Agency History/Biographical note:
The Student Government Association (SGA) was created in 1945, but the tradition of student government at Mount Holyoke College goes back to the 1890's. Before the creation of the SGA, there were two previous forms of student government: the Students' League and the College Community. The Students' League was created in 1898 when five students petitioned President Mead to form a student government. They wanted to devise their own set of rules that they felt would foster the development of mature and independent women. Although the League's executive committee was granted legislative power in 1905, the League had no authority to act independently of the faculty. In 1922, the Students' League reorganized itself, and in cooperation with President Woolley and the faculty, created the Mount Holyoke College Community. The Community attempted to create policy through student/faculty joint committees, but an imbalance in power between the students and faculty, caused the students to lose authority. As a result of their loss of authority the students were relegated to fund-raising and organizing cause-dinners for international relief funds. In 1945, students seceded from the Community, and created the Student Government Association: for the first time they were allowed self-governence and could create legislation and enforce their laws, without faculty approval. The Student Government Association is comprised of an executive board, twenty-two committees, and representatives from seventy student organizations and seventeen dorms. The Student Government Association has full control of allocation and disbursement of the student activities fee. The SGA communicates the views of the students to faculty, administrators, and trustees. It allows students to govern their nonacademic lives and to become involved in the academic life of the college by sitting on faculty committees.
Scope and Content:
The Records of Mount Holyoke College Student Government Association (SGA) date from 1942 and include: meeting minutes and agenda, officers'notes, constitutions and by-laws, memos, corespondence, reports, financial records, lists, press releases, clippings, publications, and photographs. These records contain information on all aspects of the Student Government Association including budgets, curriculum, student life, parietals, religious life, election of officers, and the honor code. The records include files on many of the Student Government Association committees including the Appointing Committee, Committee on Student Affairs, Curriculum Committee, Diversity Awareness Committee, Human Rights and Policy Committee, Student Life Task Force, General Topic Committee, and the Judicial Board. A large number of subject files concerning specific issues or events are also included . Notable among these records are the Coca-Cola Boycott, divestment, parietals, Church and Chapel issue, diversity awareness, the Sexual Relations between Consenting Adults Policy, and lesbian and bisexual issues, as well as, information on various events which include lectures, workshops, conferences, and campus events such as Alumnae Council Weekend, the Sesquicentennial, and Freshmen Orientation.
Cite as: Student Government Association Records, Mount Holyoke College, Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, MA
Access Restrictions: Records restricted to use by office/department of origin for 25 years from date of record creation.