Executive Director of the American Student Government Association?
Butch Oxendine is the Executive Director of the American Student Government Association, which serves and supports collegiate Student Governments nationwide.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been working with student leaders and student governments for nearly 35 years. I was a student government officer myself in college, and for many years, I edited the national magazine Student Leader and other statewide magazines in Florida. I’ve written three books, including So You Want to Be President:How to Get Elected on Your Campus. I live on a small farm in Florida with my wife and five children. We homeschool our children. My four boys play baseball and I coach three of them on a team.Please tell our readers a little bit about the ASGA (or your SGA) and its mission and why it is important. ASGA helps student governments improve. Theyneed to have more students run for office and vote in their elections so they can prove that student government represents students. They then can champion issues and changes to the people who run the colleges and universities.
What do you do at the ASGA ?
I’m the executive director. I teach at our conferences and also talk to members and answer their questions. I help member colleges do research and train their members. How does student government help students (andschools) learn about governing?
Student governments run elections, survey their constituents to learn about needs, appoint students to serve on committees (food service, parking,athletics and more), recognize and often fund clubs and organizations and frequently presents ideas and suggestions for improvements and changesto college and university administrators like thepresident and dean of students.
Do you have any cool facts you can share about government and SGAs?
More women than men serve in student government nationwide, but more men serve as president. About 80 percent of student government presidents are compensated for their work, usually by scholarship, tuition waiver or salary.
How do SGAs help kids and schools?
Student Governments help kids and schools by representing student needs, desires and interests to school dministrators who can work to make changes and improvements. SGAs also provide great leadership training opportunities for students to grow personally.
What is the coolest thing about your job?
I speak at all of our conferences and get to perform while teaching.
When/How did you know you wanted to work with SGAs?
I was in SGA in college. During college, I started a magazine, Florida Leader, that grew to be a statewide leadership magazine and published for nearly 22 years. Florida Leader inspired our national magazine Student Leader, which wrote about student government issues. When the web came about in the mid ‘90s, our team started thinking about a web resource for student governments and this led to ASGA in 2000. We launched ASGA in 2003 and we now have 1,500 member institutions and training 3,000 students at year at our 10 conferences.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
I coach a baseball team. Three of my boys play on it. I love the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team, the Florida Gators football team, and the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team. I like to work outside on our farm. I love to go to the beach near Tampa Bay.
Thanks for your time!