No B.S.: Breitbarth, Sweere continue to serve students


Schuyler Smith/Iowa State Daily

Dan Breitbarth and Megan Sweere are sworn in as the new Student Government president and vice president. 

Zach Clemens

“No B.S.”

This was a campaign slogan used by current Student Government President Dan Breitbarth and Vice President Megan Sweere. And while it might not have been embraced by university administration, it did let students know they wanted to get things done.

Their goal? Enact real and visible change for the better.

”We didn’t feel that administration was taking a close enough look at challenges that students were facing,” Breitbarth said.

As part of the University Affairs Committee in Student Government, Sweere knew overcrowding was a major issue and one the pair could quickly address.

“It was the most viable option where even little changes can make a difference quickly,” Sweere said.

They started out the presidency by getting almost a hundred new seats available in the Memorial Union in the form of benches and dining seating. There were issues with power source availability that was solved with more than 300 new outlets installed in the library.

Breitbarth was heavily involved in the planning of the remodeling of Osborn Drive, where the sidewalks were widened and all parking removed to better the flow of pedestrian traffic.  A ‘Walk Your Wheels’ campaign was also implemented to encourage bike riders to walk their bike when on Central Campus.

The spring semester will bring new challenges and goals, with issues never fully solved on a college campus. Breitbarth and Sweere say they will continue to be involved in diversity issues on campus. They have been involved ever since the events at the Donald Trump protest at the CyHawk game, the subsequent diversity forum and the Student Government diversity resolution. The pair has made it a priority.

“We want to continue to work with everyone and make sure they feel safe on campus,” Sweere said.

Breitbarth said their goal is to make sure all students have the resources they need, whether those resources mean funding for improvements, space for meetings or anything else.

Safety will be another big focus and was a priority even before the tragedy on Lincoln Way that resulted in the death of Emmalee Jacobs. Breitbarth and Sweere say they will continue working with university administration, as well as the Ames City Council on making pedestrian safety along Lincoln Way an important issue.

Breitbarth and Sweere say they want to improve the student experience across campus, to make Iowa State a better place.

They are looking into getting a clear policy on Dead Week, an economical change in the printing credits for students and trying to bring new, sustainable events to campus.

“Anything the students need is our first priority, that’s the only reason we are here,” Breitbarth said.

Being part of Student Government and the executive branch gives Breitbarth and Sweere a unique and challenging perspective. They can understand how students feel about an issue but can also see where faculty and administration are coming from and this sometimes makes communication difficult. They want to be the clear line of communication between students and university administration.

Breitbarth said he just wants students to remember their time at Iowa State positively. Whether his presidency is remembered or not, student success is all he wants, and Sweere echoed that sentiment.

“We do a lot of behind-the-scenes work and we like it that way,” Sweere said, “I don’t want it to be about me, I want it to be about we’re changing, what’s getting better and what needs to change.”

No B.S.