Letter: Make GSB change bill

I am writing this letter to voice my opposition to a bill that was introduced to the GSB on Wednesday, “Senate Bill Adding Minimum Requirement of Senators.” This bill would lay down eligibility requirements based on credit hours in order to be elected to GSB. While I’m sure the authors’ intent was focused on freshmen, it clearly misses the mark. The bill stipulates that students must complete 12 credit hours to be eligible to be elected. This is a ridiculous requirement. The authors are clearly unaware that graduate students don’t take more than nine credit hours a semester. This would make nearly all graduate students ineligible even after one year of attending Iowa State. Does fewer credit hours make someone less qualified to be a student senator? No, it doesn’t.

Why does GSB want to limit who is involved? It seems they already have enough trouble filling all the open positions judging by how many open seats there are.

I find it appalling that the undergraduates are so forgetful of graduate students who are so important to campus life. After I read this bill, I thought, wow, someone got elected that the authors didn’t like. How petty. And to those authors who want to backtrack and say they “just put their name on the bill,” shame on you for putting your name on a bill without reading or evaluating the consequences. You aren’t being good stewards of the students.

I am a first year graduate student. I did my undergraduate studies at Kansas State University where I served in the Student Governing Association (SGA) — the equivalent of GSB. I was an intern for one year  — required to attend meetings, vote on issues in my committee, but not eligible to vote in regular senate meetings. After that first year, I was elected multiple times to represent the College of Engineering as a student senator where I served from 2009-2012. I assure you, I have the credentials and experience, far more than some of the undergraduates to be a student senator, but GSB would like to keep me out based on the number of credit hours I’ve attained.

I understand the concern of freshmen students being elected that may be inexperienced, but denying participation to a group of people is not what the democratic process is about.

College is a learning experience, and so is involvement in the legislative process. Even after serving as an intern for one year prior to being elected, I didn’t know everything about my university or parliamentary procedure, but I learned it on the go with the help of mentors and advisers within the student government. My connection to my fellow students and my willingness to communicate with them and voice concerns is what made me a good student senator.

If you are as concerned as I am about this bill moving forward, I suggest contacting the authors — Adam Guenther, Michael Snook, David Moore III — or your GSB representative. I encourage you to voice your opposition to this bill.