WinterFest, Student Legal Services receive funding increases


Katherine Kealey

The Student Government body listening to WinterFest’s request for funding on Nov. 9.

The student Senate allocated $5,400 to WinterFest for food and decorations. The organization requested $5,300 for food during the annual allocations process but was declined by the finance committee.

The money approved Wednesday came from the events account, an account that has fewer restrictions on funding than the senate discretionary account.

Of the money allocated Wednesday, $5,000 is for food, which is in addition to the $4,700 from the Ames Convention and Visitor Bureau. The remaining $400 is decorations for the event, which will be held Dec. 2 in the Memorial Union. Chili and cornbread from ISU Dining will be served at the event.

Representatives for WinterFest said having food present increases the number of attendees, as well as the amount of time they spend at the event. The representative also said roughly 4,000 people attend from the Ames community, with the majority being students.

WinterFest received $33,676 from Student Government during the annual allocations process for fiscal year 2023 and carried over $16,663 from the previous fiscal year.

Student Legal Services received an increase in funding based on recent salary increases determined by the Dean of Students Office.

Salaries and benefits for Student Legal Services are determined by the Dean of Students Office in accordance with university policy. Despite being set by the Dean of Students Office, the salaries are paid by the Student Government.

Student Legal Services is paid on a contract basis. The contract dispersed $266,798.48 in salary plus benefits to compensate the two full-time attorneys and the secretary in the office for fiscal year 2023.

The increase approved Wednesday totaled $16,836.10 split between two salaries, including benefits, to be dispersed before Jan. 1.

Student Legal Services provides legal services for students free of charge. Services include civil rights, criminal law, immigration and landlord/tenant problems to name a few.

Tabitha Etten, a sophomore in kinesiology and health, taking questions from the Senate on Nov. 9. (Katherine Kealey)

The Senate unanimously confirmed Tabitha Etten, a sophomore in kinesiology and health, as a Senator representing the College of Human Sciences.

Etten said that she has learned leadership, problem-solving, communication and admitting when she has made a mistake since arriving on campus.

Etten spoke on sexual health as an important area for to be addressed on campus.

“I am very passionate about the topic of sexual health,” Etten said. “Something Iowa State and the Greek Community does well is promoting sexual assault prevention. But with that, there should be more education with sexual health and how it affects your emotional and physical wellbeing.”

Arianna Burkes, a junior in management information systems, and Lena Vo, a junior in linguistics, were confirmed to senate positions on the diversity, equity and inclusion committee.

“Hearing and seeing what the DEI committee has already done made me want to join the committee,” Burkes said. “I participate in many clubs that support people of color, so I feel like I can advocate better being in the DEI committee. Especially being a PWI, the DEI committee is important to me and special because it allows students like me to give a voice to students of color that don’t necessarily have the courage to speak up and join it.”

Vo, a member of the student initiatives committee, said that as she has eased into Student Government, it was time for her to join another committee.

“The sole reason I joined [Student Government] was for diversity, equity and inclusion and being able to be a representative and an advocate for those in marginalized communities,” Vo said.

Nasimiyu Masinde, a senior in global resource systems, was confirmed as an at-large member on the sustainability committee.

Masinde said she became interested in sustainability and food waste, more specifically after working for ISU Dining, where she saw “insane amounts” of food waste. Masinde also referenced her time working at Walgreens as a contributing factor to her passion to prevent food waste.

Shamitha Mattaparti, a freshman in pre-business, was seated as at-large member on the public relations committee.

A bill titled “Obviating Ontological Pretensions in Senate (OOPS),” was passed to change the threshold to pass the annual budget allocations to two-thirds of seated senators. The bill added the same threshold to confirm the Election Commission vice-commissioner.

The Senate also passed the Senate Discipline Reform Act.

Last academic year, the Senate had disagreements regarding governmental law violations and how to enforce them. The goal of Wednesday’s bill was to make the process more precise to avoid another occurrence similar to last year.