The Call Heard Across Campus

“To be a part of a system that discriminates against people based on their sexual preference, gender and race and not attempt to change it makes you a part of the problem.

pictured above, Concerned Students sign at the Sparks Hall takeover on November 9, 1992

When new university president Carl Patton began his administration in July of 1992, he also inherited the campus’s unresolved issues. One resolution effort included a Race Relations forum. When the last forum of the Fall 1992 semester ended, student experiences the overt racism on campus did not.

“The objective was to basically open lines of communication and start a dialogue between races.”

co-organizer of race relations forum David cates, Signal November 3,1992

A group calling themselves Concerned Students petitioned President Patton and an open forum was scheduled for Thursday November 5, 1992, intending to host the grievances of students campus wide. For years, issues with racism, sexism, and homophobia had plagued GSU’s campus, been brought to the attention of administration, and little was done in response. However, those previous incidents would compound on Wednesday November 4,1992 and students would call university administration into more accountability.

The 4th floor of University Center, now Student Center East, was referred to as Frat Hall, housing all of the Greek organizations on campus. In response to a historically white fraternity crossing a Black member, a white, inactive member of Sigma Nu rearranged the stickers that read ‘University Center’ to fashion out the words ‘Nigers Enter’ on a Frat Hall trashcan.

When Phi Beta Sigma member Eric Bridges found the trashcan, he walked with it around campus, informing other students of the continued campus harm. As the open forum proceeded the following day, the trashcan was brought into the space, and the collective of Concerned Students would unknowingly be at the beginning of what would end up being a 2 part, 4 day demonstration.  


Applicants for 

       Dean for Student Life Programs

       Dean for Student Development 

The following individuals currently held these respective positions. Many students feel that these two Deans have forfeited essential trust and confidence that are necessary requirements for the positions. DEMANDS FOR THEIR TERMINATION WERE PRESENTED TO ADMINISTRATION ON FRIDAY NOVEMBER 6, 1992. 

Applications can be made in the Georgia State University Employment Office.”

Lawrence Philpot on behalf of the Concerned Students, 1992, Felix Browns personal collection
Demonstrator Felix Brown recalls the organic development of the demonstrations now called GSU-92, interviewed March 2024 by Tanjanae Walker
Demands being edited to include names of student negotiators and adding amnesty for all students involved in the demonstrations, November 6,1992, Felix Browns personal collection
Student demonstrator Tonya Cook remembers aspects of the first demonstration in the Presidents Office on November 6, 1992, interviewed March 2024 by Tanjanae Walker

While in the presidents office, students began to strategize. Specific student leaders were chosen to negotiate on behalf of the Concerned Students. In addition to an interrogation of racist incidents, the Concerned Students included a demand to address the sexist and homophobic incidents on campus. The demands were edited to include an amnesty clause that would ensure no disciplinary action would be taken against students involved. Student leaders collected the names and phone numbers of everyone present, planning to take further action if President Patton did not respond to their demands in a timely fashion.