Belding: Bruning, Voss would bring experience and innovation to GSB

Michael Belding

GSB officer elections are Monday and

Tuesday.  One of the

candidates for GSB President is Jessica Bruning; her running mate

is Dan Voss, sophomore in mechanical engineering. 

Bruning, junior in political science and apparel design, was

encouraged to run for student body president over the summer, and

decided to do so this fall.<span style=

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I support that decision. 

Bruning has consistently demonstrated that,

with her experience, ideas and personality, she can work to produce

results at any student organization with which she


Student organizations, such as those

associated with the Government of the Student Body, are actual

institutions students can work with to improve the university and

their community.  Bruning

has many ideas to make such improvements — dealing with student

debt, diversity, sustainability, campustown redevelopment and

relations between GSB and the student body. 

Student Debt

Behind Washington, D.C., the state of Iowa is

ranked second-highest for student debt which, upon graduation,

averages some $30,000. 

Bruning believes GSB should work more with students to provide them

with the resources to increase their financial literacy.

Financial literacy counseling clinics and a

program called Peers to Peers —an organization where trained

students advise students seeking advice —may be small efforts due

to funding and space constraints, but they are within GSB’s means,

and should be pursued. 

Bruning is interested in implementing them more thoroughly and

encouraging more students to interact with these


Student debt cannot be eliminated, but

students can increase their awareness of funding options, details

and methods of paying back loan amounts.  Students

need to be informed enough to make the best of their inevitably

indebted situations. 

University support for financial literacy

programs is absolutely essential.  State support, even

if merely in the form of not cutting university budgets, is also

necessary.  Budget cuts can

be partially recouped by tuition increases, but not

entirely.  Students cannot

maintain levels of funding on their own.  ISU

Ambassadors, a group Bruning leads, lobbies the state government to

secure funding for the university.<span style=

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Tax exemptions for textbook purchases are also

an initiative Bruning supports.  Currently, students

can fill out and file a form to have refunded the sales tax they

paid on textbooks purchased at a university book

store.  Ideally, textbooks would be automatically

exempted upon purchase from sales tax. 

Currently, state-funded work-study is

nonexistent.  In the

1990-1991 academic year, funding peaked at $738,521. 

Formerly, departments employing students who qualified for

work-study paid 60 percent of wages, while state and federal

work-study programs paid the remaining 40 percent.<span style=

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Departments faced with staff cuts could, if

work-study funding was restored, fill positions with the

department’s students. 

Available to work and work for less, students are ideal for

departments which are forced to cut staff but still need work


The Peers to Peers program in particular is an

asset that can be made available to students, Bruning

says.  Through it,

financial counseling would be provided by trained students,

especially graduate students.  It is a less expensive

additional option in addition to other sources of financial


Celebrating diversity

At present an umbrella group called Mind the

Gap exists to provide different clubs with resources to plan

multicultural events. 

Bruning would work to continue funding for Mind the Gap and would

work with the International Student Council. 

Collaboration with the ISC is useful to

recruit more international and multicultural candidates for GSB

offices.  Cultural gaps

leading to a lack of understanding for funding requests could be

handled better if minorities, international and multicultural

students were more thoroughly incorporated into GSB



The Green Umbrella group currently

collaborates among various groups on campus.  One of

Bruning’s ideas to increase the energy of campus sustainability

efforts is to have an interested GSB Senator serve on the Green

Umbrella group as a liaison between GSB and Green


Current efforts to recycle center around

departments or buildings. 

Bruning would like to use university funding to encourage

campuswide recycling, saying that such an initiative should not be

paid for with student fees. 

Bruning and Voss both attended the recent

Sustainability Symposium and heard many ideas there. 

They look forward to using their GSB positions to implement


Campustown Redevelopment

There are in Campustown few options for

underage students.  Bruning

and Voss both serve on an alternative entertainment committee for

campus and Campustown, which seeks to provide more venues for the

underage portion of the student body. 

Bruning’s administration would work to improve

the appearance of Campustown and solve logistical problems such as

parking and lighting in an attempt to make the area more


Many students interested in Campustown

redevelopment feel their ideas are not being listened to by the

City Council and government members.  Bruning stated

that all that needs to be done is for the appropriate people to be

contacted.  Council members are interested in and

looking for student opinions. 

Bruning says that her administration would be

more than willing to relay students’ concerns of which they are

aware to the appropriate individuals working for the city of


GSB-Student relations

The Finance Committee and Senate sessions are

admittedly intimidating to speak to for many

students.  Bruning would like to see a two-way

relationship between GSB organizations and student


This can be accomplished in part by the

attendance of GSB members at club functions and

meetings.  For example,

both Bruning and Voss attended Dance Marathon last


The parliamentary procedure used by the GSB

Senate can also be intimidating.  One method Bruning

sees to integrate students into GSB business is to seat persons

familiar with the procedures in the gallery area of the Campanile

Room, the room used by the Senate for its



Both Bruning and Voss are eminently qualified

to be president and vice-president of Iowa State’s Government of

the Student Body. 

Voss, an Engineering Senator, also serves on a

committee of the Faculty Senate to provide student perspective on

potential program changes. 

In his work on the Finance Committee, he has worked with clubs,

forming a rapport with them.  He also serves as vice

president of Engineers without Borders. 

Bruning is in her third year of work with

GSB.  She has served in the

GSB Senate, for the Inter-Residence Hall Association; and because

she is director of ISU Ambassadors she has served on the GSB


She has worked on projects spanning such

matters as public relations, student outreach and diversity and is

well acquainted with the behind-the-scenes operations of our

Government of the Student Body. 

Your Voice, Amplified

The campaign slogan of Bruning and Voss is

“Your Voice, Amplified.” 

It is their aim to minimize the apathetic tendencies of

students.  It is their aim

to make students feel as if they can come forward with their

issues, concerns and ideas, and to make something out of


Elaborating on her campaign slogan, Bruning

stated that students will spend at least four years of their lives

on this campus.  During

that time, students invest thousands of dollars in programs on

which they have opportunities to capitalize.  They

should do so, and Bruning and Voss are enthusiastic about helping

students capitalize on those opportunities.<span style=

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I endorse Jessica Bruning and Dan Voss for

president and vice president of GSB because they interact with so

many students on a daily basis as they serve the ISU

community.  They do so as

they work for a variety of organizations, not merely as they seek


They have a large amount of experience with

the machinery of GSB.  The

vice-speaker of the GSB Senate endorsed their campaign, and several

GSB cabinet members did so as well.  Those members

range from the directors of sustainability, diversity and public

Relations.  Bruning and

Voss received endorsements from eight GSB Senators, the GSB chief

of Staff and the GSB liaison to the city of Ames. 

I am sure that, if elected, Bruning and Voss

will work to make sure that the issues bearing on the minds of Iowa

Staters effect positive changes across campus and across the