Can ASGA Help Me?

ASGA Helps All Types & Sizes of Student Governments.

ASGA-Logo-Blocks-CroppedASGA offers vast resources here at the ASGA Web site, produces 10 Student Government training conferences, and helps many SGs with consulting, training, analysis and research.

If you’re a new SG, ASGA can help you write a constitution, recruit new members, determine goals, and train your members.

If you’re an established SG, ASGA can help you enhance services, improve voter turnout, recruit more candidates, and improve your relations with administrators.

For strong SGs, ASGA can help you develop a strategic plan to communicate with your student body and administrators, improve voter turnout, enhance your marketing, improve relations with the campus press, and conduct research on your behalf.

ASGA can help and support Student Governments of all types and sizes.

Click on Your SG Type to See How You’ll Benefit:

What is your current skill level?

New SGs

Whether you’re a Student Government that’s starting from scratch, one that’s recently been revived, or a group that’s trying to reorganize and revamp, ASGA can accelerate your progress toward becoming an “established and respected” campus organization. ASGA can help a “New SG” by:

1. Creating Infrastructure. We’ll provide you with examples of key documents such as constitutions, bylaws, officer job descriptions, and election codes that will help you forge the backbone of your organization.

2. Helping You Set an Agenda. ASGA will examine your resources and campus politics in order to develop a plan of action that’s realistic and attainable for the coming year. A pragmatic agenda and achievable goals will make you appear more credible to students and the administration.

3. Starting “Signature” Programs. You can search the SG Database for examples of best practices at other colleges/universities like yours, which you can then implement or emulate. We’ll also point you to time-tested programs and projects which you can adopt to capture the attention (and respect) of students and administrators.

4. Recruiting New Members. ASGA can help you develop a strategic plan to recruit members, retain the ones you have, and move toward having contested races in your elections. We also offer member-retention tools, such as parliamentary-procedure teaching materials and tips for making your meetings more effective.

5. Developing an SG Brand. We can help you clarify your role on campus, then create a marketing and promotions campaign to tell students what you’re all about. Your organization has a much better chance of survival if the student body knows that you exist and have a clear purpose!

6. Training Your Members. At conferences and through consulting, ASGA can train your new officers and members so that they know their roles and can serve efficiently and competently.

7. Connecting You With Peers. The SG Database, training events, and online forums provide opportunities to exchange ideas and network with SG members from similar institutions across the country.

8. Supporting Your Advisor. New SGs often depend on guidance from their advisors, but the majority of SG advisors have never worked with SG before. ASGA provides resources and peer networks that help advisors grow and improve. A strong advisor can cultivate your relationships with administrators and make transitions between old and new officers smoother, in addition to making your SG more effective and influential.

9. Improving SG Finances. Getting control of your finances and knowing how to stretch limited funds can accelerate your development as an organization. ASGA can help you make a case for more funding, get better control of the funds you do have, and eventually gain funding authority over other campus organizations—a sure way to improve your credibility with students and administrators.

10. Providing Expert Analysis. ASGA’s panel of SG experts and consultants can analyze your unique situations, providing tailored support and recommendations regarding any SG-related question or problem you’re having. We can also conduct research on your behalf when you need hard data to back up positions.

Struggling SGs

If your Student Government is struggling, you’re not alone. The vast majority of SGs nationwide fight to be relevant to their fellow students and respected by administrators.

You can’t become one of the few “super SGs” overnight, but through ASGA’s resources, research, training conferences, and consulting, you can take steps right now to improve your organization.

ASGA often has the greatest and most immediate impacts on “struggling” SGs that are receptive to our recommendations and ready to make long-term changes. ASGA can help you:

1. Determine Your Purpose. Figure out what role your SG should be taking on campus. If you’re just an “activities board” that produces campus events and parties, ASGA can help you evolve into an organization that represents students and champions their issues, one of SG’s most important responsibilities.

2. Improve Voter Turnout. ASGA can help you improve your election turnout dramatically. If you don’t yet have elections, we can provide you with the knowledge and resources to run them efficiently.

3. Firm Up Infrastructure. ASGA can help you improve your “infrastructure” (meaning your constitution and bylaws and other documentation critical to the long-term stability of your group). The SG Database provides examples of hundreds of SG constitutions, bylaws, election codes, officer job descriptions, and other SG documents.

4. Analyze Strengths & Weaknesses. Once you determine your organization’s strengths and weaknesses, you can focus your limited manpower and resources on improving in your weakest areas.

5. Set Realistic Goals. We’ll examine your organization and then help you set an agenda that’s realistic and attainable for the coming year.

6. Survey Your Student Body. Through scientific surveying, ASGA can help you determine what your students want and need from their SG.

7. Develop a Marketing Campaign. With our help, you can create a marketing and promotions campaign that will finally make students aware that they have an SG!

8. Recruit New Members. ASGA can help you develop a strategic plan to recruit new members, retain the ones you have, and make sure you have contested races in your elections.

9. Improve Administrator Relations. We’ll provide tips and advice to enhance relations with your college administrators, faculty, and staff.

10. Increase SG Funding. Through precedence and tested techniques, you’ll receive more funding for your SG, get better control of the funds you do have, and eventually gain funding authority over other campus organizations.

Improving SGs

You’re not a “Super SG” yet—and few Student Governments across the nation can truly be called “great.” But your SG is far better than most, and you’re growing and improving. Can ASGA help you?

