Skip to Top NavigationSkip to ContentSkip to Footer
Ferris State University BulldogFerris State University Logo

A Finding Aid for the Student Government Records 1947-2009

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Student Government Records

Creator: Ferris State University. Student Government.

Dates: 1947-2009

Extent: 3.0 Cubic feet; 1 FIR collection

General Physical Description Note: 2 records center boxes; 1 collection in the institutional repository

Language: English

Abstract: The student government was formed in 1947 to provide an outlet for students at Ferris Institute to have input into student life on campus. The records consist of correspondence, legislation, minutes, and reports on special subjects.

Preferred Citation: Footnotes and bibliographic references should use the following format:
[Item], Folder, Box. Student Government Records. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.

Biographical/Historical Note

Following a proposal from a student group, a faculty committee comprised of June Carr, Richard Coward and Stanley Driedrich studied the issue of student governance. They reviewed what other schools were doing and proposed the formation of the student council for fall 1947. The report, dated 22 June 1947, suggests a preamble for a constitution that "We the students and faculty of Ferris Institute, in order to become acquainted with the problems and functions of government and to reach some possible solutions through participation; to maintain and strengthen a democratic relationship between the school and community, to provide freedom of speech and encourage tolerant attitudes, to encourage group participation in school affairs, do ordain and establish this constitution." A tentative council was formed and the resulting constitution was published in the student newspaper and at a group meeting so students could give input and suggestions.

The original composition of the council consisted of two representatives from each school and department. (A school was any area with a minimum enrollment of 150, and a department was any area with a minimum enrollment of 250). Terms were for a period of one year. This was first altered in 1952, and remains the most frequently changed portion of the constitution/ charter. The original committees included: athletic committee, social committee, committee of appeals and a student affairs committee. The new group met regularly on a monthly basis and as needed. Committees met separately. This organization fell under the jurisdiction of student affairs, and the dean of student affairs or his representatives have always served as advisor to the group.

Activities of student government include not only the introduction of important issues through legislation but also support of institutional activities. Members played an important role in organizing school spirit events or community concerts and parties. The student government controlled a budget (usually gathered out of student fees) for the bringing in of campus entertainment or educational speakers. This money was sometimes also dispersed to other campus groups. The student government participants were also actively involved in leadership related activities throughout the state as can be seen through their involvement with both the Michigan Association of Student Councils and the later Michigan Collegiate Coalition. Ferris played host to many of these leadership seminars.

Student government has undergone many name changes throughout the years and some structural changes. It was originally named the student council. It then became the All College Student Government in May 1958 under a president named Thomas Scholler who wished to reinvigorate the institution and make it more relevant and influential to the institution. In May 1973, it underwent another name change to become the Associated Student Government. In fall 1997, the name was changed to the Student Government of Ferris State University. These name changes and other structural materials can be traced through governing documents. It has also gone from a single assembly structure to a bi-cameral institution.

Student Government Presidents

Year president
1950-1951 Charles Sherwood
1951-1952 Thomas Holbrook
1952-1953 Ernest Kyte
1953-1954 Kim Schrader
1954-1955 Raymond Mulder
1955-1956 Jason Brinker
1956-1957 Thomas Boozer
1957-1958 S. John Byington
1958-1959 Thomas Scholler
1959-1960 Richard Akey
1960-1961 Robert Norsworthy
1961-1962 Dennis Nystrom
1962-1963 Thomas Thompson
1963-1964 Keith MacDonald
1964-1965 Robert Tenney
1965-1966 John Brandstatter
1966-1967 Robert Blackburn
1967-1968 Robert McMullen
1968-1969 John Cook
1969-1970 Jerry Nielson
1970-1971 Bob Geha
1971-1972 Christine Dachoff
1972-1973 Russ Visner
1973-1974 Heath Roy
1974-1975 Tom Lytle
1975-1976 Dan Balger
1976-1977 Ed Mitchell
1977-1978 Phil Janness
1978-1979 Mike Govan
1979-1981 John Johnson
1981-1982 John Budny
1982-1983 Joe Haveman
1983-1984 Matt Airgood
1984-1985 Pam Brown
1985-1986 Mike Addleman
1986-1987 Daniel Gorman
1987-1988 David "Mike" Martin
1988-1989 Kevin McClellan
1989-1990 David E. Baker
1990-1991 Reginald Look
1991-1992 Tim Strong
1992-1993 Darin Hoff and Rod Taylor
1993-1994 Kimberley Harvey
1994-1995 Aaron Karns
1995-1996 Alonzo Dinwieddie
1996 Dan Adams
1996-1997 Charles Flood IV
1997-1998 Bill Simpson
1998-2000 Lauren Golembiewski
2000-2001 Benjamen "Rocky" Byington
2002-2003 Kaci Baars
2003-2004 Jason Granger
April 2004-October 2004 Amanda Umlaudt
October 2004-December 2005 Maria Knirk
January 2006-April 2006 Jon Gaskell
2006-2008 Elizabeth "Libby" Schmidt
2008-2009 Amber Balmer
2009-2010 Claire Gould

