After a string of racist incidents at Mizzou that caused the president to resign, Drake students were inspired to take action as well.
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STORY BY LAUREN VELASCO
The Economist recently published its investigation comparing institutions’ alumni earnings and ranked Drake in 17th place among several notable universities.
This was the Economist’s first college ranking and their approach differed from several other college ranking publishers because they chose to measure the value of a university by the outcome.
With any ranking that is released about Drake’s educational value against other schools, students continue to wonder whether or not their degree will have more merit upon graduating.
“Going into Drake as an undecided major, I feel comfortable knowing that whatever job I choose to pursue, I will be making money in that field,” first year Madeline Cramer said.
Having never ranked colleges before, the news organization wanted the focus of their evaluation to be a more in depth look at the value of an education when it comes to being successful and having a well-paid job.
“The Economist’s first-ever college rankings are based on a simple, if debatable, premise: the economic value of a university is equal to the gap between how much money its students subsequently earn, and how much they might have made had they studied elsewhere,” they said, along with the rankings they released.
Students find it important to know how their investment in a particular university will benefit them in the future.
The ranking gives perspective to students about what they’re working towards.
“This is a great thing for Drake students to know that all the hard work put into your education pays off in the end, which is what you hoped for in the first place,” sophomore Kori Ponder said.
Drake’s ranking not only influences students, it also creates a name for Drake nationwide as a school that puts a high value on the outcome of an education.
“That information offers the potential to disentangle student merit from university contributions, and thus to determine which colleges deliver the greatest return and why,” the Economist said.
With another ranking that positively reflects the work being done here, Drake continues to receive national attention for its impact on students.
“I think (the ranking) adds more merit to our degrees because a Drake student is a very unique kind of student. We’re dedicated, passionate and ambitious,” Ponder said.
STORY BY JAKE BULLINGTON
Student Senate hosted a public safety forum intended to spark discussion around Public Safety and Des Moines Police policy.
However, the conversation focused almost solely on Drake students becoming more involved in the culture around the community, and breaking down the ‘mental walls’ surrounding campus. This surprised some of the 50 students and community members in attendance of the event Friday.
Diversity Interest Senator Thalia Anguiano said that although the forum didn’t go as expected, the end result was positive.
“I was a little thrown off at the fact that public safety wasn’t touched on as much as I was expecting,” Anguiano said. “But the fact that we talked about how we want to better our relationship with the Des Moines community was super good.”
Student Body President Kevin Maisto shared Anguiano’s expectation of the event.
“I thought there was going to be more of a focus from students about how to keep the neighborhood a little bit more safe, but I think everyone there understood that a positive community could then lead to a safer community,” Maisto said.
Community Outreach Senator Daniel Creese, who helped organize the forum, echoed this sentiment.
“Once the conversation shifted towards this mental wall or ‘bubble’ that students feel confined to on campus, the spotlight and dialogue shifted more towards the students, faculty and the community members,” Creese said.
One student chimed in to the conversation, saying that “we have this wall in our heads” around campus.
Wayne Ford, a 1974 graduate of Drake and founder of community organization, Urban Dreams, was present at the event.
Ford reminded attendees of a movement about a decade ago, one that proposed building walls up around Drake’s campus.
“This wall today is a mental wall. It’s worse than that physical wall,” Ford said.
Asking for tangible results of the forum, Ford added, “We don’t want to leave without having a timeline with solutions.” Community Advisory Board president Jamie Willer gave numerous suggestions for outreach including opening up 34th Street to hold a block party, and pledged CAB’s willingness to collaborate with neighborhood organizations.
Representatives from Public Safety and DMPD were also present and took notes on key points students and community members made, but did not contribute to the dialogue. This was, due in part, to the fact that the conversation had skipped over the safety aspect of the discussion almost entirely.
With the issue of outreach into the community surrounding campus discussed, there is still much to address in regards to students’ safety.
“I think it was a really great first step, but I think we really need to emphasize that this was indeed a first step,” Maisto said. “We need to take what was talked about and discussed, and the concerns that were brought up, and even some of the potential solutions and use that as ground to better the relationship between the Drake community and the neighborhood.”
Maisto wants to continue discussing Public Safety as dialogue continues.
“I think that sometimes we might need to take a step back and focus on the public safety that we’re in right now and making it a safe community for everyone,” Maisto said.
According to Student Senate, there will be a follow-up to this forum during Thursday’s Senate meeting at the fishbowl in Cowles Library at 9 p.m.
