In light of upcoming elections, UISG holds independent senator forum


Student candidates speak at the Independent Senator Forum at the IMU on Monday, March 26. The UISG election period starts March 28. (The Daily Iowan/Olivia Sun)

UISG held its Independent Senator Forum on Monday evening, in which independent candidates gathered to speak on their initiatives in preparation for upcoming elections.

Independent senator candidates included Lindsey Meyer, Noah Wick, Riley Hubbart, Elizabeth Folker, Alisha McTaggart, Adam Gasway, and Travis Siegel.

The candidates were presented with questions on how they would bring unique ideas to the UI, what they are most passionate about, how they will engage the UI community, and what current problems they view UISG has.

UI sophomore Meyer spoke about her experience running independently.

“It’s an honor running as an independent and being able to think about what I am passionate about and what … matters to me on campus,” Meyer said.

Candidates focused on issues regarding sustainability on campus, fair student wages, off-campus transportation, and school shooting preparation.

Freshman candidate Wick said his focus is making the UI a more sustainable campus.

“I really want to focus in on sustainability on campus … The University of Iowa hasn’t done quite has much as it really should have,” Wick said. “The state of Iowa is one of the leaders in using renewable energy … but as a university, we haven’t really done a lot in that realm.”

Freshman candidate Hubbart also spoke of her views on sustainability and tied them to the importance of reduction of food waste. As a student employee who witnesses the amount of waste occurring in dining halls, change is necessary, she said.

All candidates at the forum expressed a need for greater transparency in UISG. The importance of communication between student government and the UI community was said to be the foundation for change on campus.

A need for progress updates on the UISG website would provide a more direct mode of communication between student government and UI students, McTaggart said.

Freshman Folker talked about the necessity of sexual-health literacy. Access to contraceptives and knowledge of safe sexual practices is an important need for the UI, she said.

Running as independent, these candidates expressed their unique experience with the UISG elections.

Hubbart addressed her experience with running as independent and the challenges that come with it.

“You don’t get to have … quite as much funding available to you … so it’s harder in that perspective as an independent senator,” Hubbart said. “But … a positive of running as an independent is that you get to interact … personally with more of your constituents and you get to find out for yourself what issues matter to other students.”

After the forum was completed, attendees were invited to ask questions and have personal conversations with each candidate.

Candidates ended the event with their closing statements, and every candidate encouraged the community to vote. They added that every single student’s vote matters in the election.

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