After a meeting held under the chairmanship of Lois Mound ’63, with Professor Charles Griffin of the history department as its speaker and about 50 Vassar students in attendance, the Vassar-Mississippi Action Committee was formed over concerns for the safety of James Meredith, the first black student to attend the University of Mississippi. Rioting broke out as Meredith attempted to attend classes, and Governor Ross Barnett, 35 state senators and the Mississippi State Police barred Mr. Meredith from attending classes.
The Vassar-Mississippi Action Committee sent a petition supporting President Kennedy’s efforts for integration and pressing for further gains in civil rights through the residence halls for signatures, after which it was sent to Congress. The committee also decided to correspond with Southern and "Ole Miss" students, stressing the need for non-violent action.
Students organized a student-to-student, North-South dialogue, which strove “to combat the pervasive feeling that people in the North don’t understand and don’t know what is going on in the South.” Barbara Gerson ‘63 commented, “We hope that raising this issue will be the first step in a year long discussion at Vassar of integration.”     The Miscellany News