CSSA is one of the oldest statewide student associations in the United States, having existed for over 50 years. The formation of the “Student President’s Association” (now CSSA) ensured that students had a place in the CSU’s internal policy making from the beginning of the CSU system’s formation.

The association initially served mostly as an informational forum for the campus student associations but quickly became an informed and active student association working with both the university administration and state legislature.

Organizational Milestones

1958 “Student Presidents Association” founded by a group of Associated Students presidents three years before the formation of the CSU system and two months after the statewide Academic Senate held its first meeting.
1963 Student Presidents Association formally recognized by the CSU Board of Trustees and noted to have “legitimate interest in Trustee business.” The resolution also invited the chair of CSSA to provide counsel to the trustees.
1972 Student Presidents Association sponsors successful legislation authorizing the expenditure of student body fees to fund a lobbyist for CSU students (CA Education Code § 89300). This is the only section of the law that allows ASIs to lobby and pay dues to CSSA. This is also why CSSA is able to employ a director of government relations.
1974 Student leaders successfully advocate students’ interests to the legislature and university administration, setting the foundation of student leadership that exists today. Leadership’s victories with the governor and legislature start CSSA’s tradition of seeking victories in the legislature if they are not forthcoming from the system.
1975 Student Presidents Association sponsors successful legislation to place a student trustee on the CSU Board of Trustees (CA Education Code § 66602).
1979 Student Presidents Association starts including an additional student from each campus—the CSSA Representative—and renames itself the California State Student Association (CSSA).
2001 The trustees recognize (via policy) campus Associated Students organizations as the official representative at the campus level and CSSA as the official representative at the system level.
2015 CSSA partners with the CSU Chancellor and Board of Trustees to implement the Student Involvement & Representation Fee (SIRF). The fee allows all CSU students to directly fund CSSA, which creates much-needed stability, independence, and expanded opportunities for statewide student leaders.