On 11 May 1970, Ernest L. Wilkinson stated, “There is certainly a spirit of unrest throughout the country and while it is manifest only slightly at the BYU it is nevertheless manifested here.” Student political activism at BYU during the late 1960s to early 1970s was, like student activism elsewhere, as much a function of the school’s prevailing culture as of activist trends nationally. BYU students across the political spectrum responded to local and national events in ways both informed by and in reaction to political and intellectual currents on the Utah Valley campus. Thus any discussion of BYU student activism must also examine the political climate at this LDS school. Such an examination locates BYU activism as occurring at an institution already politicized by an outspoken president, a mostly— but not entirely—sympathetic Board of Trustees, and a faculty and student body espousing somewhat broader political interests.
Gary James Bergera, Ellen Decoo