Four of the five organizations applying for full registered student organization status were accepted by Drake Student Senate. Hockey Club, Badminton Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes were approved on March 31, and Drake Non-Profit Consulting Group was approved on March 24. To read about the student senate’s denial of RSO status to Turning Point USA, read this article.
The senate discussion for the applying groups consisted of a questions and open discussion section, during which senators were to determine whether the organization met the criteria for receiving full RSO status. The criteria are as follows: Is the organization sustainable? Would it provide a community for students? Could it successfully exist without RSO status? Does it align with the Drake mission statement? And does the RSO pose a safety risk?
Drake Non-Profit Consulting Group
Drake Non-Profit Consulting Group intends to give Drake students opportunities to work with nonprofit organizations in the Des Moines community. Student senate unanimously voted to grant full RSO status to the organization, and discussion was limited to questions regarding the organization’s sustainability.
The group, which currently consists of 12 members, has worked with non-profit organizations including Urban Dreams, Iowa Center for Economic Success and Corn 4 a Cause, providing them with deliverables and performing analysis for the clients. At the end of each semester, members of the group are able to present their recommendations and work to the client organization. The group was seeking full RSO status in order to connect with more nonprofits through the official Drake name and increase their student recruitment efforts.
Vice President of Student Organizations Joseph Owens said during the meeting that the club will meet around two times a week for up to two hours and hopes to compete against other schools.
Drake Club Hockey was unanimously approved for RSO status by student senate, with a number of senators voicing their support for the group. Currently, the team consists of 15-16 members and practices at the RecPlex, where they are coached by a Drake Law School alum.
The team has received a significant amount of support from Drake alumni associated with the original Drake Hockey team, which was last active over 20 years ago. One donor has reportedly provided nearly $1,000 in funding for the team, with multiple smaller donors also contributing to the team’s overall funds. Receiving full RSO status allows the team to receive additional funding from student senate, and more notably, apply to join the American Collegiate Hockey Association now that they are a recognized group.
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Student senate voted 18-1 to grant RSO status to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. When asked what distinctive services the organization would provide, FCA President Abigail Crupi said that FCA would give student athletes a place to talk about their faith.
FCA has reportedly been at Drake for 20-25 years and has over 100 members. Smith and the organization’s president, Abigail Crupi, said at the senate meeting that FCA’s activities include weekly meetings and volunteerism at churches, schools and organizations such as Can Play Sports. Smith said that they want to fundraise for organizations that they care about and that attaching “Drake” to their name is important.
The presentation of the organization, discussion about the decision among senators, and dialogue between senators and FCA took roughly an hour. The discussion included concerns over the national organization’s views on LGBTQ+ relationships and the chapter’s relationship with the FCA’s statement of faith. Two members on staff at the FCA also attended the meeting.
“And so, I was reading a couple articles about different FCA groups, and statements of homophobia within it,” Equity and Inclusion Senator Ruwayda Egal said. “So how do you guys plan on including LGBT student athletes within your club?”
Smith said that they expect members of the organization to treat each other with love and respect.
“We don’t make anyone sign anything, you don’t have to say anything, you can just come and you’re welcome here,” Smith said.
Health and Safety Senator Andrew Klinke proposed the possibility of reassessing how Drake organizations associate with national counterparts. Student Body Treasurer Hunter Hildebrand said he thought that FCA is a “completely different scenario” than Turning Point USA because TPUSA had a history of disrupting campus climate, culture and DEI issues. SJMC Senator Madeleine Leigh was the sole vote against granting RSO status to FCA.