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Associated Students of Oregon State University (ASOSU) Records, 1917-2014

By Finding aid prepared by Karl McCreary.

Collection Overview

Title: Associated Students of Oregon State University (ASOSU) Records, 1917-2014

Predominant Dates: 1966-2000

ID: RG 011

Primary Creator: Associated Students of Oregon State College

Extent: 40.2 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The ASOSU Records consist of five subgroups: 1. ASOSU Executive Branch; 2. ASOSU Senate; 3. Graduate Student Senate; 4. Oregon Student Lobby; and 5. Oregon Student Association.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Associated Students of OSU Records document the administration of student government and its interaction with other campus organizations, offices, and bodies primarily for the 1960s through the 1990s.

Scope and Content Notes

The Associated Student of OSU Records document student government at Oregon State University and include records of the ASOSU Executive Branch, the ASOSU Senate, and the Graduate Student Senate. The ASOSU Records address the full range of issues that impact OSU students including fees and tuition, student activities, academic programs, athletics and intramurals, diversity and discrimination, campus security, and student housing.

Records of the Oregon Student Lobby, and its successor organization the Oregon Student Association, which advocates for all post-secondary students in Oregon through educational outreach to students and lobbying of the state legislature are also included.

An addition to the collection (Accession 2004:043) consists of materials generated by the office of the Associated Students of OSU and includes annual reports, a constitution, correspondence, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, posters, publications, survey materials, and a videotape (DVcam format) recording of the Memorial Union "Gripe Forum". In addition to documenting the work of various ASOSU committees and task forces, these records also pertain to events and conferences organized/sponsored by ASOSU, student surveys, student organization fundraising/philanthropic projects, and graphic design work for ASOSU by a student intern.

A second addition to the collection (Accession 2008:073) consists of materials generated by the Associated Students of OSU (ASOSU) and includes budgetary records, buttons, constitutions, correspondence, flyers, handbooks, meeting minutes, publications, resolutions/bills, signage, and a scrapbook. In addition to the ASOSU Undergraduate and Graduate Senates, these records were also generated by ASOSU committees and task forces responsible for such matters as student fees, student health insurance, and parking. Among the topics covered in these materials include: a campus childcare center, graduate student conferences, ASOSU retreats, guidelines for allocation of student fees, and a roundtable series of discussions on graduate education. Primarily made up of photos, the scrapbook documents two fall BBQ parties organized by ASOSU, the 1996 Graduate Student Conference (at OSU), and the 1997 National Association of Graduate and Professional Students meeting in New Orleans. Images found in envelopes inside the scrapbook have been placed in file folders that will be kept with the scrapbook.

An third to the collection (Accession 2008:075) is made up of materials generated and collected by the Associated Students of OSU that pertain to student government's efforts to make child care services available to OSU students and staff on campus. Primarily documenting the formation of the "Our Little Village" child care organization at OSU and their proposal to establish a day care facility in Snell Hall, these records also relate to the Growing Oaks Child Development Center and the Child Care Advisory Board. In addition to bylaws, correspondence, flyers, meeting minutes, newsletters, notes, publications, reports, and survey materials, this transfer also includes proposals to operate a child care center from two off-campus corporations. Also found in this accession are architectural renderings of the proposed day care center in Snell Hall mounted on foam core for presentation.

A fourth addition to the collection (Accession 2008:078) includes an oversize folder of materials created by the Queer Affairs Task Force, namely notes and Queer Pride Week posters (2002). Also included are budgetary records, correspondence, flyers, meeting minutes and notes, posters, publications, and reports. In addition to the task force, this transfer also contains minutes from Oregon Statewide Students Alliance for Equal Rights and the Oregon Student Association meetings. Among the topics covered in these materials include: assessment of LBGT subject matter in OSU courses, development of a protocol for response to bias incidents, OSU hate crime statistics, Queer Pride Week, same sex marriage, a non-discrimination policy in the ASOSU constitution, building addition plans for the Queer Resource Center facility, and the Rainbow Health Resource Center.

A fifth addition to the collection (Accession 2011:039) consists of materials generated by the Associated Students of OSU (ASOSU) that document the operation of student government and is made up of certificates, correspondence, flyers, handbooks, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, photograph albums, posters, publications, scrapbooks, student papers, and survey records. In addition to reflecting the process of allocating student fee funds, the organization of campus events, publicity about various issues impacting students, and courses/internships associated with membership in student government, these materials also illustrate the involvement of ASOSU with other organizations such as the Oregon Student Association, the Oregon Statewide Student Equal Rights Alliance, the Oregon Student Lobby, and the U.S. Student Association. Primarily containing newspaper clippings, newsletters, and flyers, the scrapbooks document ASOSU-sponsored events, elections, campaigns focused on various issues, and news stories about members.

A sixth addition to the collection (Accession 2014:052) consists of materials generated by the Associated Students of OSU that reflect legislative activity of the Senate (72nd and 73th sessions) and the House of Representatives (4th and 5th sessions). In addition to meeting minutes and agendas, these records are also made up of bills and resolutions, attendance sheets, vote counts, and letters. Also included in this transfer are annual reports documenting the 2010 and 2011 Gripe Fests.

Biographical / Historical Notes

The origins of student government at OSU are rooted in an 1897 campaign to fund the football team through the establishment of incidental fees. Although the College Board of Regents rejected this initial move toward the systematic funding of student activities, a student conference three years later set forth a proposed constitution and a set of bylaws for the establishment of a student governmental body that would have the power to institute and regulate student body fees. This proposal was approved by a vote of the student body and faculty in 1900 and resulted in the formation of the college’s first student government, at that time called the Student Assembly.

