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Press Clipping: Webster University Journal campus newspaper
This is an article about ASGA that appeared in the Webster Journal, the campus newspaper at Webster University, a private institution in St. Louis.

National SGA organization aims to unify student governments

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The American Student Government Association (ASGA), a national organization started this spring, aims to unify student governments around the nation largely through an "incredible" student government database in which universities can share ideas about student government, according to W.H. "Butch" Oxendine, ASGA's director.

The organization has 112 member universities in 31 states. Webster's Student Government Association (SGA) is not currently a member of the organization.

"I don't know what the situation is like at your school, but I'm guessing SGA is not well thought of by the community," Oxendine said. "We want to change that, and five years down the road have a 20 percent voter turn out and get people involved."

According to Oxendine, a school that joins the ASGA can see what similar schools around the country are doing with their student government and find what ideas have worked.

If Webster were to join, it would cost $997 annually. Director of Student Activities and SGA Adviser John Ginsburg said the cost, which is posted on the ASGA Web site, seems high.

"It's rather expensive," Ginsburg said.

The cost applied to ASGA would only cover the Webster Groves campus, and each campus would have to join separately if it had its own form of student government. Webster's SGA only deals with matters concerning the Webster Groves campus.

Some international campuses have "StudCos," or Student Councils, which according to Ginsburg, share responsibilities that are covered by SGA and the Student Activities Council (SAC) at Webster.

Schools that are a part of ASGA have a varying degrees of participation, and according the Web site, universities reveal information on all things involving campus life. Everything from appealing parking tickets to getting more students to vote in SGA elections is covered.

According to Oxendine, newly elected SGA members spend too much time getting adjusted to their role, and not enough time exercising change.

"They have to be competent quickly," Oxendine said. "A lot of newly elected student government representatives spend most of the term getting adjusted to becoming competent in their role, and by the time the term is over, they have spent the entire year getting adjusted.

"ASGA wants to greatly speed up the time student government members get things done on campus, and lessen the time getting adjusted," Oxendine said.

Oxendine is quick to inform potential members of ASGA that his organization gets results, noting that one member school in Pennsylvania got a 65% voter turn out in the latest election.

Since ASGA is a relatively new organization, Ginsburg had limited knowledge of Oxendine's group, but was familiar with similar organizations.

"I know that there are a lot of organizations that market themselves as a resource for student government," Ginsburg said. "Some are better than others, but I do not know about this one. I'll let the executive officers know it is there and the decision will be left up to them."
American Student Government Association  

ASGA's MISSION STATEMENT:
The American Student Government Association will provide all Student Government leaders and advisors nationwide with networking, research, and information resources and will teach them how to become more effective, ethical, and influential leaders on their campuses. ASGA also will promote the advancement of SGs, conduct research as the nation’s only “SG Think Tank,” and advocate the importance of having a vibrant, autonomous Student Government organization at every institution in America.

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