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Which party should you choose for UISG?

BY GUEST OPINION | APRIL 04, 2012 6:30 AM

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I Party

I am running for Student Body President with Jessie Tobin as my vice president because we are committed to informing, improving, and affecting your everyday life. Our experience in student government has helped build relationships with students and administrators that will benefit all undergraduate students. We understand student concerns, and our platform reflects this comprehension. Our platform fights for the everyday needs of students.

This past year, I served as speaker of the Senate with Tobin as secretary of the Senate.

Administrators and the opposing ticket leaders have acknowledged that our collaborative leadership in the Student Senate created the most productive and engaged Student Senate in years. We plan on continuing this legacy of success for next year.

We represent the I Party along with 39 Senate candidates. We are a ticket that reflects you. The I Party has near equal representation in each graduating class and representation from all colleges. Forty percent of our ticket is brand-new to student government, and 40 percent of our ticket lives in the residence halls. Additionally, more than 100 student organizations are represented on our ticket, and 40 percent of our ticket are members of fraternity and sorority life.

The I Party holds a philosophy of inform, improve, and impact. We know these action verbs are more than political talking points, which is why we will take bold action to improve your everyday life. Our 15 platform issues address matters in the classroom, outside of the classroom, and off-campus. Three of which are a free Safe Ride taxicab service, a rate-your-landlord website, and the promotion of the textbook tax refund.

Student safety is our top priority. The free Safe Ride taxicab service for students will begin in the fall semester. We are committed to seeing the success of this free taxicab service. It will pick you up from an unsafe environment and drop you off at your home. The service is open to all genders.

We know that the Safe Ride taxi service is doable and is a more feasible solution than another bus route.

We recognize that 70 percent of students live off-campus and complain far too often about their apartment or house. With the development of a rate-your-landlord website, we will stop the abuse of students in off-campus housing. As a victim of landlord abuse, I am personally and professionally committed to stopping abuse. A rate-your-landlord website will allow you, as the student and tenant, to voice your opinion.

We also want to save you money. In your eight semesters at Iowa, you spend approximately $560 more on textbooks than you should. Most students do not know they can receive a textbook tax refund on all textbooks purchased at the University Bookstore. A simple form, receipt, and envelope are the difference of you saving 7 percent every semester on textbooks. We will take the lead in the fall semester to help educate and support you to lighten your budget.

As student body president and vice president, we will not just work for one concert or for five student scholarships. We will work to continuously improve the everyday life of the 21,000 plus undergraduates on campus. We are excited to get started on our 15 realistic, student-centered, and sustainable initiatives.

— Nicholas Pottebaum

#Party

I imagine you all have seen the pink and orange for the past week. Obnoxious, I know.

Let's face it: Few students know what UISG does. And let's be honest, that needs to change. There has been awesome leadership in the past but it's time for a fresh perspective in UISG.

My vice presidential candidate Nick Rolston and I have put together the #Party: 35 fresh faces for UISG. We want to bring in the type of individuals you need in a student government: People who are pursuing projects in their communities, not politicians.

Let's do stats: 48 percent of our ticket live in the residence halls, 52 percent live off campus, 46 percent are involved in the greek community. Collectively, these students represent more than 100 unique organizations on campus.

The most important feature of the #Party is our three primary pillars: student engagement, safety, and sustainability. An issue with previous student governments is that they tend to over-promise and under-deliver; our platform encompasses a handful of awesome and achievable goals. I'll prove it.

We want to bring five $1,000 ENGAGE Scholarships to the UI. There are avenues for GPA and need-based scholarships, but we target an underrepresented area in terms of scholarships. A plethora of students on campus spend 20 to 30 hours a week dedicated to student activities and campus jobs that are left unrewarded. We aim to change that.

We shoot for the stars to bring a concert to Kinnick Stadium. Two big things: book Kinnick and book a big-name act. OnIowa and STAT have booked Kinnick; SCOPE has concert-hosting experience. We want to back these groups' missions by supporting them with UISG monetary and administrative support.

Collaboration is instrumental and realistic in making this happen. Cost? Google "college concerts" and see for yourself! And do the math: Charging $5 to students and $10 to $15 to community members to fill Kinnick (the low end = 5,000 students and 2,500 nonstudents) along with support from organizations and sponsors equals a very realistic method to pay for something so big.

Safety is a critical issue for us; we do that by pushing for more street lights and establishing an East Side Cambus Loop. One of the most effective methods to deter crime is better lighting — a serious problem and a simple solution. If pursuing this prevents one sexual assault or robbery, it is well worth the time and effort to implement more street lights. An East Side loop is an immediate solution to safety. A large population of students lives east of campus, and a bus route is a practical solution to have students spend less time in dark.

The nation is in a phase of expanding sustainability. We want to bring solar panels to campus. We are looking at panels that cost roughly $40,000 post-returns from renewable energy credits and by collaborating with the Office of Sustainability, UI Facilities Management, and many sustainable organizations on campus, we can work out the expenses without burden. The time is now for students to make this commitment.

— Sunny Kothari


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