The independent student newspaper of Iowa State and Ames since 1890

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Meet the two slates running for IRHA president and vice president

Kylie Kost/Iowa State Daily

Two pairs of students aim to represent those living in Iowa State’s residence halls.

Elections for president and vice president of Iowa State’s Inter-Residence Hall Association (IRHA) will be held Monday through Wednesday. Students with residence hall contracts for the 2024-25 school year will be eligible to vote through a link in their email.

IRHA is a student-run organization that represents students living in residence halls, primarily focused on issues and concerns with students while also organizing free events for residents.

About the candidates

Hemanthsai Peddasani, a freshman majoring in computer engineering, is running for IRHA president with Ansh Shah, a sophomore majoring in aerospace engineering, slated as his vice president.

Hemanthsai Peddasani and Ansh Shah, Inter-Residence Hall Association 2024-2025 candidates (Courtesy of Hemanthsai Peddasani and Ansh Shah)

Peddasani and Shah hold positions on Friley Hall’s leadership team, with Peddasani as the hall’s director of communications and Shah as the director of finance. Through these positions, Peddasani and Shah also hold voting power in IRHA’s parliament.

Braden Fels, a sophomore double majoring in history and secondary education, is running for president with Julia Pedroza, a junior double majoring in psychology and criminal justice, running for vice president.

Fels is the current IRHA vice president and Pedroza is the current IRHA director of communications.

Braden Fels and Julia Pedroza, Inter-Residence Hall Association 2024-2025 candidates (Courtesy of fels.pedroza on Instagram)

Reasons to run

In an interview with the Daily, Shah said $15 of the resident fee goes toward IRHA and the “vast majority of students” are “not receiving any value from IRHA.”

“We really think that we can help increase the publicity of IRHA and help take IRHA back to being an organization that benefits the vast majority of residents,” Shah said.

Peddasani said that part of this issue is due to a lack of consistent communication from IRHA to residents about events being held.

“The circle has grown, but it still hasn’t grown enough to the point where many residents are aware of what’s happening,” Peddasani said. “If you’re a resident, you’re supposed to be able to attend events, have access to all these things you’re paying for.”

Fels said he and Pedroza have received multiple complaints from students surrounding dining halls, and the pair aim to work with dining to create a student advisory board, as well as add a “get and go” location in the Memorial Union.

“Everyone has issues that they want to be seen and heard, and the best thing about housing and dining is that they want that feedback to be heard,” Pedroza said.

Pedroza said another main point of action to improve accessibility is adding feminine products and contraceptives into public restrooms and residence halls, as well as dorm room QR codes to contact Cyclone Support.

“We also want to get contraceptives to all our residents, so they can practice safe sex, and obviously not a lot of residents feel comfortable going up to their RA’s to ask for condoms,” Pedroza said.

Working together

Shah spoke about how the slate’s experience working as members of Friley Hall’s executive team has shown their potential for addressing larger student concerns.

“We’ve been able to host massively successful events,” Shah said. “We’ve been able to make improvements through our hall improvement funds that have had an impact for numerous residents… We’ve learned a lot there. Through that experience, we really feel that we can take that to IRHA to then do the same thing, but on a campus-wide level.”

Shah also said the slate’s experience with IRHA parliament members has given them the knowledge of how the organization operates to best serve Iowa State residents.

The campaign outlined by Peddasani and Shah is focused on goals involving dining, outreach and resident issues.

Peddasani and Shah plan to implement a system allowing residents to access their halls through an app on their phones rather than using their ISUCard. They also plan to raise standards for room checks to provide residents with a better quality of living.

To address concerns about limited late-night dining options, Peddasani and Shah plan to push back the closing time of Conversations dining hall from 10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The campaign also plans to add a smoothie and protein bar to Season’s Marketplace or Conversations dining hall to provide additional food options to the east side of campus.

The slate also plans to implement programs within residence halls to promote IRHA events and involvement and increase collaboration between IRHA and Student Government; they also hope to improve timely communication with residents about events being held by IRHA and communicating the dining options available.

Pedroza said Fels and herself aim to work with Student Government in creating and implementing a roommate compatibility form, which she said would be nice to have accessible for prospective students to be able to find someone with similar values and goals.

“One of the main things we want to do with IRHA is host events with residents, and we will host an event in every single residence hall on campus,” Pedroza said. “We know a lot of the [residence] halls are on opposite sides of campus and out of reach, but we want to give students that opportunity to improve their aspects in resident life in different locations and build connections.”

Fels said their campaign aims to improve campus accessibility and safety through working with university housing and dining, as well as student engagement.

“One of the big things Iowa State has been working on [is] NARCAN (Naloxone) implementation, getting that in all the AEDs on campus,” Fels said. “And it has recently been added to all the AEDs, and we’re working on that training, getting it out to students.”

Leave a Comment
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 (0)

All Iowa State Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

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