Meet the candidates running to represent students in residence halls


Robert Dillon

Geoffroy Hall is located at 2152 Lincoln Way next to Buchanan Hall.

Two candidates are running to represent the students living in Iowa State’s residence halls, with campaign goals that include improved dining resources and greater inclusion.

Elections for president and vice president of Iowa State’s Inter-Residence Hall Association will take place Monday through Wednesday. A link to the ballot will be emailed to anyone contracted to live in a dorm in the 2023-24 academic year, excluding incoming students.

Voting will be open from April 10 at 9 a.m. to April 12 at 11:59 p.m.

The Inter-Residence Hall Association is a student-run organization that represents students who live in residence halls. They focus on the issues and concerns facing campus residents and organize free events.

The candidates:

Chloe Anderson, a sophomore majoring in biology, is running for president with Braden Fels, a freshman double majoring in history and secondary education, slated as her vice president.

Anderson and Fels have both been involved in IRHA for one year. Anderson serves as the IRHA representative for Eaton Hall and Fels is the current vice president of IRHA, running for re-election.

Julia Pedroza, a junior double majoring in psychology and computer science with a minor in criminal justice, is running for president with Amanda Roeder, a freshman double majoring in business management and marketing.

Pedroza has been involved with IRHA for one year as their director of communications, and Roeder will be joining IRHA for the first time.

Why did you decide to run?

Pedroza said her experiences as IRHA’s director of communications inspired her to run for president. Her responsibilities include weekly giveaway meetings and event advertisements, which provide her with opportunities to meet other people.

“It was those interactions with students that really sparked my passion and wanting to be there for students,” Pedroza said.

Roeder said she did not know what IRHA was until she received an email from them seeking candidate nominations for the election. Immediately after, she read the IRHA mission statement and checked that their values aligned with hers.

Julia Pedroza, a junior double majoring in psychology and computer science with a minor in criminal justice, is running for president with Amanda Roeder, a freshman double majoring in business management and marketing.

A few days later, she met with Pedroza because they were both seeking running partners. Roeder said they immediately clicked, and she could tell they would be a “perfect team.”

“[Meeting with Pedroza] got me really excited to be able to influence and be an impact on residents next year,” Roeder said.

Anderson said she and Fels talked about wanting to be in IRHA at the beginning of the year when they first met. When Fels became IRHA vice president, he realized he enjoys watching and participating in change.

“It’s one of those things where you see that change and the excitement residents have when you’re planning these events,” Fels said. “Being able to make that change and work with people and have real debate and discussion is awesome.”

Fels wanted to stay involved with IRHA and asked Anderson to run with him for the upcoming year. Anderson accepted because she loves attending IRHA meetings each week.

“There are a lot of initiatives I realized we were able to do within IRHA that would really help students’ lives and make just the general student living experience better on campus,” Anderson said.

What qualifies you to run?

Anderson said she currently serves as Eaton Hall’s president and IRHA representative. She said she has learned about leadership philosophy and working with others from her fellow IRHA members and while serving on Eaton Hall Council.

Fels said he is the current IRHA vice president and a member of the ISU food and dining committee. He said he has also learned a lot from the other leaders he has worked with in these roles.

“You sit with them and just get to immerse so much leadership and so much knowledge about their experiences and how it can help better you,” Fels said. “Being able to learn from them and then use it to grow your leadership skills is truly incredible.”

Anderson and Fels are also ISU Dining influencers, members of the IRHA events committee and members of the National Residence Hall Honorary.

Pedroza said she is currently IRHA’s director of communications, a member of the National Residence Hall Honorary and a student ambassador for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She said these roles help her interact with students to know what they want, and they give her prior knowledge on how to authorize and plan events.

“I have all that insight that I can utilize next year when we do have a brand new exec team,” Pedroza said. “I can be that aid for them…and I can help create those stronger links between the team.”

Roeder said she served as a Culver’s manager for two years starting at age 16 and earned her real estate license in Wisconsin at age 18. With these experiences, she said she learned how to lead a team, manage inner conflict and be determined to achieve her goals.

“I wasn’t on the [IRHA] exec team, but I don’t think that makes me any less driven or have less qualifications…I’m willing to put in the work,” Roeder said.

What sets you apart from your opposition?

Pedroza said their team brings a unique balance of perspectives since she has executive experience and Roeder does not.

“Together we do bring that insight from within the organization of running it efficiently and knowing everyone’s well as bringing in the fresh new ideas of an incoming freshman of how we can make our organization more known,” Pedroza said.

Chloe Anderson, a sophomore majoring in biology, is running for president with Braden Fels, a freshman double majoring in history and secondary education, slated as her vice president.

Roeder said she brings personality and interpersonal skills to the position, which is something she said is harder to teach compared to technical skills.

“You have to be personable, and you have to make sure that you make those connections with people,” Roeder said. “I’m willing to put whatever I can into it, and I love meeting people.”

Anderson said the strongest thing that sets them apart is the campus connections she and Fels have established through their previous experiences and roles.

“We already have those connections and those relationships built, so we can work on getting things into the future and not have to work on fostering something before we can, you know, go do something else,” Anderson said.

Fels said he and Anderson have fostered strong environments in past leadership roles, which gives them experience they can bring into the president and vice president positions.

“We are super passionate, and we just love meeting new people,” Fels said.

What goals do you wish to accomplish if elected?

Anderson and Fels have a campaign platform focused on three key points:

  • Dining
  • Outreach
  • Representation/Feedback

Together, these goals spell DOR, which stands for Department of Residence.

The Dining aspect of their campaign includes adding Get & Go hours to the weekend and offering healthier food options at the campus convenience stores. Anderson and Fels also hope to add more meal bundle options so students can buy a full meal without using their dining dollars.

With Outreach, Anderson and Fels plan to send IRHA executive members to hall council meetings early and consistently. They want to foster a welcoming environment that excites people to become future leaders because IRHA is often full of freshmen and sophomores.

“Something I’m really passionate about…is making sure that we’re helping build student leaders so there is a really good network and base of student leaders on Iowa State’s campus,” Anderson said.

Representation/Feedback means fostering better communication with residents in on-campus apartments. Anderson and Fels want to give these students better opportunities to join discussions that will impact them, such as debates about their fees and rates.

Pedroza and Roeder also have a campaign platform with three main goals:

  • Inclusive student-led events with the clear intention of welcoming all residents on campus
  • Support the wellness and safety of residents on campus
  • Utilizing effective communication with residents

Together, their platform spells ISU for Iowa State University.

Roeder said their first platform goal is to make every resident feel at home during their time in the residence halls. They want to avoid situations where students question if Iowa State was the right choice for them.

Pedroza and Roeder’s second initiative focuses on nighttime safety and mental health. Pedroza said they want to implement free self-defense classes as part of this initiative to alleviate concerns about campus crime notifications and to help students feel safer while walking alone.

“Residents are our one priority, and we want to make sure that they’re alright and that their issues are our issues as well,” Roeder said.

Their third goal is to ensure information is effectively communicated. As part of this goal, Pedroza and Roeder plan to set up resident town hall meetings at each residence hall so students can talk to them about any concerns they have and provide feedback.