March 17 is the fifth anniversary of the founding of the American Student Government Association. I can't believe it has already been five years.
I remember back in 2001 when our team was considering the idea of starting ASGA, what it would entail, what services it would offer, what work would need to be done.
It has been a LOT of work to create this resource. It has taken thousands and thousands of hours of research and we've dealt with hundreds of problems with the web site and technical aspects.
But what I envisioned in 2001 is now a reality. I envisioned a "knowledge base" for student governments, a single resource that would give any student government the tools, ideas, and help necessary to become more effective. That's what ASGA has become.
Our resources literally get better and deeper every day. Seriously. Our data team is constantly improving the information we store on student governments everywhere. We add more officers, more advisors, more administrators, campus media, elections information, compensation, goals, accomplishments, documents, programs, services, and more. It really is an amazing resource.
My original goal was to have 1,000 member institutions in five years. We're not quite there, but do have 821 member schools. That's out of about 5,000 student governments in the nation.
There has never been an organization for student governments that serves so many member institutions. A big reason for ASGA's growth is that we focus on helping student governments improve, not on lobbying. We try to help our members get better there on their local campuses so that they can be more effective advocates for their fellow students. We believe that more effective local student governments leads to more effective lobbying and representation on bigger issues.
It has been quite a "ride" starting and running ASGA for the past five years. As we continue to grow and improve, I'm excited about what lies ahead. It's a great unknown, as no one has ever run an organization for students quite like ASGA.