Editorial: A look back, and a look forward


Redbud trees are prevalent across campus, particularly in front of the Campanile. 

Editorial Board

As 2017 marches on, and this spring semester and academic year comes to an end, the ISD Editorial Board would like to take some time for reflection, and for suggestion. We have organized our recap and our ‘looking forward’ into four categories; the same categories we have focused on throughout this past semester: transparency, sexual assault awareness, diversity and inclusion and enrollment growth.   


Students at Iowa State have already, or will soon, experience leadership changes at several levels. Every year we get a new Student Government. Next year, we will have a new university president and president of the Board of Regents. Once Gov. Branstad is confirmed as the next Ambassador to China, Iowa will have its first female governor. And, as we are reminded every day in the news, 2017 saw the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the United States.

Our leadership style in America requires our leaders to derive their mandate from the people, even for appointed positions. We’ve seen over this past year how issues in transparency from our leaders cause distractions at the least and legal troubles at the worst. It is our job, then, as active and patriotic citizens to hold our leaders accountable at all levels. Assume good intentions for our new heads of office, but be quick in feedback; let them know what you agree with and what you disagree with.

Our job in the next year is not going to be easy. It will be hard to move beyond social media activism and it will take time to reach out to our leaders. But, we have options. Write to your local newspapers and leaders. Make phone calls and volunteer. Be a citizen leader that holds our designated leaders accountable.

Sexual Assault Awareness

Throughout this year, the ISD Editorial Board has pushed for more awareness and discussion about the complex issues surrounding sexual assault. The upcoming implementation of the Green Dot program will help the campus continue raising awareness for sexual assault.

But we still need more.

We need more education about consent, less victim blaming and more awareness about resources available to survivors. Every person should know what it takes to gain proper consent. Every person should know that not believing a victim, saying that they “don’t believe” an alleged perpetrator could do that or thinking that there is one form of sexual assault is not OK. We also must promote resources available to survivors if they are comfortable obtaining them.

This isn’t an issue we can just talk about during awareness campaigns, but continually throughout the year. We need all members of our community to understand that this issue affects all demographics and occurs in a variety of circumstances. If we don’t discuss these complexities, we can never address this problem. 

Diversity and Inclusion

The past few years at Iowa State have sparked a much needed conversation about diversity and inclusion on our campus. But as some individuals feel unsafe or unwelcome on our campus simply because they identify outside of majority groups on campus, we still have work to do.

This is not a call to the right or the left, the white or the people of color, the men or the women or the non-binary or the engineers or non-engineers. This is a call to all who are in the Iowa State community to find a way to create a better campus for all of us.

Let’s empower each other, not divide each other. Empowering others who are different from us does not mean that we don’t see our differences, but it means that we see our differences and celebrate those. It means we listen to other perspectives to understand different life experiences than our own. 

Enrollment Growth

Iowa State University has experienced 10 consecutive years of growth. This means a constant pressure on university services and resources, as each freshman class is bigger and bigger than the last.

What does this mean for the administration? Listen to your students. You will undoubtedly have to make some tough decisions as your budget is stressed, but let the students help you make these tough decisions. They’re the ones that will likely be impacted by them the most, and it’s your duty to solicit their input. If properly managed, this growth can be a great boom for the university.

Let’s make sure Iowa State University’s student experience maintains its excellent reputation.