1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY
1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY

Myskania Records

1915-1984

PDF Version

Abstract

The original student government of the State College for Teachers, founded in 1917. Myskania acted as a secret society which selected its own members, but its duties were gradually assumed by the Student Association and it was disbaned in 1979.

Summary

Creator:
Myskania
Date Coverage:
1915-1984
Quantity:
1.42 cubic ft. (about 1.42 boxes)

In 1915 a petition was submitted to President Abraham Brubacher asking that a student government be organized. In April of 1917, a faculty committee appointed by Brubacher announced the decision to create a student council comprised of seniors. This council would take charge of student affairs and concerns. Soon after, the council adopted the name Myskania, the meaning of which has been kept secret.

Secrecy was to pervade most aspects of Myskania's early history. The organization was self-perpetuating, with senior members selecting their replacements from among the intellectual, moral, and civic leaders of the junior class. Prior to 1931, the student association chose three of its members, but after 1931 Myskania chose all of its own members.

Myskania's role was defined in section 11, article 11 of its constitution: "Myskania shall regulate all undergraduate activities, not academic in nature." These activities included the oversight of student publications, student entertainment, class constitutions, the time and manner of the election of class officers, the organization of the freshman class, and the protection of college traditions.

Myskania's early years saw an active assertion of its powers. In 1921, Myskania suggested the formation of the Student Association as the official student government and even wrote its constitution.

Myskania's eventual demise stemmed from the gradual assumption of its functions by the Student Association. By 1935, the Student Association decided that certain functions, such as the freshman-sophomore rivalries were an executive function, not a judicial one, and thus, Myskania lost one of its main functions. In 1946, due to the disappearance of its governmental powers and the hostility shown to its secret functions and rituals, Myskania announced its dissolution. Later that same year, former Myskania members burned its records and constitution. In 1946, former members of Myskania resurrected it as a volunteer group. It was declared a temporary judicial council in 1946. One year later, Myskania would rise again as an official organization. In 1963, Myskania was called upon to adjudicate the Cortland Case involving the commission of lewd acts by Albany students at a basketball tournament in Cortland, N.Y. Myskania issued summonses, placed some students on probation, and expelled another. This was the last vigorous act ever taken by Myskania. In 1964, one of Myskania's chief duties was taken away, the freshman-sophomore rivalries. Since 1946, Myskania had been allowed only to supervise the function, but now it was not to be involved at all. Under a revised constitution, Myskania's role was to act as guardian of the freshman class and of school tradition, and to screen appointments to the school judiciary. By 1968, the student newspaper was calling Myskania a useless organization that should be abolished. Despite this opposition, Myskania continued to function until 1979, when it appeared before the Student Association to justify its budget. Unable to define an adequate set of functions, Myskania was excluded from the budget. There were no elections to Myskania in 1980. Myskania's own creation, the Student Association, had taken all of Myskania's power, and was thus the main instrument of its dissolution.

As Myskania's basic purpose was to create and preserve school traditions through the control of student conduct and functions, panicularly with regard to the freshman class, the research use of these records would best suit someone interested in development of school tradition, conduct of students, and the development of student government.

Myskania survived as an organization from 1917-1979, but in 1946 Myskania declared itself defunct and burned all its records to demonstrate against its lack of power and to preserve the secrecy of the organization, especially the way in which its members were chosen. The meaning of "Myskania" remains a mystery that only its members know.

Collection uncludes bylaws and the constitution, 1928, 1956–63; minutes, 1917–47, 1961–62; correspondence and memoranda, 1962–63, 1978; announcements; and a brief history of Myskania, 1984. Founded in 1917,

The original documents in this collection all stem from the period 1946-79. These records include minutes, announcements, decisions, proposals, tabulations of votes for membership, a membership list from 1917-70 and a history of the organization, written in 1984. The records from the time period of 1946-62 are not very extensive, since during this period Myskania's role had been severely limited.

The collection has no series.

All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives.

Processed by: Richard Duro, Justin Holzer in 2015.

Collection record created by: Justin Holzer

Published: 2015

HTML finding aid created, 1989 August 18

Reprocessed and encoded in EAD, 2015 September

Archival materials can be view in-person during business hours in our reading room, located on the top floor of the Science Library on the Uptown Campus.

We can also deliver digital scans for remote research for a fee.

Access to this record group is unrestricted.

Copyright Statement

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Myskania Records, 1915-1984. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Myskania Records).

