The independent student newspaper of Iowa State and Ames since 1890

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

StuGov vice presidential debate addresses internal conflict, need for student support

Sen.+Sydney+Jones+%28left%29+and+Vice+President+Quinn+Margrett+%28right%29+participate+in+the+Iowa+State+Student+Government+Vice+Presidential+Debate+on+Feb.+6%2C+2024
Katarina Kotek
Sen. Sydney Jones (left) and Vice President Quinn Margrett (right) participate in the Iowa State Student Government Vice Presidential Debate on Feb. 6, 2024

Both of the Iowa State Student Government vice presidential debate candidates, Vice President Quinn Margrett and Sen. Sydney Jones, discussed their platforms and addressed conflicts within the organization along with needed student resources during the debate Tuesday in the Memorial Union.

“If you’re really listening tonight, I’m confident that the contrast between myself and Sydney Jones could not be more clear,” Margrett said during his opening statement.

Margrett, a sophomore in business economics, is the current vice president for President Jennifer Holliday, who is running for re-election. Margrett left Holliday’s campaign to run with Finance Director Martin Hursh, a sophomore in economics.

Margrett said he is not running with Holliday because he does not believe that “presidents should run for re-election in Student Government.”

Jones, a junior in cyber security engineering, is now running as Holliday’s vice president and said Holliday is running because “there’s still so much to do.”

Margrett explained how his existing experience proves he has already achieved “a lot for the student body,” including policies like “fighting to increase financial aid opportunities” and organizing the first multicultural fair. If elected, Margrett said he would work toward larger goals, including a parking ticket relief program, large-scale free Jack Trice Stadium concerts and assistance with food insecurity.

Jones said her campaign is all about making students feel welcome. Alongside her running mate, her platform includes implementing more sexual assault awareness, increasing mental health resources and increasing student engagement.

“Iowa State is a place I proudly call home,” Jones said. “Nevertheless, I recognize the pressing issues on this campus. Many students do not feel heard or supported by university administration, Student Government or their fellow peers.”

StuGov organizational issues

The conflicts within Student Government were brought up multiple times between both candidates, and both recognized the need for change so the organization could better serve the student body.

“You can see in our past meetings that people have felt uncomfortable, myself included, by the actions that have occurred during these meetings,” Jones said. “Students do not feel like they have a seat at our table with our administration.”

At a Jan. 24 meeting, Jones said she was “very, very uncomfortable” during the tense discussions including the finance bill.

Jones said she wants to solve the conflicts during meetings by creating a more inviting and communicative space that would allow for more discussion and business to be done.

“Our Senate is two-thirds full; our cabinet is three-quarters [full]. I think the biggest challenge internally facing our next president and vice president will be knowing how to put the right people in the right positions,” Margrett said.

Margrett stressed the importance of having a diverse voice within Student Government and retaining capable senators.

Diversity

Outside of Student Government meetings, both candidates have their own plans to help improve student diversity on campus, which is 72.6% white. Jones also hopes to have a more diverse array of students on the Iowa State University Police Department’s advisory board.

“This will give students who don’t feel safe [or] secure with police the opportunity to make sure that their voices are heard,” Jones said.

Margrett said he would address the needs of Iowa State international students to keep them within the state after graduation.

“The current tuition for international students, not counting room and board or anything like that, is $30,000 […] and I think we can lower that number to retain the international students that we have here,” Margrett said.

Both candidates also voiced concern over the number of sexual assaults that have occurred on campus, which is seven this academic year.

Jones said her campaign strives to reduce sexual violence through “prevention education” and she also questioned why sexual assault prevention was not included within Margrett’s platform.

“There’s absolutely more to do, and I think preventing sexual assaults is a given for any administration that takes office,” Margrett said.

Additional positions

Jones said she plans to advocate for academic adviser training on mental health resources for students, improving awareness on student academic rights, addressing dining hall hours during school breaks and getting the Ames community and non-greek life students involved in homecoming.

Margrett’s platform also includes working with the Legislature to allow students to reach out to therapists across state lines, implementing an international student career fair and supporting existing food security resources.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Iowa State Daily
$2510
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of the Iowa State Daily. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, send our student journalists to conferences and off-set their cost of living so they can continue to do best-in-the-nation work at the Iowa State Daily.

More to Discover
Donate to Iowa State Daily
$2510
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Iowa State Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *