Student Government passes bills concerning students’ free speech


Director of Residency Dozmen Lee addresses the Senate on Wednesday, Feb. 20 about a contentious Snapchat video he posted Tuesday about his distaste for Speaker Cody Woodruff and Student Government as a whole.

Madelyn Ostendorf

Student Government passed bills regarding the funding of political organizations, freedom of speech and expression and the use of renewable energy on campus during their meeting Wednesday night.

During open forum, Director of Residency Dozmen Lee spoke to a series of videos he posted to his Snapchat story Tuesday, in which he accused to Senate of being “clique-y” and Speaker Cody Woodruff of not caring about student interests.

This resulted in Speaker Woodruff calling a special session Saturday in which the Senate will move to overturn an executive order and effectively remove Director Lee from his position.

Sen. Schrader introduced a bill titled “Allowing the Funding of Political Ideologies.”

The current 2020 Priorities and Criteria states that, “[Student Government] shall not contribute or accept financial or material support to or from, any political party or campaign, endorse a political party, political ideology, or candidate, other than for Student Government elections.”

The act asks for a change in the 2020 Priorities and Criteria to allow funding of student organizations that endorse a particular political ideology, as it is questionable what qualifies as a political ideology.

“What is a political ideology?” Sen. Schrader said. “Is Vegan Club promoting a political ideology? Would a club about climate change be promoting a political ideology?”

The bill was approved with a vote of 22-0-3.

A resolution, titled “Endorsing Iowa Senate File 274 and House File 316,” was introduced by Sen. Schrader.

The resolution states that Student Government endorses Senate File 274 and House File 316, which are bills related to free speech, freedom of expression and the declaration of outdoor areas of campuses as public forum.

Regardless of the outcome of the vote on the bills, Student Government asks that Iowa State University clarify their policy on students’ freedom of speech and for that information to be easily accessible for students, as well as implement a clear and transparent process for students to file complaints regarding the University’s action against student expression. It also asks for the University to create an outdoor space policy that cover all of campus.

The resolution was accepted with a vote of 14-2-9.

Sen. Courtney Beringer introduced a resolution titled “Climate Commitment Plan.”

The resolution states that Student Government, along with the Climate Reality Campus Corps, asks the administration make a renewable energy transition plan that “cuts on carbon emissions, utilizes more renewable energy, decreases energy consumption on campus, and provides more cost-effective approaches to energy needs.”

The resolution asks that President Wintersteen make a statement on Iowa State’s future in sustainability, sign the the Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitment and work to create a plan to reduce the university’s carbon footprint.

The resolution was tabled to make amendments to the resolution.

The Cultural Ambassador’s Program asked for $3,725.84 to assist in covering the costs of materials, advertising and employing a student worker in an effort to raise membership and advertising their program. The program is a peer-mentorship, semester-long program, and is open to all international and U.S. students and scholars who are paired together.

The bill was postponed indefinitely.

The Men’s Volleyball Club requested $1,142.16 to decreasing the costs for club members’ transportation to 2 competitions in Dekalb, Illinois and Champaign, Illinois Feb. 22-24 and in Denver, Colorado April 11-21.

The funding request passed with 22-0-1.

The National Society of Black Engineers asked for $4,672.72 to assist in payment for the conference registration and transportation for a regional conference on March 21 in Detroit, Michigan for 35 of the club’s members.

The funding request passed with 23-0-0.

Lambda Theta Nu requested $154.86 to assist in paying for supplies and a continental breakfast for their first annual Latina Youth Leadership Conference. The conference will invite “30 middle school girls of color are invited from Marshalltown, IA to attend workshops over professionalism, self-love, how to navigate higher education as a woman of color,” according to the funding request.

After debate over whether to fund the request, as the funds would not go back to Iowa State students, the funding request passed with 19-2-3.

Sen. Ian Steenhoek waived second read to introduce a bill to fund the Election Commission for $3,140 to help fund their campus organization account and allow publically funded Student Government slates to use their p-cards.

The funding request passed with a vote of 20-0-5.

Student Government sat Jack Bender, a sophomore in accounting, as a senator for the Ivy College of Business. He was seated by unanimous consent.

For more information or to contact your senator, visit The senate meetings are open to the public at 7 p.m. Wednesdays in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union.

Editor’s Note: The headline of a previous version of this story said Student Government passed a bill regarding sustainability. The headline has been updated to reflect what bills were actually passed. The Daily regrets this error.