Preliminary Guide to the Associated Students of Duke University Records, 1965 - 1993


The Associated Students of Duke University (ASDU) was the student government at Duke from 1967 to 1993. It originated in March 1967 when the student body voted to merge the Men's Student Government Association and the Women's Student Government Association. ASDU consisted of an executive branch and a legislative branch. A student referendum in April 1993 replaced ASDU with a new organization, Duke Student Government, in which the legislative and executive branches were consolidated. ASDU records consist of minutes, correspondence, legislation, reports, printed matter, judicial decisions, charters, memoranda, speeches, receipts, vouchers, and other records. The ASDU records provide insight into student life during a time when students were becoming more active in university affairs. The records also document student organizations at Duke at this time and demonstrate some of the services provided to students by ASDU. English.

Descriptive Summary

Record Group
Associated Students of Duke University records
1965 - 1993
Associated Students of Duke University
40 Linear Feet, 26000 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Collection Overview

The records of the Associated Students of Duke University span from 1965-1993, covering the years that ASDU existed, as well as a few items prior to the establishment of ASDU in 1967. The bulk of the material focuses on the 1970s and early 1980s. The records consist of agendas and minutes, charters, correspondence and memoranda, resolutions and statutes, reports, studies, financial material, photographs, newspaper clippings and other printed matter.

The ASDU records provide insight into student life during a time when students were becoming more visible on campus and more active in university affairs. The collection is useful in examining issues that were important to students in the 1970s and 1980s and the actions taken on those issues; how effective student government was during this period; and also illuminates student organizations at Duke at this time -- both what they were and what they did. The records also demonstrate some of the services provided to students by ASDU: the Bail Loan Fund; Legal assistance; van/shuttle services; and the distribution of the Student Activities fee.

Additional ASDU records can be found inter-filed with Duke Student Government records. Please contact University Archives for additional information.

Restrictions on Access & Use

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Records of the University's Board of Trustees which have been existence for at least fifty years are available for scholarly research with the permission of the University Archivist. Access to records which have been in existence for less than fifty years shall be granted only by special permission, in writing, from the Board of Trustees.

In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended, Duke University permits students to inspect their education records and limits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records.

warning Use Restrictions

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Contents of the Collection

1. Minutes Series, 1967-1989

The minutes and agendas within this series are divided between the two branches of ASDU: the Legislature and Executive. Minutes are arranged chronologically within each branch. The Legislative minutes (1967-1986) usually include an Executive report, committee reports, budget concerns, chartering of organizations, and votes on legislation. Minutes for the academic years 1980-1981 to 1982-1983 are especially thorough. They were kept in large binders known as legislative packets (since discarded) and include copies of committee minutes and legislation.

The Executive minutes (1969-1971; 1975-1989) are often handwritten and less formal than the Legislative. Also included are minutes from a special meeting between the Legislature and Executive on March 15, 1982 called to discuss problems with the organization of ASDU -- primarily the problems that accompany a government with two separate bodies.

The Minutes, coupled with the Legislation series (Box 2), provide the most complete picture of what ASDU did and the issues that concerned students.

Legislature, 1967-1986
Box 1
Executive Committee, 1969-1971, 1975-1989
Box 1

2. Legislation Series, 1967-1988

This series demonstrates one of ASDU's primary functions, passing legislation chiefly pertaining to the welfare of Duke's student body. Subjects of legislation reflect student life on campus. Topics include pickets and protests, drug policy, building usage, curriculum, financial aid, residential life, housing, and other areas of student interest. Of particular note are bills concerning the Young (Student) Trustee, Student Activities fee, the need for a new university union, and the Ice Cream Act of 1968.

Most bills include a description, date, and signatures of approval. Lists of statutes and resolutions present can act as an index to the actual records. Also included within this series are budgetary statutes, by-laws of the association, copies of the ASDU constitution with revisions, and a 1973 guide to parliamentary procedure in the legislature.

Note: Legislation from 1980-1983 can be found in the Legislative minutes (Box 1).

Resolutions, 1967-1984
Box 2
Statutes, 1967-1981
Box 2
Budgetary statutes, 1967-1975
Box 2
By-laws, 1967-1988
Box 2
Constitutions, 1967-1984
Box 2
Constitutions: Revisions and amendments, 1967-1979
Box 2
Guide to Parliamentary Procedure, circa 1972
Box 2

3. Financial Material Series, 1968-1991

This series is arranged chronologically by year and alphabetically by subject within each year. Records include account books, treasurer's reports, budget statements, and audits.

