StuGov funds recycling compactors, Iranian student club and gymnastics

The Senate also heard a presentation from the Iowa State Daily


Katherine Kealey

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

The Senate waived the first reading on two funding bills and moved to fund 10 additional solar-powered recycling compactors Wednesday evening.

Bills are usually presented to the Senate a week prior to when the Senate votes on its potential passage so that senators may ask questions of intent.

The bills that saw their first reading waived were in regard to funding the Iranian Students’ and Scholars’ Association and the Gymnastics Club, both of which were unanimously approved by the Senate and were granted $2,000 and $803.71, respectively.

Zohreh Parvini, a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering and president of the Iranian Students’ and Scholars’ Association, said all the funds will go towards catering for their recognition of Nowruz– a festival celebrating the Iranian new year.

“This year has been different because of all of the things happening in Iran and the trauma that we are going through, so this year we really want to have it even though it’s been hard for us,” Parvini said.

Parvini said the event is open to the public, adding that the association would like to inform those unaware of what has been happening in Iran.

Lauren Osterberg, a senior in psychology and president of the Gymnastics Club, said the funds granted by the Senate will be used for fees associated with registering for and traveling to a national competition in Memphis, Tennessee.

Finance Director for Student Government Kit Clayburn, a senior double majoring in animal ecology and biology, said the Gymnastics Club needs their funding by Thursday, explaining the necessity for waiving the first read.

Osterberg said the Gymnastics Club was established this fall and has a total of 22 members, with six interested in attending nationals.

Recycling Compactors

The bill is set to fund the 10 compactors, 30 decals and covers the cost of installing seven compactors, which amount to $53,129.50.

Jessica Olander, a senior in environmental science and a member of the sustainability committee, said three will be stored as the committee did not see a place on campus for the additional compactors after assessments.

“It’s cheaper to buy in bulk, and since we had seven locations already prepared, we didn’t want to feel like we had to forcibly place three more locations, so we’re just going to put them in storage and either use them for future use or use them to replace any currently on campus that have been damaged from snow removal or anything like that,” Olander said.

Grayson Adickes, a junior in environmental science and a member of the sustainability committee, has worked for roughly five months with Steve Kohtz, Iowa State’s recycling coordinator, and Merry Rankin, Iowa State’s director of sustainability, to get the bill off the ground.

“Mainly, what we’re trying to do is to increase the amount of available recyclers on campus,” Adickes said.

The 30 decals are set to be used on the new compactors in addition to replacing old or damaged decals on already existing waste compactors.

Iowa State Daily

The senate saw a presentation from editor-in-chief of the Iowa State Daily, Katherine Kealey, a senior majoring in journalism, as per the requirements of the contract honored between the Daily and Student Government.

“The Daily is completely student-run,” Kealey said. “All content and publishing decisions are determined by your peers with a goal of providing news for students, by students.”

Kealey shared how Student Government funding has been used by the Daily, breaking down the funding into their respective categories: personnel expenses, which account for 67.4% of total funding; operating expenses, which account for 24.7% of total funding and cost of goods sold, which account for 7.9% of total funding.

Kealey said throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, newsrooms across the country saw a dip in revenue, with the Daily being no exception.

“As a result, we had to make cuts,” Kealey said. “The Daily is now down to two full-time professional staff members that now work in the capacity that was once six. Fortunately, our editorial stipend was not cut, but we have found our editors are still working one to two jobs to keep up with the cost of living, and we’ve had multiple reporters saying they can’t work due to the lack of compensation.”

Kealey reported that 42.3% of all funding went toward student payroll expenses.

“I can’t stress how important this funding is to the sustainability of student journalism at ISU,” Kealey said. “More than 80% of college media businesses are supplemented by student fees or university grants.”

Kealey also shared the breakdown of the organization, saying that while all content decisions are made by students, the Daily relies on a “voting focus group” to ensure fair coverage across campus.

“We are run by a volunteer publication board made up of students, faculty and staff from Iowa State as well as professional industry experts,” Kealey said. “Student Government and GPSS [Graduate and Professional Student Senate] also have ex-officio seats on our board.”

Kealey said the Daily has been receptive to the feedback offered by Student Government and said they aim to continue to respond to student needs.

“We no longer follow the traditional model where a newspaper is our only outlet,” Kealey said. “Our journalists use podcasts [and] social media in addition to articles and our Cloneworthy print publication to reach various audiences.”

Kealey remarked on the novelty of the Daily’s status on campus.

“The Daily is a unique creature to this campus in that we are a student organization, but we are an affiliate of the university,” Kealey said. “We are also a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, making us the only entity on campus with these three designations.”

Kealey said the Daily serves as an opportunity or platform for all students to begin engaging with their desired professional paths.

“At the end of the day, it’s the Daily’s job to serve students with vital information so they can make informed decisions about their everyday lives,” Kealey said. “The Iowa State Daily is not only an essential service to all majors in jump starting their careers, but it’s a necessity to this campus to ensure Iowa State has an independent eye reporting on the needs and accomplishments of our community.”


College of Human Sciences Senator Tabi Etten, a sophomore majoring in human development and family studies, was confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Ames City Council as ex-officio.

According to the City of Ames, the ex-officio role serves as a non-voting voice for Iowa State students.

“I fulfilled a similar role in high school for three years where I was our school district representative–so exactly how this role is as a non-voting member of our town city council–and I was there to represent our student voices for our school district,” Etten said.

The Senate also confirmed College of Engineering Senator Erik Braun, a junior in mechanical engineering, to the local affairs committee.

“I plan to be very highly proactive with this position,” Braun said. “I am very eager to work with everyone that’s involved, [and] I’m very eager to work with everyone outside of [Student Government].”