Patrick Johnson and Vera Barkosky make unopposed run for UI student government president and VP

The two UI students, both current student government executives, are running for the executive ticket on four pillars for the 2022 Undergraduate Student Government election.

UI+Student+President+Candidates+Patrick+Johnson+and+Vera+Barkosky+poses+for+a+portrait++at+the+Voxman+Building+in+Iowa+City+on+Saturday%2C+March+26%2C+2022.

Larry Phan

UI Student President Candidates Patrick Johnson and Vera Barkosky poses for a portrait at the Voxman Building in Iowa City on Saturday, March 26, 2022.

Alliyah Lipsit, News Reporter


Patrick Johnson and Vera Barkosky are running unopposed for the 2022 Undergraduate Student Government executive ticket on four pillars: belonging, empowerment, service, and transparency.

Johnson, a third-year who is currently the USG director of finance, said the pair are focusing on the four pillars because they believe they are important traits that should be incorporated into USG, because they believe these are important traits that need to be incorporated into student government.

“With these pillars, we aim to make sure that, when students come to the University of Iowa, every single one of them feels like they have a place and are welcome in the community in one way or another,” Johnson said.

Voting for the USG president, vice president, and senators will take place March 28-30. If elected, Johnson and Barkosky will replace outgoing USG President Regan Smock and Vice President Jack Lauer.

Students can vote through the MyUI student information page or on campus, where various voting tables will be set up.

Johnson and Barkosky hope to provide a sense of belonging and empowerment to UI students by emphasizing student needs and services like:

  • Hosting more events in collaboration with other student organizations
  • Encouraging more campus involvement among students.

Johnson added that transparency is important for empowerment and belonging among students on campus, and has been a point of criticism toward USG from students in the past.

“One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from outside of student government is that it’s just not that accessible, a lot of people don’t know what student government does, and that’s a big thing for us,” Johnson said.

Both Johnson and Barkosky also attribute their ability to work on these pillars and fill the president and vice president roles adequately to their time in USG.

“One of the things that distinguishes us from other possible candidates is our experience, because we know the people, we know our internal structure and what can be approved,” Barkosky, a second-year student, and current cabinet director for USG, said. “If we were to step into these roles, we could go about improving our external structure, our body as a whole, and working with people that we already have established relationships with.”

Smock said the next president and vice president should be able to work as a team and see the positions as equal, which she said is often lacking in student-government leadership.

Barkosky said she and Johnson share a similar belief when it comes to an ability to work together.

“We always want to weigh all of our options, but we also have different opinions when it comes to certain things,” Barkosky said. “I think that’s why we work well together, as well. We can come to a consensus in a nice, respectful way, and it always ends up making our work more impactful.”

Johnson met Barkosky in 2020, during his first full year in USG. He said he interviewed her for her position on USG.

Johnson said that, over the last year, he’s been able to see first-hand how Barkosky works and connects with people inside and outside of USG, and that he and Barkosky click.

He attributes his and Barkosky’s teamwork to an alignment of priorities and values.

“She’s an extremely hard worker, and she’s accountable,” Johnson said. “That’s everything I could want in someone to run with me.”

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