Fonds UA RG 83 - Mount Saint Vincent University Student Union

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Mount Saint Vincent University Student Union

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

UA RG 83

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Edition statement

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • ca. 1920 - 2011 (Creation)
    Creator
    Mount Saint Vincent University. Student Union. (Halifax, N.S.)
    Place
    Halifax, Nova Scotia

Physical description area

Physical description

12.8 meters of textual material,
307 photos sized 8.5x11 and below: 270 col., 38 b&w
149 negatives
9 slides

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(ca. 1920 - 2011)

Administrative history

The Mount Saint Vincent University Student Union is comprised of the entire student body. Individual students are then elected as Student Union executive members to represent the entire student body. These elected officials are also known as student council members, or councillors.

The Mount Saint Vincent student government association became a member of the Maritime College Students Federation in 1939 and later became a charter member of the Canadian Federation of Catholic College Students in 1941. Student government has been a part of the Mount’s tradition since its early days. Initially, class presidents, vice presidents, and treasurers were elected for each graduating class (freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior) on a yearly basis. This tradition began to change during the 1950 – 1951 academic year when Mary Cossitt was elected as the first Student Union president. Class presidents were also elected during this year. Tradition changed yet again in 1952, when only one president (Marguerite Peddle), was elected to represent the entire student body for the 1951-1952 calendar year.

The fist edition of the Mount’s student newspaper entitled: The Picaro, was printed in October of 1965. The newspaper was operated by the Mount’s Student Union and published until 2005. The name was briefly changed to Jargon from 2002-2004 and was eventually changed to the Sentinel in 2005. The last issue was published in January of 2011. The name Picaro, was chosen because of its meaning. Picaro is the term used to describe a hero in early Spanish literature. He is a person who roams about the countryside, retaining the ideas and philosophies expressed by the people he encounters. He then forms his own philosophy and ideas. The objective of this newspaper was to give an overall picture of the times and events as they happened.

It was under Student Union president, Linda Bergstorm (1966), that the Student Union revised their constitution and began working towards incorporation. Mount students were involved in the organization of the Nova Scotia Union of Students in 1967 and participated in a march on Province House to present a brief on student fees to the Premier. It was in 1968 that the board of governors invited the Student Union to send two student representatives to be voting members of the board. The board also invited the university senate to send faculty representatives to join the board. In 1969, the senate voted to have 3 student representatives join the senate, despite the fact that the student brief had asked for 9. The students served on the library, convocation, cultural affairs, and academic committees of the senate.

The Student Union had traditionally recognized those executive members who had made outstanding contributions to the student activities by awarding them a Gold V in their Senior year. On April 6, 1969, the Student Union instituted the silver-V’s and council pins. The council pins are awarded to executive members of the Union in any year and may be for contributions in a specific area. The Silver and Gold V’s are awarded only to those in their graduating year for superior leadership, achievement and service.

The Student Union revised its constitution and became an incorporated body in 1970. It also established guidelines for elections and financial controls. The Union's executive members were involved at a national level and the Student Union president became an active member of the Student’s Affaires Committee of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (A.U.C.C.). This organization was established in 1911 and is now known as Universities Canada.

The Student Union broadened its horizons and introduced communications procedures for dealing with university and inter-university committees. The Union cooperated with Dal Housie University in community action programs, student orientation, and winter carnival. In October of 1974, Mount Saint Vincent University singed an official agreement with Dalhousie University which specified a desire for cooperation between the two universities in order to avoid the unnecessary duplication of resources and services. The executive member in charge of External Affaires for each union would then have the same rights and privileges as executive member of the other’s union (other than voting and committee membership).

During the 1970’s, the Student Union sponsored and conducted a course evaluation of the Mount professors and published the results. A few years later, Mount students and professors collaborated to create a more in-depth survey. It was also during this decade that the Student Union took over the production of the student handbooks from the Mount administration. The books continued to deliver helpful advice to Mount students attempting to navigate their way through university life but no longer included information about prescribed behaviour or dress.

The Student Union store opened in the fall of 1972, in the Rosaria Centre. The store began as a Student Union summer project but remained open afterwards. The goal of the store was to offer reasonably priced products to students that were easily accessible. It initially sold snacks, penny candies, basic groceries, and toiletries. Over the years, the store has also sold second had books and school clothing. The store still operates today and is known as the Crow n’ Go.

The Mount Saint Vincent Student Union was among the first members of the Atlantic Federation of Students, (A.F.S.). The federation began in January of 1975 as a forum in which students of the Atlantic region could discuss their mutual concerns and deal cooperatively. The Mount Saint Vincent Student Union later became a member of the Students’ Union of Nova Scotia (S.U.N.S.), which is the provincial organization of students attending a post-secondary institution in Nova Scotia. The organization was established in November of 1978 in response to the need for students organizing on a provincial level rather than a regional one.

Up until the 1979-1980 school year, all Student Union presidents at the Mount had been female. Men began attending the Mount in 1967. The first male president elected was Paul McNair, who held office for the 1979-1980 academic year.

The Mount Saint Vincent Student Union had previously been a member of the National Union of Students (N.U.S.), which was founded in 1972 but the organization was reorganized and the name was changed to the Canadian Federation of Students (C.F.S.) in October of 1981. This organization was established in order to provide Canadian students with a national decision-making forum. The goals of this organization were to achieve a system of post-secondary education in Canada that is rationally planned, of high quality, and accessible to all.

The first annual Athletics Alumnae and Student Union Awards Banquet was held in 1978. Prior to this year, the Athletics Awards dinner and Student Council Awards dinner were held separately. The event is typically held in March and honours those who have done outstanding work in sports, government, or in a particular society.

