The independent student newspaper of Iowa State and Ames since 1890

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

StuGov president gives State of the Student Body Address, restorative justice promoted through passage of Senate bill

Elizabeth Lane
Jennifer Holliday speaks at Student Government in the MU on April 3, 2024.

Outgoing Student Government President Jennifer Holliday, a senior in agricultural studies, gave her State of the Student Body Address during the last Student Government meeting of the session amidst debate of 10 bills.

Through her speech, Holliday stressed the importance of abiding by the mission statement of the Student Government, “service to, advocacy for and empowerment of the student body.”

Holliday said achievements such as student advocacy at the governmental level, the multicultural club fair and action to prevent sexual assault are proof of a session well done.

Holliday noted that there is still work left to do for Student Government.

“Students are still being sexually assaulted, students are continuing to face extreme mental health crises, students cannot afford to finish their education. These are issues, along with so many more, that are not one-stop shops. They cannot be solved with one initiative or one resolution,” Holliday said.

Holliday ran for reelection but lost to Finance Director Martin Hursh, a sophomore in economics.

Restorative Justice

The Senate unanimously passed a bill during the meeting Wednesday night initiating a conversation about restorative justice following a program by the student organization, Color of Love.

The program was led by Color of Love Treasurer Lyric Sellers, a sophomore in communication studies, and President Endi Montalvo-Martínez, a senior in healthcare management. They discussed their experience removing school resource officers from Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) and how it “looks a little differently” from restorative justice at Iowa State.

“Here we are trying to propose the idea of implementing restorative justice so that we’re able to decrease the amount of times that we have to divert to law enforcement,” Sellers said.

The organization members noted that due to a lower level of diversity at Iowa State compared to DMPS, there has been more resistance and compromise. Instead of completely eliminating the Iowa State University Police Department (ISUPD), the group aims to create other entities that could respond to non-violent situations.

“There’s this really big misconception that police are here because there’s an overwhelming amount of violent crimes or acts on campus that they need to respond to,” Montalvo-Martínez said. “But if you look at the data, the vast majority of them are simple misdemeanors and the vast majority of them are officer-initiated.”

The Senate bill that was passed aims to “improve feelings of safety” by initiating restorative justice.

International Senate seat

A bill to add an international student senator seat was tabled indefinitely with a vote of 19-2-1 during the Senate Meeting.

The sponsor, Sen. Asray Gopa, a sophomore in computer science, argued this allowed international students, who make up about 10% of the student body, to have a larger voice in the Senate.

The bill was tabled due in part to concerns over creating a seat for one identity without including others.

“I’m representing things as a business major, but I’m also representing things as a woman of color, I’m also representing someone as part of the LGBT community…I can represent multiple things,” Jian Janes, a senator for the College of Business and a senior in management information systems, said.

In addition to that, a concern about giving international students a higher proportion of votes in the Senate was brought up. Students are represented through two constituencies: their residency and their college.

“If you’re trying to make it so that an international student doesn’t have three votes, that means they either aren’t being represented by the residency, they aren’t being represented by their school or they aren’t being represented by the International ex-officio. If they are doing all three, they’re overvoting,” Sen. Kieran Trotter, a freshman in history, said.

Committee for accountability and transparency

A bill to establish a special committee for accountability and transparency within student government also failed to pass with a vote of 1-15-6 during the Senate meeting.

Sen. Azhan Suddle, a graduate student in chemistry, said the bill was sent to the Senate “unfavorably” by the rules committee, with concerns of its redundancy to the responsibilities of the judicial branch.

“My point of view is that it’s different. It’s different because we are making a committee from different branches. So the idea of this is to have different members from different branches… to have a different perspective in the committee to resolve the issues of concern conflict,” Suddle said.

The bill ultimately failed because it interfered with the checks and balances of the Student Government.

“By combining members from all three of these branches, you disrupt that balance, so you no longer have the balance of all three branches which you had in the first place,” Sen. Sydney Jones, a junior in political science, said.

Additional Orders of Business

The following bills passed unanimously:

  • Funding Allocation for Sloss House Resource Room for Enhancing Student Well-being: $5,000
  • Funding a Universal Changing Station: $4,125
  • Debt Contract with African Student Association: $1,339.92
  • Debt Contract With Malaysian Student Association: $1,290.25
  • Thanking Faculty for Using OER’s
  • Bylaw Recombination
  • Adding Campus Safety Walk as the responsibility of the director of student services and Health and Wellness Committee in the by-laws
View Comments (4)
Donate to Iowa State Daily
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
Our Goal

Comments (4)

All Iowa State Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

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

  • M

    Mohamed | Apr 5, 2024 at 6:56 am

    BACK THE BLUE!!!!!!!!

  • J

    J | Apr 4, 2024 at 9:18 pm

    Student Government why are you listening to these anti-police groups. They make it sound like if there we were more diverse we would not need police. BACK THE BLUE. Open your eyes to what this group is about. They have moved their vison multiple times and have resisted even sitting down and working with police. Disrupt meetings is their tactic they are the ones not willing to work with and compromise.

    • A

      A | Apr 4, 2024 at 9:55 pm

      They were invited by Student Government to give a presentation. They did not disrupt the meeting but were quite civil and had clear actionable items. Stop being ignorant and see that the police are not right all the time

      • T

        TT | Apr 5, 2024 at 6:54 am

        They may have been invited BUT not always the case with this group.

        I can not post a link here but just look at the story on them protesting in the Armory disrupting classes and also the one they went to the advisory board meeting.

        Why not sit down with police and have a conversation, The police on this campus have always been receptive. This group wants one thing and it is sad to see. This is why we have the issues we have today. Open your eyes as these anti-police groups need to be stopped,