NISG engages students at open house

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On Wednesday, Jan. 29, Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) hosted their first open house event to inform students about what they do and how others can be involved and provide information about upcoming NISG elections. The open house marked the midpoint of “Engage with NISG Week,” Jan. 27-31, which also featured events such as the UNI Mock Caucus, Maucker Union Live with Senator Ryan Frank and the You’re Next! Political Conference.

Wednesday’s open house took place in Maucker Union Ballroom from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Visitors were provided food and drinks and for the first 30 minutes had time to mingle with NISG members, followed by a ‘speed dating’ event from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Visitors were placed at a table with multiple NISG members from a certain position. Every seven minutes, the groups would switch.

Bekah Bass, a junior sociology major with minors in Spanish and women’s and gender studies, is NISG’s Chief Justice and has been a part of NISG since her freshman year. Bass expressed her excitement at the opportunity to participate in the first NISG open house.

“NISG does a lot of different things for the student body. Even though we all may have separate goals, we’re all working together to make the student body and UNI better,” she said. “I think having this open house is a great opportunity for students to see more of what we do for the school and have a chance to get involved.”

Bass also said students are welcome to sit in on NISG meetings to get a glimpse of what being a part of NISG is like.

While NISG is always busy, this is a crucial time of the year for them because of the upcoming elections. Chase Collins, a senior economics major with an ethics minor, is an associate justice for NISG. Collins and his fellow justices have been looking forward to elections, one of their main responsibilities, for months.

“We’re always working, even if you can’t see us,” he said. “Part of our job is to enforce the rules and regulations of the elections and make sure everything runs smoothly. We’re also the ones who hand out punishments in case things go wrong. We would love to have more people involved and have more students share their voice about what is important to them.” 

Each table at the open house provided information about their position  and responsibilities. For example, Campus Relations discussed their menstrual products donation drive, which collects donations of menstrual protects and distributes them to various bathrooms throughout campus. They’ve also worked with the Panther Pantry in the past and hosted a food drive.

No matter what you’re passionate about, according to NISG members, chances are there is a position for you.

For interested students, here are the steps on how to run for office, as provided by NISG:

1.Pick up an NISG election packet from the NISG office or designated pick-up location (see for locations).

2.Read and complete NISG election packet.

3.Gather signatures (100 for presidential/vice presidential candidates, 25 for senators) on your petition between Feb. 10 and 14.

4.Turn in completed election packet by 6 p.m. on Feb. 14 to the NISG office. This gets your name on the ballot.

5.Encourage others to vote on MyUNIverse on Feb. 25 and 26.

6.Turn in a final finance report to the NISG office by 6 p.m. on Feb. 26.