IRHA discusses removing newspapers from residence halls; GSB candidates propose new spending strategies

Dalton Bergan

Inter-Residence Hall Association plans to make a decision Feb. 7 at 9 a.m. regarding the $50,000 newspaper program in the residence halls.

About a week ago, IRHA sent out a survey to residence hall students asking how they wanted a portion of their IRHA dues spent. Currently, $7 of each student’s dues are used by IRHA to benefit residence hall students.

The survey first asked students how often they picked up one of the three newspapers located within residence halls, and which papers they picked up the most.

The newspapers currently in residence halls include The Des Moines Register, USA Today and The New York Times.

When discussing the issue of rising newspaper prices, Pete Englin, director in department of residence, said, “These are multi-million dollar companies, they’re not going to change their price for one small constituent.”

The survey also asked students to vote on how they would like IRHA to spend their dues if the newspaper program were to be cut. Options given included cutting the dues completely, reducing the dues by half or keeping the dues and using them for other activities for residence hall students.

Eighty-five percent of students who took the survey said that they “very rarely or never” pick up a newspaper. IRHA members were asked to talk with their constituents and reach a more solid conclusion about what to do with the student dues.

According to the survey results, students preferred The Des Moines Register by a slight majority. IRHA voted for which paper to keep if they were to limit the newspaper program. Of the 25 Parliament members that voted, 17 voted to keep The Des Moines Register.

IRHA Vice President Anthony Behnke said he is meeting with a representative from USA Today to make a final decision.


Government of the Student Body presidential candidates were also in attendance at the vote. Two candidates explained their platforms to IRHA.

Sen. Khayree Fitten and running mate Sen. Gabe Walsh emphasized their plans to acquire e-books for five to ten of the most heavily enrolled courses at Iowa State. If they were to follow through with this, the candidates plan to push for a more uniform curriculum between various sections of the most popular courses.

Fitten and Walsh also plan to use their connections with Iowa legislature to get need-based scholarships for public universities in Iowa. “Iowa’s the only state that does not provide need-based financial aid for public institution students,” said Fitten.

Another candidate, Hillary Kletscher, spoke about her platform as well.

Kletscher started by saying that she plans to meet the demand for tutors on campus, possibly by raising tutor wages in an effort to get more students interested in becoming a tutor.

She also plans to expand the supplemental instruction programs offered at ISU. Kletscher said that she would like for more courses to offer supplemental instruction.

Another of Kletscher’s plans involved creating a Craigslist-like website that would allow ISU students to sell their books, tickets, furniture, etc. to other students.

One program that Kletscher claimed to have been working on for a while is the bike-share program. This would allow students to rent bikes from certain bike racks on campus, and then return the bikes to any other rack. “It’ll be a one-of-a-kind program, so we’re really excited about that,” said Kletscher.

Kletscher also discussed continuing to fund the Iowa State Daily.