Hughes delivers State of the Student Body Address


Photo: Lissandra Villa/Iowa State Daily

2013-2014 GSB President Spencer Hughes addresses the senate in the last meeting of the 2012-2013 GSB senate on April 24, 2013, at the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union.

Katie Grunewald

Spencer Hughes, president of the Government of the Student Body, gave his first State of the Student Body address Wednesday, April 24, 2013.

The president is required to do this once per session.

Hughes expressed the importance of the GSB senators to be connected with the students they serve.

“Your role is to represent students,” Hughes said. “As you sit in this room, your voice is the voice of the students in your college or the students who live in the same area as you. You are — or at least, you should be — closer to the students than anyone.”

Hughes feels that GSB does a sufficient job in representing student interests, to an extent. He shared the areas where he thinks GSB needs work.

“We have a tremendous amount of work to do in some vital areas of representation that we must all focus on, together, over the upcoming year,” Hughes said.

“I want to focus on three areas where we need to and where we can make significant improvements. These areas are transparency, connection and creative problem-solving.”

Hughes listed the ways GSB is already transparent, and listed more improvements that can be made to improve transparency.

“We are already video recording each senate meeting,” Hughes said. “We’ll soon have an updated display case just outside of the West Student Office Space with contact information and Senate and Cabinet meeting agendas posted every week.”

Hughes listed several other goals he would like to achieve in the near future. These goals included having an “easy-to-use” website with updated information of every GSB representative, all legislation and minutes from senate meetings.

He also said social media accounts would be integrated, and Facebook and Twitter would be updated even more frequently.

GSB owns several items, and Hughes wants a list of these items on the website so they can submit a “reasonable request” to use any of the GSB-owned items.

“No student should have any trouble finding information about what we do,” Hughes said. “My goal is to make GSB the most transparent student government at any college or university in the nation. And we will achieve this goal.”

Hughes wants GSB to be more connected with students.

He said GSB has taken a great stride forward with successful Meet Your Government Day but also more connections on an individual level should take place, both face-to-face and via social media.

Hughes discussed his want for GSB to be more open to creative problem-solving.

“What I mean by this is a willingness to approach problems with an open mind, embracing the potential of doing something that we have never done before.”

Hughes also touched on the need to have more diversity within the representatives of GSB.

“We must make serious strides to become a more welcoming student organization and seek the best student leaders for GSB that will bring more diverse perspectives,” Hughes said.

Hughes was inaugurated as GSB President on April 8, 2013.