First Advisor

David A. Horowitz

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






Portland Student Services, Portland State University -- Student housing, Student housing -- Oregon -- Portland



Physical Description

1 online resource (125 p.)


Portland student Services, Inc. (PSS), a non-profit student housing corporation, was created under circumstances that were especially arduous. Although thousands of students attending Portland State University in the late 1960s needed housing, state law prohibited the university from providing residential facilities . Many students lived in dilapidated apartment buildings in downtown Portland and faced dislocation from urban renewal programs initiated by the Portland Development Commission. Activists who set out to establish student-run housing also faced hostility from policymakers who resented student-led initiatives in politics and university governance.

However, these dedicated student activists aligned with members of the Portland business community and overcame formidable obstacles in establishing permanent student-run housing. In the process, PSS had to contend with difficult political, socio-cultural, and environmental issues.

The present study focuses on four major themes: 1) the character of the student housing problem and related legal issues; 2) creation of Portland Student Services; 3) the early operation of PSS; 4) the struggle over construction of off-campus housing.


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