An up-and-coming national organization may help student governments at colleges and universities across the nation serve their purpose better in the future. The newly-formed American Student Government Association, also known as ASGA has been in the works of becoming the first nationwide student government resource for the past 18 months. The effort to start this national organization was spearheaded by the editor and publisher of Student Leader magazine, Butch Oxendine. The newly formed organization has already been accepted into the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education and will be in charge of setting student government standards for the entire nation in the near future. “ASGA is going to revolutionize student governments across America,” Oxendine said. “ASGA will help student governments at all types of colleges and universities nationwide, no matter how good or bad they are right now, to become more effective and more influential. This will create student governments that better serve their constituents — their fellow students.” This is the first time that student governments have had any kind of advocate program. Other organizations on campus, such as Spotlight Productions have the benefit of national groups like the National Association for Campus Activities. The ASGA launched with 100 supporting universities from 30 states representing many types of colleges and universities. Oxendine said that the ASGA site will offer many benefits to its member schools including officer and adviser contacts, budgets, funding mechanisms, constitutions, by-laws, job descriptions, compensation numbers, Web sites and examples of tactics that work for various student governments nationwide. The Grand Valley State University Student Senate is choosing not to join this national group of student governments, citing the expense of affiliation fees as the main reason for not joining. Student Senate President Rachael Voorhees said that the $1,997 affiliation cost was too much to spend to join a young organization. “We’re waiting to see what benefits the organization can really provide before we become affiliated with them,” Voorhees said. “We also want to make sure that the organization stays in place. We don’t want to get involved with the organization when we’re not even sure if the organization will be around in five years.” Although the senate is not choosing to affiliate with the ASGA at this point, Voorhees said that the senate has not completely ruled out the possibility in the future. Voorhees added that no decision will be made during the remainder of the academic year at GVSU.
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.