Everything you need to know about the Iowa State StuGov Senate race


Max Goldberg

Student Government senators vote on a resolution Wednesday night that will request that all Iowa State administrators act to the fullest legal extent of their ability to protect DACA and undocumented students attending Iowa State University.  

Emily Barske

Note: the Daily’s style is to use classification listed in the directory, which is based on the amount of credits they have and doesn’t necessarily represent the time the years they’ve been at Iowa State. 

More than 40 Iowa State students are running to be Student Government senators, according to the election commission. If elected, the senators would serve a year-long term in the legislative branch starting this April.

Here is a list of those running for a Senate seat. The Daily asked all candidates if they would like to submit a statement about why they are running and those are included here if the senator submitted one. 

Natalie Pellegrino, Junior in Business Economics 

Collegiate Panhellenic Counsel Senator

I am running for Senate to continue improving the Iowa State experience for my constituents and collegians alike. I believe every student has a voice in their campus and I want to reach out to my constituents in a more efficient manner so they can know and have a voice in what is happening. In addition, I hope to better improve the relationship between students and administration and continue the push for better lighting on campus specifically around Parks Library and Lake LaVerne. I also believe that all students should have access to on-campus student services that function in a quick manner to assure that all students are getting the care they deserve. If elected, I promise to fulfill the duties of Student Government and faithfully represent my constituents during all Student Government actions. 

Austen Giles, Sophomore in Public Relations

United Residents of Off-Campus Constituency Senator

I’m running for the Senate to not only cause trouble, but to challenge the minds of the current office. It will be interesting to engage with my fellow colleagues as we discuss issues we consider appropriate and beneficial to Iowa State.  

Nathan Kimle, Junior in Agricultural Business, International Agriculture, Economics

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Senator

I am running to represent students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, to afford all my constituents the resources and programs that allow them to succeed and enjoy their college experience. Giving every student ample opportunity to maximize their college experience is important to students at Iowa State. Giving students full access to programs and resources and using allocations thoughtfully to make Iowa State efficient are what I hope to bring to the position.

Nakanyike Patricia Mutebi, Graduate student in Architecture

College of Design Senator

My name is Patricia N. Mutebi and I would like to be considered for the Senate position for the College of Design. I am a second-year Master of Architecture Graduate student from Uganda. Prior to becoming a graduate student in the United States, I graduated from the University of Nairobi with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies in August 2016. During my time there, I was highly involved with the Architectural Students Association for all my four years. I held the position of class representative, where I was in charge of making sure that students’ voices were heard. I worked hand in hand with these students from different backgrounds and all walks of life. I believe this experience qualifies me for this position. I understand the importance of being involved and active in the design community and would like to get more involved with the College of Design this year. I also enjoy attending meetings and events and keeping everything organized. I believe I am the right candidate for this seat. Please consider me for this position!

Ian C. Steenhoek, Sophomore in Journalism & Mass Communications, double minor in Performing Arts & German

Campustown Senator

I am running for re-election to my current position as Campustown Senator. I am running to continue my work on the Public Relations Committee, and as United Residents of Off-Campus Constituency President. Safety is a huge priority for me, and it is my goal to increase safety in both Campustown and off campus as a whole, especially in light of recent events. I am currently working on a project to potentially add streetlights around Franklin Park. Other ideas include adding both security cameras and emergency phones on/near Welch Avenue. I also hope to increase student activity within organizations, Student Government and administration as a whole. Living off campus can make it difficult to stay involved on campus. I aim to find ways to encourage such activity. I ask for your support so I can continue the work I currently have in progress and so I can represent you in the future!

Cody Woodruff, Sophomore in Political Science

Inter-Residence Hall Association Senator

I’m running for re-election because I’ve always been and always will be a passionate advocate for students and education. Over the past year, I’ve worked in Senate to address rising tuition costs, budget cuts, issues that students with disabilities face, safety on campus and protecting all students that attend Iowa State. I want to continue representing my fellow Cyclones for another year, and I hope to keep making progress on the issues I’ve been working on while serving as a senator. One of my biggest goals for next year would be getting more students involved in Student Government. Our voice is far more powerful and effective when all students speak up, not just a handful. If we want real change, then we need more people to join us and be the change that they wish to see. I hope to earn your support and your vote!

