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Iowa State Daily

StuGov Senate fills cabinet seats with executive nominations

Elizabeth Lane
Engineering Senator David Minchew and Off Campus Senator Alexandra Momaney sit and listen at Student Government in the MU on March 20, 2024.

Student Government officially has a full cabinet following the last meeting of the semester Wednesday night. 

During the meeting, President Martin Hursh, a sophomore in economics, presented the State of the Student Body Address. 

“We have a year. During that less than a year remaining, we can’t lose sight of our principles. We have to stay focused on what we can do this year,” Hursh said. 

Student Government will reconvene at the beginning of the fall semester in August. 

Open Forum 

Trey Wellman, a junior in agricultural and rural policy studies, addressed the Senate during an open forum to respond to allegations that former Sen. Rebecka Larson, a senior in agricultural and rural policy studies made against Wellman last week

Wellman has withdrawn from his executive nomination for director of governmental affairs, which Larson deemed him unfit to lead.  

“I will never apologize for being passionate and supporting students…I had plans that would successfully advocate for students, get their voices heard, and as students of higher education, become respected again,” Wellman said. 

Larson spoke of his lack of experience for the role and his tardiness, which he countered by explaining that his role working at the Iowa State Capitol allows him to gain experience talking with legislators and also takes a lot of his time. 

“Over the course of [Larson’s] speech, she stated that I would have been receiving a nonfeasance before I resigned, which is true. But she said that it was because I was showing up late, leaving early or not going to any meetings,” Wellman said. “That’s not at all the case. And it was simply because I forgot to write down my office hours after we transitioned of how office hours are kept for a third time in one year.” 

According to Wellman, he withdrew from his nomination because he wanted to enjoy his last year at Iowa State without being “looked at with a fine-toothed comb.” 

Electing a Senator to the CyRide Board of Trustees 

Sen. Asray Gopa, a sophomore in computer science, was nominated to be the Senate representative to the CyRide Board of Trustees with a vote of 13-4-1-4. 

Sen. Hemanthsai Peddasani, a freshman in computer engineering, Sen. Arjun Patel, a sophomore in computer science and Sen. Erik Rolwes, a sophomore in industrial design, were nominated as well, but lost the position to Gopa. 

All candidates said they use CyRide frequently; they saw a need for more stops and more accessibility to the bus routes. Gopa additionally wanted a social media account for CyRide, Peddasani wanted more accessibility for disabled people on the buses, Patel wanted to implement better crosswalks and Rolwes wanted to see a modernization of the buses themselves. 

“[Gopa’s a] very persistent individual and he’s not afraid to take on a challenge, which I think is something that is very valuable in this role of serving on the CyRide board of directors, because you’re going to be sitting in a room full of adults who have year after year experience sitting on this board before,” Sen. Jennifer Holliday, a senior in agricultural studies, said. 

Orders of Business

A bill to change a position’s title failed 11-10-4 during the Senate meeting due to Senate disagreement of word choice. 

The bill would change the director’s title from “Director of Student Services” to “Director of Events” to make the role “more clearly defined.” 

Sen. Sydney Jones, a junior in political science, mentioned that it would be the same title as the IRHA equivalent position.

“[The] Director of Student Services, the name doesn’t sound what it sounds like. I’m gonna go over what they actually do. They just do a couple of special projects throughout the year and are probably going to work with the new cabinets about their projects that they want to push out,” Gopa said. 

While Gopa recommended that the title be changed to “Director of Special Projects,” and many other senators agreed, the Senate could not come to a consensus on a single title, leading to the bill’s failure. 

The following bills were passed (unanimously unless specified):

  • Executive Nomination for Governmental Affairs: Colby Brandt, sophomore in agricultural and rural policy studies
  • Executive Nomination for Health and Wellness: Adam Herrington, senior in kinesiology and health
  • Executive Nomination for Director of Outreach (27-0-1): Eric Gerdes, junior in communication studies
  • Executive Nomination for Director of Affordability: Bob Carver, sophomore in biochemistry
  • Executive Nomination for Director of Marketing: Chase Anderson, junior in software engineering
  • Executive Nomination for Technology Information: Isaac Meyers, senior in computer science 
  • Executive Nomination for Co-Director of Student Initiatives: Monet Butler, junior in political science
  • Executive Nomination of Co-Directors of Sustainability: Katherine O’Driscoll, junior in environmental science and Abby Bergstrom, junior in environmental science
  • Executive Nomination for CyRide Board of Trustees: Emily Boland, sophomore in political science 
  • Executive Nomination for IDEA Director: Arigni Panja, sophomore in computer science 
  • Seating an At-large to PR Committee: Ian Irving, junior in history
  • Funding Western Equestrian Club (23-0-1)
  • Speaker Alexandra Momaney was granted the ability to elect two senators to the Jack Trice Character Award Selection Committee
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