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Student Government Association

Identifier: UA 0051.33

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the official records of the Student Government Association at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. They reflect the various activities of the group.

These records contain material related to a variety of topics including, but not limited to allocations, budgets, conferences, constitution and by-laws, correspondence, elections, house presidents, legislative bills, speeches, student organizations, and student activities. In addition, there are minutes of the meetings of the executive cabinet, the general legislative student body, house presidents, and the entire student body. There is also material related to the various standing and special committees of the SGA including the Legislative committee, the Judicial Board, and the University Media Board. Formats of the materials include correspondence, flyers, memorandums, manuals, meeting minutes, newsletters, notes, and reports.


  • 1910 - 2012
  • Majority of material found within 1940 - 2007

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.

Biographical or Historical Information

The first instances of student government at the State Normal and Industrial School (now The University of North Carolina at Greensboro) began in the 1890s when individual students, called marshals, were selected from the two literary societies along with one chief marshal. They were responsible for enforcing school regulations as well as representing the students in dealing with the administration whenever matters arose that could not be handled in chapel or mass meetings. However, as the students learned more about students' growing interest in self government around the country, there arose an increasing demand for this type of representation at the school. In 1910, a student council was created to act as an advisory group for student issues and was comprised of three elected officials from each class.In 1914, school President Julius Foust agreed to the students proposal and officially allowed for the creation of the self-government association.This new organization, consisting of four elected officers (president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer) and the elected dormitory presidents, was closely watched by Foust and other administrators who were skeptical of the student goverment's efforts. Led by student Gladys Avery, the first elected president of the organization, the Self-Government Association assumed many of the original duties of the marshals including enforcing regulations and acting as a liaison to the administration on student issues.

In 1921, the Self-Government Association was renamed the Student Government Association (SGA) along with a complete revision of the rules and regulations of the organization.The new organization included the original elected officers as well as a senate made up of the dormitory presidents and a house of representatives comprised of elected students.In 1930, the SGA would add a legislative, executive, and judicial branch to help further regulate the student body.

Over the next several decades, the SGA grew to a respected and active organization on campus. Through its use of the judicial system and an honor policy, the SGA created a student body built upon academic integrity.The SGA presidents were well known and highly regarded by school administrators, often serving in the Chancellor's Administrative Council or Cabinet. With the integration of males on to the UNCG campus in 1964, the make-up of the SGA shifted dramatically as men began taking a more dominant role within the organization serving as presidents and other elected officials.After the desegregation of the campus in 1956, African Americans slowly began to take an active role in the SGA process with the election of Donna Benson as attorney general in 1975 and Ralph Wilkerson as SGA president in 1978.

By the late 1970s, the strong student support of the SGA seen during the early years turned to apathy and only about 10 percent of the student population voted in the 1978 and 1979 SGA president elections. Such indifference by the students toward SGA would continue during the 1980s and into the 1990s.


13.00 Linear Feet (29 boxes)

Language of Materials



Originally called the Self-Government Association, the Student Government Association (SGA) at UNCG was formed in 1914. During the next several decades, the organizational structure of the SGA would change as well as the duties and responsibilities of the group. By the 1980s and 1990s, student enthusiasm and support for SGA would wane as election turnout dwindled.

This collection consists of correspondence, memorandums, manuals, minutes, newsletters, and reports related to budgets, committees, elections, house presidents, meetings, other topics which document the activities and duties of the Student Government Association from 1912-2012.

Arrangement Note

The arrangement scheme for this collection was imposed during processing in the absence of a useable original order. This collection is organized into three series with each series being arranged alphabetically. An effort has been made to place documents within each individual folder in chronological order. Series 1: General Files, 1912-2010 Series 2: Meeting Minutes, 1940-2009 Series 3: Committees, 1943-2006 Series 4: Unprocessed Materials, 2010-2012

Source of Acquisition

Periodically transferred from the Student Government Association

Offensive Language Statement

The UNC Greensboro University Libraries collects, preserves, and makes accessible unique and historical materials for learning and research. The nature of historical materials is such that some material may represent positions, norms, and values that are offensive and objectionable. These materials represent the opinions and actions of their creators. By providing access to these records in our reading room and through our digital collections, we recognize that archives and rare books can play a vital role in holding those creators accountable and in helping us learn from the past.

Our finding aids and other collection descriptions may occasionally re-use language provided by creators or former holders of the materials, but we strive to place outdated or offensive terminology in context. That said, we recognize that we may not always make the right decision and welcome feedback from all sources so we can learn and adjust our practices. Please contact us at if you encounter problematic language in our finding aids or other collection description. We will review the language and, as appropriate, update it in a way that balances preservation of the original context with our ongoing commitment to describing materials with respectful and inclusive language.

Student Government Association
Sean A. Mulligan
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository

P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US