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Prairie outside of Meredith to be refreshed

A special guest visited Student Senate last Thursday night. Drake President David Maxwell dropped in to share his visions for the university’s future and answer questions from the senators.

“I really love working with faculty and staff to shape the future of this university,” Maxwell said. “It’s the most important part of my job.”

Maxwell explained to the senators that a majority of his time is dedicated to Drake’s $200 million fundraising campaign. The funds raised will be used for faculty and scholarship endowments as well as facility renovations.

Maxwell reported that the university has already surpassed the $100 million mark, and despite a tough economic climate, he expects the $200 million goal to be reached.

“I wouldn’t spend all my time doing this if I didn’t think it were possible,” Maxwell said.

The senators were also updated on Drake’s search for a new provost and vice president for business and finance. Maxwell is hopeful that replacements will be found by 2012 but advised senators that the search may take longer.

“It is most important to get this right, rather than quickly,” Maxwell said.

Dean of Students Sentwali Bakari announced in his report that Aliza Mozack, the new sexual violence and healthy relationship promotion director, was now on campus.

Bakari also reported that he and other university officials met with local bar owners over the summer to discuss underage drinking, fake ID’s and data from the AlcoholEdu program completed by incoming freshmen.

In senator reports, Sen. Michael Riebel followed up on an issue that was briefly discussed at the Sept. 1 Strategic Meeting.

“Save the prairie is in full effect here at Drake University,” Riebel said in regards to the small patch of natural prairie on the north side of Meredith Hall thought to be replaced with grass.

Riebel met with university officials last Friday morning and reported via Twitter that plans are in order to “refresh” the prairie to make it “look a little nicer.”

Diversity Sen. Ankita Dhussa reported that the first open forum version of Unity Roundtable was a success.

“There wasn’t a real forum or place to discuss diversity in an open forum so hopefully this will be the start of that,” Dhussa said.

The diversity interest senators also brought a bylaw amendment to the table that would remove their positions from the Campus Advancement, Student Fees Allocation and the Student Services Committees but add an additional Unity Roundtable per month.

Senate will take action on the bylaw amendment in this week’s session.

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