Logan Maxwell, Senior in History, minor in Political Science, Secondary Education and declared Pre-Law

College of Human Sciences Senator

Student Government is not running as a government. It does not reach out to constituents, and it does not provide adequate transparency for constituents. I look to open Student Government, maintain fiscal responsibility with all previously passed and upcoming resolutions. I also look to maintain socially responsible values that uphold the best traditions at Iowa State University. Any type of government, especially one such as a public university, owes itself to uphold the traditions of its university, state and, most importantly, its nation. I will always look to do what is best for all three institutions. If we hope for a better future for America, we must have proper leaders at all levels. I can and will be one of those leaders here. If anyone would like to reach out to me, please follow me on Facebook “Logan Maxwell for ISU Senate,” on Twitter at @LoganMaxwell1 or via email [email protected]

Rahul Kumar, Freshman in Physics

Liberal Arts and Sciences Senator

I am running for Senate because I am passionate about Iowa State and know that it is a great school. I am passionate about issues regarding race equality. As a person of color, I know that discrimination can make people horrible versions of themselves and would like to make policies in the Senate regarding equality. I am also a good speaker and debater. 

Zoey Shipley, Junior in Political Science

Liberal Arts and Sciences Senator

With my time here at Iowa State, I have become very involved with not only Student Government but also in other organizations, especially those pertaining to my college of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For LAS, I have worked as an LAS Ambassador, a Cyclone Aide for summer orientation, an Andrew Goodman Foundation Ambassador, Legacy of Heroine Scholar and much more. Along [with] my dedication to and the relationships I’ve built with LAS, I now have a year of experience as a senator on Student Government. On StuGov, I have worked on many committees to improve ISU. I have worked closely with administration to help better its relationship with students and continued to make sure that students’ voices were heard. 

Matthew Voss, Sophomore in Statistics

Liberal Arts and Sciences Senator

I am Matthew Voss, a freshman majoring in statistics with minors in political science, economics, mathematics and computer science. I have always been interested in politics, even serving as an Iowa Senate Page in 2015. That passion for politics has driven me to run for LAS Senator. I think my collection of experiences and interests makes me uniquely prepared to represent the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, having been involved with many departments within the college. This year, I have also been involved in Political Science Club, Sports Analytics Club, ISU Legislative Ambassadors, Memorial Lutheran Church and as academic chair of Mortensen House. As LAS senator, I would use my connections throughout the college to make sure I am representing the students well. I encourage students to vote for me, but most of all to vote and take a part in Student Government.

Samuel Freestone, Sophomore in Environmental Science

United Residents of Off-Campus Constituency Senator

My fellow students, my name is Samuel Freestone. As a senator over the last year I have had the amazing opportunity to meet with many students and work to improve university life. My main focuses have been improving dining on campus and streamlining university traffic. If I am re-elected, I will continue advocating for student interests and help to make Iowa State shine upon its peers. I would like to work closely with CyRide to make riding the buses more appealing and convenient so that overall traffic will decrease. I am always happy to hear from constituents regarding issues they care about. If you have any questions for me or issues you would [like] me to advocate for, my email is [email protected]. Thank you for your time, and I appreciate your support.

Rachel Origer, Freshman in Civil Engineering

College of Engineering Senator

My name is Rachel and I am currently one of the engineering senators on Student Government. I want to be your senator again next year because I care greatly about the engineering community and I want to continue improving things on campus. If re-elected, I would like to focus on increasing the number of outdoor tables and dining options near engineering buildings so that students can eat and study outside on nice days. I will also continue to strengthen the interaction between students and senators by encouraging students to attend Senate meetings and advocating for issues pertinent to engineering students. I am always willing to meet with constituents and learn how they feel Student Government can improve the experience at Iowa State. If you have any questions or would like to get in touch regarding issues you are passionate about, please email me at [email protected]. Also, please take the time to vote March 7 and 8 so that you can make a difference at Iowa State!