If you’re already working to improve, ASGA can provide you with the knowledge, tools, and research that will accelerate your progress to the next level. ASGA can help your “Improving SG” by:

1. Analyzing Infrastructure. Reviewing and analyzing your structure and core documents such as your constitution, bylaws, and election code will ensure that you’re maximizing your effectiveness and help you close any loopholes.

2. Enhancing Voter Turnout. You’ll achieve this through creative marketing strategies, use of technology, and new paradigms of when, where, and how to run your elections.

3. Increasing Recruiting and Retention. ASGA can help you devise plans to bring aboard new members from incoming and current students. We’ll also show you how to keep your current officers and members involved and interested in SG business, including techniques for making meetings more efficient and tips on using parliamentary procedure to your advantage.

4. Improving Your Image. Boost awareness and opinions of SG across campus through a strategic outreach plan including public appearances, advertising, and marketing.

5. Developing New Services. Create new “signature program” services that address your student body’s needs and desires and raise awareness of SG in the process. ASGA’s SG Database provides examples of tried-and-true programs that you can bring to your own campus.

6. Ensuring Smooth Transitions. Improve your transition materials and retreats so that your successors step into office fully knowledgeable and competent to carry on where you left off, making the change seamless.

7. Comparing Your SG With Others Nationwide. We’ll help you compare and contrast your current levels of effectiveness and efficiency with SGs at similar institutions to find areas of improvement.

8. Enhancing Administrator Relations. Improve your relationships with administrators, faculty, and staff by analyzing how “friendly” they are to the concept of student governance on your campus.

9. Improving Media Relations. Improve relations with your campus media, create strategies for generating positive and accurate coverage, and develop a plan for how (and if) to respond to negative attacks.

10. Conducting Research for You. ASGA will conduct in-depth research on specific projects so that your officers and members don’t have to waste countless hours searching Web sites, leaving voice mail messages, and writing e-mails to other SGs.

Super SGs

Why should you join ASGA if you’re already a top-notch Student Government?

If you’re one of the few “super” SGs in America, ASGA can still help you become more efficient and successful with our research, resources, and training sessions.  Your time in office is short; plus, you’re balancing classes and jobs in addition to family and personal responsibilities. ASGA’s resources will maximize the limited time you do have to work on SG business.

Through analysis and knowledge of precedent and trends, you can continue to improve (and provide your successors with the knowledge and tools necessary for continued growth). ASGA can help you reach your full potential by:

1. Enhancing Voter Turnout. Continue to improve your voter turnout through innovative marketing techniques, use of technology, strategic use of polling locations, timing of elections, and the number of days elections are offered.

2. Improving Public and Media Relations. Develop a strategic publicity campaign to better promote your services, projects, and issues to students and administrators while also improving coverage in your campus press.

3. Enhancing Administrator Relations. Develop strategies to improve your organization’s relationship with administrators and faculty, including making sure SG has a voice on all school-wide committees and boards.

4. Providing In-Depth Analysis. More evolved SGs can use ASGA’s help to analyze very institution-specific issues/problems you’re having. We can provide assistance via phone or e-mail, or our “SG Consulting Group” subsidiary can personally visit your campus, conduct a detailed examination, and provide guidance and recommendations.

5. Imparting Knowledge of SG Trends Nationwide. ASGA’s SG Database is like “Google” for SGs—you can quickly and easily search through our SG research to find what you’re looking for, saving you countless hours. Our catalogued data and SG precedents will help when you’re working on projects and need to know what other schools have done.

6. Analyzing Your Strengths & Weaknesses. We’ll provide you with consulting support and advice based on ASGA’s knowledge of trends and precedent, as well as what “like” institutions have achieved. Once you’ve identified areas for improvement, you can contact peer schools for advice and ask our panel of SG experts for feedback.

7. Conducting Research for You. You can save a great deal of time, money, and effort by letting ASGA do research for you on SG-related issues. When it’s completed, we’ll add the information to our database, where it will also benefit other SGs.

8. Developing Signature Programs. Create “tangible” services for your students that will gain respect and visibility for your SG.

9. Connecting You With a Vast Peer Network. Through the SG Database, conferences, and online forums, you’ll be able to communicate and share ideas with peers at institutions across the country. You’ll receive tips while also sharing your expertise with others, contributing to collective SG knowledge that will help support all SGs.

10. Recognizing Your SG as One of the Best. At ASGA’s National SG Summit, super SGs will have a chance to present their own research and experiences in front of their peers. ASGA also plans to offer national awards for SG excellence in the coming years.

What size is your college/university?

SGs at Large Institutions

Student Governments on large campuses are often complex organizations that offer a multitude of services and activities. These SGs also have more “manpower potential” than smaller schools, since higher enrollment increases the number of possible SG members.

However, at larger institutions, football games, fraternities and sororities, and a host of other diversions provide other avenues for students to get involved on campus. Having so many activities going on concurrently makes it that much more challenging for an SG to reach out to students and grab their attention.

ASGA’s staff and panel of experts include former student leaders and current advisors from large campuses—professionals with extensive experience in dealing with the issues you face every day. We can help you make SG “relevant” on campus by:

1. Improving Your Image and Credibility. Students often don’t realize how much SG does on their behalf. Boost awareness and opinions of SG across campus through a strategic outreach plan including public appearances, advertising, and marketing. ASGA can show you how to better promote your programs and improve coverage in your campus press, which will make your organization more visible and effective.

