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Iowa State Daily

StuGov passes appointments, confirmations including former President Jennifer Holliday as UROC senator

Brielle Tuttle
Then-Student Government President Jennifer Holliday called for improved resources at Iowa State for sexual assault survivors during the Presidential Debate in the Memorial Union Great Hall on Feb. 20, 2024.

Student Government passed numerous appointments and confirmations during the Senate meeting Wednesday, including the confirmation of former President Jennifer Holliday as a United Residents Off-Campus (UROC) senator. 

The Senate approved appointments to the Student Fees and Tuition Committee, which uses the required $49 fee from all students included in their tuition to fund student services.

“[It’s] a state-mandated committee that consists of five student leaders as well as five university administrators who actually vote on increases to the student fee,” said Quinn Margrett, vice president and newly-appointed member of the committee. 

The committee is not open to the public and members are not allowed to speak on meeting business due to the confidential nature of student finances. 

Holliday won the Senate appointment with 18 votes in favor, six votes for other candidates and one abstain shortly after being appointed as a senator earlier in the meeting. Holliday hopes to address the rising issues with FAFSA, especially for farmers and small business owners, through her role. 

Sen. Asray Gopa, a sophomore in computer science, and Sen. Hemanthsai Peddasani, a freshman in computer engineering, were the other candidates. 

“At the end of the day, college is pretty tough, but paying for college is even more tough. And $49 is part of the tuition, and we need a voice on the committee that really, really represents students,” Gopa said. 

While Gopa and Peddasani both have experience with leadership at Iowa State and said they care about students’ needs, Holliday’s experience with being on the committee last year as the president of Student Government led several senators to speak in her favor during the debate phase where candidates are not in the room. 

“Over the past few years, we have seen tuition and fees increasingly rise by 3 to 4% annually, and that’s an issue,” Holliday said. “Students weren’t able to afford college five years ago. Students aren’t able to afford college even more today.”

Open forum

Former Sen. Rebecka Larson, a senior in agricultural and rural policy studies, addressed the Senate during open forum to express her opinion on Trey Wellman, the executive nominee for director of governmental affairs. 

Wellman, a junior in agricultural and rural policy studies, has previous experience in Student Government as a senator. 

The role of the director for governmental affairs is responsible for informing Student Government about political events of all levels, communicating with state legislators and leading the Legislative Ambassadors Committee, according to the Student Government website. 

“I know for being at all the Senate meetings that Trey showed up and left a lot of the Senate meetings early, and he also came late with little to no notice…and because of all of this, he was going to receive a malfeasance for his nonaction as a senator, but he actually ended up resigning from his role before he could be given a nonfeasance,” Larson said. 

A senator can receive a malfeasance due to inactivity, which can lead to their removal. Wellman’s appointment will be considered at a future meeting.  

Orders of Business 

The following bills were passed unanimously: 

  • Seating Director of Academic Affairs Director: Mytch Hagan
  • Executive Nomination for Senior Director of Communications: Erik Braun 
  • Confirming an Inter-Residence Hall Association Senator: Abhiraj Agarwal
  • Confirming of a UROC Senator: Anna Spahn
  • Confirming of a UROC Senator: Jennifer Holliday 
  • Confirming of a UROC Senator: Sydney Jones
  • Confirming of a UROC Senator: Julius Sloop 
  • Confirming of a UROC Senator: Jake Snyder
  • Executive Nomination for Finance Director: Evan Martinez 
  • Executive Nomination for Ex-Officio to the Ames City Council: Emily Boland
  • Executive Nomination for Non-Profit Coordinator: Mindi Heeren
  • Executive Nomination for Director of International Student Experience: Sofia Lima Barbosa
  • Seating Senators to Rules Committee: Hannah Everhart and Hunter Schneider 
  • Seating Senators to Rules Committee: Kolton Eisma and Erik Rolwes 
  • Seating Senators to Rules Committee: Sydney Jones and Alex Cecil 
  • Executive Nomination to the Student Fees and Tuition Committee: Quinn Margrett
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