Student Collective Party looks to better connect UISG with students if elected

Student+Collective+Party+looks+to+better+connect+UISG+with+students+if+elected

The Student Collective Party will try to better connect with and represent students if elected to student-government office.

The six-member party, led by presidential candidate Dady Mansaray and vice-presidential candidate Marshall Payne, interviewed more than 1,000 students to help create its platform.

“We are a collective group of students who are trying to bring about change, to bring more awareness about who the UISG representatives are, and make the student body feel more included,” Mansaray said. “We will tackle the stigma that UISG is an elitist organization by really getting ourselves out there and involving more people who are not politically active on campus.”

Student Collective hopes to address low engagement levels between students and the University of Iowa Student Government. Payne said during the interviews with students, many did not know who UISG was or what it did.

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“A lot of them were unsure who to talk to or how to make a difference. They felt like they weren’t being listened to,” Payne said. “Most people who we interviewed had no idea who the current president or vice president were.”

Some of the initiatives the Student Collective hopes to implement to create more communication between UISG and the students it represents are biweekly community discussions, monthly meals in the dining hall with UISG executives, and holding office hours for students to meet with UISG members.

Senatorial candidate Michael Aragon said he decided to run with the Student Collective because he wants to connect students to the resources available to them in order to enhance their experience at the UI.

“One of the initiatives that we are pushing is trying to make a universal database in which students can go and be connected to resources on campus,” Aragon said. “They can describe their issue, and then there’s a whole list of services that we can provide to them, because a lot of those services do go underused.”

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Aragon also said that if elected, he wants to address campus safety.

“Some other [initiatives] that I’m really passionate about concern safety on campus, [such as] extending Nite Ride services and getting more Code Blue Phones on campus, because where they are now they are in fairly obscure areas that I feel aren’t in prime locations,” Aragon said.

Other initiatives of the party include being more energy efficient in order to save the UI money, advocating for affordability for students, and encouraging the university to use digital textbooks to save students money.

Payne said the Student Collective has a different goal from the other tickets running for UISG because it is focused on personal interaction with students.

“We are focused on the students because we understand the dynamic that should be going on, and that’s that the student government works for the students, not the other way around,” Payne said. “A lot of [students] don’t know where their money is going toward, so we’re going to focus on accessibility and making ourselves known.”

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