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New UISG president and vice president inducted

BY ANNA THEODOSIS | APRIL 23, 2012 6:30 AM

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A free taxi service and I-Clicker rentals will be the first initiatives to be completed under the University of Iowa's new student government leaders.

I-Party members Nic Pottebaum and Jessie Tobin were sworn in Sunday as president and vice president of the student government, as were their 39 senators.

Pottebaum said he and Tobin will now split up the tasks on their platform.

"We'll start micro-targeting how we're going to accomplish the platform," he said. "The 13 or 14 of May, we'll hit the ground running."

The newly inducted leaders' projects include the Safe Ride free taxi service, which allows any student to request a taxi in an emergency situation, and a diversity campaign aimed at better integrating incoming freshmen.

"Right now, Elliot [Higgins] and Brittany [Caplin] are in the final stages of Safe Ride," Tobin said. "Nic and I are in the talks to make sure that's ready to go."

Now the former UISG president, Higgins said he's confident the new executives will carry on programs he and Caplin, the former vice president, started during their terms.

"While we have worked to develop the [Safe Ride] program," he said, "the new UISG officials will be the ones to administer and execute the program. That will be an effort that they are up to speed on, and I think they will be able to hit the ground running and implement it in the fall."

Caplin said she was proud of the Safe Ride program coming out of her term as vice president.

"It's unfortunately something that couldn't get started this year, but it's in the perfect position to get started next year," she said. "It was something that I started on right away after [Higgins and I] were inaugurated."

Over the summer, Tobin said, she and Pottebaum will also begin to develop a system for students to rent I-Clickers.

At the inauguration, held in the press box of Kinnick Stadium, Pottebaum said looks forward to his term in office.

"I look forward to the coming year as well as the accomplishments and education that will come with it. As student leaders, we have the greatest challenge ahead of ourselves — representing the student body."

Higgins said he was proud to pass leadership on to Pottebaum and Tobin.

"It seems just like yesterday that Brittany and I were on the other side," he said. "I'm very excited to see what the I Party will accomplish during its term."

Caplin said she appreciates Pottebaum and Tobin's attention to working on smaller factors, such as student fees.

"As student government, lowering tuition is something we voice," she said. "There are small things like the textbook tax refund that will ease the burden on students. I really hope that's successful."

Bill Nelson, the UISG adviser and director of the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, said he also looks forward to see what the I Party accomplishes.

"This is a bittersweet time," he said. "Saying farewell as well as being excited about an exciting year to come."


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