Bruning/Voss strive to amplify students’ voices


Photo: Whitney Sager/Iowa State Daily

Jessica Bruning, senior in political science, and Dan Voss, junior in materials engineering, are running for GSB President and Vice President, respectively. Some of the issues they want to tackle include student debt, diversity, sustainability and Campustown. They feel they can effectively serve ISU students because of the connections they have across multiple areas both inside and outside of campus. “I really feel our net is a little more extent than theirs,” Voss said of their opponents.

Whitney Sager

Your voice, amplified.

Jessica Bruning, senior in political science and apparel, merchandising and design, and Dan Voss, junior in materials engineering, are campaigning for president and vice president of the Government of the Student Body, respectively, with the aim of making the voices of ISU students heard.


Bruning has three years of GSB experience under her belt. She began her freshman year by serving as an ISU ambassador and has now advanced to director of ambassadors. She also served on the Inter-Residence Hall Association as a freshman and as a GSB senator during her sophomore year. Coordinating the lobbying efforts for Legislation Day is another responsibility Bruning has taken on through GSB.

“I feel I have something to say and something to be done to make Iowa State better for students,” Bruning said.

Voss currently serves as a GSB engineering senator. His past GSB experience has included serving on the finance committee and working with Engineers Without Borders.

“It’s very special to me to have the opportunity to serve students of the university that I love,” Voss said.

A good team

A broad area of experience and a vast web of connections to people both at Iowa State and in the Iowa Legislature are what Bruning and Voss said make them such a good team for GSB president and vice president.

When Bruning decided to run for president, she did not have anyone in mind to run with her as vice president. After looking through the list of GSB senators, Voss’s GSB experience caught her attention.

“I felt like he was a good compliment to my strengths,” Bruning said. “He’s good at finding problems and pinpointing what needs to be done to solve them.”

While Voss brings to the team connections with the engineering community and finance committee, Bruning’s connections stem from her involvement both on campus and while working with the state legislature.

“She’s been exposed to everything GSB does,” Voss said.


Bruning and Voss have come up with a list of various areas they will focus their attention, if elected as GSB president and vice president.

The first of those is increasing student awareness of GSB. They want students to know that they can come to GSB members whenever they have questions or concerns.

One of the ideas Bruning and Voss have for improving this connection is having GSB information included in orientation classes that all ISU students have to take.

They also want to increase GSB presence at Destination Iowa State and hang informative posters in the residence halls and other areas on campus to let students know what GSB is like.

Another way to increase GSB awareness is for GSB members to become more involved with the clubs and organizations at Iowa State to whom they allocate funding.

“GSB clubs come to us to get money, but we don’t go to them,” Voss said.

Both Bruning and Voss will go to as many club meetings as they can and will encourage other GSB members to do the same.

Sustainability is another issue that they want to focus on.

Both recently attended the Sustainability Symposium in order to get some ideas about how to make campus more sustainable.

Voss attended a session that discussed recycling efforts in Ames. He said that creating a university-wide recycling effort is important.

“Students aren’t going to recycle if it’s not available to them,” Voss said.

At the session, attendees talked about creating a website that served as a centralized source for all recycling information in Ames.

Bruning and Voss also support increasing diversity both on campus and within GSB.

They support Mind the Gap, a gathering to discuss issues involving race. Bruning said this event attracted a wide crowd the last time it was held.

“It’s definitely events like that, that are going to spread awareness on campus,” Bruning said.

They also want to encourage minorities to serve as GSB senators.

“We want to make sure that people know about openings and take advantage of them,” Bruning said.


When it comes to LANE4’s plans for Campustown, Bruning and Voss said they will voice students’ concerns regarding the renovation plans.

“We will take students’ input and relay it to the city council and LANE4,” Bruning said.

They also encourage students to directly voice any concerns they have to both LANE4 and the Ames City Council.

“Students need to e-mail them and they will listen,” Bruning said.

Bruning and Voss support bringing alternative entertainment to Campustown that would appeal to students who are younger than 21 years old. They would work to make sure these alternative forms of entertainment are advertised so younger students are made aware of them.

“There’s lots of options people just don’t know about,” Voss said.

Student debt

Bruning and Voss also have a plan for how they will address student debt.

“We have three very real, feasible ideas to lessen student debt,” Bruning said.

Those solutions include:

• Bringing back the state’s work-study program

• Lobbying for a textbook tax exemption bill

• Pushing for financial literacy on campus

Tuition and budget cuts

Bruning and Voss believe the best way to tackle tuition increases is to encourage students to contact legislators and voice their opinions about the rising cost of their education.

They feel that letting the legislature, state agencies and the people of Iowa know about the importance students place on their education will influence the decisions the state legislators make.

“We know tuition increases are inevitable, but are those tuition rises still worth it when our budgets keep getting cut?” Bruning said.

Bruning has been busy spreading the word about Legislation Day around campus. She encourages all students to go to Des Moines to lobby Iowa’s legislators and tell them how important affordable education is.

“I hope we can have a little more influence if we get more students involved,” Bruning said.