StuGov funds Food Recovery Network, approves criteria for Excellence Fund


Steven Valentino, finance director of the Student Government, speaks at the Student Government meeting on Aug. 23.

Alex Connor

In addition to passing a resolution Wednesday in support of a $15 student fee increase to the Memorial Union, Student Government also funded the Food Recovery Network and postponed the decision to fund the driver wage for SafeRide ISU. 

The senate also unanimously approved the criteria for Student Government’s Excellence Fund – a new fund targeted at student initiatives and projects that “might go beyond the average request and might not easily receive funding through other forms of funding mechanisms.”

The criteria, as outlined in legislation and written by Student Body President Cody West aims to:

  1. Raise the university’s profile or prestige
  2. Promote diversity, inclusion, equality, social justice or address other issues of campus climate
  3. Have a positive impact on the student experience of a broad segment of the campus population
  4. Further the institution’s strategic plan, mission and goals
  5. Possess and maintain active student involvement in all initiatives
  6. And provide evidence of other fundraising efforts

For students or organizations hoping to be allocated funding from the Excellence Fund, they need to meet at least one of the aforementioned criteria.

“It’s a different way for student groups and people who have ideas to get funding,” said Finance Director Steven Valentino.

The senate also allocated $408 in funding to the Food Recovery Network at Iowa State University, which is an organization that collects food from campus and escorts it to Food at First.

What we do is go to campus cafes on Fridays at 3 p.m. and pick up leftover food and then basically escort it to Food at First,” said organization president Autumn Rudlong.

With the funding, the Food Recovery Network will purchase 12 reusable food bins to collect and deliver the food.

The senate also postponed debate on the decision to fund the SafeRide ISU driver wage of $34,000 because of lack of specificity in regard to what the funds would cover and lack of representation from the Iowa State Police Department at the meeting. 

The senate also debated a resolution requesting a mental health syllabus requirement from Faculty Senate that would establish language in course syllabi that “addresses common symptoms of depression/anxiety and resources available on campus for treatment,” according to the resolution.

The aim of the statement being a “step forward [in] increasing student awareness of common mental health issues.”

The resolution welcomed some debate, with some concern from Sen. Wyatt Scheu on whether this might “look like an obligation rather than a passion for students and doing what is best for them.”

Clerk Jacob Zirkelbach also raised concern on the communication between Student Government and the Faculty Senate before the resolution was presented to the senate and offered that he feels there might be more opportunity to collaborate if more groundwork had been done prior to the meeting.

Sen. Dozmen Lee disagreed, arguing that he didn’t feel as if it was asking too much of Faculty Senate to approve the syllabus requirement.

Ultimately, the senate postponed the resolution as an opportunity for the legislation to revisit and be more specific in its language and need.

“I agree with the general consensus that the bill needs work, and work will be done,” said Sen. Juan Bibiloni, who had introduced the resolution.