Information collected by Lauren Mack ’01, Lilly Shields ’05, C.J. Griffiths ’06, and Alyssa Anderson ’07.
Special thanks to Eric Hilleman, Carleton Archivist

CSA History

Quotations are from Carleton: The First Century (The AMA history starts on page 364, and the CSA history starts on page 367):

Curiously, Carleton students were mostly content to live without student government up until the beginning of the 20th century. A college senate was mentioned on and off in “The Carletonian” in the late 1800s, and at one time, the publication carried an article entitled “Is the student body ready for a college senate?” Many, especially administrators, were content to leave that question unanswered.

In 1880 a senior listed five reasons for creating some sort of Carleton student government: 1) to help students learn the value of good government, 2) to give them experience in accepting responsibility, 3) to lessen student-teacher antagonism, 4) to relieve teachers of disciplinary chores, and 5) to remove student temptation to get away with something.

In 1911, college governance at Carleton was given a chance through the Young Women’s Student Government Association formed by the students of Margaret Evans Hall. The Men’s Student Government Association soon followed out of the Burton men’s dormitory. Both organizations dedicated most of their work to organizing social activities and the logistics of dorm life, such as quiet hours.

“…post-WWI…efforts were directed toward the creation of an overall governing body, a joint structure combining both East [Women] and West [Men] Siders. Claiming that Carleton lacked school spirit as well as a feeling of cooperation between students and faulty, a group of men, in March 1920, petitioned President Cowling and the faculty for permission to form a student council. The proposed organization, to be known as the Alma Mater Association (AMA), would, it was hoped, ‘Foster a more wholesome college spirit and a genuine spirit of democracy.'”

Their main concerns were athletics and sportsmanship, control of freshman hazing, entertainment of visitors, control of interclass activities, and social activities; any other responsibilities would be delegated by the faculty. Their petition was authorized in late March of 1920.

The original AMA constitution stated that there must be a President who must also be a senior, a 1st Vice President and 2nd Vice President, one male and one female, who must both be seniors, a Senior Cheer Leader, a Junior Cheer Leader, and a Secretary/Treasurer.

In April 1920, the first group of elected officials consisted of the following respectively: Arthur M. Whittemore ’21, Gerald E. Marsh ’21, Ellen Davidson ’21, H. Phillip Constans ’21, Covell Bayley ’22, and W. Kent Cochran ’22. In addition, one representative from each of 20 odd student organizations and one representative from each of 30 of the remainder of the student body were elected and constituted the executive cabinet.

During its first year, the AMA achieved nine major accomplishments:

  1. finished successfully the China Mission Drive,
  2. entertained guests and decorated campus for the interscholastic track meet,
  3. helped with Commencement,
  4. had charge of “Bouncing Day” for freshmen,
  5. helped with freshman orientation,
  6. sent out 800 invitations for Homecoming, decorated, and entertained guests,
  7. created a hospital fund for part-payment of students’ doctor bills,
  8. adopted a point system to limit the number of offices any one student could hold, and
  9. secured a modification of the Sunday rule, which then allowed students to “associate freely between the hours of twelve and four, providing that they do not patronize ice cream parlors or restaurants, or do not go up river. Couples may go to church at the morning services and to Vespers in the afternoon.”

Discipline continued to remain in the hands of the faculty, and not more than 40% of the student body voted while a mere 10 – 15% engaged in deliberations at AMA meetings due to the lack of outstanding issues addressed. Students felt that any serious issues would be addressed by the faculty, so there was no immediate need to become involved. In the mid-1920s, the AMA formed a student-faculty committee and a publications board.

“…It became increasingly difficult, however, to maintain AMA in health and vigor. Although under its constitution every student was a member, it was impossible to get everyone, especially among the men, to pay his dues. All-student meetings were poorly attended and most activity was carried out by committees.”

“…[In] 1930, …, as the result of a student body vote, the Carleton Student Association came into existence to replace AMA. ‘Cooperative government’ rather than “student government” became the keynote, and it was recognized that ‘final power is necessarily in the hands of the faculty.’ Wrote the editor of The Carletonian: ‘It is a debatable question whether a student organization can ever rise to great heights in a small liberal arts college.’ Nevertheless, is was admitted that the newly-formed association, under its first President, F. Atherton Bean ’31, ‘possibly can achieve much.'”

