Contact: W.H. “Butch” Oxendine, Jr. Executive Director
National Student Government Association Celebrates Second Anniversary
(March 17, 2006) -- The American Student Government Association (ASGA) celebrates its second anniversary on March 17, 2006, riding on a wave of unprecedented achievements since its debut as the first-ever professional association serving Student Government leaders and their advisors at colleges and universities across America.
ASGA (see www.asgaonline.com) launched on March 17, 2004 with 100 Founding Member institutions nationwide. Since then, 216 more institutions of all types and sizes have joined—ASGA now has recruited 316 member institutions from 49 states, D.C., and the Bahamas. “It’s arguable that ASGA is the fastest-growing higher education organization in history,” says W.H. “Butch” Oxendine, Jr., ASGA Founder and Executive Director.
In addition to its 316 member institutions, ASGA recently completed gathering intensive data on all 4,400 higher-education institutions in America, compiling and categorizing everything from information on officers, advisors, and administrators to SG documents, campus media, strengths and weaknesses, accomplishments, and signature programs. All of this information is categorized and is instantly searchable by ASGA members looking for best-practices, precedent, and networking contacts. ASGA members can compare their institutions to other institutions that are similar based on enrollment-size, type, size of city, ethnicity, religious affiliation, and other parameters.
This past year, ASGA began offering conferences, including the National Student Government Summit in Washington, D.C., (www.asgaonline.com/conferences/national), five regional conferences, and two specialty conferences, including the "Advisors Conference" (see www.asgaonline.com/conferences/advisors).
“Most attendees say ASGA' s SG conferences are the most impactful they’ve ever attended in their lives,” Oxendine says.
ASGA formed the first-ever consulting firm devoted exclusively to student governance issues, The SG Consulting Group (see www.sgconsultant.com). The SG Consulting Group analyzes the “client” Student Government through exhaustive research, offers in-person training, then presents an unbiased report on its strengths and weaknesses and offers constructive feedback on possible improvements, based on the consultants’ knowledge of national precedent and trends. The SG Consulting Group recently has served Bakersfield College, St. Bonaventure University, Mercyhurst College, the University of Dayton, and Hendrix College. “ASGA is most helpful when we can interact one-on-one with SGs about their unique situations and problems,” Oxendine says. “No one has ever given SGs this intense level of personal attention and individually tailored analysis.”
ASGA members also have access to list-serves for advisors and SG leaders, as well as complimentary legal advice, and many other member resources.
Additionally, ASGA conducts research on student governance issues such as the percentage of students from traditionally marginalized backgrounds who are elected SG presidents (11 percent of SG Presidents nationwide are African American) and the percentage of women serving in SG (54% nationwide). The most common name for "student government" is Student Government Association, for example. ASGA also is tracking data that never before compiled, such as the academic major, gender, ethnicity, year in school, and program of study for student leaders. “ASGA also is gathering data on SG advisors, and for example now has evidence that the average SG advisor has less than five years of experience,” Oxendine says. “ASGA’s SG Database allows us to report on trends over the next decade and longer on who is serving in Student Government.”
As Oxendine says, ASGA is a powerfully useful resource for Student Government leaders and their administrators nationwide. “There has never been another organization with the depth and breadth of what ASGA offers its members,” he says.
“As we offer more conferences and consulting, SGs and their advisors get to know that this is a serious, deep resource that literally gets better by the day,” Oxendine says. “We think ASGA is going to positively revolutionize how SGs operate in the coming years, and that is a positive development for the higher education community.
”When a school has a strong and effective SG, it aids the institutions in many tangible ways.” Oxendine says. “SG can help recruit new students who enroll to get involved in SG and other clubs, retain existing students by encouraging more campus involvement overall, and also build a loyal alumni base of former SG leaders who love their school and desire to give back. A strong SG is not something to fear, but to desire. ASGA is helping SGs become more effective and influential, and that is a major positive for all colleges and universities nationwide, and in fact, our nation, as so many former SG leaders end up as public servants.”