About the Student Senate

The first Student Council was formed in 1907. The all-male council was primarily responsible for supervising the class contests and other class relations. They also made an attempt to control hazing. In 1912, the Student Council was reorganized to include the president of the college, one faculty member, five fraternity men and two non-fraternity men who had to be juniors or seniors. The Women’s Council was initiated in 1911. It was given responsibility for drawing up and enforcing rules governing the conduct of the coeds.

By 1950 the men’s Student Council had expanded and rid itself of faculty participation. The women’s organization had become the Association of Women Students (AWS). There was no group that could speak for the students as a whole, however, and sentiment developed for forming a coeducational body which could. In March 1951, the student body voted to approve a new constitution for a joint student government with a senate as the legislative body.

In the mid-1960s there was a growing desire for greater student participation in university affairs. A committee was appointed in June 1968 to review the governmental structure of the university. The results was a reorganized University Senate, comprised of faculty, students and administrators, that had legislative jurisdiction in all matters of student government, faculty government and educational policy. The reorganization brought national attention to the university. By 1976 many issues had surfaced that hindered the functioning and operation of the unicameral senate. In spring of 1977, the University Senate, at an impasse on many of the issues affecting the University, was dissolved by then University President Eugene Mills.

The Academic Senate was formed and given jurisdiction over educational policies and other academic affairs. A Task Force of students was appointed to recommend a new governance system for students with jurisdiction over policies and matters pertaining to student life. The constitution for a new Student Senate was completed and signed by President Mills in May of 1979. Since its inception, the Constitution and Bylaws have been continually tested and modified so as to keep pace with changes in the University community.

Student Senate Office

Memorial Union Building (MUB) 119A

Student Senate Meetings

Paul College of Business and Economics Room 215