The Student Self-Government Association 1922-1923

While an undergraduate at Hunter College, Mina Rees was President of the Student Self-Government Association during session 1922-23. We give below a version of the report she made at the end of her term as President.

The Student Self-Government Association 1922-1923.

To be worthy of the ten years of splendid achievement in Student Government that have gone before us, to carry on the ideals of the past and enrich them a little by our endeavours, to realise a hope of worth-while service and of ever-increasing loyalty and love for Hunter:- these have been our aims in this eleventh year of Student Government at College.

Early in October we struck the keynote of our desire for the year in a great get-together boat-ride; a high feast of jollity. With over half of College on a boat all our own, we introduced into College life a new institution which brought with it a joyous spirit of comradeship; and all through the year we have tried in smaller ways to continue the friendly fun of that day. Ice Carnival, Home Talent Days, Junior Week, Alumnae Day, the Great College Sing, the Athletic Meet, and finally, Council Day - these stand out in our memory for the good times they brought. Through the Senior-Faculty teas, the first step has been taken toward a more cordial intercourse between Faculty and students.

In our work with the activities which compose our extra-curricular life, we have striven for a truer coordination of the parts of our organisations and a more widespread participation in the work of our secondary life. A 94% paid up membership in the Student Association at the beginning of the year assured us of the desire of nearly every girl at College to have a part in some student activity. The 100% membership of the School for Kindergartners made us realise more forcibly than ever the active desire of this group to have a dignified part in our student life. It has therefore been decided that the Kindergartners shall be admitted as a class into our student activities; and we know that this decision marks a new feeling of cordiality between the Kindergartners and the academic students.

Because we believe that every student who takes part in our secondary life finds joy in it, the reorganisations that have taken place in many fields have aimed at bringing more interested students into these activities. In the Social Service field, the Social Service Associates bring into the work all the interested girls at College; in dramatics we hope so to remould the Make-Up Box that it will become a workshop of the play; where play reading and play producing in its many phases will have a part; and where plays written by Hunter people in the newly organised Playshop will be produced. We aim to make the Make-Up Box the training ground where, through participation in small productions, producers as well as actors will be prepared to make our Varsity performance increasingly fine. The organisation of all dramatics under one College Chairman of Dramatics will, we hope, tend to coordinate our work in this field and thus increase the effectiveness of every part. Club activity, in which the great majority of our members have an interest, has received its share of attention, and has been so organised through the combined work of the Inter-Club Committee and the Charter Committee that each club is assisted by all the others to make its work for the year more effective and enjoyable. The Forum, in the hands of the Inter-Club Committee, is filling a long-felt need in bringing to College speakers on subjects of current importance and interest.

An innovation in the handling of relief drives has succeeded even beyond our hopes and relieved us of the burden of drives which was fast becoming too heavy. We have limited the number of drives to be undertaken by the Student Body to one each semester, and have provided for the numerous other appeals which come to College by the institution of every Wednesday as "Penny Day." On this day each student at College contributes a penny to the general fund with which appeals for assistance are met. Through the concentration of our efforts on a single drive we were able in the fall to raise among staff and students two thousand dollars for the Louvain Library Fund. This contribution was the largest received from any College in the United States, and as a recognition of our contribution the seal of Hunter College is to be carved on one of the foundation stones of the Library of Louvain University.

Because of a long-felt desire in the Student Body to have the standing of sororities at Hunter College discussed, the Student Council granted a petition that the question be discussed and voted upon by the entire Student Body; and after three weeks of mass meetings and Bulletin controversy the matter was put to a vote. Since only 35.5% of College voted to abolish sororities, the Student Council was in no way bound to act, but we feel that an important step was taken when the College was permitted to express its opinion on this question which is vital to so many people.

Chief among the plans upon which we are now working are two: the institution of an Honor system whose keynote is personal responsibility; and on this plan our Faculty-Student Honor Committee is now engaged; and the securing of a truer recognition of the value of the work of Hunter College among the citizens of New York. As a step toward the realisation of this latter end, the Student Council appropriated as the gift of the students to the College on its fifty-third birthday, five hundred dollars toward a general fund to be used to secure a single press agent for Hunter.

As we look back upon a year of joyous achievement we realise that as they build upon our successes and profit by our failures, the Councils of the future must go on to ever-increasing service and accomplishment.

President, Student Self-Government Association,

Last Updated December 2021