Concepts Behind the New Constitution, 1969

Wes McClure talks about the ideas behind the new student government constitution that was approved in 1969. An architecture student at the time, he approached development of the new constitution as if it were a design problem. Legislative representation of the student body was designed to reflect the what was unique about NC State.

Interview on 2014-12-04


00:00:00.000 As I look back at that in retrospect it was kind of a design problem, looking at student government as a design problem:
00:00:09.482 how do you design something that works better? We would call that design thinking today. It’s popular in business circles.
00:00:18.190 I mean at Stanford they have, within the business school, the D school where they try to use design thinking to solve business problems, for instance.
00:00:24.561 Even though you’re working with words and concepts it’s still a design problem. You have to come up with a structure and so on.
00:00:32.770 Yeah, we had to kind of wander a little bit before it settled down, but I think ultimately what we chose to do is to reinforce that which is unique to this campus,
00:00:45.751 which is that the academic components of the campus are the real core and strength of it,
00:00:53.826 because even then at ten thousand students many more students lived off campus than on campus, and I’m sure that’s even more the case today.
00:01:01.402 So having a residentially-based system of government, which is the way, say, UNC was organized, or Duke, or institutions like that, kind of more or less based on the British precedents,
00:01:14.812 really wasn’t a proper functioning structure for NC State. So we really relied very heavily on a structure that built on the academic units of the university,
00:01:28.024 but then also dealt with student life because there is, on campus, residential life, fraternity life, the student union and publications and other organizations,
00:01:40.671 so that became the design of a structure that would be appropriate to an institution like this.
00:01:47.413 so that became the design of a structure that would be appropriate to an institution like this.