Guide to the North Carolina Public Interest Research Group records, 1970-1983
Contains the records of the North Carolina Public Interest Research Group, a social and environmental action student group formed in 1972 at Duke University. Types of materials include correspondence, minutes, agendas, reports, notes, fliers, pamphlets, newsletters, handbooks and financial materials. Major subjects include Duke University, student political activity, student movements, political campaigns, consumer advocacy, Durham, N.C., lobbying, environmental protection in North Carolina, and the North Carolina Public Interest Research Group. Materials range in date from 1970 to 1983.
- North Carolina Public Interest Research Group records, 1970-1983.
- North Carolina Public Interest Research Group.
- 5 Linear Feet, , 5,000 Items, (3 boxes)
- University Archives, Duke University.
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult University Archives, Duke University.
Contains the records of the North Carolina Public Interest Research Group, a social and environmental action student group formed in 1972 at Duke University. Types of materials include correspondence, minutes, agendas, reports, notes, fliers, pamphlets, newsletters, handbooks and financial materials. Organized into the following series: Series 1. North Carolina college and university chapters, 1970-1982; Series 2. NCPIRG statewide administration and activities, 1970-1982; Series 3. National administration and activities, 1974-1980.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
In off-site storage; 48 hours advance notice is required for use.
Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Contains the records of NCPIRG campus groups at colleges and universities in North Carolina. Types of materials include correspondence, constitutions, bylaws, notes, and clippings. Clippings and correspondence reflect the attitudes and values of students on college campuses during the 1970s-1980s.
Includes Phoenix festivals, Vista activities, and clippings
Contains establishment, administration, and activities materials of North Carolina PIRGs. Includes articles and correspondence regarding student fees and PIRG funding, petitions, meeting minutes, agendas, and reports, and clippings.
Also contains general establishment materials.
Contains materials relating to the national governance and organization of state PIRGs. Materials include records of PIRG representative networking and solidarity in political action.
Since the 1960s, college students in North Carolina have worked on goals of justice, social equality, and wise use of natural resources. Despite their understanding and commitment to these ideals, students often found their efforts frustrated by unresponsiveness in government and by the constraints of their academic role. The two major limitations that students faced were the lack of expertise required to deal with increasingly complex social problems, and the difficulty of maintaining continuous involvement due to breaks in the academic year.
The North Carolina Public Interest Research Group (NCPIRG) was created to facilitate activism on North Carolina's campuses. NCPIRG was founded in fall of 1971 by a group of students at Duke University, after hearing a speech by consumer advocate Ralph Nader. Duke University acted as the first headquarters for NCPIRG. Organizing efforts at nearby University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of North Carolina at Greensboro were turned down by administrators and trustees. In spring of 1972, students from St. Andrews College successfully organized and joined NCPIRG. By 1976, Davidson College and Wake Forest University had also formed chapters.
NCPIRG was funded and controlled by member schools. Students contributed a portion of their student fees to support NCPIRG as a campus group. NCPIRGs used the fee collection system as a stable means of guaranteed support. But, since NCPIRG viewed mandatory fees by themselves as an unacceptable means of support, they chose to offer a refund period to students. The refund provides students with a choice and makes NCPIRG directly accountable to students. This refund system was at times exploited by anti-PIRG groups on campuses.
The State Board of Directors was the major decision-making body for NCPIRG. The State Board was responsible for hiring professional staff, allocating funds, and setting research and project priorities for the year. School delegates reported their activities and exchanged ideas with each other at State Board meetings. The State Board provided continuity in staffing and support from experienced professionals.
NCPIRGs focused on environmental, social and political concerns. Some of the campaign topics of early NCPIRGs were high utility rates, nuclear weapons and defense spending, the draft, pollution, fair renting policies, and recycling. Because all PIRG members were students, PIRGs also focused on student rights, such as voting while living on campus, earning a full refund for rent deposit, student financial aid, campus-area grocery prices, and banking interest rates. Some of the most notable projects of NCPIRGs were land use pattern investigations in the North Carolina mountains, lobbying for changes in a local expressway, and organizing citizen testimony before the North Carolina Utilities Commission. They also assisted in the formation of the Brown Lung Association and sponsored the Generic Drug Substitution Act in 1979.
The Duke University PIRG, the most active of the NCPIRG chapters during the 1970s and early 1980s, organized the following workshops and events: Labor and Medical Center Employee Unions (1979), Truth in Testing (1979), Free University (1979-1980), and supported the Duke Draft Coalition.
As of 2003, NCPIRG is active and headquartered in Chapel Hill, N.C. NCPIRG does not currently have student-body sponsored chapters at North Carolina colleges or universities.
- Consumer Advocacy.
- Duke University--Students--Societies, etc.
- Duke University--Students--Political activity.
- Durham (N.C.)--History.
- Environmental protection--North Carolina.
- North Carolina Public Interest Research Group.
- Political campaigns--North Carolina.
- Public interest--Societies, etc.
- Student movements.
- Students--Political activity.
- Office of the Chancellor. Environmental Concerns Committee records. (University Archives, Duke University. )
- ECOS records. (University Archives, Duke University. )
- Small Collections: Environmental Center folder. (University Archives, Duke University. )
[Identification of item], North Carolina Public Interest Research Group records, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Transfer; 1984; 84-4
Transfer; 1975; 75-61
Processed by Emily Glenn
Completed April 2003
Encoded by Emily Glenn, April 2003
This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.