“Student Association—What’s That?” New Era, Sept. 1971, 33
Going to college today doesn’t mean leaving the Church circle. The Church is going to college too.
The establishment of the Student Association of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints means you can choose a campus close to home or one far away and still have the influence of the Church in your life. The Student Association, established by the First Presidency, is the official Church agency on college campuses designed to assist students to continue growing spiritually while achieving academically.
According to President Harold B. Lee, first counselor in the First Presidency, “The priesthood correlates across organizational lines, and the Student Association is the agency by which it operates for college and university students.”
A General Authority serves as the managing director of the Student Association for the Church. On the local level, a stake president in a region is called by the First Presidency to serve as priesthood leader of the Student Association (he usually serves also as regional priesthood leader for the MIA adult programs, including M Man-Gleaner). An institute of religion teacher assists him on an executive committee.
On the student level, a president is called and set apart by the priesthood leader, as are several other student officers. They form a student council consisting of representatives of Church-sponsored institutes of religion, auxiliaries, and special interest groups, such as Church fraternities and sororities, M Men and Gleaners, returned missionaries, women’s affairs, campus relations, servicemen, and so on.
In council, these representatives discuss the various needs and interests of the Latter-day Saint student on the campus and determine the Church agency represented on the council that can best meet these needs. Then the council enlists the support of each group represented so that the undertaking will fill its intended purpose and be successful.
The council coordinates and correlates campus activity dates for Church-sponsored events so that there is no overlap in timing or type of involvement. The council members also consider suggestions for the student president to take back to the priesthood leader, who oversees all Student Association campus activities and gives guidance so that the association can receive recognition as an official campus organization.
Another special aspect of the Student Association is that it has an official constitution that is on file at each college campus.
1. You have identity with an official Latter-day Saint student campus organization.
2. You enjoy campuswide influence through the Student Association—as an individual and as a member of the campus-recognized LDS Church.
3. You enjoy the association of other outstanding young adults who have similar ideals and standards.
4. You have the opportunity to share in many leadership opportunities.
5. You can participate in correlated and controlled activities that allow you to achieve academically.
Where the Student Association of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is organized, Mormon college students participate in exciting and inspiring activities and unitedly received campus recognition and acceptance.