Story by Tim Webber
At its meeting on Thursday, Student Senate narrowly passed two motions that secured funding and organized leadership for the Free Movie Friday program in the years to come.
The motions created a committee under the vice president of student activities that future co-chairs will sit on, providing a connection to student activities and a stable leadership structure. They also established an annual funding mechanism for the program, which will utilize funds from unspent activity fees.
As the current co-chairs of the program, Carly Kinzler and Zachary Keller spoke to Senate about why they believe the changes were necessary.
“Like any initiative that would hope to be sustainable in the future, Free Movie Friday requires two things: a formal structure of leadership and sustainable funding,” Keller said. “The two motions address both requirements.”
In their presentation, Kinzler and Keller noted that, on average, about 150-200 students attend Free Movie Friday each week. With the future of the program solidified, Drake will continue to provide students with a consistent alternative to alcohol.
The changes made at the meeting Thursday will largely take place behind the scenes.
“Students can expect to see Free Movie Friday operate in the same way it has over the past year-and-a-half,” Keller said. “Free Movie Friday will still provide students with free showings of pre-released films and an assortment of popcorn and snacks on a weekly basis. These motions simply allow for the program to continue for many years to come.”
Dean of Students Sentwali Bakari also made an appearance at the Senate meeting to discuss the “I Am Drake” campaign and pledge.
The campaign aims to improve diversity and inclusivity on campus. It will primarily be aimed at incoming students, but Bakari is hopeful that returning students will also get on board with the campaign.
“We thought, would it be something helpful for new students coming in, to say, ‘Here is something we want you to be conscious of as a new member of the Drake community,’” Bakari said. “As being part of Drake, we want you to think about (inclusivity).”
Bakari suggested that incoming students would take a pledge that would “reinforce and complement” the Drake mission statement.
Senate also approved a new organization on Thursday.
The organization, known as Blue Crew, will provide recreational dance classes to students at Drake, allowing all students, regardless of dance experience, to join a dance organization.
In addition, Senate approved a motion that will allocate $2,800 of unspent student activity fees to purchase a new projector for room 125 in Meredith Hall. Multiple senators had noted the poor quality of the existing projector in the room, leading to the change.
Senate also selected three members to attend the LeaderShape conference this summer: incoming VP of Student Life Josh Duden, as well as Kaitlin Lacek and Ben Verhasselt.