Editorial: Vote for Moving Forward ISU


Dani Gehr/Iowa State Daily

Julian Neely, a junior in journalism and mass communications, and Juan Bibilioni, a junior in mechanical engineering, want to be the next Student Government president and vice president.

Editorial Board

This endorsement is reflective of the Iowa State Daily Editorial Board and not the Iowa State Daily as a whole.

Based on the candidates’ experience and proposed goals, the ISD Editorial Board endorses the Moving Forward ISU campaign and hopes you will vote for Julian Neely and Juan Bibiloni for president and vice president of the Iowa State University Student Government.

Neely and Bibiloni present an accomplishable platform that would benefit Iowa State students. They have both shown drive and vision in their current positions within Student Government and we expect them to retain this level of achievement if elected as president and vice president.

What we like from Moving Forward ISU

  • Having both served as leaders on the Student Government diversity committee, Neely and Bibiloni are equipped to be both proactive and responsive to concerns about diversity and inclusion. The two have proven to be voices for the voiceless and understand how to work with people of differing perspectives.

  • The proposed March for Education at the State Capitol is a great way to get students civically engaged and advocate for better funding for public higher education.

  • We appreciate that the campaign will continue the pedestrian safety initiative of the current administration to eliminate some of the dangers students may face when on the sidewalks or crossing streets.

Points of improvement for Moving Forward ISU  

  • The initiative for better campus lighting is promising, but it has been proposed numerous times before. That isn’t to say the financial approach they’ve discussed won’t happen, but we encourage them to continuously push for this to come to fruition if elected.

  • We would like to see a more concrete plan of how the slate will carry on current initiatives to work with local, state and federal representatives. While we are extremely supportive of the March for Education, we would like to see more plans to remind our representatives of issues important to students. For example, there could be more Ames-wide initiatives related to sexual assault awareness.  

  • The campaign has talked about newsletters as a means to keep students more informed about Student Government. We feel the time could be better spent going to student organizations or classes to give a five-minute overview of what’s happening at Student Government. That also offers a greater opportunity for students to voice their concerns.

What we want to see adapted from Unlocking Your Potential

The other executive slate — of Ben Whittington and Jocelyn Simms — provides great perspectives and plans to tackle important issues. As students who are not currently serving in Student Government, they offer an outsider point of view with fresh takes on student issues.

The campaign has a heavy focus on sexual misconduct awareness and prevention, an issue very important to the ISD Editorial Board. During the presidential debate, Whittington brought up the idea of requiring any organization requesting funding from Student Government go through Green Dot training. This is a great idea to make sure more students are educated about consent and bystander intervention. We hope this initiative will move forward.

The Whittington-Simms campaign has also heavily pushed for a large spring initiative as a replacement to Veishea. While the ISD Editorial Board believes in restoring traditions on campus, this piece of the platform is framed in a way that seems to not recognize that this effort has been happening since Veishea was cancelled. The disconnect between what they’re campaigning on and current initiatives is one negative consequence of running for Student Government without prior experience in the organization.

The Whittington-Simms campaign has also faced three campaign violations, though the Neely-Bibiloni campaign was also given one. Student Government bylaws require careful attention to follow every step correctly.

Throughout the campaign, Whittington and Simms have continued to polish their platform. However, Neely and Bibiloni started the campaign with a polished platform. Both members of the Unlocking Your Potential slate are highly qualified to be a part of Student Government, but we would like them to have more knowledge of the organization before stepping into the highest office.

Make sure to vote

Regardless of whether you support Moving Forward ISU like us, we hope you will vote March 6 and 7 for executive and legislative slates. Your vote is a simple first step to making your voice heard. We are hopeful that both of the executive slates will make Iowa State a better place and hope you will inform yourselves about each platform before voting.