The years of 1968-1970 were characterized by great turmoil on the McGill campus.
In increasingly emphatic ways, university students and employees alike showed their dissatisfaction with the administration, protesting the conservative attitudes perceived to be governing McGill at the time.
For ten days in 1968, the offices of Political Science and Economics were occupied by students concerned about their level of involvement in the management of their department.
Alarmed by the growing influence of campus organizations such as the Students for a Democratic
University, McGill's administration formed a Tripartite Commission to report on ways to quell
the unrest. In the winter and spring of 1969, the "disturbance and discontent" described
by the Commission's interim report came to a head in a series of campus demonstrations and
disruptions. In February, after breaking up several administrative meetings in support of the McGill
français movement, Stanley Gray, a radical Political Science teacher, was fired. He returned to
campus in March as part of a massive McGill français demonstration, comprising about 6,000
protesters and another 2,000-3,000 onlookers as it wound its way to the Roddick Gates.
Later in the fall, the McGill Reporter published the administration's five-year plan to achieve a
better balance between French and English, including goals of a 20% Francophone registration and a fully
bilingual administration. By 1971, the year of McGill's Sesqucentennial anniversary celebration, much of
the upheaval at McGill had stilled.