Caucus Roundup: Clinton’s Closet of Flip-Flops

November 25, 2015 3:13 PM

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY JOHN WINGERT

One of the major issues that has been emphasized on the campaign trail, at least on the liberal side of the aisle, has been Hillary Clinton’s numerous flip-flops. There are several issues on which Clinton used to hold one position, but now professes a different position in what appears to be an attempt to appeal to primary voters this cycle.

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October 28, 2015 5:45 AM

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Advice to freshman self: step out of your comfort zone, Des Moines has so much to offer

September 19, 2015 3:12 PM

STORY BY MARISSA DEPINO

I felt surreal as my parents left me standing in my dorm at the beginning of my freshman year.

Only hours before, I had been in the car lugging all my belongings with me to school. The moment I was left alone I could almost immediately feel both the excitement rise in my chest and the quiet sense of fear and dread slowly creeping towards me.

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Four road wins extend Softball’s winning streak to six games

April 22, 2015 9:00 AM

STORY BY MICHAEL WENDLANDT

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The team was paced by pitcher Rebekah Schmidt, who also earned Missouri Valley Pitcher of the Week for the second week in a row and third time of the season. Over the week, she picked up 13 strikeouts over 16 innings and allowed only 3 earned runs while picking up three wins.

The Bulldogs remain at the top of the conference, now with a record of 24-12 and 13-2 in the conference. The sweep over Southern Illinois was their third sweep of the season to date. (more…)

The Times-Delphic sits down with Drake’s new president

January 12, 2015 9:21 PM
President David Maxwell and Larry Zimpleman, chair of the Drake University Board of Trustees, applaud President-elect Earl F. Martin as he took the podium Jan 12. Photo by Cole Norum.

President David Maxwell and Larry Zimpleman, chair of the Drake University Board of Trustees, applauded President-elect Earl F. Martin as he took the podium Jan 12. Photo by Cole Norum.

By Cole Norum

Drake University’s 13th president likes to garden. He enjoys a round of golf. He’s also an avid mountain biker and skier (Someone let him know there aren’t mountains here, right?) Earl F. “Marty” Martin will succeed David Maxwell as Drake’s 13th president in its 134-year history. He brings to Des Moines (read: Iowa, with no mountains) an impressive resume. From serving his nation for eight years as an active-duty U.S. Air Force staff judge advocate officer in three different countries, to his last 10 years at Gonzaga University, where he has been its executive vice president. He has called for student participation on committees regarding nearly every aspect of campus life, from deciding whether to outsource a campus bookstore to picking architects and construction firms. Speaking of students and construction, Martin has overseen the construction of Gonzaga’s new university center, which promotes facilities for use by all students and includes an LGBT center.

Before the official announcement on Jan. 12, The Times-Delphic sat down with Drake’s newest leader for an exclusive interview. We discussed a range of pertinent topics, from what he believes are issues facing 21st century higher-education institutions to how tuition rates can be addressed, and how the campus still looks pretty in December rain.

 

The Times-Delphic: What, right now, is your vision for Drake University?

Earl F. Martin: I’ll start with the vision statement that the University had that commits it to innovation and excellence and delivering the 21st century education. Then I’ll go from there to a conversation with the community. I need to come in and sit with staff, faculty, students and alums and the community of supporters of Drake University and find out what their hopes and aspirations are for the place and what their anxieties are, what are they worried about? Then take all of that information, reflect on it and distill it down to what I believe I’ve heard, feed that back out to the community for comment, and then we’ll form, collectively, a vision for Drake. Because, of course, it can’t be Marty Martin’s vision, can it? It needs to be the Drake Community’s vision, that the president then executes on. I don’t want to disavow any responsibility for this, but it needs to be a vision that the entire community has bought into.

 

TD: Most of the University, including staff, faculty and administration, felt somewhat left out of the search process. How do you plan to unite the community?

