Over the years, American University has produced a variety of publications featuring rich content on campus events and programs. Administrative newsletters such as The American Reporter and The AU Reporter cover topics from the budget to faculty appointments to new regulations. Alumni magazines such as American Magazine and The Lodestar offer a window into campus through stories about current and past faculty and students. In addition to the student newspaper, The Eagle, and the yearbook, The Talon, AU’s student body has produced a number of publications over the years. We recently digitized the complete run of The Bald Eagle, AU’s humor magazine from the 1960s. Except for the student newspaper and yearbook, all of these publications can be found in American University’s Digital Research Archive (AUDRA) and are full text searchable and downloadable as pdfs.
The Organization of African and Afro-American Students at American University (OASATAU) formed in 1967 to improve the climate of AU for Black students. OASATAU’s initial efforts focused on “curriculum reform, more and better Black representation in social and political activities on and off campus, cultural awareness, Black consciousness, and pride in Black heritage.”
OASTATAU pushed for the creation of an interdisciplinary Black Studies program and the recruitment of more Black students and faculty. OASATAU partnered with the admissions office to recruit students. The initial focus was on D.C. but was expanded to include other cities on the East Coast. OASATAU organized a tutoring program for Black students at AU, several community programs, and a variety of social activities including concerts and dances.
OASATAU’s newspaper, UHURU, ran as a separate paper from 1971 until 1983 when it became a section of The Eagle. In 1996, it was replaced by Mosaic, AU’s multicultural student newspaper. OASATAU also hosted a program of Black music, news and current events on WAMU-AM.
In response to the changing needs of Black students on campus, OASATAU revised its constitution and changed its name to the Black Student Alliance (BSA) in 1988. BSA called its main governing body, the general assembly. It consisted of 18 representatives from the African Student Association, the Caribbean Student Association, the AU Gospel Choir, the campus chapter of the NAACP, Greek organizations, graduate students, commuter students, Washington Semester students, dorm residents, UHURU and a parliamentarian.