The “sign-guy” is moving on from Iowa State


UROC Sen. Daniel Hayes authored the resolution regarding the Big 12’s expansion. He empathized the University’s failure to incorporate student input in past decisions, as well as the importance of ensuring those in marginalized communities are equally heard.

Charles Klepps

After four and a half years in Ames, Daniel Hayes is graduating with a major in political science and minors in English, linguistics and philosophy. 

Throughout his time at Iowa State, he has served four years in various positions in Student Government. However, he may be best known as the “sign-guy.”

In 2018, Hayes began carrying around a sign when he was walking around on campus. The signs would contain various quotes, song lyrics or reminders of what type of events were going on around campus. 

According to Hayes, the idea stemmed from seeing his peers not interacting with one another and having their noses buried in their phones. 

“The idea stemmed from walking around seeing people not communicating,” Hayes said. “I wanted to do something that was hard to ignore. I just try to do something memorable that might make someone’s day.” 

Some examples of signs over the years include Roald Dahl’s quote, “Those who never believe in magic will never find it,” lyrics from Rick Astley’s infamous “Never Gonna Give You Up,” and simple reminders such as, “Tune into the Iowa State Fashion Show.” 

While being the “sign-guy” may be his most unique identity, Hayes was active in Student Government, as well as multiple different societies and foundations among campus. 

He began his time in Student Government as a public relations ambassador and in his final two years he was an LAS senator and a United Resident Off-Campus senator. Hayes recognizes the growth that this student organization has provided him. 

“I think it has helped me realize how valuable every individual person is,” Hayes said. “It has taught me to be honest with yourself and others and to make sure that you put your heart into your work, because that’s when something goes from being successful to being magical.”

Some of the student organizations he involved in on campus include the Cardinal Swing Society, the Wesley Foundation, The Vine and the Chess Club. He also modeled for the Fashion Show and TREND Magazine. 

Hayes also has spent time working with internships for the Elizabeth Warren Campaign, the Eddie Mauro Campaign and for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a college marketing intern. 

After Iowa State, Hayes said he wants to become involved in the non-profit organization, Teach for America. In a couple of years, he hopes to get into law school with a focus on educational policy. 

Teach for America is a non-profit organization in America that trains people to be elementary school teachers in poorer areas. Hayes said that part of his reasoning for wanting to get involved with the organization was the way he grew up in Bartlett, Ill. 

“It seems like good community involvement,” Hayes said. “When I was growing up I didn’t have a good public education, and so I think that is part of my inspiration to get involved.”

Hayes also said his time in Student Government may have pushed him into the law school path. Originally, he began his time in college majoring in computer engineering, but after taking a couple of political science classes he changed his mind. 

“I think the formalities and procedures in Student Government will help with law school,” Hayes said. “Also, the debate about stuff with substantive matter is really important.”

Whatever the next step is for Hayes, he will look to continue carrying a unique perspective with him, much like the signs that have been paraded around campus. He is currently looking to recruit someone to carry on the tradition. 

“I would like to think that Student Government has made people on campus think more positively and more welcome,” Hayes said. “I do feel like the sign-guy is my identity.”