Student Government discusses election bylaws, funding, free speech and diversity


Sarah Muller/Iowa State Daily

Senators raise their placards in a vote during Student Government Wednesday. 

Zach Clemens

Student Government voted to approve amendments to election bylaws and the election code, as well as discussed funding for different student organizations at its regular meeting Wednesday night.

Denise Williams-Klotz, assistant director of multicultural student affairs, led a discussion with Student Government about inclusion and diversity on campus. This was the first part of a two-part discussion that will take place at a future meeting.

Senators broke into small groups to discuss different questions about diversity and inclusion and came back together to discuss their answers. They discussed the perception that it is intimidating to get the perception to change.

The senators also touched on the issues at the University of Missouri, and said the problems that exist there might occur at Iowa State.

“We need to make our students feel safe and included always,” said Speaker of the Senate Ben Crawford.

Different language that might be found offensive or create barriers was discussed, particularly for international or multicultural students.

“Being aware of how our words and actions affect others is a powerful thing,” Williams-Klotz said.

Sen. Robert Dunn took issue with the speaker and wanted to have a provision in the diversity bill that was passed a couple weeks ago to include diversity of thought.

“You need to include diversity of thought in this discussion of diversity or the next Senate meeting will be my last,” Dunn said. :I am deeply ashamed at this body.”

Changes to a number of bylaws were approved unanimously. The election commissioner will now assume the duties to investigate all claims into election fraud, which was previously the responsibility of the vice commissioner.

The vice commissioner is now responsible for the advertisement and promotion of all Student Government elections, including working with the public relations committee as well as figuring out budgets for the promotion.

A proposed amendment that would raise the amount allowed to spend on a campaign to $5,000 was also discussed.

“This effectively removes the spending limit on campaigns and elections, but you cannot get reimbursed if you go over,” said Sen. Ian Marlenee.

Sen. Cole Staudt opposed the bill, saying that someone should not be able to spend an unlimited amount of money on a student election.

The bill passed by a vote of 34 to 7.

Changes to the election code were also discussed. A change that alters the language to reflect the name change from Government of the Student Body to Student Government was unanimously approved.

Student Government will consider modifying the Campustown constituency to a sub-constituency of United Residents of Off-Campus. This would allow students from Campustown who are interested in serving, but have no available spots, to be able to serve through United Residents of Off-Campus.

Student Government unanimously approved $2,273.30 in funding for the ISU Golf Club for a national tournament in San Antonio, Texas, on Nov. 20.

A bill to consider expanding the free-speech zones on campus was also read at the meeting. This would allow organizations that are connected to Iowa State to be able to host protests or events on the grassy area around the Campanile, as long as it is at least 100 feet from buildings and does not impede foot traffic. Groups that are not connected to Iowa State would still be able to protest in the current free-speech zones.

This bill will be discussed and voted on at next week’s meeting.