Student Government members spend day at the Capitol

Zach Clemens

Student Government’s executive branch, President Dan Breitbarth and Vice President Megan Sweere, attended their annual day at the Capitol in Des Moines on Tuesday, along with university administration.

They met with Iowa legislature to discuss and show some of the things coming out of Iowa State. President Breitbarth said it was a time to display great things happening at ISU that legislators might not get a lot of time to learn otherwise.

“[Iowa legislators] don’t always have times to think about the universities, or higher education,” Breitbarth said, “So it’s a good opportunity for us to go and say ‘hey this is all the great things happening at Iowa State.”

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) based projects were an interest to legislators. The Student Government members discussed increased STEM opportunities with a number of legislators including Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds.

The new bio-renewable complex, the new student innovation building that is going to be built as well as the research park were all topics of discussion.

A large part of the discussion was that Iowa State has more students from Iowa counties than any other university.

“We always say it’s a cyclone state, but now we have statistical data to back that up now,” Breitbarth said with a smile.

Funding for Iowa State was part of that dialogue. ISU actually loses money with in-state students, but is usually offset by out-of-state tuition and allocations from the Iowa legislature.

“We stressed the fact that we have more Iowa residents that are going to ISU, and [legislators] used to subsidize that, but the allocations have been dwindling,” Breitbarth said.

Members of Iowa State wanted to make sure legislators reprioritize that funding is an important issue and they need to keep that in mind when allocating funds, Breitbarth said.

It was a day for university administration and Student Government to get to know Iowa legislation and to have important conversations.

“Its not as much about lobbying, as it is about having conversations, getting to know these people and what their priorities as well,” Breitbarth said.