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Iowa State Daily

Senate passes confirmations including IDEA’s director

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.

The Senate confirmed Abhiraj Agarwal, a freshman in supply chain management, as IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility) director. 

Agarwal said coming to Iowa State from India has been transformative, but that it has opened his eyes to issues regarding diversity, equity and inclusion.

“Living in the United States has been a learning experience and has allowed me to see firsthand the diversity and the complexity of inclusivity that we have here,” Agarwal said. “I believe that Iowa State has the potential of being a shining example of diversity.

Agarwal said he wants to host events that cater to Iowa State’s marginalized communities. He said some initiatives that may fulfill the role are support groups, workshops or cultural exhibitions.

“These exhibitions will not only celebrate our differences but will also provide learning experiences for people to actually learn about them,” Agarwal said.

Agarwal said he also plans to potentially make an accessibility pathways map for Iowa State’s campus.

The Senate confirmed Tadiwa Mbuwayesango, a sophomore in actuarial science, as an Inter-residence Hall Association senator.

Mbuwayesango said growing up in Zimbabwe, he is familiar with living under corrupt leadership, adding that he intends to be a leader his constituents can rely on.

The Senate confirmed Josh Duarte, a senior in political science, Michael Murphy,  an open-option freshman, Antonio Chavez, a senior in political science, and Michael Briesemeister, a freshman in genetics, as justices for the Supreme Court. 

All of the nominees expressed an interest in furthering the sense of community within Student Government and the Iowa State community by being more present and active within the communities by holding events and potentially joining committees.

The Senate confirmed Santi Fajardo, a sophomore in political science, as treasurer for the Election Commission.

The Senate also confirmed both Lejla Ahmetovic and Jacob Fagan, a sophomore in political science and a freshman with an open option major respectively,  to the Election Commission. 

“I really love seeing people out there doing their civic duty voting– getting people to go [is…] also a civic duty,” Ahmetovic said. 

Fagan said he first heard about and gained interest in the Election Commission while he was at Clubfest.

“I think having voter turnout rise is a very positive thing, and unfortunately in the real world, voter turnout is not that high,” Fagan said. “Increasing voter turnout at Iowa State would give people an opportunity to do their civic duty.”

The Senate confirmed College of Engineering Senator Caden Klopfenstein, a freshman in computer engineering, Collegiate Panhellenic Council Senator Josie Pursley, a sophomore in political science, and Erik Rolwes, a sophomore in industrial design, were all confirmed to join the sustainability committee.

Klopfenstein said he has been interested in the sustainability committee since he joined the Senate.

“People don’t always know, especially in sustainable clubs, that Sustainability Committee wants to hear their ideas,” Klopfenstein said. “So I’ve been looking at ways that […] we can reach out to those clubs in Sustainability Committee, or just let them know that the resource is there.”

Rowles said he plans to attempt to bring electric vehicle chargers to Iowa State.

“The only fast electric car charger is in Ankeny 54:56” Rowles said. “There isn’t one in Ames at all.” 

The Senate also confirmed:

  • William Bridges, a sophomore in finance, as an at-large to the finance committee. 
  • Ex-Officio to the Ames City Council Jeffrey Clark, a junior majoring in finance and accounting, to the CyRide Board of Trustees.
  • GPSS President Christine Cain, a graduate in education, and GPSS Treasurer Kean Fallon, a graduate student in mathematics, to the special student fee and tuition committee. 

The Senate also moved to fund a new printer for their office Wednesday evening. The printer, a box of paper and a four-year warranty cost the Senate $434.25.

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