Sam and Christelle: a PACT that will last

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  • Sam Caughron (right) and Christelle Tungu (left) spoke on their platform this past Wednesday about some of the future initiatives for their administration.

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Current Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) Speaker of the House Sam Caughron and At-large Senator Christelle Tungu have their eyes set on an opportunity to make lasting change at UNI: fulfilling the roles of student body president and vice president.

Caughron is currently a third-year public administration and political science double major, and Tungu is a second-year criminology student. 

Caughron’s history with public service and student government far predates this presidential run. In high school, he was involved in Waterloo Youth City Council and his high school’s student senate. He has been in NISG for three years and is currently in his second year serving as Speaker of the Senate. He has served under three different NISG presidencies and has worked directly under two of them.

“Since I started my first semester, my first year at UNI as an at-large senator, every single initiative I’ve worked on, I have not failed a single one. I’m very proud to say that,” he said. 

Caughron cites involvement in a variety of initiative during his time in NISG, including helping pass “The Pronouns Project” which listed students’ pronouns on class rosters, giving students the ability to use their preferred names on UNI IDs without changing their legal name, NISG’s menstrual products initiative and their textbook equity initiative.

He also played a key role in writing the resolution to have Juneteenth and Latinx Heritage Month recognized by the university.

“UNI students deserve leading executives who are going to work the hardest they can to implement their initiatives, that are actually going to do the work, that are actually going to show up, that are going to be present and that care enough to do the work, to show up, to want to do this,” Caughron said.

“I have seen the inner workings of student government. I have seen people work on impactful, structurally changing initiatives that have improved our campus, and I know how to get the job done,” he said.


The job Caughron and Tungu are setting out to complete revolves around four core pillars: Presence, Advocacy, Campus Life, and Transparency, represented by the acronym PACT. They are leading their campaign with the slogan, “Making a PACT with our students.”


During the past few weeks of campaigning, Caughron and Tungu attended a series of meet and greets with various student organizations on campus, fostering a presence they want to make a key factor in their presidency if they win the election.

Both of them want to create more collaboration between NISG and student organizations on campus, specifically targeting the Office of International Engagement and fraternities and sororities.

“A big part of presence on our platform is encouraging members of student government to go outside of their comfort zones and attend student org meetings, not only to get the experience and to gain knowledge, but also to be a resource for students so they can meet their representatives,” Caughron said.

Tungu continued, “I passionately believe that a great way to represent someone is by going down and being there with them, mingling with them. Not just being on top and assuming what they need and what you can get done for them, but coming down, asking them questions and noticing the little things that they might need,” she said.


Caughron and Tungu want to continue lobbying for issues that directly involve students. They will continue general lobbying to increase general funding for the university in order to keep tuition low while accounting for inflation. They also want to continue lobbying for mental health allocations from the Board of Regents, as well as lobbying for more scholarships for third-year graduate students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.

“[Third-year mental health counseling graduate students] have to tackle their education, an outside job and their internship or their GA position on campus, and that’s a lot, so we’d like to get more scholarships for them,” Caughron said.

The pair would also like to work toward getting an in-house mental health professional at the Wellness and Recreation Center to be utilized by the general student body and, more specifically, student athletes.

Their platform also includes continuing to encourage students to become Green Dot trained, the gender violence prevention initiative implemented by NISG in fall of 2022.

Campus Life

The campus life pillar involves expanding the current free menstrual products initiative to include all bathrooms on campus, including dorms. 

This category also includes textbook equity, in which professors will be encouraged to use cheaper versions of textbooks or to utilize the course materials that are free through Rod Library.

They also want to collaborate more with the Campus Activities Board to hold events both during the week and on weekends. They want to create more engagement for students of all backgrounds on campus, especially those who remain on campus on the weekends. 


Caughron and Tungu want to simplify the process for student organizations to request funding by decreasing the amount of paperwork and number of required meetings organizations must attend. They want to make sure all of the information on funding is available at the first meetings of the year that student organizations are required to attend.

They also want to continue NISG’s relationship with the Northern Iowan and to keep producing monthly press releases.

“And overall, we just want to continue the work on fostering a positive and welcoming environment in student government,” Caughron said.

At the end of the day

The pair and their campaign staff have certainly made their presence known on campus over the past few weeks. They have been tabling from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Maucker Union every day since their campaign started and have created a strong social media presence alongside the many hours they have spent interacting with student organizations.

“We’ve created a dialogue with student orgs and students. We have had countless amazing conversations. The people we met with are so passionate about what they do, what their org does and what they provide to campus, and it’s been great to be a part of that,” Caughron said.

Tungu added, “These past two weeks have been just eye-opening for me. I’ve encountered amazing orgs here on campus that I wish I would have known about earlier.”

“We are here not just to impact during the campaign, but we want to be friends with you. We want to connect with you. We don’t just want to be there. No, we want to really come and interact with you, know how your semester is going, how classes are, even if you won’t sign a petition,” Tungu said.

“As long as we get the friendship, that’s all we are about,” she said.

No matter how the elections pan out, Caughron is determined to continue making change on campus any way he can.

“UNI students deserve dedicated public servants who have a history of putting in the work, who show up, who are present, who legitimately care, and when they’re in office, who will not disappear,” he said.

“It doesn’t go our way, we will still show up and we will still do the things we currently do. Granted, we may not be in the positions we are aiming for. We may not be implementing the initiatives we hoped we’d implement, but we will continue that work. That is a promise,” Caughron said. “Not even a promise, that is a fact. It’s a fact. It is what Christelle and I will do. I think that’s what students deserve, and that’s what we bring to the table.”