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Security addresses key cards


Among the most notable changes to student life at Drake University for the 2014-15 school year is the addition of card scanners at the doors of nearly every building on campus.

The new electronic key system hasn’t come without its fair share of problems, but students clamoring for solutions need to look no further than last Wednesday’s Student Senate meeting.

Drake Director of Campus Public Safety, Scott Law, spoke to the Senate at the meeting. He highlighed several new security programs and changes, but focused on the card scanners.

“We’ve had some problems with the system, as I’m sure all of you know,” Law said. “The whole team is working on this. We’ve been getting together each morning, looking at the list of problems and trying to whittle them down.”

“I think you’ll see the system will run better and better each week as we go along,” Law said.

Law also announced plans to increase the number of doors that will be unlocked during regular hours.

In the next three to four weeks, Law’s team will be working to unlock all doors at the Olmsted Center, Cowles Library and extra doors at Aliber and Fitch Hall.

In each case, only the door by the card scanner will open after hours, and students will still be required to scan their ID card.

Law said that more halls will be added to this list in the spring to be completed over summer break.

Because the doors are now locked and unlocked electronically, the solution is not as simple as unlocking the doors with a manual key. This is the reasoning behind the three to four week timeframe.

Law also touched on technical errors with Bulldog Bucks. Drake “quickly realized” the errors and are working to fix them. The senate is also launching the “Start by Believing” campaign kickoff.

“Start by Believing” is a yearlong campaign designed to educate the community on bystander intervention.

Meghan Blancas, the Interim Director of Student Leadership and Involvement at Drake, spoke to the Senate about three fall leadership programs open to students.

We go through a student leadership challenge book, and they go through each of the five parts of exemplary leadership,” Blancas said. “It’s a great way to build the students foundations as leaders here on campus.”

Students that are sophomores or older can participate in the Adams Academy program, which starts in the third week of September. Students enrolled in the Adams Academy spend one hour per week listening to faculty and staff talk about leadership. In the spring, students apply what they learned to community service.

Blancas also spoke about the Sussman Fall Leadership Conference, a one-day event to be held on Sunday, October 5. This year’s theme is based on “making a difference by valuing difference” and is geared towards social justice and inclusion in leadership.

In other Senate news, $1,667 dollars were allocated to the Visual Arts Association of Drake to cover costs associated with the Chicago Art Expo.

“The Art Expo has really well-known artists who are doing stuff right now in our community,” said Betsy Hart, speaking on behalf of the Visual Arts Association of Drake.

Rachael Kreski, junior graphic design major, added that the Expo will be a great way for students interested in art as a profession to gain valuable experience.

Senate also allocated $384.45 dollars to the Women’s Ultimate Club and $2,385 dollars to the Men’s Ultimate Club to fund trips to upcoming tournaments, and approved the bylaws set forth by this year’s election commission.

The meeting was moved to Wednesday night due to conflicts with recruitment week. Senate will meet at its normal time this week, at 9 p.m. tomorrow in Cowles Library.



  1. Mary Lou Reynolds September 10, 2014

    I am not an alum of Drake. I have lived in Iowa for 50 years. I noticed your article on my AOL website and was curious and clicked on it. I appreciate your concern for the security and welfare of your students. As I read the article I notice it said that the Senate had allowed $384.45 d0llars tot the Woman’s Ultimate Club and $2,385ndollars to the Men’s Ultimate Club to fund trips to upcoming tournaments. How was this determined? Why was more allowed to the men’s club than the woman’s club? I am just curious. Thank you for clarifying this issue for me.
    Mary Lou Reynolds

    1. Tim Webber September 11, 2014

      Hi Mary, thanks for reading the article.

      Both clubs determined how much money they would need for the tournaments and submitted that request to the Student Senate. The women’s club only asked for $384, while the men’s club requested over $2,000.

      There are a couple reasons for the discrepancies in cost. First, the men’s club has considerably more players than the women’s club, so it will be more of an operation for them to go to their tournament. Second, the men’s tournament is held in Minnesota, while the women’s tournament will be just down the road in Grinnell, Ia. Because of the distance, the men’s team will have to stay overnight in Minnesota. That will add a lot to the cost of the tournament.

      I hope that helps clear up the issue. Thanks,
      Tim Webber

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