By WILL BREDENSTEINER
Drake University’s 32nd Student Senate held its 10th meeting on Oct. 25, 2018. Student Body President Jose Garcia-Fuerte addressed campus concerns about safety and security in the wake of the several armed robberies that occurred in recent weeks.
President Garcia-Fuerte advised that students let others know where they are going and to travel in groups, citing safety in numbers. “Look out for one another,” Garcia-Fuerte said. “If students feel unsafe, there are resources available: Dean of Students Jerry Parker and the counseling center.”
Associate Dean of Students Joe Campos also addressed safety concerns, referring to the email sent out by Dean of Students Jerry Parker. There will be an additional Des Moines police officer around the Drake community for the next few weeks, more patrols conducted by public safety and the Safe Ride Bus will also have extended hours.
On Sundays through Wednesdays, the Safe Ride Bus will operate from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. and on Thursdays through Saturdays it will operate from 8 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. The Safe Ride Bus is free for students and runs anywhere between 24th and 34th street, from Cottage Grove to College Ave. Typically, the bus is stationed in the Olmsted parking lot. You can also check the current location of the Safe Ride Bus at https://www.drake.edu/bus/.
Civic Engagement Senator Nathan Trees asked Dean Campos about the protocol for notifying students, as he had received numerous complaints about a lack of urgency. Dean Campos responded that the Director of Campus Public Safety, Scott Law, has the ultimate say, but specifically with this delayed response. Campos said DMPD was not providing information about the armed robbery near Peggy’s and said the IT failure made it very difficult to get the word out. Dean Campos also said that Public Safety is hesitant to send out too many Bulldog Alerts because he said students will start to ignore them as they could become commonplace.
Student senators gave their mid-semester reports, encompassing achievements thus far this semester and goals for the rest of the academic year.
Community Outreach Senator Abigail Gartland reported the several projects she is working on. Gartland intends to build upon last year’s suicide walk, planning to include local high schools and community group. The walk is planned for April. Gartland also wants to get a crosswalk established behind Carpenter Residence Hall to increase safety in the area.
Equity and Inclusion Senator Meagan Valencia said she believed that the Unity Roundtable has been a great success this year, including its rebranding with a new logo and website. Valencia also reported that all multi-cultural houses now have card swipes, improving security and safety of the campus.
Campus Advancement Senator Kollin Crompton announced that he is working on a project to bring FiveThirtyEight to campus to speak about the 2020 Iowa caucuses. FiveThirtyEight is a polling website that provides analysis in politics, economics, and sports. The time frame and specific speakers are still being discussed.
Student Senate still has open appointed positions such as historian, graphic designer, web designer, and elections commissioners. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Student Senate meets in Cowles Library in The Fishbowl, or Room 201, on Thursdays at 9 p.m. Students can also view the meeting at live.drake.edu/dbs/.
ILLUSTRATION BY HANNAH COHEN, GRAPHICS DESIGNER