UISG outlines proposals


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As the spring semester begins at the University of Iowa, the UI Student Government will be focusing on safety-, cost-, and diversity-related initiatives.

UISG President Patrick Bartoski said he is excited to continue the UISG’s Get To Know Us campaign by integrating multicultural student organizations with other groups on campus.

“It was one of the most successful campaigns [last semester], and we think it is going to be even better this year,” Bartoski said. “There is going to be a big piece in the diversity side of things [this semester].” 

UISG diversity liaison Kyra Seay stressed the importance of incorporating students of many different backgrounds.

“We want to create a better environment for all people in all walks of life,” she said. “We are working on a lot of dialogue among different communities about harder issues involving race, sexuality, nationality.”

Bartoski is enthusiastic about an impending third-consecutive tuition freeze for in-state undergraduate students.

“We are really excited about that,” he said. “It’s going to be a great opportunity for in-state students.” 

Bartoski also noted the state Board of Regents’ new enrollment- and performance-based funding model, under which the UI stands to lose around $45 million.

“We are working with campus administration and the regents to see how they can get performance-based money on the way,” he said.

Safety is another topic UISG members will stress in light of the growing issue of sexual misconduct on campus over the past year.

UISG Vice President Jeffrey Ding discussed sexual misconduct-related plans through an email, writing that UISG will work to create “open channels of communication between students and the University of Iowa police/Iowa City police through a Beyond the Shield Campaign.”

Bartoski also described a campaign against verbally harassing women in public by providing bystander-intervention training.

“We want to make sure all students feel safe and welcome,” he said. 
 UISG will also implement mental-health initiatives for students to help in dealing with midterms and finals. It is working on making designated mental-health help destinations, or “a place where they can go if they are having problems,” Bartoski said. 

Sen. Elizabeth Baer, a member of both the UISG Community Outreach and Student Life Committees, noted the organization’s ongoing Iowa Ideas initiative, a crowd-sourcing platform on UISG’s website.

“We have encouraged students to report things that they want to see changes in on campus,” she said. “We look directly at the page and get ideas to move forward with the initiatives. For the most part, issues pertaining to students don’t change much, but they evolve … a lot of perspectives help”.

UISG’s first meeting of the spring semester will be held on 7 p.m. today in 2520D University Capitol Center. 

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