StuGov receives State of Student Body, confirms executive cabinet


Daniel Jacobi II

Graduate Senator Edward “Eddie” Mahoney sits and listens to the nominees elected for Speaker of the Senate answer questions from other senators during the Student Senate meeting in the Memorial Union Campanile Room Wednesday, April 19, 2023.

During their last meeting of the first session, the Iowa State Student Government Senate passed a myriad of confirmations and saw funding bills, as well as receiving the State of the Student Body from President Emily Roberts.

State of the Student Body

Roberts, a senior in chemical engineering, gave her first State of the Student Body before the senate with a primary focus on growth.

“As we decide on our organization’s priorities and focus […] for the next year, we must keep one word in the forefront of our minds: growth,” Roberts said. “As the number of student organizations increase, as well as their membership, so will your responsibility to represent and advocate.”

Roberts said Student Government has the opportunity to serve as an example for how Iowa State can be a place for students to find success.

“[Student Government Vice President] Jennifer and I have focused our administration on four areas where we believe we can make the most impact over this next year: empowerment, academics, community and health,” Roberts said. “It is now time for each of you to determine how you can best serve the students.”

Roberts told senators it is important to begin forming connections throughout the community while they begin working on projects and forming committees.

“Maybe you have your own idea for an initiative that solves a campus concern that you have seen,” Roberts said. “It is important to remember that your term is shorter than you think. We have less than a year to create a positive impact here at Iowa State, but that thought shouldn’t scare you.”

Roberts asked senators to take time to be appreciative in their position serving the student body.

“You will have an influence that can be used to truly leave Iowa State a wonderful place to be,” Roberts said.

External Affairs

The senate approved a contract with Students for St. Jude, a student-led organization dedicated to raising money and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, to address a debt the group had encountered with Student Government.

According to senate documents, the contract provided the group with $1,315.27 to remove the group from a portion of their recognized debt and requires the group to pay $657.64 every semester until December 2025 or until the group has paid their debt.

Graduate and professional student Senator Eddie Mahoney, a graduate student in computer science, said the organization fell into debt by spending funds provided by Student Government on different line items.

“When we allocate funds to an organization, we fund specific line items,” Mahoney said. “If they accidentally spend those funds broadly, more or less, on different line items, at the end of the year when COA [Campus Organizations Accounting] does their audits, they’ll scrape money back and pull it back to us if they were spent on different things.”

The senate moved to transfer $3,000 to Destination Iowa State to fund meals for future students.

According to their website, Destination Iowa State intends to provide new students with an opportunity to explore campus, make connections, prepare for classes and experience traditions.

Jordan Baumgardner, assistant director for Destination Iowa State, said the senate funded a similar bill last year that was intended for students who do not have a meal plan when they visit Iowa State, with transfer students as the primary recipients.

“Last year we had 320 new transfer students attend Destination Iowa State,” Baumgardner said. “Of those, 271 meals were provided for those students.”

The senate’s funding will allow students to purchase meals for no more than $5 at Destination Iowa State.

The senate moved to fund Cardinal Eats, a food publication with the purpose of building a community of food lovers at Iowa State and the Ames community, according to the student organization database, to the tune of $3,000 for publication costs.

Justin Templeton, treasurer for Cardinal Eats and a senior in cyber security engineering, said the club has roughly 15 members and puts together two publications a year on anything relating to food.

Templeton added that in addition to funds provided by Student Government, the organization receives funds from FUNDISU, which he said brings in roughly $700 to $2,000 every school year.

The senate approved a line item transfer request from Dance Marathon. Line item transfers pertain to funds already distributed by Student Government that a student organization wishes to use for other items.

The senate approved a $1,000 transfer from a line item titled Big Event Arcade Games to Spring/Fall Recruitment Production, $500 from Stacks for Stead Building Rental to Office Supplies and $1,000 from DM Flyer SE to IT Fees.

The senate moved to fund the Rugby Club (Men) $624.86 to travel for a national competition in Boulder, Colorado.

The senate passed a bill honoring Steve Winfrey, former director of the Memorial Union and adviser to Student Government, who passed away April 19.

The senate also passed a bill funding transportation and partial registration costs for the Soil And Water Conservation Club who have six members planning to attend the Soil and Water Conservation Society’s international convention which will be held in Des Moines Aug. 6-9, but failed to pass a bill from the club requesting funds for publication costs.


