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Associated Students (1922-) | Special Collections & University Archives

Name: Associated Students (1922-)
Variant Name: AS

Historical Note:

In 1921, the San Diego Normal School merged with San Diego Junior College to form San Diego State College.  Initially, both schools kept their separate student governing bodies. In May of 1922, however, these separate bodies combined into one student organization, creating the Associated Student Body (ASB).  Although ASB was the primary student organization, Associated Women's Students and Associated Men's Students supplemented ASB, and provided more service-oriented activities.  Campus President Walter Hepner endorsed student governance, and so Associated Students remained a student-run organization with little to no interference from campus administration.  The campus held elections annually to select ASB's new student officers.  On March 7, 1932, the State of California officially incorporated Associated Students (AS) as a non-profit corporation, making the group a San Diego State affiliate. 

In 1956, Associated Student fees became mandatory for all students on campus.  This increase in budget led to an expansion of AS services, events, programs, and facilities for students, faculty, and staff.  AS facilities include the Aztec Center (established in 1968), the Campus Childcare Center (1971), the Mission Bay Aquatic Center (started in 1975 in conjunction with the University of California, San Diego), the Open Air Theater (the AS lease began in 1978), the Aztec Recreation Center (1997), Viejas Arena (1997), and the Aquaplex (2007).  Associated Students also runs Aztecs Shops, which includes the campus bookstore.  AS also ran the Cultural Arts Board, which promoted and coordinated cultural events on campus, including guest speakers and performers such as the California Ballet Company, Raquel Welch, Andy Warhol, Teatro Campesino, Bill Cosby, Krishnamurti, and Ralph Nader.

Today, Associated Students is one of the largest associated student groups in the California State University system, and is administered by five elected student executive officers, the AS Council, and the Student Board of Directors.  It operates on a budget of over $20 million a year, twenty-five percent of which comes from student fees, and employs close to a hundred full-time employees and about a thousand part-time employees.  AS continues to promote educational, social, and cultural activities and programs on campus; actively advocate for students; endorse leadership opportunities; and provide services to students, faculty, staff, and alumni.


Associated Students website.

Starr, Raymond.  "San Diego State University: A History in Work and Image."  San Diego:  San Diego State University Press, 1995.

Note Author: Amanda Lanthorne

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