Hoben, Knight focus on 3 ‘Cs’ for GSB campaign


Photo: Whitney Sager/Iowa State Daily

Dakota Hoben, senior in agricultural business, and Jared Knight, junior in political science, are running for GSB president and vice president, respectively. Their campaign focuses on “The Three ‘Cs’: clubs, classroom and community.

Whitney Sager

Classroom. Clubs. Community.

These are the three areas Dakota Hoben, senior in agricultural business, and Jared Knight, junior in political science, are focusing on as they campaign for Government of the Student Body president and vice president.


Hoben and Knight feel their previous experience in GSB has made them qualified to serve the students of Iowa State.

Hoben’s involvement began his sophomore year when he was elected to fill a vacant off-campus senator position. Since then, he has served as a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences senator and worked on the tenant-landlord website. He has also served on the CALS Dean’s student budget committee and as an ambassador for the college.

Knight’s GSB career began the first week of his freshman year when he saw a sign for GSB. He went to the GSB website and applied for a Supreme Court justice opening and got it. He currently serves as an Inter-Residence Hall Association senator, a position which allows him to connect residence hall students with GSB. Knight has also been involved with the Transportation Advisory Committee, the President’s Naming Committee and the Committee on Lectures.

A good team

Hoben and Knight said what makes them such a great team is they share the same qualities and passions when it comes to serving the student body.

“We’re both very similar and hard workers and passionate about the positions we hold and the students we serve,” Hoben said.

They both serve on the rules committee and have grown to understand each other’s thinking process while working together.

“He’s like a big brother to me,” Knight said.

Classes, clubs, community

The first of the three “Cs” Hoben and Knight are focusing on is the¬†classroom.

Part of their classroom emphasis is implementing a Dead Week policy.

Current GSB President Luke Roling and Vice President Nate Dobbels have drafted a Dead Week policy, but Hoben said they might not have enough time to get it finalized and put in place by the end of this semester.

“That’s something that we’re going to pick up right where they left off and really push that hard, starting early on, just because we realize that whenever you’re working with faculty and administration, it’s never an easy process and it’s never a quick process,” Hoben said.

Dead Week can be stressful for many students, especially when professors schedule exams during both Dead Week and Finals Week for the same class. Also stressful is when final projects are due during Dead Week and students have a final exam in that same class during Finals Week. Hoben and Knight feel this is unfair to students.

“Jared and I just believe that at one of the most stressful times of possibly the entire school year for students … professors don’t need to be piling up the workload even more during that time period,” Hoben said.

Another component of the classroom initiative Hoben and Knight would like to tackle is the make-up exam policy.

They believe that students who miss a scheduled exam due to a university activity should have the right to make up the missed exam without penalty.

Hoben said this is not a major problem on campus, but they have been hearing concerns from students who have not been allowed to make up an exam after attending a university activity.

“We just thought that was pretty ridiculous,” Hoben said. “We just think if you’re gone representing this great university that we all love, when you come back, you should be able to make up your exam.”

Clubs are the second “C” in their campaign’s emphasis area.

Hoben and Knight believe the regular allocation process clubs and organizations have to go through in order to receive funding is “not user-friendly.” They will work to make the process more transparent and easy to work with so clubs can better understand the process.

“It shouldn’t be difficult and hard and grueling for a club to get money that already belongs to them,” Hoben said.

They also want to focus on new clubs that have formed and help them establish finance accounts.

“We believe that as much as we can do to help those new groups get going and get started, we would love to help them out,” Hoben said. “We want to help them get up on their feet and get going.”

Hoben and Knight also want to form a better connection between clubs and GSB.

They will do so by sitting in on club meetings to learn how the clubs are run and what they care about. Hoben and Knight will encourage other GSB members to do the same.

“If we have groups come to us and ask for money, then we’re GSB, but if we go out and talk to groups, we find out what’s important to them, what they’re excited about, then we become the Government of the Student Body, and that’s what we really want,” Knight said.

The final “C” is community.

One of the areas they will focus on is community service.

Knight said they want to form a “more cohesive relationship” between the city and students.

They will do this by extending some of the service activities that take place within the city of Ames to the university, getting more students volunteering in the community.

“If we can get invested in the community here, if we can get more involved, that’s going to make students look better here, and it’s going to get them more integrated into Ames,” Knight said. “That can only benefit the city and students.”

Sustainability within the community is another area of importance to Hoben and Knight.

They want to have trash compactors, similar to ones seen on campus, placed around Campustown to make garbage collection more efficient and greener.

They would also like to extend the GreenHouse Group’s recycling efforts in the residence halls to the greek houses.

Knight said there is not a recycling program that covers all the greek houses. This is an issue that both he and Hoben would like to address.

“We’re really excited about the possibility of doing that,” Knight said. “That is something that we would work on as well.”


Both Hoben and Knight support the redevelopment plan of Campustown, with conditions.

Their biggest condition is that the plans are student-focused.

With talk of making Campustown more appealing to ISU alumni and parents, Hoben and Knight are concerned that putting too much emphasis on those groups will take away from the student aspect.

“If it’s not student-focused, to me it’s not Campustown anymore,” Knight said. “Alumni and parents aren’t here during the week, they’re not here every weekend of the school year; students are. That’s why it needs to maintain the student aura, it needs to maintain the student focus.”

Along with keeping some of the same businesses students frequent, they also want to see more places for students under 21 years old.

Knight said that aside from the restaurants, there are not many places to go in Campustown if you are not of legal age.

Another concern for Hoben and Knight is the disconnect LANE4 has had with Campustown businesses.

“LANE4 really needs to do a better job of really getting a better understanding of these people that they’re working with in Campustown as well as maybe the university and students of what would we actually want to see there,” Hoben said.

Student debt

Teaching students ways to handle their finances is a method Hoben and Knight will use for handling the student debt situation.

Hoben said a possible way to do this is by restructuring Library 160 to include information about financial literacy and other essential information ISU students need to know.

“If you’re actually serious about getting a hold on student debt, it’s going to take some serious solutions to really get there,” Hoben said. “That starts with educating students on day one as they step on Central Campus and become a student here at Iowa State.

“You can’t start educating a student who is in their fourth year, a senior, and who already has $50,000 to $60,000 piled up in debt. At that point it’s too late, and all you’re trying to do is manage the debt.”

Knight has been involved with IRHA’ s efforts to teach residence hall students about financial literacy. He said many students have problems with debt during their first years of college, especially those living in the dorms. Some of the costs of living in residence halls are hidden and students may not notice them until later on in their college careers.

“You might not necessarily see just how expensive things are, you might not notice until your junior or senior year when you’re already in a tough spot,” Knight said.

Knight said he has been pleased with IRHA’s efforts so far and hopes to continue those.

Tuition and budget cuts

Hoben and Knight are realists when it comes to university funding.

They want all students to be able to have access to higher education, but understand that during tough times, funding levels may not be as high.

“We realize that in this tough budget situation, there’s really nowhere to go for our funding but to stay the same, if not go down a little bit,” Hoben said. “We understand that when legislators are making these decisions, by no means are they easy decisions.”

Hoben said both he and Knight will serve as the voice of ISU students when lobbying legislators, but if the legislature’s decisions are going to be influenced, it is going to take more than just a GSB president and vice president to make a difference.

A more effective method of lobbying the legislature is for all 28,000 ISU students to contact the legislators and tell them why they should keep the cost of attending college affordable, Hoben said.

“We’re two people; we’re not going to make a difference, especially in this kind of budget situation where every dollar is precious,” Knight said.