Thank you for your interest in Undergraduate Student Government! Please use the following list to guide you in your application process. 

USG, short for Undergraduate Student Government, is the only campus-wide elected body of student representatives at the University of Iowa. We are a student organization but also the chief “student” piece of the university’s shared governance structure – a model that places institutional decisions in the hands of all parts of the university community: administration, staff, faculty, and students. We also draft, debate, and vote on our own legislation in addition to completing initiatives to improve the student experience. This can be anything from declaring student support for a cause to allocating funds to student organizations for financial needs they have.

Fall Nominations is the most popular route in which students pursue membership in USG. At the beginning of each academic year, USG’s Internal Affairs Committee releases an application to the student body for consideration for a senatorial position with our organization. We also hold general elections each Spring in which any student can run for legislative or executive office within USG, but historically, many students feel more comfortable joining through the fall nominations process since it is significantly less daunting.

At-large senators are senators that serve the general student population, with all students serving as their constituency. Constituency senators are senators that, in addition to working in the interests of the student body, aim to advocate for the specific community which they represent. For example, the LGBTQ+ Constituency Senator is responsible for maintaining a strong connection with LGBTQ+-focused campus partners like the Pride Alliance Center, and is tasked with working on initiatives that specifically address the needs of the LGBTQ+ community on campus. Constituency senators hold all the same voting rights and legislative privileges as other senators. The only requirement to serve as a constituency senator is that you must identify as a member of the community that you apply to represent.

Applications will close on September 1st at 11:59pm. Over the course of the following week, the Internal Affairs Committee will review all of the applications and offer the highest-scoring applicants an interview. The Internal Affairs Committee will use applicants’ interview performance in conjunction with their application scores to select nominees for the available senate seats. There is also a waitlist that select interviewees who do not ultimately receive a nomination offer will be given the opportunity to join. If spots in USG become vacant during the academic year, we will pull from this waitlist to seat replacement senators. All applicants will hear back from the Internal Affairs Committee regarding their application status, even if they do not make it to the interview phase.

Being a member of USG is a significant time commitment. Members are expected to attend weekly Senate meetings on Tuesday nights from 7pm-10pm. These meetings are mandatory and can only be excused for legitimate academic or personal reasons. In addition to our weekly meeting, senators must hold one office hour each week in the USG office, located on the 2nd floor of the Iowa Memorial Union. Other required commitments include one annual, full-day USG retreat, and attending Hawkeye Caucus Day – the University of Iowa’s campus-wide advocacy day at the state capitol building in Des Moines. You must also serve on two committees, where you will work on initiatives to improve the student experience at Iowa.

Yes and no. Executive and high-ranking members of USG are paid for their work due to the higher time commitment those roles require. At-large and constituency senators are not paid, as their weekly time commitment is estimated to be only about five hours per week. For the intent of fall nominations and the position you would be applying for – no, your role would not be paid.

Anyone who has specific and innovative ideas for how to improve the student experience at the Univerisity of Iowa should consider applying for membership in USG. You do NOT need prior student government experience to be a member, and it is NOT a requirement to be a Political Science major – or even a liberal arts major at all! USG is constantly seeking more academic diversity from students in other areas of study, especially those in STEM fields. It really is that simple – if you think you can make the university a better place, then we want to know how. We want to hear your thoughts and ideas… and hopefully offer you a spot in our organization to start making those ideas become realities.

Contact the chair of the Internal Affairs Committee, Jaden Bartlett, at with any additional questions or concerns. You will receive a response within 48 hours.