As in many other colleges and universities, student publications have always been popular at Pratt, from traditional newspapers, to literary magazines, to comics. This is also the case when it comes to student activism. Both traditional and underground publications played a huge role in disseminating information and they are rich sources of information on the history of Pratt from the students’ perspective.
The Prattler, founded in 1940, is Pratt’s official student newspaper. During the 1969 strike, there was a lot of protest coverage, including an entire issue devoted to the strike. The issue contained a full description of the various strike activities that occurred each day both at Pratt and at other NYC-area colleges.
The Prattler published less articles on the strike of 1972 in comparison with previous strikes. This series of op-eds is one small example. The coverage in the Prattler (or lack thereof) became a talking point for the strike as this was seen as the “official” source of information by the administration.
The president of the school, Henry Salzman, asked that direct mail sent to members Board of Trustees be stopped, noting that board members read the Prattler and thus did not need to receive communications from students and faculty.
Striker was an underground publication put out by the organizers of the strike of 1972. The Publication included a variety of materials such as summaries of events, charts, and opinions, many of which can be seen in these pages. It also included artwork and poetry.
Striking students were not the only ones who used publications to their advantage. A group called Students for Students published a booklet containing Pratt’s budget information in an attempt to dissuade students from supporting the strike.
The striking students then published a response to the Students for Students publication, disputing their claims.
The Pratt student publication with perhaps the most long-standing ties with student activism was Drum. Published during most of the 1970’s, Drum was a radical newspaper published by BSU. It included Black news both at Pratt and beyond, as well as poetry and artwork. The Pratt Institute Archives has digitized full issues for further browsing.