Undergraduate Honors Thesis


“By Any Means We Deem Necessary” — An Exposé on Racial Discourse, University Power, and Student Resistance in the 1994 Ethnic Studies Movement at the University of Colorado at Boulder Public Deposited

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  • In 2018, a community sculpture was installed at the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU-B) to commemorate the lives of 6 Chicano activists and CU students—Neva Romero, Reyes Martinez, Una Jaakola, Heriberto Teran, Francisco Dougherty, and Francisco Granados—who were killed in 2 separate car bombings in 1974 during the Colorado Chicano movement.  After falling into oblivion, in recent years, popular discourse on Chicanx activism at CU-B has mostly centered around this period.  Similarly, there has been limited attention to more recent student protests for Ethnic Studies at CU-B which culminated in a 6-day hunger strike at CU-B in April 1994.  This movement was organized by a multiracial student coalition named the Alliance, and led to the establishment of an Ethnic Studies Department at CU-B.  This honors thesis, written from the position of a Latinx student organizer and CU-B Ethnic Studies major, joins the league of few academic works illuminating this prominent event in BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) student history at CU-B.  Drawing from interviews with student activists, faculty, and administrators who directly participated in or observed the 1994 protests—as well as from archival research—this honors thesis applies critical social movements theory, critical race theory, and organizational theory to investigate the construction of a student social movement and the unique socio-historical and institutional context in which it occurred to illustrate how student activists and their University allies successfully organized for systemic change.  This work concludes with a discussion on the implications of this historical event for contemporary BIPoC student movements at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and at higher education institutions more broadly.


Date Awarded
  • 2022-04-04
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Committee Member
Granting Institution
Last Modified
  • 2022-04-19
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