STORY BY BETH LEVALLEY
The Student Senate kicked off their first week with the election of two comittees: the Senate Judicial Committee and the Political Activity Ad Hoc Committee.
The Senate expects the judicial committee to be “known for their objective wisdom and ethical judgment,” especially if a member goes against the principles of ethical conduct.
Senators Zachary Lough, Kerstin Donat, Russell White, Trevor Matusik and Naomi Jackson were elected to this committee with Sen. Linley Sanders as an alternate.
Maisto suggested creating a Political Ad Hoc Committee for this year because of the increased political activity surrounding Des Moines and Drake’s campus.
With the Democratic Debates in November and the Iowa Caucuses in December and January, the Senate will need members to get students aware of the activities and encourage students to become informed voters.
Senators White, Evan Guest, Jon Lueth and Olivia O’Hea were all elected to the committee.
Before being elected, the nominees spoke about why they would like to be involved in this committee.
“Politics is actually one of my fierce passions,” Sen. White said. “I joined Student Senate to help campus, and I would love it if I could do that with my passions combined.”
Sen. Guest said that the Iowa Caucuses were the reason he came to Drake, which is why he wanted to join.
Sen. Lueth wanted to be on the committee because of his stance in the Senate.
“I’m a politics double major, so I always want to be involved,” Lueth said. “(The College of) Arts and Sciences houses many, many, many students having varying levels of love for politics.”
Associate Dean of Students Dr. Jerry Parker had many updates and was excited to share the progress Drake made during the summer months.
Part of this progress was the Drake Saferide bus, a new program designed to shuttle students safely across campus during the night. The bus is scheduled to run from 8 pm to 1 am on weeknights and 8 pm to 2 am on weekends.
“In its first week of running, there have been about 649 rides given,” Parker said. “That’s 200 more than Drake Direct gave all of last year.”
Parker said the numbers have been outstanding, and he hopes students take advantage of the free rides all year long.
Parker commended Senate on relaying students’ concerns by speaking about the Drake Direct’s inefficiency last year.
Parker also encouraged the Senate to continue doing that in order to make Drake a better environment with a focus on its students.
Parker also announced that Meghan Blancas, the Director of Student Leadership Programs at Drake, will now serve as co-advisor with Parker for the Senate.
Senate also used their first meeting to make changes to their rules and regulations.
The first page of the revised rules and regulations will now include the same nondiscriminatory clause that is used by Drake University.
In other Senate news, the Unity Roundtable invited religious organizations on campus to join its discussion of diversity, which is a first for the group.