Contents of Collection

BoxFolderContentsDate

nam_ua800.001-1

11Copy-Petition by Students for Establishment of a Student Organization 1915 February 15

nam_ua800.001-2

12Constitution for Myskaniaca. 1928

nam_ua800.001-3

13MYSCANIA: A Restatement of Purpose1937 May 20

nam_ua800.001-4

14Minutes of Myskania Formal Initiation1941 April 19

nam_ua800.001-5

15Resolutions (Includes Some Student Council)1937, 1943-1945

nam_ua800.001-6

16Recommendations- Moving Up Day1945

nam_ua800.001-7

17Minutes1946-1949

nam_ua800.001-8

18History of Myskania (Brief) ca. 1946-1947

nam_ua800.001-9

19Announcements and Correspondence 1948-1949

nam_ua800.001-10

110Major-Minor Office Plan1949-1951

nam_ua800.001-11

111Minutes1949-1952

nam_ua800.001-12

112Regulation Governing Freshman Class and Sophmore Replacement Elections1950

nam_ua800.001-13

113Announcements1951

nam_ua800.001-14

114Decisions 1951, 1959-1966

nam_ua800.001-15

115"A Committee Report to Rivalry Committee Concerning the Revision of the Inter-Class Rivalry Rules"ca. 1951

nam_ua800.001-16

116Constitution of Student Council of NYSCT1953-1955

nam_ua800.001-17

117Student Activity Sheets1953-1958

nam_ua800.001-18

118Myskania Pin Donor: John Franklin Orser 1954

nam_ua800.001-19

119Minutes1953-1957

nam_ua800.001-20

120Announcements and Election Tabulations 1955

nam_ua800.001-21

121Decisions and Tabulations1956-1957

nam_ua800.001-22

122Constitution of The Student Association of the NYSCT at Albany- Annotatedca. 1956

nam_ua800.001-23

123Rules and Procedures 1957

nam_ua800.001-24

124Procedure For the Enforcement of Traditions at State College1957

nam_ua800.001-25

125Student Senate Rulings (Constitutionality of)1957-1958

nam_ua800.001-26

126Decisions1958

nam_ua800.001-27

21Minutes1958-1959

nam_ua800.001-28

22History of Myskania 1959-1960

nam_ua800.001-29

23Minutes, etc.1959 April 16-1961 February 16

nam_ua800.001-30

24Potsdam Case1960

nam_ua800.001-31

25Correspondence1961 March

nam_ua800.001-32

26Minutes1961 March 9-1962 February 22

nam_ua800.001-33

27Ideas for Role of Myskania1962-1963

nam_ua800.001-34

28Student Senate-Government Reogranization Committee Part 11962-1963

nam_ua800.001-35

29Student Senate - Government Reorganization Committee Part 21962-1963

nam_ua800.001-36

210Cortland Case1963

nam_ua800.001-37

211Minutes1963 March 14-1964 March 5

nam_ua800.001-38

212Student Senate-Minutes1963-1964

nam_ua800.001-39

213Correspondence and Referrals 1963-1964

nam_ua800.001-40

214Student Senate-Reports1963-1964

nam_ua800.001-41

215Role of Myskania1965

nam_ua800.001-42

216University Athletics Council-Final Report1968

nam_ua800.001-43

217Constitution for Myskania1975

nam_ua800.001-44

218History - "The Life and Death of Myskania" by Alfred Basch '311984

nam_ua800.001-45

219Activities Classification Undated

nam_ua800.001-46

220Parliamentary Procedures Undated

nam_ua800.001-47

221The Purpose of Student GovernmentUndated

nam_ua800.001-48

222Transportation Committee-Rules and Regulations Undated

nam_ua800.001-49

223Constitution of the Inter-Collegiate Association of the New York State Teachers CollegesUndated

nam_ua800.001-50

224Constitution of the Student Association of the NYSCT-Proposed Amendments (as revised in Myskania meeting)Undated

nam_ua800.001-51

225Constitution of the NYSCT - Student Association Undated

nam_ua800.001-52

31Minutes1917

nam_ua800.001-53

32Minutes1919-1920

nam_ua800.001-54

33Minutes1920-1921

nam_ua800.001-55

34Minutes1922-1923

nam_ua800.001-56

35Minutes1923-1924

nam_ua800.001-57

36Minutes1924-1925

nam_ua800.001-58

37Minutes1925-1926

nam_ua800.001-59

38Minutes1926-1927

nam_ua800.001-60

39Minutes1927-1928

nam_ua800.001-61

310Minutes1928-1932

nam_ua800.001-62

311In Envelope-Invitations1928-1934

nam_ua800.001-63

312Financial Records1930-1941

nam_ua800.001-64

313In Binder- Alumni Association with Two Pins1930-1941

nam_ua800.001-65

314Minutes1932-1935

nam_ua800.001-66

315Proceduresca. 1932-1935

nam_ua800.001-67

316Contract1941

nam_ua800.001-68

Oversized 11Receipts1941

nam_ua800.001-69

317Meeting Minutes1943-1944

nam_ua800.001-70

318Receipts1944-1945

nam_ua800.001-71

319Constitution of The State College Student Association1945