The Purdue Student Government has a long and interesting history – an organization that continued to grow and prosper just as Purdue University did alongside it.
- In 1933, a group of seniors drew up Purdue University’s first constitution for a Purdue Student Federation. This student federation was the first student government structure to include a representative student senate and executive branch. Also included in the Student Federation were the Student Union and the Activities Council composed of representatives from each activity on campus.
- The Student Union and Activity Council had become completely separate from the Student Senate in 1942. As a governing body representatives of student opinion, the Student Senate was responsible for such things as campus elections, the student handbook, a faculty rating program, and a lost and found service, as well as making recommendations to the Executive Council of the University.
- The 1946 Student Senate acquired a structure of three parts which was formalized in 1947 when the organization restructured itself into a Student Council. This consisted of the Executive Board, Student Assembly, and the Student Court.
- In 1961 our Student Government was modeled after our present United States Government and called the Purdue Student Government. The positions of the Student Body President, Student Body Vice President, and a Senate by housing organizations were created. Student representation on university committees, student representation on the Board of Trustees, and a Student Bill of Rights were major accomplishments for the year.
- Then during the late 1960’s the student government lost sight of it’s former purpose. The Student Senate became an interest group forum, or like special interest groups, it became more interested in national and political issues, such as R.O.T.C., university investments abroad, and freedom of the press instead of focusing on representing the student body and meeting the needs of Purdue students.
- In the early 1970’s the issues of the 1960’s died down. Many Students felt that after the Student Bill of Rights had been passed that there was no need for a student government. Therefore, in 1971, Purdue Student Government was changed to Purdue Student Association.
- The philosophy behind the 1971 change was that the Student Government’s purpose was not to represent, but to have services for the students. It was felt that the Student Government had no power over policy, thus it was not really a government. The only other change other than the name was the creation of the Student Association Board of Operations (S.A.B.O) which was in charge of revenue.
- In 1988, the Student Government reverted back to the 1961 name which reflected the purpose of the organization: Purdue Student Government. The reasoning behind the reversion was that the Purdue Student Association, it’s responsibilities were not overt, and for the sake of clarification the name change was necessary.
In Purdue Student Government’s recent history, administrations have focused heavily on the Purdue student experience and livelihood during their years on campus.
- Haddix-McKinney: Taking office in 2014, Bobby Haddix and Caroline McKinney became the first administration to lead PSG in its current location, Krach 270. Their platform was focused on three areas: Boilermakers, Inclusion, and Growth.
- Young-Wilmoth: In 2015, Mike Young and Becca Wilmoth were elected on the platform of TIME: Technology, Inclusion, Mental Health, and Engagement.
- Denger-Goedde: Today, the Purdue Student Government continues to play an active role in the student body’s experience here at Purdue University. By providing quality programming, creating exceptional service, listening and advocating for student needs, and challenging the status quo throughout the University, Purdue Student Government helps to make students’ career here more education and enjoyable. Purdue Student Government is, and will continue to be, the link that connects all faculty, staff, and students together.
For more information regarding Purdue Student Government’s history, and to request documentation of past administrations, please contact the Purdue Student Government Archivist,David Herbert at firstname.lastname@example.org or Robert Barbato at email@example.com, or call the Purdue Student Government office at (765) 494-7201.