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In this section

:: Governing documents
:: History
:: Organizational positioning & structure
:: Leadership team & branches
:: Opportunities for involvement
:: Executive blog
:: Executive calendar


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Arts Grant
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Student Initiated Courses

Unofficial Guide

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ASSU Branches
ASSU Executive
Graduate Student Council
Undergraduate Senate
Nominations Commission
Stanford Student Enterprises
Constitutional Council



About us

The Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) is over one hundred and ten years old and it is the only organization at Stanford of which every student is a member. We provide funding to over six hundred volunteer student organizations (VSO). These organizations in turn provide the majority of cultural, political, recreational and religious programming for the entire campus. The financial independence that the ASSU affords student organizations is one of the founding principles of the organization.

The ASSU also works to represent the interests, needs and perspectives of Stanford students at every level of decision making within the university. We advocate on behalf of Stanford students on issues such as cost of living, diversity, student life and student activities space. Each year the ASSU strives to innovative new projects and create new services that will improve the quality of student life offered at Stanford


Governing documents

Official Version ( Word.doc | PDF )
Working Version ( Word.doc | PDF )

Association (Joint) ( Word.doc | PDF ) - Last Updated: March 7, 2005
Graduate Student Council ( Word.doc | PDF ) - Last Updated: June 10, 2003
Undergraduate Senate ( Word.doc | PDF ) - Last Updated: March 7, 2005

ASSU forum panelRules of Order
Association (Joint) ( Word.doc | PDF )
Constitutional Council ( Word.doc | PDF )

Special Fees By-Laws
Joint ( Word.doc )
Graduate ( Word.doc )
Undergraduate ( Word.doc )



The first student body election of the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) was on October 9, 1891. The ASSU is the- designated representative of the student body and each registered Stanford student is a member of the Association. In the early years of the ASSU, student self-government was the maintenance of proper standards and personal conduct, the regulation of student affairs, and the handling of all cases requiring discipline, by a committee of students.

During World War I, student government was suspended. In 1919, the University re established self government, and the Executive Committee was set up. In the 1920s, community solidarity, which had characterized the student-administration relationship and underscored the government of students at Stanford, broke down. Faculty withdrew from close contact with students, and as faculty withdrew, an administrative bureaucracy was created to deal with student issues. As the student population increased in size, students were treated in a less personalized way. It was at this time that efforts were made to solidify the traditional values inherent in the Stanford community through the establishment of an honor system.

In 1933 the student committee of the ASSU reported the complex problems facing the University. The University President welcomed the report and sent copies to the appropriate administrators. That same year, the 500-person quota on women students was abolished due to increasing financial difficulties in the 30s. At a time when the country's economy was depressed and morale was low, it is not surprising that the honor code began to break down.

In 1943 the first woman Student Body President was elected. Two years later, University President Donald B. Tresidder recognized student personnel activities under a Dean of Students. In the 1950s the Dean of Students ran the ASSU, and the students within it mostly set policies "like how many stripes would be on the cheerleaders' uniforms. The whole thing was just a popularity contest among the frats."

In the early sixties the position of Financial Manager was created to oversee ASSU financial operations, and the Association formally separated its accounts from those of the University. It was at this juncture, during the social revolution of the 1960s, that Stanford student government evolved into a political entity.

In 1969 the structure of the Executive Branch changed. The ASSU eliminated the Presidential and Vice-Presidential positions, creating instead a four person Council of Presidents. In 1976, the Council of Presidents structure was modified again. Instead of one President and three Vice-Presidents, the Council changed to four Co-Presidents. In 1996, the Stanford student body voted to eliminate the Council and replace it with the traditional single President/Vice-President system. That same year, Student Financial Manager John Hall worked to create Stanford Student Enterprises, ensuring the long-term financial viability and independence of the Association. In 1999, the Stanford student body overwhelmingly voted to split the ASSU Senate into an Undergraduate Senate and a Graduate Student Council, allowing the ASSU to serve the needs of both communities better than it ever had before during its 108-year history.

In the last 30 years, the ASSU has greatly expanded the role it plays on campus and distanced itself from University control. Today, the ASSU is a multi-million dollar organization several hundred people strong. Its formal charge is to represent Stanford students to the University and the world.



