The ASSU is over one hundred and ten years old and is the only organization at Stanford of which every student is a member. The ASSU provides funding to over five 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. The ASSU advocates on behalf of Stanford students on issues such as cost of living, diversity, student life and student activities space.
Each year the ASSU pursues innovative projects and creates new services that will improve the quality of student life offered at Stanford.
The ASSU is comprised of by legislative bodies (the Undergraduate Senate and the Graduate Student Council) , an Executive branch, an Enterprise Component, and many other bodies. The different branches have specific functions and work together to advocate and provide resources to students. Loosely:
- The Legislative Branch facilitates the operation of student groups and manages the funding process for almost any event on campus
- The Executive Branch strives to improve of student life and welfare through self-initiated programming and support of individual student endeavors
- Stanford Student Enterprises ensures the long-term financial viability and independence of the ASSU and facilitates numerous student jobs and organizational reimbursements