EM: I like to do things face-to-face. I like to sit down and hear from someone what their interests are, how they’re connected to the place. Again, what they hope to accomplish in their connection to Drake, be it a faculty member, staff member or student and how I can make that happen. I also like to be transparent. I really anticipate as president, sharing out information, let everyone know where are we as an institution, what are the challenges that we face and what’s happening in the higher education environment that could impact Drake University and what are the choices that we can make in responding to that, and what does the community think? And again, the president has to take that and form a plan of action and execute on that — that’s the President’s responsibility. I want to do that, and will do that, in a very transparent fashion.

 

TD: The current Student Senate introduced the Senate 60. One of their long-term goals is to make Drake more LGBT-friendly. Have you had experience in addressing any issues members of the LGBT community face? If so, how do you plan to implement that experience at Drake University to make it more inclusive?

EM: Absolutely. I have had the experience as a professor in mentoring students when I was at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law. I was there for eight years prior to joining Gonzaga University as dean. As dean, I went through the “Safe Space” training, and we became a facility on campus that embraced that notion. We had many students, who come from many different walks of life, to include LGBT students, and they were integrated into that community just like everyone else and became a very critical part of it.

I’ve got a unique part of that now at Gonzaga. I’m the executive vice president and in charge of construction projects and making sure we build facilities that create space for everyone. Indeed, the university center that I’m overseeing the construction of at Gonzaga includes an LGBT center.

 

TD: David Maxwell’s 16 years is more than double the average tenure for a university president. How do you plan to separate yourself from Maxwell’s legacy and establish your own?

EM: I don’t think about it as separating myself from his legacy, as he has done a remarkable job. If you look at where this institution is at this time and place, it’s wonderful. New academic programs coming online, new facilities, new emphasis on global engagement and support for all those things from the community, and very significant support with the success of the distinctlyDrake campaign. I want to build on that legacy. When you step into a job like this, into any institution with the magnitude of something like Drake University, you stand on the shoulder of giants. One of those giants whose shoulders I’ll be standing on is David Maxwell, along with the prior presidents and others who have supported this place for so many years.

Having said that, of course, I’m a different person. I’m going to bring my own perspective and way of proceeding to the work, and I’m going to do so in a very authentic fashion. I will introduce Marty Martin to this campus, and that’s who I’ll be from Day One, and I hope that 16 years from now or so I’m sitting across the table from another student from the newspaper and we’re conducting an interview where I get to reflect on all the wonderful things that have happened.

 

TD: Who is Marty Martin? Who are you to Drake introducing today?

EM: Well, I should probably come clean. My real name is Earl Franklin Martin III. As you might expect, that’s a family name. My grandfather was Senior, my father was Junior. So, of course, the legacy was attached to me. My mother agreed to name me those things only if she never had to call me those things. So I’ve always gone by “Marty”. I’m a 53-year-old guy who’s married to a wonderful woman by the name of Laura. I have two sons: Cade, who is 18 and looking at where he is going to go to college next year, and Case, who is a sophomore in high school and an aspiring engineer and computer scientist, and I have no idea where that came from, as I have no skills in that regard. I like to  be active — that’s how I manage my stress. Mountain biking and skiing in Spokane, I’m not sure if that will continue here in Des Moines. Tennis, golf. I like to garden. So I like to get out and get in the sunshine and get a little sweat going to relieve the stress.

 

TD: How has your experience in your varied positions at Texas Wesleyan University and later Gonzaga University prepared for any adversity, challenges or obstacles you will face as president of an institution of higher-education?

EM: Well, the law school was the only standalone unit on Gonzaga’s campus. By that, I mean it was the only unit which had its own contained budget. We paid an overhead charge to the institution, but otherwise I was responsible for everything from admissions all the way through to alumni relations and development, of course, of all academic programs. So you really were managing kind of a mini-university with a $16-million budget. And, as inevitably occurs, challenges come up. Things you had no anticipation were going to occur. You walk in the door and all of a sudden there’s a crisis. And you respond. You try to discover what’s occurred, and go to the people involved and hear what they have to share with you and make the best decision you can. But you have to move and you’ve got to take action. And we’ll do that here. Now, that was describing kind of a crisis situation, and often times you don’t have to move so immediately. But a big part of managing any circumstance is just talking to the people involved and not relying upon hearsay and third-party information, but going right to the source and finding out what the issue is and bringing your best judgment to bear. Getting some input, getting some advice from others and then making a decision and taking action.

