Student Government Leadership

Student Senate President Cyndi Hovden leading a meetingStudent government has existed since the earliest days of the Iowa State Normal School, now the University of Northern Iowa. However, for about the first forty years of the school's history, student government was considerably different from what it is now. In the early days, student government consisted of two kinds of organization. First, each class and, sometimes, each curricular track in each class, elected a president, a vice president, and several other officers, such as a secretary and a treasurer. These officers were responsible for organizing social functions and athletic competition for their class, and, often, for selecting a class gift. The other kind of student government consisted of officers of the literary societies. Nearly all students belonged to literary societies, whose purpose was to provide opportunities to learn parliamentary procedure and to participate in debate and oratory. The societies prepared students to become better teachers and more responsible citizens.

Not until the fall of 1916 did a broader form of student government emerge that has persisted to this day. The first name for this more inclusive form of government, which purported to represent all of the students of the school, was the Student Council. The Student Council "aimed to formulate student opinion and give it means of expression." This name persisted until 1945 when it was changed to the Student League Board. In 1965 the name became the Student Senate. In 1970 the name changed to University of Northern Iowa Student Association, or UNISA. In 1989 the group took on its current name, Northern Iowa Student Government. Name changes were typically accompanied by substantive constitutional changes. The form and strength of student government, as well as the issues which it took to be its purview, varied considerably over the years.

For many years, another form of student government, based on gender, existed simultaneously with the more general form of student government. By 1929, with the arrival of Sadie B. Campbell as the new Dean of Women, the Women's League was formed. In 1949 this women's governance group changed its name to Associated Women Students. This group persisted until 1972. By 1934 the men had organized themselves into a group called Men's Union. This group persisted until 1969. These groups tended to focus their efforts on matters that were perceived to be gender specific. In some cases, the men's and women's governance organizations had representatives in the more general student governance body.

At least one other form of student governance arose early, probably about 1915, and continues to function to this day: residence hall government. This form of student government has tended to focus its efforts on planning social activities, assisting in policy development and implementation, and in administering justice for minor infractions in residence halls. Records relating to this form of governance are sketchy.

The links below lead to rosters of officers of the major student government organizations at the University of Northern Iowa. There are occasional question marks in the rosters that reflect gaps or ambiguities in the historical record.

