The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s campus life revolves around student engagement and activism. Central to this is the Associated Students of Madison, UW-Madison’s student governance body which has been in leadership since 1994.
48 years since shared governance was guaranteed in Wisconsin State Law in 1973
In 1973, Wisconsin Statute 36.09(5) was voted on, which guaranteed a collaborative effort between administrators, faculty and students in making the decisions that impact campus life. The law states, “The students of each institution or campus subject to the responsibilities and powers of the board, the president, the chancellor and the faculty shall have primary responsibility for advising the chancellor regarding the formulation and review of policies concerning student life, services and interests.”
Today, ASM uses this power to determine the allocation of student fees, address concerns within the university community and to be the voice of the student body in communication with the administration.
43,000 students represented by ASM
The Associated Students of Madison student governance body represents the 43,000 graduate and undergraduate students that attend UW-Madison. Elected student leaders and representatives support the student body through their Student Council, Student Judiciary and Student Services Finance Committee (SSFC) branches. Services provided to students by ASM include student bus passes, funding for registered student organizations, the Open Seat food pantry and the Student Activity Center. ASM also employs 10-12 student interns and funds services outside of ASM, including the McBurney Center for accessibility support, the Rape Crisis Campus Office, the WSUM student radio and the Greater University Tutoring Services.
28 sessions of ASM on campus since its start in 1994
Toward the end of the spring 2021 semester, ASM entered into their 28th session of leadership on campus at UW-Madison. In April 2021, Adrian Lamrpon and Lennox Owino were elected as Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, for this session which runs from Apr. 24, 2021 through Apr. 23, 2022.
An initiative of the 28th session has prioritized the rebuilding of shared governance. In October, ASM passed legislation to adjust language in state statute 36.09(5) in order to gain more influence over campus-wide policies.
33 elected student council representatives
The Student Council branch of ASM meets biweekly to address campus issues, present and vote on legislation and to provide a space through Open Forum for community members to share concerns. Their representatives are elected through a vote by members from their respective school or college. The 28th Session of ASM meets biweekly on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. at the Student Activity Center.
200 appointed students on committees
ASM allows any UW-Madison student to serve in their open committees, which include the Campus Relations Committee, the Equity & Inclusion Committee, the Legislative Affairs Committee, the Shared Governance Committee and the Sustainability Committee. These student-run committees coordinate campaigns on and off campus in Madison, plan engagement activities, coordinate outreach efforts and promote advocacy for their respective initiatives. ASM also includes six closed committees, which are the Conference Selection Committee, the Grant Allocation Committee, the Nominations Board, the Reserve Board, the Student Activity Center Governing Board and the Student Transportation Board.
$723.48 totals what students pay in segregated fees per semester
Every UW-Madison student, including graduate and undergraduate students are required to pay segregated fees each semester, which are charged alongside tuition. Segregated fees cover expenses including University Health Services, the ASM Bus Pass program, University Recreation and Wellbeing, the Wisconsin Union and the Greater University Tutoring Services initiative. For the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters, every student is charged $723.48 in segregated fees for each semester, with $13.88 of those fees Allocable, or allocated according to ASM, and $709.60 Non-Allocable funding, according to the UW-Madison Bursar’s Office.
Approximately $51 million in segregated fees the ASM finances and recommends budgets for The Student Services Finance Committee
The Student Services Finance Committee is the branch of ASM that recommends and determines how the nearly $51 million in segregated fees collected each year is distributed on campus. This committee works with the Chancellor and is comprised of four Student Council appointees, five members from the Nominations Board and six members of the general student body. SSFC directly allocates funds that support the ASM Internal Budget and the General Student Services Fund, which supports student organizations on campus.
Gina Musso is a Senior Staff Writer at The Daily Cardinal. She previously served as College News Editor and Features Editor, focusing coverage around student government, campus COVID updates and in-depth reporting. Follow her on Twitter @gina__musso.