2. Helping You Develop an Agenda and Focus. The student body and administration lose respect for SG when officers make bold promises and then can’t follow through to execute them. ASGA can map out feasible short- and long-term goals for your organization that, once accomplished, will demonstrate that SG “does something” on campus. Striking the appropriate balance between short-term projects (such as creating a new “tangible” benefit for students) and long-term ones (such as working toward building a new recreation center) will help you gain respect and influence, improving your image but also providing more political capital to tackle the more challenging, long-term projects.

3. Increasing Recruitment and Retention. ASGA can help you devise strategies to bring aboard new members from incoming and current students, such as emphasizing the valuable job-related skills they can gain through SG positions. We’ll also show you how to keep your current officers and members involved and interested in SG business, including techniques for making meetings more efficient and tips on using parliamentary procedure to your advantage.

4. Providing Resources to Increase Election Turnout. Because of the low visibility or depleted image that many large-school SGs have, they often struggle with turnout at their elections. How can SG be taken seriously as the “official student voice” if most students don’t vote for your SG representatives? With online voting, new marketing campaigns, strong PR, and other techniques, you can improve turnout and capture the administration’s attention in the process.

5. Enhancing Administrator Relations. We offer strategies to improve your SG’s relationship with administrators and faculty, from proper etiquette to reopening lines of communication. You’ll learn how “friendly” your administrators are to your organization and will understand your current “place” on campus so you can make realistic plans for the year. ASGA also encourages SGs to find a voice on all school-wide committees and boards, allowing you to become a collaborative partner in determining the focus of your college or university.

6. Improving SG Finances. Having a large budget (as many large-school SGs do) doesn’t necessarily make your job any easier, as you often have to divide that among numerous projects and student organizations. Allocating funds fairly and efficiently, as well as making them stretch as far as possible, will improve your credibility with students and the administration. ASGA can also help you make a case for more funding, get better control of the funds you do have, and gain funding authority over other student-run organizations (if you don’t have it already).

7. Connecting You With a Vast Peer Network. Through the SG Database, conferences, and online forums, you’ll be able to communicate and share ideas with peers at institutions across the country. You can increase your authority on issues by developing coalitions with nearby SGs and “like” institutions. Through these networking contacts, you can also learn about best practices and successful “signature programs”—services that address your student body’s needs and desires and make SG seem “relevant” to your constituents.

8. Providing Organizational Evaluations and Research Assistance. ASGA can analyze your strengths, weaknesses, governing documents, SG structure, as well as any institution-specific problems you’re having. Based on our knowledge of trends and precedent, we can provide feedback via phone or e-mail, or our “SG Consulting Group” subsidiary can personally visit your campus, conduct a detailed examination, and offer guidance and recommendations. In addition, you can save a great deal of time, money, and effort by letting ASGA conduct research for you on SG-related issues.

9. Enhancing Transition Plans and Materials. To succeed on major initiatives (such as building a new student center), your SG has to continue the work of predecessors, rather than retreading old ground over and over again. Effective transition materials will document what you’re supposed to do, what was done last year, and the progress you’ve already made on projects. Shadowing programs and communicating progress to your advisor will also provide some continuity from one year to the next, allowing you to move forward on mulit-year commitments.

10. Training Your Members and Advisor. Attend our training workshops so that your SG officers, members, and advisors will be more prepared for the year ahead and won’t waste any time. ASGA also offers networking opportunities at our conferences, as well as the chance to present your own research and experiences in front of your peers.

SGs at Small Institutions

Whether they’re public, private, or community colleges, smaller schools pose both advantages and disadvantages for Student Government. While a smaller enrollment can make it easier to survey the student body and reach out to individuals, it can also mean fewer potential SG members, fewer financial resources, and less administrative commitment to student governance than at larger-enrollment institutions. In addition, the “everyone knows everyone” atmosphere on campus can perpetuate gossip, making it difficult to protect SG’s image.

Because of these challenges, small-college SGs are often “up and down” in their levels of effectiveness. They usually have a few strong leaders for a year or two, but then slip badly after those officers graduate. Just about every other year, members have to rebuild their organizations from scratch.

We understand the unique problems that you face—our executive director was an SGA vice president and newspaper editor at a small institution. ASGA has developed strategies which can help small-college SGs:

1. Improve Infrastructure and Structure. This includes crafting strong governing documents such as your constitution, bylaws, job descriptions, and election codes, so that you don’t have to amend them constantly. We’ll also help you determine what SG structure is most logical to serve your student body, ensuring that each position is filled and has a purpose.

2. Set an Agenda. ASGA will examine your resources and campus politics in order to develop a plan of action that’s realistic and attainable for the coming year. A pragmatic agenda and achievable goals will maximize your limited manpower and resources, making you appear more credible to students and the administration.

3. Recruit and Retain Members. At small-enrollment institutions, finding the students on campus who are willing and competent to serve is essential. ASGA can help you create a strategic plan to recruit members, retain the ones you have, and move toward having contested races in your elections. We also offer member-retention tools, such as parliamentary-procedure teaching materials and tips for making your meetings more effective.

4. Develop “Signature” Programs. When you have limited resources, it’s important to focus on a few projects that you can actually accomplish. After surveying the student body to find out exactly what services they want, you can search the SG Database for examples of best practices at other colleges and universities. We’ll also point you to time-tested programs and projects which get tangible results and will capture the attention (and respect) of your students and administrators.

