UISG to address affordability at first town hall

UI Student Government will host its first-ever undergraduate student town hall to address affordability and how it affects students.

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Ben Smith

UISG President Jacob Simpson and Vice President Lilian Sanchez pose for a photo after the student government election results were announced at the IMU on Friday, April 14, 2017. Simpson and Sanchez won the presidential ticket for Bridge UI along with 38 senators. (The Daily Iowan/Ben Smith)

Elianna Novitch, [email protected]

Undergraduate students will have the opportunity to make their voices heard regarding affordability to those who represent them to University of Iowa administrators, state legislators, and the state Board of Regents.

The UI Student Government will host its first-ever undergraduate student town hall. The event will take place today at 7:30 p.m. in the IMU Iowa Theater.

According to UISG, the purpose of the town hall is to create a space for students to discuss issues, share ideas, and ask questions regarding affordability as students.

“We recognized that there are around 24,000 undergraduates at the University of Iowa, and as student government, we are supposed to represent all those students, and we would not be able to accurately represent their views without hearing from them,” UISG President Jacob Simpson said. “So, the town hall provides us an opportunity to connect with students who we may otherwise not connect with.”

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Simpson said after sending out polls on social media asking what topic students would like to address at the town hall, affordability had the most interest. He highlighted the variety of topics that fall under affordability, including tuition, housing, textbooks, and food.

“We will be discussing affordability, which is a topic relevant to all students. It is also a topic that lies heavily on a lot of us,” Bailey Carroll, the UISG director of external relations said in an email to The Daily Iowan. “I am so excited to see what sort of questions will be answered and to hear how general affordability impacts so many of us.”

UISG Vice President Lilián Sánchez said it is important that students take advantage of the opportunity the town hall provides.

“We represent a large part of the University of Iowa community, and so it’s very important as students show up that they speak on their experiences and they speak on how the university has served them and then also areas for improvement so that our university can continue to accurately support our students’ success,” she said.

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UISG plans to host more town halls throughout the year to address other topics affecting student lives.

“Students should attend the town hall, because students have a voice, and it deserves to be heard. Our goal for these town halls is to create a space where students can speak on tough but relevant topics,” Carroll said in an email to The Daily Iowan. “Students have asked for spaces like this, and I am so glad that we have the means to provide one.”

Sánchez said she hopes to use the town hall as a way to bridge relationships with other student leaders.

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