2022 Student Government Presidential Debate | News


Student government presidential candidates Bryce Garman and Jacob Ludwig address issues affecting the student body Wednesday night at the Memorial Union.

During the student government presidential debate, both candidates said they would not raise student activity fees.

The debate took place on Wednesday evening in the great hall of the Memorial Union. Candidates for the position are Jacob Ludwig, a junior in economics and political science, and Bryce Garman, a sophomore in public relations with minors in general affairs and political science.

Garman’s vice-presidential running mate is Jay Waagmeester, a sophomore in public relations and pre-business. Ludwig runs alongside Jaden Alrichs, a senior in global resource systems and horticulture.

During the affordability section, applicants were asked if they would increase student activity and service fees to compensate for a decrease in budget due to declining enrollment.

Ludwig and Garman said raising tuition was not the answer.

“Now is not the time to raise tuition fees,” Ludwig said. “There are a lot of students struggling just to afford to be here at the current rate. Every dollar we add is another reason a student can’t attend this campus.

Jacob Ludwig

Jacob Ludwig currently serves on the Executive Cabinet as Chief of Staff.

He said it was important for student government to be thrifty this year. Garman agreed and said he would appoint a chief financial officer to manage student government money.

“I trust whoever we appoint to know where the money is being spent and where we can perhaps step back.” Garman said.

Another topic of debate was student welfare. Both candidates were asked about mental health and sexual assault.

For mental health, Ludwig said it was important to increase access to existing resources. He said the student government should work to get more funding from the state legislature for mental health counselors and reprioritize the current budget.

Garman also stressed the importance of improving awareness and availability of current resources. He said one in 10 students say they don’t know where to go for help. Garman said he will work with the public relations team to promote mental health services to students.

Both candidates agreed that a free year of counseling for students is not enough, but that this is due to a lack of resources.

“We can’t solve the mental health crisis in the state of Iowa without getting more funding for counseling services,” Ludwig said.

Garman agreed and said the lack of counselors in Iowa State is causing long wait times for students.

“Students, when they need a counselor, they don’t need to be seen three to five months in advance, they need to be seen now,” Garman said.

Bryce Garman

Bryce Garman currently serves on the Executive Cabinet as Chief Marketing Officer.

Regarding sexual assault, Garman said increased funding for councils would help both mental health and sexual assault. He also said his running mate Waagmeester is on the Chief Advisory Board of the Iowa State University Police Department and that they will continue to work with them to expand education related to sexual violence.

Ludwig said he and Alrichs wanted to focus on the sexual assault prevention side. He wants to work with Green Dot to provide more funding for training. He said making sure bystanders know when to intervene can help prevent sexual assaults.

The second topic was affordability. Applicants were asked about budget restrictions and immediate access textbooks.

Enrollment in the state of Iowa is down 16.2% since 2016, which, in turn, has squeezed the student government budget. Applicants were asked if they would increase student activity and service fees to compensate for this loss.

Each candidate had 90 seconds to make a closing statement.

Garman thanked his student campaign team and said he was honored to share his plan for Iowa State.

“Through dedication, empathy, listening and understanding, Jay and I believe we can bring all Cyclone perspectives to our table,” Garman said. “Vote for Bryce and Jay on March 1 and 2 for student body president and vice president, and together we can cultivate communities of opportunity, togetherness, and collaboration.”

Ludwig said he met Wendy Wintersteen in freshman grade and told her he loved Iowa State. He said he felt the same today.

“When Jayden and I talk about empowering students by increasing affordability, investing in sustainability, supporting our community, and prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Ludwig. “What we’re talking about is creating a campus where everyone has the opportunity and the tools to grow, thrive, and have the same positive experience that Jayden and I cherish.”

The election will take place from March 1 to 2. Students can vote via vote.iastate.edu.

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