In the US, the Student Senate serves a vital role in the democratic process- every student has the opportunity to exercise their right to vote. Most colleges or universities have a Student Senate. The student senate is an autonomous body that has a separate building of their own. Most of the Student Senates maintain a structure like the US government. They are comprised of legislative, judicial, and executive branches. A parliamentary model is followed as well. The different hierarchical figures are known as President, Vice President or a Director.
In other universities, there are separate bodies for graduate and undergraduate levels. Though different organizations function in different ways their basic purpose is always the same, the promotion of collective advancement for the student body.
Most universities and colleges are ruled by a Board of Trustee, and the Student Senate has agreements with this same board. In case of public universities, they are operated by the State legislature. The purpose and responsibilities of these bodies are written down in a constitution and authorized by the students. Some states, like California and Florida, provide this type of student organization in public institutions by law.
The budget of the Student Senate can range from a few thousand dollars to as much as $30 million. Big organizations, like residential universities, enjoy a huge fund while small organizations, like the consumer based public college, have smaller budgets. The American Student Government Association, the professional association for collegiate students keeps an account of the budget, number of members, salaries and the number of recognized clubs of the different Student Senate organizations.
Usually the Student Senate organizations are official on campus organizations. In these organizations the student government leaders usually serve a term of one year but there are exceptions.