Self-Government Association: From 1892 to Today

Bryn Mawr's foundational system has remained relevant across the decades.

The nation's first Self-Government Association in higher education was established at Bryn Mawr College. The SGA provides students with a voice today. As SGA President Charlie Bruce said in our companion feature story, inclusion is a key focus of the present era: "I tried to make clear while I was in office that this was a space where anyone could start a conversation.”

Infographic designed by Jodee Winger.

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SGA Timeline: We Rule

First: Bryn Mawr College establishes the nation’s first student Self-Government Association.

Tobacco: Smoking is allowed on campus with one room per hall and the lower athletic field reserved for smokers.

Access: Campusing and fines (up to $10) replace suspension for infractions such as signing out to the wrong address, and entering the halls through the windows after hours.

Integrity: The SGA Constitution is amended to include the Academic Honor System.

Men: Meeting in Atlantic City with the board chair of the Student Affairs Committee, the SGA, led by Drew Gilpin Faust ’68, and administrators abolish parietal rules.

Equal Rights: The Equal Rights Amendment allows resident Haverford men to hold SGA office.

Restrooms: The SGA passes a resolution to support single-use restrooms in nonresidential spaces on campus gender-neutral.

Related Reading

Susan Walker Fitzgerald speaking to crowd
Higher education's first self-governance association was born right here in 1892.