Student Government passes bill censuring the Department of Residence


Student Government President Austin Graber and Vice President Vishesh Bhatia talk to Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen at the Oct. 30 Student Government meeting. Students came to talk about recent controversial events on campus and to address Wintersteen.

Cassie Lehmann

Student Government passed a bill regarding events impacting the Department of Residence, funded club and organization requests and reviewed bills regarding internal matters at Wednesday night’s meeting. 

Student Government passed a bill that addresses recent controversial events on campus.

The bill, titled “Censuring The Department of Residence,” was introduced by Senator Ian Searles for himself, Senator Jacob Ludwig, Senator Joshua Hanyang, Senator Mason Zastrow, Senator Alex Klein, Senator Hayat Sumael, Senator Lydia Greene, Senator Matthew Klaes, Speaker Kelsey Culbertson, Vice-Speaker Jacob Schrader and Director of Diversity and Inclusion Elena Hoffman.

“Racism has no place or protection on campus as it violates the University’s Principles of Community, and […] there have been high profile events in recent years that have highlighted the systemic failure of the Department of Residence within the university to respond to incidents of harassment of protected classes,” according to the bill.

The bill listed cases dating back to 2016 of incidents and provided guidelines on how to address situations.

“One such instance was the failure to publicly or privately address the recent racist vandalism in Geoffroy Hall in a reasonably timely manner,” according to the bill.

A resolution the bill enforces is a campus-wide policy of a 48-hour administrator response time on all events to the parties affected, whether the solution is clear or not. All parties involved in the case will be kept up to date on the status of the case as well.

The bill passed with a vote of 25-0-1, and a copy of the bill will be sent to Director of Residence Pete Englin, all members of the Residence Life Leadership Team, Vice President of Student Affairs Martino Harmon, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Reginald Stewart, Dean of Students Vernon Hurte and President of the University Wendy Wintersteen.

Additionally, Student Government reviewed multiple funding requests from campus organizations.

Greek Week Central is a collaboration with Interfraternity Council and Collegiate Panhellenic Council and was looking for funding from Student Government. 

The Greek Week Council committee asked Student Government to assist funding to host Alex Sheen, TedxTalk speaker and founder of “because I said I would,” for an event that will be open to the public March 31, 2020.

The bill asked for $5,000 to be transferred from the Excellence account to help fund the event.

The bill failed with a vote of 5-21-0. 

Ethos Magazine is a student-run publication that asked for $4,000 to provide for the magazine to be able to print.

The bill passed with unanimous consent.

The United Arab Emirates Student Association (UAESA) also requested funding from Student Government. UAESA asked for $980 to pay for an event on Dec. 2 to celebrate the United Arab Emirates’ national holiday.

The bill passed with unanimous consent. 

Student Government has an organization debt reserve set in place to help fund clubs out of their current debt. The club will need to repay Student Government according to terms and conditions that both parties have agreed on.

The Men’s Ultimate Frisbee Club will also be recognized to receive $4,718.00 and will need to pay at least $750.00 back to Student Government each semester till the fall of 2022, or until the club has met all of its financial obligations. 

The bill passed with a vote of 24-2-0.   

Student Government then moved to seat Senator Lydia Greene to the Student Initiatives Committee and review various internal funding matters.

The Residency Fair is an opportunity for various rental options in Ames to connect with students.

The group requested $395.58 to be transferred from the Special Events account to pay for a raffle and advertising for the event.

The bill passed with a vote of 22-0-2.

Additionally, the Student Initiatives Committee asked for $509.53 for funding Winter Weather Safety Bags. The event of handing out the bags will happen within the next two weeks. The bags will include paper bags, hot chocolate packets, hand warmers, gloves, tissues and cough drops.

The bill passed with unanimous consent.

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.