While he thinks it's "going a little too far" for applicants to weigh a prospective school's student government, Patrick Gotham, a 2011 graduate of Salisbury University and former president of the Maryland school's Student Government Association, says a school's size does make a difference.
"From my experience with other schools, larger schools have more red tape to go through but also have larger budgets to work with. Smaller schools have more freedom yet less resources, so it's a trade off," he says.
Another difference between larger and smaller schools can be whether student governors are compensated. According to the American Student Government Association, 30 percent of student governors at schools with enrollments of up to 1,000 get paid, compared to 87 percent of student leaders at schools with more than 30,000 students.
Torpey remembers some Hampshire students felt student leaders shouldn't be paid, but once calculated that his stipend came out to just 21 cents per hour. It took being elected mayor to appreciate that low rate.
"I got compensated more when I was student government president than I do as mayor of a town," he says.
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