5. Train Members and Advisors. At conferences and through consulting, ASGA can train your new officers and members so that they know their roles and can serve efficiently and competently, maximizing your small team. We also provide resources and peer networks that can help your advisor grow and improve.

6. Improve Your Image and Participation. We can help you clarify your role on campus, then create a marketing campaign to effectively promote your programs and projects. Your organization has a much better chance of survival if the student body knows that you exist and have a clear purpose.

7. Connect With Peers. The SG Database, training events, and online forums provide opportunities to exchange ideas and network with SG members from similar institutions across the country. You can increase your authority on issues by developing coalitions with nearby SGs and brainstorming solutions together.

8. Gain Control of Funding. Getting control of your finances and knowing how to stretch limited funds can accelerate your development as an organization. ASGA can help you make a case for more funding, get better control of the funds you do have, and eventually gain funding authority over other campus organizations—a sure way to improve your credibility with students and administrators.

9. Improve Relations With Administrators. When you have limited resources, making the administration an ally and collaborating on projects will make you more effective. ASGA provides tips for improving SG credibility, from proper etiquette to reopening lines of communication. More respect from administrators can also lead to gains such as SG office space, a student trustee position, additional funding, and being entrusted with more campus responsibilities.

10. Draft Transition Materials. Effective transition materials will document what you’re supposed to do, what was done last year, and the progress you’ve already made on projects, providing some continuity from one year to the next.  You can also start a shadowing program and regularly communicate progress to your advisor to keep transitions smooth.

What is your type of institution?

Community College SGs

Creating a consistently strong Student Government at a community college can be difficult. Community college populations are mainly comprised of non-traditional, part-time commuter students, many of whom work full-time jobs and support families while attending school.

Typically, community college SGs are “up and down” in their level of effectiveness. They might have a few strong leaders for a while, but then slip badly after those officers graduate. Many of these SGs have to start over from scratch just about every year.

We understand the unique challenges you face—our executive director was an SGA vice president and newspaper editor at a community college. ASGA has developed strategies which can help community college SGs:

1. Improve Infrastructure. This includes crafting strong governing documents such as your constitution, bylaws, job descriptions, and election codes, which are the foundation of any great SG.

2. Reconsider SG Structure. We’ll help you determine what SG structure is most logical to serve your student body. Do you need a judicial branch if you’re having trouble recruiting candidates to even run for office?

3. Develop a Recruiting Plan. With our help, you’ll find the students on campus who are willing and competent to serve.

4. Engage Current Members. We’ll show you ways to keep your current officers and members involved and interested in SG business, including innovative meeting times and methods.

5. Develop “Signature” Programs. You’ll learn how to start campus programs and services that will get your student body’s attention and make them respect SG, perhaps for the first time ever.

6. Train Your Advisor and Members. When everyone understands their responsibilities, you’ll be more organized, it’ll be easier to transition new officers, and you’ll save time, energy, and money.

7. Develop Marketing Plans. We’ll help you devise campaigns to effectively and efficiently promote your programs and projects. Fliers just aren’t enough to spread the word.

8. Determine Your Strengths (and Weaknesses). Once you know where you stand, you can determine the best plan of action for the upcoming year, helping you achieve “victories” that will show you’re a “do something” group that matters.

9. Become Student Advocates. We’ll help you grow beyond being just an “activity board” or “party organizer.” The great SGs across America are advocates for their fellow students!

10. Build Credibility. We’ll share tips to increase your level of respect with administrators, faculty, and staff. You’ll learn how “friendly” your administrators are to your organization and will analyze your current role on campus so you can make realistic plans for the year.

Commuter School SGs

Commuter students are usually non-traditional, with many balancing full-time jobs and families on top of going to school. Since they don’t spend much time on campus outside of class, traditional activities and events held in the evening will not be heavily attended. Hence, SGs at commuter colleges must “think outside the box” in order to increase participation and offer services that will benefit the student body.

ASGA has more commuter-school SGs as members than any other type of institution, probably because of the difficult challenges they face. ASGA can help make SG relevant to the average commuter student by:

1. Helping You Survey Your Students. Scientific surveying will let you know exactly what your students want from SG and will help you develop your plans and goals for the future. When you address your students’ needs, you will become relevant to them.

2. Increasing Recruitment. We’ll help you develop a plan to aggressively recruit more students to run for office and get involved in SG.

3. Creating New Programs and “Tangible” Benefits. ASGA can help you adopt “signature programs” that address the needs of your student body and will make you well-known and respected.

4. Improving Voter Turnout. ASGA can help you increase voter turnout through strategic marketing, multiple polling places over several days, innovative voting times, and the use of technology.

5. Reconsidering Meetings. Redefining how, when, and where you conduct meetings and business can open up your SG to more students, including non-traditional, part-time students who can’t devote as much time to SG business but may wish to be involved on some level.

6. Reconsidering Your Structure. You may want to reorganize the structure of your SG and adjust your number of representatives. This will help ensure that all positions are filled with competent, committed members and that you’re taking on projects that are realistic.

7. Developing Transition Materials. ASGA can help you create documents that share details about the progress you’ve made on projects, explain what projects still need to be completed,  and reduce successors’ learning curves.

8. Recruiting a Competent Advisor. We’ll help you recruit a competent and committed advisor(s) who can help you navigate campus politics and share important information with your successors.

