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Meet the candidates: Senator-at-Large

Each candidate answered the following three questions:

  1. How have you contributed to make Drake University a high quality institution?
  2. What top three goals/priorities do you hope to address during your term in office? What makes you qualified to achieve these goals?
  3. What motivated you to run for office, and what do you hope to get out of this experience?

Joseph Gale

  1. Being involved with Senate, Greek Life and the Times-Delphic, I have gained experience and knowledge through meeting students that I understand the diversity each group brings to Drake University. As a student involved in several organizations, I want to see each group help each other. My contributions have helped each group communicate with others on campus.
  2. I would like to use @drakeproblem as a tool for senate, I want to reach out and solve the #drakeproblems students are having, and lastly I want to help students understand all the things student senate does for the Drake Community as a whole. My qualifications to achieve these goals are mainly based off of the DrakeProblem twitter account.
  3. I am running to help solve the many problems students at Drake face. I want to be the solution. It seems as though we just talk about our issues instead of actually going about and solving them.

Emily Grimm

    Member of Drake University’s Election 2012 Ad-Hoc Committee
    Member of Drake University’s Student Body President’s Council
    Newly Initiated Member of Alpha Phi Sorority

    Participates in Intramurals for Alpha Phi Sorority
    Completed ELM (Emerging Leaders Model) Leadership Program
    Selected to participate as a student lobbyist for the upcoming 2012 Fraternity and Sorority Congressional Visits in Washington, D.C.
    Nominated for Top First Year Student at Drake University

    ABC News (2011 Des Moines, Iowa Presidential Debate)
  2. One of the major problems I have seen and experienced on the Drake campus is the idea that if a student has a question about anything, student life, academics, or anything else, they have no idea who to ask.  One of my goals is to really enforce and try to bridge the gap between the student body and senate. This could be through email, twitter or Facebook pages.  Another goal I have it to create more events and continue events that connect the community to Drake such as Bulldog Breakfast and coordinating wit professional companies in the area to interact with students.  The third goal I have is to try and encourage more freshmen to get involved in senate, whether that include joining committed applying for interns or running for First year senator themselves.  Freshman year is a crucial year to get involved and senate is a great organization to do so.
  3. As a politics major, and habitually being part of governmental organizations in middle and high school, naturally I turn toward senate in the college level. At the beginning of freshmen year I was appointed to the Student Body President’s council, there, I have worked on various projects to benefit the school, and I will continue to work on these projects even after this year’s term is over.  If elected, I really hope to gain a sense of true representation of the student body, and what it really means to speak for the people.  In real life we elect our representative and the concept is no different on the college level.  I believe this to be a really important right that one can truly gain from.

Julianne Klampe

  1. I am involved in Student Senate, EC, and Greek Life.  I am the Environmental Chair of Herriott Hall, the Intern to the Student Affairs Committee, and the Executive Assistant of Kappa Alpha Theta. Through my involvements in these organizations, I have met a lot of really cool people.
  2. As a Senator at Large, I would like to strengthen the relationship between Student Senate and Drake students, making senate more accessible and approachable. Two concrete goals I would have as a student senator are first, making a program about student finances so there is less confusion about where tuition money is going, and second, making Drake more ecofriendly. I’d like to implement a program that allows us to recycle plastic bags on campus, and also look into a way to reduce paper towel waste in the dorms. I feel qualified to achieve these goals because I already have almost two semesters of senate under my belt.
  3. A number of things have motivated me to run for senate. Firstly, being the intern to the Student Affairs committee allowed me not only the opportunity to see passionate Drake students taking the initiative to make campus a better place, but also to see that Senate has the potential to help students accomplish these goals. My second motivation actually occurred recently at the senate meeting on March 29th. At this meeting, there were a number of passionate students who spoke up and addressed racism at Drake. Not only did these student leaders inspire me to become more conscious of race problems myself, but it also inspired me to confront this issue as a senator. It’s senate’s job to be unafraid and able to tackle these types of controversial issues.

