GSB vice presidential candidates talk issues


Korrie Bysted/Iowa State Daily

Megan Sweere, left, and Kathryn Leidahl speak at the GSB vice presidential debates Feb. 24.

Michaela Ramm

The Government of the Student Body vice presidential debate was highlighted by a discussion of Veishea and overcrowding at the Memorial Union on Feb. 24.

Megan Sweere and Kathryn Leidahl discussed their individual campaign platforms and the issues they wish to resolve if they were elected.

Sweere and her running mate, presidential hopeful Dan Breithbarth, are running under the “No B.S.” campaign slogan. To them, it means they will not have any self-serving intentions and care about what the students want on campus.

Leidahl, who is running alongside presidential candidate Amanda Loomis, is campaigning with “Now More Than Ever,” which means the candidates are working for changes that will impact a large amount of the student body.

The candidates discussed how they plan to address the overcrowding problems, which includes congestion on Osborn Drive, parking and crowded dining centers.

Sweere said she and Breithbarth were looking into using space upstairs in the Memorial Union for students to eat, as well as looking into other options for students during the lunch hour. She said they were working with dining to have carts on central campus for 16 weeks where student organizations can sell food.

“We do know dining has carts and there are ways to use dining dollars on outside venues,” Sweere said. “It’s an exciting idea and there’s a lot of opportunity.”

Leidahl said efficiency is key when battling overcrowding.

“There are unused classrooms, offices, storage spaces in a way that are not helping students,” Leidahl said. “We want to explore how to better use that space.”

Leidahl said they plan to alleviate issues in the dining centers by changing the shape of the tables in order to fit more people.

The overcrowding issue may be most felt by freshmen in residence halls, which the candidates plan to address.

Both candidates agreed that students should not be forced to move halfway through a year and residence halls should avoid using dens as student living spaces.

“It’s important to keep that community aspect alive in resident halls,” Sweere said.

Leidahl said getting input from freshmen who live in residence halls is incredibly important to their campaign.

The executive candidates discussed their plans for a campus-wide event that would be similar or serve as a replacement to Veishea.

Leidahl said they were working with past Veishea executives to create an event for the fall semester to show what Iowa State has to offer.

“We want a lot of the focus on the scholarship aspect,” Leidahl said. “It’s something that can be done in our term, but pushing it to the fall will guarantee it be done in a clean way.”

Leidahl said they want to bring back traditions that were lost in the spring, but stay away from holding an event in April, due to safety concerns.

Sweere said she and Briethbarth were also working on creating an event similar to Veishea as a possible replacement.

Cyclone Market was a collaborative creation between the candidates after the cancellation of Veishea. By next year, they would be able to have a collaboration among all colleges at Iowa State.

“We plan on moving forward,” Sweere said. “Next year, bring back cherry pie, parade and a lot of the things that meant a lot to Ames community, as well as [the] Iowa State campus.”

The candidates discussed other issues they plan on addressing if elected.

Leidahl and Loomis plan on making campus more sustainable by creating a campus-wide recycling program involving all buildings at Iowa State.

They also plan on working to do away with add/drop fees, in order to alleviate student expenses.

Sweere and Breithbarth will work on incorporating more diversity on campus and understanding international students’ needs at Iowa State.

Sweere said they had sent a survey to better gage students’ needs and interests, and pursue issues from there.

Presidential debates will take place March 26 at the Memorial Union.

Students can vote for GSB president and vice president at March 3 and 4.