Micaiah and Liz: learn your ABC’s

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • This past Wednesday, Feb. 15, the Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) held a debate in the Maucker Union Ballrooms for the first time in 4 years.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right

NIXSON BENITEZ, Executive Editor

Micaiah Krutsinger, student vice president, who debuted on “The College Tour” is looking to seek another term, but as president, along with Liz Montalvo, director of mental health. 

Krutsinger was first involved in Northern Iowan Student Government (NISG) as a senator for the College Humanities Arts and Sciences (CHAS) in 2021 – 2022. Krutsinger worked his way up in the ranks and in 2022 ran for student vice president along with Madame President Leila Mašinović in which they focused on Academics, Balance, Community and Diversity – also known as their ABC priorities – in informing the Panther community.

Montalvo, who recently joined NISG in the fall of 2022, is looking to push her leadership experience even further in these elections. She is involved in Panther Ambassadors, Pre-Law Club and is a mentor for Jump Start academy. 

“This is my second semester of student government under my belt, but in that short time, I have been able to accomplish a handful of things,” Montalvo said. “I’m very close with a lot of faculty members, like a lot of higher up people now. So, I know that they would have, like my support.” 

What would this election extension permit? 

Right now, Krutsinger is working with the Legislative Liaison Team. This team sends students to Des Moines Capitol every wednesday to directly discuss with state legislatures about the university and student needs. Krutsinger’s team is hoping to pass the $4 million state appropriations, the $4 million for educators for Iowa and the $1 million request for mental health resources in the legislature. 

“I’ve already been having experience with the Board of Regents, with the state legislature, I currently have the contact information to a lot of individuals in these positions (of power)… So, if reelected, we are able to work off of our connections, and it’s not a reset from administration to administration,” Krutsinger said. “We are able to still make stronger relationships with our local governments. Instead of having to reset NISG and have new individuals be making new relationships.”

Another project that they are working on is the Counseling Compact, which is a compact between states for mental health resources. This project would make it easier for mental health professionals to travel state to state with multiple licenses. 

“That’s something we want to focus on because that is bringing resources to UNI,” Krutsinger said. “We don’t know where the legislature is going to end up by the end of our term [in April].”

With the administration keeping the ABC’s the same they are looking to push the message to the community. 

“So, we kept it the same as last year, because I want the student body to see that if they elect me that there are continuous (priorities and efforts) in student government, and we are willing to work on the same initiatives that we’ve been working on for the last year, but also adding a lot more to our own.” Krutsinger said. 

Get to know your ABC’s, then come along support their priorities


Kicking it off with “A” their  platform is looking to publicly be in favor of the UNI and Iowa Community College Partnership, also known as UNI@IACC, tuition differentiation, “Our Tomorrow Campaign” and the development of the nursing program that will be launching its first cohort in 2024. Their platform is taking action by talking with members of the Board of Regents and state legislators to receive the necessary funding and approval of these future initiatives. 

“Without academics we wouldn’t be here at UNI, we wouldn’t be working towards a degree.” Krutsinger said.

In the September meeting of the Board of Regents, President Mark Nook requested $2 million for funding to double the community colleges involved and push student support specialists on the community college campus. This agenda item has already been presented to the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee by Nook, and the next step will be voting on the request; a timeline is not yet determined on voting. 

They are also looking to incentivize educators to enter the education field by having student teaching be paid. Right now, education majors do not get their student teaching paid. 

This administration is also looking forward to working alongside the office of the President to advocate for the necessary funding from the state to keep the university tuition from rising. In the Board of Regents Nook requested a total of $4 million dollars to maintain the university’s tuition from rising.  This agenda item has already been presented to the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee by Nook and the next step will be voting on the request; a timeline is not yet determined on voting. 

They are also wanting faculty to add a trigger warning in the syllabus of content that may have domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault and more etc. 

The administration wants to also help bring awareness of Rod Library’s textbook equity initiative to offer free textbooks to students by sharing it on their social media.  


Krutsinger and Montalvo are seeking to advocate for Mental Health, Campus Safety and STD testing. 

With the $1 million request for mental health approved by the Board of Regents the two are looking to continue the advocacy in passing the request in the state legislature. This also includes the awareness of telehealth opportunities. The administration is also wanting to continue the partnership with the Student Health Center and looking to fund for more graduate assistant positions.

Montalvo has been working closely with the student health center leadership team as the director of mental health. 

The Student Health Center currently has two graduate assistants (GA) and both have brought a tremendous amount of help according to Montalvo. Montalvo is looking to fund and double the GA’s for the counseling center. This is currently in the works and being presented to the student fees committee on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Montalvo is also hoping to possibly have a new addition in the athletics department and wellness center later in the future.

“Students feel safer and more relatable if we go to speak to students,” Montalvo said.

Right now, there is no counselor in the athletics department according to Krutsinger.

With the Green Dot program successful launch this past September, they are looking to bring more encouragement in the campus community to be Green Dot trained. Their platform wants to continuing the funding of Green Dot and continue emphasizing the presence of resources for sexual assault. The final push of the balance initiative is to advocate for more resources of STD testing on campus.


The two are looking to bring back the Panther Mayhem (PM) Student section to revive the student presence at the athletic events. PM was abruptly discontinued because the leadership team during the time it was active were seniors when the pandemic hit. There was no transition due to everyone being sent back home. This was brought to their attention by the Panther Soccer’s Prowlers executive board. The goal of PM would get the attention of students to go to the games and this increased the engagement of the student body at all athletic games.

With the enrollment rate taking a hit, it has also impacted student involvement and Fraternity and Sorority Life. The administration expressed this was brought to their attention and that they hope to focus on student retention rates to continue having an active and engaged culture at the university.

In their community initiative, they are also looking forward to adding more seating and picnic tables with umbrellas at the roof of Maucker Union. In the fall there were 12 tables located on the roof of Maucker; they have recently been removed, as they have outlived their useful life, according to Mike Bobeldyk, director of student involve ment and services.

To add on, the administration is planning on seeking permanent funding through the university for menstrual products. In this request they are hoping to expand to other buildings and residencies that don’t hold menstrual products.

In their mission in improving quality of the Panther experience the administration will also be seeking the following:

• Collaboration with UNI Public Safety and getting a greater understanding of UNI’s parking system.

• Getting students informed through their phone of the priority snow routes.

• Working with the mayor in combating the city zoning requirements and bringing new businesses to the hill.

They are also pushing to have a better transitional system where branches of government can easily share information on things going on in the community. This includes making contact sheets for university’s departments, offices, committee and boards.


In their list of priorities they are looking to enhance the connection between the underrepresented and being successful at UNI. Their plan would be to begin with working with the Student Success and Retention Office to enhance retention rates and encourage students to participate in the Thrive Mentorship Program. This encouragement continues to echo to better prepare faculty and students to understand the needs of individuals. They plan to also maintain a good relationship and communication with the President’s Council of Inclusion Transformative Social Justice.

Montalvo, who is a mentor for the Thrive Program, saw the early engagement in the start of the semester and then it was brought to her attention on how that engagement later died down. She hopes to bring more communication and a more convenient time for students to meet and feel supported.

“I know I’ve had some people discuss to me how difficult it can be, especially in your first semester.” Montalvo said

Montalvo said that she is very passionate about student government and her cousin, who is an alum, was also involved in NISG inspired her to take on a leadership role.

“This election is going to be a close election. So, I think anyone, no matter who you are, should be going out there and voting.” Krutsinger said.