The campus pub, which is owned and operated by the Student Union, first opened its doors during the 1981-1982 school year. It was quite successful, even in its early years. In addition to serving pub style food and drinks, the pub has played host to many talent shows, coffee houses, dances, trivia nights, live performances, and other social events. The pub is also available for student bookings such as fundraisers and society events. The pub continues to be a popular campus hangout at the Mount today and was renamed Vinnie’s Pub.

During the 1981-1982 school year, an Inter-University agreement was signed between the Mount’s Student Union and the Student Unions of other local universities. The Open-Door Policy Agreement included Mount Saint Vincent University, the Technical University of Nova Scotia, Saint Mary’s University, Dalhousie University, and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. The purpose of this agreement was to allow students to gain admittance to the functions of these universities’ cooperative adventures which would take place during the 1982-1983 academic school year.

The first annual Student Union Leadership Conference was held in March of 1982 at the Mount. The conference offered leadership workshops to society and student leaders, as well as other interested students. Topics covered included entertainment and publicity, assertiveness, special needs of international students, time management, and many more. The conference was attended by students from Mount Saint Vincent, Saint Xavier, Acadia, Dalhousie, and Saint Mary’s University.

Custodial history

Accessions were received between 1981 and 2007. The records of accessions 1981-12, 1981-145, 1981-167, 1981-182, 1981-183, 1982-4, 1982-101, 1994-28, 1984-214, 1995-28, 1996-5, 1996-7, 1999-31, 2002-29, 2002-30, 2003-03, and 2005-36 were received from the Student Union's Office within Mount Saint Vincent University. Accession 1997-29 was donated by the Women's Committee of the Student Union. Accessions 1981-63, 1981-64, 1981-93, 1981-164, 1981-172, 1982-31, 1982-106, 1982-121, 1982-128, and 2003-108 were received from the Department of Public Affairs. Accession 1982-116 was donated by the Department of Public Relations. Accessions 1994-26 and 2007-35 were received from the Office of Alumnae Relations. Accession 1994-2 was received from the Reserve Desk (Circulation) within the Mount Saint Vincent University Library. Accession 1991-31 was donated by Dr. Jane Gordon. The custodial history of the remaining accessions (MG.250.92, MG.360.92, MG.720.92, MG.740.92, 1982-114, 1983-64, 1984-79, 1985-1,1985-38, 1985-50, 1986-13, 1986-34,1989-73, 1990-91, 1991-31, 1991-92, 2003-55, 2003-66, 2003-144, 2003-147, 2003-149, 2003-268, 2003-269, 2004-07, 2005-19, 2006-28, 2006-38, 2006-29, 2007-84, 2007-87, 2007-90, and 3092-1995 is not known.

Scope and content

Fond consists of textual records and photographs relating to Mount Saint Vincent University's Student Union. The contents of this collection were largely created by the student council members and administration at MSVU. The largest series within this collection is administrative materials but there are also many documents relating to events, publications such as the Student Handbook and student newspaper (the Picaro), financial documents, documents relating to Student Union regulations, the Student Union’s businesses and services, as well as committees on which student council members serve, Student Union projects, and documents relating to non-traditional Mount students and the organizations to which they belong.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Mount Saint Vincent University's Student Union Office, the Department of Public Affairs, the Department of Public Relations, the Office of Alumnae Relations, Mount Saint Vincent University Library Reserve Desk (Circulation), and Dr. Jane Gordon.

Arrangement

Arrangement is based mostly upon the original order of the records. In cases where the records were in disorder, arrangement has been imposed by the archivist.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

  • Arabic

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Photos have been digitized

Restrictions on access

Some files are restricted due to the confidential or personal information they contain. Please contact the Archivist for more information on accessing these records. The following files are restricted.
UA RG 83-1-3 (textual documents only)
UA RG 83-1-9
UA RG 83-2-2
UA RG 83-2-4
UA RG 83-7-1-4
UA RG 83-7-2-1
UA RG 83-8-1
UA RG 83-9-5
UA RG 83-9-6
UA RG 83-9-7
UA RG 83-9-10
UA RG 83-9-12

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Detailed finding aid available; file level control

Associated materials

Related materials

Accruals

Further accruals are expected

General note

The Mount Saint Vincent University Student associations included within the fonds are at least partially governed by executive members of the Student Union.

Some accessions to the Mount Saint Vincent University Archives that relate to the Mount Saint Vincent Student Union have been misplaced over time. The list of the misplaced accession numbers is as follows:
1982-33
1982-220
1982-221
1982-223
1982-225
1983-11
1983-16
1983-31
1983-40
1983-49
1983-66
1983-142
1983-163
1893-200
1983-204
1983-211
1983-217
1983-228
1984-17
1984-19
1984-30
1984-34
1984-43
1984-53
1984-70
1984-74
1984-86
1984-178
1984-187
1984-199
1984-217
1984-218
1984-226
1985-1
1985-39
1986-66
1985-96
1985-145
1986-16
1986-52
1986-68
1986-79
1986-104
1986-113
1988-26
1989-65
1990-41
1990-80
1992-68
1982-9
1983-3
1983-24
1983-27
1984-2007
1984-235
1985-9
1985-15
1985-30
1985-49
1985-90
1985-101
1985-112
1985-121
1985-141
1985-146
1986-31
1986-66
1986-125
1987-4
1987-21
1987-23
1987-44
1987-57
1988-26

Alternative identifier(s)

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Standard number

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Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Mount Saint Vincent University Archives

Rules or conventions

Status

Draft

Level of detail

Partial

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

August 16, 2017

Language of description

  • English

Script of description

  • Arabic

Sources

Corcoran, Theresa. Mount Saint Vincent University : A Vision Unfolding, 1873-1988. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1999.

Accession area