Student Government discussed transparency, an issue with a previous presidential candidate and a resolution to bring scooters to campus at their Wednesday meeting.
Sen. Jacob Schrader introduced a resolution titled “Feasances Accountability,” aimed at making specific bylaws that put someone in charge of keeping track of nonfeasance, misfeasance and malfeasances given to senators and make them public record upon request.
“In the interest of transparency, in the interest ... being responsible to the greater Iowa State community about how we are doing, it should be available,” Schrader said.
Some senators disagreed, stating that having the feasances was a breach of privacy and a possibility for others to judge them.
“I’m not sure how I feel about that,” Woodruff said. “That any student can ask for it. Not that I don’t like accountability ... but I think this is a privacy issue as well.”
Sen. Ihssan Ait-Boucherbil amended the resolution to strike out the reason for the feasances from public record.
Sen. Wyatt Scheu said there were other ways to hold senators accountable, especially if the feasance was given because the senator “made a mistake,” though he did agree that there needed to be some kind of accountability in place.
Sen. Analese Hauber said the bill only requires the feasances to be distributed if someone asked for access to it.
“People have to be looking for this, it’s not like we are advertising, it’s not on the front page of the Student Government website,” Hauber said. “If someone really wanted to do their due diligence as a constituent, I think they have a right to do that.”
The resolution passed with a vote of 21-1-1.
During open forum, Finance Director Seth Carter spoke about an executive slate that had failed to return all of the items purchased with Student Government’s public money.
The Ben Whittington campaign had, during election season, bought capital items with Student Government fees. Those capital items belong to Student Government and slates that choose to purchase capital items during their campaigns are to give the items to Student Government after elections had finished.
Carter said he and the election commission sent Whittington emails with a list of capital items to be returned.
“After a lot of hounding, he returned two of the items that he had purchased with Student Government money, which do belong to the student body,” Carter said. “It had just felt really disrespectful. I was kind of astounded that somebody who ran to represent the students would take so little care to return property of the study body.”
Director Carter said he wasn’t sure how to hold Whittington accountable, and he thought he would just report to the student body.
Sen. Gabriel Rios-Rivera introduced a resolution titled “Let’s Roll Recommendations.” The resolution recommended the Iowa State administration send a Request for Proposal to begin the process of bringing a scooter service to make students’ trips around campus easier. A student would check out a scooter with an app on their phone, pay for the time they are using it, and check it back in once they are done.
In response to concerns raised by several senators about disabled students on campus and how they will be affected by the scooters, Sen. Kaitlyn Noah added an amendment that asks the administration take into consideration student with disabilities to avoid deterring accessibility.
The amendment was approved with unanimous consent.
The resolution ultimately failed with a vote of 11-13-0.
Sen. Austin Graber introduced a bill to ratify Student Government’s funding of ASSET’s contracts for this fiscal year. The original bill had budgets for the following programs, and senators voted to add money to some of the programs. The finalized allocation was as follows:
- Assault Care Center Extending Shelter & Support (ACCESS) - $34,485.00
- Ames Community Pre-School - $13,110.00
- Boys & Girls Club of Story County - $2,500.00
- Camp Fire - $2,404.00
- Center for Creative Justice - $5,598.00
- Eyerly Ball, Legal Aid Society - $3,600.00
- Lutheran Services of Iowa - $957.00
- Mary Greely Medical Center Home Health Services - $2,569.00
- Mid-Iowa Community Action Agency (MICA) - $4,482.00
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - $3,250.00
- Raising Readers - $1,000.00
- The Salvation Army - $1,488.00
- University Community Childcare - $103,703.00
- Volunteer Center of Story County - $6,396.00
- Youth and Shelter Services (YSS) - $15,664.00
The bill passed with a 24-0-1.
Sen. Graber also introduced a bill titled “An Act to Establish Student Government Priorities for ASSET Funding” for Finance Director Seth Carter. The act is focused on Student Government’s allotment of funding to Analysis of Social Services Evaluation Team (ASSET) for the next year, when the new finance director is doing allocations.
The act would adopt the following priorities for funding, in order, to the 2020-2021 ASSET Allocations, as well as give three years worth of increases to the funding allocation.
- Childcare Services, with a specific emphasis on infant and toddler care
- Services providing aid to victims of sexual assault
- Services related to Sexual Health and STD prevention
- Substance abuse prevention and treatment
- Programs that empower traditionally discriminated-against peoples
- Legal Services not provided by Student Legal Services with a specific emphasis on probation services
The bill was passed with unanimous consent.
For more information or to contact your senator, visit stugov.iastate.edu. The senate meetings are open to the public at 7 p.m. Wednesdays in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union.