Structurally, the Assembly consisted of all enrolled students, but was governed by two bodies: the Executive Committee and the Board of Control. The Executive Committee was comprised of a president elected from the senior class, three vice presidents from each of the senior, junior, and senior classes, and a secretary. The Board of Control was made up of the Executive Committee, three faculty members chosen by the college President, and an alumnus appointed by the Alumni Association.

With its basic role of funding and managing student media, debate contests, athletics, and other campus activities, the assembly established a student body fee, which at first voluntary, became mandatory of all enrolled students by 1909. Final approval of student activity budgets and managerial appointments such as the campus newspaper and yearbook editorships were subject to the Board of Control and a General Manager who oversaw many aspects of the board. During the 1920s, the college dissolved the Board of Control and assigned management of student activities to new committees, such as the Student Affairs Committee and the Committee on Student Interests, established in large part to de-centralize authority over student affairs.

In 1948, the structure of the Associated Students of Oregon State (as it was known by this time) underwent a fundamental change with the introduction of a senate body vested with the power to introduce legislation, approve the ASOSC budget, make changes to the constitution and statutes, and recall any elected or appointed member of student government. The creation of the senate represented a major shift in policy for the Associated Students with decision-making power over student activities now residing with students elected by their peers rather than a board or committee. The constitution set the voting membership of the senate at one senator for each 500 students enrolled in the 11 schools that comprised the college and each school was guaranteed to be represented by at least one senator. The first senate consisted of 28 members. Although the constitution defines the president and other members of the executive branch as part of the senate, they did not have the power to vote for or introduce legislation.

In 1966, a judicial branch consisting of the Student Traffic Court and the ASOSU Justice Commission was added to student government. Vested with the power to review the constitutionality of all legislation introduced by the senate, the commission also served as the body for hearing grievances from ASOSU members about possible student election violations and legislation passed by the senate potentially deemed incompatible with the ASOSU constitution and statutes. Sometime in the 1980s, the commission was renamed the ASOSU Judicial Board, with essentially the same function.

To assist student government in working with student organizations, long-term strategizing, legal research, and other special projects with a perspective outside the senate and executive branch, ASOSU created the position of Student Advocate in 1986.

In 1994, ASOSU adopted a bicameral senate structure that gave graduate students voting status in a senate body of their own equal to their undergraduate counterparts. Membership in the Graduate Senate was set at one representative per 100 graduate students enrolled at OSU.

Administrative Information

Accruals: Additions to the collection are expected.

More Extent Information: 45 boxes, including 10 oversize boxes and 1 map folder; 10 microfilm reels

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: Records were transferred from ASOSU, the Memorial Union, Student Involvement, the Student Activities Center and other offices in many accessions from the mid-1960s through 2006.

Related Materials:

The Student Assembly Records (RG 043) include minutes (1903-1923) and constitutions (1906-1920) of the initial student government at Oregon Agricultural College.

Documentation pertaining to ASOSU is also represented elsewhere in the holdings of the OSU Special Collections and Archives Research Center. Interaction between student government and administrative offices and academic departments on campus can be found in the following collections: the President’s Office Records (RG 13), Student Affairs Records (RG 102), Library Records (RG 009), College of Engineering Records (RG 062), School of Education Records (RG 184), and the Apparel, Interiors, Housing, and Merchandising Department Records (RG 028).

Images of ASOSU officers and events organized by student government can be found in several photographic collections: the Associated Students of OSU (ASOSU) Photographs (P 154), Harriet’s Photograph Collection (P HC), and tbhe Gwil Evans Photographic Collection (P 082).

Preferred Citation: Associated Students of Oregon State University (ASOSU) Records (RG 011), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Other URL: A preliminary container list was created for this collection on or before November 19, 2015.


Associated Students of Oregon State College
Associated Students of Oregon State University.
Associated Students of Oregon State University. Senate
Oregon State University. Graduate Student Senate
Oregon Student Association
Oregon Student Lobby

People, Places, and Topics

Associated Students of Oregon State University.
Campus-based child care--Oregon--Corvallis.
Campus police--Oregon--Corvallis.
Collective bargaining--College employees--Oregon.
College costs--Oregon.
College environment--Oregon--Corvallis.
College sports--Oregon--Corvallis.
College stores--Oregon--Corvallis.
College student government--Oregon.
College students--Oregon.
College students with disabilities--Oregon--Corvallis.
Corvallis (Or.)
Minority college students--Oregon--Corvallis.
Oregon. Legislative Assembly
Oregon Multicultural Archives
Oregon State College--Students.
Oregon State System of Higher Education
Oregon State University--Graduate students.
Oregon State University--Parking.
Oregon State University--Students.
Oregon State University--Tuition.
Oregon State University. Experimental College
Oregon State University. Libraries
Oregon State University. Library
Oregon State University. Memorial Union
OSU Bookstore, Inc.
Rental housing--Oregon--Corvallis.
Student activities--Oregon--Corvallis.
Student aid--Oregon.
Student housing--Oregon--Corvallis.
Student movements--Oregon.
Students, Foreign--Oregon--Corvallis.
Total quality management in higher education--Oregon--Corvallis.
Universities and colleges--Employees--Labor unions--Oregon.
Universities and colleges--Faculty--Rating of--Oregon.
Universities and colleges--Security measures--Oregon--Corvallis.
University History
Women--Education (Higher)--Oregon--Corvallis.

Forms of Material

Architectural drawings (visual works)
Maps (documents)
Photographic prints.
Surveys (documents).
Video recordings (physical artifacts)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.