Board of Regents representative censured by Student Government



Zach Clemens

Student Government showed no confidence in the Board of Regents’ student member at its meeting Wednesday night. 

The Senate debated a bill to censure Rachael Johnson, a UNI student, who is the student member of the Board of Regents. The vote was passed unanimously by the senators.

The censure is due to Johnson voting in favor of a tuition raise for international students. Student Government passed a resolution against the tuition increase late in the fall semester and sent the bill to Johnson to review. She only received the bill 24 hours before the vote, however.

“She got 24 hours to look at this bill that [Student Government President Dan Breitbarth] said took 15 hours to write,” said Sen. Jeffery DeRocher, junior in accounting. “That time frame led to the decision to vote against our wishes, but that is not a big enough reason to censure.”

Speaker of the Senate Ben Crawford said the timing was an issue with Thanksgiving break and the mail schedule, but there was possibly more at work.

“I think administration was going to steamroll us anyways, and as far as I’m concerned they don’t care and we should do this censure and do whatever else we need to,” Crawford said.

Breitbarth said he did not have an opinion either way on the censure and it would not affect the Student Government relationship with the board. However, he said he was happy to see Student Government step up and do something that matters to students.

“I want this body to strengthen how the university sees us, how students see us,” Breitbarth said.

Sen. Matthew Teubert said he did not support this bill after new facts had been revealed. Several senators said Johnson recently sent out an email to explain the thinking behind her vote.

Sen. Conner Tillo was strongly in favor of the censure, even at one point quoting Sarah Palin.

“Everyone needs to step up and say no more to us being bullied,” Tillo said.

The Senate read a bill that would allocate funding for improved lighting in the area between Carver and the library, which the senators will vote on next week.

The funding would add two new light poles, as well as replace all light bulbs between Carver and the library, and all light bulbs on Carver with LED bulbs. Student Government would allocate $8,500 with a total cost of $34,000.

A bill that will be voted on next week was read to allocate $221.66 to the Iowa State Quiz Bowl club for registration and travel to an event in St. Paul, Minn. The ISU women’s basketball club requested $787.97 to be able to attend a tournament later this year. These funding bills will be decided at the next Senate meeting.

Sen. Khayree Fitten introduced a bill that would create a committee in Student Government that would solely focus on student activities. The bill argues the Student Organization Recognition Board is insufficient to meet all of the student organizations’ needs.