Northern Iowa Student Government

UNI I Am A Hero - Ashley Minshall

By: Spencer Walrath on Tue, 11/08/2011 - 08:02

This week's UNI I Am A Hero is Ashley Minshall!

"I would like to nominate Ashley Minshall for the UNI am a Hero award.  She is currently the adviser of the Campus Activities Board and works with student leaders through the SIAC.  Since coming to the University of Northern Iowa, Ashley has been able to help student organizations plan events to provide students an environment to interact with one another.  Ashley has always been a person I can talk to and helps me better myself.  I believe the rest of the students that interact with Ashley would also call her an UNI hero." - Ryan Alfred

Congratulations Ashley on your nomination!

Don't forget to nominate your friends and co-workers to be recognized as a UNI Hero! Write a brief statement that details why they are a hero, including their name and email address, and email it to

Go Panthers!

Events of the Week - 11/7 to 11/13

By: mojohn on Mon, 11/07/2011 - 09:30

Monday, November 7 - 9/11 Film Series: Alternative Perspectives on the War on Terror
7:00 PM - Center for Multicultural Education
Selections from the film Beyond the Frame: Alternative Perspectives on the War on Terrorism will provide context for a discussion of the 9/11 attack, its aftermath and the "War on Terror."

Tuesday, November 8 - Polar Bare Walk, Run, or Roll
9:30 PM (Check-in starts at 9:00 PM) - Alumni House
This philanthropy event will provide an opportunity for students, alumni and the community to give back to the Cedar Valley while participating in this fun, mile-long run, walk or roll.  There is a $5 registration cost, which covers event costs and a montery donation to the Salvation Army!  We ask runners, walkers, and rollers to bring in used articles of clothing. Each article will give you a ticket to the drawing for cool prizes! All proceeds will benefit the Salvation Army.  Register online now, or simply walk up to the event with $5 and a clothing donation!

Thursday, November 10 - UNI Symphonic Band and Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra
7:30 PM - Great Hall, Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center
Under the direction of UNI School of Music professor and conductor S. Daniel Galyen, the Symphonic Band will present a shared fall concert with the Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Rebecca Burkhardt. This event is ticketed - students admitted free. For tickets, call (319) 273-4TIX.

Saturday, November 12 - UNI Swimming and Diving vs. South Dakota State
1:00 PM - WRC Pool
Come support the swimming and driving team as they compete against the SDSU Jackrabbits!

Senate Agenda for the 13th Regular Meeting

By: mojohn on Wed, 11/02/2011 - 15:57

Agenda of the Northern Iowa Student Government Senate
2011-2012 Session
13th Regular Meeting - November 2nd, 2011


I. Call to Order - 7:00 PM
II. Roll Call
III. Identification of the Press
IV. Student Forum and Announcements
V. Call for Changes to the Orders of the Day
VI. Approval of the Consent Agenda
     1. Consideration and Approval of the Minutes
          i. 12th Regular Senate Meeting
          ii. Approval of Senator Riffel- Off Campus Senator
     2. Approval of University Committee Appointments
     3. Approval of Senate Standing Committee Appointments
          i. Senator Lunn-
VII. Say Hello to Lisa
VIII. Special Business
     1. Swearing in of new Senator-Mallory Riffel
IX. Reports of the Executive Officers
     1. President Walrath
     2. Vice President Goldsmith
     3. Director of Administration and Finance Reed
     4. Director of Public Relations Johnson
     5. Director of Diversity and Student Life Mayberry-Mayes
     6. Director of Governmental Relations Greenway
     7. Chief of Staff Brueck
X. Reports of the Standing Committees
     1. Organization & Finance - C. Miller and Trampel
     2. Government & Legislative Affairs - Parker and Derringer
     3. Public Relations & Programming - Koss and E. Konrardy
     4. Student Affairs - N. Konrardy and Findley
     5. External Relations - A. Miller and Bancroft-Smithe
XI. Report of the Speaker
XII. Old Business
     1. SSB 2012-18 Line of Succession Act
     2. SSB 2012-19 Committee Reform
     3. SSB 2012-20 UNI Dance Marathon Event Funding
XIII. Non-Controversial Docket
     1. SSR 2012-13 Thanking Joe Murphy
     2. SSR 2012-14 Recognizing UNI Sophomore Karelyn Pohl
XIV. Controversial Docket
XV. Adjournment

Events of the Week - 10/31 to 11/6

By: mojohn on Mon, 10/31/2011 - 08:39

Monday, October 31 - TWLOHA Halloween Party
9 PM, Maucker Union - Elm Room
To Write Love On Her Arms UNI is hosting a Halloween party! Put on your costume and enjoy food and games. Email for more information.

Tuesday, November 1 - Food Matters
7-8:30 PM - Auditorium, Center for Energy & Environmental Education
Ricardo Salvador, program officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will discuss the links between community health, food, soil, water, and the system of food and agriculture we currently have but should change if we wish to be healthier.

Wednesday, November 2 - West African Drum and Kaji-Daiko (Taiko) Ensembles
8 PM - Davis Hall, GBPAC
Under the direction of percussion professor Randy Hogancamp, the UNI Percussion, West African Drum and Kaji-Daiko (Taiko) Ensembles will offer their fall concert. This event is free and open to the public.