9. Reconsidering Your Purpose. It’s important to examine your overall purpose, goals, and projects in order to maximize your limited manpower and show that you get things done.

10. Enhancing Administrator Relations. We can help you improve (or repair) relationships with campus administrators, faculty, and staff, which may have been tarnished by previous SG “leaders.”

Graduate and Professional SGs

Graduate and professional students are usually non-traditional, with many balancing full-time jobs and families on top of going to school. Since they don’t spend much time on campus outside of class, traditional activities and events held in the evening will not be heavily attended. Hence, SGs at graduate and professional schools must “think outside the box” in order to increase participation and offer services that will benefit the student body. ASGA can help make SG relevant to the average graduate or professional student by:

1. Helping You Survey Your Students. Scientific surveying will let you know exactly what your students want from SG and will help you develop your plans and goals for the future. When you address your students’ needs, you will become relevant to them.

2. Increasing Recruitment. We’ll help you develop a plan to aggressively recruit more students to run for office and get involved in SG.

3. Creating New Programs and “Tangible” Benefits. ASGA can help you adopt “signature programs” that address the needs of your unique student body and will make you well-known and respected.

4. Improving Meetings. ASGA can help you increase voter turnout through strategic marketing, multiple polling places over several days, innovative voting times, and the use of technology.

5. Reconsidering Meetings. Redefining how, when, and where you conduct meetings and business can open up your SG to more students, including non-traditional, part-time students who can’t devote as much time to SG business but may wish to be involved on some level.

6. Reconsidering Your Structure. You may want to reorganize the structure of your SG and adjust your number of representatives. This will help ensure that all positions are filled with competent, committed members and that you’re taking on projects that are realistic.

7. Developing Transition Materials. ASGA can help you create documents that share details about the progress you’ve made on projects, explain what projects still need to be completed, and reduce successors’ learning curves.

8. Recruiting a Competent Advisor. We’ll help you recruit a competent and committed advisor(s) who can help you navigate campus politics and share important information with your successors.

9. Reconsidering Your Purpose. It’s important to examine your overall purpose, goals, and projects in order to maximize your limited manpower and show that you get things done.

10. Enhancing Administrator Relations. We can help you improve (or repair) relationships with campus administrators, faculty, and staff, which may have been tarnished by previous SG “leaders.”

Homeschool SGs

If you’re trying to form a Student Government consisting of homeschool students, ASGA can give you the tools to be successful. ASGA can help a Homeschool SG by:

1. Creating Infrastructure. We’ll provide you with examples of key documents such as constitutions, bylaws, officer job descriptions, and election codes that will help you forge the backbone of your organization.

2. Helping You Set an Agenda. ASGA will examine your resources and campus politics in order to develop a plan of action that’s realistic and attainable for the coming year. A pragmatic agenda and achievable goals will make you appear more credible to students and the administration.

3. Starting “Signature” Programs. You can search the SG Database for examples of best practices, which you can then implement or emulate. We’ll also point you to time-tested programs and projects which you can adopt.

4. Improving Meetings. We also offer meeting-management tools, such as parliamentary-procedure teaching materials and tips for making your meetings more effective.

5. Developing an SG Brand. We can help you clarify your role. Your organization has a much better chance of survival if you have a clear purpose!

6. Training Your Members. At conferences and through consulting, ASGA can train your new officers and members so that they know their roles and can serve efficiently and competently.

7. Connecting You With Peers. The SG Database, training events, and online forums provide opportunities to exchange ideas and network with SG members from all types and sizes of institutions across the country.

8. Supporting Your Advisors. Homeschool SGs often depend on guidance from their advisors, who are usually parents. But the majority of parents have never worked with SG before. ASGA provides resources and peer networks that help advisors grow and improve.

9. Improving SG Finances. Knowing how to raise money and to stretch limited funds can accelerate your development as an organization.

10. Providing Expert Analysis. ASGA’s panel of SG experts and consultants can analyze your unique situations, providing tailored support and recommendations regarding any SG-related question or problem you’re having. We can also conduct research on your behalf.

High School SGs

If you’re trying to form and improve a high school Student Government, ASGA can give you the tools to be successful. ASGA can help a High School SG by:

1. Creating Infrastructure. We’ll provide you with examples of key documents such as constitutions, bylaws, officer job descriptions, and election codes that will help you forge the backbone of your organization.

2. Helping You Set an Agenda. ASGA will examine your resources and campus politics in order to develop a plan of action that’s realistic and attainable for the coming year. A pragmatic agenda and achievable goals will make you appear more credible to students and the administration.

3. Starting “Signature” Programs. You can search the SG Database for examples of best practices, which you can then implement or emulate. We’ll also point you to time-tested programs and projects which you can adopt that will get the attention of your fellow students and teachers.

4. Improving Meetings. We also offer meeting-management tools, such as parliamentary-procedure teaching materials and tips for making your meetings more effective.

5. Developing an SG Brand. We can help you clarify your role. Your organization has a much better chance of survival if you have a clear purpose!

6. Training Your Members. At conferences and through consulting, ASGA can train your new officers and members so that they know their roles and can serve efficiently and competently.

7. Connecting You With Peers. The SG Database, training events, and online forums provide opportunities to exchange ideas and network with SG members from all types and sizes of institutions across the country.

8. Supporting Your Advisors. High school SGs often depend on guidance from their advisors, who are usually teachers. But the majority of teachers have never worked with SG before. ASGA provides resources and peer networks that help advisors grow and improve.

