Looking back at Student Government’s year


Jacob Rice

Student Government meeting, Memorial Union, Mar. 22, 2023.

With the 65th session of Iowa State’s Student Government Senate coming to a close Friday, Student Government has completed different projects and initiatives relating to inclusivity, sustainability and student wellness.

This session, Student Government has:

  • Invested in student journalism by increasing their funding for the Iowa State Daily.
  • Brought menstrual product dispensers to gender-neutral restrooms on campus.
  • Hosted two multicultural town halls.
  • Funded solar-powered trash and recycling compactors.
  • Gotten the course drop limit removed.
  • Doubled their Green-Initiatives Fund.
  • Hosted Party Smart Tailgates.
  • Helped organize the first inaugural George Washington Carver Day on campus.
  • Created a Cyclone Support website, which is set to go live June 1.
  • Started a podcast called The State of Things.
  • Funded Students Helping Our Peers (SHOP) through a contact and funded the creation of meal kits and cookbooks.
  • Funded the Jack Trice Character Award fellowship.
  • Funded the Analysis of Social Services Evaluation Team (ASSET).
  • Funded multiple student organizations.

“I feel really good about where we’re ending up this year,” said President of Student Government Jacob Ludwig, a senior double majoring in economics and political science. “There’s been a lot of really positive progress on a number of different fronts.”

Ludwig said between himself and Vice President Jaden Ahlrichs, a senior in global resource systems and horticulture, food insecurity was one of their primary focuses.

“Between the SHOP contract, […] the cookbooks [and] the meal kits, we’ve really tried to tackle that issue in as many ways as possible, and we’ve gotten to do it through partnerships with some really awesome student organizations,” Ludwig said.

Charlotte Everist, a senior in animal science and director of Student Government’s Health and Wellness Committee, said the party smart tailgate campaign reached roughly 1000 students and intended to bridge gaps between students and the Iowa State Police Department and promote safe and smart partying.

“There’s a lot of tension between certain groups of students and police officers, which makes a lot of sense given the state of the world in the past couple of years here,” Everist said. “We want to make sure that students still feel comfortable reaching out in a crisis or at least know that there are resources outside of law enforcement if they would prefer those.”

As part of the campaign, Everist said students were provided with food, snacks, games, Liquid I.V. and fanny packs.

Eversit said the biggest project to come out of her committee this year was getting menstrual dispensers put into gender-neutral restrooms on campus.

“I partnered with a couple of different partners on campus–the Memorial Union, the LGBTQIA+ Success Center, the Sloss House, ISU public safety, […] Student Government and the Green Initiatives Fund–and put 11 menstrual product dispensers in gender-neutral restrooms in the Memorial Union, specifically for students who menstruate […] who don’t identify as female or who perhaps are gender non-conforming or non-binary,” Everist said.

With seven of the 11 dispensers already installed, Everist said anyone is free to use the products provided by the menstrual dispenser– even those who need to collect the products for a partner.

Everist also highlighted the Cyclone Support website, which she said was in response to the need to consolidate resources available to students.

“Iowa State’s website is really siloed in the sense that there’s a lot of great resources– there’s just 15 different places you can kind of go to start looking,” Everist said. “We are working with the Department of Student Affairs and Student Wellness and the Iowa State Daily […] to work on creating a one-stop-shop website where students can go and find crisis resources if they need immediate assistance and highlight some other really cool programs that we have in Ames.”

Blake Van Der Kamp, a junior majoring in agricultural and life sciences education and Student Government’s director of sustainability, highlighted his committee’s efforts in organizing George Washington Carver Day and their procurement of funding for solar-powered trash and recycling compactors.

“It was […] really great to kind of put that on to honor George Washington Carver and just kind of promote the things that he did when it comes to sustainability, social justice, and so much more, and I’ve just been really fortunate to kind of tell his story,” Van Der Kamp said.

Van Der Kamp said projects like George Washington Carver Day and the trash and recycling compactors demonstrate Student Government’s ability to make a difference.

“I don’t mean that in the cliche way where we hear that everyone can make a difference, which is important, but I think that’s something that’s interesting about sustainability is that a lot of the impacts that we are creating are not seen in traditional lights, and it’s not experienced by students directly,” Van Der Kamp said.

Both Van Der Kamp and Everist both said having a team of individuals they could rely on throughout the year has helped them manage their responsibilities both inside and outside of Student Government.

“I think time management was instrumental,” Van Der Kamp said. “We all have moments where we do great or sometimes where we do better than others, but also aside from that, I think a big thing that gets us through our projects is our passion.”