GSB president and vice president plan to continue work during summer


Sam Greene/Iowa State Daily

President Breitbarth addresses the the gathered senators of the Student Government at his first session as president on Apr. 8.

Michaela Ramm

It has been nearly two months since Dan Breitbarth and Megan Sweere were elected as president and vice president of GSB, and the two say they’ve accomplished a lot so far.

The pair was elected March 9, winning 66 percent of the total votes after campaigning on issues such as overcrowding and Veishea.

Breitbarth said they’ve had a good start.

“I’m optimistic about what can happen in the future,” Breitbarth said. “Everyone’s been very responsive, whether it be at the university level and with the city.”

Since taking office, they have been working to improve campus by meeting with administrators. These accomplishments include issues due to overcrowding, such as seating within the Memorial Union and alleviating congestion on Osborn Drive.

Breitbarth and Sweere said they spoke with Memorial Union Board of Directors and another committee in the MU. About 20 to 30 additional bar tables have since been purchased.

The director of multicultural affairs is also willing to open the Multicultural Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday for students to eat or study.

Sweere said Osborn Drive is going to be another thing considered this summer.

Breitbarth said he is on three different committees looking into improving Osborn Drive.

“The administration has brought in a business team to give us some sort of analysis of Osborn Drive to make it more efficient,” Breitbarth said. “We’re going to look at their findings and determine the best way to move forward.”

Breitbarth said they will probably make some significant changes to the street during the summer after they receive the analysis.

Some of these changes may include extending the sidewalk on the north side from Gilman to Lagomorcino about 100 yards and creating a potential bike path.

Along with congestion, they have also been working on improving on-campus parking.

The new parking lot next to Gilman is being built for staff parking, but it will be available for students after 5:30 p.m. Sweere said the lot will give 60 additional spots across from the library for students to use.

CyRide will also work on efficiency throughout the summer, including an expansion to Red and Orange routes.

“[Sweere] and I lobbied to try to get an express route for [the No. 1 Red East route] that would go along Mortensen Road, and that has a potential to go to the Towers,” Breitbarth said.

The student government leaders are also working on several other projects, including an alternative celebration for Veishea for the fall and spring semesters, improvements for the Crisis Line, recycling and overall improvement of buildings on campus.

Sweere said student government as a whole has also helped accomplish improvements to the Thielen Student Health Center, which will be in place by the fall semester.

Breitbarth said they are also looking into Dead Week policy.

“We’ve received quite a few complaints from students having extra stuff scheduled for Dead Week,” Breitbarth said. “So we’re trying to be extremely specific about that policy and solidify that in some way so students are less concerned about projects they’ll have to do over Dead Week.”

Neither of the student government leaders will be in Ames this summer. Sweere will be in Milwaukee for an internship with Kohl’s. Breitbarth will be in Washington, D.C. for six weeks interning for Chuck Grassley.

Despite this, Breitbarth said he plans to continue to work on projects while in Washington D.C.

“I’ll be teleconferencing into a couple meetings,” Breitbarth said. “We’ve also got a couple cabinet members that are going to be here over the summer that will be doing the work for us while we’re gone.”

Breitbarth will return to Ames on July 1, and said he will make Osborn Drive his top priority.

“We’ll continue to look at the feasibility of that and what we can do to change that around,” Breitbarth said.

They both hope to accomplish all of their goals by the end of the fall semester.

If students wish to contact Breitbarth and Sweere about an issue, there is a form students can fill out at