GSB slates present platforms to IRHA

Jill Pearson

The Government of the Student Body executive slate candidates presented their platforms to members of the Inter-Residence Hall Association during their meeting Thursday.Each slate was given two minutes to present, followed by general questioning moderated by IRHA President Paul Duncan and parliament members.While IRHA takes no official stance for or against any particular candidates, vice presidential candidate Zach Eakman came under fire from Duncan during the question-answer period.Eakman, Bing Howell’s running mate, attended a floor meeting in Larch Hall earlier last week, and presented their platform to floor residents. Duncan was in attendance at the meeting when a resident asked Eakman if there was a program similar to Eakman and Howell’s “Your Voice” program.”I replied ‘no’ because there isn’t anything that lets the students voice their concerns on a university-wide basis,” said Eakman, sophomore in psychology. “Of course IRHA is there to let students in the residence halls voice their concerns. But IRHA does not go campus-wide.”At the IRHA meeting, Duncan questioned Eakman’s comments about the lack of infrastructure within the residence halls during the floor meeting.”I was highly insulted,” Duncan said. “Could you please explain in 25 words or less what kind of infrastructure currently exists?”Eakman said he then apologized to Duncan, and he did not mean the slate was overlooking IRHA’s duties.”Not once did I mean it like that,” he said. “We would be pretty big hypocrites if we didn’t acknowledge IRHA — that is why I apologized to Mr. Duncan so sincerely. I obviously did not word myself correctly or clarify myself in the manner that would have prevented all of this from happening.”Eakman said Duncan approached him after the meeting and said his question was not meant to be a personal attack.”I did not plan on openly asking any questions [about it] because I wanted to stay neutral,” Duncan said. “But I did feel that we needed to show what the student government representatives of associations do for their residents. They put in a lot of work by communicating to students on what’s going on campus.”Also at the meeting, Sen. Johnie Hammond, D-Ames, reported higher education was among the items which would not be cut with the Iowa Legislature’s proposed budget cuts.”After students lobbied and the pressure of the press, a lot of Republicans backed down from the original plan,” Duncan said. “I was glad to see our actions lead to positive results.”