9. Improving SG Finances. Knowing how to raise money and to stretch limited funds can accelerate your development as an organization.

10. Providing Expert Analysis. ASGA’s panel of SG experts and consultants can analyze your unique situations, providing tailored support and recommendations regarding any SG-related question or problem you’re having. We can also conduct research on your behalf.

Residential School SGs

Student Governments at residential institutions often enjoy advantages that SGs at commuter campuses can only dream about. Schools with large, residential populations have a “captive” audience, which almost always leads to greater participation in SG, campus organizations, programs, and events.

However, thanks to the numerous programs and services your institution already provides for residential students, they have plenty of other diversions and ways to get involved on campus. In addition, negative rumors and myths about SG can spread quickly, since most students live in an insulated environment. ASGA can help your SG maintain a good reputation and gain “relevance” by:

1. Managing Your Image. Boost opinions of SG and overcome the rumor mill with an outreach plan that includes public appearances, advertising, and marketing. ASGA can show you how to better promote your programs and improve coverage in your campus press, which will make your organization more visible and effective.

2. Increasing Recruitment and Retention. When you’re competing with other clubs and organizations for members, you need to put forth extra effort to successfully add to your ranks. We’ll help you develop a plan to aggresively recruit more students to get involved, retain the ones you have, and move toward having contested races in your elections. We also offer member-retention tools, such as parliamentary-procedure teaching materials and tips for making your meetings more effective.

3. Developing “Signature” Programs. After surveying the student body to find out exactly what services they want, you can search the SG Database for examples of best practices at other colleges and universities. We’ll also point you to time-tested programs and projects which get tangible results and will capture the attention (and respect) of your students and administrators.

4. Connecting You With a Vast Peer Network. The SG Database, training events, and online forums provide opportunities to exchange ideas and network with SG members from similar institutions across the country. You can increase your authority on issues by developing coalitions with nearby SGs and brainstorming solutions together.

5. Enhancing Voter Turnout. Chances are, your turnout is already between 15 and 30 percent, which is well above the national average of 2 percent. ASGA can help you increase voter turnout even further through strategic marketing, multiple polling places over several days, innovative voting times, and the use of technology. The key to administrator respect is voter turnout, proving that you do represent students.

6. Developing Transition Materials. ASGA can help you create documents that share details about the progress you’ve made on projects, explain what projects still need to be completed,  and reduce successors’ learning curves. You can also start a shadowing program and regularly communicate progress to your advisor to keep transitions smooth.

7. Improving Administrator Relations. We offer strategies to improve your SG’s relationship with administrators and faculty, from proper etiquette to reopening lines of communication. You’ll learn how “friendly” your administrators are to your organization and will understand your current “place” on campus so you can make realistic plans for the year. More respect from administrators can lead to gains such as SG office space, a student trustee position, additional funding, and being entrusted with more campus responsibilities.

8. Supporting Student Advocacy. We’ll help you grow beyond being just an “activity board” or “party organizer.” ASGA can help you evolve into an organization that represents students and champions their issues, one of SG’s most important responsibilities.

9. Training Your Members and Advisors. At conferences and through consulting, ASGA can train your new officers and members so that they know their roles and can serve efficiently and competently.

10. Improving Funding. Getting control of your finances and knowing how to stretch funds as far as possible can accelerate your development as an organization. ASGA can also help you make a case for more funding, provide examples of SGs that allocate funds promptly and fairly, and help you gain funding authority over other student organizations (if you don’t have it already).

Religious Institution SGs

The populations of faith-based colleges and universities are often as diverse as those at secular institutions. These schools range from major research universities with national powerhouse football programs to small seminaries with less than 500 students pursuing their calling of service.

Despite those differences, students at faith-based schools often share a commitment to serving others, which can make it easier for Student Governments to recruit and retain members. If you haven’t found that to be the case, it could mean that those dedicated students don’t see value in your organization. ASGA can help ensure that your SG is a respected organization on campus by:

1. Improving Your Image. While your SG probably provides numerous services, students might not realize how much SG does on their behalf. You’ll learn to promote SG as an organization that benefits students’ future careers and callings to serve. New marketing plans will help you increase participation and focus your outreach efforts.

2. Reconsidering Your Structure and Purpose. You may want to reorganize the structure of your SG and number of representatives so that all positions are filled with competent, committed members and the projects you pursue are realistic. Examining your overall purpose, goals, and projects will maximize your limited manpower and show that you get things done.

3. Connecting You to Peers Nationwide. ASGA has about 5,000 SGs listed in our comprehensive SG Database. Of those schools, more than 1,000 are private institutions with religious affiliations—a massive national presence. In order to reach your full potential, your SG should interact with peers, tapping into what’s going on at these “like” institutions. In light of possible disparities between school cultures and populations at faith-based schools, it’s that much more important that you’re plugged into trends and know what’s happening on a national level.

4. Improving Relations With Your Administrators. Sometimes, the policies of your administration might not seem consistent with the beliefs of your faith. It can also be difficult to access institutional documents because you’re not a public school. If you have a close working relationship with the administration, you can better address such concerns.

5. Increasing Recruitment and Retention. ASGA can help you devise strategies to bring aboard new members from incoming and current students, such as emphasizing the servant-leadership component of SG positions. We’ll also show you how to keep your current officers and members involved and interested in SG business, including techniques for making meetings more efficient and tips on using parliamentary procedure to your advantage.

