Student Government’s last meeting of the semester ties up loose ends


Kara Denner/ Iowa State Daily

Student Government Vice President Vishesh Bhatia opens the floor to questions and concerns on the idea of internet usability in the future at the joint city and student council meeting on Oct 23. 

Cassie Lehmann

At Wednesday night’s meeting, Student Government had its last meeting of the semester and analyzed various internal funding bills, reviewed a bill to finance Student Legal Services and revised the Excellence Fund’s principle.

Sen. Matthew Klaes and Sen. Jacob Ludwig created a bill to fix the discretionary on the Excellence Fund criteria. Recently, the Senate has had debate on the wording of the amendment, specifically the phrasing on what “year to year” is inferring to.  

The Senators added the following statement to the document: “[a] funding request from [the Excellence Fund] account must be for a new request or for a request that demonstrates a sufficient level of innovation to set it apart from any other previously granted request made from this account.”

With no additional discussion, the bill was approved with unanimous consent.

Additionally, the “Sustainable Outside Lights Are Rad (SOLAR) Act” was introduced by Sen. Kaitlyn Roling, Sen. Tony Tonet, Sen. Jacob Ludwig and Sen. Lydia Greene. The goal of the bill is to create a more green campus and install solar pathway lights to lessen the carbon footprint the university is creating.

Green Initiatives would contribute $2,000 and Special Projects account would be funding $17,950 to cover the costs, which would include the panel, the light pole and the installation. 

The bill was approved with unanimous consent.

Last year, 10 women in STEM fields at Iowa State were acknowledged by Student Government. The recipients were represented with banners in Parks Library for International Women’s Day. 

Following the previous year, Student Government will be featuring five more women with new banners. Sen. Kaitlyn Roling introduced the bill that requested $785.50 from the Special Projects account to be transferred to fulfill the purchase of the banners. 

The bill was approved with unanimous consent.  

Student Government also looked in to funding streaming services for Student Government debates.

Previously, during annual allocations the Election Commission accepted $180 for tech fees but received a quote that was $170 more than initially anticipated. 

The Election Commission requested $170 be transferred from the Special Projects account to fund for the additional fees. 

The bill was approved with unanimous consent.

Finance Director Madison Mueller and Speaker Kelsey Culbertson then requested money to fund new laptops for themselves. Each position requires laptops that keep track of all old documents, excel tracking and bills. A bill introduced by them required $2,398 to be allotted from the Special Projects account to pay for the new devices. 

“With a vote 22-2-0, Madame Speaker and Finance Director will be getting Christmas gifts,” said Vice President Vishesh Bhatia.

Additionally, Student Legal Services requested funds from Student Government.

Student Legal Services is a legal aid office that provides free and confidential legal services for students at Iowa State. The organization requested $5,481.11 from the Special Projects account for three new computers and supplies. 

The bill passed with a vote of 25-0-1.   

Student Government then seated an At-Large to the Civic Engagement Committee. 

Sehba Faheem, junior in biological systems engineering, was seated to the committee with approval by unanimous consent. 

Closing out the last meeting of the semester, Senators shared their farewells to one another and wished each other good luck on finals.

“What are we going to look like in two months from now?” Sen. Mason Zastrow said. “I don’t know, I don’t have 2020 vision.”

For more information or to contact your senator, visit The senate meetings are open to the public at 7 p.m. Wednesdays in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union.