STORY BY BETH LEVALLEY
Student Senate did not pass a motion to allocate $15,000 to Drake Choir for their international tour in Europe.
Senate as a whole could not agree as to whether the motion violated the student life handbook because students receive credit for Drake Choir during the school year.
The sheer sum of the money, which is 25 percent of Student Senate’s one-time funding budget for the year, also made senators hesitant.
Drake Choir fundraises money in order to take all 72 students on this trip. The $15,000 proposed to Senate is only 4 percent of the $350,000 total budget that will be fundraised. Dustin Eubanks, a representative from Drake Choir, had several points as to why Senate should allocate this money.
“(Drake’s Mission Statement) talks about meaningful personal lives. Well, we’re talking about encounters in a completely different country, with completely different people,” Eubanks said. “I don’t see how that doesn’t individually affect people on this tour and enhance their ability to learn.”
Eubanks also spoke of the promotional effects that the tour will have for Drake University as a whole.
“This will put the Drake name on the world map in the best way possible — through music,” Eubanks said.
Sen. Sanders said that while she agrees this tour will enhance the experiences of 72 students and stays true to Drake’s Mission Statement, senators are there to advocate for the student body, not for Drake as a whole.
Sen. Kane took a more practical outlook: “This is 25 percent of our total budget for the entire year. And frankly, 72 students are not 25 percent of Drake.”
After over an hour of discussion, the Senate decided to put the motion to a vote rather than amending any part of it. Two senators voted yes to the motion, and 16 voted no.
With about 20 Drake Choir members in attendance, the group left disheartened. President Maisto encouraged the Drake Choir to continue working with Senate to find other sources of funding.
Senate, however, passed two one-time funding requests, one for the Drake Tennis Club to go to Iowa State Tennis Invitational in Ames, Iowa, and the other for the Christian Pharmacist Fellowship International to cover transportation costs for a three-day trip in Louisville, Kentucky.
The conference is tailored to Christians in health care and will provide networking and professional events to over 2,500 people.
With over 160 student organizations, Drake University is known for providing hands-on experiences, and Student Senate proved that this week.
Six more student organizations were approved, including an e-sports club and a club for women in the fields of math and science.
Women in Mathematics and Computer Science has been an unofficial club for the past couple of years on campus, and they have held events in the past as well.
The club has a great relationship with the community and faculty members and hopes to reach out to more students in the future. In the past, they have invited middle school students from the Des Moines community to experience the graphic design labs at Drake.
“We bring these kids in for an hour and a half and give them our pitch: this is why you should get into science, this is why it’s cool,” executive member Rachel Davis said. “I think we had about 20 to 25 kids the first time, and the second time we did it was even bigger, maybe around 30.”
Student Senate was impressed with the work the organization has done with the community already and the goals Women in Mathematics and Computer Science has for the future.
“I think this is by far the coolest organization I’ve ever seen come through Senate,” Sen. O’Hea said.
The organization is open to all students, including men and students in majors other than math and science. Currently, members’ majors range from actuarial science to biology to computer science.
Senate also approved Chi Alpha, a national Christian organization that focuses on self-discovery and God-discovery. The main difference between this group and other Christian organizations on campus is that Chi Alpha is Pentecostal, which means they believe in the gift of the Holy Spirit.
“We do really informal weekly meetings—large group and small group—to grow as a person, grow as an individual, maturing your relationship with Christ,” said Thad Logan, Chi Alpha’s president.
Chi Alpha hopes to focus on local events and chapter bonding to start out with, but will look into mission trips in the long-term.
Another national organization also got approved this week: Be the Match On Campus. This club will raise awareness about bone marrow transplants and will hold events to match students up with patients in need of bone marrow around the nation.
The organization will get cheek swabs from students, and if there is a match, send them to a hospital to have the procedure done.
“For those of you that don’t know much about bone marrow transplants, you should look up some stories — they’re pretty life changing,” said Treasurer Matusik. “Occasionally, there’s only one person in the world that matches your bone marrow, so it’s possible that there’s somebody in some European country, and it’s only you, here, that can help them.”
Treasurer Matusik went on about the benefits of this organization.
“It’s a simple cheek swab, and it can literally save a life.”
Love Your Melon, another national organization that spreads awareness and raises money for children battling cancer, also became a student organization on campus.
Love Your Melon’s original mission was to put a hat on every head of a child battling cancer. Now, they contribute part of their funds to cancer research.
This organization will be selling apparel on campus as well as put on events to raise awareness for their organization and cancer research in general.
Drake eSports will meet weekly to socialize and relieve stress while playing video games. The games will include Super Smash Bros., League of Legends and other popular video games. The club hopes to host friendly tournaments in the future with possible prizes for the winner.
While the group admits they may not be talented enough to go to tournaments around the area, the club will allow introverted students to socialize and meet new people.
“I don’t think our group is really big enough, and I know I’m at least not talented enough to go to a tournament,” said Taylor Gartshore, Drake eSports’ president. “Other people basically do this for a living, so I don’t think that we will actually compete against those people.”
Two national organizations that will help the College of Arts and Sciences were also approved.
The Drake University American Institute of Graphic Arts Student Group plans to “provide workshops, informational events and networking events for members and non-members” and got the motion from Senate.
Sen. Freemon described this organization as “similar to the (American Marketing Association).” Senate agreed that this organization will help the college of arts and sciences grow and appeal to prospective students.
The other organization approved was Alpha Mu Gamma, which will recognize accomplishments of language-study students and promote language study at Drake.
Recently, Drake has expanded its language study program by adding a Spanish minor. Senate hopes that this organization will foster that desire for a more expansive language program at Drake.