6. Conducting Research for You. We’ll provide background information and conduct research on any SG-related questions, issues, or problems that you need hard data to support, saving you time, money, and effort. When it’s completed, we’ll add the information to our database, where it will benefit other SGs across the country.

7. Providing Expert Analysis. While faith-based schools have some of the same challenges as secular institutions (such as having to navigate the often difficult path of tuition increases), you also face situations unlike those of your secular peers. ASGA’s panel of SG experts and consultants can examine your organization and provide tailored support and recommendations regarding any SG-related question or problem you’re having. We offer counsel that allows you to better serve God, your fellow students, and your school.

8. Helping You Survey Your Student Body. Because the population and culture of faith-based colleges can be so diverse, it can be difficult to choose programming that meets students’ needs. Through scientific surveying, ASGA can help you determine what support students need from their SG. We can also point you to time-tested projects that you may be able to adopt and use on your campus.

9. Developing Transition Materials. Effective transition materials will document what you’re supposed to do, what was done last year, and the progress your SG has already made on projects. Communicating this information to your advisor and successors will help to keep some continuity from one year to the next.

10. Training Your Members and Advisors. At conferences and through consulting, ASGA can train your new officers, members, and advisors so that they know their roles and can serve efficiently and competently.

Technical, Trade, & City College SGs

Historically, Student Government is an “afterthought” at most technical, trade, and city colleges. Because most students are non-traditional (often working and training for new jobs), there’s not usually a great deal of student involvement in clubs and organizations on campus, including SG. Students recall Student Council “popularity contests” from high school and doubt that SG will be useful or meet their needs.

Furthermore, administrators at these schools often don’t come from higher education backgrounds and don’t fully grasp how a strong SG can help with their recruiting, retention, and even alumni involvement. ASGA can help you start an SG from scratch, or maximize your limited resources by:

1. Improving Your Image. You’ll learn to promote SG as an organization that benefits students and their career objectives. New marketing plans will help you increase participation and focus your outreach efforts.

2. Developing Infrastructure. A strong organizational foundation will endure long after your term of office. Make sure you have a strong constitution, bylaws, election codes, and documentation.

3. Improving Relations With Administrators. We’ll counsel you on how to get along with campus administrators, teaching them to appreciate and respect the role of your SG. You’ll also learn how to work cooperatively on projects that benefit the school and student body.

4. Drafting Transition Materials. Effective transition materials will document what you’re supposed to do, what was done last year, and the progress you’ve already made on projects. Communicating this information to your advisor will also help to keep some continuity from one year to the next.

5. Improving Meeting Management. Learn to run meetings effectively to save time and keep everyone on task.

6. Developing “Signature Programs.” You’ll learn how to develop programs and services that matter to students and which help your SG gain attention and respect.

7. Improving Funding. We’ll provide fundraising ideas, data, and precedence for increasing SG funding, as well as tips for how to make your money stretch further.

8. Training Your Members and Advisor. Attend our training workshops so that your SG officers, members, and advisors will be more prepared for the year ahead and won’t waste any time.

9. Improving Records. We can help you create a record-keeping system so that your successors don’t have to “start over” like you did this year.

10. Recruiting New Members. ASGA can help you bring aboard new members from incoming and current students. Spread the word that students can gain valuable experience in management, finance, public relations, and other job-related areas through SG positions—skills that will look great on a resume and give them an extra advantage in competitive job markets.

Are you public or private?

Public Institution SGs

Public Student Governments offer rich leadership experiences which often mirror those of local, state, and federal governments. Many public SGs are organized with multiple branches and executive leadership roles that can prepare students for a diverse array of public-service positions.

Public higher education can also be a complex landscape to navigate, and understanding the power structure is crucial in gaining a voice. Most state constitutions provide explicit direction to your elected representatives regarding the role of SG at public institutions, granting you rights and responsibilities that other SGs might not have. The funding system makes administrators more accountable to you, giving you more recourses when you disagree with their decisions. But as an organization supported by public funds, you’re also more accountable to the student body and state taxpayers. ASGA can help you utilize the many (and sometimes overwhelming) resources at your disposal by:

1. Improving Your Image and Credibility. Although most public SGs provide numerous benefits and services, students often don’t realize how much SG does on their behalf. ASGA can help you develop marketing and outreach plans to promote your programs and make the organization more visible, increasing your effectiveness. We can also help you improve relations with the administration, allowing you to become a collaborative partner in determining the focus of your college or university.

2. Mapping Out Feasible Short- and Long-Term Goals. Students and administrators lose respect for SG when officers make bold promises and then can’t follow through to execute them. ASGA can provide examples of tried-and-true programs and “tangible benefits” that have worked for other SGs and that you can adopt on your own campus. By marshalling resources effectively and concentrating mostly on short-term projects that matter to students, you can gain more respect and influence, which will help your successors tackle larger long-term projects.

3. Enhancing Transition Plans and Materials. In order to succeed on major initiatives (such as building a new student center), your SG has to continue the work of predecessors, rather than retreading old ground over and over again. Effective transition materials will document what you’re supposed to do, what was done last year, and the progress you’ve already made on projects. Shadowing programs and communicating progress to your advisor will also provide some continuity from one year to the next, allowing you to move forward on mulit-year commitments.

