Student Government to discuss free-speech zones, umbrella share program


ISU Student Government held their final meeting before Thanksgiving break on Nov. 18. The meeting began with an open forum.

Zach Clemens

Student Government will debate and vote on a number of resolutions, including expanding the free-speech zones and creating an umbrella rental program, during its last meeting of the semester Wednesday night.

The free-speech zones on campus are west of the Hub and on the south Campanile lawn. The resolution passing through the Senate would recommend making the entire grassy area on Central Campus a free-speech zone for students, faculty and student organizations. The area west of the Hub would still be available to groups outside of the university to demonstrate.

There have been concerns this year with campus preachers at the free-speech zone harassing students. This resolution aims to curb some of those issues.

“We want to have a way for students to be able to recruit and not have to go through a bureaucratic process,” said Sen. Robert Dunn, one of the authors of the resolution who had previously brought a similar bill before the Senate before indefinitely tabling it.

Dunn said a lot of student groups want a larger space to recruit members without having to worry about campus preachers scaring potential new members away.

The resolution recommends that any students, faculty or student groups to not be within 100 feet of any building or impede foot traffic while demonstrating. It also requests that university administration provide more clear and concise language in regard to the free-speech zone policies to avoid confusion that has arisen in the past.

Student Government will also vote on funding a new program that would allow students to rent an umbrella for no coast and then return them when finished at designated areas around campus. This would cost $11,200 for the year.

There will also be a resolution supporting a change in parking in Campustown. Parking is currently prohibited between 3 and 6 a.m. daily on sections of Welch Avenue, Chamberlain Street and Lincoln Way.

Members of Student Government believe that having parking during those times on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays would prevent some people from driving after drinking at nearby bars. If this resolution passes, it will be sent to the mayor of Ames as well as each member of the Ames City Council.

There are also resolutions that aim to recognize the service and dedication of Tom Hill, senior vice president for Student Affairs; Richard Reynolds, director of the Memorial Union; and Paul Rhoads, who was recently let go as the ISU head football coach.