UNI's student body president welcomes students

Hello fellow Panthers, new and returning, welcome to a new academic year at the University of Northern Iowa. I sincerely hope each of you had exciting and relaxing summers and are now prepared for a year of excellent opportunities. New friends will be made and life-changing experiences will be had here at UNI, and I hope each of you have the best experiences possible.

Jordan Bancroft-Smithe
Jordan Bancroft-Smithe, UNI's student body president.

To our new students, welcome to UNI and I hope the next four to five….or six….or seven years here, depending on your pacing, are some of the best years of your lives. But first, you have to make it through the first couple of weeks.

Coming to college can be a bit of a shock at first. The first two weeks are absolutely critical as far as making friends and joining the community are concerned, so I encourage everyone, not just the freshman, to go out and participate in as many events as possible.

Make new friends, don’t be shy. Meet someone of a different ethnicity, or creed, or even from your rival high school. Allow them to help you broaden your horizons and help to do the same for them.

To our returning students, welcome back and I hope that we have a slightly less eventful year than last. I want to encourage each of you to meet the new freshman and do what you can to make them feel at home here.

Remember what it was like when you first came here, remember what that felt like, and remember what sort of advice you wish some knowledgeable upper classman had shared with you. Help them find their classes, help them navigate the website, or help them find the best cup of coffee in town. Take them to your favorite club or show them your favorite study spot on the fourth floor of the library.

I see that either you have found the Northern Iowan, our school paper, or the UNI home page. The Northern Iowan is an excellent place to go to find out what is happening on campus (they were recently named one of the best, non-daily college newspapers in the nation), it is also where you will find me and the director of Governmental Relations, Jaime Yowler, writing on a weekly basis about what the student government is doing and what is happening in local, state, and national politics that students should know about.

Now, I would like to introduce to you the Northern Iowa Student Government. We are three branches comprising of about 30 elected and appointed students as well as numerous volunteers.

Student body vice president KaLeigh White and I, along with the rest of the executive cabinet, are involved in the inner workings of the university making sure that it and the student government best serve you, the students.

Each college has a number of senators elected from their student constituency, and they supply funding to student organizations to put on events and write resolutions requesting anything from more bike racks on campus to a tax-free weekend on text books (we’re still working on that one….maybe this will be the year.)

We welcome any new suggestions you might have, or if you just have a question about UNI, feel free to contact us or come up to our office in the top floor of the Union. There will almost always be somebody there between eight in the morning and seven at night. You can reach us at nisg@uni.edu or on Facebook at Northern Iowa Student Government. Follow us on Twitter @NISG; if you want to look up who your senators are or want to apply for a position within NISG, you can visit our website www.uni.edu/nisg.

There are more than 300 student organizations on campus and each of them are doing events almost every day, there is almost never a shortage of things to do around here, you just have to know where to look. There are television monitors in the Union, there are kiosks across campus, departments hang event posters on their walls, the dining centers, sidewalk chalk, the list is endless. If you go to www.uni.edu/involvement, you can find the list of student organizations, their contact information, and the calendar of events.

I would be remised to not mention the Traditions Challenge here at UNI. You can pick up a Traditions Challenge book at the Alumni House, right across the street from University Book and Supply.

The Traditions Challenge is a list of 50 things that UNI students have identified as being a UNI tradition. Take a picture of yourself completing these traditions and your traditions book becomes a scrapbook of you doing the things that define Panthers. I plan on trying to complete the whole thing this year.

So, I look forward to a wonderful year filled with new friends, new experiences, and a whole lot of Panther Pride, and I hope you do to. If you see me on campus, feel free to stop me and say, “Hi!” I may not know who you are, but I look forward to meeting you. Now go on and get to class, don’t want you to be tardy, do we?



Jordan Bancroft-Smithe

NISG Student Body President