Letter: GSB name change is fitting

The name change of Student Government (StuGov), formerly the Government of the Student Body, helps the student body understand that they aren’t actually being represented. On Wednesday, they voted against membership in the United States Student Association (USSA), the oldest student organization that lobbies on behalf of students.

Junior Jane Kersch wrote the bill in an attempt to strengthen ISU student representation at a state and national level. The membership fee would have been a measly $4,000 for a trial run with the organization through January (a great deal for eight months worth of lobbying and legislative resources). This would have included opportunities for students to sit on a national board of directors, receive advanced lobby training, and the chance to interact with an extremely diverse group of students from across the nation.

A common argument by opponents was that ISU Ambassadors fills this need. As a student that sat on ISU Ambassadors three years ago, coincidentally the last time they tried to do something relevant for students, I disagree. That was the year we wrote, submitted, and lobbied weekly for a tax break for students who graduate and stay in the state of Iowa.

It was a bipartisan bill, and even though we took ourselves seriously, the legislature did not. We did not have the support system necessary to represent student interests in a meaningful way. By voting down membership in USSA, Student Government has successfully turned down our chance to be relevant.

Other qualms centered around concerns that USSA might not accommodate conservative voices, which is absolutely untrue. It is student driven organization that collectively decides yearly issues; increasing college affordability, recruiting and retaining a diverse student population, and ending sexual assault on campus, were this year’s campaigns. Since when was representing students a partisan issue? If Student Government is not interested in working on issues such as these in a larger arena, what are they doing for students besides spending our fees?