Forty years ago students were staging sit-ins and clashing with police over the Vietnam War.
Today's counterparts at Birmingham University are up in arms over a far less contentious issue - a rebranding exercise at the institution.
Nearly 2,000 of them have signed a petition opposing a redesign of the university's coat of arms, part of a #320 million marketing project.
The new logo is already appearing on letters, sports kits and signage.
It has been designed with the help of London-based brand consultants Wolff Olins, which was responsible for revamping telecom firm Orange's image.
But students at the university have demanded managers revert back to the old crest.
An on-line petition, addressed to the university's marketing services, says: "We say NO to the change in logo design.
"We love the logo and all it represents the way as it stands. We do not like your new logo. We do not want your new logo."
It adds: "We are entitled to a say in what logo represents the university, represents the staff, and represents us, the students."
The crest that is being replaced has served the university since the 1980s, appearing on degree certificates awarded to undergraduates.
It features a gold lion and mermaid on a blue and red shield.
But the university maintains the new design is much more in touch with the original coat of arms, granted by Royal Charter at the beginning of the 20th Century.
Sue Primmer, the university's head of communications, said: "The petition is slightly on the wrong track because it says 'save the crest' and that is exactly what we have done.
"We are not getting rid of it. What we are getting rid of is the bastardised version of it that has been around for about 30 years."
Ms Primmer said it was a positive sign that students were interested in the university's rebranding.
"We want to work with that enthusiasm," she said.
"We were quite surprised by that. In a crazy way we welcome it because it shows that people care."
Birmingham University hired Wolff Olins at the beginning of 2004 to help shed its "dull and conservative" image.
It wants the firm, which has also successfully revitalised the Tate museums, to reposition the 105-year-old institution as more exciting, daring and cutting-edge.
The university is keen to ensure it thrives in the more aggressive marketplace within higher education with the arrival of tuition top-up fees next year.
Wolff Olins is best known within the business world for turning Orange, a late entry in the mobile phone market, into industry leaders. Its "the future is Orange" phrase became one of the most widely recognised in advertising.
The company also helped to make the Tate Modern in London one of the most successful art venues in the world.