Santorum develops participation in political conversation

September 23, 2015 7:00 AM


RICK SANTORUM spoke to students, faculty and community members about questions they had for the presidential candidate and 2012 Republican caucus winner. PHOTO BY JESSICA LYNK | NEWS EDITOR

RICK SANTORUM spoke to students, faculty and community members about questions they had for the presidential candidate and 2012 Republican caucus winner. PHOTO BY JESSICA LYNK | NEWS EDITOR

As the sun faded in Kern Commons in Cartwright Hall, students, faculty and community members gathered on chairs and turned couches to face a podium adorned with a “Rick 2016” poster.

Flyers urging viewers to “get engaged” and “join me now in taking back America for working families” were set across the room.

About a hundred people chattered, waiting for presidential candidate Rick Santorum to take his place at the front.

At 4:50 p.m., the presidential candidate strolled in wearing jeans and a blazer.

“Thank you all for coming today and respectful participating in this market place of ideas,” said Logan Murray, a member of Drake Law Republicans, introducing Santorum. “Living in Iowa, we are given the rare opportunity to be actively involved in the vetting process of the next president of the United States thanks to our first in the nation caucus.”


Journalism professor to run on platform of education reform

September 17, 2015 8:00 AM


As a new election cycle kicks into full gear, Drake professor and alum Jennifer Glover Konfrst is beginning her political campaign to be District 43’s Representative in the Iowa House.

Konfrst would represent the cities of Clive, West Des Moines, and Windsor Heights.

Konfrst is also a professor in public relations and political advocacy. When it comes to having two different jobs, she knows how to keep them separate from one another.

“I see myself as wearing two separate hats. These paths are parallel but are never crossing,” Konfrst said.

Although Konfrst is a novice to the campaigning process, she is familiar with policy and legislation. Aside from teaching political advocacy, Konfrst has also worked for the US Senate.

Konfrst’s political background makes her no stranger to Iowa District 43 either. She has several ideas that she hopes to implement if she is elected.

“I feel like this is a time when my skills in public service are needed to bring people together and not keep dividing them,” Konfrst said.

One of Konfrst’s main focuses is on the public education system in Des Moines. The low funding for public education and mental health programs provides a challenging but necessary goal for Konfrst.

“It is very important to me that public education and mental health programs are funded in Iowa because everyone deserves to be treated well by the state,” Konfrst said.

Konfrst has an important group of people helping her throughout her campaign. One notable volunteer is Drake PR alum Taylor Larson.

“Before attending Drake, I had no background in politics. But by living in Des Moines, you just get immersed in the political atmosphere,” Larson said.

Larson is currently a first-year law student and hopes to someday work in policy and legislation. After graduating from Drake as an undergraduate in public relations she has always stayed close to Konfrst.

“(Konfrst) would be a great representative. I know she is listening (to her district) and she would be a great person for the job,” Larson said. “She would do everything in her power to let people know what’s going on.”

State Senator of Iowa Janet Peterson is also one of Konfrst’s supporters for the election process. She endorsed Konfrst’s campaign and will volunteer for her as well. Peterson has served in the Iowa Legislature for 15 years total, as a representative and as a senator.

“I love it when I see great people make a decision to run for public office. That’s why I was thrilled to see my friend Jennifer Konfrst announce her run for the Iowa House,” Peterson said.“She’s smart and successful. She shares our Democratic values and she knows how to get things done,”

Konfrst and her outside team of supporters and volunteers will work towards getting a primary election, which will take place in June of 2016, followed by the general election in November of 2016.

In the meantime, Konfrst will continue to advocate her goals for District 43.

“When I make changes, I want to make sure people are represented fairly and all voices are heard equally.”

Quad going orange? Clubs attempt compost initiative

September 9, 2015 8:00 AM


ORANGE BINS are now placed in Quad for students to compost their leftover food in. Next Course and DEAL are working to make the initiative successful. PHOTO BY YING CHYI GOOI | PHOTO EDITOR

ORANGE BINS are now placed in Quad for students to compost their leftover food in. Next Course and DEAL are working to make the initiative successful. PHOTO BY YING CHYI GOOI | PHOTO EDITOR

Olmsted got new furniture, a Quad meal comes with one side and there is now a bus that will take students from one side of campus to the other in the wee hours of the night.

But one of the more obvious changes to campus for students may be the bright orange bins sitting in Quad by the garbage.

The bins have left many standing confused, while looking at the posters of items behind it.

The orange bins, composting bins, are an initiative started by Next Course Food Recovery Network and the Drake Environmental Action League to help bring composting to Quad.

The initiative adds to the composting initiative of Hubbell, which has been composting for the past year.

“They had put composting in Quad before, but it was just a massive fail because people were putting garbage in it and when you throw garbage in composting you can’t compost it,” Laura Leben, senior environmental science major and Next Course president, said.

“We wanted to try again and see if, with enough education and enough exposure to it, students could get the hang of it and it would be a real possibility.”

As they began the proposition, students have defaulted to the old ways.


O’Malley takes casual approach on politics, draws in students

7:15 AM



PINTS AND POLITICS, hosted by presidential candidate Martin O’Malley, drew students and staff to the Confluence Brewing Company this weekend. PHOTO BY JAKE BULLINGTON | DIGITAL MEDIA EDITOR

PINTS AND POLITICS, hosted by presidential candidate Martin O’Malley, drew students and staff to the Confluence Brewing Company this weekend. PHOTO BY JAKE BULLINGTON | DIGITAL MEDIA EDITOR


It was standing room only in the Confluence Brewing Company in Des Moines this weekend, as a large crowd was drawn to a ‘Pints and Politics’ event featuring Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland.

