ASUA History


Over 100 years of student engagement

In 1913, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona was created to serve the students of the university as the officially recognized student government. The mission of ASUA is to represent student concerns to the UA administration, Arizona Legislature, Arizona Board of Regents, and all other relevant entities.

As it has grown, ASUA has progressed and now encompasses dozens of student affairs interests, such as programs and clubs. The association has fought for policy change, organized events, increased student retention, and worked to make campus more inclusive for every student. Over the years, there have been nine female presidents, and dozens of hardworking students of different backgrounds and with different goals. As we move forward into the future, we hope to continue improving the student experience at the University of Arizona for years to come.

Please take a look at this brief history of ASUA to get a better view of our long tradition of student involvement and campus betterment.


1925: John "Buttons" Salmon was the student body president and varsity quarterback who famously coined the phrase "bear down". 

1938: Student government members participate in the annual homecoming parade, which ASUA still continues to do today. 

1943: Edith White Hales was the first female student body president to be elected at the U of A. The school was facing the realities of World War II, and she led a student population where women outnumbered men three to one.  

1948: Morris "Mo" Udall was an ASUA president who went on to become Arizona's Congressman from District 2 for 30 years, from 1961-1991. 

1968: Students fought to change school policy, something ASUA members are still passionate about today. 

1969: Students campaign for student body positions on campus. 

1974: Randy Tufts, pictured on the right, was the former ASUA president who discovered Karchner Caverns with a friend. Tufts kept the caves a secret for 14 years, until he knew they would be kept safe by the Parks Service. 

1974: Spring Fling, now the largest student run carnival in the nation, began in the mid seventies at the U of A

1981: ASUA Safe Ride originally opened on March 9, 1981 with a budget of $1,000.

1984: Actor Greg Kinnear, who has appeared in flims such as Little Miss Sunshine and As Good as it Gets was an ASUA Senator from 1984-1985.

1985: Students in ASUA buried a time capsule near Old Main at this time, to be opened by ASUA members in 2085. 

2002: Zona Zoo, recently voted the best student section in the nation, was founded.