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Student governments hold joint meeting

BY RACHEL GREEN | SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 5:00 AM

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In the Old Capitol on Tuesday, the University of Iowa Student Government senators and the Graduate and Professional Student Government delegates met to discuss progress at the UI as well as joint agendas to keep for the year.

UISG Sen. Crystal Terman said there were lots of cooperative events last year, and it was good to start the year off with another one.

“It’s good for fostering relationships with the administration and GPSG,” she said.

Many campus officials, including UI President Sally Mason, her staff, and academic deans, joined the student groups.

Tuesday night’s meeting marked the third time since 2011 that the two student governments and UI faculty met to discuss the importance of collaboration between the student governments as well as the legislation on the table for both groups.

“This meeting is special because it’s what we’re all here to do: collaborate as student governments,” GPSG President Alyssa Billmeyer said. “We are one university that works together.”

Both governments unanimously passed all pieces of legislation on the agenda, which included asking for another year of a tuition freeze and endorsing the state Board of Regents’ requests for an appropriations increase.

The two student governments also voted to approve supporting the efficiency study of the three regent institutions, as well as requesting the regents continue to give weight to graduate and professional programs when implementing the changed funding formula.

The legislation was passed under an advocacy agenda, committing the two groups to focusing individually on the shared goals.

Prior to the legislative voting, Mason addressed the joint meeting with a list of the UI’s accomplishments over the past year, including the success of the incoming first-year class and rankings that the university has received from different news sources.\Mason also brought up the new funding model that was recently approved for the UI, which will be tied largely to enrollment, especially for Iowa resident students.

UISG President Patrick Bartoski discussed the uniqueness of the UI having two student governments, as well as UISG’s future in Mason’s sexual-misconduct sanctions.

UISG recently launched a campaign to aid in giving support to sexual-assault victims by focusing on bystander training, teaching affirmative consent, and making accessible survivor therapy more available.

Billmeyer said she wants to keep the graduate and professional programs strong, reflecting on a previous remark by Mason about the balance between undergraduate and graduate students at the UI.

Ben Gillig, the GPSG governmental-relations head, said this joint meeting is an important tradition to keep.

“It’s wonderful to have everyone in the same room united around the same purpose: to help the university,” he said. “It’s fun for everyone to get dressed up and come out here, but we’re all really here for a shared purpose of providing for the university.”


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