O’Malley poured himself a beer, clinking glasses with the audience as he made his way back to the front of the room, speaking for the rest of the evening standing on a chair.

O’Malley spoke seriously about his 15 years in executive experience in leadership, and the issues that face the nation, which O’Malley called the “land of opportunity.”


Admission rids ACT requirement for class of 2020

September 7, 2015 2:55 PM




The magic number for getting into college is often thought to be an ACT or SAT score. Until this year, this magic number was a requirement on the application for admission to Drake University.

However, this year, the Office of Admissions offered students an alternate approach.


Balanced offense leads Drake over William Jewell in season opener

September 5, 2015 7:49 PM



An oft-used script for the 2014 Drake team was its superb defense compensating for an offense that struggled to score. That script flipped in the 2015 opener.

After only one touchdown drive in the first half, the Drake offense reached the end zone four times in the final two quarters and the Bulldogs beat the William Jewell Cardinals 44-30 Saturday night at Drake Stadium.

“We knew that we were going to be better offensively,” Drake coach Rick Fox said. “We’ve got a lot of weapons offensively … It was fun for those guys because of how we struggled last year.”

Perhaps chief among those weapons was running back Conley Wilkins, who ran for 110 yards and three touchdowns, benefitting from a balanced and effective passing attack.

“This year, we want to make a statement that the offense will carry more than the defense in some cases,” Wilkins said.

Andy Rice was 24-for-37 for 286 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Nine different receivers recorded a reception, led by tight end Eric Saubert with seven grabs for 74 yards.

Drake scored its first touchdown on its opening drive but the offense was otherwise limited to a pair of field goals in the first half. Drake received to begin the second, and Rice found receiver Michael Hudson for a 46-yard gain over the middle. Hudson was knocked out-of-bounds at the Jewell 1-yard line, but Wilkins dove in on the next play. The drive took only 2:36.

Starting the second half, Rice said the offense needed to get out of its own way.

“We were our own worst enemy, just doing little things that were holding us back,’ he said. “It really wasn’t them; it was us.”

The Hudson catch-and-run set the tone for two more big plays from receivers.

With Drake up 19-9 in the middle of the third quarter, Rice found tight end Andrew Yarwood on a shallow drag route. Yarwood cut it up field, used a couple of blocks and streaked up the right sideline to the end zone untouched.

Eric Saubert made the biggest play of the game with a little more than nine minutes left in the fourth quarter. A one-handed touchdown catch by Jewell receiver Cody Edwards had trimmed the Drake lead to 29-23, but Drake was driving at the Cardinal 22.

On 3rd and 11, Rice found Saubert in the middle of the field near the 10. The 6-foot-4, 242-pound Saubert spun off a pair of hits and broke two more tackles before lunging into the end zone. The two-point conversion gave Drake a two-possession lead on a night where its defense wasn’t up to its excellent 2014 standard.

Jewell wasn’t lighting up the scoreboard, but it did manage to stick around into the fourth quarter.

Down 10 at half, the Cardinals got a 29-yard touchdown run from Trejuan Mask and a 97-yard kickoff return from Anthony Mullins in the third quarter.

Mask was the workhorse for the Cardinals. The 5-foot-11, 225-pound bruiser ran for 114 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. Behind him, the Cardinals were able to move the ball reasonably well, tallying 16 first downs.

“He was a very hard runner,” safety Bryan Pisklo said. “I think gang tackling is something we’ve preached all week, and I think with a hard runner like that, that’s the best way to take him down.”

Linebacker Taylor Coleman was out with a shoulder injury and defensive back Bob Quilico also did not play, but the shorthanded defense kept Drake in front and provided a pair of vital turnovers.

Pisklo picked off Jewell’s Nick West in the end zone early in the first quarter. In the fourth, Cody Stepanek intercepted West off a deflection. Both turnovers were followed by touchdown drives, the 14-point difference in the final score.

“Turnovers are really something we preach here,” Pisklo said. “Turnovers always lead to good things, so as many as we can get, that’s always a good thing.”

In the red zone, Drake was a perfect 7-for-7 in scoring opportunities, four touchdowns and three field goals.

The offense recorded 496 total yards. In 2014, Drake averaged only 367 yards per game. The tight ends (Saubert, Yarwood and Lee Snell), combined for 164 receiving yards. Granted, this was a game against a D-II Jewell team picked to finish seventh in their conference, but the numbers don’t lie.

“When everyone’s getting a touch, I love that, and they love it because everyone is open on every play, according to them,” Rice said, laughing.

The Bulldogs also snapped what had become an uneasy trend. After dropping the 2013 and ’14 openers, Drake came away with what mattered most Saturday night: a victory.

“When you come back in that first game, there’s a little bit of doubt,” Fox said. “And until you get that first win, you can’t exhale a little bit. Our guys can do that.”

Of note: Senior offensive lineman Aaron Melton was injured on the offense’s first play when Wilkins went down behind him. Melton was carted off with a right ankle injury and returned to the sideline late in the game on crutches with his right foot in a boot.