GSB rejects bill implementing Senate qualifications


Jessica Kalahar/Iowa State Daily

Senator Danielle Nygard argues why she believes a bill should not be passed that would limit who could run for a seat in the Senate at the Government of the Student Body meeting on Wednesday, April 15.

Michaela Ramm

The Government of the Student Body Senate rejected a bill that would have limited students who could serve as senators.

The bill failed to pass 24-9 against the measure.

The bill required a senator to have been a student at Iowa State for at least a semester before earning a seat on the senate.

Several senators were opposed to passing the bill because it would limit experiences brought to the Senate, such as freshmen, transfer and graduate students.

Sen. Robert Dunn said passing this bill would basically be giving a giant middle finger to the students.

Sen. Zackary Reece said the bill is not an attack on students.

“It’s looking at their ability to reach out to their constituents to represent them effectively,” Reece said. “That’s why we’re all here.”

Sen. David Moore said students should get experience at Iowa State before serving.

“This would still limit freshmen, transfer and graduate students but I don’t think that’s a horrible thing,” Moore said. “Having people represent your constituents who don’t know important things, that’s just irresponsible.”

Moore said he believes freshmen are not able to represent their constituents well.

“Freshmen are not the best people to represent our constituents,” Moore said. “I’m not here to get people résumé points, I’m here to serve the students.”

Sen. Danielle Nygard was elected the first semester of her freshman year. She said she was not knowledgeable about everything, but still learned.

“All members of the student body are members of the student government,” Nygard said. “Why are we trying to limit that?”

Sen. Cole Button also pointed out he was seated during his first semester of his freshman year.

“Being a freshmen has not kept me from being a good representative of my constituents,” Button said. “I don’t see how having one more semester here would change that.”

Sen. Adam Guenther pointed out that other Big 12 schools have requirements for their student government senators.

Guenther said he ran because he wanted to make a difference with certain problems on campus.

“When you have freshmen running, what are they running for?” Guenther said. “They have no idea of issues on campus.”

Sen. Cole Staudt pointed out the organization just changed the name to Student Government.

“They’re still paying their activity fee and they have every right to serve here if they want,” Staudt said. “We have no right to say they can’t do it because we think they can’t. It’s absurd to say a freshmen can’t do it because they don’t know enough.”

Moore said the bill was not about the rebrand, but about representing constituents.

Nygard said she believed it is the constituent’s decision to choose who is most qualified.

“I don’t want to limit constituency councils, I believe that’s discrimination,” Nygard said. “We don’t want to close off the students.”

The Senate also passed a resolution supporting gender neutral housing 29-2.

Moore pointed out that the resolution was not making anything happen but rather supporting the movement. He also pointed out that the Department of Residence has been working on a project for this issue.

The Senate also elected senators as committee heads and named senators as members of several committees.

Adelai Swanson was confirmed as a member of the executive cabinet as the director of ISU Ambassadors.

Sen. Matthew Teubert was seated on the CyRide Board of Trustees. Hamad Abbas, finance director, was also the executive nomination to the board, which the Senate confirmed.

After a heavy debate, Sen. Abbie Lang was elected as chair of the public relations committee.

Nygard was seated as chair of the university affairs committee.

The Senate also seated members of the diversity committee, the finance committee, the public relations committee and the university affairs committee.