Student body president, vice president create plans for new semester


Courtesy Photo

Student body president Samantha Bennet and Vice President Alisanne Struck have been advocating for mental health, suicide prevention, an inclusive NISG culture and more online core classes among other initiatives.


This past April, Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) president Samantha Bennett and vice president Alisanne Struck were sworn in. This personnel change also came with some goal changes for the organization in the way they are going to improve campus and student life here at UNI.

This year President Bennett and Vice President Struck agree upon the group’s main goal: “To make it so every student is able to have a positive Panther experience.” 

One of the most recent accomplishments of the NISG was the organization and execution of NISG night held on Wednesday, Sept. 28. This event was held to provide the opportunity to learn more about NISG and student government in general. It was also used to inform people of the work that senators are currently doing along with the way NISG supports students and their needs on personal and professional levels.

They have also recently filled many positions such as board of directors, senators and justices. Not only have they filled these positions, but they are currently helping them to plan each individual’s initiatives for this school year. More outwardly from UNI, NISG attended the Board of Regents meeting as representatives of UNI. 

At the meeting they put emphasis on the importance of mental health care and suicide prevention. They focused on the pandemic and the way it has seriously affected students not only at UNI, but on campuses around the country. They also talked about the observation of Juneteenth along with the ways universities could improve upon the support systems for sexual assault survivors and prevention of those occurances in the first place.

For President Bennett, there are a few personal goals that she would like to achieve through the NISG organization. One of these is, “to foster a culture of encouragement and support within student government so that students view it as a place to learn and grow.”

She hopes that people don’t view NISG  as an insider-community full only of people who are already knowledgeable about the inner workings of the university. It is Bennett’s hope to make NISG feel like an open-to-all kind of place where everyone is welcome and a place where anyone can belong.

A more legislation-based goal that she hopes the group will accomplish this academic year is getting the state to approve funding to re-establish a full-time, on-campus suicide prevention educator at UNI.

As for Vice President Struck, she hopes the organization is able to encourage the university to offer more online sections of Liberal Arts Core Classes. Struck said, “Accessibility has been one of my biggest concerns for our students during the pandemic, and I really want to continue to push for classes online.”

Looking forward, NISG truly hopes to improve student life for all who call UNI home. “Whether that means identifying ways to improve sustainability in the residence halls, streamlining the processes for students to complete accommodation requests or securing funding for mental health resources, NISG and its members are dedicated to doing the work.”

NISG as an organization does a lot of their work in the background, but they greatly impact students’ daily lives for the better. Over the next coming months, the NISG will make decisions that will benefit the UNI campus and student body.

“We have a lot in the works, but overall, we always hope that we are effectively advocating for students,” Vice President Struck said.