Drake’s campus this year has been subject to new changes, from the new sand volleyball court to the two new hammock lounges. Jose Garcia-Fuerte, Student Body President, stated that these changes derived from the need that he saw from Drake students.
The newly elected student body president indicated that he saw the need for rental cars right away when he officially came into the office, so he helped push it forward. According to Garcia-Fuerte, Drake’s partnership with Enterprise had been in the works before he took over.
“Drake students basically own Iowa as far as internships and jobs go,” Garcia-Fuerte said. “And a lot of those students don’t necessarily have a car or access to one.”
Enterprise (Enterprise Rent-A-Car)is an American car rental company with its headquarters in Clayton, Missouri. The company was ranked 21st on Forbes list of Largest Private Companies in America in 2008.” According to their website, their CarShare service is now available at more than 130 universities, 40 dedicated government programs and 500 businesses in 35 U.S. States, Canada and the UK.
Garcia-Fuerte said that with the partnership sealed, Drake students and staff members can now use rental cars at a much lower rate per hour. Any of Drake staff member, student or faculty that wants to rent a car has the ability to do so and they can complete their registration for free online.
“The first annual fee is waived and the only thing that they pay is for whatever you use,” Garcia-Fuerte said. “Which I think it’s like five bucks an hour.”
Currently, Drake University is provided with three cars. At the moment, they are stationed right outside of Morehouse residence hall, in the Olmsted parking lot. There have been plans to get more of these cars at Drake.
“We’ve already seen students use them a ton so three cars is not nearly enough,” Garcia-Fuerte said.
Student Senate is also looking for a student supervisor or student manager for the entire car rental system here at Drake. This opportunity is open for students who want experience in management or administration. They will also get a chance to become an ambassador for Enterprise and promote the company’s CarShare service.
For the hammock lounges, the idea was brought to Garcia-Fuerte by his predecessor, Nathan Paulson. Paulson shared the information about Nido Structures, which eventually became the company that provided us with the hammock lounges. Nido Structures was reaching out to different universities to see the potential places they could bring their product to.
“I got to thinking, students around Drake love to hammock, but there is not necessarily the correct or appropriate space to do so here,” Garcia-Fuerte said.
Drake students have been known to hammock in between trees, but the student body president suggested such an act might have, unintentionally, caused damage to the trees.
“From an environmentalist perspective, the harm that the slack does to trees long-term is not something that we want to promote,” Garcia-Fuerte said.
Garcia-Fuerte thinks that Nido Structures’ product was perfect because it provides a safe a “intentional space” for students to hammock. There are two structures in campus right now, each are designed to hold up to eight hammocks. Students can check out hammocks at the Student Life Center if they need to, but hammocks are already provided in each lounge.
The new Student Body President is content with the results of the new addition to campus. He also has imminent plans for the university, which include the declaration of Indigenous People’s Day at Drake and a mental health taskforce.