The AOA is a federation of affiliated state associations, the Optometric Society of the District of Columbia, AOSA and the Armed Forces Optometric Society (AFOS).
Many of the affiliated state associations are composed of local societies. These three levels of organization (local, state and national) comprise what is usually referred to as "organized optometry."
Issues that affect your future practice are often most important at the state level, especially scope of practice matters. Third-party (insurance) plans/reimbursement issues are nearly always governed by state legislation (with federal programs increasing in importance yearly). State associations also provide many other important services to the member.
As an AOSA/AOA student member, you can contact state optometric associations and request student membership to stay informed on local and state issues. Click here to join.