Scope and Contents Note

The mission of the 2005-2006 student government is to "represent student interests in all aspects of campus life as well as maintain open channels of communication between students, faculty, administration and the Big Rapids' community." It serves as both an ambassador and also as a forum for issues that are important to the student body. The structure of the body changes over time, as does some nuances of the charter but the major issues remain the same.

The first series contains much of the administrative paperwork that one expects to see with any group. Some material relates to the mechanics of the election of members. Additionally, there are the usual agendas, correspondence, minutes, news releases, officer lists and procedural documents. Minutes may be include a general assembly meeting or a senate meeting. Minutes of the executive board are filed separately under executive board. Two newsletters- the ASG Roundup (1986), and Our Deal (1974) are also part of this series. There are files which provide information on the structure of the group which include several files on governing documents, constitutions, bylaws and an orientation manual. The orientation manuals provide a valuable introduction into the activities and culture of student government for a particular time period.

The activities of student government have been split into two separate series. The first series is entitled Subject Records. This series consists of all the special projects and activities of the body which may be ancillary or separate from actual proposed legislation. These files are often typical of issues of hot button issues of the day, such as the academic misconduct policy, the sexual assault task force, the legislative contact network, or a no confidence vote in the president. Of interest in this series is a short publication entitled the Review, which rates the various instructors from the student perspective. Actual legislation brought before student government (sometimes called bills, resolutions or concerns) has been filed by year within a separate series entitled legislation. Topics range from a variety of issues from parking to library hours to textbooks or campus activities.

The final series consists of committee records (or any type of subdivision of the general body). This series is very limited, and filed by name. Types of materials which may be included are membership lists, agendas, minutes and reports.

Arrangement Note

The papers are arranged into four series:

Administrative Information

Publication Information:

Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program. 1-6-2010.

Conditions Governing Access Note:

The Student Government Records are open to all researchers in accordance with the University Archives and Records Management Program access policies. Copyright to the Student Government Records is held by Ferris State University. Copyright to materials found in the collection not authored by Ferris are held by the individual and his/her heirs. Any question regarding copyright should be directed to the University Archivist.

Conditions Governing Use Note:

This collection is open for research. There are no restrictions on duplication.

Immediate Source of Acquisition Note:

These records were donated in several segments. Major portions were transferred by Don Rankin, Dean of Student Life, in the 1970s and by the student government executive board in 1992. Records relating to the 1989-2000 period (primarily agendas, minutes and legislative records) were transferred by the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs in August 2006. Another donation was received by President Claire Gould in October 2009. There are other undocumented transfers of records.

Processing Information Note:

The Student Government Records were processed to the folder level by Melinda McMartin Isler in August 2006. A finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 1.0. A collection level MARC-21 record was prepared and placed in the library online public access catalog. Description based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2004). An addition to the records was processed in November 2009 by Jennifer Herron and the revised finding aid was entered into the Archivist Toolkit. At this time the finding aid was converted to EAD 2.0.

Related Materials

Related Archival Materials Note

None specified.

Separated Materials Note

Duplicate university publications such as the FYI and copies of board packets were compared against the appropriate collections and removed. Other duplicative materials (primarily minutes and agendas) were also removed from the collection.

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

Personal Name(s)


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements Note

This collection consists of typed and handwritten papers for materials prior to 2002. There is no specialized software required for viewing. Records for 2002 and later are stored in both paper and in a pdf format on the university's institutional repository as part of the Academic Senate community. The repository was created using an open-source software called dSpace and can be viewed through a web- based browser.

