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StuGov elects speaker, discusses transition from AccessPlus

Student+Governments+Edward+Mahoney+during+the+meeting+at+the+Memorial+Union+on+Oct.+11%2C+2023.
Brielle Tuttle
Student Government’s Edward Mahoney during the meeting at the Memorial Union on Oct. 11, 2023.

The Senate elected Off-Campus Senator Alex Cecil, a senior in agronomy, as speaker of the senate after Anna Hackbarth, a senior in electrical engineering, resigned due to her graduation date approaching.

Off-campus Senator Trey Wellman, a junior in agricultural and rural policy studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Senator Asray Gopa, a sophomore in computer science and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Senator Hannah Everhart, a junior in agricultural communication, ran against Cecil.

Cecil had experience in Student Government prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and helped rewrite the bylaws for the last two and a half years. He focused on the importance of teaching new senators how to create well-written bills when vying for votes among senators.

“I would just love to have a more understanding group that writes bills and contributes what I understand from it and what other members understand from it,” Cecil said.

The Senate heard from Kristen Constant, vice president and chief information officer for Iowa State’s information technology services department, about Iowa State’s transition from AccessPlus to Workday.

Workday is a newer, cloud-based system designed for “innovation and agility,” according to Constant. “We did study [after] study […] in 2016, and we selected Workday.”

Workday will be used for class registration for the fall 2024 semester. Financial aid acceptance, degree audits and advisor appointments will all be managed out of the new system.

“It’s our primary goal to help Cyclones succeed. We want you to have a much smoother experience with our technologies,” Constant said.

Heather Dean, the assistant director of the ISU Bookstore, informed the Senate about an update to the immediate access textbook system.

Students can pay a flat rate for their textbooks for a semester rather than purchasing them on an as-needed basis, the system that immediate access currently uses. The flat rate will be $259 per semester, charged to the U-Bill.

“I’ve had multiple semesters where my textbook costs under $100. [Is it] an optional resource?” Cecil said.

The program will only be available for undergraduate students, with graduate students continuing to operate with the standard Immediate Access program. Students can still purchase digital textbooks separately from the new program, even if they opt-out.

“You’ll automatically be enrolled in it, but inside Canvas, it’ll be very prevalent that if you want to opt out of the program, you literally just hit that ‘don’t’ button that feeds to our reporting structure. Then we refund against your U-Bill,” Dean said.

Brad Hill, the interim co-director of the Memorial Union, briefly introduced himself to the Senate. Both Hill and Kristine Heflin, the associate director of the Memorial Union, will be acting as faculty advisers for Student Government after the resignation of Sophia Sarver three weeks ago.

The Senate allocated $4,366 to the Men’s Hockey Club to cover travel expenses. The club will participate in various competitions nationwide.

The Senate passed a resolution to evaluate improving a flagpole on Central Campus to make it more accessible for members of ROTC. Facilities Planning and Management will be involved in council decisions about potential construction.

Improvements may include adding concrete or gravel around the flagpole or replacing the pole itself. The Senate will decide in a future meeting whether they want to support the improvements financially.

The Senate passed amendments to their bylaws regarding the structure, operations, membership and goals of the internal committees of Student Government, according to Senate documents. The election commission code was also updated in advance of elections this spring.

Confirmations

Ian Irving, a junior in history, was confirmed as a senator to the Frederiksen Court Community Council (FCCC). When speaking to Student Government, he focused on increasing communication between the community and the administrators of Frederiksen Court.

“I want to ensure that my community has a form of representation within the student body government,” Irving said.

Irving expressed interest in legislative ambassadors, public relations and health and wellness committees.

The Senate confirmed Mindi Heeren, a senior in industrial design, as a non-profit coordinator. She wants to support homeless shelters and create connections between college students and local animal shelters to promote mental health.

“[The City Council] mentioned how they did want to get [a] better community with the student body … one of the greatest ways is to work with your nonprofits,” Heeren said.

Tatum Anthony, a freshman in healthcare management, was confirmed to the election commission, and College of Engineering Senator Max Kueller, a senior in software engineering, was confirmed to sit on the health and wellness committee.

The Senate also sat College of Human Sciences Senator Makayla Prather, a sophomore in kinesiology and health, to the health and wellness committee. She prioritized implementing student initiatives for apartment complexes off campus to develop community.

“I think that starting with the mental health aspect of things is how you’re going to get things rolling into people becoming more physically active,” Prather said.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Senator Muhammad Azhan, a graduate student in chemistry, was confirmed as an Analysis of Social Services Evaluation Team (ASSET) volunteer to help allocate funds and support the organization.

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