Taylor Crow

  1. During my time at Drake thus far, I have been a part of many things that contribute to make Drake University a high quality institution.  I am a member of the Morehouse Executive Council, I intern for the academic affairs senator, I am secretary of Drake College Republicans, and I am also on the SAB homecoming executive council.  Personally, I feel that a high quality institution needs to be well rounded and I believe I have helped to contribute that to Drake so far.
  2. My top three goals for senate include continuing to strengthen the communication between students and faculty, listen to the student body and act appropriately, and overall, help to create a more unified campus.  I believe that I am qualified to achieve these goals because I have been involved with many leadership positions at Drake.  One of those leadership positions is an intern for a senator-at-large, because of this position I have been able to learn the ins and outs of senate.  Each leadership position that I hold, I am extremely passionate about and I always give it my all to make sure that I accomplish not only what was expected of me but more.
  3. During my first semester here at Drake I got involved with student senate as an intern for the academic affairs senator.  Because of the position, I was able to gain first-hand experiences and knowledge of what being a senator-at-large was really like.  Ultimately, having held this intern position really influenced and motivated me to run for office.  If I was to be elected as a senator-at-large, I would hope to gain the countless experiences that are to be has as a senator.  As well as the satisfaction of knowing that I am helping to contribute to making student’s lives better on campus.

Michael Riebel

  1. I have contributed to making Drake an even higher quality institution through some my past positions on Student Senate.  As Technology Liaison, I was apart of the work group that researched and implemented the new e-mail system.  I was also involved in making a better connection between the student body and the Office of Information and Technology.  This past year I have worked on projects such as the 24-hour space in the library (check out purpose.library.drake.edu for more information) as well as the decision of converting lower Olmsted to the Underground Fitness Center.
  2. My main goals and priorities for next session would be similar to what I have ran on in the past.  I believe that each year is different from the last and I need to react to the changes of campus and the community and focus on the needs and wants of the student body.  I want to improve communication about where your student activity fee is going, issues with the Board of Student Communication, and improving Drake’s campus.  I am qualified in achieving these goals because of the experience that I bring to the table that other do not have.
  3. I have been very passionate about Student Senate over the past three years of my involvement and would like to continue my role as Senator-At-Large.  I would like to serve the student body and make YOUR voice heard to the administration.  I have enjoyed my time around the table making friendships with those around the table, meeting with administration, and meeting other students and learning more about the Drake community.  I hope to continue making those connections and fulfilling my responsibilities as Senator-At-Large.

Stephen Slade

  1. I have contributed to making Drake a high quality institution primarily through my organizational involvement, which includes the following:
    Student Senator at Large (Technology Liaison)
    Student Senator (Organization Council Senator)
    Student Senate Campus Advancement Committee Member
    PreMed Club Acting President
    PreMed Club Vice President
    Residence Hall Association Campus Communication Coordinator (“Stallseat Dude”)
    Chemistry Club Kids in Chemistry Coordinator
  2. I would like to accomplish a variety of things for the following year including the following:
    Work with local businesses to try to secure Drake student discounts
    Pursue acquisition and implementation of simple campus calendar of events
    Push for digital assignment submission for student convenience, reduction of printing costs and environmental friendliness
    Continue the Digital Time Capsule initiative I spearheaded to allow students to reflect on their experiences at Drake
    Get campus printing into Quad Creek Café and the new 24 hour space in the library
    Internally restructure a couple Senate positions and committees
    Establish long term funding solution for campus media
    Better publicize use of student fees through more visible documentation
  3. I am motivated to run for office to produce real changes on campus and to accomplish those changes through the connections I have established and experiences I have had.

