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StuGov and Ames City Council members discuss 801 Day

E-scooters and liquor licenses discussed at city council and StuGov meeting
Ames+Mayor+John+Haila+answers+a+question+from+Vice+Speaker+Brandon+Kamstra+during+their+joint+meeting+on+Oct.+25%2C+2023.
Cleo Westin
Ames Mayor John Haila answers a question from Vice Speaker Brandon Kamstra during their joint meeting on Oct. 25, 2023.

The Ames City Council and Student Government discussed 801 Day and Cyclone Welcome Weekend, compliance checks and electric vehicles at their bi-annual meeting Wednesday.

The members from the city who were present included Mayor John Haila, Ward 3 Rep. Anita Rollins and Rep. Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen. Haila was the only member from the city to stay for the entire meeting.

Compliance checks

Liquor licenses in Ames come up for renewal in a report to the city council every 12 months. Often, they are passed in the consent agenda, but if they have issues that need to be addressed– such as the distribution of alcohol to those under age– the license is discussed and decided upon during a council meeting.

Ames Police Chief Geoff Huff said one of the ways Ames police hold bars accountable is through compliance checks, which test a liquor store’s conformity to the law stipulating that they cannot serve alcohol to those who are underage.

An underage student working with the police department presents their real ID to a bartender. That store passes the test if the student is turned away, but questions are raised if alcohol is served.

“There has to be [a] peer-to-peer [solution] saying this is not right, because we can’t legislate our way out of this situation,” Haila said.

Cyclone Welcome Weekend

Both Huff and ISU Police Chief Michael Newton shared a presentation discussing the safety procedures and citations issued on Cyclone Welcome Weekend.

“I think the biggest change that we specifically had was in possession of alcohol or illegal age citations,” Huff said. “We had quite a few more of those this year than we did last year.”

Newton also commented on Cyclone Weekend Weekend and the desire to draw students away from parties and to school-sanctioned events.

“The good news for us [is that] it keeps a group of people from going to the parties just to see what’s going on and to see what it’s about,” Newton said. “So we do think that the campus events do pull people away from just gawking and going out into the neighborhoods.”

The council members also discussed how best to improve the safety of students during Cyclone Welcome Weekend, including discouraging people from out-of-town from coming to parties that weekend and increasing fines for nuisance parties.

“The whole goal is […] really to provide the highest level of public safety we can for our residents, and you are residents of our community,” Haila said.

Electric vehicles 

An electric vehicle policy was discussed by the Senate and the council, where members of the council said e-vehicles, including electric scooters, skateboards and bikes, are illegal on campus sidewalks since they count as motorized vehicles.

Many Senate members relayed a dislike for e-vehicles and the dangers they posed to pedestrians but said implementing the law proved to be difficult.

“I think it’s tricky to enforce that because they’re there and then they’re gone,” Beatty-Hansen said.

Members of the Senate discussed recycling concerns and questioned what happens to the recycling in Ames. Haila responded that the recycling is burned in the power plant and is turned into electricity.

Haila added that recycling is more expensive than using gas, and about 40% of recycling cannot be burned. Haila encouraged students to utilize glass and aluminum can bins in local stores, because the material cannot be burned in the power plant.

Senate Meeting

A resolution was passed to help the Iowa State University Police Department student advisory board to raise awareness of pedestrian crosswalks on campus that are deemed unsafe.

Databases run by ISUPD are available for students to report when and where near-misses occur, so the department can better evaluate the safety of the intersections on campus.

There was a first reading of a contract with the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Club, with originally misallocated funds to be paid back by the end of fiscal year 2025.

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