ASUM is a non-partisan, non-profit student lobbying organization that has been the student voice in government since 1975. Every student enrolled in a University of Missouri campus is a member. ASUM is involved in many political events on campus, assisting with voter registration, helping students with absentee ballots, organizing candidate forums, student issue surveys, and the state internship program.
ASUM is a product of the activism movements in the 1960’s and 70’s. In 1971, the US voting age was lowered to 18. Within two years, student legislative groups had been started in eleven states. Missouri joined the movement in the fall of 1972, when student body presidents from across the state formed the Associated Students of Missouri. In 1973, the Missouri Students Association (MSA) formed a legislative affairs desk and began working on a referendum to authorize a per-student fee, with the goal of eventually hiring a staff and creating a more permanent lobbying office for student involvement. In 1975, the referendum passed. The university’s Columbia campus and the organization hired its first staff that fall. They called the organization the “Associated Students of the University of Missouri”.
The referendum eventually passed on every University of Missouri campus. Referendums are renewed on an individual campus basis once every 4 years.
1977 – Legislation passes giving 18 year olds the legal right to consent to their own medical treatment.
1984 – A non-voting Student Representative is placed on the University of Missouri Board of Curators.
1986 – The Bright Flight Scholarship, Greek tax reassessment, and foreign teaching assistant legislation are signed into law.
1995 – Harsher penalties for hazing are passed.
1999 – The Student Representative to the University of Missouri Board of Curators is allowed to attend closed meetings.
2001 – A loan forgiveness program is implemented to provide incentives for teachers, medical professionals, and veterinary doctors to work in Missouri.
2007 – The Bright Flight Scholarship is increased to $3,000 per year.
2008 – The Textbook Transparency Act is passed.
2010 – Legislation equalizing the Access Missouri grant passes.
2012- The creation of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Fund