STORY BY ADAM ROGAN
Student Senate approved funding requests Thursday, the first meeting in the second half of the Fall 2014 semester.
Drake Anime Club President Shandra Haner attended the meeting and asked Senate for the necessary funding for a club trip in March.
About 16 students will attend the Anime Detour Conference in Bloomington, Minnesota this coming March.
It would be a unique way to expose Drake Students to Japanese culture.
The Senate approved just over $2,000 dollars to spend on the trip.
Two other students also asked the Senate for just over $100 to cover the costs of transportation and lodging to sponsor Drake at the Colleges Against Cancer Hope Lodge Gala.
The gala aims to raise money to fight cancer and is led by college volunteers. Senate promptly approved this requested amount as well.
However, the main point of debate for the evening pertained to the possibility of a Drake sponsored cancer research trip to Tanzania.
The group asked for $11,400 from the Senate to help cover travel costs and visas. Russell Pang, one of the four students hoping to go, outlined the trip goals.
“(We want to) engage with doctors,” Pang said.
They also hope to help fund hospitals in Tanzania and future trips through the creation of a sustainable economic model.
Still, the group struggled with acquiring grants, but the Senate pointed out several options that they did not look into.
Then Senate debated the topic. Sen. Thomason championed the “yes” vote, saying the money was not that much, less than $3,000 per student, while Senators O’Hea and Donat pushed for a “no” vote. Sen. Maura Grace supported this position as well.
“I don’t think that (Senate) is the correct office to come to for this,” Grace said.
Several other Senators and President Joey Gale expressed fears that allocating this money would set a precedent that other groups could then come to Senate and ask for large sums of money that could be acquired elsewhere, mainly through grants.
For these reasons, the motion did not carry and the group was asked to seek other options to acquire the necessary funding. An appeal could be made later, but no money will come from the Senate for the time being.
Other than talks of money, the Dean of Students, Sentwali Bakari, announced that a search committee, that received input from the Student Senate, is hoping to make a decision on the new associate dean of students during the week of Nov. 7. Bakari also said that a survey will be sent to faculty in order to help highlight what Drake does well, and what it needs to improve on.
The Senate is making progress towards the Senate 60. Gale encouraged Senators to get working on their responsibilities towards their goals.