Our Platform

A collective representation of what we hope to accomplish. Have an idea of your own? Submit it here.

*Over the campaign season, we've had the opportunity to talk to student organizations, campus partners, and students across the University. From these conversations we have gotten several new ideas on what we hope to achieve. We have indicated these new platform ideas, with an asterisk symbol. 

Student life

Student Tenants Association

The Tenants Association will advocate for student tenants renting in and around the Iowa City area and inform them of their rights as tenants to ensure fair treatment under the law. This can include advocacy for including specific unit numbers on leases, eliminating lease gaps, and increased rental permits to houses around campus. Students will have an additional resource along with Student Legal Services to improve off-campus living and relations with landlords.


Support Student Employees

We will work tirelessly to empower student workers to organize together and to advocate for issues that affect them most. Due to the 20-hour weekly limit, students are forced to look for jobs off-campus for additional income. We want to eliminate this issue by giving you the power to organize and advocate for better wages and conditions from employers on campus.


Student Organization Development Day

We intend to host an all-day event for student organization leaders to learn how to improve their student organizations with various workshops on topics such as member recruitment, collaboration with other organizations, fundraising, promoting inclusion and diversity, and much more. 


More Affordable and Accessible Dining Options and Meal Plans

The dining options currently offered at Iowa do not meet all of the needs of all students, particularly those who commute to school. We will work with University Dining to expand hours for flex meal availability, as well as new meal plan options to allow students more flexibility in their dining choices and save money.


Centralized Lost and Found

After a standard number of days, we want to see items collected to the main Lost & Found located in the University Capitol Centre, rather than force students to call the 10+ satellite locations around campus to find their lost items.

Health and Safety

Expand Domestic Violence/Unhealthy Relationships Awareness

We aim to partner with campus and community resources like University Counseling Services and the Rape Victims Advocacy Program to increase awareness of initiatives and incentivize attendance of workshops offered by the University on the topics of domestic violence and unhealthy relationships, such as the ones here


Assist Students with Ongoing Therapy

University Counseling Services is one of the most valuable and utilized services on campus. However, with limited staff and increasing case loads, students who require continued counseling don't always get the assistance they need. Using innovative and creative fundraising opportunities outside of University and Student Activity Fee funding, we will work to establish a grant to help those seeking extended counseling.


Expand the Food Pantry

Food insecurity is a critical issue on our campus and community. The current Food Pantry is burdened with increasing demand and offers limited hours during the week and no hours at all on weekends. Our administration will be dedicated to expanding the food pantry's services by finding ways to expand service and dropoff hours as well as storage capabilities for fresh and nonperishable food.


Suicide and Self-Harm Identification and Prevention Trainings

We aim to create programming for current and incoming students to learn about suicide identification and prevention to improve intervention outcomes with peers. In addition, we will work to increase visibility of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  and training for faculty members.


Improve Alcohol/Substance Abuse Recognition and Recovery Programs

Although not always visible, alcohol and substance abuse are persistent and prevalent issues on our campus. Our solution includes a substance-free LLC or residence hall floor, as well as additional services during orientation and OnIowa!


Emergency Numbers and Information on ID Cards

We carry our HawkIDs everywhere, but their usefulness can be greatly improved if we were to add emergency information for the University of Iowa Police, NiteRide, and other resources on the back. 


Increased Lighting on Campus

Safety is always a concern on college campuses, especially when walking home at night. There's an established need to improve lighting on campus and in the surrounding community, and we aim to get it done. Areas of particular interest are Mayflower Residence Hall, near Cultural Houses, and near Greek Houses.


Advocate for Current Water Plant 

Water quality on campus has been an issue for several years. The current water plant was built in the 1960's and most of the original machinery is still in use. There are many problems that come up on a daily basis and as a result, water quality suffers. The entire university relies on potable water from the water plant for heating/cooling, bathing, and drinking, among other uses. We will advocate for measures to increase water quality on campus to ensure all students, faculty, and staff can enjoy safe, clean water.


Continue Efforts to Improve the Active Shooter Protocol

Working with the Department of Public Safety, we will work to further develop the Active Shooter Protocol and market it to students, faculty, and staff, so that we are all prepared in the case of a campus emergency. We will work with Facilities Management to ensure campus buildings are secure in the case of an active shooter.


*Advocate for Accessible Crosswalks and Sidewalks

It has been brought to our attention that students who use wheelchairs to get around campus have been forced to maneuver around large cracks and holes in the pavement, presenting an unacceptable safety risk. We plan to work with the City of Iowa City to repair such crosswalks so that they no longer present a hazard to students.

Governmental Relations

Statewide Medical Amnesty

University policy protects students who seek medical help for those in emergencies from academic consequences, but not from legal prosecution. While the Iowa Senate passed Medical Amnesty unanimously, the House of Representatives has yet to come to a consensus. We will push for our state representatives to do what is right for students and pass statewide medical amnesty. 