 

TD: David Maxwell outlined several issues higher-education institutions face in the 21st Century, namely increasing tuition costs. How do you plan to address that?

EM: One of the great challenges we’re facing at this moment in time is that we’ve seen a decline in the number of high school graduates. That just means fewer people going to college. Now, it’s going to pick back up. Next year, the demographics will start to turn and we’ll see an increases in the number of high-school graduates, but not at the pace we were used to for the prior 15 years and, generally speaking, the students who are going to populate that increase are going to have a greater financial need. So, we are almost certainly in an environment where it’s not an environment where you can raise tuition by any serious amount at all, and it’s an environment in which you’re going to have to have more resources to deploy toward financial aid to meet that need, because Drake is an institution that wants to welcome all qualified students to the maximum extent possible.

That means a number of different things. One, we have to be really efficient at how we spend the tuition dollars that we take in. And I know that the University is presently undergoing an administrative program review, and that’s for that exact purpose: to make sure that the work that we’re doing, we’re doing as well as we possibly can in as efficient a fashion so that the dollars can really be deployed toward what happens in the classroom, what happens in the co-curricular activities and the residence life against the student experience.

That’s actually the work I’ve been about for the last five years at Gonzaga, is taking all those support operations and making them as efficient as possible. Secondly, as President Maxwell has done, you go out into the community and inform people about the need and connect their passion for excellence to the needs of our students coming here, and you get scholarships, you get endowments, you get program support so that some of that pressure that’s on the operating budget can be relieved by endowed funds and particularly in the area of scholarship for students. You know, people will get excited about supporting young people and bettering themselves and bettering their communities, and President Maxwell has already started that and I plan to continue it.

 

TD: How do you plan on making yourself available to students, to facilitate a dialogue with them directly?

EM: I really want to discover how that’s worked here today. Obviously, if things are working in that regard, we’ll continue those. If there’s the need for some enhancement, a greater opportunity, we’ll do that as well. I’ve been meeting, even as EVP, with the student body president at Gonzaga and also inviting them and using them to engage students in the various projects we’ll undergo. For example, a couple of years ago we did a Request For Proposals on our bookstore — should we maintain it as an in-house operation or outsource it? So we invited students to participate in that process because that’s very impactful on their lives there. We did the same thing when we put together the university center. We had students on the committee that were choosing our architects and construction firms. So we just made it a habit of doing that on all the big projects — things that are going to impact students, which is pretty much everything.

 

TD: You mentioned the distinctlyDrake campaign. There’s the STEM initiative. Could you discuss other aspects of Drake that you find particularly intriguing?

EM: We’ll start with its mission. To prepare students for meaningful personal lives. For professional accomplishment. For global citizenship. I like that it’s a student-focused mission. You look at it, and it’s about the students. You’re keeping your eye on the ball. And, indeed, the University is delivering on that mission’s promise. Very good retention rates — almost 90 percent from freshman to sophomore year. Very strong graduation rates. Very good accomplishment rates — that is, where students are leaving us and where are they going to, jobs and graduate school. There’s a promise, and that promise is being kept. That’s first. Second, another very attractive feature about the place is people very clearly take pride in this university. When I was here in December, it was a very rainy day and I got a tour from the admissions councilor. I mean, we had big umbrellas and we were still getting wet. But the campus looked beautiful. There were no piles of leaves anywhere. The gardens were well-kept. The buildings were well-maintained. Good infrastructure, and I like that there are nice vistas here. You walk across campus and there are these pretty views of the campus. So those are just two things, and the final thing I have to say is: Des Moines. It’s early days yet, but this just looks like a phenomenal city.

