With midterms just around the corner, stress levels are increasing. The Drake University Counseling Center sees the most students starting at this time of year for all kinds of issues such as anxiety, homesickness and depression.
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STORY BY ANNA GLEASON One could easily make three stops in Des Moines in order to find a great drink, a great movie...
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STORY BY NATALIE LARIMER
Deep within the East Village of Des Moines, the newest addition to the city’s collection of concert venues thrives.
Wooly’s, established in 2012, is a popular place to see live music for a fair price.
The bands that play there range from local start-up bands to big-name artists like Christina Perri.
STORY BY ANNA ZAVELL
The amount of crime that has continued to happen on or near Drake’s campus recently has students worried.
In particular, students have expressed concern with the amount of information they are given, or not given, when such events happen.
For example, in the case of the double homicide that was discovered a few weeks ago, the Des Moines Register was able to put out a story about the event before students ever received a timely warning.
STORY BY KATHERINE BAUER
Drake’s own on-campus Health Center provides students with a multitude of resources for personal and mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and sexual assault – and those are nothing to be ashamed of.
The Drake community has taken steps to prevent sexual misconduct around campus and to provide support for survivors, including through the Haven survey. However, many around campus feel that there is still more to be done.
STORY BY MOLLY ADAMSON
“There are not a lot of art forms that document other art forms,” said Sam Fathallah, a sophomore advertising major with a chemistry minor.
But that is exactly what he is doing. Fathallah is a filmmaker who specializes in filming other people participating in other art forms.
STORY BY NATALIE LARIMER
Even though the 2016 presidential election is still a year away, Iowa’s political scene has been heating up.
Just last week, Republican candidate Rick Santorum came to Drake and held a Q&A with the students in attendance, which would not have happened if Iowa was not as vital to the election as it is.
“Iowa is the first caucus state,” said Law, Politics and Society major Josh Hughes. “That’s important because we decide — not really who is going to be president — but who is not going to be president.”
Iowa’s caucuses officially begin on February 1, and they will help filter through the candidates and select the few that the parties will focus on.
Being one of the most influential states in the presidential election comes with perks. Urbandale High School, a district about 20 minutes away from Drake’s campus, got Republican front-runner Donald Trump to come speak at their homecoming.
“One of our government classes decided that it would be really cool if we could get a presidential candidate to come to our homecoming,” Urbandale senior Josh Ingham said. “So we started a Twitter campaign, and everyone in my class started tweeting stuff at the presidential candidates.”
The campaign quickly escalated from just a few tweets to being featured on the local news and eventually getting a response from Trump, Clinton and Sanders.
“Trump obviously came, but Clinton and Sanders said they were not available at the time, but they hoped they’d be here soon, so we’ll see where that goes,” Ingham said.
At the homecoming speech, there was a special roped-off area for students to stand and watch. Some wanted to make an impression on Trump.
“I saw it as a perfect opportunity to wear my Bernie Sanders t-shirt to make a point that I didn’t support him,” Ingham said.
Though most of the student body thought it was great that Trump came, a lot of students were put off by his speech.
“It was cool that he came, but honestly I’m not really sure if I support any of his views,” Urbandale homecoming king Austin Cook said. “Nothing that he said was controversial. He didn’t say that much that was actually meaningful.”
Even though Trump did not take a strong stance on many issues, one fairly important discussion did come out of his speech at Urbandale: whether his hair is actually a toupee or not.
“It really looked like it,” Ingham said. “It really did. I can’t say for sure but it did look like it.”
The fact that Trump even came and that Urbandale received a response from three major presidential candidates shows how influential Iowa is to the nation’s political scene.
Des Moines is the center for campaigns and caucuses, which provides Drake students with a unique opportunity to get involved.
“We are going to have, here at Drake University, the Democratic debate in November,” Hughes said. “There will be a Republican debate in Iowa before the caucuses in January. There’s word that it could be at Drake, but it’s all-speculative. Honestly, nobody knows.”
STORY BY SARAH LEBLANC
Last weekend, Latin-American cultures enriched Des Moines and brought awareness to the Hispanic community through the annual Latino Heritage Festival, located on the Court Avenue and Walnut Street bridges.
Joe Gonzalez, the newly appointed executive director of the Latino Heritage Festival and retired Des Moines police officer, enjoyed coordinating the Festival for the first time this year despite the challenges the event faced.
“There’s been some bumps in the road, off and on, (but) it’s a learning experience,” Gonzalez said. “We’re trying to work through it and trying to make it a good event.”
The first Des Moines Latino Heritage Festival was originally scheduled to begin in 2001, but it was postponed to 2002 due to the events of September 11.
“This was started…in order to highlight our culture, highlight what we give back, what we do, and also to be able to show pride in our culture because if you don’t celebrate your culture then you kind of lose your identity,” Gonzalez said. “It was a good way just to kind of highlight everything and to educate everybody else on our culture.”
Gonzalez estimates that around 10,000 people visit the festival each year to enjoy food, music and explore the booths of around 90 vendors. From piña coladas to political candidates, the festival provides a plethora of choices and activities for families to enjoy.
“It’s a family event,” Gonzalez said. “In our culture, family comes first.”
Besides being a fun family event for the community, the festival also serves as a conduit for a political message. The festival hosted Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley.
“With the political climate and some of the things that are being said, it’s even more important for our friends out there to come and learn about us to know what we are about,” Gonzalez said. “It’s even more important now to educate everybody about what good we do and to have our folks who have had to listen to all of this negative stuff to show pride and not be afraid to come out and celebrate.”
Despite Iowa’s general lack of diversity, Gonzalez stressed that issues of immigration and diversity should not be overshadowed.
“There’s always this misunderstanding that we’re coming over here and draining things that we’re all criminals,” Gonzalez said. “What gets lost in it is how many good people there are here that give back to this community, give back to this country, and they’re a really important part of our economy, a really important part of our communities and our cities and our state.”
Religious organizations also had booths at the Festival.
Compañeros, the coordinating body for Des Moines Presbytery and the mission’s trips to El Salvador, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the group’s journeys to El Salvador on October 1.
With a position at the festival for around five years, Linda Anderson, who stood at the Compañeros booth, enjoys community members’ continued interaction with the map placed at the group’s booth.
“A lot of people come by and look at our map and say, ‘I live there,’” Anderson said.
“It’s a really a friendship ministry with good connections.”
With the abundance of booths, several Latin American countries were able to be represented at the Festival and expand upon ideas of diversity among Spanish-speaking countries.
“It’s kind of special, we also educate the greater community about the diversity within our Latin American community,” Gonzalez said. “When you hear someone speaking Spanish they (might not be) from Mexico, they could be from any of the 22 countries. We have representation from almost all 22 countries within central Iowa.”
The festival also works to promote education about Latin American cultures and diversity within and outside of Iowa and the United States.
“We have such a diversity and so that’s what we should be able to celebrate,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a celebration of giving back… it’s a celebration of what we’re all about.”