Friday, November 4 - UNI Jazz Band One
7:30 PM - Bengtson Auditorium, Russell Hall
UNI Jazz Band One, under the direction of Chris Merz will offer a fall concert with repertoire and soloists to be announced. This event is free and open to the public.

Tuition Speech to the Board of Regents

By: Spencer Walrath on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 11:09

This morning I spoke before the Board of Regents on the proposed tuition and fees increase and also on the need to adjust state appropriations to better fund UNI. The Regents will not vote on increasing tuition and fees until their December meeting, which means that you still have time to make your voice heard. A transcript of my speech is included below.

Good morning. My name is Spencer Walrath and I am a senior  from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, studying music, psychology, and political science at UNI. I have the honor of serving the students of the University of Northern Iowa as their student body president and I want to thank President Lange and the members of the Board for the privilege of addressing you today.

Before I talk about the proposed tuition and fees increases, I want to present some background information on UNI.

UNI's budget situation is unique and contrasts with the University of Iowa and Iowa State's. 92 percent of UNI's students are residents of Iowa. This compares to 64 percent at Iowa State and 57 percent at the University of Iowa. This means that UNI pulls in dramatically fewer out-of-state tuition dollars than our sister schools, which negatively impacts our bottom line.

Earlier this week I was asked a very interesting question, "Why does the state of Iowa contribute to public education?" In my opinion, the simple answer is, "To educate Iowans." By educating our workforce, our state becomes stronger and more productive. With that in mind, I now ask a question in return, "What other 4-year institution caters to Iowans as well as we do?"

Despite UNI's success in attracting and educating Iowan students, the state of Iowa has disinvested in our resident students, and UNI receives the least amount of state appropriations per student out of the three universities. For fiscal year 2011 UNI received $7,502 in state appropriations for every resident undergraduate student. This amount is $3,300 less than similar students at Iowa State University and $10,126 less than similar students at the University of Iowa.

UNI provides a valuable service to the state of Iowa by training our graduates to be outstanding in their professions and communities. Many of our students go on to be world-class educators, accountants, and entrepreneurs. What's more is that we do a great job of encouraging our graduates to stay in Iowa where they help the state grow and prosper. 60 percent of UNI alumni live in Iowa, which can be compared to 39 percent at Iowa State University and 33 percent at the University of Iowa.

It is clear from the data I have mentioned that UNI is an excellent resource for the state of Iowa and also, in my opinion, underappreciated and undervalued by the State. I believe the UNI's proportion of state appropriations should be reassessed and adjusted to give UNI a greater share.

I've spent the last few weeks talking to UNI students about the tuition and fees increases and I've heard two competing sentiments. The majority of students that I've spoken to have supported the tuition increase. They support the increase because they understand that without it, UNI faces an even greater deficit than it already has. Students want to maintain the high quality education they currently receive. They want their specific programs to continue and they also want to continue to have a variety of options when selecting courses to satisfy their Liberal Arts Core requirements.

UNI students cherish our small class sizes. For many students it was a deciding factor when they chose to come to UNI and there are many students who are willing to pay the cost of the tuition increase if it means maintaining their small class sizes.

However, other students have made it abundantly clear to me that they do not want an increase in the cost of their tuition. I have received several emails from students and spoken to many more that are upset with the proposed tuition increase and have asked me to take a stand. These students feel that the time has come to stop increasing tuition year after year and that we must send a message to the state of Iowa that we wish for them to reinvest in students, who are the future of this state.

I believe that we have reached a turning point. Students have been willing to cover our share of the costs, but we are now doing more than our share. When students are paying for almost 60 percent of the cost of their education at a public university, something in the formula must change.

These tuition increases have had and will continue to have an enormous impact on people like me who grew up in lower class families. UNI students, on average, come from lower levels of social economic status more so than students at other institutions. These students do not have the same financial resources available to them that other families do.

However, students who come from poor backgrounds have federal grants available to them for the explicit purpose of helping them cover the cost of tuition and making higher education accessible to those who need it most. We need it because an education is the only way for students to break out of the lower class. For me, graduating from college means that I do not have to go back to the trailer park I lived in when I graduated high school.

The problem is that Federal Pell Grants max out at $5,500. A few years ago, when tuition and fees were around $4,000, these federal grants were a good deal. You could almost afford to live on campus with the money left over. But when tuition and fees are proposed at $7,635, federal aid will not cut it anymore. Even if a student received the maximum amount of aid, $5,500, they would be $2,135 short. Add to that amount an additional $7,686 for room and board and $4,132 in other costs, and you are looking at $13,953 that is unaccounted for by federal aid. Where will that money come from?

When we continuously raise tuition, we make higher education inaccessible to students like me. These are students who have faced a lot of adversity and have emerged stronger as a result. These are students who have diverse life experiences, are hard working, and driven to succeed. These are students that are ideal future Panthers, Cyclones, and Hawkeyes, and a degree from a 4-year university is their ticket to a better life. And these are students who, when tuition increases year after year, are denied the opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed.

I said it was a privilege to appear before you today, and I truly mean that. It is a privilege because, if I were a high school senior looking to attend UNI next year, I would not be able to afford it. I feel blessed that I have been able to attend UNI for the last 4 years. If I had not attended UNI, I would not have developed the leadership skills that bring me before you today.

I believe that it is vital that we keep higher education affordable and accessible to all students, but every increase in tuition pushes us further from that goal. I support this year's tuition increase, but I call upon the Board to find a different solution for covering costs in the coming years. Thank you.