The University of Iowa Student Government Platform 2019-2020:

Academic Affairs


Bolster academic support on campus  

  • Expand Supplemental Instruction, residence hall tutoring, and Writing Center offerings, especially for upper level classes and underrepresented areas of study.

  • Improve training and accessibility for Student Disability Services-related academic support systems 

Work with the Honors Program to improve accessibility 

  • Collect feedback from current and former honors students to identify struggles in the completion of these programs 

  • Launch a marketing campaign about the Honors program to improve involvement and opportunities to all students 

  • Recommend National Coalition Building Institute training for Honors staff 

  • Request more affordable Experiential Learning options for the Honors Program 

Promote resources related to academic success 

  • Launch an annual scholarship fair in conjunction with the Office of Financial Aid and Financial Literacy services 

  • Promote existing academic resources through USG social media, specifically those pertaining to the library 

Make the graduation process more accessible and affordable 

  • Create a donation program for graduation gowns 

  • Request inclusion of accessibility information in all advertisements for and information about commencement ceremonies 

Continue to make textbooks and educational materials more affordable 

  • Support Open Educational Resource (OER) initiatives at Iowa, such as the Course Reserves program and OpenHawks 

  • Initiate the institutionalization and expansion of USG’s Textbook Donation Drive 

Improve academic absence policies 

  • Recommend the inclusion of mental health-related guidelines in the University’s excused absence policies 

  • Advocate for the evaluation of the University’s absence policies 

Identify areas for improvement in International and Transfer Student Orientation 

  • Recommend the addition of interpreters at International, Transfer, and First-Year Student Orientation for languages spoken at the University of Iowa 

  • Gather input from transfer students and implement changes to transfer student orientation 

  • Work with UIVA to improve the veteran student experience at orientation 

 

External Relations 

Better support student organization events 

  • Require USG members to attend a certain number of student organization events each semester 

  • Create a form that allows student organizations to request promotion of events and programs on USG social media 

Increase accessibility to USG 

  • Create monthly President and Vice President update videos to be posted on social media 

  • Institutionalize a public comment period for students to speak at senate meetings 

  • Advertise the online anonymous issue form, meeting minutes, and Senate voting record through social media and a texting service 

  • Extend invites to student groups and individuals when topics of discussion are relevant to their work 

  • Send USG representatives to student organization meetings upon request  

  • Distribute informational materials about USG at events like OnIowa! and Transfer Student Orientation 

Communicate funding possibilities to student organizations more intentionally 

  • Institutionalize and improve Fall and Spring Treasurer Trainings 

  • Create more social media content to raise awareness about USG funding and USG funded events 

  • Establish a universal funding request form that includes funding from all possible contributors, including Associated Residence Halls, Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, and USG 

Improve relationship between USG and student-athletes 

  • Explore more partnership opportunities with the Iowa Student-Athlete Advisory Committee 

Work with CSIL to improve the AfterClass system 

  • Encourage student organizations to advertise events more consistently in AfterClass through funding applications 

  • Advertise all USG events on AfterClass 

 

Governmental Relations 

Create better off-campus living resources for students 

  • Continue developing the USG Renter’s Guide in order to clearly communicate realistic housing expectations from common apartment and leasing companies 

  • Request assistance from Student Legal Services in order to help students understand their renters’ rights 

  • Advocate for more affordable housing in Iowa City and hold landlords and rental companies accountable for proper maintenance of their units 

  • Improve the promotion of the Neighborhood Ambassador program and better communicate its services to the student body 

Encourage civic engagement among the student body 

  • Support the development and expansion of the Civic Engagement Center 

  • Provide educational resources about the 2020 U.S. Presidential campaigns in order to maximize student participation in caucuses in 2020 

  • Collaborate with student organizations across campus to register students to vote and communicate with their legislators 

  • Advocate for the inclusion of expiration dates on Iowa One Cards to allow their use as voter identification documents 

Increase student participation in the caucus system 

  • Create a Commit to Caucus campaign to encourage students to understand and participate in caucusing in 2020 

Advocate for student issues at the campus, city, state, and federal levels 

  • Continue current USG legislative advocacy efforts for increased state appropriations, a required move-in checklist, and statewide medical amnesty 

  • Reinforce the importance of voting by advocating to the state government for Election Day to be recognized as a state holiday, therefore providing students with a day off classes to go vote 

  • Go beyond campus sustainability efforts by advocating for legislative policies surrounding renewable energy and waste reduction that will help make the state of Iowa more sustainable 

  • Invite students across campus to attend regular USG trips to the Iowa Capitol 

  • Collaborate with University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University to increase unity and effectiveness in advocacy at the state level 

Expand the Johnson County Community ID program 

  • Advertise and promote to students the benefits and uses of the Community ID Program to the University of Iowa population, especially for out-of-state and international students 

