In December of 1946, Triple Cities College in Endicott, NY, established the first Student Government in the institution’s history. The college gave the students a budget of $750. for the year and expected them to produce an active co-curricular life for the student body under the watchful eye of the Student Activities Committee comprised totally of faculty and staff members.
Even in those early days however, the students were not to be inhibited. In its early years the Student Government fought against such things as a tuition increase from $400 to $500 a year, recommended an honor system for all exams, and ask for the establishment of a student judicial board to handle infractions of the rules. While most of these things were not accomplished, the dye was set for students in this new institution to develop an involved, socially conscious, and independent role in the life of the college.
As the college grew into Harpur College and became part of the SUNY system in 1950, so did the now named United Student Government, grow into a social action body involved in bringing change to campus policies. And, with the move to the current Vestal location in 1960, also came the active involvement of students in national and international issues. Over the next decade the USG was involved in civil right, ant-war, and other social justice issues.
In 1970, the now SUNY-Binghamton administration attempted a new form of joint governance bringing together students, faculty and staff in a single body to govern the University. While at first very successful, this brave experiment in university governance ultimately failed. Thus, in 1973, the Student Association at SUNY- Binghamton was born.
Now known as the Student Association at Binghamton University, the most important word in our name is “at”. In becoming a new student government, the students succeeded in separating themselves from the university and establishing the SA as a separate entity. As a result, today the SA is an incorporated, non-profit organization operating “at” the university and opposed to being “of” the university.
Today the SA is an organization functioning with and Executive Board of seven undergraduate students, the Student Congress and the SA Judicial Board. There are over 300 student organizations, a variety of business, and a number of services including OCCT, Harpur’s Ferry, and High Hopes that are part of the SA. With combined annual budgets of approximately five million dollars, the SA offers students the opportunity to develop and guide student life at Binghamton.
There is a place for every student somewhere in the SA as a student leader, an employee, or a participant in everything from intramurals and club sports to over 40 cultural organizations, WHRW radio, a variety of publications, and BTV.
For more information about the SA, please stop by our offices in University Union West, Room 203, call us at 607-777-7777, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.