There is Nothing New under the Sun

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There is nothing new under the sun.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

It is curious that while most people will agree to the above quotes, most would also consider current events as unique to their own time. Why? Perhaps the most logical explanation is that history gives us perspective while life makes us cope at an individual level, which is personal rather than objective. The reactions of people and the positions they take while they cope show the mettle of individuals and point to the prevailing winds of the time. While some people will get blown off course others will attempt to tack a course that makes a difference.

There was a time in USF’s history when the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee (Johns Committee) tested the mettle of USF students, faculty and administration. At the time, students’ and professors’ lives were being scrutinized and/or upended—much like those investigated during the McCarthy period. The USF libraries Digital Collections offers two distinct views of how the University of South Florida, as a collective, responded during this time. There was the tack taken by the administration; USF’s John Stuart Allen USF Presidential Papers collection documents the administration’s path. There was the tack taken by the students; the USF Student Newspapers collection archives the Oracle, the Eye of the Beast, and The Brahman, which documents the students’ reactions and concerns. Both the Eye of the Beast and The Brahman were published without administration’s input or oversight. Be warned, history is not sterile. You may get lost in stories and spend more time than you had anticipated.

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