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At a Glance
Arranged alphabetically by student organization name or subject, followed by an alphabetical arrangement of topical folders.
Scope and Content
The collection consists mostly of correspondence as well as constitutions, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, and request forms, generated by the Committee from 1905 to 1919. Correspondence relates to general administrative matters including eligibility requirements, governance of the Committee, correspondence with student organizations regarding eligibility of members as well as filing of eligibility blanks maintained by the Committee. The folders are arranged alphabetically by student organization name or subject followed by an alphabetical arrangement of topical folders. Names of some folders of student activities represent the actual name of the organization while others, like Baseball, represent the activity. For example, "Baseball" includes the Baseball Club, Baseball Association, and Baseball Team.
Issues covered of particular note include the Committee's forbiddance of a Christian Science group to use the name of the University in its official name. The abolition of football in 1905 until its reinstatement is widely discussed in these records. Scheduling issues, such as if teams or performance groups can practice or play on Sundays as well as if Socialist speakers are allowed to lecture for student groups, are discussed. The eligibility discussion also includes that of Extension Teaching students. Most of the correspondence from Frank Fackenthal's tenure as chairperson consists of eligibility letters to various students. When known, cases involving particular students are housed with the organization, group or club in which the student was involved. Eligibility letters regarding one particular student with no reference to the activity, are housed in "Eligibility Correspondence-Individual" filed alphabetically by the student's name. Eligibility letters relating to more than one student with no reference to a specific activity are housed in "Eligibility Correspondence-General" filed chronologically. "Senior Societies" includes information about the Nacoms, Sachems and Nimikwa (or Nimiqua) societies. "Governance" contains the resolution establishing the Committee as well as correspondence regarding appointments and meeting minutes. "Notes and Keys" encompasses the Glee, Mandolin, and Banjo Clubs.
See also Central Files Records, Football Correspondence, 1905-1907 (Nicholas Murray Butler)
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
There are no restrictions on this collection.
This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
a Identification of specific item; Date (if known); University Committee on Student Organizations Records; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
2009-10-29 xml document instance created by Alison Rhonemus
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Created on July 1, 1903 by the University Council and President Nicholas Murray Butler, the University Committee on Student Organizations originally consisted of three officers. The first officers of the Committee were James F. Kemp as Chairman along with George W. Kirchwey and Marston T. Bogert. The Comptroller of Student Organizations was Frederick Goetze. The Committee's purpose was "academic control of organizations of students, which in any way represent the University before the public." (Pamphlet "Student Organizations Representing the University Before the Public, 1910-11") The Committee on Student Organizations governed rules of eligibility regarding academic standing and eligibility for student organizations as well as number of absences allowed before becoming ineligible. It also monitored athletic activities, scheduling of events, etc. Chairpersons of the Committee represented in this collection are James Kemp, Herbert Lord, and Frank D. Fackenthal.
The Board of Student Representatives, as approved by the University Council, was "authorized to control the intramural activities of students." (Pamphlet "Student Organizations Representing the University Before the Public, 1910-11") When the Committee on Student Organizations was established, the President also created the University Committee on Athletics, which was deemed responsible for administering rules of eligibility "not involving questions of scholarship and to govern the participation of students of Columbia University in intercollegiate athletics, subject to the general regulations of the University."