A majority of the material deals with student organizations and clubs. This includes allocations, budgets, budget recommendations, subsidy requests, income statements, and audits. ASDU was responsible for allocating funds to student organizations and sports clubs. In Spring 1970 ASDU gained control over the distribution of the Student Activities fee. After receiving budget requests from organizations in the spring, ASDU's budget commission determined an amount to charge each student entering the following fall. The proposal for the Student Activities fee is contained within this series. The records related to student organizations also provide insight into the activities of individual organizations as the organizations justify budget requests by listing any activities or events they have planned for the year.

Another folder of note is that regarding the ASDU Legal Services (1978-1979), a program that enabled undergraduates to speak with local lawyers about legal troubles or questions.

Financial materials
Box 2-3

4. Student Organizations Series, 1969-1989

Another responsibility of ASDU was the chartering of student organizations. Once an organization received a charter it became eligible for many privileges including annual allocation of ASDU fees, use of University legal services and purchasing power, and priority in the use of University facilities.

The Charters subseries consists of charter records and charter requests and have been left in their original chronological arrangement. This arrangement shows what organizations were chartered by ASDU in a given year. However, it does not allow for a quick search for a specific organization, unless the researcher can provide an approximate date. Records of charters are just that, consisting of no more than name, date, and signatures of approval. Charter requests, filled out by the organization, often include lists of officers, a description of the organization and its purpose, and how long the organization has been active at Duke.

Alphabetical files on individual organizations comprise the second half of this series. The files usually contain budget requests and charter records and requests and may include lists of officers or members as well. Among the many clubs are the Kung-Fu Club, the Woman's Alliance, and the Duke Jazz Ensemble. Also of note are photographs and correspondence related to a 1978-1979 yearbook of African-Americans at Duke called "Ebony Visions" (never published).

Charters, 1969-1989
Box 4
Alphabetical list of student organizations
Box 4

5. Committee Files Series, 1966-1981

The series of Committee files consists of ASDU standing committees and University committees on which ASDU members served. ASDU committees were appointed by the Speaker primarily to research and review proposed bills and to make recommendations, such as to support or oppose a bill, to the Legislature. Bills were usually sent to a specific committee depending on subject: Academics, Athletics and Physical Plant, External Affairs, and University Affairs. Other ASDU committee files include multiple Task Forces: Black Studies (1975), Judicial System (1978) and Dining Halls (1979).

Non-ASDU committees include Undergraduate Faculty Council of Arts and Sciences (UFCAS) Committee on the Curriculum and the UFCAS Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid. Also present are files on the Residential Life Committee and the Student-Faculty-Administration Committee. The latter pre-dates ASDU (1966-1968) but included representatives of the Men's and Women's Student Government Associations.

Committee files
Box 5

6. Subject Files Series, 1970-1986

Arranged alphabetically by subject, this series contains records related to topics of interest to ASDU officers and members. This includes correspondence, memoranda, questionnaires, reports and other printed material (includes other institutions) on advising, athletics, financial aid, and the honor code. Also present is a file on ASDU history, 1977-1978, which includes a narrative history of the first ten years of the organization.

Five folders of the Committee on the Social Implications of Duke Investments (SIDI), 1985-1986, are found within this series as well. Primarily focused on South African divestment, the material was kept by ASDU representatives to the committee and consists of correspondence, reports, and plans for demonstrations.

Subject files
Box 6

7. Correspondence Series, 1967-1981

This series houses the correspondence of the ASDU Executive with bulk dates, 1970-1977. A majority of the series is broken down by office, not individual holding the office. For example, one folder has correspondence of the Attorney General, 1973-1978. Acid-free paper has been added within each folder dividing years and, therefore, individuals holding the particular office. Files also include vice-president, business manager, treasurer, and speaker of the legislature. The correspondence of the ASDU President has been separated by year with the name of each president on the folder as well. In a few instances, the incoming and outgoing correspondence of the president is in separate folders.

Other files consist of memoranda between executives and correspondence with University administrators (list of administrators within the folders). Also included are "how to" memoranda and handwritten notes apparently passed on from one president to the next.

General correspondence folder list
Box 7-8
Correspondence of Executives
President, 1972-1980
([13 folders])
Box 7-8
Vice President, 1973-1977
Box 7-8
VP Engineering, 1975
Box 7-8
VP-At-Large, 1978-1980
Box 7-8
Attorney General, 1973-1978
Box 7-8
Treasurer, 1971-1972
Box 7-8
Business Manager, 1972-1977
Box 7-8
Executive Secretary, 1974-1977
Box 7-8
Executives, 1972-1979
([4 folders])
Box 7-8
Administrative Secretary, 1973-1979
Box 7-8
Speaker of the Legislature, 1977-1978
Box 7-8
General correspondence, 1976-1981
Box 7-8
Box 7-8
Duke University Administration, 1967-1974
Box 7-8

8. Printed Material Series, 1966-1981

Flyers, memoranda, newspapers, newspaper clippings, newsletters and other printed material from both Duke University and other institutions. Included are two copies of the student opinion questionnaire, "Student Perspective 1969". Of particular note are ASDU-related clippings from The Chronicle from 1977-1984 which cover many topics such as elections, legislation passed, and opinions of the organization.

