Former MSA legislative coordinator Ben Levin prepares to lead ASUM

Levin plans to revamp ASUM and work with MSA.
ASUM president Ben Levin talks to Sen. Claire McCaskill D-Mo., about student loans at a discussion on Wednesday. Levin became president after working with MSA since his freshman year.

As a Columbia native, senior Ben Levin became involved in MU student politics the moment he stepped foot on his hometown campus in fall 2010.

“I joined the Missouri Students Association the first week of my freshman year,” Levin said. Levin’s latest involvement began June 1, with Levin beginning his term as president of the Associated Students of the University of Missouri.

Levin has held numerous other positions in MU student politics before becoming ASUM president. As a sophomore, Levin was the MSA Senate Academic Affairs Committee chairman. Last year, Levin served as a legislative coordinator for MSA while on the MSA executive cabinet.

In spring 2012, while a leader for the organization, Levin was among a few students who organized the student-run “More For Less” campaign, which opposed Gov. Jay Nixon’s 12.5 percent budget decrease in higher education. Levin and two others received the Mizzou Alumni Association’s Geyer Award for their efforts.

During his time with MSA, other leaders in MU student politics took note of Levin’s hard work and knowledge of an array of political subjects. Among them were MSA President Nick Droege and ASUM Legislative Director Corbin Evans.

“Ben is an extremely hard worker with a drive and passion for state and local politics,” Droege said in an email. “He always has the best interest for students in mind and the knowledge he has of the topics is unmatched by any of his peers.”

Evans – who hired Levin as ASUM president with Campus ASUM Advisor Pablo Mendoza – also touted Levin’s experience. “Ben had previous experience with ASUM through his involvement with other organizations,” Evans said. “Ben was able to harness positive aspects from these past experiences to show both myself and Dr. Mendoza that he would be the great choice for ASUM’s, MU campus, president.”

ASUM was founded in 1975 with the mission to provide education to students about the political process, as well as increase awareness and participation while providing the public with information concerning the students’ interests, according to the ASUM website.

“I believe that Ben is capable and excited to serve the students at MU and that he truly believes in ASUM’s mission,” Evans said.

Levin said the focus of ASUM next year will be building a foundation of education and awareness while rebuilding the group within the MU community. He said his first priority upon starting will be setting up a system for how students can join, as well as continuing to create ways that students on campus who are interested in politics can get involved.

He also said the group plans on collaborating with other organizations on campus.

“Since there are no elections this fall, as far as this semester’s projects will go, we will be focusing on voter registration,” Levin said. “We will be working very closely with the Missouri Students Association in that regard.”

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