Editor Reflects at Time at The Times-Delphic

December 8, 2014 12:00 PM

STORY BY TOM SCEARCE 

My first visit to Drake University was an overnight stay my senior year on the Chicago Bus Trip. So, naturally, I was excited to see campus and the dorms, eat in the dining halls and see the surrounding neighborhood.

Afterward, if you were to ask me what my favorite part of the trip was, it would be none of those. Meeting the then Editor-in-Chief of The Times-Delphic, Lauren Horsch, trumps all of those, even making the friends that I did (sorry, guys).

You see, I was a self-proclaimed Jerd (journalism nerd) in high school.  Late-night editing over pizza and sending the paper to press around 11 p.m. became the norm for my four years of high school, so it was interesting, to say the least, to find someone who possessed the same level of enthusiasm for the paper as I did.

We talked a lot about the paper, and it made me even more excited for the newspaper opportunities that lied ahead. I expected a similar four years.

Of course, you know what they say, “college changes people.” After delving into an array of clubs my first year, I came to realize what I was and was not passionate for. I switched my major from news/Internet to public relations after realizing reporting just wasn’t for me anymore.

Even though I voluntarily chose to leave The Times-Delphic a semester early to pursue other endeavors, I still had an amazing experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

The lessons I learned from the late nights spent in the TD Office editing my pages taught me a lot about myself and working in a professional setting with a team.

Despite all the nights I spent stressing over creating budgets and the incessant phone calls and emails I sent when my writers missed deadline, I still helped produce a quality publication each week with some amazing people.

The people you work with, I think, is the biggest factor of whether you like or hate your job.

And the people I collaborated with on staff made the job worth it. They were part of the reason why I didn’t entirely hate having to be up at 8:30 a.m. every Sunday to start layout.

WARNING: This column might start to get a little sappy. I apologize.

First, there’s my amazing designer Paityn. I’m in awe each week of what she is able to design in such a short amount of time. I’m still an InDesign novice (I’m lucky I can open a page), so I’m glad she was able to put up with me and my constant questions. I enjoyed our weekly brainstorming sessions, followed by us venting about our classes.

The desk immediately to my right is that of our news editor, Sarah. She’s a hoot and a half. Even when she’s upset, she’s funny. I could always count on her to cheer me up when I’m stressed. Even though no one else in the office appreciated our constant playing of “Never Gonna Wake You Up” (go look it up if you haven’t heard of it), I still love it.

Sarah’s designer Greta is also a gem. When our amazing headline writing skills came together, we were a force to be reckoned with (That is the furthest thing from the truth). But with who else could I jam out to “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space” and feel no shame?

The news team and features team laughed way too much these past few months, but I feel that that was the key to get through the stress: laughter.

Speaking of laughter, our managing editor, Austin, always has the best one liners. I also have to give him special props for putting up with my awful headline writing. I’ll miss him when he goes abroad next semester.

Our photo editor, Joel, is always reliable. When I’m waiting on stories, he’ll always have photos ready. He also talks a lot about physics, and I usually just nod my head and reminisce to my C in my high school physics class.

Our sports editor, Colton, is often quiet, but when he does talk, it’s usually pretty funny. Or about sports. And I often tend to tune out if it’s the latter.

And then there’s our editor-in-chief, Courtney. She’s been a great leader and is always helpful in giving me story ideas and design ideas. She also has a deep passion for reporting that will make her a great journalist.

We’ve been through a lot of rough patches as a staff, but we pulled through.

I may not have the same goals I did when I came on that bus trip almost two years ago, but I’m still thankful for the experiences.

So, this is my sappy good-bye to the staff.

I’ll miss our quote board-worthy quotes and our late-night shenanigans.

Middle East Peace and Prosperity Alliance (MEPPA) Visits Boston

December 3, 2014 6:00 AM

STORY BY KELLY MARBLE

Ali Jandal, a junior Palestinian-American spends Tuesday nights with seven other Drake University students at a meeting for the Middle East Peace and Prosperity Alliance (MEPPA), discussing a variety of issues related to the Middle East.

