ONLINE EXCLUSIVE STORY BY BETH LEVALLEY
With every seat taken, Dr. Rachel Paine Caufield and Tony Tyler addressed concerns about the distribution of tickets for the democratic debate events during the Student Senate meeting.
Caufield explained that Drake University received a small block of tickets from CBS and the Democratic National Committee. To distribute these tickets, Caufield used a random number generator to send invitations to 15% faculty and 85% students. An alternate list of students was created in case any ticket (faculty or student) went unclaimed.
Halfway through the week, Drake received another small block of tickets, which went to the people on the alternate list.
“As of 11:30 Saturday morning, every ticket that had been offered to Drake had been claimed and every one of those tickets had been offered through the random lottery system,” Caufield said. “At 11:45 Saturday morning, we were offered three additional tickets from one of our debate partners, and we had exactly ten minutes to submit those names… there was not the time to conduct an additional lottery.”
Caufield consulted with debate partners and discussed how the tickets should be distributed, since everyone on the alternate list had already been offered a ticket.
“One of them suggested that a ticket should go to the president of Drake Democrats, another suggested that the Pancakes and Politics event was a tremendously successful and impressive event, so I should offer tickets to the students that had organized the Pancakes and Politics breakfast,” Caufield said.
Caufield also addressed the other students that had been invited to the debate through organizations other than Drake University.
The Brochal Chords performed before the debate and stayed in the hall after the performance. Student Body President Kevin Maisto was offered a ticket through CBS. Lauren Velasco, a first-year student who spoke before the debate, was also offered a ticket. The CBS volunteer interns and Mariah Lewis, a senior broadcast major, were also invited by CBS.
An admissions program that had been planned since July also gave a tour of Sheslow Auditorium earlier in the day. Caufield was not in charge of planning this event, but she knows that the tour of the debate stage was offered by CBS and was not part of the original plan for the tour.
“There was no way we could open it (the auditorium) up to every interested student, so we would have to find a way, again, to be as fair and equitable as possible in allotting those spots to see the set,” Caufield said. “But, if somebody is willing to work with me on that, I’m happy to approach organizations that are coming for upcoming events.”
Tony Tyler also addressed the invitations to the Caitlyn Jenner private rental event, but no major concerns were brought up from students, especially since no student was turned away from the event.
After the speakers addressed student concerns, the Senate meeting went on as normal.
Student Senate allocated a total of $12,812 in one-time funding requests throughout the night, which is the most Senate has distributed in one night so far this year.
After tabling the ASTE Conference in Reno, Nevada for undergraduate research assistants in the School of Education, Senate allocated $1,559 for four students to participate in the conference.
Senate was hesitant about the tangible product that would be brought back to Drake, but after meeting with various professors and organizations, the four researchers have decided to present their material through a TEDx Drake club event and a conference held with the School of Education.
Senate also allocated $6,711 to Drake Mock Trial, which has doubled in size since last year with 18 new members. When discussing Drake Mock Trial’s annual budget last year, substantial cuts were made from what they requested. Last year’s Student Senate agreed that if there was continued interest, and if the team was still competitive, they could come back for one-time funding in the fall.
The money will be used for a fourth team to join in the tournaments and for one team to compete at UCLA for a more competitive event.
The Drake Mock Trial team is in the top 3 percent of mock trial teams in the nation.
Student Activities Board (SAB) received $3,184 to cover lodging, registration and airfare for the National Association for Campus Activities National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.
SAB has attended this event in the past and through this event, gains many of its ideas for students throughout the year. Four students from SAB will attend this event.
La Fuerza Latina plans to visit Des Moines schools in the surrounding area to raise awareness about the difficulties of being a minority student. The organization did a “trial run” earlier this year at a private middle school in the area. The event was so successful, the students in La Fuerza Latina would like to do an event every month.
Senate allocated $633 to make this happen and covers costs such as materials, supplies and transportation.
“I am very much in support of this motion; I think this is a super cool initative,” Sen O’Hea said. “My sophomore year, I worked with the Working Group Ad Hoc committee, and they went to local schools as well and found that a big hindrance in the Drake neighborhood is that students thought that Drake was an unattainable goal for them… I think this is a great way to break down that stereotype and show the Drake community that we’re partners with them.”
The final two motions allocated $350 to the Student Leadership Advisory Panel to provide interpreters for a summit that will address prevalent social issues such as sexual assault, mental health, LGBTQIA and race issues.
The final $375 was allocated to Drake Off Campus for transportation costs to an Iowa Wild game, which they promote as an alcohol-alternative event for students.