Collection Inventory

Series 1. Administrative Records. 1947-2008.

Arrangement Note

These records are arranged alphabetically by function.

Scope and Contents Note

This series consists of approximately 0.75 cubic feet of records and a FIR collection consisting of files in a Adobe pdf format. The electronic files are part of the Student Government sub-community of the Student Leadership and Activities Community within the Ferris Institutional Repository. In this series are the typical governance records of a bureaucracy including: agendas, charters, correspondence, guidelines, minutes, news releases and general information.

Contents Box Folder

Agendas. 1951-1959

1 1

Agendas. 2000-2007

1 2

Application form. 1999-2000

1 3

ASG Roundup. Newsletter. 1986

1 4

Banquet. 1957-2000

1 5

Board of Trustees. 1990

1 6

Brochures; programs; promotional materials. Undated

1 7

Budget. 1953-1979

1 8

Budget. 1980-1996

1 9

By-laws; rules. 1964-2006

1 10

Charters; constitutions. Undated

1 11

Charters; constitutions. 1947-1973

1 12

Charters; constitutions. 1974-2006

1 13

Committee descriptions. Undated

1 14

Committee structure. Ca. 1955

1 15

Correspondence. 1953-1954

1 16

Correspondence. 1954-1955

1 17

Correspondence. 1955-1956

1 18

Correspondence. 1956-1957

1 19

Correspondence. 1957-1958

1 20

Correspondence. 1958-1959

1 21

Correspondence. 1959-1960

1 22

Correspondence. 1961-1962

1 23

Correspondence. 1964-1965

1 24

Correspondence. 1967-1968

1 25

Correspondence. 1973-1974

1 26

Correspondence. 1974-1975

1 27

Correspondence. 1975-1976

1 28

Correspondence. 1976-1977

1 29

Correspondence. 1977-1978

1 30

Correspondence. 1979-1980

1 31

Correspondence. 1989-1990

1 32

Correspondence. 1990-1991

1 33

Correspondence. 1991-1992

1 34

Correspondence. 1996-2007

1 35

Elections. Undated

1 36

Events calendar. 1991-1992

1 37

Executive Board. Minutes; agendas. 1960-1991

1 38

Forms. Undated

1 39

Governing documents. 1989-2007

1 40

Leadership Cabinet. Minutes; agendas. 1991-1992

1 41

Meeting notes. Rankin, Don. 1947-1948

1 42

Membership Lists. 1957-2005

1 43

Minutes. 1948-1958

1 44

Minutes. 1958-1964

1 45

Minutes. 1964-1970

1 46

Minutes. 1970-1972

1 47

Minutes. 1972-1973

1 48

Minutes. 1973-1975

1 49

Minutes. 1975-1976

1 50

Minutes. 1976-1980

1 51

Minutes. 1988-1992

1 52
Contents Box Folder

Minutes. 1993-1996

2 1

Minutes. 1997-1999

2 2

Minutes. 2000-2007

2 3

Name change statement. 1997

2 4

News articles. 1948-2002

2 5

News articles. 2005-2007

2 6

News releases. 1991-1992

2 7

News releases. 2001-2006

2 8

Office hours. 1991-1992

2 9

Officer lists. 1959-1996

2 10

Orientation manual. 1977

2 11

Orientation manual. 1991

2 12

Our Deal. Newsletter. 1974

2 13

Policies. 1991

2 14

Presidential records. Executive orders. 1996-1999

2 15

Presidential records. Hoff, Daren. Speeches. 1991-1992

2 16

Procedures. Undated

2 17

Speaker of the Senate. Undated

2 18

Stationary. Undated

2 19

Treasurers report. 1954-1990

2 20

Series 2. Subject Records. 1951-2006.

Arrangement Note

These records are arranged alphabetically by title/topic.

Scope and Contents Note

This series consists of approximately 0.35 cubic feet of records and a FIR collection consisting of files in a Adobe pdf format. The electronic files are part of the Student Government sub-community of the Student Leadership and Activities Community within the Ferris Institutional Repository. The files consist primarily of topics of concern to student government at a specific time such as open visitation, housing, academic misconduct and student government day. Also included are various photos and certificates involving the student government. This series spans the dates 1959-2006.

