Old-Age Rivalry

University of Central Arkansas Student Government Association vs University of Arkansas, Fayetteville’s Associated Student Government

While doing research with the University of Central Arkansas Student Government Association (SGA) it has come to my attention that there has been a little rivalry between our Student Government and the University of Arkansas Fayetteville’s Associated Student Government (ASG) over who’s organization was created first.

Up until recently, U of A, Fayetteville prided themselves on being the oldest student government organization, between themselves and UCA, with the ASG created in 1921. This past summer, 2019, the UCA SGA found that there were students associated with a student government board in the 1920 scroll. This made UCA’s student organization older than Fayetteville’s.

Yet, UCA’s Student Government Association is even older than originally thought. Indeed, the June 1910 edition of The Normal Echo has an article on Student Self-Government. Half a year later, the December 1910 edition printed this editorial:

“A new era has been reached in the history of the Arkansas State Normal. A system of self-government has been adopted and installed by the student body. The executive function is vested in a committee composed of the presidents of the various organizations of the institution. At present, their jurisdiction extends over the library alone, the only room in the building for which the faculty has ever been compelled to make rules.”

However, in the Official Records of the University of Central Arkansas Collection (M99-01), located in the Archives, there is a file labeled the 1912-1913 Students’ Association Book. The Students’ Association was the first name of the student government organization and this book states that,

“The organization of the Students’ Association began November 20, 1911. The purpose of this association is to promote all desirable student activities and to encourage a real live school spirit.”

In all accounts, this means that the University of Central Arkansas’ Student Government Association, created in 1911, is ten years older than the University of Arkansas Fayetteville’s Associated Student Government.

Though only a couple of editions of The Normal Echo mention the Students’ Association, the 1912 Commencement and Summer edition of the Echo includes a three-page spread on the organization, the members, and the first years policies and events.

Attached you will find a copy of both the June 1910 Self-Government article and the 1912 Commencement and Summer article on the Students’ Association.


Sources: 1920 Scroll, The Normal Echo June 1910, The Normal Echo December 1910, The Normal Echo Commencement and Summer 1912, Official Records of UCA Collection (M99-01) Series I, Box 2, File 1.