Oshkosh 94 Student Leadership Award

The Oshkosh 94 Student Leadership Award recognizes students who continue efforts to advance the standing and enhance the experiences of African American students at UW Oshkosh. Applicant should demonstrate leadership in promoting equity, inclusion, and social justice for African Americans. This award was created through a project to commemorate “Black Thursday,” the November 21, 1968 protest by African-American students attending UW Oshkosh. Applicant must be enrolled full-time at the Oshkosh campus. Applicant must have at least 45 credits completed and must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA. Applicant must be enrolled full-time when this award is paid out in Fall 2024. Previous recipients of the award are not eligible to apply.

A month before the “Black Thursday” protest, members of the Black Student Union (BSU) had presented campus administrators with a list of requests. In addition to calling for courses in history and literature that were relevant to the African-American experience, the BSU advocated for the hiring of Black faculty and the creation of a new African-American cultural center. Suspecting their concerns were not reaching University President Roger Guiles, BSU members decided to assemble as a group, march to Dempsey Hall, and confront him in person.

As a result of the students’ occupation of the executive administration offices, there were mass arrests, the expulsion of 90 students and the suspension of four others (the “Oshkosh 94”). In the ten months that followed, the University committed itself to making a series of improvements for Black students on campus. It recognized a new Black students organization, the Afro-American Society, and converted the campus Intercultural Center into a new Afro-American Center. Faculty members began offering classes on Black history and literature.

Oshkosh 94
Oshkosh Campus, Undergraduate Award
Supplemental Questions
  1. Please submit a short narrative addressing the following: 1) The actions, sacrifices and achievements of the Oshkosh 94 have long been remembered (http://www.blackthursday.uwosh.edu) and are continually being reimagined and redefined here at UW Oshkosh. What are some of the ways in which you have been influenced and motivated by the actions and sacrifices of the Oshkosh 94 here at UWO? 2) And furthermore, how do you see yourself continuing the leadership qualities demonstrated by the Oshkosh 94 as UWO works to broaden opportunities and improve the campus climate for African American students?
  2. Please provide the name and email of an individual (non-relative) who has agreed to serve as a reference to support your application. Your reference must be able to comment on your leadership in promoting equity, inclusion, and social justice for African Americans.