Overall, Maisto was pleased by the attendees’ engagement in the roundtable-like discussion.
“I was really excited by the participation, not just from the senators that were there, but also the other students as well as the community members who showed up,” Maisto said.
Another roundtable is planned by CAB for November 17 at 9 p.m., with a location not yet determined, further discussing the barriers between the community and Drake students.
STORY BY LAUREN VELASCO
Undocumented students known as “Dreamers” are advocating for their right to vote as the next election season nears.
Drake alum Hector Salamanca, Drake senior Kenia Calderon and immigration advocate Erica Johnson spoke on October 27 about this issue and what they’re doing for the cause.
STORY BY JAKE BULLINGTON
Ten presidential candidates going head-to-head for the Republican nomination rendezvoused at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines Saturday. The candidates hoped to win the hearts, minds and votes of Iowa GOP caucus-goers.
The Republican Party of Iowa held the first Growth and Opportunity Party, allowing candidates to distinguish themselves to the early voting state — a critical step in winning the Republican nomination.
STORY BY SAM FATHALLAH
On Tuesday, hundreds of students and community members filed into the Knapp Center for the 35th lecture of the Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture Series
Peter Neufeld, the founder of the Innocence Project, delivered the lecture. Neufeld and his colleagues founded the legal clinic as a means of exonerating wrongfully convicted people.
Neufeld began his speech with the story of the murder of a women in Washington, and the wrongful conviction of Donald Gates for the crime. Gates was sentenced to life in prison, but was exonerated thanks to DNA evidence and the work of the Innocence Project.
Gates is an example of the 333 people who have been exonerated through the success of this project. Neufeld said these exonerations only make up a small percentage of wrongful convictions in America.
“We believe that these 333 people are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg,” Neufeld said. “The reason we think this is because in most cases there is no biological evidence to be tested for DNA.”
Neufeld spent the rest of his lecture outlining the three major causes for wrongful convictions, and the ways he and his colleagues hope to fix these systemic injustices.
The most major of these causes, Neufeld said, involves the misapplication of forensic science during court proceedings.
“So many people who testify about forensic science, because it is beyond the knowledge base of most people, can say whatever they want or whatever they feel about the significance of the evidence,” Neufeld said. “The people who would normally check that are lawyers who are scientifically illiterate.”
Neil Hamilton, chair of the Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture Series and a professor of law himself, said that Neufeld offered students a level of academic value that can’t be achieved in the classroom.
While students were gratified by Neufeld and the work of the Innocence Project, Neufeld derives gratification from his own work.
“There is nothing more personally satisfying than taking someone who was wrongly convicted by the hand and walking them out of prison and into daylight,” Neufeld said over the phone, “I want to do a lot to make sure they can live a more healthy and normal life.”
Full coverage of the Bucksbaum Lecture will be in next week’s print edition.
STORY BY DRAKE RHONE
Jeb Bush Jr., son of Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush Sr., visited Olmsted Coffee shop last Friday for the event “Coffee with Jeb Jr.!”
The event is part of a tour for his father’s campaign. The campaign included visits to Iowa State University and University of Iowa before finishing up at Drake.
STORY BY JESSICA LYNK
In a room of over six thousand, presidential candidate Martin O’Malley told the crowd a story of an Iowa Dreamer that advocates for citizens’ rights for herself and other Americans in her position.
That Dreamer was Drake junior Kenia Calderon, who was invited to the Iowa Democratic Party Jefferson Jackson dinner after writing a Huffington Post article endorsing O’Malley.
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE STORY BY JAKE BULLINGTON
Republican Senator from Kentucky Rand Paul made a stop at Drake University Wednesday afternoon, as a part of his ‘Iowa 10,000’ campaign tour.
A large crowd of about 200 Drake students and Paul supporters filled Pomerantz Stage and lined up for a photo with the Senator.
STORY BY BETH LEVALLEY
Student Senate did not pass a motion to allocate $15,000 to Drake Choir for their international tour in Europe.
Senate as a whole could not agree as to whether the motion violated the student life handbook because students receive credit for Drake Choir during the school year.
The sheer sum of the money, which is 25 percent of Student Senate’s one-time funding budget for the year, also made senators hesitant.
STORY BY LAUREN VELASCO
Drake students, faculty and staff gathered last Thursday morning in Helmick Commons for remarks from President Marty Martin and the highly-anticipated unveiling of Drake’s new live mascot, Griff.
Griff is a three-year-old retired champion show dog that now has the responsibility of attending Drake’s athletic events and representing the Bulldog family.
