NISG weekly update


Courtesy Photo

Among the bills passed, NISG Senators approved funding for the UNI Women’s Rugby Club as they travel to Nashville for their national tournament.


Provost speaks, resolution passed in support of TheatreUNI

Under the pale moonlight, the Northern Iowa Student Government met on Wednesday, Nov. 17 in the University Room of Maucker Union for their 14th meeting of the academic year. Following a sharp bang of the gavel by Speaker of the Senate Sam Caughron, NISG members were treated with an appearance by the Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, José Herrera, recently appointed in June 2021. Herrera came to the meeting to open up a channel of communication with NISG as well as introduce himself and his role on campus. 

As Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Northern Iowa, Herrera  reports to the president as the chief academic and operating officer of the campus. He is responsible for the academic and organizational functioning of the campus and the advancement of high quality teaching and learning, scholarship, and service. A former microbiologist, professor and administrator with decades of experience in academic and scientific leadership roles, Herrera has held leadership positions at the National Science Foundation, Western New Mexico University and Mercy College, where he was Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. 

Along with the introduction, Herrera fielded questions about current affairs on campus related to students and faculty. He assuaged fears and put down rumors vocalized by the student government about the UNI Theatre Department and its rumored closure as well as talk of a hiring freeze. Herrera also expressed the need to wait for more certainty on budgetary constraints related to the department later based on tuition money and state allocations with a focus on equitable fund management. 

The bulk of the meeting was spent discussing and voting on 12 pieces of legislation with seven on the noncontroversial docket and the remaining on the controversial docket. The first bill on the noncontroversial docket was a statement of solidarity with the UNI Department of Theatre and the individuals involved within the organizations and the current financial ambiguity surrounding the organizations. 

The second bill consisted of appointing Joe Dodgen, a third year social sciences education major, for at-large senator. He was confirmed by a vote of 13-0-1. Next came a bill concerning the election of Senator Micaiah Krutsinger for the Campus Relations Committee Chair. He was voted in by a margin of 14-0-1. The group then turned to a contingency fund request for $200 by the Criminology Club for transport to the Black Hawk County Jail. This was passed by a vote of 14-0-1. Senator Mason Miller then put forth a motion for unanimous consent, meaning following legislation of the night can be passed with no objections rather than a roll-call vote. The motion passed by a vote of 14-0-1. Therefore, the next bill, a contingency fund request of $1,000 by Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia for their yearly Tallcorn Jazz Fest as well as another contingency fund request for $5,000 to assist travel by the UNI Women’s Rugby Club for their national tournament in Nashville both passed with no objections. Finally, to round out the noncontroversial docket, the students voted on a bill to deactivate student organizations who have not completed the re-registration process. It was passed with no objections. 

The meeting then shifted to the controversial docket consisting of five bills. The first was the second reading of a bill concerning the amendment of the oath of office to make it shorter. The second piece of legislation changed the wording of the roles of the Student Body President to accurately reflect the current duties. Each bill was passed with no objections. The students then heard for the first time three bills amending the NISG by-laws. The first bill amended the Executive Branch roles including the Director of Finance, Director of Governmental Relations, Director of Public Relations and the Director of Diversity. The next bill amended the Legislative Branch officer roles such as the Speaker of the Senate, and the third added the Director of Civil Engagement officially into the By-Laws. All were tabled for a second reading for the following week’s meeting. 

NISG meets every week at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays in the University Room of Maucker Union. These meetings are free and open to the public. Anyone interested in becoming involved in NISG and the activities of the organization can visit for supplemental information or check back in next week’s issue for more ongoing coverage related to NISG, their initiatives and up-to-date organization news.