Horace Hampton

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Horace Hampton was the first black ASCA President (now ASUCD), who served from August 1949 to February 1950.

Hampton, who served as Editor of the California Aggie for the 1948-49 school year, decided to throw his hat into the ring for ASCA President during the spring semester election. Already aged 38, Hampton was a unique candidate for student government office — he spoke about taking student government from simply a school spirit booster club to a organization that was about represented student interests. He wasn't a typical student at Davis, but it is likely that he was able to attend because of the G.I. Bill.

His election, however, was quite contentious. In the first real election scandal of ASUCD, as soon as the results were announced, the results were challenged by a group of about ten students. They alleged that Hampton had violated campaign spending rules: he had allegedly spent money on the campaign, and all spending on elections was unconstitutional in those days. In response, a petition was submitted to the ASUCD Executive Council containing the signatures of some 20% of the ASCA membership, asking that the election results stand. The Executive Council, having no cojones, decided to have another election as to whether to accept the previous election. Even Cal's berkeleyDaily Californian decided that this was stupid and probably racist, declaring in an editorial, "There is something rotten in Davis." In this vote Hampton prevailed by an even larger margin than the one he was originally elected with.

Once he took office, he worked on expanding student government's influence and outreach to the student body. He also created a [wikipedia]Little Hoover Commission to streamline the ASCA, which resulted in an independent AS Business Manager. Previous Business Managers had also served in the University Farm Administration as the Assistant Comptroller.

He resigned the office of ASUCD President shortly after spring semester began, primarily because he received a grade of E in a class, a failing grade. In any case, he stated that he resigned because he didn't want there to be any more controversy on his behalf. However, in his short term he left a legacy of increased student activism, a stronger student government, and inspiration to later ASCA Presidents, including the more famous Roger Mee and Ed Spafford.

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