Sunday, June 10, 2012

A glimpse at Saddleback College, 1970: HAIR

     I came across an October 20, 1970, “New University” piece by one Mark Northcross of “Saddleback College” entitled, “I almost cut my hair…” – a paraphrase of a well-known song by the Byrds.
     The New University, of course, is UCI’s student newspaper. It's still around.
     Northcross’s article discusses the inception of Saddleback College and the decision by its board to institute a dress code that restricted hair length.
     Northcross’s piece is youthful, self-indulgent, odd, poorly edited. It seems to mix “poetry” with quotations, mostly. I'll skip the first paragraph, which is incoherent.
     Then we get this relatively lucid verbiage:
     The citizens of Tustin, Mission Viejo, Laguna Beach, San Clemente, and other settlements in that region agreed in some democratic fashion that a community college was needed. A Board of Trustees was elected and other accessories for a college were collected. It was felt a dress standard was required for a college, and one was made up by a committee composed of students and members of the Board of Trustees. The Board insisted among other things that hair be a respectable length. In Saddleback's first year of operation, violators of this code were prevented from registering. Other violators spotted by various administrators during the year were given a choice of suspension or shorter hair. Some intrepid students refused to cut their hair and were suspended. They first appealed to the Board and were turned down. Two students, Lyndall King, and Mark Karlson; then brought the affair to the attention of a Federal District Court where the students were told their rights had been infringed upon and they deserved to go to Saddleback. The Board of Trustees then appealed the matter into the Federal District Court of Appeals where it is undecided as of this date. While the dress code is in limbo, it is not being enforced.
     Then it's back to word salad.

     At one point, Northcross seems to quote one “John Swartzbaugh,” evidently Saddleback’s "Dean of Students."
Of Students:
     "Liberal students show a lack of responsibility; they aren't taking part in the bombings, this doesn't mean the radical form of liberalism represents the majority but by allowing it to go on they are turning off the people of this country."

[On February 4, 1970, there was a riot in Isla Vista, Calif., protesting developments in the Chicago 8 trial. Then, on the 25th, also in Isla Vista, a Bank of America branch was bombed.]

Of Saddleback as a Community College:
     "We closer to the taxpayers ...responsive to the community... people built them, we're mainly consumers."
     Then, someone, not sure who, is quoted concerning various topics:
Of Dress Standards:
     "If the school should win...the operation of the school would be disrupted. Men on the board cannot accept today's change in hair styles ... they feel they are losing control of the schools ... they are really frightened people."

Of Politics, Revolution, The Future, etc.:
     "I am a conservative ... the trouble is these people don't practice what they say ... their interpretation of the constitution is more like communism ... but supposed say this, read this.
     Thought control. I think what's happening is a return to individualism ...if we can survive this revolution we'll have a better country. We're getting away from industry, big government... bigness has destroyed individualism."

Alyn Brannon
Of the Purposes of Education:
     "This school or community is trying to create a new generation of the silent majority... they don't know it but this is probably the most politically run campus in the state—I couldn't verify it, that's my opinion... The whole experiment will fail."
     A new vision in a youngest hand to attack all clear afternoons of preceding hope. Clothes abandoned for another itch of hand, its energy is in the blood of all births. And masses. Not to be a lawn for each stretch to power, but a singleness to absorb all suns, even as fives bones of sense will always hold each face to a brutal diversity of earth.
     An untouchable electrocution of voice. Through a telephone, Alyn M. Brannon, member of the Board of Trustees.

Of Determining the Dress Code (with students):
     "We got our way.”
     The article continues on "page 8." But the file ends there, sans page 8.
     Why did this article appear in UCI's student paper? Probably, Saddleback's "hair" struggle was of interest to UCI students. It likely made the news wires.
     Why is this article so badly/weirdly written? Dunno. Maybe everybody was high.

See also
• 1969: Saddleback's war on hair (Dissent the Blog)
• A weird windowless library, alleged marauding flag-swiping Hippies, the protean name, and other district mysteries (Dissent the Blog)

"The College welcomed its first students on September 23, 1968 at an interim site at 
26522 Crown Valley Parkway in Mission Viejo." --From District website. See red dot
above.  The current Saddleback College dominates the lower half of this photo
(to the right of Marguerite, which is in yellow/green).
26522 Crown Valley Parkway today

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