STORY BY BETH LEVALLEY
The Senate designated $3,932.80 to the regional conference of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).
Expecting 200 attendees, the event from April 10-12 plans to host 10 nationally known speakers that will talk about public relations, marketing, advertising and other journalism topics.
PRSSA has already raised approximately $9,000 through other sponsorships and fundraisers but needed extra help to cover travel and hospitality fees for speakers.
“We’re hoping that restaurants around Des Moines will want to advertise at our event” said Taylor Rookaird, a regional conference co-coordinator and member of PRSSA. “If they do, that will bring in more funding as well.”
“These speakers all graciously waived their speaking fees,” Rookaird said.
Registration for the event is $75 but covers the cost of three breakfasts and a networking dinner.
The conference has only been held in Iowa one other time and has never been held in Des Moines.
Kelly Tafoya, a regional conference co-coordinator and member of PRSSA, spoke about marketing Des Moines to students all around Iowa.
“We want them to see Des Moines the way that we all fell in love with Des Moines,” Tafoya said.
The Senate also approved the $2,900 funding request of the South Asian Student Association (SASA) for a trip to St. Louis University’s spring show.
The show includes a combination of folk dance, classical dance and folk song, and it also provides a networking event for South Asian students.
SASA welcomes any student to go on this weekend trip to St. Louis.
“St. Louis University has a South Asian or Indian population of six percent,” said Nikita Khara, President of SASA. “Drake’s purely Asian population is six percent.”
With such a small population on Drake’s campus, SASA feels like they need to go to a larger university in order to reconnect with their culture.
“I speak a language that is actually common around the world,” Darpan Mehta said, SASA’s first-year representative. “When I went home, my mom was like, ‘what happened to you? You don’t know your own language!’ You lose touch from where you came from when you’re not around your culture.”
After help from St. Louis University students and the refinancing of travel costs, the Senate distributed $3,450 to SASA’s cause.
Senate also approved the use of $25,000 in reserve funds in order to allocate more money to future student organizations.
“This year has been a really unusual year,” Treasurer Kevin Maisto said. “One-time funding requests haven’t been necessarily one time.”
In the future, the Senate may have to re-appropriate certain funds or be more wary of the funds they have. But, for now the Senate is taking this action positively.
The next executive Senate meeting will cover finances to clarify any questions this funding allocation has brought up.
“More organizations are coming to the Senate for help,” Treasurer Maisto said. “For example, La Fuerza just got approved last week and they already want to do events and activities.”
The Drake Tennis Club requested funding for their section tournament in Overland Park, Kansas. The tournament will host four pools of 16 teams in the Missouri Valley Conference.
The $634 request will cover hotel and vehicle costs for the weekend.
There will be a national conference in Arizona after the tournament, and the club hopes to travel there as well.
“It’s hard to say, but as long as we can pull out a win against Missouri, we have a chance (to go to Arizona),” Austin Brandes, co-President of the tennis club, said.
The Women’s Ultimate Club is traveling to Iowa City for an indoor tournament and requested funds for travel and hospitality costs. The wins and losses will count towards their effort to go to nationals.
“Last year we were one game away from going to nationals,” Grace Boatman, a member of the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Club said. “We feel like we have a good chance of going to nationals this year.”