Personal politics don’t pervade GSB’s agenda, new execs say

Steven Brittain

The newly elected Government of the Student Body executives are entering office at opposite ends of the political spectrum, but with a shared dedication to improving several aspects of student life.

President-elect Andy Tofilon, a former member of the ISU Democrats, and Vice President-elect Charlie Johnson, a former member of the College Republicans, agreed their political differences will in no way affect their ability to govern efficiently.

Tofilon, junior in journalism and mass communication, said any opposing viewpoints would be beneficial to their administration. He said it will provide for a balanced approach to cover different perspectives.

Johnson, junior in political science, said political orientation shouldn’t come into play in GSB at all.

“GSB is not a partisan organization, and hopefully it will never be,” he said. “We have very specific common goals, the main one being to help the students at all costs. Our political differences have never caused problems between us.”

Both Tofilon and Johnson, who have each served two years on GSB, said their past experience in GSB will give them an upper hand in dealing with the responsibilities of the executive offices.

“Both of us really know how things have to be done, and we will use this to form solid working relationships with the executive branch, the senate and the administration,” Tofilon said. “We know the things that have to be done, and we know how to get them done.”

Keeping tuition increases reasonable, increasing campus safety and getting the most out of CyRide are at the top of the list of common goals and priorities the new administration plans to address.

Each of the newly-elected officials said fighting tuition increases is their No. 1 priority, even before they take office April 10. Tofilon said it is imperative for GSB to make sure Iowa State remains affordable and that it gets the correct amount of funding from the state.

“We want to get students to contact their local representatives to make sure that Iowa State doesn’t receive a huge cut in funding from the Legislature,” he said.

Johnson said he and Tofilon will be meeting with ISU Interim President Richard Seagrave, ISU President Elect Gregory Geoffroy, Vice President for Student Affairs Thomas Hill and current GSB executives Ben Golding and Lisa Dlouhy to discuss the best ways for GSB to approach the issues they will be facing during their administration.

“When we look back after our terms are over, we want to see that tuition is still low, the university is being funded adequately, student concerns have been addressed and listened to, the campus is safe, students are getting the most out of CyRide and everyone feels that their student government is fighting for them and they are proud of us for the efforts we made,” Tofilon said.