1930 marked the formation of a new organization whose chief purpose would be the discussion of student problems rather than power in their execution. All students were members: expected to pay dues of 50 cents per year. The President, Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer were elected by the student body and formed the executive committee; however, nominations were made on the floor, and it was not until 1942 that the petition system of nominations was set up and campaigning allowed.

CSA meetings consisted of the entire student body and were held at the discretion of the President or executive committee or upon the presentation of a written petition from at least 10 students. At this point, the CSA was mostly concerned with activities rather than government, so in March of 1947, a new constitution was drawn up and approved by students and faculty, which created a student house of representatives and changed election time to mid-year rather than in the Spring as had previously been the case.

“Meetings of CSA were composed of the entire student body and were held at the discretion of the president, executive committee, or when requested in writing by 10 students. Mainly concerned with activities rather than government, the association helped with such matters as buying new outfits for cheerleaders and uniforms for the band, the freshman week program, Homecoming, Religious Emphasis Week, and the creation of Co-op.”

“After WWII, as in 1919, it was felt by student leaders that student government must be made more effective, that the CSA constitution was inadequate for current needs. Thus, a constitution revision committee was voted by the student body and by March, 1947, the committee had a new document ready for student and faculty approval. The main changes in the revised constitution were in the creation of a student house of representatives and in the time of election of officers – in mid-year instead of in the spring as previously. The new house was composed of the members of the councils and the officers of men’s and Women’s Leagues…”

After World War II, student government at Carleton picked up, and the CSA pushed for a vacation between semesters and at Thanksgiving as well as an end to segregated seating in the chapel. However, apathy was still a problem in part because of the way senate was composed. At this time, a member of each dorm was selected to represent his or her fellow students in the student government. The inefficiency of this system, coupled with the pressures of the Cold War era, meant that students began to be elected to the senate more because they were out of the room at the time than because they had demonstrated any real interest in student government. The students noticed this tendency as a signal to revamp the student government system, and in the 1960s, students began to be elected to the senate from the student body at large rather than from individual dormitories. The new organization and controversy of the times resulted in the CSA playing a major role in voicing student opinions about larger issues than the quality of dining and transportation. In the 1960s, the CSA began to pass resolutions on national and international affairs as well as local issues. Speakers of all shades of opinion were brought to campus with the help of the CSA, which sought to direct the rebellion and activism characteristic of the time.

In 1977, Joe Fabeetz, a fictional student, ran for CSA Senate with an unusual platform:

“Education. Have you ever been burned trying to know her? Raw sex, as they say, is better than cooked. Look around you. If you’ve any taste left at all you’ll realize that there’s no taste left at all. The once raw flesh is now bland and overcooked.

We devour whatever is put before us. The wild game in the bush is the best to be had, but it is to be pursued, not plopped down before us on a platter, cooked and dressed. We may consume great knowledge, but we never really taste it.

Pre-meds have become the slaughtered scapegoat of our hungry frustrations, perhaps because there the irony is most apparent. Where now is the life? All the vital forces have been drained away, our selves embalmed with deterministic mechanism. But I’m talking of more than just biology; the humanities too have lost their humanity. We are taught to grovel in the dust of ages, worshipping the earth once walked upon. As for myself, I’m not just running for CSA senate; I’m running for my life…for my reality.”

Fabeetz won by a landslide (1,012 votes). Since he was not a real person, however, his win was ruled invalid.

On May 10, 2002, a new CSA Constitution was ratified by 80% of voting students.

CSA Facts

  • It has been quite common in the past for one of the three officer positions to be uncontested.
  • Several CSA Presidents have gone on to become trustees of the College.
  • John Nason ’26, who served as President of Carleton College from 1962 to 1970, ran for CSA Vice President and lost, but won the Presidency of the student body the following year.
  • “Cheerleader” was a significant elected position for many years.
  • The CSA Constitution adopted in 1967 referred to the President, Vice President, and Treasurer with male pronouns, but the Secretary was left without a specified gender.
  • The first all-female set of CSA Officers (excluding Men’s League President) served during the 1941-1942 academic year.
  • The Vice President and Treasurer in 1942-1943 eventually married.
  • The record CSA election turnout by percentage was February 24, 1951: 93% of the student body voted.
  • Budget Committee was created in 1959-1960.
  • The gavel currently used by CSA Presidents was decorated by Brittany Bakken ’05 in 2004.