By Austin Cannon
If the Drake Bulldogs can run the ball well in every game of the rest of the 2015 season, they might win out. Playing every game at Drake Stadium also could help, but that’s unlikely.
The Bulldogs (3-3) rushed for 205 yards and three touchdowns, John Hugunin made big plays on defense and Drake won 34-7 over the Valparaiso Crusaders Saturday to stay undefeated at Drake Stadium in 2015. Drake has now beaten the Crusaders 12 straight times, a streak that started in 2004.
Conley Wilkins returned after missing last week’s game with an injury to score three touchdowns, playing his role as a vital ingredient to the recipe that has so far led Drake to victory: finding success running the ball.
In Drake’s three wins this season, the offense has averaged 222 yards rushing. In the three losses, the Bulldogs have managed an average of fewer than 65 yards on the ground. There are too many factors in the game of football to make that a purely causal relationship, but a steady ground attack obviously does wonders for an offense.
“When you’re running the ball well, then you’re in good down-and-distance situations, and that gives you opportunities to throw the ball,” head coach Rick Fox said. “When you’re not running the ball well, you’re going to be in bad down-and-distance situations and then it puts ton of pressure not just on the receivers or the quarterback but especially on the offensive line in terms of pass protection.”
Wilkins led a quite balanced rushing offense with 59 yards and two rushing touchdowns. He had a 3-yard run into in the end zone on his first play, and he ran over a Crusader defender on his way to his second touchdown. He also caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from a scrambling Andy Rice in the third quarter.
“He’s a slippery running back,” Fox said. “People don’t get straight-up tackles on him. Down on the goal line, he’s as good a running back as I’ve ever been around.”
Along with Wilkins’ 59, Gary Scott Jr. had 50 yards on the ground. Brock Reichardt added 49, and Tyler Updecraft ran for 29 in his first appearance of the season.
“I feel like our running game really controls our offense,” Wilkins said. “If we do well well in the run game, we have a pretty good chance of winning the game.”
On the other side of the ball, the Bulldogs bit down on the Crusaders, holding them to only 208 total yards, 43 on the ground.
“That’s kind of our home play right there, stopping the run,” Hugunin said. “Anytime we can do that, it makes them one-dimensional and then we know what they’re going to do, which kind of opens up our playbook a little bit.”
Hugunin was all over the field in a performance that will almost surely earn him Pioneer Football League defensive player of the week honors: blocking a punt, grabbing an interception, recording seven tackles and performing his weekly ritual of forcing a fumble. Call it a response to tough loss to Campbell last week.
“Losing a conference game in this conference is always tough, but it’s about how you respond,” Hugunin said. “That’s why you play 11 games.”
Hugunin put Drake in a position to get on the board in the first quarter. With Valpo punting on fourth down, he came around the edge and got a hand on Alex Ng’s punt and Drake recovered at the Valpo 36. Three plays later, Wilkins was in the end zone and Drake had a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.
Hugunin — the fifth-year senior — got his first career interception in the third quarter when he picked off Ryan Clarke at the Valpo 38. The linebacker from Oswego, Illinois, also stripped Valpo running back Frank Catrine in the fourth quarter, but the fumble bounced out-of-bounds. Still, it was Hugunin’s sixth forced fumble in as many games.
Wilkins’ second touchdown came as a result of great field position. Kicking into the wind, Ng’s punt only got to the Crusaders’ 34. The second quarter began mid-drive, and Wilkins was in with the 4-yard score before 45 seconds had ticked off the game clock.
After Wilkins’ receiving touchdown, Reichardt made the final end-zone trip of the day with 4:05 left in the third quarter, giving Drake a 28-0 lead. It was Reichardt’s first touchdown as a Bulldog, not that he thought much about it.
“It’s just a touchdown; it’s just a memory,” Reichardt said. “It’s pretty cool, though.”
After the game, eyes turned west toward San Diego, where Drake will play the Toreros next Saturday. The Bulldogs have taken care of business at home, but they must improve their 0-3 road record to have a shot at the PFL championship.
“We have to win out. There’s no other option if we want to go to the playoff and do what we want to do,” Hugunin said. “There’s no more room for error.”
But for now, Drake remains in the title hunt with a 2-1 league record after a victory that was never really in doubt — a confidence boost.
“The biggest thing in the PFL is winning on the road,” linebacker Michael Roane said, “but these home wins really help build on for the next game and give the team a moral high so we can go out there and build on it.”