StuGov leaders weigh in on city election results

Student Government Vice President Cody West listens to students speak at the open forum during the student government meeting in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union on March 8. 

Emily Barske

Student Government leaders weighed in on the results of the city election just after they came in Tuesday night. 

Student Government’s civic engagement committee worked to encourage students to engage with the city’s most recent election by doing things like hosting a forum on campus and encouraging voting.

Now the committee’s focus will turn to keeping students engaged with the city government. 

Speaker Zoey Shipley said she was excited to see students turning out for Tuesday’s election, as she saw many students posting on social media that they’d voted or sporting “I Voted” stickers.

Election Results: 

  • John Haila was elected mayor of Ames.
  • David Martin was elected the Ames City Council representative for Ward 3.
  • Gloria Betcher was elected in an uncontested race to the Ames City Council representative for Ward 1.
  • Amber Corrieri was elected in an uncontested race to the Ames City Council representative for the at-large position. 

Cody West, president

“I’m looking forward to working with the new mayor,” he said. “I felt like he was one of the only candidates to actually lay out that he wanted to create a vision for the city of Ames.”

West said he felt Haila did a good job of building that vision by seeking out input from a variety of constituents rather than just making his own vision.

Cody Smith, vice president

“I think John [Haila] was able to illustrate at our forum that he knows how the city works in relation to how it works for students — through CyRide for example,” he said. 

He added they are excited to have Student Government work more with the City Council and the mayor. 

Zoey Shipley, speaker

“I want to congratulate him [Haila] on running a great campaign…that engaged the community,” she said, adding that she’s heard from former students who have worked with him that he is sure to get student input. 

Shipley said she hopes city officials will continue bringing student voices to the table now that the campaign is done. Iowa State and the city can have better communication with each other, she said. 

“I don’t think we’ve all sat down to realize how much of an impact that Iowa State’s campus as a whole has on Ames and its citizens along with the students,” she said. “I really would like to see more engagement between the citizens.”

Cody Woodruff, vice speaker

Woodruff said he’d like to see improvements in some of the city official’s rhetoric surrounding students. “Student slum” was a term recently thrown around in a housing discussion, for example.

“I’ll be looking for Mayor Haila to be more student focused than I think he ran on at the candidate forum,” he said, adding the specific issue that he recalled was related to housing and whether the city should play a role in landlord contracts, which Haila said he opposed. 

“Hopefully coming into this role of mayor of all of Ames … not just the residents who are here every single month, but he recognizes the role of students in our community,” Woodruff said. “I stress our [involvement] again because we bring in so much economic revenue to this city. But not only that, but personality and diversity as well.”

Kody Olson, director of governmental affairs

“I thank all of the candidates in this race for their commitment to hearing the many diverse voices of Ames and ISU,” Olson said in a written statement. “My team and I look forward to working with Mayor Haila and the newly elected City Council in building relationships between students and their city government. Together, we will strive toward a better Ames built on our Principles of Community.”

Isaiah Baker, senator

Baker said the civic engagement committee specifically targeted majors and colleges, like the sciences, that haven’t been as civically engaged in past elections. He is interested to see what the data shows participation levels were for these areas.

Baker added he thinks the city and university can do a better job of recognizing “mutual interests and benefits.”

Issues to be improved

The student leaders also weighed in on issues they’d like to work with the city officials on — mentioning things like CyRide, pedestrian and biker safety, lighting, sexual assault, Campustown and housing.

The leaders also stressed that students also need to be more active by attending City Council meetings and giving input in city issues.

The Daily’s Isaac Carson and Danielle Gehr contributed reporting to this story.