Over the weekend of Oct. 24-26, Jandal and four other Drake students from MEPPA attended the National Students for Justice in Palestine conference at Tufts University in Boston about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

“A lot of people in our group are passionate about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and we thought it would be a good idea to send people there just to learn about what we can do as a campus to help the Palestinian cause and bring back educational tips and organizing strategies,” said Janet Eckles, a senior radio/TV production major.

“(MEPPA) wants to educate students and the Des Moines Community about issues that are going on in the Middle East, and getting people to care about those issues,” Eckles said.

The conference gave the students the opportunity to network and learn from similar student organizations.

“Students have way more power and influence on the university than they think,” Eckles said.

MEPPA is a new organization, at Drake that works closely with the American Friends Service Committee in Des Moines. A Drake intern at the organization recommended it send members to the conference.

“You kind of forget other people are there trying to support you, and believe in the cause you are trying to bring to light. You kind of feel like the only one,” Jandal said.  “Hearing from these SJPs (Students for Justice in Palestine)that are 100 members large and do all this cool stuff. It makes you know that it’s worth it … that you are working for something that’s possible.”

MEPPA secured the funds to attend the conference from the one-time funding option through student senate. The opportunity to attend the conference gave sophomore international relations major Kate Kemper a deeper insight on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and also connected the Middle Eastern issue to the United States.

“There were people from Detroit, there were people from Ferguson there,” Kemper said. “It was all kind of encompassing, and realizing that if we are going to solve one problem, we have to look at all of them, especially issues in our own country, with injustice and human rights as well.”

MEPPA meets on the second floor of Meredith at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. The organization is currently working on developing a Know Your Rights Workshop, and hopes to work with the Coalition of Black Students to create the event on campus.

Stop Texting While Driving

November 21, 2014 6:00 AM

STORY BY MARISSA DAILY 

Daily is a junior magazines major and can be reached at marissa.daily@drake.edu

Daily is a junior magazines major and can be reached at marissa.daily@drake.edu

It’s my freshman year of college, and I jump in the car with a new friend. She climbs into the drivers’ seat and pulls out her slide phone immediately.

She texts — with two hands resting above the steering wheel — during the span of our short drive.

At the time, I was stunned. I was and still am absolutely against texting while driving.

It’s been three years since then, and things haven’t exactly improved. Despite the many campaigns and jarring TV ads to prevent it, texting while driving still causes 25 percent of all car accidents each year.

Maybe it’s the effortlessness? Gone are the days when you had to hit the keys on your Motorola Razr three times to get to the right letter. In the era of touch screens, texting is no longer painstaking: It’s fast. Easy. Simple. Or so we think.

Texting while driving is one of the things we all say we don’t do. It’s also one of society’s biggest lies. I’m guilty of it myself sometimes. The enticing ding of my iPhone in the cup holder is all it takes for the little demon on my shoulder to whisper, “Oh, it’ll only take three seconds! Take a peek!” You know what else can take three seconds? Death.

The United States Department of Transportation says the average crash happens only three seconds after the driver is distracted.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting while driving is a whopping six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated.

Simple math shows that reading a text message for a mere five seconds at 55 mph is equivalent to traveling the length of a football field blindfolded.

We’ve all heard these statistics before, so why are we still texting at the wheel?

Because we, the young adults of America, are stupid.

The Ad Council reports that 77 percent of young adults are very/somewhat confident that they can safely text while driving.

This statistic is “Dumb and Dumber” worthy.

Ant yet, it’s true. Until we’re the ones in the hospital bed or standing by a casket, we think we’re above all of this. We’re good drivers. Stellar multitaskers. Experienced gurus of texting. We’ve been doing this for years. To that, I’d like to say: So what?

It only takes a second to run into a fire hydrant, get stuck in a ditch or put someone in a wheelchair.

Making risky decisions with your own life is a personal decision. When you put others in danger, it becomes everyone’s business.

