GSB elects Michael Plantenberg as University Affairs Committee Chair


Jonathan Krueger/Iowa State Daily

GSB vice speaker Barry Snell speaks at the meeting on January 15, 2014 in the Campanile Room.

Brian Voss

The Government of the Student Body Senate elected Michael Plantenberg Wednesday as the chairman of the University Affairs Committee. Plantenberg had recently served as the chairman of the University Affairs Committee on an interim basis.

“Honestly, no offense to anybody on any other committee, I have not met anyone who’s more passionate about their committee than Michael Plantenberg,” said Sen. Hamad Abbas.

Plantenberg expressed interest in doing a big project incorporating all committee members rather than the individual projects done in the past.

“It would have a larger impact than just one student’s efforts,” Plantenberg said. “Although we do work on some pretty impressive projects, if we pulled all ten or so members of the committee I think we could do something pretty phenomenal.”

Plantenburg expressed a desire to build closer relationships with university administrators.

Sen. Nick Terhall was also nominated for the position, believing his leadership as the president of Friley Hall and as a group leader of two different aerospace engineering clubs as reasoning to be elected as chairperson. Terhall cited his engineering experience as a positive.

“I see a problem, I solve it,” Terhall said. “That’s kind of how it works.”

Sen. Krista Johnson said she did not believe anybody’s major made them more qualified for the University Affairs position.

“I’m not sure being in the College of Engineering makes you inherently more qualified to lead a group,” Johnson said. “But regardless, until about a week ago, Sen. Plantenberg was also in the College of Engineering.”

Vice Speaker Barry Snell saw the appointment as important because he plans to put the University Affairs Committee at the forefront of GSB.

“We’re supposed to be an organization that accomplishes things for students at the university,” Snell said. “Again, as I’ve said before, that’s precisely what the University Affairs Committee is tasked to do in our own bylaws.”

Sen. Khayree Fitten advised the Senate to not make a decision based on changes that have not happened yet.

Sen. Danielle Nygard and Sen. Megan Black were seated as members of the University Affairs Committee.

Sen. Peter Benzoni, a member of the University Affairs Committee, said Black has consistently attended University Affairs Committee meetings during her time in GSB.

Sen. Johnson was seated as a member of the Rules Committee. No other nominations for this position were made.

Matt Kerns, Elvir Klempic and Brian Garrido were confirmed as at-large members of the University Affairs Committee. Kerns was previously the chairman of the committee before resigning his Senate seat last semester.