Engage with legislators and the Iowa Board of Regents 

  • Invite and host legislators and members of the Iowa Board of Regents on visits to campus 

  • Organize town halls and open forums for students to allow students to directly voice their concerns with and members of the Iowa Assembly and Iowa Board of Regents 

 

Health and Safety 

Improve response mechanisms for sexual assault and disclosure 

  • Request better training of professors, RAs, faculty, staff, and students on how to respond to sexual assault reporting 

  • Publish a sexual assault disclosure response protocol to accompany in-person training 

  • Create a media campaign aimed at sexual assault prevention education 

Increase mental health awareness and resources on campus 

  • Coordinate the addition of athlete-focused group counseling opportunities 

  • Implement the Green Bandana Project on campus 

  • Advocate for the requirement of staff and faculty to participate in Kognito training 

  • Create a social media campaign about recognizing potential mental health issues and how students can get help 

Provide better access to affordable wellness products on campus 

  • Advocate for higher-quality and more accessible menstrual products on campus 

  • Increase access to and awareness of over-the-counter medication available through Student Health and Wellness 

  • Advertise locations of wellness products on and off campus 

  • Continue efforts to provide flu vaccines on campus and in-residence halls 

Increase safe transportation on and off campus 

  • Institutionalize regular lighting audits on and off campus and work with the University and the city of Iowa City to address noted issues 

  • Work with students and Facilities Management to determine where crosswalks should be installed on campus and around Iowa City in order to make campus safer, more accessible, and more efficient for students 

Continue expanding health resources specific to the LGBTQ+ community 

  • Push for more specialization in LGBTQ+ specific needs in campus clinics 

  • Create a comprehensive guide to finding LGBTQ+ healthcare in the Iowa City area 

 

Sustainability 

Improve the University’s long-term sustainability trajectory 

  • Participate in conversations regarding the success of the 2020 Sustainability Goals 

  • Ensure student input is central to the formation of a path for sustainability past 2020 

Increase access to composting on and off campus 

  • Create centralized compost drop-off locations on and off campus 

  • Reduce contamination in compost bins with education and marketing 

  • Better market the residence hall composting program to RAs and first-year students by including more information about the program during move in, On Iowa! Week 

  • Advocate for more accessible composting services in apartments 

Partner with Residence Education to expand sustainability efforts 

  • Advocate for more sustainable “bulletin board” practices 

  • Host a sustainability workshop during RA training 

  • Provide more sustainability hall events in dorms, work with organizations outside USG to provide this 

Expand Fraternity & Sorority Life sustainability 

  • Propose a bylaw that would require a chapter sustainability chair, if numbers allow 

  • Host workshops on how to run more sustainable philanthropy events 

  • Advertise the USG Green Initiatives Fund more heavily 

  • Expand composting in sorority and fraternity houses 

Establish more native plants on campus 

  • Work with Facilities Management and other campus partners to maintain and institutionalize the creation of natural prairie gardens 

  • Continue to aid the UI gardeners in creating a garden close to campus, bringing availability to all students 

  • Advocate for more sustainable fertilization practices 

Promote sustainable purchasing 

  • Collaborate with Fair Trade at Iowa to improve purchasing practices both internally and university-wide 

  • Highlight sustainable and ethical vendors on the Approved University Vendor list 

  • Host a student day at the farmers market to promote local purchasing as well as educate students on local, sustainable, fresh produce 

Expand sustainability education 

  • Create marketing around sustainable lifestyle choices in dorms such as reducing single use waste, water usage, etc. 

  • Advocate for a sustainability or “systems thinking” general education requirement 

Improve access to recycling on and off campus 

  • Ensure landlords are providing recycling bins at off-campus housing locations 

  • Work with Iowa City to bring multi-material recycling to off campus housing 

  • Educate off-campus residents about recycling and composting options available to them 

Reduce single-use materials on campus 

  • Reduce the amount of single-use plastics/other waste produced on campus, including Styrofoam containers and plastic utensils 

  • Increase number of water bottle fillers on campus 

  • Collaborate with student organizations and incentivize zero-waste/low-waste events with the Green Initiatives Fund 

 

Student Life 

Improve student feedback mechanisms 

  • Roll out the new HawkIdeas website for students to provide feedback 

Improve transportation marketing and accessibility 

  • Create marketing and educational campaigns for transportation services including the Iowa City/Coralville buses, Nite Ride, Airport Shuttle, Bionic Bus, SEATS/paratransit, and CAMBUS 

  • Market the Iowa Bus mobile application to increase usage 

  • Contact Parking & Transportation to advocate for the addition of a Finkbine Golf Course CAMBUS stop 

  • Advertise the existence of student discounts for city bus passes and special promotions for routes 

  • Contact Public Safety and request an extension of Nite Ride hours to close the transportation gap between 5:00 am and 6:30 am 

Increase food accessibility and alleviate food insecurity 

  • Meet with Housing and Dining to outline steps necessary to incorporate more allergen-free options and better markings of allergens, especially gluten, in the Marketplaces 

  • Work with University Housing & Dining to offer food that is accessible during holidays that restrict diet, such as Passover, Lent, and Ramadan.  

