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Iowa State Daily

GPSS provides updates: ISUPD advisory board, graduate student union vote

GPSS+Vice+President+Eddie+Mahoney+talks+about+the+ISU+PD+incident+during+their+meeting+at+the+Memorial+Union+on+Jan.+29%2C+2024.+
Katarina Kotek
GPSS Vice President Eddie Mahoney talks about the ISU PD incident during their meeting at the Memorial Union on Jan. 29, 2024.

During a recent Iowa State University Police Department (ISUPD) Advisory Board meeting, a representative of the department said Officer Frankie Contreras “self-reported” himself one day after he took then-Iowa State student Dariq Myles to the ground in August, GPSS Vice President Eddie Mahoney told the Senate during their meeting Monday.

“Since the incident, every member of ISUPD has gone through another two or three hours of training [and] they’re talking about, bringing in an outside law firm to get more accreditation for safe policing practices,” Mahoney, a graduate student in computer science, said in the Memorial Union.

The Daily reported about Contreras’ ISUPD dash and body camera footage Thursday after it was posted to Myles’ YouTube. The videos show Contreras taking Myles to the ground in a Campustown city parking lot, and Myles said he tore his labrum and withdrew from Iowa State, fearing his safety.

ISUPD Chief Michael Newton told the Daily then that an investigation into the use of excessive force by Contreras found no wrongdoing, but “the officer himself acknowledged that he could have used better de-escalation techniques during the traffic stop.”

Union update

GPSS President Christine Cain gives the introduction during their meeting in MU on Jan. 29, 2024. (Katarina Kotek )

GPSS President Christine Cain, a graduate student in education, said a petition required for Iowa State graduate students to vote on unionizing has reached around 550 graduate student worker signatures. According to previous reporting by the Daily, the petition’s goal is to reach 50% of the graduate student workers, totaling 1000 signatures.

Cain also said a message to faculty about the unionization effort from “the provost” caused “maybe a bit of misinformation.”

“The provost directly said, ‘Staff and faculty […] You represent the university, so you need to stay out of these conversations,’” Cain said.


Additional updates

The GPSS executive cabinet encouraged graduate students to attend several upcoming events, including GPSS-IDEA town hall on DEI Tuesday, the Health and Wellness Symposium on Friday and the 12th annual GPSS Conference on Feb. 23.

Lexi Frese was unanimously elected to fill the Senate vacancy representing the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Mahoney resigned from the Iowa State Student Government on Monday, creating a vacancy. According to previous reporting by the Daily, during his final meeting Wednesday, Mahoney reminded the chamber of decorum rules after tense discussions.

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