The Associated Students, University of California, Davis is hereby constituted to represent its membership in the University of California and in the greater community and to increase the role and impact of its members on those decisions affecting their lives.
The Association is also constituted to create and provide services and activities which its membership shall consider important to fulfilling the experience of being a student attending the University of California, Davis.
In 1915, students at the University Farm created a student association known as the Associated Students of the University Farm to enhance the quality of student life on campus by providing social and entertainment functions and some student services.
In 1933, members of the Association voted in favor of non-voluntary membership fees to finance the activities promoted by the Association. After World War II, with returning veterans enrolling under the GI Bill at various institutions across the nation, Davis experienced a greater increase in student population, which was met with the promotion of more academic programs.
In 1955, the first floor of the Memorial Union was constructed. And in 1959, the Regents of the University of California designated Davis as a general campus; the student association amended its constitution and bylaws and the Associated Students of the University of California, Davis (ASUCD) came into existence. During this time, Executive Committee composed of students, alumni, faculty members, and staff directed the various activities of ASUCD. While under this structure, ASUCD began operating the campus bookstore, the soda fountain, a student store, and began Intercollegiate Athletics and campus publications.
In the early 1960s, the Memorial Union developed student-oriented programs and with the increase in student fees, the University began to provide some service relinquished by ASUCD such as the bookstore and other commercial services. By 1965, significant changes in the operations of ASUCD had occurred. A change in the constitution reorganized the old Executive Committee into the all-student Legislative Assembly. ASUCD transferred administrative supervision of the UCD Bookstore to the Campus Administration in 1966. With the campus expansion, completion of the Memorial Union, and the growth of student body, ASUCD began to create new activities and services to meet the needs of students.
In 1971, the constitution was again changed, the government restructured to parallel the federal system with the Senate (Legislative), President and Vice President (Executive), and the Student Relations Council (Judicial). The career staff was reorganized to report only to ASUCD executive officers. Within the next year, the UC System wide Administration recognized all ASUC’s as official campus units. ASUCD Stall shares the dual roles of constituent organization and a campus unit to this day.
With the increase in the ASUCD budget, a career staff position was developed to assist services, especially with the programming and commercial service, and to provide continuity from year to year. Late in 1977, ASUCD entered into an agreement with the Graduate Student Association (GSA) to offer some services that the GSA could not easily provide. The government was changed again in 1978, establishing a modified city-council style government, which also provided for advisory commission and an elected president who sat a member of the Council.
The turbulence of the late 1960s and early 1970, plus the mushrooming enrollment of the University, marked a time for new evaluations of the legitimacy of student government. From the original socially oriented functions, ASUCD had grown to include more than forty (40) different student services by 1982. The ASUCD government continued to expand, creating the Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission in the early 1980s, which served alongside the Internal Affairs Commission, External Affairs Commission, Business and Finance Commission, and Academic Affairs Commission.
In 1995 and 1996, sweeping changes to ASUCD’s structure, which changed the seven (7) members Executive Council into twelve (12) members Senate, and transformed the Student Judicial Council and Student Appeals Board into the ASUCD Court. The Environmental Policy and Planning Commission was created the same year. The Gender and Sexuality Commission soon followed it in 2002, which developed from Sexual Assault Awareness Committee, which started in 1991.
The slate system, in which slates of candidates for office run together much like political parties, originated in Winter of 2000. Although there had been slates prior to 2000, none had been permanent until this point. Slates frequently had a sweep“ of elections until Choice Voting was used for the first time in the Fall 2003; since then most slates have been represented in the ASUCD Senate. In 2007, the Outreach Assembly was created in order to better reach out to register student organizations and ASUCD in order to bridge the gap.
Many Changes have come and gone in the ninety-year history of the Associated Students, University of California, Davis. In the last twenty year many services have become outdated, such as the Just Your typing service, Book Exchange, and the El Rodeo yearbook, which were replaced with modern technology. Some units have remained relevant at Davis; UC Davis is the only UC School that still has an Experimental College. And other newer services have emerged such as the information technology and graphic design services of Creative Media. ASUCD flagship units continue to expand: the Coffee House