Time capsule discovered during Stevenson’s renovation – Sonoma State Star


Almost 30 years ago, a sorority called Alpha Kappa Alpha, which no longer has a chapter at SSU, and other organizations on campus put their thoughts, aspirations, and all they could into one little blue box and buried it. They aimed to show what life was like to them as young people of color attending Sonoma State University in 1994.

They did not expect, however, that this little blue box would only come out of the mud 2 years before its expected recovery during the reconstruction of the Adlai Stevenson building in April 2021.

“In April 2021, Truebeck Construction’s Laszlo Vincze foreman and his excavation team came across an unexpected discovery: a clear plastic box with a blue lid filled with deteriorating items, and a considerable amount of mud and of water, buried in the courtyard of Stevenson Hall. They had found a time capsule, ”Special Collections Librarian Lynn Prime and digitization scholar John Muller said in their original article on the find. Vincze took the box to the Sonoma State Library where Muller and Prime would digitize the content.

“When I first heard that a time capsule had been found, I expected relics and dusty memories from decades ago, but instead they were chronicles. thoughtful and reminiscent of another era – and not that different from ours, ”Muller said of the quality and content of the capsule. Prime and Muller were aware that the discovery of the capsule had not happened in the hands of the former students who had buried it.

“This is a sensitive subject, because I’m sure the 1993-94 students of the BIPOC campus community would have liked to be the ones to discover their own time capsule, as it would have been. Since the contents of the time capsule have been inundated with water and mud, we have digitized them and hope to introduce the material to alumni so that they can plan how and if they want to fully reveal the content (now digitized) and have a time capsule event in 2023-24, albeit in a different context. Prime said as he reflected on his role in cataloging and discovering the capsule.

Muller and Prime provided a glimpse of not only his discovery, but also a glimpse of the items and their authors: who is now the director and CEO of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles.

Jackson’s original opening speech was also intact, stating. “The purpose of this project is to support the history of students of color and their abundant contributions to the livelihood and cultural enrichment of Sonoma State University. This Time Capsule project will inspire future students and make them realize that people of color excel and succeed despite endless obstacles. It will be a temporary home for glimpses of the past and hopes for the future. Various organizations of color will be invited to contribute articles to the capsule that represent today’s society and the role of the ethnic population in it. In addition, there will be contributions that will show the effects society has had on people of color. ”

The emphasis on social justice was present in almost every element of the capsule. They focused not only on providing prospective students with a glimpse into student life in 1994, but also on their guidance and hopes for future generations.

MECh.A, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán, is a national student society of Chicanx with an on-campus chapter aimed at helping students find their roots and achieve academic success and political awareness. MECh.A included a 47-page document with their hopes and mission statement in the time capsule.

“In the hope that the MEChistas on this campus and others have something on paper to refer to in orientation time. We have a responsibility to ourselves (stay in school and get a diploma!), Our Tierras (Aztlan), our culture and our future Raza – our children. We need to educate all Raza about our history and the contributions our people have made to this continent, our continent. Because we are his descendants and the result of his history.

MECh.A’s current mission statement, as posted on their website seen by colleges and universities nationwide, is to “Become a Leader, Connect and Learn About Your Chicanx Identity, get involved in your community, to become socially / politically aware. ”

The website also included this statement from the Santa Barbara Chapter: “MEChA must remind every young Chicanx that the liberation of his people from prejudice and oppression is in their hands and that this responsibility is greater than personal fulfillment. and more significant than degrees. , especially if they are acquired to the detriment of their identity and cultural integrity. MEChA is more than a name; it is a spirit of unity, a family and a resolve to undertake a struggle for liberation in a society where justice is only a word. MEChA is a means to an end.

The organizations and students from 1993-1994 that contributed to the newly discovered time capsule focused on social justice and hope for a new generation of students in Sonoma State. This part of SSU history can be accessed at the library by sending an email to [email protected]

Lynn Prime encourages students “to check out the content of our fledgling community archive on the Student Voices campus and consider putting their experiences and voices to work for the project as a way to engage with what and how today’s students” they see their campus and the community world.

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