GSB candidates share ideas, traditions during debates

Emily Banks

There is a theme among this year’s senator candidates: Things need to be changed around Iowa State.

Debates among the candidates for Frederiksen Court and the College of Agriculture took place Thursday. This was the second round of debates for this year’s GSB election.

The candidates for the College of Agriculture are senior Nate Dobbels, junior Andy Edson and freshman Rebecca Ahlers. When asked what needed to be changed on campus, each had something in mind.

Ahlers said campus safety is something she is hoping to see change if she is elected.

“I’ve noticed when you’re walking on campus, some of the lights turn off when you walk by them, then you hear weird noises, and it’s scary,” she said. “Students should be able to feel safe walking by themselves no matter where they are.”

Edson has Campustown and technology on his list for improvements.

“Campustown should have things for students under the age of 21 to do,” he said. “Also, seeing the advancement of technology within the campus, making sure it’s efficient and effective. Technology is great, but it’s a waste of time and money if it’s not working right.”

Dobbels agrees Campustown is something that needs to change.

He is trying to work on alternative entertainment for minors, such as Sodas for Sobers. Also, promoting the “bigger events on campus, like theater projects, which is being developed in a different light than it has been in previous years.”

Frederiksen Court candidates include sophomore Arjay Vander Velden and freshman Kumar Ayushman, who both have ideas of what should be changed, too.

Vander Velden wants to change the way regular allocations are given out to clubs.

“I want to make them more user-friendly, [clubs and students] are coming to us for money, and it’s kind of tough as a new student or group to get into the circle of GSB,” he said. “Hopefully we can get the word out more and help make the regular allocations easily accessible.”

Kumar is hoping to change things in Frederiksen Court to make it a more friendly, dorm-like community. He is hoping that students will start to get to know one another more.

“There are 543 seniors in Frederiksen Court that don’t really know anyone; having a campfire night or something would allow them to get to know the underclassmen and share their experiences with them,” Kumar said. “Also, there are 332 international students, so throwing events that are internationally themed would help others learn where the people in their community came from.”

The candidates were also asked what their favorite traditions on campus were.

Dobbels joked that most would think his favorite tradition would be the cherry pies, but then said his favorite was actually the Zodiac and Gold Star Hall in the Memorial Union.

“It is honoring those students who have served our campus, that is exactly what I’m hoping to do,” he said. “They are fantastic traditions and fantastic places, it’s a great place to go to just relax and gather my thoughts.”

Ahlers said she is only a freshman and is still experiencing the traditions.

“One of my favorite ones I’ve experiences so far are the ISU football games,” she said. “I enjoy going and being a part of the student body.”

Edson doesn’t have a specific event or place that is his favorite, but he says the campus as a whole is what is great about Iowa State.

“The campus itself is my favorite, as it warms up it’s a nice to just go walk around campus, see all the smiling faces and all the people playing Frisbee,” Edson said. “I think we’re lucky to have the campus that we have and the friendly students that are here; it’s easy to meet new people.”

Kumar said his favorite tradition so far would be the comedians SUB has brought to campus.

“I’m a freshman, so I haven’t gotten to experience everything yet, but so far Bo Burnham has been my favorite,” he said.

Vander Velden enjoys WinterFest at Iowa State.

“I try to participate when I can, this year I really enjoyed the back massage part,” he said. “I’m also hoping to go on a Campanile tour before I leave [Iowa State].”

Elections will start Monday for all GSB positions and are open through Tuesday. Vote here.