Northern Iowa Student Government is here for you



Members of NISG recently represented UNI in Des Moines for “UNI Day at the Capitol.” They had opportunities to connect with local legislators and advocate for fellow students.

EMMA KOEHLER, Managing Editor

The student organization representing students 

Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG), where political science majors and those interested in politics go right? Not exactly. While there are political science majors and political gurus involved, all types of majors and students can be found within NISG; the perfect representation of all students are welcome to be a part of the organization. 

“It’s better to be passionate, you don’t necessarily have to be passionate about government, but to be passionate about what you want to see and what you want to bring to campus or things you want to change,” said current NISG President, Leila Mašinović. 

NISG is the governing body of representation for the student body of UNI. They take initiatives and tackle issues they believe make the college experience better and take interest in what students really care about at UNI. Specifically, the organization does many different things across campus from lobbying in Des Moines to providing funding to student organizations. 

“We have a variety of purposes, it kind of depends on what lens you’re looking through,” said NISG Chief of Staff, Trina Tounjian. “Through a student lens, we advocate for students, we have our constituents, and within the Senate we try to have equal representation from each college for academics but also from different places across campus such as different dorms. From a UNI standpoint, we do a lot of funding for student organizations, provide student representatives for different on-campus committees or going down to the capital and advocating for UNI for things such as mental health resources,” she said. 

NISG is set up just the same as the United States government with three branches: executive, legislative and judicial. In addition to these branches, NISG has a Legislative Liason Team, Board of Directors and Senate committees. Students can become involved in any of these areas, there is no experience or position hierarchy for new students required. 

“Don’t try to fit yourself into a job, we’ll make the job work for you,” said Tounjian. “What it looks like for each person is very different. You can be as involved as you want to be or as uninvolved as you want to be.” 

The upcoming NISG elections will be on Feb. 21 and 22. Those being elected include President, Vice President and Senate positions. Candidates running for these positions have initiates they are wishing to put into action once elected and have gotten signatures from their respective colleges. Those running for President and Vice President also receive endorsements from students and student organizations showing their support. 

“Vote for your elected officials because these are the people that are going to be fighting for what you want to see on campus, they’re going to be the people that represent you and your needs, if something is not happening how you want it to happen,” said Mašinović. “These will be the people, that you hopefully, go to and you can voice your concerns to and hopefully steer you in the right direction, give you more information or advocate for you in places like the capitol building where laws will affect everything and everyone. The person that you vote for will impact you greatly,” she said. 

“It’s students representing students,” said Tounjian in agreement. “If you see something that you don’t like, having that vote toward choosing someone to represent those issues gives them the authority to make that change.” 

If you are interested in joining NISG, reach out to anyone involved in the organization, ask questions or show up to weekly meetings on Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m. in the Oak Room of Maucker Union. Voting in the upcoming elections can be done through MyUNIverse. 

“You meet people from all around campus that you would never meet otherwise,” said Mašinović. “One of the most rewarding things is having a student come up to me and say, ‘Hey I heard you did this, this is how it impacted me’ and good or bad, it’s good feedback so you know a way to go next.” 

“Once you’re in student government, you’re going to fall in love with it,” said Tounjian. “It’s really the people, everyone genuinely has UNI’s best intentions and everyone always gets super excited and positive when things are happening.”