GSB discusses how to represent Campustown


Whitney Lynn/Iowa State Daily

On Wednesday, Jan. 28, GSB held its weekly meeting in the Campanile room to discuss this week’s topics. Sen. Sam Schulte discussed why he believes students in Campustown need their own senate seat. 

Makayla Tendall

The Government of the Student Body Senate failed to move the Senate seat that would represent students in Campustown to the United Residents of Off-Campus group of senators at the Jan. 28 senate meeting.

The idea behind the bill was to consolidate the two Senate seats because they both seem to represent the “interest of students residing in both areas [and] are similar in scope being that each council partakes in the off-campus lifestyle,” according to the bill.

However, Sen. Sam Schulte, who was seated as a senator for Frederiksen Court and was a former senator for LAS, said the Campustown Student Association and Director of the Memorial Union Richard Reynolds would like to see the seat remain as a Campustown constituency.

Schulte said even though the Campustown Senate seat has not been filled recently, there were a number of issues Campustown faced last year for which a senator would need to represent Campustown students. Those issues included unrest after the Veishea, housing and retail issues.

“We should get input from people living there to prevent those things from happening again there,” Schulte said.

Schulte also said this is not the right time to make this change, considering the drastic change Campustown is undergoing now with Kingland construction.

Other senators, such as Speaker of the Senate Gabe Walsh, said students typically think of Campustown as the area around Welch Ave. that contains a lot of retail, restaurant and entertainment establishments.

Sen. Danielle Nygard said Campustown students will still be represented with the Campustown Student Association, too.

Walsh said the students who live in what is still considered Campustown through GSB districts, residential areas some distance away from the business district, face no more unique issues than students who live off-campus in West, North or East Ames. 

Those students would be advocated for better in the larger group of United Residance Off-Campus senators. 

Sen. Richard Hartnett said the students of Campustown deserve to have their due-diligence and be represented. 

“Why don’t we just roll the College of Vet Med into Human Health and Sciences?” Hartnett asked the Senate of their constituency seats.  

Sen. Peter Benzoni read a letter from a former GSB Campustown senator who argued that if the seat was taken away, the GSB would essentially be arguing that all off-campus students are homogeneous when Campustown students face a different set of issues for living in an area where the University and the city of Ames are very involved and has a high traffic area. 

The Senate voted in favor of keeping the seat. 

Nygard also introduced a bill she sponsored to add e-cigarettes to the university no-smoking policy.

Nygard said e-cigarettes “may be visually similar to the smoking of cigarettes and has already been observed in locations where smoking is prohibited, creating concern and confusion that threatens to interfere with enforcement of the Smoke-Free Air Act,” according to the bill. 

The bill will be read again at next week’s meeting.