What happened in June


Maggie Curry

June 2 – PrISUm unveils Solar Utility Vehicle

The car, named Penumbra, is an intersection between solar racing vehicles and mainstream SUVs, with stereo system and all. It resembles a small hatchback, and passengers will be able to listen to music, check Facebook and use Google Maps. The team will race in Australia in the fall.

June 3 – Third annual Republican Roast & Ride

Senator Joni Ernst’s third annual Roast and Ride was a slice from rural Iowa, with high-profile Republican speakers there to celebrate grassroots politics. This year’s guest list included Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Vice President Mike Pence. Veteran support and Christianity were interspersed with Republican values throughout the afternoon, which was also the first day of the summer to hit above 90 degrees.

June 3 – Weaver dropped from congressional race

Kim Weaver, a democratic candidate and the only opponent who was set to run against current Rep. Steve King, announced she was dropping out of the race because of death threats, personal health risks keeping her health insurance, and therefore keeping her current job which provides it, as higher priority to campaigning full time.

June 7 – Regents approve tuition increase

Tuition will increase an additional $216 dollars for each student at Iowa State University, on top of an increase for the 2017-18 year that was approved in December 2016. The “two and two” system, which suggested a two percent increase every two years accompanied by a two percent increase in state appropriations, failed when the state actually cut funding to the universities.

June 11 – Ames hosts Memorial Cup Race weekend

Ames was the second weekend in the series, moving from Iowa City to Ames to Des Moines. The Ames Grand Prix was the return of the race to Ames and took place on Main Street and at the ISU Research Park.

June 12 – Forums on next ISU president

From “politically savvy” to valuing research, open dialogue and transparency, members of the Iowa State and Ames community gathered to provide input to the search firm finding candidates for Iowa State’s next president. Enrollment, inclusiveness, accessibility and commitment to the campus culture were all points discussed at the forums.

June 13 – ISU airplane damaged by Leath sold

ISU considered using a broker and a bid process to sell the plane, but decided to sell the Cirrus SR22 aircraft for $450,000 to Midwest Aviation Equipment, LLC directly. The plane was appraised in February at $667,712 by a NAAA Senior Certified Aircraft Appraiser, according to documents, which listed the market value at $432,000 in February. 

June 15 – ISU loses case against NORML

Iowa State lost its second federal appeal on Tuesday in a free speech lawsuit against the ISU NORML chapter. In a 2-1 decision, it was reaffirmed that the First Amendment right of ISU NORML had been violated. It also confirmed the administrators involved (former Iowa State President Steven Leath, former Senior Vice Presidents Warren Madden and Thomas Hill and ISU Trademark Program Manager Leesha Zimmerman) can be individually sued.

The case was initially filed in 2014 by ISU chapter presidents of NORML Paul Gerlich and Erin Furleigh. NORML is the National Organization for Reformation of Marijuana Laws. In 2012, the ISU NORML chapter submitted a t-shirt design to ISU Trademark which depicted Iowa State’s mascot, Cy the Cardinal, as the “O” in NORML. The design also included a marijuana leaf above the acronym in a sentence on the back of the shirt reading “Freedom is NORML at ISU.”

June 19 – International agricultural scholars visit

The visiting scholars were agriculture professionals in their home countries. During their day at Iowa State, the visiting scholars learned about Iowa State’s programs, agriculture and economics and visited the horticulture farm to see research. They also visited men who were establishing a tilapia fish farm in the middle of Central Iowa. Iowa State had done a feasibility study for the farm in its initial stages.

June 22 – Lawsuit claims greek community targeted sexual assault survivor

A lawsuit claiming Iowa State University officials failed to stop members of the college’s Greek community from harassing and alienating a sorority member after she reported being sexually assaulted at a fraternity house in January 2015. The Des Moines Register stated the lawsuit said the student contacted the Director of Greek Affairs Billy Boulden who said the retaliation would be addressed but ultimately quit responding to her emails. 

The survivor claims the retaliatory behavior was particularly aggressive because other Greek members blamed her for getting the fraternity where the assault happened — a “well-known ‘party house'” — shut down, according to the suit. The fraternity and alleged assailant are not named in the suit, but names the university and the Iowa Board of Regents as defendants, alleges that officials’ inaction “fosters a pervasive culture of silence within the Greek community regarding issues of sexual assault and violence.”