Seven independent senators elected to represent UI students in USG for 2022-23 academic year

Here’s a look at what the seven USG senators hope to accomplish during their term.


Cecilia Shearon

Members of Undergraduate Student Government gather during the Undergraduate Student Government meeting in the Black Box Theater at the Iowa Memorial Union on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021.

Alliyah Lipsit, News Reporter

There are seven new and returning senators who will serve on University of Iowa Undergraduate Student Government next year.

The independent senators will serve along with the 28 senators elected from party tickets in the election which concluded March 28.

Robert Jepsen

Sen. Robert Jepsen, a UI second-year student, said he ran for reelection as an independent senator to ensure all positive legislation for all UI students.

“I will work to ensure that USG is an efficient, accessible, and opportunistic organization,” Jepsen said. “All students at Iowa should have the ability to be informed about USG and what it can accomplish.”

Jepsen served as a student senator in USG since fall 2021 and was on the finance and sustainability committee. Outside of USG, Jepsen is a member of Delta Sigma Pi, a professional co-ed business fraternity.

Jepsen also is a member of UI Enactus, a social entrepreneurship organization, where he serves as director of finance.

He said he feels his reelection to USG will help fulfill the roles USG should actively be seeking.

“USG should be full of individuals who work hard to create positive change for student life,” Jepsen said.

Jespen received 219 votes out of the total 699 votes.

Zachary Springer

Sen. Zachary Springer will serve as an independent senator on USG for his second year, where he said he hopes to continue his work regarding financial accessibility for underrepresented populations at the university.

“I started working on this initiative this past year by increasing financial knowledge to first-gen students and advertising the financial resources that we have on campus,” Springer said. “I hope to extend this work to other groups on campus.”

Springer said he plans to continue his work toward allocating money to student organizations with the finance committee and work with campus administrators to delegate money to areas where it’s needed the most.

Last year, Springer was an independent, at-large senator where he served on the finance, governmental relations, and academic affairs committees.

Alongside his contributions to USG, Springer is involved in the supplemental instruction program at the UI, which provides free educational resources to students. Springer is also in Phi Alpha Delta, a pre-law fraternity.

Springer hopes that his goals will help to better represent every student on campus so that their interests are taken into account by USG.

“I want to continue representing students on campus and ensuring that every student’s interests are heard and acted on at an administrative and governmental level,” Springer said.

Springer received 198 votes out of a total 699 votes.

Cam Studer

Sen. Cam Studer, a returning USG senator and a UI third-year student, will serve as an independent senator this upcoming school year with the main goal of giving every student at Iowa a voice and an equal spot at the table.

Studer said they hope to offer opportunities for students to get involved with USG and have their voices heard without having to run or be appointed to a seat.

Alongside being a senator, Studer is a Resident Assistant at Currier Residence Hall.

Studer is on the Governmental Relations Committee as well as the Academic Affairs Committee in USG, where they have been working with Johnson County officials to advocate for student needs.

“The goal was to set up a working relationship with them to boost interactions between students and locally elected officials,” Studer said. “Specifically in the Academic Affairs committee, I have been working on advocating for ways to increase options for students to adhere to their mental health and not be hurt academically for it.”

Studer hopes that their position in USG will allow them to continue to advocate for the mental health of students at the university.

Studer received 165 votes out of the total 699 votes.

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Torie Thayer

Sen. Torie Thayer was appointed as a senator in fall nominations and again as an individual senator this March when they were elected by the student body.

Thayer said they decided to get involved with USG this year because they know how much USG can do for students when it comes to their well-being on campus, and they wanted to help by being a part of that initiative.

“I know the importance of student representation and the impact we can have on our campus,” Thayer said. “I hope to continue supporting my fellow students with both fun initiatives as well as initiatives that will make a difference for future classes and campus.”

Thayer has been involved in USG since October, but this was their first election experience with USG, they said.

“It was a bit nerve-wracking, but it ended up being a very fun and exciting experience,” Thayer said.

Outside of USG, Thayer is involved in IGNITE, a UI student organization that promotes women’s empowerment in politics.

Overall, Thayer said they plan to encourage the student body to give USG more constructive and helpful input.

“Everyone should feel comfortable about reaching out to student government with their concerns or ideas to improve their experiences at Iowa because we are here to listen and make those changes,” Thayer said.

Thayer received 131 votes out of a total 699 votes.

Kyle Clare

For Sen. Kyle Clare’s first year on USG, he will serve as an independent senator.

Clare said he plans to work toward refocusing student government on what it can do to make students’ lives better, which Clare feels the government currently lacks focus on.

“I saw our student body didn’t care about Student Government and our current student government, I did not believe, had a student-focused agenda, but an agenda to insert national politics into our student government,” Clare said.

Clare plans on accomplishing this by working on having a positive relationship with university administration and Board of Regents, and the state government.

“I believe this is the most important advocacy we can do to improve campus life,” he said.

Clare was first inspired to run for USG to advocate for more student involvement when he attended a student senate meeting this March.

Clare said he was the only one there not a part of the student government.

“I saw a bunch of tables with senators’ backs turned to me, they were taking votes via Google polls, which made it difficult to follow along, and the bills they passed are nowhere on the website for students to view,” Clare said.

Clare plans on making some simple changes such as live streaming and archiving Senate meetings onto YouTube.

“This could make it more accessible to all students, not just the students on the senate,” he said.

Clare received 118 votes out of a total 699 votes.

The Daily Iowan contacted USG Sen. Hannah Akey and Sen. Andrew Froemel several times but did not receive a response. Froemel received 104 votes, while Akey received 191 votes out of the total 699 votes.

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