Student Government Senate passes resolution condemning the lack of student involvement in Big 12 expansion

The Student Government Senate deliberated about the condemnation of the Big 12’s expansion for the lack of student input during their Sept. 29 meeting.

Ryan Bussert

The Iowa State University Student Government passed a Resolution condemning the lack of student input to the expansion of the Big 12 conference to include four more schools.

United Residents of Off-Campus (UROC) Sen. Daniel Hayes, a senior in political science said he was outraged toward the inclusion of Brigham University and the exclusion of student input in the decision making process of the Big 12 expansion.

“The administration at this University not only had not given us an opportunity to voice our opinion on the matter, but they also ignored our opinion on the matter,” Hayes said “Our voices are not heard nor are they important to the decision making process at this University.”

The resolution condemns the Iowa state administration for not notifying the student body of their decision on the Big 12 expansion. 

Hayes said he was concerned for the inclusion of Brigham Young University(BYU) due to their “discriminatory” practices. An amendment to the resolution specifies BYU as a controversial addition to the conference.

In 2016, the Senate passed a resolution addressing why they were opposed to the expansion. The BYU Honor Code prohibited students, staff and faculty from “not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings,” according to a previous reporting from the Iowa State Daily.

“This institution has a clear history of homophobia that continues to persist to this day. The Administration is making a choice for LGBTQIA+ students on campus by allowing them to endure experiences of discrimination during their time at Iowa State University,” according to the amended section of the Resolution.

The resolution passed 23-5 and will be sent to members of the Iowa state administration including Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen.

“I confidently believe that student voices are strongly connected to all student issues. I hope in the future we are more apt to act on all student issues because of our increased student input,” said Hayes.

The Student Government had a lengthy debate over the addition of chapter 15 to the Student Government bylaws. There was debate over a section of the bylaw which would require the two credits every semester for outreach for all student government members. 

The contention was whether the Supreme Courts and Elections Commission’s requirement since their outreach is largely in the spring. The chapter was amended to only include senators and cabinet members. The decision for their outreach was left to their discretion.

The Bill also included updates to Student Governments website to improve accessibility and to maintain in accordance with Iowa Open Record Laws. The bill passed 27-1.

The student government confirmed five new members to the diversity and inclusion committee. These new committee members include:

  • Alyannah Buhman, a junior in criminal justice

  • Drew Donohoue, a senior in agriculture engineering

  • Nathaniel Oh, a senior in architecture-professional

  • Natalie Nepper, a sophomore in industrial design

  • Andrea Muchori, a junior in architecture-professional

The Student government confirmed Rebecka Larson, a sophomore in agriculture and society, as a Residence Hall Senator for the Inter-Residence Hall Association constituency.

The Student government also confirmed Dawson Schmitt, a senior in Agricultural and Life Sciences Education to be Vice Commissioner for the Election Commission.

The Student Government Senate meets every Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Campanile room at the Memorial Union.