documentation of the interests of student groups on campus.

Series III. Subjects consists of general subject files and records collected by Common Ground. This includes diversity resources, speakers, local organizations, and material about events on-campus that the student groups who use Common Ground were involved with. Also included in this series is information about LGBTQ, Solidarity Club, Gay Men of African Descent, Black Students Association, the Black Radical Congress, and the Black Alumnae/i Association. The material in these files is partial and does not reflect administrative activity. This series also contains flyers and posters that were used to publicize on and off-campus events. These items are housed with the oversized material. Sub-series C. Publications contains both student produced literature, including The Ninja, a publication of APICAD, and Common Ground Magazine, a publication of Common Ground, as well as external publications. External publications collected by student groups are arranged alphabetically in folders titled with the student group’s name. All other external publications are arranged alphabetically by title in a folder titled General.

Series III is divided into three sub-series: Sub-series A. Events; Sub-series B. General; Sub-series C. Publications. Sub-series C is further divided into two sub-series: Sub-series I. External Publications; and Sub-series II. Student Publications.

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Related Materials

See also

Archived Digital Files and the Photograph Collection for images and movies of 2005-2006 Common Ground events including the Ethnic Studies Campaign, Cultural Misappropriation, and the Ishle Yi Park Event; Guide to the APICAD Collection for additional material on the student group APICAD; the Student Life Collection for additional student group publications; Protest and Activism on Campus Collection for further information about the Ethnic Studies Campaign, Police Brutality, and the Westlands Sit-In of 1969. The Protest and Activism Collection also contains materials about the activities of the groups Concerned Students of Color and Harambe. See also the Alice Stone Ilchman Papers for further information on CSOC, Harambe, and the 1989 Westlands Sit-In including correspondence from the President’s Office.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Gay Men of African Descent (Organization).
  • Sarah Lawrence College. Asian Pacific Islander Coalition for Action and Diversity.
  • Sarah Lawrence College. Asian Student Union.
  • Sarah Lawrence College. Black Students Association.
  • Sarah Lawrence College. Concerned Students of Color.
  • Sarah Lawrence College. Harambee.
  • Sarah Lawrence College. Queer People of Color.
  • Sarah Lawrence College. Students of Color.
  • Sarah Lawrence College. Unidad.
  • Sarah Lawrence College. Women of Color Affinity Group.

Genre(s)

  • Annual reports
  • Budgets
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Minutes
  • Photographs
  • Posters

Subject(s)

  • African American History Month
  • Minority college students
  • Race relations
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Student movements

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Cataloging status

Uploaded to OCLC in October 2012 OCLC # 861190950.

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Collection Inventory

Series I. Administrative 

Sub-series A. APICAD 

Agendas and Minutes 2011 

Digital Object Available
Carton

Correspondence undated, 1997, 2011-2012 

RESTRICTED

Contains restricted information

Digital Object Available
1
Flat-box

Publicity undated, 1996-1997, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2013 

Digital Object Available
3

Social Media 2007-2008 

Digital Object Available

Sub-series B. Common Ground 

Carton

Agendas and Minutes 2006-2007 

1

Budget 2000-2002, 2004-2007 

1

Correspondence undated, 1998, 2006-2007, 2011-2013 

Digital Object Available
1

Library undated, 2006-2007 

1

Mission Statement 2006-2007 

1

Programming undated, 2007-2008, 2013 

1
Flat-box

Publicity undated, 2006-2008, 2011 

Digital Object Available
3
Carton

Space undated, 2006, 2011, 2013 

RESTRICTED

Contains restricted information

Digital Object Available
1

Space Manager 2006-2007, 2012 

RESTRICTED

Contains restricted information

Digital Object Available
1

Student Information 2006-2007 

RESTRICTED

Contains restricted information

1

Sub-series C. Concerned Students of Color 

Carton

Agendas and Minutes 1991, 1993-1994 

1

Correspondence 1989, 1994 

1

Mission Statement 1989 

1

News Clippings 1991 

1

Publicity 1989 

1

Sub-series D. Harambe 

Carton

Agendas and Minutes undated, 1997, 2000, 2005-2006 

1

Budget 1996, 1999, 2001 

1

Correspondence 1989, 1996, 1999, 2002 

RESTRICTED

Contains restricted information

1

Harambee Summit 2006 

1

Mission Statement undated, 1994-1996 

1
CartonFlat-box

Publicity undated, 1991, 1996, 1998-1999, 2001-2002, 2011 

Digital Object Available
13
Carton

Reports 2001 

1

Student Information undated, 1995 

RESTRICTED

Contains restricted information

1

Sub-series E. QPOC 

Agendas and Minutes 2012 

Digital Object Available

Sub-series F. Students of Color 

Carton

Community Resources undated, 1997-1998 

1

Correspondence 1999 

1

Diversity Issues 1990-1995, 1997-2001 

1

Internships and Volunteering undated, 1991-1995 

1

Library 1999 

1

Programming undated, 1995-1998 

1

Publicity 1998, 2002 

1

Space 1994-1999, 2001 

1

"Student of Color Activism and Selected Activities 1989-1998" 1998 

1

Sub-series G. Unidad 

Agendas and Minutes 2011-2013 

Digital Object Available
Carton

Correspondence undated, 1992, 1996, 1998-2000, 2012-2013 

Digital Object Available
1

Programming undated, 1996, 1998-1999 

RESTRICTED

Contains restricted information

1
CartonFlat-box

Publicity undated, 1996-1998, 2000, 2007-2008, 2011-2012 

Digital Object Available
13

Social Media 2012 

Digital Object Available
Carton

Student Information 1995-1997, 1999-2000 

RESTRICTED

Contains restricted information

1

White Privilege Meeting 2012 

1

Sub-series H. Women of Color (WoCo) 