Contents Box Folder

Ability scholarship program. 1988

2 21

Academic misconduct policy. Undated

2 22

Awards. Man of the year/ Woman of the year. 1959-1992

2 23

Baby changing station. 1994

2 24

Book swap. 1992

2 25

Photos/Certificates. Undated

2 26

Ferris State University. General Information. 1990

2 27

Final Report to the Board of Trustees. 2002-2003

2 28

Fiscal Restructuring Plan. 1991-1994

2 29

Freshman hats. Undated

2 30

House Bills. 1994-1995

2 31

Legislative Contact Network. 1991-1992

2 32

Membership reward system. 1991-1992

2 33

Michigan Association of Student Councils. 1964

2 34

Michigan Collegiate Coalition. 1988-1992

2 35

Minority Leadership Conference. 1988

2 36

National Conference on Student Services. 1987

2 37

No Confidence Vote in President Helen Popovich. 1992

2 38

Open Visitation; housing. 1970

2 39

Position Statement. Undated

2 40

Sexual Assault Task Force. 1987-1989

2 41

SGFSU-4-You. Newsletter. 2005

2 42

Student Activity Fund. ca. 1990

2 43

Student Council Welfare Fund. 1955

2 44

Student government day. 1953-1955

2 45

Student government in-service day. 1951

2 46

Student reaction instrument. 1953

2 47

Student services policies. 1991

2 48

Summer Summit 2000-2003

2 49

Survey. 1990-2006

2 50

Tenant Landlord guide. Undated

2 51

Textbook Union. Undated

2 52

The Review. 1981

2 53

Series 3. Legislation 1958-2008.

Arrangement Note

The records are arranged chronologically by year, and numerically within a year

Scope and Contents Note

This series consists of approximately 0.25 cubic feet of records and a FIR collection consisting of files in a Adobe pdf format. The electronic files are part of the Student Government sub-community of the Student Leadership and Activities Community within the Ferris Institutional Repository. This is a copy of all proposals for student government and includes both legislation and bills.

Contents Box Folder

Proposals. 1958-1959

2 54

Proposals. 1959-1960

2 55

Proposals. 1961-1962

2 56

Proposals. 1966-1967

2 57

Proposals. 1967-1968

2 58

Proposals. 1974-1975

2 59

Proposals. 1975-1976

2 60

Proposals. 1976-1977

2 61

Proposals. 1977-1978

2 62

Proposals. 1979-1980

2 63

Proposals. 1980-1981

2 64

Proposals. 1990-1991

2 65

Concerns. 1991

2 66

Proposals. 1991-1992

2 67

Proposals. 1992-1993

2 68

Proposals. 1993-1994

2 69

Proposals. 1995-1996

2 70

Proposals. 1996-1997

2 71

Proposals. 1997-1998

2 72

Proposals. 1998-1999

2 73

Proposals. 1999-2000

2 74

Proposals. 2000-2001

2 75

Proposals. 2001-2002

2 76

Proposals. 2003-2004

2 77

Proposals. 2004-2005

2 78

Proposals. 2005-2006

2 79

Proposals. 2006-2007

2 80

Proposals. 2007-2008

2 81

Series 4. Committee Records 1955-2005.

Arrangement Note

The records are arranged alphabetically by committee name or name of subdivision.

Scope and Contents Note

This series consists of approximately 0.10 cubic feet of records and a FIR collection consisting of files in a Adobe pdf format. The electronic files are part of the Student Government sub-community of the Student Leadership and Activities Community within the Ferris Institutional Repository. The files consist of materials which relate to a specific subgroup within student government.

Contents Box Folder

Committee lists. 1955-2005

2 82

Appeals committee. 1955-2002

2 83

Constitutional revision committee. 1996

2 84

Entertainment Unlimited committee. 2005

2 85

Government elections committee.

2 86

Housing committee. Undated

2 87

Miscellaneous committees.

2 88

Rock committee.

2 89

Student activities budget committee.

2 90

Student activities fund allocation committee.

2 91

Student Affairs Programming committee.

2 92

Student government advisory council.

2 93

Student life committee.

2 94

Student services committee.

2 95

Tuition committee.

2 96

Visitation committee. Undated

2 97

Ways and means committee. Undated.

2 98