Year President Vice President Organization
1916-1917 Jesse E. Shedd Charles Frank Perrott Student Council
1917-1918 ? ? Student Council
1918-1919 ? ? Student Council
1919-1920 ? ? Student Council
1920-1921 Clay Cowan ? Student Council
1921-1922 Dale J. Welsch Carrie Albatina Watson Student Council
1922-1923 Roy E. Brown Merle R. Francis Student Council
1923-1924 Earl London  Joe Van Der Brink Student Council
1924-1925 Edwin Brockman, part of fall term; Raymond T. Moore, remainder of year George Churchill Student Council
1925-1926 Millard Horton ? Student Council
1926-1927 George Schlesselman Don Clikeman Student Council
1927-1928 ? ? Student Council
1928-1929 Harold Hopkins Ralph Childs Student Council
1929-1930 Mary E. Wiler Helen Cowie Student Council
1930-1931 Gerald Baxter Wilhelmina L. Haley Student Council
1931-1932 Robert K. Burley Wendell Bragonier Student Council
1932-1933 Wendell Bragonier Marjorie Harker Student Council
1933-1934 Lorinne Crawford Robert A. Brown Student Council
1934-1935 David Grant John S. Beebee Student Council
1935-1936  John S. Beebee John A. Cowie Student Council
1936-1937 Myrtle Telleen Wava H. Trunnell Student Council
1937-1938 Phil Connell Merle Anderson Student Council
1938-1939 Joseph Andrews Beavo ? Student Council
1939-1940 John Cross Mary E. Rickert Student Council
1940-1941 Dugan Laird Charlene Gilbert Student Council
1941-1942 Alvira Halvorson Charles Faukler Todd Student Council
1942-1943 Ted Cross Donald Porter Student Council
1943-1944 Penelope Scott? ? Student Council
1944-1945 Leadership changed frequently due to shifting wartime enrollment ? Student Council
1945-1946 Leona Bro ? Student League Board
1946-1947 Samuel A. Edgar ? Student League Board
1947-1948 Gerald Leeman ? Student League Board
1948-1949 Gordon Strayer ? Student League Board
1949-1950 Thomas Clay ? Student League Board
1950-1951 Richard Shephard ? Student League Board
1951-1952 Donald Peters ? Student League Board
1952-1953 Donald Moskowitz Joe Van Der Brink Student League Board
1953-1954 Ronald William Roskens; Thomas William Hansmeier ? Student League Board
1954-1955 Richard Leib Donald Holland Student League Board
1955-1956 Leonard A. Froyen Donald Adams Student League Board
1956-1957 Douglas Doerzmen ? Student League Board
1957-1958 Malcolm Brinkers ? Student League Board
1958-1959 Kenneth L. Fairchild Thomas Price Student League Board
1959-1960 Erik Farley Carole Musgrave Student League Board
1960-1961 David Stanard ? Student League Board
1961-1962 James Daman (resigned in December) ? Student League Board
1962-1963 Arlen Gullickson ? Student League Board
1963-1964 John Finnessy ? Student League Board
1964-1965 David Nagle ? Student League Board
1965-1966 Daniel T. Jorgensen ? Student League Board
1966-1967 Gary Reid Roger Carver Student League Board
1967-1968 Bruce Upchurch Ilona Smith Student League Board
1968-1969 Cyndi Hovden James L. Hoel Student League Board
1969-1970 Robert Harold Johnson Richard C. Moore Student League Board
1970-1971 G. Michael Conlee Keith Stamp; Philip Lee Patton UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1971-1972 Keith Stamp  Jane Little Leonard; ? Linn UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1972-1973 James L. Maas Vicki Gach; Nancy Austin UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1973-1974 James L. Stewart Becky Rouse (Administration); Travis L. Smiley (Academics) UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1974-1975 David Sheridan Sue Kiesel (Administration); Neil Montz (Academics) UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1975-1976 Otis J. King Nate McCoy (Administration); Brenda Tomlinson (Academics) UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1976-1977 Ann Brenden Carolyn Henderson (Administration); Janet Callahan (Academics); Patrick Shaeffer (Programming); Dennis Perdock (Finance) UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1977-1978 Janet Callahan Roland Caldwell (Administration); Scott Beckman (Academics) UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1978-1979   Scott Hippert (Administration), fall semester; Martin L. Skubinna (Administration), spring semester; Mike Hawker (Academics); Martin L. Skubinna (Programming), spring semester; Jeff Knight (Finance), spring semester UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1979-1980 Roger Herrick, elected, but resigned before taking office; Craig Lathrop Bruce Wedeking (Academics); Chirs White (Programming); Mike Lang (Finance) UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1980-1981 James Chris Gammack Margaret Pochop (Administration) UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1981-1982 Rusty Martin David Burrow (Administration); Diane Finnerty (Academics); Ray Johnson (Programming); Margaret Sulentic (Finance) UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1982-1983 Rusty Martin Diane Finnerty (Administration and Housing Director); Steve Baumel (Programming); Anne Sundberg (Programming), left office; Ginner Mull (Finance) UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1983-1984 James Hessburg Jean Mauss (Administration); Jim Fletcher (Academics); Kande Hooten (Programming); Tami Hillary (Finance) UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1984-1985 Mary "Dody" Olson Bill Burke (Administration); John Klotzbach (Academics); Jim Dittrich (Programming) UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1985-1986 Michael Hager Dave Schoon (Administration); Don Findlay (Academics); Kerisa Chung (Programming); Eric Nielsen (Finance) UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1986-1987 Connie Hessburg Mike Smith (Administration); Mary Pieper (Academics); Keith Franzen (Programming); Jack Cummings (Finance) UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1987-1988 Michelle Wubben Marty Arndt (Administration); Margaret Curran (Academics); Kim Landis (Programming); Mike Wharff (Finance) UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1988-1989 David Sanders Oren Griff (Administration); Margaret Curran (Academics); Kurt Jensen (Programming); Howard Flatt (Finance) UNI Student Association (UNISA)
1989-1990 David Boyer (continued as President when name of organization changed to NISG, September 1989) Margaret Curran (Academics) Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG)
1990-1991 Lisa Raine ? NISG
1991-1992 Ronald R. Woodall James Shirley (Academics); Brenda Huisenga (Administration); Jeff Buchanan (Public Relations and Programming) NISG
1992-1993 Michael J. Dawson Aaron Putze NISG
1993-1994 Keith Saunders Bethany D. Krueger NISG
1994-1995 Bethany D. Krueger Erin Rempe NISG
1995-1996 Paul Olson Threase Harms NISG
1996-1997 Threase Harms Andrew C. Abbott NISG
1997-1998 Teresa Manley Matthew D. Bunting NISG
1998-1999 Matthew A. Close

Scott Meskimen

1999-2000 Nicholas Arnold Andrea Nechanicky NISG
2000-2001 Daniel F. Sterenchuk Michael D. Russell NISG
2001-2002 Adam Briddell Kellie Greiner NISG
2002-2003 Jeffrey A. Scudder Emiliano Lerda NISG
2003-2004 Emiliano Lerda Nathaniel Green NISG
2004-2005 Brendon Moe Joseph D. Murphy NISG
2005-2006 Joseph D. Murphy Tarek Fahmey NISG
2006-2007 Grant Erwin Jennifer Younie NISG
2007-2008 Andrew Morse Adam Bentley NISG
2008-2009 Pernell Cezar, Jr. Clarence Lobdell, III NISG
2009-2010 Adam Haselhuhn Jake Rudy NISG
2010-2011 Joel Anderson Emma Hashman NISG
2011-2012 Spencer Walrath Ian Goldsmith NISG
2012-2013 Jordan Bancroft-Smithe KaLeigh White NISG
2013-2014 Thomas K. Madsen Blake T. Findley NISG
2014-2015 Kevin Gartman Paul K. Andersen NISG
2015-2016 Katie Evan Renae Beard NISG
2016-2017 Hunter Flesch Avery Johnson NISG
2017-2018 Jamal White Tristan Bernhard NISG
2018-2019 Andrew Stensland Kristen Ahart NISG
2019-2020 Jacob Levang Jacob Stites  NISG
2020-2021 Elle Boeding Rachel Greene NISG
2021-2022 Samantha Bennett Alisanne Struck NISG
2022-2023 Micaiah Krutsinge​r Lizbeth Montalvo  NISG



Based on research by Student Assistant Shanna Taylor; Web page developed by University Archivist Gerald L. Peterson, February-March 2007; updated, April 2, 2012 (GP); updated August 2023 by student assistant Noel Kiel.