NISG presidential candidates: Bennett and Struck


Samantha Bennett isn’t running for NISG president in pursuit of fame or fortune. For this third-year actuarial science major with a French studies certificate, the position is all about the chance to better others’ lives.

“Whether it be on a personal or a systemic level, I aim to do as much good as I can,” she wrote in an email to the Northern Iowan. “I have learned a lot from the UNI community, and it is a community that has brought me many joys. I would like to do the same in return.”

Alisanne Struck, a second-year student studying public relations and political science, is Bennett’s running mate. She said the two are eager to get to work.

“Samantha and I truly want to help students and make their lives at this institution better,” Struck wrote. “Our platform is centered around students and finding ways to help them grow through our service to UNI.”

Bennett and Struck’s three-pronged platform emphasizes “Advocacy, Accessibility and Academics.” According to their campaign website, they intentionally “pared down” their platform to keep it realistic.

“We felt it important to stay grounded and not make students promises we cannot keep, because they deserve leaders who follow through and achieve just what they said they would set out to do,” Bennett wrote.

Issues such as sustainability, diversity/equity, NISG transparency and expanded course offerings, among others, are prominent. Each prong includes several action items and one particular goal which the pair will prioritize during the first half of their term.

Struck and Bennett emphasized the time they dedicated to creating their platform.

“I want students to know how seriously we take this campaign,” Bennett wrote. “We did not take this decision to run lightly, as we understand how much good is capable of being done if this role is carried out effectively, and UNI deserves leaders of quality. Thus, we have gotten to work by meeting with campus leaders, department heads, and deans to ensure our platform is realistic and signed off on by the very people whose collaboration we will need to help get these proposed initiatives realized.”

The two believe the most important issue currently facing UNI students is student well-being and mental health.

“Students are under a remarkable amount of stress, so it is important that UNI does what it can to alleviate and not contribute to that,” they wrote. “This means making sure our mental health resources are readily and easily accessible, that there are not barriers to students utilizing accessibility services and that the credit/no credit option remains available for the remainder of the pandemic.”

The two will use their experience in student government and other organizations to achieve these goals.

Bennett has recently served as the NISG Director of Sustainability and is a desk assistant in Lawther Hall. She is also a member of Student Sustainability Engagement Committee, Actuarial Science Club, Green Project and Some Assembly Required improv comedy troupe.

Struck has been involved in organizations including Panther Marching Band, Dance Marathon, Asian Student Union and Summer Orientation Staff, among others. As an NISG senator, she has served on committees such as Course Fees and Organization & Finance.

While they believe their various accolades have prepared them for the challenges of leading NISG and the student body, Struck noted that titles and memberships are only one part of the role.

“I believe that leadership is more than a title, and I am more than ready to take on the responsibility of serving my peers through this role,” she wrote. “I have an open mind, an ear ready to listen, and a hunger for change.”

For more information, visit or follow their campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.