ISU Ambassadors plan forum for state legislators, Iowa regent to mingle with students

Brian Voss

ISU students will have the opportunity to have their opinions heard by several Iowa politicians. 

ISU Ambassadors, a group on campus that seeks to bridge the gap between students and political representatives, is holding an open forum for all students to attend on Friday, Nov. 8.

Beth Wessell-Kroeschell, state representative; Herman Quirmbach, state senator; and Robert Donley, executive director of the Board of Regents, will be in attendance.

The event will take place from noon to 2 p.m. and will be in the Gold Room of the Memorial Union. Free lunch will be provided.

The first hour will consist of a panel of the legislative and Board of Regents members in attendance. The second hour will be an open house where students will have the opportunity to mingle with legislative and Board of Regents members.

Spencer Hughes, president of the Government of the Student Body, said it will be a great time to ask questions about issues both education and noneducation related.

“Really what it’s meant to do is help facilitate those conversations,” Hughes said. “If students have questions about what the board is, what the board does, or what are the priorities in the Legislature in terms of tuition and in terms of anything else education related or anything else not education related.”

Shannon Goes, executive director of the ISU Ambassadors and junior in chemistry, said the purpose of the open forum is to open a dialogue between students and their Legislature as well as the Board of Regents.

Goes said students whom she has talked to seem excited about the event.

“I think it’s always great when you get to talk to your representation directly,” Goes said.

Goes said the event will be a great opportunity for students to voice their opinions about the tuition freeze.

“Some students might be interested to voice their opinions about the tuition freeze applying to out of state students, because right now as the bill is written it would only apply to in-state students,” Goes said.

Goes also said it is a chance to thank members of the panel for putting together a tuition freeze last year. The tuition freeze was the first in 30 years.

Hughes said he believes the biggest issue that students will want to address at Friday’s open forum is, in fact, tuition.

“When students go and ask the regents why they only pushed for a resident undergraduate tuition freeze … they can ask legislators if they plan to support the proposed 4 percent appropriations increase and how they plan to get that accomplished,” Hughes said.

The Legislature and Board of Regents are the two bodies that control tuition.

Goes said panel members might address issues dealing with Iowa State’s expansion, which is currently she said has put strains on dining and housing.

Last year GSB hosted an open forum with ISU administration. Hughes said the open forum was popular and that students seemed to appreciate it.