The Cactus was first published by the fraternities. The first volume appeared in 1894 under the editorship of Dabney White. Later the Cactus was published under the auspices of the Athletic Council and was used as a source of revenue for the support of athletics at the University.
Volume 4 of the University Record, December 1902, page 476 relates that " . . .the Students' Association was formed"' and that one of the specific duties of the new organization was to 'control the publications'."
In Volume 5 of the University Record, March 1904, page 285, the following is recorded: "The present year has been rendered notable by the acquisition of the Texan and the Cactus . . .At the same time, by an agreement previously entered into with the Athletic Association, in whose possession it has been for a number of years, the Cactus by virtue of the purchase of the Texan, has likewise been transferred to the Students’ Association."
The Cactus was published by the Students' Association until the regular spring election of 1921. On May 23, 1921, application for a charter for "Texas Student Board report Board of Operating Trustees Publications, Incorporated" was made and approved by the Secretary of the State of 2 Texas on July 6, 1921.
For the following 50 years, until October 1, 1971, the Cactus was published by the non-profit corporation commonly known as TSP. Since October 1, 1971, TSP (now TSM) has continued to publish the Cactus, but as an auxiliary enterprise of The University of Texas at Austin under the terms of the "Declaration of Trust."