Breanna Thompson

  1. Throughout my three years at Drake, I have participated in a variety of organizations across campus in hopes of helping to make it an exceptional university. This has included participating in organizations such as the Sodexo Student Board of Directors in which a small group of students would meet with Sodexo staff with the intent of improving their operations on campus and discussing possible changes. I have also participated in such a forum as a member of the College of Arts & Sciences Advisory Committee and within my sorority. My intent to positively contribute to Drake’s community has gone beyond such meetings and extended to more active involvement across campus, particularly with my past roles within Student Senate. As a member of the First-Year Interest Committee, I was a part of a group of students who took the initiative to positively impact campus and helped to create the position of First-Year Senator a position that gives an underrepresented university population a voice. This past year I was a member of Senate’s President’s Council. From this position I took the initiative to work with a network of study abroad, international programming, and Alumni and Development faculty and staff in order to create scholarships for students looking to study abroad. As a result of these efforts, new scholarships options are being developed and becoming available. Additionally, I also held the position of Senate’s Parliamentarian last year during which I attended Senate’s weekly meetings. While this position did not allow me to participate in debate or vote, it clearly illustrated to me what is missing around the table and what good I believe I can do for the university if in an elected position.
  2. If elected Senator-at-Large, I would address numerous issues students have on campus as well as with Senate. In my experience it is the same voices, often year after year, that seem to be talking throughout meetings without really saying much. There are opinions that many times fail to be considered and positions that get overlooked. This is what needs to change about Student Senate and what I aim to do if elected. New and informed voices that come from a variety of backgrounds need to be introduced to discussion and I believe that I can have a positive impact. I would take the initiative to develop projects that will help a variety of areas across campus, including addressing issues students are having with the January Term, continue to work on making participation in activities such as study abroad more affordable, and work to make sure that all opinions on campus feel they are represented in productive discussion around the table.
  3. My past experiences with Senate have been a major factor in motivating me to run for office. I have participated in multiple areas of the organization and feel that one of the most impactful positions it offers is through an elected office. I also believe that it is time for a change among those elected officers. I want to tackle topics that will make a positive difference in the lives of those at Drake. As a Senator-at-Large, I would help Student Senate to go beyond discussion and move forward in becoming an organization known for its action on behalf of the needs of students.

Ekta Haria

  1. As being a part of the following organizations:
    Student Activities Board- First Year Representative (Fall 2011- Spring 2012)
    Student Senate- Student Diversity Interest Senator (Spring 2012)
    Student UNICEF- Fundraiser (Fall 2011-Spring 2012)
    SIFE- Project Advisor (Fall 2011)
    South Asian Student Association (Fall 2011-Spring 2012)
    International Student Association (Fall 2011- Spring 2012)

    I have been actively involved on campus and been able to participate and organize various events, which have enabled Drake to fulfill its mission statement of preparing students to be responsible global citizens while living a meaningful life and achieving professional goals. This includes events such as the international week (ISA), Diwali night (SASA), Dead Day event ( SAB), and many others.  These have helped student to be educated as well as entertain them at the same time.

  2. To address the issue of the hate speech directed at students of color on our campus, and work towards making Drake a more friendly campus. Keeping in mind, that the barriers of language and culture would be overcome, while allowing greater interaction between international students and local students. Being an international student of great cultural diversity (and a Diversity Interest Senator), I believe I would be able to understand and make an improvement on this sensitive issue.To involve the student body more in making decisions regarding any university related issues and ensuring that they understand that we serve them for their benefits as a Student Senate Body. As a senator, there is the ability of doing.

    To able to make Drake University a place where students can genuinely enjoy their once-in-a-life-time college experience, with the help of the Student Senate. The student Senate should be seen as a part of them and regulated by the student’s needs and wants. Improvements on facilities or equipment based on students’ needs should be addressed.

  3. As a Diversity Interest Intern for a semester and a Diversity Interest Senator this semester, I have been able to gain some great experience and been able to express some valuable student opinions on various topics. These have been heard and worked upon by the Student Senate. Therefore, I believe that I could be a good bridge between the student body and the senate body. I have grown as a person due to this experience by becoming more aware of the issues surrounding Drake and also emotionally been able to grow stronger and confident. I hope to continuously be able to positively serve the Drake community, as well as gain some knowledgeable experience by making a difference and voicing opinions on campus.

Natalie Larson

  1. Within my first week of school, I had already jumped in head first as much as I could. Since then, my passion has grown immensely to the point where I wish to share it with everyone I meet. With the combination of my dedication, charisma, and leadership skills, I have contributed to the quality of Drake. I show these characteristics across campus through not only Senate, but also Student Activities Board and Crawford EC.
  2. I hope to continue to work with students from across campus to make issues such as J-term and creating new student organizations a better experience for all. I also hope to increase communication between the student body and Student Senate in order to understand how these and other implementations can be improved. My last priority is to make decisions based on the most beneficial for the largest amount of the student body. I am qualified to achieve all of these goals because of my experience and connections on campus as I already communicate and bring awareness of the issues to the student body. I also encourage students to engage themselves in the campus in order to make the institution a place they will agree with and want to be.
  3. My positive experience on the First Year Interest committee motivated me to run for the Senator-at-Large position. This committee got me involved in depth right away communicating and working with the First Year class about issues such as the Friday FYS sessions and Welcome Weekend. Through the committee, I was able to understand the workings of Senate as I attended as many Senate meetings as I could, as well as filling in for current senators. I hope to continue to make meaningful connections with the student body.

