Beloit College Magazine

Fall/Winter 2013 (November 1, 2013 at 6:00 am)

Civil Rights Documentary Now Available


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November 1, 2013 at 8:26 am

Beloit’s impressive story of inclusion in Greek life is the subject of a 45-minute documentary film available now. We Lived Civil Rights: Beloit Greeks Integrate is the culmination of an honors term last spring, completed by Eric Hetland’12, a member of Phi Psi.

Hetland delved into several pivotal periods in college history, covering the 1950s and ’60s, when Beloit students pushed back against national racial barriers to Greek membership, and the 2012 pledge of the first transgender student to a Beloit fraternity. The film documents some previously untold details about Beloit students insisting that pledges be based on character, not race—a stand that in many cases meant losing their national charters.

Hetland wrote, produced, and directed the documentary film, drawing on interviews with more than 50 alumni and historical documents in the College Archives. After screening portions of the film to about 70 alumni at 2013 Reunion, Hetland incorporated alumni feedback into the final version. A Beloit project from start to finish, the film features a host of alumni interviews, an original soundtrack by Allen Perlin’12 and Jishnu Guha’13, and narration by Bill Flanagan, executive advisor to the president and former dean of students. To purchase a copy for $20 plus shipping, visit https://squareup.com/market/eric-hetland. Part of the proceeds will go toward scholarships at Beloit.

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