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Student Activities Office records

 Collection
Identifier: A045

Scope and Content Note

The collection documents over 300 clubs and organizations, providing insight into student life primarily during the 1980s through the 1990s. Records on each organization typically consists of: a proposal to start the specific group, a request for provisional status, a request for full recognition, a letter granting full recognition to the organization, program planning guides, and officer rosters.

This collection is organized into three series: 1. Administration; 2. Student Organizations; and 3.Legal Services Student Case Files. Within Series 1 are general information and regulations pertaining to all student organizations. Within Series 2 are 12 categories of clubs and organizations. Extensive files exist for the Northeastern University Flying Huskies, the Students Aligned for Nuclear Disarmament (SAND), and the WRBB radio station. Within Series 3 are individual case files on students who sought legal assistance from the Group Legal Services Corporation.

Dates

  • 1941-2010 (bulk 1980-1995)

Creator

Conditions Governing Access:

Records are closed for 25 years from the date of their creation, unless researchers have written permission from the creating office. Personnel records (box 1, folder 23) and student records (boxes 11-14) are closed for 75 years from their date of creation.

Historical Note

In 1921 Frank Palmer Speare became the first Director of Student Activities. Before this time there were unorganized, irregular clubs such as the first student newspaper, The Co-op, first published in 1916. Soon thereafter in 1917 the senior yearbook, the Cauldron, had its first publication. It did not reappear again until 1921, along with several other activities such as fraternities and athletics, due to World War I

In 1921 the Department of Student Activities included a publicity division, the athletic association and miscellaneous divisional activities. The Division of Music was later added and by 1925 it included a Band, Concert Orchestra, Glee Club and Dramatic Club all existed on campus.

The Student Council began in the 1920s. In 1924 a revised Student Council merged with student government, and in 1925 a Student Union was formed with Milton J. Schlagenhauf as its first faculty advisor. In 1922 the students of the College of Business Administration formed their own Student Union and Student Council. By 1926, the two unions and councils were combined.

By 1959, the Department of Student Activities was responsible for all student activities, with the exception of chapel services. During the late 1960s, African American student organizations began as students developed a sense of individual and group identity within the larger Northeastern community. Founded in 1969, the Afro-American Institute provided a base for African American student life at the university. By 1975, African American student-led organizations had begun to thrive. Organizations such as The Onyx (newspaper founded in 1972), the Black Engineering Student Society, and the first recognized African American fraternity at the University, the Omicron Chapter of Iota Phi Theta, came into existence during this period.

In 1962, NU started its own radio station, WNEU, which broadcasted only in selected dormitories. In 1970, WNEU became a non-commercial, 10-watt station and was renamed WRBB. The new station reached beyond the NU campus and became an important part of the community. Due to interference from other stations and FCC rulings, in 1982 WRBB moved to the commercial band at 104.9, where it is limited to 10 watts. It plays a wide variety of music and caters to the community around NU and NU students.

In 1970, the Dean of Students Office changed its name to the Office of Student Affairs. During the 1980s, the Student Court was reorganized and improved under the direction of Associate Dean of Students, Harvey Vetstein. Under Vetstein's direction, dorms perceived as problematic due to neighborhood complaints of student rowdiness were reallocated to honor students in an effort to appease the community.

The Student Federation evolved into the Student Government Association (SGA) in 1981 via a new constitution. In comparison to its predecessor, the SGA was considered more inclusive, providing representation to foreign, handicapped, and minority student groups in addition to the well established student groups.

Chronology

  • Date Directors
  • 1921-1926 Joseph Spear
  • 1926-1929 Harold W. Melvin
  • 1929-1953 Edward S. Parsons
  • 1953-1960 Herbert W. Gallagher
  • 1960-1970 Charles E. Kitchin
  • 1970-1985 Richard E. Sochacki
  • 1985-1988 Mary M. Connelly
  • 1988-1989 Sherry Norman
  • 1989-1993 Gail Olyha
  • 1993-1997 Stephanie T. Palubicki
  • 1997-2004 Todd A. Shaver
  • 2004- Brooke Tempesta, Director of Campus Activities and Programs
  • 2004- John Silveria, Director of Student Leadership
Date
Directors
1921-1926
Joseph Spear
1926-1929
Harold W. Melvin
1929-1953
Edward S. Parsons
1953-1960
Herbert W. Gallagher
1960-1970
Charles E. Kitchin
1970-1985
Richard E. Sochacki
1985-1988
Mary M. Connelly
1988-1989
Sherry Norman
1989-1993
Gail Olyha
1993-1997
Stephanie T. Palubicki
1997-2004
Todd A. Shaver
2004-
Brooke Tempesta, Director of Campus Activities and Programs
2004-
John Silveria, Director of Student Leadership

Extent

19.55 cubic feet (24 containers, 1 tube)

Overview

Student extracurricular activities at Northeastern University began in 1917 with the publication of the senior yearbook, the Cauldron. The Department of Student Activities was formed in 1921 and was comprised of a publicity division, the athletic association, and miscellaneous divisional activities. The Division of Music was added later, and by 1925 included a Band, Concert Orchestra, Glee Club and Dramatic Club. The Student Council began in the 1920s. By 1959, the Department of Student Activities was responsible for all student activities, with the exception of chapel services. In 1970, the Dean of Students Office changed its name to the Office of Student Affairs.

Overview

The collection documents over 300 clubs and organizations, providing insight into student life primarily during the 1980s through the 1990s. Records on each organization typically consists of a proposal to start the specific group, a request for provisional status, a request for full recognition, a letter granting full recognition to the organization, program planning guides, and officer rosters. Series 1. Administration contains general information, correspondence, financial reports, and regulations pertaining to all student organizations. Series 2. Student Organizations is organized into 12 categories of clubs and organizations: A) Academic and Departmental, B) All University, C) Art and Music, D) Ethnic and Cultural, E) Fraternities and Sororities, F) Honor Societies, G) Media, H) Political and Social Action, I) Professional Societies, J) Religious Organizations, and K) Special Interest Clubs. Extensive files exist for the Northeastern University Flying Huskies and the Students Aligned for Nuclear Disarmament (SAND). Series 3 contains individual case files on students who sought legal assistance from the Group Legal Services Corporation.

System of Arrangement:

Organized into 3 series: 1. Administration; 2. Student Organizations; and 3. Legal Services Student Case Files.

Physical Location

29/3-4, 31/2, 35/3, RS10/S1

Bibliography

  • Frederick, Antoinette, "Northeastern University, Coming of Age: The Ryder Years 1975-1989". Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1995.
  • Marston, Everett C., "Origin and Development of Northeastern University 1898-1960". Boston: Cuneo Press of New England, Inc., 1961, p. 116-127.
  • Northeastern University Student Handbook for the Basic Colleges, [Boston, Massachusetts], 1980-1981, and 1984-1985; p.44 and 59-60, respectively.
Title
Finding aid for the Student Activities Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Linda W. Hom; updated by Katie Geiszler; updated by Migyeong Geum
Date
February 2001, September 2003, October 2012
Language of description
Description Is In English

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US