Today in NC State History: Student government formed

October 15, 2014
By Chris Saunders

historyIconThe young men who had matriculated to the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in the 1890s had but a few rules to guide their conduct.

They had to pay $16.85 for their one gray uniform suit and make sure their tuition and lodging were settled up. They had to attend morning prayer in the chapel every day and church on the Sabbath. And they had to keep their rooms clean.

The students also had a general statement by which to set their moral compasses, as seen in the 1894-95 academic catalog.

“Students are expected at all times to demean themselves in a quiet, gentlemanly manner, and no student will be allowed to remain in the institution who, by misconduct or indolence, shows himself unworthy of its benefits,” read the “General Rules” section of the catalog.

But the conduct became a little more codified on this day in 1921, when The Technician reported the formal establishment and recognition of student government on the college’s campus.

resolver“The student body of State College now knows from the laws which have been read to them and the talks which have been made by members of the House of Student Government , and others, just what is to be expected of them,” the article read. “To make Student Government stick and to make it an established institution on our campus, it must have the backing and the hearty co-operations of every student at State College. It must have the moral, as well as the physical support of every man in college.”

The Technician also listed six bylaws/articles, which spelled out all rules that had been passed 11 days prior by the House of Student Government. Article I explicitly took on hazing, in effect outlawing the shaving of another student’s head. Article II banned offensive noises on campus, drunkenness and bringing women to campus for the early 20th-century hookup. And Article III addressed plagiarism and cheating.

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