Carton

General undated 

1

Agendas and Minutes 2012 

Digital Object Available
Carton

Publicity 2006, 2011-2012 

Digital Object Available
1

The Vagina Monologues 2011 

1

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Series II. Research Files 

Carton

Films - American Indian 1993 

1

Films - Black and African American 1994-1996, 1998 

1

Films - International 1993-1994 

1

Films - Latino 1994, 1996-1997, 2006 

1
CartonFlat-box

Films - Women 1992-1993, 2006 

13
Carton

Financial Aid and Tuition 1996-1999 

1

Housing undated 

1

Immigration undated, 1992-1995 

1

Iraqi Sanctions 1998 

1

Jena 6 2007 

1

Labor undated, 1997 

1

Labor - Workfare Workers Organize undated 

1

Native American Issues 1997 

1

Police Brutality undated, 1997-1998 

See also

Protest and Activism Collection

1

Political Prisoners - General undated, 1992, 1997-1998 

1

Political Prisoners - MOVE undated, 1997-1998 

1

Political Prisoners - Mumia Abu Jamal undated, 1995-1997 

1

Political Prisoners - Puerto Rican undated, 1994, 1997-1998 

1

Politics 1997 

1

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Series III. Subjects 

Sub-series A. Events 

CartonFlat-box

Black History Month undated, 1990-1991, 1997-1998, 2001-2002 

13
Carton

Block Party 1996 

1

C3 Conference Caffeine Community 2011-2013 

Digital Object Available
Carton

Color Struck 2010 

1

Common Ground Graduation Dinner 2012 

Digital Object Available

Dances 2012 

Digital Object Available
Carton

Ethnic Studies Campaign 2004-2005 

See also

Common Ground Collection - Ethnic Studies Campaign; Protest and Activism Collection

Separated Materials note

Photographs are located in the Photograph Collection

1

Ethnic Studies Direct Action 2004 

Separated Materials note

Photographs are located in the Photograph Collection

Digital Object Available

Event List 2013 

Digital Object Available

Faculty Student Staff of Color and Allies Luncheon 2009-2013 

Digital Object Available
Carton

Fall Collective 1998, 2000 

See also

Dean of Studies Records

1

Film Viewings 2011-2013 

Digital Object Available

Finding Common Ground 2012 

Digital Object Available
Carton

FLIK Appreciation Dinner 1996-1999, 2006-2007 

1

Hunger Strike 1994 

1

Lectures 2011-2012 

Digital Object Available
Carton

Million Woman March 1997 

1

Off Campus 1992-1997, 2008, 2012-2013 

Digital Object Available
1

Poetry 2012 

Digital Object Available

Potluck Meals 2011-2012 

Digital Object Available

Remembering the 1989 Westlands Sit In 2009 

Digital Object Available
Carton

Sit-In 1989-1990 

1

Solidarity Retreat 2001 

1

Spring Collective 2012 

Digital Object Available

Town Hall Meetings 2011-2013 

Digital Object Available
Carton

Women's History Conference 2008, 2012 

Digital Object Available
1

Worker's Appreciation Dinner 2012-2013 

Digital Object Available

Sub-series B. General 

Carton

Academic Resources (published and unpublished) undated, 1996, 1998, 2007-2008 

1

Activism at other Colleges undated, 1990, 1998 

1

Black Alumnae/i Association 1994-1995 

1

Black People United 1999 

RESTRICTED

Contains restricted information

1
CartonFlat-box

Black Radical Congress 1998 

13
Carton

Black Students Association 1969, 1972 

1

Board of Trustees Long-Range Planning Committee Draft Report 1992 

1

Diversity Resources undated, 1994-1995 

1

Diversity Resources 1997-2001, 2005-2007 

2

Gay Men of African Descent undated, 2004-2005 

2

LGBTQ - Program Resources undated, 1995-1996 

2

Local Organizations undated, 1995, 1997 

2

OAR Report 1997 

2
Flat-box

Publicity - Off-Campus Events undated, 1997, 2005-2008 

3
Carton

Publicity - On-campus Events 1995, 1997-2001, 2007-2008 

2

Speakers - Black and African American 1994-1999 

2
CartonFlat-box

Solidarity Club 2008 

23
Carton

Student Group Resources undated, 1995-1996, 1999-2000, 2008 

2

Students for Jericho 1998 

2

Sub-series C. Publications 

Sub-series I. External 

Carton

General undated, 1972, 1989, 1991, 1994-1997, 1999, 2007 

2

LGBTQ undated, 1989, 1992-1993, 1996 

2

Students of Color 1979, 1996, 1998 

2

Unidad undated, 1988-1991 

2

Unidad 1992-1993 

2

Unidad 1994-1998, 2002 

2

Sub-series II. Student 

Carton

411 1992-1993 

See also

Student Life Collection - Student Publications

2

Common Ground Magazine undated 

See also

Student Life Collection - Student Publications

2

D 1989 

See also

Student Life Collection - Student Publications

2

Dark Phrases 2007-2008, 2011-2013 

See also

Student Life Collection - Student Publications

Digital Object Available
2

Left Jab Poetry Magazine 1996 

See also

Student Life Collection - Student Publications

2

The Ninja 2003, 2007-2008 

See also

Student Life Collection - Student Publications

2

The Phoenix 2005-2006 

See also

Student Life Collection - Student Publications

2

The Sadie Lou Standard 2006 

See also

Student Life Collection - Student Publications

2

Student Papers undated 

2

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