Chelsea Eret, Junior in Political Science

Liberal Arts and Sciences Senator 

I’m Chelsea Eret and I’m currently majoring in Political Science and serving as an LAS senator on Student Government. I recently got nominated to this position during this semester and have enjoyed the opportunity to listen to issues important to the student body. I hope to continue my work as a senator during the 2017-18 school year by representing the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. With your vote I hope to work toward the safety of all students on our campus, better mental and physical health support and ensuring that students feel that they can be financially successful at Iowa State. Outside of Student Government I have been a Cyclone Aide and a Cyclone Aide Adviser, as well as being involved with the Andrew Goodman Foundation Ambassador program, legislative ambassadors and working as a community adviser in Buchanan. I hope to earn your vote on March 7 and 8!  

Steven Valentino, Senior in Political Science and Economics

Campustown Senator

As someone who has previously served on Student Government, I have relentlessly advocated for students as the CyRide Board of Trustees Vice President to make CyRide develop its significant level of quality and efficiency. Having been the Vice Chair of Finance Committee as well, I have worked hard to secure as much funding as possible for each student organization that seeks it. As the Chair of the University Affairs Committee, I have set up events, like campus safety walks, in order to address safety concerns on campus in order to make campus the safest it can be for all students. My desire to continue my involvement in Student Government rests on continuing to address CyRide and campus safety so that the student voice is represented. I have also worked hard on bringing a new event to the spring semester to reinvigorate campus traditions because the student experience is paramount.

Robert Kinser, Senior in Mechanical Engineering

College of Engineering Senator

My name is Robert Kinser and I am a junior in mechanical engineering. I am running to represent the College of Engineering as a senator because I want Iowa State to be a better place for current and future students. I feel that Student Government is a great tool for improving the student experience, but it is underutilized. Many students do not know the names of the senators who represent them and do not know how to contact them. I want to change this by increasing student involvement in Student Government. I plan to regularly reach out to engineering students to discuss current legislation and hear the concerns of students. I would do this by attending Engineering Student Council meetings and other engineering student organization meetings throughout the year. I can only be an effective senator if I am in regular communication with the students I would represent.

Austin Nixon, Senior in Political Science & History

United Residents of Off-Campus Constituency Senator

Hey, Cyclones! My name is Austin Nixon and I am from Waukee, Iowa. I am a senior majoring in political science and minoring in history with plans of going to law school in the near future. I am running to represent us, the students, giving you a voice to be heard because I am truly sick and tired of just being another number and check to the Iowa Board of Regents and our own university. It is an issue that many students do not understand, yet it affects every single aspect in every student’s life by hitting them where it truly hurts the most, their wallets. I am running for this office to finally put my foot down to hold anyone accountable that may negatively impact the students’ educational experience and to make sure that every single tuition dollar of ours is being implemented in the most efficient and effective manner. Our goal is to create a campus environment that all students enjoy without them having to worry about coming up with even more money to stay at such an amazing institution like Iowa State University. I understand the stress, the challenges and the debts that come along with this journey toward earning a college degree. I promise to work with the student body presidents at the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa to find common ground when it comes to dealing with the Iowa Board of Regents and the Iowa State Legislature in securing more funding for our university. 

Kathryn (Katie) Neilson, Junior in Materials Engineering

College of Engineering Senator

I’m running for Senate because I dislike the lack of communication Student Government senators currently have with those they represent. To combat that, if elected, I would like to have a contact in each engineering organization to give weekly updates on the happenings in the Senate and so that they can give feedback. I’ve been a very involved person on campus, especially within engineering activities, and I believe it qualifies me to be a senator. I’ve served on Inter-Residence Hall Association for almost two years now, been in leadership roles in the Society of Women Engineers, Material Advantage, a peer mentor for the program for Women in Science and Engineering, ISU Honors, Friley Hall president and much more. I’m an organized person that isn’t too shy to speak up and would do my best to represent you.

Rachael Barnes, Senior in Global Resource Systems and Biological Systems Engineering

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Senator

My name is Rachael Barnes, and I am running for a CALS senator position for Student Government. Through my experiences at Iowa State, I am passionate about bringing more voices into Student Government so that all decisions are in the best interest of our student body. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has been monumental in my personal development and career goals and it would be an honor to serve the university as a senator for CALS. It is essential as a senator to talk with students that I will represent to ensure that student voices are heard with high value. Thank you!

