Student Life vertical file
Scope and Contents
This vertical file is not comprehensive; it is comprised of ad hoc material collected over time by University Archives staff. Vertical files are often used by researchers as a "first stop" and serve as an orientation to the topic at hand.
The Student Life vertical file contains administrative histories regarding student governance. Administrative histories are useful as they generally contain citations to other sources, such as minutes, articles, etc., that are held in University Archives.
The bulk of the vertical file is comprised of files for student clubs and organizations. Most files contain fliers for events and/or clippings.
Note: Documents regarding the Black Student Union were removed from the vertical files to form its own collection, Black Student Union collection, 9/5/1366, consisting of fliers, agenda/schedules, and clippings.
- circa 1965-present
Terms of Access and Use
The Student Life vertical file is open for research.
Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and University Archives before requesting photocopies and/or publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Once permission is obtained, most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.
Student life and student activities mainly started at UB in the 1920s. Why the 1920s and not some other previous point (as UB began in 1846)? Before the 1920s, the university was a loose grouping of professional schools: law, medical, and pharmacy and classes were held in various buildings around the city, there was no true “campus”. The first classes in arts and sciences (liberal arts classes) started in 1913 with the College of Arts and Science’s official establishment in 1915. At the same time, plans were taking shape to create a unified campus. Land was purchased (the current Main Street/South Campus) in 1909 and a major endowment campaign was held in 1920 to raise funds for building the campus. The campaign raised $5 million in 10 days in 1920. To give a measure of what was accomplished it’s the equivalent to about $60 million today. With the establishment of this vision, it was now time to address what pharmacy dean Willis G. Gregory described as the “human” aspect of college life: student activities.
The university’s first combined marching and concert band was formed in 1920 under the leadership of pharmacy instructor Asa Bertram Lemon. That same year, the student yearbook, “Iris,” was resurrected after a 10-year absence and was “made an annual book worthy of the University of Buffalo.” “Bison,” the student humor magazine began, debating was introduced, and the Glee Club was revived. With school spirit on the rise, Irving Templeton, chairman of Students’ Activities Committee, decided that UB needed “a monster parade, big mass meeting and a lively football contest” to instill in the general public “the fact that Buffalo has a first-class college.”
On a Saturday morning in October 1921, “With the blue and white banners of the University of Buffalo flying, the University Band playing, and 1,500 students marching, Buffalo took on the appearance of a typical college town when the U. of B. parade, the first of its kind ever held in the school’s history, proceeded in its line of march from Townsend Hall, on Niagara Square, to the Teck Theater where a mass meeting was held.”
In 1922, Templeton instituted the first Moving Up Day (MUD). The first Saturday in May was the day when each class moved to the next step of the academic ladder. MUD started as mainly a freshmen tradition; with a parade through Buffalo. All classes would come together after the parade for awards and naming of new officers for student organizations. Eventually, all classes participated in the parade with floats (very intricate floats) designed by fraternities, sororities, and student organizations. Crowning of the MUD Queen began in the 1940s and the parade expanded- it would start downtown and wind down Main Street to campus. MUD was renamed Spring Weekend in 1963 and Spring Fest in 1978, which it remains today.
By the mid-twentieth century, student dorms were established on campus. Along with a surge in enrollment, additional traditions were instituted, such as Homecoming and Winter Carnival (now Winterfest), along with fraternities, sororities, student government, and other activities and organizations.
3 Linear Feet (file cabinet drawer)
Language of Materials
Contains administrative histories, clippings, reports, and miscellaneous printed material regarding student life, activities, organizations, clubs, and student government.
Material is arranged by subgroup:
H. Administrative History
G. Clippings (mainly by topic, A to Z)
0. Publications (general and events by decade; publications are also included in each student organization file)
1. Graduate Student Association
3. National Student Association
4. Student Association
5. Student Organizations (A to Z)
7. Student Publications
8. Undergraduate Research Council
9. Student Newspapers
10. Graduate Student Employees Union
11. Sub-Board I, Inc.
13. Off Campus Housing
14. Student Fees and Tuition
Material in the Student Life vertical file was collected by University Archives staff. Periodically, documentation is added to the collection.
Accruals and Additions
Further additions are expected.
Documents regarding the Black Student Union were removed from the vertical files to form its own collection, Black Student Union collection, 9/5/1366, consisting of fliers, agenda/schedules, and clippings.
Processed by Grace Trimper, Fall 2017; finding aid encoded by Amy Vilz, March 2019.
- Finding Aid for the Student Life vertical file
- Finding aid prepared by Amy Vilz
- 18 March 2019
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note