Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Political Science


The student body president is an advocate, spokesperson, figurehead and leader. The student presidency is a role that few get to experience and many do not understand. I have found that in my four years involved with student government at Eastern Michigan University and my recent interviews with several other student body presidents across the state that the power associated with an administration can vary greatly, but the nature of the office remains intact. Attempts were made to interview each of the student body presidents at the fifteen state sponsored universities in the state of Michigan. These student body presidents from the 2009 ‐ 2010 academic school year were surveyed regarding the election process, nature and duties of their office and the long‐term institutions of student government at their respective schools. The responding schools included Wayne State University, University of Michigan Dearborn, University of Michigan Flint, and Saginaw Valley 3 State University. These public institutions represent diversity in both the size of the student body (ranging from 8,500 students to 33,000 students) and the demographics of the student body. Additional information was obtained through the interview of former student body presidents of Eastern Michigan University. Through my own experience and that of my peers, I intend to highlight the ways that the student presidency contains many parallels to the United States’ own political institutions. From determining viable candidacy to maintaining continuity after administration changes, the world of university student governments is a microcosm of the American political system.