Zachary Keller

  1. I have worked to make Drake a high quality institution through my involvement in various activities. As a Resident Assistant in Crawford Hall, I have strived to build a strong hall community and have assisted my residents in whatever ways possible. I also served on Student Senate this past year as a Senator-At-Large and Chair of the Student Fees Allocation Committee. Through my past Senate involvement, I have contributed to making Drake a high quality institution by serving on the search committee to select the new Vice President of Business and Finance and reaching out to students to get their opinions on issues and how to make Drake a better campus.
  2. One of my three priorities is to utilize the Senate posting area more throughout the year. I would like to update the posting area weekly to let students know what Senate is doing for them. Another goal I have is to increase the amount of student referendums and student led initiatives. I believe this will increase attendance at Senate meetings and help Senate become a forum for discussing issues. Finally, I hope to facilitate more conversations about students’ experiences at Drake and how we can make Drake a welcoming campus for everyone. I believe my past involvement in Senate and commitment will allow me to achieve these goals.
  3. I was motivated to run for office because I want to continue to make a difference on Drake’s campus. I have a great passion for Student Senate and working to voice student concerns. I feel that the Senator-At-Large position would allow me to continue to make Drake an exceptional place to learn and it would be an honor to be able to serve the student body once again.

Napoleon Douglas

  1. My involvement on Drake since I have been on campus has always been at a high caliber in quantity and quality. Bringing foundational programming to Carpenter Residence Hall my first-year here as Programming Chair has placed Carpenter back to a kind of environment the residences can be proud of. I sit on The Student Advancement Committee where we have been successfully pursing projects geared toward making Olmsted a true Student Union which represents our campus as a whole. I have also been one to bring many new initiatives to campus such as Hip-Hip Dance Aerobics, a class which I have created and taught, as well as represented Drake on regional and national levels in Music, Leadership, and Community Service.
  2. I have been pursing a position on Student Senate since my First-year with three goals in mind: To shift Student Senate from an “important voice” on campus to a “useful voice” on campus; To break through passed traditions which hinder the present senate to properly feed the current constituency; and to get students from the student body to be active in senate. My qualifications are enhanced not only by the voice I have on campus and the former leadership positions which gave me the skills to do so, but my commitment and willingness to be the “Devil’s Advocate” in order to make the kind of changes that are needed on this campus. Senate now needs people who are willing to stir up some fire toward the kind of things that the campus needs.
  3. The love I have for Drake is my motivation. I love this school and it is disheartening to me to see that some students feel that a wonderful organization such as Student Senate does not live up to its standards. I want to help in all ways I can to make this place the best place in the world.


  1. student April 5, 2012

    Emily Grimm hasn’t even put up posters in my building and she truly wants to represent the student body? Not getting my vote… she apparently doesn’t want it anyways

  2. Lauren April 5, 2012

    Since when is the amount of posters a candidate purchases representative of how much they want your vote? Maybe you should spend a little more time focusing on what the candidates actually want to do if elected instead of how much money they decided to blow on plastering their faces all over campus.

    1. student April 5, 2012

      @Lauren I understand, but at the same time, if they want to represent me and aren’t taking the time to reach out and spend time where I want to be represented, I think it’s pretty clear that they’re not taking an interest in me. Everyone has the same budget, but I’ve had multiple Senators stop by and chat with me about what they want to do and their vision with Senate for next year. I’ve had multiple candidates stop in on the organizations I’m involved with to campaign and she hasn’t done that in any of my organizations and I’m involved in many different organizations. I was just saying that I don’t think she’ll do a good job representing me as a student or even the student body as a whole like she is saying, though I hope she proves me wrong. I’d be more willing to eat my own words to see a Senator do a good job.

  3. Carley April 10, 2012

    Emily was one of my students in the Emerging Leaders Model and I can speak to her excellent leadership development as a first year student. She is always stepping up and volunteering her time. I can tell that she has a passion for making a difference and is running for senate for all of the right reasons. She frequently serves as a proxy at Student Senate meetings this year when a senator cannot attend. I have no doubt that she will represent us well.

  4. student April 12, 2012

    That’s good to hear. I’m sorry that I jumped to conclusions so early. As a student, it was concerning to me that someone who wanted to represent me hadn’t reached out to me to vote for her. That was all.

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