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Abstract

The Associated Students of the University of Montana (ASUM) is a student owned, student funded, and student operated public agency within the University of Montana (UM). Many University student governments operate small operations, with much oversight from their University administrations; however, there are a few throughout the country that command their own budgets, have complete oversight of their personnel, provide large scale public services, and maintain distinct levels of autonomy from their University. This paper will analyze the effectiveness of student owned, student funded, and student operated public agencies such as ASUM, to evaluate the role they play as established public agencies within complex bureaucratic organizations such as Universities. The study of student organizations as legitimate, complex, and thriving public agencies in and of themselves will benefit the field of Public Administration as it evaluates the effectiveness of a system of administration in which young people are elected into high-level managerial and bureaucratic positions. To determine ASUM and other student organizations’ role in society, this paper will rely on evaluations of Woodrow Wilson’s dichotomy between politics and administration, to determine an agency’s effectiveness as it relates to serving a specific population of constituents within a larger community. To further elaborate on the role this dynamic plays in student agencies, an analysis of John Gaus’s work in the field of humanistic public administration will help to analyze the priorities of these student-driven agencies and how they relate to and interact with the priorities of other agencies. My analysis of these scholars as well as the history of ASUM itself, reviews of literature, and methods concludes that, after obtaining degrees of autonomy, student organizations can play vital roles in the administration of legitimate and complex public agencies.

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Apr 15th, 10:20 AM Apr 15th, 10:40 AM

Student Organizations in Public Administration

The Associated Students of the University of Montana (ASUM) is a student owned, student funded, and student operated public agency within the University of Montana (UM). Many University student governments operate small operations, with much oversight from their University administrations; however, there are a few throughout the country that command their own budgets, have complete oversight of their personnel, provide large scale public services, and maintain distinct levels of autonomy from their University. This paper will analyze the effectiveness of student owned, student funded, and student operated public agencies such as ASUM, to evaluate the role they play as established public agencies within complex bureaucratic organizations such as Universities. The study of student organizations as legitimate, complex, and thriving public agencies in and of themselves will benefit the field of Public Administration as it evaluates the effectiveness of a system of administration in which young people are elected into high-level managerial and bureaucratic positions. To determine ASUM and other student organizations’ role in society, this paper will rely on evaluations of Woodrow Wilson’s dichotomy between politics and administration, to determine an agency’s effectiveness as it relates to serving a specific population of constituents within a larger community. To further elaborate on the role this dynamic plays in student agencies, an analysis of John Gaus’s work in the field of humanistic public administration will help to analyze the priorities of these student-driven agencies and how they relate to and interact with the priorities of other agencies. My analysis of these scholars as well as the history of ASUM itself, reviews of literature, and methods concludes that, after obtaining degrees of autonomy, student organizations can play vital roles in the administration of legitimate and complex public agencies.