Stable Tuition at Local, State, and National Levels

With rising tuition, we understand the burden many students at Iowa are under. One of our top priorities is keeping tuition stable, low, and affordable. We will also advocate for lower college costs across the board for things like housing and dining costs, textbooks, and other necessities for students.


Address Lease Gaps

For students renting off-campus, many experience a period of time between their old and new leases when they have nowhere to live. We will advocate to the City Council and the University to pass an ordinance restricting the length of lease gap and look for solutions to help students establishing residency during their lease gaps, possibly through University Housing.


Get to Know Your Legislators

We will work to engage more students with local, state, and national government officials and legislators by providing contact information and holding more town halls with legislators on campus.


Create a Center for Civic Engagement and Action

We plan to work with the University to create a dedicated resource on campus to provide training on lobbying and civic engagement, encouraging students to be aware of issues and vote, bringing various governmental officials and legislators to campus, and educating students on the importance of civic engagement.

UISG Engagement

Campus Idea Commonspace

Our mission is to empower students to tackle the issues closest to them in their lives on campus. As such, we plan on creating an online common-space where students can create, sign, and send petitions and ideas on whatever issue they happen to be most passionate about. Student Government and other Departments will review the ideas and work to see how we can make them a reality.


Open Discussions with President and Vice President

We want to consistently encourage and empower students to share their views, opinions, and beliefs with their student representatives. We can only do our job effectively if we have a proper understanding of what the student body wants and needs.


Senator Outreach Hours

We will require our senators to engage with students and student organizations around campus, ensuring better avenues for feedback and stronger channels of communication.


First Year and Transfer Student Assembly

A collection of 45 first-year and transfer undergraduate students who will serve as "interns" to the general UISG body. This assembly dramatically increases the number of first-year students who are able to get involved with the organization and campus.


Senate Meeting and Legislation Engagement

In order to encourage students to be engaged in the UISG process, we will publish the legislative docket and agenda for each senate meeting to the public beforehand and make them easily accessible on our website, allow a general time for public comment from any student during meetings, post senate meeting and legislation results afterwards, and Facebook Live the Senate Meetings for those who are unable to attend in person.


Monthly Meetings with the Daily Iowan

In order to constantly keep tabs on the current needs of students, we want to harness some of the most dedicated researchers as a resource for our work. The writers at the Daily Iowan work tirelessly to understand current events on campus, and we want to use that to the advantage of the student body. Through this partnership, we will be well-informed about issues that are not necessarily public knowledge.

Funding

Fiscal Responsibility

As stewards of the Student Activity Fee (~$1.8 million), we are committed to transparency and responsibility in the way in which we spend student money. Senators will receive more training on the funding structure and guidelines for funding student organizations.


Lowest Bidder Policy

We will establish a policy to enlist the lowest bidder for any event or service hosted by a student organization or UISG so that student dollars are not funding costs which are higher than necessary. For example, for an event requiring photography or videography, the funding requested must be based on the company/individual who gives the lowest quote for the service requested, taking into account the expected quality of service.


Address Lack of Funding during UISG Transition Period

During the transition period between UISG administrations, Senate members are not required to do work in considering funding applications, which is detrimental to student organizations who need funding for events held during the months of April to May. We will establish a policy to make sure these requests are considered by the appropriate number of UISG members in a fair and timely manner.


Accessibility of Funding Documents

We want to make the internal UISG funding documents easier to find on the UISG website so that students are aware of exactly where Student Activity Fee dollars are being spent. We also will work to ensure that the wording used is clear and concise to ensure students can easily understand it.


Evaluation Procedure for Collaboratively Funded Organizations

Collaboratively Funded Organizations (CFOs) receive a total of $420,000 in student government funding, all of which is in the form of discretionary spending. We would like to create a formal evaluation procedure for when CFOs are considered biannually to continue receiving funds, removed from their designation, or when new organizations apply to become CFOs.


*Center for Advancement Financial Support

Many of our peer institutions have an alumni support foundation that financially supports student government initiatives. We will work with the Center for Advancement to work with the alumni network to help fund student government initiatives, cultural house programming, and other student organization events and projects.

academic affairs

Online Forum for Class Information

We will work to create an online forum for students to get information about prospective classes and professors. This service will help students get in contact with others that have already taken classes that they are interested in to ask them about the professor, the time commitment of the course and difficulty level, and any tips they may have for success.


Partner Pre-Health Students with Students with Disabilities

In collaboration with Student Disability Services (SDS), we would like to create a program for pre-health students to become part-time personal assistants to students with disabilities. This provides an opportunity to make campus more accessible for students with disabilities, and simultaneously offers students in the Health Sciences a real-world, one-to-one experience that they can take with them upon graduation.


Advertise that Students Can Limit Midterms

Students are able to appeal to the Registrar if they have more than two midterm exams scheduled for one day, but many do not know about this policy. We want to make sure students are aware of this ability so they are able to prepare better for each exam and also better their mental health.


