Drake is at a major crossroads.
The president is retiring, the backbone of the institution is taking new shape and the student leadership is evolving — structurally and internally — and there is constant pressure for student leaders to present results, increase event attendance, raise social awareness, spend student fees effectively and efficiently and better student life as a whole.
Although Drake is not an institution in crisis, many forms of change are upon us.
Consistency of values and sustainability of long-term goals are absolutely critical from the top down. Student turnover is an inevitable change that naturally occurs at any university. The only things at Drake that stay relatively the same are the buildings, grounds, faculty, administration and alumni.
In a bold effort to captivate, preserve, challenge and live the Drake experience, Project Drake was born.
Project Drake encompasses the meaning of being a member of the Drake community and gives students, faculty and staff a creed to live and learn by.
This plan will soon be introduced to both the Student Senate and the President’s Panel. This proposed project will include a student-driven strategic plan for student leaders and organizations to follow. My main mission is to preserve and protect the Drake experience and our values amongst all this change. My vision is to lead Drake students, faculty and administration toward making Drake University the best it possibly can be for all.
Project Drake isn’t simply an idea or a one-year plan to rally behind. It’s a way of learning, living and leading those around us to continue our current efforts of improving Drake. When it comes time to constructing this vision, I will ask: “What are we doing now that makes Drake better, and what should we be doing to make Drake the best?”
It’s simple, yet should challenge us to evaluate our academics, organizations, programs, involvement and time at Drake.
This university is experiencing sweeping change. We can either watch nervously on the sidelines as new faces arrive, or we can instill what it means to be a student here, welcome these new faces in, and build Drake together with Project Drake as our foundation.
My hopes are to have Project Drake fully developed by the end of this month, rolling out alongside with the “Senate 60,” the Student Senate’s list of 60 goals, initiatives, ideas and visions for the academic school year. At the end of the day, we need something and someone with a vision to carry us through all of this change. I hope that Project Drake is our solution.