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Senate begins spearheading Political Action Committee on campus

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BY IAN KLEIN

Drake University’s Student Senate is in the process of creating a new campus organization to be known as the Political Action Committee or the PAC.

In his February campus-wide email update, Student Body President Nathan Paulsen wrote that student senators were working to get a committee for political matters on campus, which would consist of numerous presidents of political organizations on campus and chaired by our non-partisan campus engagement student senator.

Paulsen noted the project is in its earliest stages, but the goal is to show unity and allow tough political dialogues to occur in a civil manner.

“We want all political ideologies to have a voice and come together for conversation,” Paulsen wrote in the email.

The student senators spearheading the project are Olive Wassen, Giada Morresi and Kollin Crompton. At a breakout session during the president’s summit on Feb. 1, the three senators addressed an audience consisting of presidents from the College Republicans, Drake Democrats, Drake Political Review and other politically active organizations on campus.

“The idea behind the Political Action Committee is because there is no political organization on Drake’s campus where students of all political ideologies and beliefs can come together,” Morresi said.

Crompton agrees that constructing a healthy political dialogue on campus needs attention.

“I think the current political climate of Drake needs some serious fixing,” Crompton said. “Students cannot have productive, civil conversations about political discourse. My hope is that the PAC can help show students that people from different ideologies can come together to work on projects.”

Morresi said the PAC will start as a branch of Student Senate before becoming its own organization. Functions of the PAC could include providing transportation for students to political events, bringing speakers to campus and informing students of volunteer opportunities for political parties or organizations around Des Moines.

Student senators are seeking input from the Drake community.

“We want to hear more of what campus wants out of this more than what us three think should be happening,” Crompton said at the president’s summit.

Senators are still in the process of constructing bylaws and planning the PAC’s first meeting, which Morresi said will take place on Feb. 12 in Sussman Theater. Morresi, Crompton and Wassen encouraged Drake students to contact them via their Drake emails about any questions, concerns or suggestions regarding the PAC.

During the Student Senate meeting Thursday night, Paulsen announced that funding is not available for the creation of a campus calendar this semester that would compile all events planned by campus organizations. The calendar is meant to remedy past issues of over-programming or having multiple events on the same date and time.

Student Senate has also issued new applications this semester for Drake students to serve on a Senate committee. Applications can be found at the Student Life Center (SLC) and must be completed and returned to SLC by Feb. 9.

Student Senate meets weekly on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. in room 201 of Cowles Library.

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