Increase and Diversify Technology Checkouts

We hope to expand the checkout options offered to students at locations around campus such as the Main Library and the Iowa Memorial Union. Items would include things like surge protectors. We also want to make access to technology and devices as seamless as possilble. Devices include laptops, mice, surge protectors, and chargers for phones and laptops.


Make ACE Evaluation Results Available to Students

University of Iowa students provide feedback each semester about their professors and TA's performance in and out of the classroom through ACE evaluations. In order to continue improving instruction provided to students, we will ask that the results of these surveys be available so that we can play a role in holding faculty accountable for improvements.


Work to Improve Academic Retention for Students of Color and Low-Income Students

Students of color and low-income students often have lower GPA's and retention rates due to unique factors. We want to work to increase the resources available to them so that their chances of academic success are higher.

Justice, equity, and accessibility

UISG Website Translations

Accessibility to UISG is key, especially for students who's first spoken language is not English. With this in mind, we intend on offering multiple language translations to our website to keep everyone on campus up-to-date with resources, news, initiatives, and opportunities to get involved! 


Free Saturday Shuttle to Iowa City Southside

Hawkeye students require access to affordable groceries; however, most students are without their own transportation to get over to the numerous stores on the south side of Iowa City such as Aldi's and Walmart. We hope to work with the City of Iowa City to implement a free shuttle for students (much like we do with Coralville transit to the Coral Ridge Mall).


College Green Park Cambus Route

As an unofficial hub of transportation for many off-campus students, the addition of a bus route to the College Green area of Iowa City will greatly benefit safety and efficiency for students. This will cover times not currently offered by the Iowa City free shuttle, such as on weekends, and evenings after 6 PM.


Support for the Cultural Corridor Plans

We will work to finalize plans to build the cultural corridor and including necessary student resources such as a pharmacy, a post office, etc. Students who wouldn't normally be attending the multicultural houses will be drawn to the corridor as well. We will advocate for a Cultural House common-space to host larger events, while also maintaining the current cultural houses, so students still have a space to connect with their common identities.


Inclusion Campaigns

Mirroring the Political Tolerance campaigns post-2016 election, we hope to institutionalize cultural competency training and increase awareness for intersectional identities.


Create Structure for SDS Note-Taking

Students who require notes to be provided to them for classes through Student Disability Services due to various disabilities often receive notes that are difficult to read or generally unhelpful. We plan on creating a structure for these notes to ensure that students who request notes are able to use them effectively.


Immigration Support Fund

We will work to create a fund available to undocumented students or those otherwise facing challenges due to immigration policies. Qualifying students would be able to apply for funds to cover tuition that allow for them to continue their studies. Our short-term goal is to help cover costs to those looking to secure immigration status. Our long-term goal is to create a plan to help deported students complete their studies back home, if it comes to that point.


Translated Tuition Financial Guides

SURGE plans to fund the translation of concise financial guides into languages for which translated materials are often not available, but are represented by large immigrant communities in the area. These include but are not limited to: French, Somali, Sudanese Arabic, Vietnamese, Laotian, and Yoruba.


*Women of Color Summit

Women of color face unique challenges on campus, when applying for internships, and in the workplace after graduating. These concerns are best addressed by other women of color who have had these experiences and can assist in guiding them by providing networking opportunities and advice. We will work with the Center for Diversity and Enrichment, multicultural student organizations on campus, and the cultural houses to create the Women of Color Summit, to address the unique experiences of those with this inter-sectional identity.

Sustainability

Expand Recycled Material Offerings

As a campus and student government committed to sustainability, our recycling programs at Iowa should be as all-encompassing as possible. This is why we want our campus to lead the charge in the college world, particularly with a program like the "Hefty Energy Bag Program": http://www.hefty.com/whats-new/articles/hefty-energy-bag-program/ which aims to expand what is usually accepted as recyclable.


Increase Water Bottle Fillers in Residence Halls

It's sustainable. It's healthy. It's easy to install. It's cost-effective. We want to bring more water bottle filling stations to residence halls.


Expand Residence Hall Composting Project

We will work to ensure that the Residence Hall composting program implemented this year is successful, with the hopes of expanding the program as needed.


Advocate for the University Power Plant

In 2017, it was announced that the University of Iowa would become coal-free by 2025. Given the age and current state of the Power Plant, however, there is a risk of not reaching this goal by the announced deadline. In order to uphold the university's standards for sustainability, we will advocate for improvements to the current power plant.


Advocate for a Furniture Library for Residence Halls

In conjunction with University Housing and Dining, it is our goal to create a furniture library so that would enable students to rent appliances and other pieces of furniture at the beginning of the year and return them during move out. A win for the environment, a win for the University, and a win for students.


Advocate for  Sustainable Purchasing by the University

It is estimated that up to 40% of a higher educational institution's greenhouse gas emissions result from its supply chain. We would like to continue UISG's involvement in the University's sustainable purchasing initiatives.


SURGE is here to work not just for you, but with you. Send us your ideas and thoughts on how to improve campus below.