Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 07, 2015 5:00 AM

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For the last two years, I have had the honor of representing the over 78,000 students of our Regent institutions: UI, ISU, UNI, and our special schools. In this role, I have worked closely with all four candidates currently running for UISG executive office, as well as their predecessors. My time on the Regents has taught me what makes a truly effective student leader.

Those qualities exist in only one of this year's tickets: Liz Mills and Morgan Brittain's REAL Party.

Liz and Morgan have repeatedly proven their leadership and their dedication to the university, the best testament of this being the REAL Party platform. Their platform, in contrast to the BEACH Party's, is innovative, ambitious, and feasible.

This platform will be enacted by REAL's diverse and qualified senatorial candidates. They embody commitment to advocating for survivors of sexual misconduct, affordable higher education, and cultural competency, among many other important issues. One candidate, Grant Laverty, is president of the Student Advisory Committee on Sexual Misconduct. Another, Gabrielle Miller, is in the WRAC Mentor Program. Yet another, Taishen Di, is the Vice President of Chinese in Iowa City. They and their colleagues will make the platform reality.

Finally, Liz and Morgan realize the critical importance of legislative advocacy, since the UI relies heavily on state appropriations for its high quality and affordability. March 31 was Hawkeye Caucus Day, the University of Iowa's biggest advocacy day of the year. Liz was in Des Moines advocating for students. BEACH presidential candidate Sam Wampler, who had committed to the event, didn't show up, apparently deciding campaigning for himself was a better use of his time.

The decision is clear. For truly effective, representative, and committed leadership for our undergraduate student body, vote Liz Mills, Morgan Brittain, and REAL Party April 8 and 9.

Hannah M. Walsh


“Trigger Warning: This warning addresses a report of sexual misconduct. Resources are available on and off campus to provide assistance. Contact RVAP for 24/7 support at (319) 335-6000.”

Unfortunately, we have all read these words far too many times. I vividly remember last spring not being able to make it through a week without receiving several emails that started out just like this regarding an act of sexual misconduct taking place on campus. As a junior and young man here at the University of Iowa, I believe we have an obligation to our community and ourselves to create a safe home for all at Iowa.

The BEACH Party advocates for Nite Ride being made available to all students. However, the focus on student safety should not end there. The BEACH Party will continue to carry on and improve the It’s On Us campaign, as well as work with WRAC and RVAP here on campus to promote bystander intervention training.

Platforms are value statements. For BEACH Party, addressing sexual misconduct is our No. 1 priority. We want every student leader to be trained in bystander intervention. Having only RAs is not enough; too often, their efforts fall short. One in 4 women is too many, 1 in 16 men is too many. If you don’t feel safe at your home, then what can you do?

One of the many reasons I am running with the BEACH Party this week is because I cannot stand by and continue to watch these problems plague the student body. The BEACH Party will set the precedent for other universities to follow in stopping sexual misconduct.

BEACH is an acronym for Bettering, Educating, Advocating, and Changing our Home. This university is our home, and no one should feel unsafe at home. Student safety is a priority on campus, so join me in voting for the BEACH Party this Wednesday and Thursday.

Michael Kessler

An independent voice

Greetings Hawk Nation and no,  I’m not a member of either the BEACH or REAL Party that most of us have inevitably heard about by now. But I am, however, a passionate student running for student government. I am Zach Weigel, an independent candidate for senator, and while I agree with many of the ideas proposed by the people wearing blue and orange shirts (BEACH and REAL Party), I hope to persuade you to consider casting a vote not just for me but also for your education this coming Wednesday or Thursday.

A Hawkeye through and through, I intend to represent Hawk Nation as a whole, fighting for pragmatic solutions to problems facing this great university. As a sophomore political-science major and secondary social-studies education student, my main policy platform centers on improving curricula. Many classes are geared toward a structure of fact recall that places high stress on students, but I intend to advance the idea of altering class format to focus on deeper learning with more student autonomy. Research has shown that deeper, more engaged learning with less emphasis on high-stakes tests not only reduces student anxiety but leads to better retention of knowledge. Simply put, a curriculum based less on structured high-stakes exams and more on informal interactive assessments serves to foster better learning while also improving  students’ sense of efficacy toward their schoolwork.

Although just one idea, I feel that our education is the quintessential component of our college experience, so why should we settle for a mediocre curriculum when we can improve upon it? Once again, I’m Zach Weigel, and I will work earnestly to make sure we are receiving a high-quality education. We spend tens of thousands of dollars on our education each year; let’s make it well worth it.

Zach Weigel
sophomore student-government senator candidate

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