Past Officers

2022-2023: President Jancyn Appel ’23, Vice President Mariam Zewdu ’24, Treasurer Quinn Buhmann ’24

2021-2022: President Molly Zuckerman ’22, Vice President Delina Haileab ’22, Treasurer Rahul Kirkhope ’22

2020-2021: President Andrew Farias ’21, Vice President Brittany Dominguez ’21, Treasurer Polycarpe Bagereka ’22

2019-2020: President Anesu Masakura ’20, Vice President Hibo Abdi ’20, Treasurer Brandon Moy ’20

2018-2019: President Apoorva Handigol ’19, Vice President Selam Nicola ’19, Treasurer John Mulan ’20

2017-2018: President Walter Paul ’18, Vice President Seth Harris ’18, Treasurer Jen Chan ’19

2016-2017: President Tiffany Thet ’17, Vice President Abha Laddha ’17, Treasurer Jeremy Keane ’17

2015-2016: President Marielle Foster ’16, Vice President Nayely Martinez ’16, Treasurer Ben Strauss ’16

2014-2015: President Becca Giles ’15, Vice President Marielle Foster ’16, Treasurer Matt Cotter ’15

2013-2014: President Matthew Fitzgerald ’14, Vice President Adele Daniel ’14, Treasurer Henry Gordon ’15

2012-2013: President Michael McClellan ’13, Vice President Yasin Dara ’13, Treasurer Cooper Buss ’13

2011-2012: President Isaac Hodes ’12, Vice President Yasin Dara ’13, Treasurer Andria Hall ’13

2010-2011: President Jinai Bharucha ’11, Vice President Isaac Hodes ’12, Treasurer Sarah Duane ’11

2009-2010: President McKay Duer ’10, Vice President Jinai Bharucha ’11, Treasurer Sarah Duane ’11

2008-2009: President Caitlin Fleming ’09, Vice President Pablo Kenney ’09, Treasurer Sam Ritter ’10

2007-2008: President Tim Singer ’08, Vice President Peter C. Fritz ’08, Treasurer Becca Bartram ’09

2006-2007: President Jim Watkins ’07, Vice President John Smith-Ricco ’07, Treasurer Peter Fritz ’08

2005-2006: President C.J. Griffiths ’06, Vice President Jim Watkins ’07, Treasurer Laura Monn ’06

2004-2005: President Seth Cooper ’05, Vice President Matt Bartel ’06, Vice President Andy Evans ’05, Treasurer Lilly Shields ’05

2003-2004: President Blaine Eubanks ’04, Vice President Ainsley LeSure ’05, Treasurer Seth Cooper ’05

2002-2003: President Luke Hasskamp ’03, Vice President Blaine Eubanks ’04, Treasurer Greg Martin ’03

2001-2002: President Luke Peterson ’02, Vice President Dan Farmer ’03, Treasurer Greg Rafert ’03

2000-2001: President Jenny Houghton ’01, Vice President Alicia Hancock ’01, Treasurer Dennis Wold ’02

1999-2000: President Howard Kushlan ’00, Vice President Drew Airone ’00, Treasurer Katie Stroebl ’01

1998-1999: President Kelly Knutsen ’99, Vice President Howard Kushlan ’00, Treasurer Maura Ortega ’00

1997-1998: President Bill Martin ’98, Vice President Jason Moss ’98, Treasurer Gal Maller ’99

1996-1997: President Eric Whittington ’97, Vice President Matt Varilek ’97, Treasurer Chad Fritz ’98

1995-1996: President Chris Hilberg ’96, Vice President Mike Thompson ’96, Treasurer Noah Hillman ’96

1994-1995: President Rukaiyah Adams ’95, Vice President Margaret Fox ’95, Treasurer Amy Fox ’96, Treasurer Reuven Steinberg ’97

1993-1994: President Megan Spears ’94, Vice President Lisa Rolf ’94, Treasurer Sarah Hammer ’95

1992-1993: President Aaron Mysliwiec ’93, Vice President Sander Glick ’93, Treasurer Ruby Hou ’94

1991-1992: President Josh Resnik ’92, Vice President Matt Lieber ’92, Treasurer Greg Boyle ’93, Treasurer Ruby Hou ’94

1990-1991: President Michael Eichner ’91, Vice President Francie Spangler ’91, Treasurer Mike Wickersheimer ’92

1989-1990: President Gwen Connolly ’90, Vice President Anne Becker ’90, Treasurer Don Perkins ’91

