Biography and History

In the 1960s, students made the connection between political activism on the national level and political activism on the campus level. At Princeton, the University administration's perceived inaccessibility (as well as its support for Vietnam War defense projects) in the face of student and faculty outcry, led students to view their administrators and the United States government with similar hostility and suspicion.

In 1969, student and faculty pressure led to the establishment of the Council of the Princeton University Community, an influential and representative campus governing body. A further outgrowth of the unrest and institutional reforms of the late 1960s was the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), which was launched in 1975 and claimed ownership over student-related campus issues. The pre-existent Academics and Social Committees, as well as the Projects Board, assumed more influence within the new structure of student government. The Academics Committee published the student-written Student Course Guide every semester, and its members served on the University's Committee on the Course of Study. The Social Committee organized concerts, lectures, and parties. And the Projects Board distributed thousands of dollars in funds every year to student groups, enabling them to finance projects and events. Though the structure of the Undergraduate Student Government has been adjusted over the years, its organization and authority have remained relatively constant since 1975.

Source: From the finding aid for AC185

  • Undergraduate Student Government Records. 1927-2015 (inclusive), 1982-1997 (bulk).

    Call Number: AC185

    The Undergraduate Student Government (USG), established in 1975, was founded on the principles of representation and independence fostered during the student agitation and institutional reforms of the previous decade. The bulk of the collection consists of the records and publications of the Undergraduate Student Government from 1982 to 1997. Campaign and publicity records from the Princeton University Democrats, and student activism files from the office of Princeton University Professor Stanley Kelley are included in the collection as well.