4. Providing Resources to Increase Election Turnout. Most public SGs struggle with turnout at their elections. How can SG be taken seriously as the “official student voice” if most students don’t vote for your SG representatives? With online voting, new marketing campaigns, strong PR, and other techniques, you can improve turnout and capture the administration’s attention in the process.

5. Supporting Your Student Trustee. Students have a voting position on their board of trustees at approximately half of America’s public institutions. ASGA can provide training and perspective on trends around the country that will help your trustee be more effective. If you don’t have a student trustee yet, we can cite examples of SGs that have been successful in adding this position from scratch and share how they accomplished that goal.

6. Improving SG Documents and Structure. We’ll make sure that your governing documents are strong, so that you won’t waste time amending them year after year. We’ll also help you determine the most effective structure for your needs. Unfilled cabinet positions and committee chairmanships are inefficient, and it’s embarrassing when SG elections have uncontested races. Each SG position should be filled and have a real purpose.

7. Increasing Recruitment and Retention. At public schools—particularly the larger ones—students have a myriad of opportunties and activities available to them, limiting the pool of potential SG members. ASGA can help you devise strategies to bring aboard new members from incoming and current students. We’ll also show you how to keep your current officers and members involved and interested in SG business, including techniques for making meetings more efficient and tips on using parliamentary procedure to your advantage.

8. Providing Lobbying Resources and Support. As student advocates, many public SGs head to the state capitol to lobby on issues that matter to their constituents. ASGA has data and contacts for every statewide lobbying group in the nation. By communicating with other groups, you can make your SG and state group more effective. We also have a lobbyist on retainer to answer your specific questions.

9. Creating a “Rolodex” of Local, Regional, and National Colleagues. You can increase your authority on issues by developing coalitions with nearby SGs and “like” institutions across the nation. Through these networking contacts, you can also learn about best practices and brainstorm solutions with peers who have been in your shoes.

10. Training Your Members and Advisor. Attend our training workshops or schedule an ASGA consultation so that your SG officers, members, and advisors will be more prepared for the year ahead and won’t waste any time. ASGA’s conferences also provide valuable networking opportunities, as well as the chance to present your own research and experiences in front of your peers.

Private Institution SGs

Student Governments at private institutions face some unique challenges because of how the schools are funded, run, and structured.
  • Private schools are not obligated to provide public record requests because their records are simply not “public.”
  • Private schools appoint their own board of trustees, unlike public school boards which are usually appointed by the Governor or public committees.
  • Private school tuition is much higher than at public institutions, which can have economic, cultural, and academic impacts.
  • Admission standards can differ widely at private institutions.
  • Because their schools don’t receive state funding, private college students are often at the mercy of school administrators’ decisions and don’t have the same recourses as public college students.

These factors all affect how SG operates and what officers can accomplish. ASGA helps many private SGs navigate their school structures and regulations, providing:

1. Tailored Support and Resources which apply specifically to your campus, regardless of size or need. Private institutions in America range from 200-student undergrad colleges such as Sheldon Jackson College in Alaska to the much larger George Washington University in Washington, D.C., which operates nearly a half-million dollar SG budget.

2. Training for Your Members and Advisor. Attend our training workshops so that your SG officers, members, and advisors will be more prepared for the year ahead and won’t waste any time.

3. Support for a Student Trustee. At private schools, students infrequently have a representative on the board of trustees, and when they do, it isn’t usually a voting position. ASGA provides examples of students who have been successful in adding a student trustee position and how they accomplished that goal. Having a student voice on the board ensures that —at the very least—students’ opinions are expressed and their ideas contributed.

4. Funding Assistance. You can use the ASGA database to find out how much money different SGs receive and how the funds are allocated at schools similar to yours, then present this data to your administration as precedence for why you should receive more funding. We can provide tips on how to improve and organize financial disbursement, how to gain authority over student fees, and how to make limited funds stretch as far as possible.

5. A “Rolodex” of Local, Regional, and National Colleagues. You can increase your authority on issues by developing coalitions with nearby SGs and “like” institutions across the nation. Through these networking contacts, you can also learn about best practices and successful “signature programs” which you can try on your own campus.

6. Resources to Increase Election Turnout. How can SG be taken seriously as the “official student voice” if most students don’t vote for SG representatives? With online voting, new marketing campaigns, strong PR, and other techniques, you can improve turnout and capture the administration’s attention in the process.

7. Ways to Increase Recruitment and Retention. ASGA can help you bring aboard new members from incoming and current students. We’ll show you how to keep your current officers and members involved and interested in SG business, including using innovative meeting times and methods.

8. Tips for Improving Relations With Your Administrators, from proper etiquette to reopening lines of communication. Private schools benefit when SG and the administration each know their roles and work together for “the greater good,” particularly on issues such as improving the school’s image and increasing school spirit. A united front usually leads to better press for the school, which can boost enrollment. At the same time, more respect from administrators can lead to gains such as SG office space, additional funding, and being entrusted with more responsibilities.

9. Guidance Drafting Transition Materials. Effective transition materials will document what you’re supposed to do, what was done last year, and the progress you’ve already made on projects. Communicating this information to your advisor will also help to keep some continuity from one year to the next.

10. Support to Become Student Advocates. We’ll help you grow beyond being just an “activity board” or “party organizer.” The great SGs across America are advocates for their fellow students!

For more information, call toll-free 1-877 ASK ASGA (1-877-275-2742) or write info@asgaonline.com.