Not So “NEW” College: The Declaration of Independence

The New College Student Alliance is an ever-present fixture on our campus, but there was a time when it temporarily disappeared. That time was the late 70s, when New College was absorbed into University of South Florida (USF) as part of an effort to save the school from dissolving in bankruptcy. As part of the adjustment into the new school, the New College of Florida (NCF) student government was merged with USF’s student government to create the Campus Council.

For roughly 15 years the Campus Council served as student government for New College students, but finally students decided that the shared student government was not ideal for the two schools, and in June of 1992, New College students began drafting a Declaration of Independence.

Finalized in Nov. of 1992, this declaration established the separation between New College’s NCSA and USF’s University Program Student Association (USPA). “Over 200 years ago,” the preamble of the declaration reads, “the Founding Fathers of this great nation wrote that it sometimes ‘becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another.’ This is true for student governments no less than for the governments of nations. In recognition of the very different characters and needs of the University Program and New College student bodies, the following resolution is hereby agreed upon and adopted by the duly elected representatives of the aforementioned student bodies.”

At the time, New College was still an extension of USF, which meant that while the student governments made this attempt to separate, their funds would still come from a shared collection. The rest of the document goes on to discuss how a Joint Allocations Committee will fund various student campus spaces and resources and decisions will be made collaboratively for major costs.

The Joint Allocations Committee, organized to meet on the first Wednesday in February at 5:00 p.m. in Sudakoff Center, would decide base-level budget funding for Hamilton Center, Sarasota Recreation, the Student Government Comptroller’s Office, and A&S funded media center facilities. Various elected officials would fill roles, with one chair in charge every year. “Occupancy of the chair will alternate between UP and NC representatives on a yearly basis,” the proposal reads. “On even-numbered years, the chair shall be held by a New College representative; on odd-numbered years, the chair will be held by a University Program representative.”

This student government proposal allowed New College to regain some semblance of independence; when the school officially separated from USF in 2001, the student government was already partially set up along with it.

The NCSA lives on.

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