Nathan Schaffer, Sophomore in Computer Engineering

Frederiksen Court Senator

My goal is to serve students and improve the student experience through advocacy and empowerment by reaching out and listening to every resident’s thoughts and concerns.

Derick Whited, Senior in Mechanical Engineering

College of Engineering Senator

I have been involved in club leadership throughout my time at ISU, and I have interacted frequently with Student Government. My goal is to advocate and legislate for transparency, student accessibility and engagement and campus improvement. I support and will push for transparency from Student Government and university administration in regard to financial records, coverage of bills and resolutions and an updated StuGov website. If elected, I will hold office hours, town halls and attend club meetings to connect with the students of the COE and get their input. Students should actively participate in Student Government, and I will support all outreach efforts to involve more students in talking about the issues the college and university face. I will work with the college and university administration to improve our campus services and climate, including the addition of more scanners in COE computer labs and accommodating a growing population. 

Hannah Scott, Junior in Political Science and History Secondary Education

Liberal Arts and Sciences Senator

I am running for Student Government because I believe its fundamental purpose is to better all students’ lives here at Iowa State, and this is something I am passionate about working to achieve. Having never been involved with Student Government before, I hope to bring an outsider’s perspective in trying to enhance the student experience. If elected, my primary focus would be on pushing for initiatives that get all students’ voices heard. I would reach out to students to hear their concerns and work to resolve them. I am passionate about fighting for fair tuition for all students, ISU administration transparency and accountability, sexual assault prevention and campus safety awareness, sustainability and establishing events on campus to promote unity. I would be grateful for your vote on March 7 and 8.

Colton Kreber, Senior in Agricultural Business

Graduate and Professional Student Senate Senator

I want to do my best to support all students, no matter what their background is. I’m also single … tell your friends!

Aaron DeJoode, Junior in Political Science

Write-in Inter-Residence Hall Association Senator

Hey Everyone! My name is Aaron DeJoode and I am running as a write in IRHA Senator for Student Government. I have lived in the residence halls now for going on two years and have been very active and I want to stay active as a way to represent the students the way they deserve. I was an IRHA Representative for Towers my freshman year and was even elected president of that 1200 person student body but turned it down. I now sit as the National Communication Coordinator for IRHA and am a CA Geoffroy Hall (Buchanan 2 or Twochanan). Students deserve a voice in the happenings around Iowa State University and it is my goal to make that voice heard especially from the residence halls. Please considering writing in Aaron DeJoode for IRHA Senator.

The following students are also running for Senate seats, but didn’t submit a statement to the Daily:

  • Samuel Rankin, Junior in Finance, United Residents of Off-Campus Constituency Senator 
  • Haider Raza, Senior in Computer Science, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Senator
  • Conner Tillo, Junior in Political Science, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Senator
  • Kelsey Culbertson, Junior in Environmental Science, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Senator and United Residents of Off-Campus Constituency Senator
  • Cody West, Senior in Biology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Jonathan Kirner, Senior in Industrial Design, College of Design Senator
  • Kathryn Paszkiewicz, Sophomore in Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering Senator
  • Michael A. Tupper, Junior in Agriculture Engineering, College of Engineering Senator
  • Connor Theisen, Senior in Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering Senator
  • Carter McNew, Senior in Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering Senator
  • Scott Moss, Junior in Finance, College of Business Senator
  • Humair Nadeem, Graduate Student in Mechanical Engineering, Graduate College Senator
  • Joonghyun Park, Sophomore in Computer Science, Schilletter and University Village Senator
  • Caroline Warmuth, Sophomore in Political Science, Frederiksen Court Senator
  • Yash Lekhwani, Freshman in Pre-Computer Science, Frederiksen Court Senator
  • Jack Utterback, Junior in Aerospace Engineering, United Residents of Off-Campus Constituency Senator
  • Isaiah Baker, Junior in Political Science, United Residents of Off-Campus Constituency Senator
  • Cody Smith, Senior in Agriculture and Life Sciences Education, United Residents of Off-Campus Constituency Senator
  • Aleeza Mian, Sophomore in Preparation For Human Medicine, United Residents of Off-Campus Constituency Senator
  • Jacob Zirkelbach, Senior in Psychology, Inter-Residence Hall Association Senator