THE ASSOCIATED STUDENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI (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 System 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 U.S. voting age was lowered to 18. Within two years, student legislative groups had been started in 11 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 System campus: MU (1975), UMSL (1979), S&T (1988), and UMKC (1989). —Referendums are renewed on an individual campus basis once every 4 years.
We encourage you to get involved!
During ASUM’s four decades, here’s what students have accomplished by working together:
- 1977: Legislation passes giving 18-year olds the right to consent to medical treatment
- 1984: A non-voting Student Representative is placed on the Board of Curators
- 1986: The Bright Flight scholarship, Greek tax reassessment, and foreign TA legislation are signed into law.
- 1995: Harsher penalties for hazing are enacted
- 1999: The Student Representative is granted access to closed Board meetings
- 2001: A loan forgiveness program is implemented to encourage teachers, medical and veterinary doctors to work in Missouri.
- 2007: The Bright Flight scholarship is increased to $3,000 / year.
- 2008: The Textbook Transparency bill passes.
- 2010: Legislation equalizing the Access Missouri grant passes.
- 2012: The STEM Fund is created.
- 2018: Legislation requiring consent and sexual violence to be taught in high school passes the legislature.
- 2018: The STEM Initiative, which creates a funding mechanism for the STEM Fund, is passed into law.
- 2018: Legislation requiring universities to report compliance with professional mental health standards is passed into law.
For a look at what we’re currently working on, take a look at this year’s Legislative Platform.