  • Draft a proposal for Dining to make pop-up events educational and celebratory of different cultural traditions 

  • Connect catering services with local food rescue programs to reduce food waste on campus via student organizations 

Expand the Presence of Student Art on Campus 

  • Solicit artwork from students to decorate campus, including on benches, structures, and walls 

Increase Opportunities for Non-Alcoholic Night Events 

  • Increase marketing support for Rec After Dark programming 

  • Track progress and provide marketing support for CAB for Late Night events downtown 

  • Seek additional funding sources to incentivize student organizations to host alcohol-free events that occur on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights 

Market the external services funded by USG 

  • Market resources such as the Professional Clothing Closet, CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank, Student Legal Services, etc. 

 

Funding and Internal Affairs 

Improve USG’s spending transparency 

  • Provide an updated student fee breakdown page so that students can understand how their fees are being allocated 

Update the USG website 

  • Optimize the USG website in order to make our content more presentable and in line with the University’s IT Accessibility Policy requirements 

  • Provide more consistent updates of USG initiatives and funding 

  • Post a comprehensive event calendar on the USG website to include multicultural, student organization, FSL, academic, and other events 

Make USG information and legislation more available to students 

  • Upload upcoming legislation to USG website with an option for public comment 

  • Provide relevant, up-to-date contact information of USG members and encourage student commentary on all things USG 

  • Create regular progress reports to outline initiatives and funding updates 

Make USG’s open positions more accessible 

  • Maintain a list of students interested in USG from the fall appointment process and continue to reach out with opportunities for involvement 

  • Actively appoint senators to empty Senate seats 

 

Justice and Equity 

Increase representation within USG 

  • Work with multicultural organizations and cultural centers to expand recruitment efforts into underrepresented student populations 

  • Incorporate social justice education into USG retreat 

  • Hold monthly meetings with all constituency senators to bring marginalized communities’ needs to the center of USG’s focus 

  • Improve the USG constituency senator election process through better marketing tactics to gain more student interest, working with the cultural center coordinators and student staff to promote the positions, and hosting more information sessions about the positions 

Build stronger relationships with cultural centers 

  • Gather student input on the future of the cultural centers and cultural corridor project 

  • Advocate for the creation of a Disability Cultural Center alongside other cultural centers 

  • Host constituency senator office hours in cultural centers 

Expand USG social justice education across campus 

  • Utilize USG social media to spread awareness about social justice topics 

  • Institutionalize USG National Coalition Building Institute Training and advertise the program more effectively through the Student Leader Training Incentive Program 

Partner with the student-athlete community to improve LGBTQ+ inclusion efforts 

  • Request athletic staff and coaches to participate in the LGBTQ Safe Zone Project 

  • Recommend the inclusion of training during required certification meetings 

Facilitate more effective communication between international students and USG 

  • Establish a USG profile on WeChat and encourage international students to follow the profile during orientation 

  • Collaborate with OASIS to increase awareness of USG among international students 

  • Work with ISSS to improve USG involvement in International Student Orientation 

Make campus more accessible for the deaf and hard of hearing community 

  • Advocate for more hearing loop-equipped public spaces on campus 

  • Institutionalize closed captioning on USG publications 

  • Advocate for closed captioning and other accessibility measures on university materials 

  • Actively provide educational resources on existing IT accessibility policies 

Improve campus accessibility 

  • Streamline a process for submitting accessibility concerns 

  • Create a marketing campaign on how to report accessibility complaints 

  • Work with the University to ensure that students with accessibility concerns receive support and there is follow-through in addressing these concerns 

  • Create a centralized form on MyUI for students to report their needed accommodations 

  • Institutionalize a campus accessibility audit with input from professionals trained in universal design while including students, specifically the Hawkeye Accessibility Ambassadors, in the  audit process 

  • Attend meetings, workshops, etc. that revolve around the IMU restructuring project to stay heavily involved in ensuring the reconstructing meets the needs of all students 

  • Update the Campus Accessibility Map to include a more comprehensive list of restrooms, elevators, newer buildings on campus, and other facilities that the map does not currently include 

Expand resources for and outreach to students with disabilities 

  • Advocate for the relocation of Student Disability Services in a manner that will meet the long-term needs of students and keep UI Students for Disability Advocacy & Awareness (UISDAA) actively involved in this process 

  • Create marketing materials around SDS resources, specifically reaching out to international students 

  • Advocate for an embedded mental health counselor in the SDS office 

Advocate for more gender-neutral restrooms 

  • Better utilize and advertise the University’s map of gender-neutral restrooms on campus 

  • Advocate for the addition of more accessible gender-neutral restrooms on campus and in Iowa City