Printed materials
Box 8

9. Executive Records Series

Executive records are unprocessed.

Executive records
Box 9-11

10. Unprocessed Additions

Materials are unprocessed; cataloged from accession records. Please contact University Archives for more information.

A80-224: Records, 1972-1979

Financial records, student organizations, Athletic Council (RESTRICTED)

Box 12
A81-8: Records, 1967-1980

Includes Board of Trustees (RESTRICTED), minutes, correspondence, resolutions, statutes, and other papers.

Box 13-14
A81-56: Records, 1965, 1972-1980

Reports, memos, minutes, and other records. Primarily reports of ASDU appointees to various University committees. Also includes ASDU and Sports committees (RESTRICTED) and a few items related to the Traffic Commission from the mid-1960s.

Box 15-16
A82-181: ASDU/Board of Trustees records, 1979-1982
Box 17
A84-61: Subject files, 1967-1983

Box 19 also includes A85-48: Correspondence, Task Force Report on Institutional Advancement and Alumni Affairs (RESTRICTED - BOT), Legislature records, records of charter, flyers.

Box 18-19
A85-138: Reports

Includes The Duke Blue Book: East/West Campus Networking Directory, Class of 1989. There is also an accompanying volume for "North Campus." The books consist of lists of students willing to offer their expertise in many areas, or who have expressed interest in a particular area, such as a hobby, music, or travel. The volumes are designed to help 1st-year students meet others and solve problems.

Box 20
A87-18: Executive files and Student Organization Committee files, 1978-1987

Box 23 also includes A89-38: Judicial Review Board records, Speaker of the Legislature records, School of Forestry and Environmental Studes report, Young Trustee files, Duke Drama controversy, and other records, 1980-1989.

Box 21-23
A89-18: Student organization records, 1984-1987

Files for student organizations: budget hearings, transfers, income statements, checklists, charters, constitutions, and other records. Folder list in box.

Box 24
A89-35: Student Organization Committee records, 1987-1989

Records of SOC Chair David K. Pyle, 1987-1989: includes minutes, correspondence, fund requests, hearings, by-laws, and other records.

Box 25
A91-91: VP for Academic Affairs records, 1988-1991

Records of VP for Academic Affairs J. Talliafero, including ASDU history, Task Force on Registration, academic computing and Project Nexus, minority and female faculty, Young Trustees, and the Undergraduate Faculty Council of Arts and Sciences.

Box 26-27
A92-82: Records, 1976-1991

Legislative subject files consisting of correspondence, printed matter, minutes, memoranda, resolutions, reports, surveys of student opinion, and other materials. Subjects include student organizations, race relations, club sports, athletic facilities, drug and alcohol policies, food service, Duke/Durham Day, and the Drama program.

Box 28-31
Various accessions: Student organization records, 1982-1987
Box 32-33

Historical Note

The Associated Students of Duke University (ASDU), the student government from 1967-1993, originated in March 1967, when the student body voted to merge the Men's Student Government Association and the Women's Student Government Association. ASDU began its duties in the Fall of 1967 with Jon Kinney serving as the first President.

ASDU was divided into Executive and Legislative branches. The Executive was made up of the President, Vice President(s), other officers, and the Executive cabinet. Officers were elected to one-year terms. The President had veto power over legislation passed by the Legislature. The Legislature consisted of representatives elected by members of individual schools and colleges and met weekly. The Legislature was responsible for enacting legislation pertaining to student welfare, chartering all student organizations, and approving Presidential appointments. A President's veto could be overturned by a two-thirds majority vote. A Speaker was elected to preside over the Legislature.

A student referendum passed in April 1993 replaced ASDU with a new student government which featured the consolidation of the legislative and executive branches. The new organization was called the Duke Student Government (DSG).

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • Duke Student Government Records.(University Archives, Duke University.)
  • Men's Student Government Association Records.(University Archives, Duke University.)
  • Women's Student Government Association Records.(University Archives, Duke University.)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Associated Students of Duke University Records, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.


The Associated Students of Duke University Records was received by the University Archives as a transfer in 1971-2004.

Processing Information

This collection is partially processed: materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.

Encoded by Jill Katte, July 2005