Dean of Students Sentwali Bakari told senators that, overall, the information the administration received from the Des Moines Police Department did not create any major concerns.
Bakari and other members of the Drake administration had been looking into crime statistics from the Des Moines Police after a few senators and students had raised concerns following an increase in visible crimes near campus.
“We did receive some information,” he said. “And so now we have requested some comparison data to compare with other neighborhoods.
“Eventually we will send some communication out, and hopefully it’s not an alert, but just more FYI about crime, data and the neighborhood and how we compare to other neighborhoods.”
The rest of the meeting, one of the year’s shortest, included the approval of two new student organizations and one funding allocation.
The Visual Arts Association of Drake was officially designated as a campus organization. The group is made up of students with interest in the field, aiming to increase the awareness of the visual arts on campus and encourage professional development of its members.
“We’re thinking about having lectures or seminars about how to price your work, how to be a professional artist, how to contact galleries, things about like, grad school,” VAAD senior President Lucca Wang told those gathered around the table. “And then art exhibits and an art auction possibly in the spring.”
Drake Women’s Lacrosse was also approved as an official organization, and its representative spoke to Senate briefly about the ways the team would be cooperating with the newly established Men’s Lacrosse club.
“They’re willing to let us share the field, goals, things like that,” sophomore Marti Wolf said. “We’re going to do a few scrimmage games with them. They’re willing to do a lot of working with us.”
A representative from Drake Mind Sports, formerly known as Drake Chess Club, was not present during the vote, but the organization was allocated $92.97 to fund its pool tournament, set to take place Nov. 20 in Olmsted.
In addition, Vice President of Student Life Byron Spears announced changes to Bulldog Break. Next semester, the gatherings will probably be monthly, instead of weekly. He also said the new Bulldog Break would be “more of an event,” possibly including showing Drake basketball away-games.
Before adjournment, the senators also spent several minutes discussing the university’s e-mail migration project.
Senators Kayleigh Koester, Rachel Kauffold and Stephen Slade each commented that student feedback they’d received was all in favor of the Google system.
“We all just love Google, let’s be honest,” Slade said.
But Zach Keller, sitting in as proxy for Treasurer Nate Bleadorn, explained the ways in which the Microsoft platform had been collecting support from faculty because it would make for an easier transition from Microsoft Outlook.
Sen. Amanda Laurent recounted varying reviews, repeating to the senators some positive comments she had overheard from both students and staff leaving the Microsoft demo sessions, but also acknowledging the substantial support she’d heard for Google.
But a conclusion is far from being reached, said President Samantha Haas.
“A lot of discussion left to be had,” Haas said. “It’s not like we’re going into this with our minds made up.”