Iowa State Student Government election polls open Monday. Eleven of the seats on the ballot are represented the United Residents Off-Campus (UROC). Kit Clayburn, a freshman in animal ecology, is one of 11 candidates running to serve as a senator for the college.
What makes you as an individual qualified for this position in Student Government?
I think it's because I'm a freshman. I obviously don't have that much experience towards others compared to who are running for other positions, but I feel like I have already kind of made an impact for me in my aspect of the campus so I feel like me being only here for a semester and a half, already having some sort of impact, I feel like that qualifies me for at least a position in Student Government.
What are your goals and what do you want to accomplish in your potential position in Student Government?
I'm on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for Student Government, which that's one of my main topics and main focus is diversity inclusion for people off campus. A lot of people don’t know this but they're closing down Towers next year, which is Wilson and Wallace. And those two residence halls are home to a lot of people who are international students, low-income families and marginalized communities, and they have to find somewhere else to live because obviously they don't have a home next year. So they're either looking for off campus or on campus, and if they are looking for off campus, I want to see how we can include them because they've been on campus for such a long time. Also seeing how the low-income families can still live off campus have a tuition and have an education while not trying to be so wary of the financial status as a student, because obviously they have so much things that are placed academics, clubs and stuff, and having financial problems on top of that, it's just going to be overwhelming.
What needs to change in Student Government? What are some issues you think need to be addressed?
I feel like a lot of it happened last week with the whole Women's Week panelist, and there needs to be more of a friendly conversation rather than a debate, because at the end of the day we're all students. We're not politicians, obviously there are people who are getting their political science degree, but at the end of the day we're all just students, and we all go through the same struggles of academics, of trying to find friends on campus, etc. So there needs to be more room for discussion than debate.
How do you hope to represent your constituents?
As I said, I'm a freshman, so I haven't really experienced off campus yet, could only live on campus. So for next year I'm really open to hearing people's experiences, what happens off campus, and how, me being a voice for those students at such a young age, can transform that talk with my other UROC senators and see how we can get their voices, their problems to the Senate floor and to be talked about.
Why do you think it is crucial that UROC has an equal role in Student Government?
A lot of my campaign for this next year for UROC is reconnecting the gap between off campus and on campus, we're all students and we're all residents, but a lot of the things that are applied to the university affects on campus and you see the on campus effect, but everything that happens on campus, directly affects off campus. If they raise tuition or something, another fee is added to our tuition, how is that going to affect us as people living off campus, because we have to pay for rent. So, being that voice, and having an open discussion about, obviously there's people who live on campus and who live off campus, but everything that happens here doesn't just affect people living here but affects everyone else.