Survey Results in 1939 of Student Union Directors Secretly Tracking “Negro” and Jewish Student Enrollments in 36 Universitis

In 1939, the Student Union Director of Indiana University sent to his counterpart at the University of Minnesota the results of a survey taken of 36 universities with regard to Jewish and African American enrollments of men and women. They identified those institutions whose enrollments of African Americans had risen above one percent. They viewed any increase in those enrollments as possibly necessitating some control on the “privileges” extended to African American students, which is not spelled out. Student unions were settings where students could mix freely and might have created social contact across races, which was a source of constant anxiety among university administrators.

It is unclear why Jewish students were monitored other than their being categorized as “different.” The University of Minnesota similarly monitored enrollments of both groups.

He asked to keep the source a secret.

CreatorJ.E. PatrickSourceMark SoderstromDate08/06/1939Time Period1930s