Student government, co-curricular activities, undergraduate students, leadership qualities, maturation


Within institutions of higher education, shared governance is an essential component to a healthy functionality. Among the many stakeholders at these institutions, students are the largest in number and hold primacy. Participation in student governance establishes a sense of shared ownership over their communities while also providing a unique avenue for students to gain wisdom and develop critical skill sets. Senior administrators at these institutions have many inherent challenges due to an organization that is largely decentralized and autonomous. The purpose for conducting this study was to analyze Student Government Associations (SGA) at 8 select land-grant institutions of higher education in order to establish the extent of administrative agenda alignment after reviewing policy priorities for SGAs and their respective presidents. The study ultimately found minimal agenda alignment between student body presidents and university presidents. Student body presidents indicated that they did not necessarily anticipate alignment given the differences in their constituencies and most indicated positive relationships. These findings emphasize the importance of shared governance within these institutions. Positive relationships between SGAs and their presidents emphasize constructive communication and reciprocity between the subjects which leads to more buy-in by stakeholders and innovative ideas.