Big XII on the Hill success for Student Government

Zach Clemens

The Big 12 tournament has arrived, but student leadership from around the country traveled to the nation’s capitol for a different kind of Big XII. 

Big XII on the Hill is a yearly conference for Big XII schools to visit Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. However, this year was Iowa State’s turn to host the event.

Numerous Student Government members and student leaders went to the nation’s capital to discuss issues of importance to ISU students.

David Moore III, senior in kinesiology and director of special events for Student Government, planned the entire trip for Iowa State.

“We started working on this trip in August,” Moore said. “It was a long process.”

One of the biggest issues ISU members discussed with members of Congress was the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The Higher Education Act allocates funds for Pell grants, Perkins loans and impacts interest loans.

“I think everyone at Iowa State wants college to be affordable, that’s increasingly being talked about in the media and on the campaign trail,” said Adelai Swanson, senior in agricultural business and director of the ISU ambassadors program. “But we are feeling effects of that currently.”

Iowa has the eighth largest student debt in the nation, Swanson said, so the need to reauthorize the Higher Education Act is an important issue in Iowa.

Swanson also said there is a lot of discussion in D.C. about simplifying the FAFSA to make it easier to apply.

Campus sexual assault and student safety, which have become a focus on campus this year through the “Its On Us” and “Start by Believing” campaigns, were also discussed with members of Congress.

“They were all very receptive,” said Student Government President Dan Breitbarth. “I think it might be nice for them to get someone under the age of 30 who want to discuss issues with them. They were all very open to keeping in contact with us in the future.”

The Higher Education Act would need to be reauthorized by the end of the year, unless a new package can be created by Congress.