POL S 201: Student Government

“We serve students and improve the student experience through advocacy and empowerment.” This is the mission statement for Iowa State Student Government; the statement is plainly written on top of the whiteboard in the West Student Office Space to remind members of the mission Student Government is trying to accomplish for Iowa State’s students.
When you ask most students what Student Government does for them they may respond that they didn’t even know Iowa State had a Student Government or that the organization doesn’t really involve them. The work of Student Government involves advocating on the student’s behalf while trying to get students involved in the battle they face.
There are three branches of Student Government: the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch. All three branches have their own duties that come together to complete one mission. The three branches are explained by the Student Government website as, “The executive branch, which is made up of the President, Vice-President and cabinet, works on specific projects and initiatives related to student interests. The legislative branch, which is made up of the Senate, debates student issues and passes legislation regarding funding for student organizations. Finally, the judicial branch, which is made up of the 9-member Supreme Court, rules on issues between students and student organizations.”

Members of Student Government frequently attend welcome events of Student Organizations across campus
Members of Student Government frequently attend welcome events of Student Organizations across campus
Within these three branches are a wide variety of committees that give students the opportunity to get involved with Student Government other than being a member of these three branches. Public Relations is a committee which reaches out to students on campus to help promote Student Government and show students the power they have in Student Government. Public Relations is the committee that helps Student Government get involved in events across campus including ClubFest, Destination Iowa State, Diversity Fair, and many more. Along with going out and meeting students, Public Relations works hard with the Director of Communications to try to keep students up to speed on many social media platforms. Student Government has its own Facebook page, Twitter handle, and an Instagram account that students can follow to keep updates about all things happening in Student Government and across campus.
University Affairs is another committee for Student Government. This committee focuses more on doing projects to help improve Iowa State’s campus and students’ experiences. This committee has created and worked on a wide variety of topics such as the safety of campus, accessibility for handicapped students, residence hall improvements, and projects to help promote student organizations. One popular project was that of Cyclone Market, an event that brought together organizations all throughout Iowa State University and helped to promote them and their activities.
Cyclone Market was created in 2015 as a way for Student Organizations to increase awareness and sell their products
Cyclone Market was created in 2015 as a way for Student Organizations to increase awareness and sell their products

The Rules Committee is the committee that is charged with keeping to the constitution of Student Government and creating resolutions to it when it’s seen as necessary. The committee meets with prospective new senators, goes over legislation packets for Senate meetings, and much more. The Speaker and Vice-Speaker of Senate are the chairs of the committee and help to run the Senate meetings as effectively and as fairly as possible.
One of the last major groups of Student Government is the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee is the group in charge of helping to fund most of the organizations of Iowa State if they need funding for an event, money to travel to a competition, or anything else they can think of. After the Finance Committee goes over the finance request of these organizations they then bring it to Senate to be voted on whether the group, activity, or anything of the like should be funded in accordance with the by-laws.
Student Government has so different opportunities to get involved and have your voice heard. Visit their website to learn more and about how you can make a difference on campus!
Photos courtesy of the Student Government Facebook page