Drake University Student Senate unanimously approved four new motions, including two new student organizations, at last Thursday’s meeting.
Alpha Mu Gamma, the foreign language honors society, received Senate’s approval. To join the society, Drake students must earn two final course grades of “A” in college level foreign language classes.
Senate also voted in favor of the Drake Men’s Soccer Club. The club offers men the opportunity to play competitive soccer while representing Drake.
Several committee hopefuls were also approved at last Thursday’s meeting. Senate appointed eight students to their new committee posts.
Thursday’s final motion will benefit student organizations seeking one-time funding. Senate allocated $3,894.00 from VASA’s annual budget to the Student Discretionary Fund to meet student organizations’ one-time funding needs.
In administrative news, Dean of Students Sentwali Bakari announced plans for sexual violence education programs later this semester. Bakari and Alysa Mozak, sexual violence response and healthy relationship promotion coordinator, attended a sexual violence prevention seminar at the University of Northern Iowa two weeks ago.
“The focus was really on gender violence, and a lot of it really focused on bystander education,” said Bakari. “We were able to get some great ideas about conversations about that, and you can expect us to do something with that before the semester ends.”
After moving swiftly through senator reports and new business, Senate transitioned into issues. Drake’s advising system, Senate elections and Senate outreach consumed Thursday’s discussion.
Drake’s advising system frustrates students because it varies widely between schools, said Organizational Council Sen. Erin Hogan.
“A lot of students want consistency between programs and between schools,” Hogan said. “Their friends in other programs had gotten clear four-year plans, and they felt like they didn’t get that from their advisor. The overall message that I heard was that students want consistency between the schools.”
The College of Business and Public Administration requires students to reach out to their advisors, said Diversity Interest Sen. Sumit Sen. Within other schools, though, advisors initiate contact with their advisees.
Despite inconsistency, Drake’s system offers frustrated students an avenue to switch advisors, said Student Services Committee Chair Nate Bleadorn.
“There’s really no excuse to complain about an advisor because if it’s not working out, you can either change it yourself or get a new advisor,” said Bleadorn. “If your advisor doesn’t know what’s going on, then you can switch to an advisor who you think does.”
Next, Senate debated campaign procedures for the upcoming Feb. 27 elections. Campaigning well in advance benefits students, said Community Outreach Liaison Sam Pritchard.
“You want to make sure you’re aware of the issues before the election so you have time to compile them and address them if need be,” he said.
Pritchard also addressed students’ detachment from the Senate process.
“I think another big disconnect is that students are either intimidated or not aware of just how to navigate the process,” he said. “While we might be working really hard to broadcast what we’re doing, I think we’re really missing out on a lot of students and members of the Drake community who don’t know how to navigate our process. There are just a lot of people who don’t know how to invest in Student Senate, and I think it would be cool if we felt out those sentiments and tried to address them.”