So how de we stop this? It starts with the decision to completely stop texting while driving. Here are some tricks I’ve implemented to keep myself from reaching for my phone while I drive.

1. If you are in the middle of a text conversation with someone, tell them when you get in the car so they don’t expect an immediate response.

Cell phone carrier AT&T started the “It Can Wait” campaign to encourage drivers to send friends or family an X before they drive to “pause” the conversation.

2. Put your phone on silent. Hearing a text tone makes it much more difficult to resist your curiosity.

3. No more cup holders. Place your cell phone in a place you absolutely cannot reach. Not the passenger seat — FAR. AWAY.

If you need to be drastic, throw it in the back seat. Unless you are on a long commute or expecting a vital call, it can wait.

4. Commit to not even touching your phone while you drive.

Don’t scroll through Facebook at the red light. Don’t take pictures of the sunset. If you need your phone for directions, put it on a hands-free attachment.

Here’s a little extra motivation: Texting while driving is illegal in 44 states.

In Iowa, the bill banning texting while driving was signed by Gov. Chet Culver on April 1, 2010, and went into effect three months later.

It’s not just a taboo. It’s illegal, and it has been for over four years.

Remember, every time you text, you are very seriously putting your life and the lives of others in danger.

Not only that, you are encouraging others to do the same. It never would have occurred to me to text and drive if I hadn’t seen my friend do it.

When I text and drive, I’m telling my passengers that it’s perfectly safe for them to do it, too.

“Drake Lake” Causes Drainage Issues

November 13, 2014 6:00 AM

STORY BY LAURA VOLLMER

“Drake Lake” is infamous for its rolling tide, swarming waters and is the single cause of every person’s drenched shoes on a mild rainy day.

“Drake Lake” is a student-identified term for the over-flooding of Drake University’s sidewalks. The excessive amount of water on the sidewalks has caused much resentment and discussion within the student community.

“Drake Lake” is usually located near the first-year Quad buildings and the Agora. It is due to a large stream of water flowing down the sidewalks towards Forest Avenue. Usually the large amount of water pools, allowing no area to walk through. This is quite common at most universities because of the amount of rainfall and draining trouble. Drake University has tried to fix the problem through several different solutions.

Director of Facilities Mark Chambers said the facilities team tries to fix these problems annually.

“When we find areas where water ponds or stands we install drainage. For example, on the northeast corner of Olmsted a large drain was added in the sidewalk and just off the northeast edge,” Chambers said. “Also north of the water feature at the Agora you will see newer concrete. This was placed to accommodate a low spot where water pooled. All in all, we chase and repair these every year.”

Student Senate Buildings and Grounds Liaison Zachary Belvins is aware of the issue and Senate is working to fix it, but there may be some roadblocks.

“Student Senate is aware of the drainage issues throughout campus and would ideally like to fix it,” Blevins said. “However, altering the drainage system would require extensive construction across campus, possibly requiring the destruction and rebuilding of buildings in order to change the foundation for new drainage pipes. As it has been described to me, the main issue lies in Drake’s placement in terms of Des Moines’ storm drainage pipes, where the pipes fill up before our drainage is completely in there. I have full trust in Drake’s facilities and grounds staff, as they have the most information and experience with our drainage system.”

Many students wear rain boots, plastic bags around shoes or other gear to avoid getting their shoes drenched.

Some students like wearing rain boots as it can be fashionable with all different colors, shapes and sizes. However, even with the ability to wear rainproof shoes, students still become frustrated.

Sophomore Emelia Fabel sees “Drake Lake” as something that makes the university special.

“At the end of the day, it is a unique characteristic of the campus that is kind of cool, and leads to some fun stories,” Fabel said.

Chambers encourages students to call facilities if there are problems on campus.

“If they know it is flooded, plan another route,” Chambers said. “Let us know of areas that hold water at (515) 271-3955. If it is raining, especially hard, expect some water on hard surfaces both walking and driving.”