1988-1989: President Eric Sacks ’89, Vice President Trace McCreary ’89, Treasurer Gwen Connolly ’90

1987-1988: President Bob Gilbertson ’88, Vice President Michael Granston ’88, Treasurer David B. Smith ’88

1986-1987: President Ben Gordon ’87, Vice President Matt Fikse ’87, Treasurer Bernardo Mateluna ’88

1985-1986: President Dan Tysver ’86, Vice President Roxzanne Greene ’86, Treasurer Susan Vobedja ’87

1984-1985: President Will Kennedy ’85, Vice President Steve Engel ’85, Treasurer Derek Dean ’85

1983-1984: President Robin Ingenthron ’84, Vice President Nick Tell ’84, Treasurer Ann Dahlgren ’84

1982-1983: President Don Frost ’83 Vice President Alex Walker ’83, Treasurer Charles Day ’83

1981-1982: President Dan McCreary ’82, Vice President Bill Oemichen ’82, Treasurer Stephanie Koplitz ’82

1980-1981: President John Bryson ’81, Vice President Rich Meyer ’81, Treasurer Ray Dietman ’81

1979-1980: President Paul Tait ’80, Vice President John Dyer ’80, Treasurer Marty Byman ’80

1978-1979: President Paul Messinger ’79, Vice President Barbara Buhr ’79, Treasurer Nancy Quattlebaum ’79

1977-1978: President Ada Posey ’78, Vice President Dan Sterling ’78, Vice President Steve Rau ’78, Treasurer Amos Morsby ’78, Treasurer Dave Johnson ’78

1976-1977: President Bard Freedman ’77, Vice President Amy Fusfeld ’77, Treasurer Dan Sterling ’78

1975-1976: President Lisa Gleicher ’76, Vice President Bernard Beal ’76, Treasurer Mark Ratner ’76

1974-1975: President Chuck Palmer ’75, Vice President Kirbyjon Caldwell ’75, Treasurer Sam Woodside ’75

1973-1974: President Leonard Banks ’74, Vice President Beth Hollingsworth ’74, Treasurer Jonna Anderson ’74

1972-1973: President Robert Strauss ’73, Vice President Bill Greenberg ’73, Treasurer Steve Barrenkamp ’73

1971-1972: President Brett DeHaven ’72, Vice President Sanzavale Maliza ’72, Treasurer Ron Bildstein ’72

1970-1971: President Jim Anthony ’71, Vice President George Kane ’71, Treasurer Tom Wheeler ’71

1969-1970: President Steve Melges ’70, Vice President Joe Nathan ’70, Treasurer Dave Kelly ’70

1968-1969: President Andy Korsak ’69, Vice President Brad Lewis ’69, Treasurer Mitch Cumberworth ’69

1967-1968: President Eric Janus ’68, Vice President John Jacobson ’68, Treasurer Mike Hunt ’68

1966-1967: President Craig Rennebohm ’67 (succeeded by President Peter Iverson ’67 after resignation), Vice President Rick Roland ’67, Treasurer Hal Hart ’67

1965-1966: President Bill Scott ’66, Vice President Bill Goodrich ’66, Treasurer George Juncker ’66

1964-1965: President Jack Kittredge ’65, Vice President Jim Allaway ’65, Treasurer Bob Henry ’65

1963-1964: President Felicia Oldfather ’64, Vice President Larry Hush ’64, Treasurer Dave Field ’64

1962-1963: President Dan Styron ’63, Vice President Lynn McVey ’63, Treasurer Bidge McKay ’63

1961-1962: President Ted Bergstrom ’62, Vice President Bill Johnson ’62, Treasurer Chuck Mohan ’62, Press Secretary Dean Jones ’62, Recording Secretary Julie Luginbill ’62, Corresponding Secretary Polly Nason ’62

1960-1961: President Bob Fliegel ’61, Vice President Jim Jorgensen ’61, Secretary Mary Jensen ’61, Treasurer Jeff Hanor ’61

1959-1960: President Larry Perlman ’60, Vice President Bill Dunlap ’60, Secretary Carol Massey ’60, Treasurer Rene Fournier ’60

1958-1959: President Bob Stout ’59, Vice President Dave Burns ’59, Secretary Martha Calhoun ’59, Treasurer Tom Toser ’59

