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Wednesday March 2, 2016

timesdelphic.com

Unite Iowa CAMPUS EVENTS

‘The Color of Democracy’ conversation

Students join dialogue on how race fits in democracy

TOP: Virgina Hill shares her opinion on race and democracy at the #UniteIowa event. Hill was a part of the team that planned the event in Parent’s Hall. PHOTO BY CASSANDRA BAUER | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER LEFT: Des Moines Register Columnist Kyle Munson stands with Drake professor Carol Spaulding-Kruse (left) and Hill (right). All three helped plan Friday’s event. PHOTO BY ALEXIS CRUZ | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER RIGHT: Attendees of the event sit and discuss a poster, which read “This system is rigged and my vote doesn’t matter.” Posters were set out to lead discussion. PHOTO BY ALEXIS CRUZ | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Drake Rhone Staff Writer drake.rhone@drake.edu @drakerhone

The Des Moines Register partnered with a Drake professor to bring #UniteIowa: The Color of Democracy, a discussion on race relations to Olmsted Center last Friday. Kyle Munson, columnist for the Des Moines Register and founder of #UniteIowa, planned the event with the help of English professor Carol Spalding-Kruse and Drake seniors Virginia Hill and Brytani Cavil. Munson has hosted events under the #UniteIowa name before, but it was his partnership with Spalding-Kruse that brought

the conversation to Drake. “We (Spalding-Kruse) began to talk,” Munson said. “I appreciated her decade of history in bringing polarized sides to the table in her ‘Talking With Your Enemy’ seminars. She was a perfect choice as collaborator.” In Friday’s event, people were first separated into groups according to issues, and then engaged in discussion. Phrases on posters around the room ranged from ‘I think we need to get big money out of politics’ to ‘I feel like my race is under-represented in politics.’ “You went in, looked at all of them, and decide which one you identify with the most,” first-year Isabelle Barrett said. Attendees were separated several more times according

to their political party, their stance on issues in politics, their religion and their race. This led into discussion through these separations. Ultimately, the discussion attempted to answer one question. “We answered a question about defining the solution to race in politics,” Barrett said. “And we just talked about different ways to possibly change people’s opinions on race, and what the government should do about it.” Barrett said that one of her favorite parts of the event was that the conversation stayed friendly, and didn’t escalate into arguments. “People weren’t at each other or anything, which was really great,” Barrett said. “Everyone

was really polite. Our viewpoints differed, but we were willing to talk about it. It’s not like we were writing down a solution or anything, but so many people were willing to compromise and say, ‘Yeah, I see your point and that makes sense.’” The discussion was the first of five events in the #UniteIowa on Race series. “This is a series that connects Drake with the rest of the capital city in new and interesting ways,” Munson said. “We began on campus, circle around the metro and then come back to campus May 6 for a major festival with live music and a keynote speaker.” With four events left in the series, Munson said that he encourages all students to become involved in the cause.

His goal is to create a proactive conversation about race, instead of reacting to the latest crisis or headlines. “Our intention is for people to join the movement and have as much of a voice in it as they’re willing to lend,” Munson said. “We want participation, feedback, criticism, all of it. ” Students can reach out to Munson with feedback at iowaunited.org, on Facebook at UniteIowa and @uniteiowa on Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram. The next event, “Clashmates: Race in Schools”, is tomorrow at Valley West High School.

CAMPUS EVENTS

No students attended ‘Practicing Safer Sex’ presentation Jessie Spangler Assistant Relays Editor Jessica.spangler@drake.edu @jessiespangler3

Sex can be an uncomfortable topic to discuss, which could explain why no students showed up to Alysa Mozak’s “Do You Have it Covered? Practicing Safer Sex” presentation last Thursday. Mozak, who is the coordinator for sexual violence response and healthy relationship promotion,

brought in Dana Stuehling from Planned Parenthood to speak to students about sexually transmitted infections (STIs), birth control and other aspects of safe sex. “Some people may not feel comfortable asking those questions, especially in a group like this, if there were people here,” Stuehling said. “That also tells you why people aren’t here.” According to Stuehling, sex is a topic that college students usually feel uncomfortable discussing. “One of the biggest reasons is

that sex and sexuality are shamed in our society,” Stuehling said.

“Some people may not feel comfortable asking those questions, especially in a group like this, if there were people here.” Dana Stuehling Planned Parenthood Representative

“So people are taught not to ask questions, not to be open about it and not to talk about it. So that’s where we see a lot of unplanned pregnancies and STIs, but also a lack of pleasure and intimacy and healthy sex lives.” The safe sex presentation is part of a four-part educational series titled “Let’s Talk About Sex” held by Mozak. This was the second event in the series. “When we talk about comprehensive sexual education, that is a more sex positive approach to education

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that recognizes that sex as something that can be absolutely normal, healthy and pleasurable,” Stuehling said. Sexual education is required for K-12 education in every state, but not at the collegiate level. “I think it’s especially important for college students,” Stuehling said. “You all start to have more freedom in exploring your identities and your wants and desires a little bit more.”

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

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