Publisher helps connect student governments
By Zach Doppelt
Published: Monday, April 19, 2004
University student governments in America now have a national organization to utilize for new ideas and general help.
Oxendine Publishing, the publishers of Student Leader magazine, launched the American Student Government Association on March 17.
"The vision we have for this is a professional association for university student governments, which has never existed," said Butch Oxendine, executive director of Oxendine Publishing.
The association launched with 100 founding members representing 30 states and all types of colleges and universities, ranging from large-enrollment public universities to small religious private colleges, according to an American Student Government Association statement.
Oxendine said the association is an opportunity for university student governments to obtain benchmarking ideas.
"University student governments do not know what is being done in other governments across the nation," Oxendine said. "The American Student Government Association gives them knowledge and ideas that will help keep them from making mistakes."
He said these ideas will make university student governments more effective in meeting the needs of their student bodies.
"If governments are more effective, the students will vote. This gives the students more impact. When students have more impact, they love their school," Oxendine said.
The association connects colleges and universities through a large member database.
"I think that having a virtual resource would be beneficial and open communication between campuses. Technology is greatly underutilized, and I see this forum and proposal as steps in the right direction," said J. Michael Cates of the University of Michigan, Flint, in a statement.
Oxendine said he hopes the association will positively affect university student governments, whether they become members of the association or not.
"We were asked to join the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education," Oxendine said. "CAS sets standards for how student affairs are run, so we will be the ones setting the standards for student governments."
Mike Goodman, Ohio State Undergraduate Student Government president, said he is not familiar with the organization and does not have plans to pursue membership now, although he said next year's administration might.
Annual dues for a college or university of 38,000 students or more is $2,697 for a one-year membership and $2,427 for a two-year membership, according to the American Student Government Association Web site.