1957-1958: President John Levine ’58, Vice President Douglas Harris ’58, Secretary Tucky McCarthy ’58, Treasurer Dante Shapiro ’58

1956-1957: President Dave Strain ’57, Vice President Sherwin Winer ’57, Secretary Nancy V. Reed ’57, Treasurer Dave Colburn ’57

1955-1956: President Ray Salo ’56, Vice President Bill Bale ’56, Secretary Marcy Enrietto ’56, Treasurer Bill Morris ’56

1954-1955: President Bill Buffett ’55, Vice President Louis Booth ’55, Secretary Dot Sundquist ’55, Treasurer Bob Patoff ’55

1953-1954: President Dan VanEyck ’54, Vice President Walt Varco ’54, Secretary Barbara Nutt ’54, Treasurer Ben Nelson ’54

1952-1953: President Jim Loder ’53, Vice President Steve West ’53, Secretary Barb Eifler ’53, Treasurer George Elder ’53

1951-1952: President Tony Downs ’52, Vice President Gail Melick ’52, Secretary Bobbie Boll ’52, Treasurer Ned Robson ’52

1950-1951: President Gordy Meyer ’51, Vice President Curt Carlson ’51, Secretary Marylyn Olson ’51, Treasurer Carol Frase ’51

1949-1950: President Bill Holmquist ’50, Vice President Lowell Linman ’50, Secretary Jean Wilson ’50, Treasurer Marty Larsen ’50

1948-1949: President Bob Henderson ’49, Vice President Ed Rudolphy ’49, Secretary Steve Tayler ’49, Treasurer Eve Perl ’49

1947-1948: President David Jewell ’48, Vice President Bob Morrison ’49, Secretary Barbara Hatch ’48, Treasurer Katherine Shrader ’48

1946-1947: President Lee Walters ’47, Vice President/Secretary Nancy Rennie ’47, Treasurer Roger Hackett ’46

1945-1946: President Jean Crego ’46, Vice President Louise Leibold ’46, Secretary/Treasurer Doris Jean Rucker ’46

1944-1945: President Jane Bordewick ’45, Vice President/Secretary Helen Tenney ’45, Treasurer Betsy Shedd ’45

1943-1944: President Carolyn Pfeiffer ’44, Vice President/Secretary Margaret Barnum ’44, Treasurer Marjorie Lee ’43

1942-1943: President James Hall ’43, Vice President/Secretary Arland Christ-Janer ’43, Treasurer Becky Butler ’43

1941-1942: Courtney Cleland ’42, Vice President/Secretary Harriet Hessler ’42, Treasurer Loraine Bell ’42, Women’s League President Ethne Forster ’42, Men’s League President Ira Elsham ’42

1940-1941: President Alan Hall ’41, Vice President Richard Raiter ’41, Secretary/Treasurer Frank Hammond ’41

1939-1940: President Ken Morrison ’40, Vice President Lewis Enkema ’40, Secretary/Treasurer Rosemary Martin ’40

1938-1939: President William Cheek ’39, Vice President Betsy Bullis ’39, Secretary/Treasurer Dick Hirschfeld ’39

1937-1938: President William Leonard ’38, Vice President Robert Merley ’38, Secretary/Treasurer John Stubstad ’38

1936-1937: President Robert Matteson ’37, Vice President Ralph Strom ’37, Secretary/Treasurer Ruth Todd ’37

1935-1936: President Willard Hunter ’36, Vice President Thomas Countryman ’36, Secretary/Treasurer Katherine Angell ’36, Cheerleaders Tom Dosen ’36, Charles Duncan ’37, Burt Krayenbuhl ’37

1934-1935: President Jean Todd ’35, Vice President Duane Faull ’36, Secretary/Treasurer Elizabeth A. Peterson ’35, Cheerleader John Mattmiller ’37

1933-1934: President Chilton Powell ’34, Vice President Chester Raasch ’34, Secretary/Treasurer Helen Ball ’34, Cheerleader John D. Peterson ’35

1932-1933: President Eugene Fowler ’33, Vice President Gerald Wetlaufer ’33, Secretary/Treasurer Mary Dousman ’33

1931-1932: President T. Hanson Ingley ’32, Vice Presidet John Tearse ’32, Secretary/Treasurer June Lindquist ’32

1930-1931: President Francis Atherton Bean ’31, Vice President Willard Blome ’31, Secretary/Treasurer David Grannis ’31

1925-1926: President John Nason ’26