STORY BY COLE NORUM
Although he’s been playing chess since elementary school, it wasn’t until just a few weeks ago that first-year student Cody Drilling witnessed the most impressive match in his life, when he played the president of Drake University’s now-official Chess Club.
“He actually checkmated me in, I believe, 13 moves,” Drilling said. “Blindfolded.”
The anecdote was part of a discussion Drilling, the club’s treasurer, had with Student Senate Oct. 23 to represent the Drake Chess Club in its request for full recognition as an official campus organization.
Drilling said the Chess Club will provide a fun and educational environment to learn chess. He also hinted at future returns to Senate meetings for funding.
“Currently, we’re only at the equipment of about three boards, and seeing as we have 20 members, we’re certainly looking to increase equipment that way,” Drilling said.
The 20 mentioned are what Drilling deemed “active,” appearing at the majority of meetings. A total of 82 people indicated their interest in the club, by providing their names and emails, at last month’s Activities Fair.
Drilling said the club is working on attracting more “active” members.
“We’re just kind of trying to work out … on an individual basis why (the non-active members) aren’t becoming active,” Drilling said, noting the club has added a Tuesday meeting in addition to its meeting on Saturdays.
“Hopefully in the future … we’ll be able to increase that 20,” Drilling said.
Expect to see posters promoting one of the newest clubs at Drake, a welcomed, if not expected, addition.
“I was a little surprised we didn’t have a chess club already,” Sen. Skylar Borchardt said.
The senators also voted unanimously to approve the Student National Pharmaceutical Association.
SNPhA has been in the making for more than five years said Amy Ngai, who spoke to the senators on the organization’s behalf. While in charge of health events around campus, Ngai sees another possible service the organization can provide.
We’d like to put on more educational events,” Ngai said.
Among those would be informational sessions on HIV and AIDS, Diabetes and strokes. Ngai indicated that SNPhA has the potential to enact change in the pharmacy profession.
“I truly believe … in the push for minority recognition in the pharmaceutical industry,” Verhasselt said.
“I think your mission is incredible,” Verhasselt said. “I think I speak for everyone around the table when I say we want to be behind you and supporting you.”
The Senate allocated a total of $7,197.50 to three organizations, including $5,000 to the Drake Political Review for costs associated with producing its first publication.
The founders of the Political Review spoke before the Senate on Oct. 23, requesting an allocation of $5,000 for production costs associated with 800 copies of its first publication, anticipated to line campus newsstand beginning in early December.
Nearly a month after receiving unanimous approval from Senate to officially recognize their club, Susanna Hayward and Briana Steirer reiterated their plans to make the Review a campus mainstay.
“It’s kind of something we want students to be able to pick up in a few months and read a story that’s still relevant to them,” Hayward said. “The whole mission is to inform students … It’s for anyone to pick up and read and know what’s going on in the world.”
The magazine-style publication will be the literary extension of the Review’s mission to provide resources and opportunities for Drake students to become more politically informed and engaged.
Co-founder Steirer expects a wide range of students to contribute to the publication, writing articles on an array of pertinent political issues from international relations to domestic topics, like her own piece discussing social security in the millennial age.
“Or lack thereof,” Steirer said.
Unlike other campus publications, writers will not be compensated for their work. However, there is a strong consensus that the opportunity to engage in political discourse while becoming and remaining informed is enough of an incentive to attract and sustain contributors.
Hayward responded to an inquiry from Sen. Taylor Floyd regarding the Review’s wishes to publish in its first year.
“This is a big semester in politics,” Hayward assured Senators a December issue would be critical in garnering interest.
“We don’t want to miss covering the midterms,” Hayward said. “It seems like we have such a big following and people really wanting to join and get excited about it.”
Echoing their overwhelming support for the organization weeks prior, the senators unanimously approved the allocation of $5,000 required for the paper selection, mock-ups, pin-ups, printing, shipping and distribution.
“It’s really cool to see so many students … trying to decrease ignorance,” said Treasurer Kevin Maisto. “They have their stuff together.”
Funds were also apportioned to cover the Community Advisory Board’s participation in the Midwest Service Leaders Conference at Wartburg College later this year, and to the South Asian Student Association for Diwali Night, which will be held on Nov. 1. The South Asian Student Association will donate a portion of its proceeds toward purchasing a braille printer for blind children through Drake’s partnership with a school in Ghana.