Student Government debates funding bills, negotiates debt contract


Katlyn Campbell/Iowa State Daily

Speaker Cody Woodruff and Vice Speaker Kelsey Culbertson listen to comments and concerns from their fellow Student Government members during the first meeting of the spring semester on Jan. 16 in the Campanile Room at the Memorial Union.

Madelyn Ostendorf

Student Government debated four funding requests from student organizations and wrote a new debt contract for the Motocross Club at their meeting Wednesday.

The C-Nettes submitted a request for $1,573.24 to offset the cost of their June 1 conference in Alabama. The C-Nettes, an all-girl dance team that focuses on team endurance and body positivity, were seeking funding to help pay for their uniforms, shoes, registration and transportation to and from the event.

The funding bill was split into two separate bills, one containing a request for $765.04 for conference transportation, registration and advertisement, and the other other containing a request for $808.20 to pay for uniforms, boots, jerseys, pants and jazz shoes.

There was much debate about the second bill, regarding the relevance of funding the group’s uniforms to raising the prestige of the university.

Sen. Wyatt Scheu argued the purpose of the Excellence Fund was not to fund uniforms every semester, as the group had asked for uniform funding the previous two semesters.

Speaker Cody Woodruff argued the uniforms reflect the culture of the dance style the group was performing and are directly related to raising the status of the university, as the performances are not as impactful without the uniforms.

The first bill was accepted with a vote of 26-0-0, and the second bill was denied with a vote of 12-10-4, as funding bills require a two-thirds majority vote to pass.

The Iranian Students’ and Scholars’ Association (ISSA) requested $2,280 to put on an event to celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year. ISSA will use the funding to reduce the cost of food, the venue and flowers for the 260 projected guests.

There was debate over whether or not the Haft-sin, a table setting that displays symbolic items that begin with the Iranian letter sin — the organization requested $200 for funding — as it was viewed as a decoration despite its significance in the celebration of Nowruz. The amendment to fund the Haft-sin was denied.

“This event is becoming more popular among non-Iranian students and people in Ames,” said Amin Shirazi, the treasurer of ISSA. “We have some attendees from Iowa City, Des Moines, Minnesota.” 

The request for food and venue funding was accepted with a vote of 26-0-0.

The Peterson Squadron asked for $605.88 to help cover registration and transportation to and from a competitive event for the Squadron’s three teams on Feb. 1 in Indiana.

The request was accepted with a vote of 25-0-1.

The Pride Alliance requested $215 in funding to help pay for their event, Pride Prom. The Pride Alliance is a student organization whose mission is to provide a safe space where students and guests can discuss and learn about the LGBTQIA+ community. The group was looking for help with the cost of advertising for the event.

The club initially requested $1,511, but the $1,296 requested for food was taken out of the bill before the meeting.

“Student Government only funds ethnic or international foods,” said Roslyn Gray, the president of the Pride Alliance and a senior in biology. “Pride Prom is a cultural event for the queer community, but since we aren’t a strictly ethnic or international group, we don’t qualify.”

Gray was concerned that the organization may not have enough funding to put on Pride Prom and said they would rather not put the event on at all than put it on poorly. They do hope to hold Pride Prom in the future.

The request for funding was accepted with a vote of 24-1-1.

At the end of the meeting, Vice President Juan Bibiloni talked to the Senate about the importance of presentation and discussion when student organizations come to the meetings.

“We should be mindful of when we are debating, with student organizations present, these funding requests, because to us it’s just a funding request, just giving money towards a student organization,” Bibiloni said. “But to them, it’s really their passions. It’s what makes them happy at Iowa State. It’s what drives them; it’s what makes Iowa State great for them. Sometimes when we refer to certain things, such as ‘just a funding request’ or ‘just a decoration,’ in a sense you are kind of disrespecting the tradition of that student organization and what they represent.”

The previous debt contract of the Motocross Club was not affordable for the organization and was not approved by their adviser, so a new contract with a smaller principle loan payment of $2,800, with the club repaying $350 each semester for the next four years.

“We went to our adviser with the approved loan, and he refused to sign the loan, because he felt the loan-semester payment of $750 was not feasible for our club to make while continuing to operate and plan our own events and fund our own events in fear we would lose even more members,” said Aaron Maust, the treasurer of the Motocross Club.

With a vote of 24-0-2, the debt contract was approved.

Student Government also sat two senators to new committees.

Sen. Caroline Warmuth was sat on the Civic Engagement Committee. Warmuth, a senior in political science, previously served as the Chair of the Civic Engagement Committee and though she had since stepped down, she expressed interest in being a part of the committee.

Sen. Sydney Dondlinger, a junior in psychology, was seated to the United Residents Off Campus.

Both seats were approved by unanimous consent.

For students interested in running for an executive position in Student Government this year, the deadline for Statement of Intent and candidate information for executive slates has been moved to Friday. For students interested in running for any Student Government position, it is required to attend one of the following informational sessions:

Friday, Jan. 25: 6-7 p.m. in the Memorial Union, Room 3228

Tuesday, Jan. 29: 6-7 p.m. in the Memorial Union, Room 3534

Thursday, Jan. 31: 6-7 p.m. in the Memorial Union, Room 3534

The informational sessions cover how the election works, the rules of campaigning and the repercussions should any candidate violate these regulations.

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: A previous version of this story said Sen. Sydney Dondlinger had been seated to the University Relations Committee. The story has been updated to reflect Dondlinger’s actual position. The Daily regrets this error.