The senate moved to confirm Jacob Reichert, a second-year veterinary medicine student, as a College of Veterinary Medicine senator following a nomination from the Graduate and Professional Student Senate.

Reichert said he has been looking for a way to better serve the student body, and that Student Government will serve as an outlet to do so.

The senate moved to confirm Caroline Cinatl, a freshman in pre-industrial design, as an off-campus senator.

“I’m currently on the Friley Hall Senate right now; I serve as the president of my hallway, and I’ve enjoyed being part of that, but I’m moving off campus next year, so I wanted to stay a part of student organizations,” Cinatl said.

The senate confirmed off-campus Senators Trey Wellman, a sophomore in agricultural and rural policy studies, Kolton Eisma, a sophomore in agricultural business and Alex Cecil, a senior in agronomy, to the finance committee.

As a member of the finance committee last session, Eisma said he enjoyed his time on the committee as well as being transparent with the senate and the student body.

“Any bills that come to senate, [I] do my best to make sure that they are the most transparent in what they are doing with their money, and what they’re doing with our money, and how it’s giving back to the campus,” Eisma said.

Wellman said he wants to make sure all the student dollars Student Government receives makes its way back to the student body.

Cecil said he would like to expand his impact on Student Government, adding that joining the finance committee would enable him to do so.

“I enjoy doing really boring things like looking through all of the rules, and I’m not afraid to tell people ‘no’ about their finances because it has to adhere to our standards,” Cecil said.

Following a nomination from Student Government’s president and vice president, the senate moved to confirm Blake Van Der Kamp, a senior in agricultural and life sciences education, as director of information technology.

Van Der Kamp said he plans to update Student Government’s website, citing his experience as the digital communications assistant for the Dean of Students Office where he manages 17 websites and is getting them transferred to Iowa State’s new platform.

The senate confirmed College of Human Sciences Senator Tabitha Etten, a sophomore in human development and family studies, as ex-officio to the Ames City Council.

Etten had served as ex-officio since February, and though she was not present at the senate meeting, Roberts spoke on her behalf saying that Etten demonstrates genuine interest and zeal serving as ex-officio, having attended every city council meeting, including optional ones.

The senate confirmed Olivia Miller, a junior in environmental science, as director of sustainability following a nomination from Student Government’s president and vice president.

Miller said she has served on the sustainability committee as an at-large member for three semesters. Van Der Kamp, the former director of sustainability, said Miller has demonstrated her dedication to and has shown her passion for sustainability.

The senate confirmed Madeline Becker, a graduate student in economics, as director of governmental affairs following a nomination from Student Government’s president and vice president.

Becker said she wants legislative ambassadors back to the state capitol and plans to have a visit to the capital every month.

The senate confirmed Rebecka Larson, a senior in agricultural and rural policy studies, and Kanyon Huntington, a senior in political science, as off-campus senators.

Huntington and Larson both agreed that they want to try to change the manner in which Student Government engages in outreach efforts.

“UROC [United Residents Off-Campus] council before didn’t do really do a lot, or they did a few events, and they didn’t really outreach to the students. So I want to, really want to change how we do outreach for UROC, and become more of like an organization that students can actually utilize instead of just being a body that exists for senators,” Larson said.

The senate also confirmed Madi Harvey, a freshman in animal science, as senior director of communications following a nomination from Student Government’s president and vice president.

Harvey said the senior director of communications position stood out to her because she was not familiar with Student Government prior to hearing about it at a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Council meeting, and she felt it should be more popularized amongst the student body.

The senate also confirmed Erik Braun, a junior in mechanical engineering, as director of outreach following a nomination from Student Government’s president and vice president.

Braun said he would like to use his position as director of outreach to increase Student Government recruitment efforts, citing his experience recruiting as president for his fraternity.

The senate confirmed Shane Clayton, a sophomore in psychology, as election commissioner following a nomination from Student Government’s Supreme Court.

Clayton said he would like to work closely with Student Government’s director of public relations to try to increase student body election voter turnout, adding that he plans to utilize all of the organization’s social media platforms as well as fliers and events to raise awareness.

The senate confirmed College of Engineering Senator Max Kueller, a senior in software engineering, Cecil, Mahoney and Wellman to the rules committee.