Organizational positioning & structure

The ASSU is charged with the momentous task of effectively parterning with the university administration and supporting the diverse needs of every student and Stanford's many student groups.

ASSU Organizational Structure

Please click on each box for more information

Leadership team & branches

Executive Branch - Executive President & Vice President, Executive Committee and Executive Cabinet

05/06 ASSU President & Vice President - Melanie Kannokada & Aneto OkonkwoThe ASSU President and Vice President serve as the face and chief administrators of the organization. They are charged with regularly meeting and communicating with University administrators such as The President's Office and Dean of Student Activities.

The ASSU Executive Committee serves as the central point of communication and coordination of all the major branches of the organization.  The Executive Committee meets regularly to proactively identify overlapping efforts, and synergies within the ASSU to leverage the strengths of each branch to promote unity, accountability, transparency and successful advocacy at all levels of the organization. The Executive Committee consists of the leaders of the Graduate Student Council, Undergraduate Senate, Nominations Commission, Stanford Student Enterprises and the ASSU Executive.

The ASSU Executive Cabinet serves as a dedicated team of talented individuals led by the ASSU President and Vice President who work closely with the ASSU Executive Committee, University administrators and student group leaders to lead critical advocacy projects and facilitate ongoing efforts within the organization.

Legislative Branch - Undergraduate Senate and Graduate Student Council

The ASSU consists of two legislative bodies, the Undergraduate Senate and the Graduate Student Council. The members of these legislative bodies are responsible for the allocation of funding to student groups, improving the overall quality of student life, disseminating important information to the student body, and ensuring the smooth operation of the ASSU. The legislative bodies work to represent the needs of the students.

Business Branch - Stanford Student Enterprises (SSE)

SSE is the business subsidiary of the ASSU. SSE operations include the Stanford Store, the Stanford Directory, and Sunday Flicks. Like the ASSU, SSE offers many opportunities for students to gain real-world experience, while simultaneously improving the quality of life at Stanford .

Service Branch - Concert Network, Speaker's Bureau, Student Initiated Courses, News Readership Program and more

The Concert Network and Speaker's Bureau are subsidiaries of the ASSU, and bring to campus musical performers (in the recent years, Talib Kweli, Jason Mraz and Eve 6) and famous speakers ( Howard Dean and L. Paul Bremer ) to campus. The News Readership Program provides free newspapers such as the NY Times to locations throughout campus and Student Initiated Courses (SIC) allow students with passionate knowledge to teach a class to other Stanford students for credit.

Opportunities for involvement

We are always looking for those that can think critically and are motivated to become involved. Working with the ASSU can be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll have at Stanford. The following are brief descriptions of just some of the positions we offer to incoming students.

Senate Associates - Each year, the ASSU selects 10-15 incoming students who serve as Senate Associates, non-voting members of the Undergraduate Senate. Each Senate Associate will have the opportunity to work directly with the Undergraduate Senators on key projects and with each of the five Undergraduate Senate Committees. Many Senate Associates use their experiences in the Senate Associate Program to run for higher office in the Spring Quarter General Election.

Executive Aides - As an Executive Aide, you will work closely with the ASSU President and Vice President on some of the most important projects the ASSU will undertake this year. These will include projects related to improving student services on campus, expanding the strength of diversity at Stanford, creating forums for cross-community dialogue, and promoting the communication role of the ASSU with students and administrators. The ASSU will select 8-10 students to be Executive Aides for the upcoming year.

ASSU Frosh Council - The ASSU Frosh Council consists of representatives from each dorm that houses freshmen. The group plans social activities for the freshman class such as a formal, a talent show and a field day, and the sale of clothing and trinkets bearing the class numerals. The group also acts as a liaison between the ASSU, the Dean of Freshmen & Transfer Students, and the dorm. Elections for Frosh Council are usually held at each dorm’s first House Meeting.

Nominations Commission - The ASSU Nominations Commission (NomCom) nominates students to University Committees through an application process. The members of NomCom are all Stanford students and are an essential part of making sure student voices are heard in University decision-making. To view a list of all 40-45 permanent University Committees and to view the selection timetable, visit the NomCom website at http://nomcom.stanford.edu/. Applications for the Board of Trustees committees as well as the numerous ad hoc committees are also posted and accepted through this website.


Copyright 2005 Associated Students of Stanford University ////