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History series: FBI surveillance of UW-Eau Claire protests to be focus of Feb. 18 presentation

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, UW-Eau Claire was the location of several civil rights student protests that caught the attention of the FBI. As a part of the Chancellor's Centennial History Series, UW-Eau Claire history professor Dr. James Oberly and graduate student Michael Grogan will present their research on the secrets of those FBI files for the first time. Their presentation, titled "FBI Surveillance of Campus Protests at Eau Claire State," will be given from 4-5 p.m. Feb. 18 in the Woodland Theater of Davies Center. 

In 2013 Oberly filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI for all files related to FBI surveillance of student protestors at what was then called Wisconsin State University-Eau Claire. Since then, he has been working in collaboration with Grogan to learn how intensive that surveillance truly was.  

Grogan became interested in researching government surveillance as an undergraduate during his pre-capstone preparatory course in history. His research with Oberly took him to the National Archives in Washington, D.C., to view primary documents on WSUEC surveillance.  

The research was funded through UW-Eau Claire Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.  

For more information about the presentation or the Chancellor's Centennial History Series, contact Corry Mahnke in the Chancellor's Office at mahnkecm@uwec.edu or 715-836-3331.