Iowa State’s Student Government opens its polls for an election Monday. Looking to secure a position, Ethan Cooper aims to represent the College of Engineering through gaining a seat in the Senate. Cooper is currently a senior majoring in electrical engineering.
Why do you feel you are qualified to serve in Student Government?
I believe myself to be qualified for Student Government because leadership and connection have always come very comfortably to me. I have held a handful of leadership positions in various organizations throughout my life, including but not limited to president roles in multiple choirs, communications committee in Engineering Student Council and orchestra section leader.
How do you plan to represent your constituents?
I plan to represent [my] constituents by amplifying their voices and opinions. I am of the mind that the students are the best judges of what they need to succeed at Iowa State, but oftentimes, their opinions can’t be voiced effectively because of lack of connection to the Student Government. I plan to make that connection more accessible with outreach and authenticity and by making sure that students know who I am and that I am here to listen.
What are some of the biggest issues you feel need to be addressed in this next year?
I feel that there’s a few big issues to be addressed most urgently. The first of those is diversity and inclusion, more specifically awareness and open-mindedness toward diverse viewpoints. Next is the lack of community and connection, both socially and academically, brought about by the pandemic. Finally, I would like to focus on increasing the level of collaboration between faculty and students to improve the potential for academic success.
Outside of those issues, what are the goals you would like to accomplish?
I would like to bring about more widespread awareness of Student Government and what we do for the students. A majority of the student body here seem to be unaware that Iowa State even has a Student Government, and if we can fill those perceptive holes, then students will be more engaged.
Why do you think it is crucial that the College of Engineering has an equal role in Student Government?
I think [the College of Engineering] deserves an equal role in Student Government because we need that equal representation for all different kinds of groups. Each person is a part of so many groups, and the more we attend to each of those groups, the more likely it is that voices can be accurately represented. Seeing as Iowa State is an academic institution, it follows that academic groups are an important part of that representation.