Ron Ridgle, ASUCI President 1968-69 April 5, 2010Posted by ucisca in Activism, Early UCI Campus.
Tags: ASUCI government, Ron Ridgle, UCI black history
Ron Ridgle was the only black student when UCI opened in 1965-66 with 1,589 students enrolled. Ridgle, a graduate of Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, was a third year history major when he was elected ASUCI President in May 1968, on a platform addressing student government finances. During a year of intense student activism, Ron Ridgle was involved in a wide range of additional issues in1968-69. For example, he supported the right of students to invite Eldridge Cleaver to participate in a panel discussion on “America as a Racist Culture.” UCI received heavy criticism from the community for Cleaver’s participation. In October 1968, Ridgle along with student presidents from UCSD and UCR, twice invited California governor Ronald Reagan to discuss on statewide television “the role of the Regents in the administration of the University of California.” Reagan declined both invitations. In 1968-69 there were 29 black students and one black professor on a campus with a total enrollment of approximately 3,600 students.
(l to r) Chancellor Aldrich, Dr. Robert C. Weaver (President of Baruch College of CUNY), and Ron Ridgle. April 16, 1969, just before Weaver’s address on Charter Day, the 101st anniversary of U.C. Dr. Weaver was Secretary of Housing & Urban Development in the LBJ administration and the first black cabinet member.