About ASM

The Associated Students of Madison (ASM) is the official student governance body of UW-Madison, representing the needs of over 48,000 students. ASM is composed of roughly 50 elected or appointed students, 8 professional staff members, and 200 student appointees on committees that hold legal rights to recommend university policies, budgets, and candidates for UW employment. ASM allocates approximately $50 million in segregated university fees each year and is responsible for management of the Student Activity Center and distribution of the student bus pass. The roles of ASM can be divided into three categories: direct action, governance, and service.

View the ASM Organizational Chart

Direct Action

The Associated Students of Madison (ASM) is first and foremost a grassroots organization that works to directly involve and empower all students in making their own lives better by participating in strategic campaigns. Through this work students learn to be effective, engaged citizens who can coordinate and advocate for themselves. This aspect of ASM is most prominent during the recruitment drives, through the work of open committees and campaigns, and via intern projects.

Most of ASM’s victories have come as a result of direct action campaigns, which have won:

  • Creation of 24-hour libraries
  • Thousands of registered voters
  • Mandatory pre-exam study days
  • Two student regent seats
  • Caps on tuition increases
  • Student controlled campus space


ASM is also an official part of the Wisconsin state government: a statutorily charged agency that allocates student activity fees, in consultation with the Chancellor, and reviews and recommends changes to campus policy pertaining to student life, services, and interests. Wisconsin is the only state in the Union where the law, Wisconsin State Statute, §36.09(5), requires the University to gain student approval of certain policies before they can go into effect.


Finally, ASM provides services to students either directly or through funding programs outside of ASM.

Bus Pass: ASM funds and administers the distribution of bus passes to all students.

Funding Registered Student Organizations: ASM provides financial resources to student organizations. Hundreds of thousands of dollars each year go to RSOs in order to support extra-curricular student life and to provide services that are otherwise not provided to students on campus.

The Open Seat – Student Food Pantry: ASM student employees run a food pantry located in the Student Activity Center for students. Any student with a valid Wiscard is welcome to come and take part in the pantry weekly.

Student Activity Center: ASM funds, manages, and allocates space in the Student Activity Center, including offices ranging from 50 to 750 square feet, conference rooms, a rooftop deck, study areas, a multipurpose room, and a student-art lined gallery hallway. Four organizations have permanent office space: ASM, WSUM, StudentPrint and the Student Business Incubator.

External Services: Outside of ASM funding is allocated to: keep the Unions open, maintain recreational sports facilities, operate UHS, provide tenant counseling services, run the late night bus service, provide student childcare assistance, and maintain the student radio station.