History of SPA at IU
The Student Personnel Association at Indiana University (SPA at IU) was originally founded in 1970 as the Indiana University Student Personnel Association (IUSPA). Joel Marlin, the acting president of IUSPA, described its purpose as serving a means of supplementing the course work in the Department of Student Personnel Administration through lectures, seminars, free university series and open forums and as a vehicle for students to express their views on various aspects of the field. Its members intended for the association to provide opportunities for informal social gatherings and professional development.
In 1976, IUSPA sponsored the first Midwest Meeting of Graduate Students in Student Personnel (MMOGSISP). One hundred students, representing 12 universities, attended the first of what would become an annual Midwestern graduate student event in the field of student affairs. In 2007, 31 years later, IU was able to host the conference again, providing leadership opportunities for all students in the IU HESA program.
In 2005, the IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis) chapter of IUSPA was formed to provide more opportunities for involvement on the IUPUI campus and serve the needs of the student population on that campus. There are representatives on IUPUI’s campus who serve as liaisons between the two campuses, but IUSPA members on the IUPUI campus are able to participate in all IUSPA events in Bloomington.
In 2015, in accordance with a directive from Indiana University Administration, IUSPA officially changed its name to SPA at IU.
Indiana University’s Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program offers a diverse set of graduate assistant opportunities that extend from Bloomington’s campus to Indianapolis’s Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, Marian University, and Butler University. The Student Personnel Association (SPA) serves students in both cities and, as a result, two executive boards were formed. However, in order to create a cohesive SPA experience, in 2017 SPA members voted to move towards one board to represent both Bloomington and Indianapolis students.