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Wednesday Sept. 23, 2015

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‘Get engaged’

timesdelphic.com

RICK SANTORUM spoke to students, faculty and community members about questions they had for the presidential candidate and 2012 Republican caucus winner.

PHOTO BY JESSICA LYNK | NEWS EDITOR

CAMPUS EVENT

Santorum develops participation in political conversation Jessica Lynk News Editor Jessica.lynk@drake.edu @jessmlynk

As the sun faded in Kern Commons in Cartwright Hall, students, faculty and community members gathered on chairs and turned couches to face a podium adorned with a “Rick 2016” poster. Flyers urging viewers to “get engaged” and “join me now in taking back America for working families” were set across the room. About a hundred people chattered, waiting for presidential candidate Rick Santorum to take his place at the front. At 4:50 p.m., the presidential candidate strolled in wearing jeans and a blazer. “Thank you all for coming today and respectful participating in this market place of ideas,” said Logan Murray, a member of Drake Law Republicans,

introducing Santorum. “Living in Iowa, we are given the rare opportunity to be actively involved in the vetting process of the next president of the United States thanks to our first in the nation caucus.” Santorum, the 2012 Republican caucus winner, gave a bit of background, including his nerves about being back in a law school after earning a J.D. from Dickinson School of Law. Then, he went straight to answering questions in this town hall style meeting. The event, sponsored by Drake Law Republicans and Drake University College Republicans, occurred Monday as a part of Drake’s commitment to open political conversation. First-year Josh Hughes kicked off the conversation by expressing his concern with incarceration rates and police brutality leading to protests through a question. “As president, how would you hold bad law enforcement accountable if they are brutalizing victims and how would you

“The benefits of a college education are still very strong, but we are now at a tipping point where they are not quite what they are used to be. We have to start looking at education a little differently.” Rick Santorum Presidential Candidate

address the racial imbalanced levels of incarcerated people in this country?” Hughes said. “The level of accountability for men and women in uniforms is I think as high as it has ever been in the history of our country,” Santorum responded. Santorum then went on to

indicate that he doesn’t think the president has made any progress regarding “racial reconciliation.” “As a new president, you focus in on the fundamental problem, which I think is causing all of this, which is that there are no dads in those communities,” Santorum said. “The basic problem in this society comes down to the breakdown of the traditional family. It is family, not race. The chances of kids coming from families that I talk about (singlefamily homes) being in this very room are very slim and that is just not right.” Another student questioned why student loans are higher than other types of loans. Santorum explained that students and parents aren’t paying their loans back, so there is a bubble created that hinders others, especially those who aren’t going to college. “ The more money you pump into students, the more colleges and universities jack up the prices,” Santorum said. “The benefits of a college

education are still very strong, but we are now at a tipping point where they not quite what they are used to be. We have to start looking at education a little differently.” First year Ryan Skotzke asked a question centered around Kim Davis and the issue of how religious liberties fit in with court decisions. Santorum referred to this event as an “assault on religious liberty.” “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the court can do what it did. Nothing,” Santorum said. “The final say should always be in you and you have no recourse to the courts, except indirectly through the president and only through the president because they are appointed only when there is a vacancy.” Santorum ended his visit by asking for support. “I know you all have a lot of money, so if you want to donate, you can do that too.”

CAMPUS NEWS

Survey yields positive, negative results on campus climate Lauren Velsaco Staff Writer lauren.velsaco@drake.edu

As a part of Drake’s 2017 reaccreditation process, the Campus Climate assessment given this past year, addressed the attitudes of students and faculty and their comfort levels on campus. Last year, the Drake Strategic Diversity Action Team cooperated with Rankin & Associates to formulate a survey in which students and faculty participated to give feedback across all areas of campus, including academics and diversity. “The survey helps us understand what needs to be fixed and it provides real significant data to make meaningful changes,” said Student Body President Kevin Maisto. The process to create a climate survey began in 2014. It was a thorough process that involved

several teams guided by Campus Climate Investigator Dr. Sue Rankin. “We see campus climate as three cognitive wheels but students are centered to everything we do,” Rankin said. The executive summary of the survey is online for students and faculty to view. It provides information and statistics of not only the structure of campus but also how it affects students and faculty. “Being exposed to this data opens our eyes to the areas on campus we’ve been ignoring,” Maisto said. Both students, faculty and staff participated, giving an honest perspective from every part of the university. “From a faculty perspective, surveys help people feel like they have a voice” said Professor of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Andrea Kjos, “the survey also gives an accurate representation of the environment that’s tested,” Given the information in the survey, groups like the Student Senate will take the data and

address issues that need to be changed on campus. “Research like this gives us a solid base and starting point to move forward and understand ourselves as a university,” Maisto said. Providing the results of the survey to all students and faculty and also planning forums to discuss the results better connects students to the university. “The survey helps the university respond more accurately to the needs of the students,” said first-year Phillip Copeland. The executive summary and the forums to discuss the results are pivotal in the growth of Drake’s Campus and to the cohesiveness and culture of the climate. “This survey plays a key role for first years and sophomores because they’re just starting out and they have a really big part in shaping what the future of this institution will look like,” Maisto said. At the forum on Monday and Tuesday, the results of the survey

were revealed and discussed by Rankin. She discussed the positive parts of the climate as well as the problems some students described in the survey. “If we don’t realize the racism, sexism or genderism that occurs, we devalue the experience people have every day,” Rankin said. Although several controversial topics arose, Rankin discussed what Drake students can do to move forward and confront these issues. “It’s part of your mission to be who you want to be at Drake, “ Rankin said. “It’s an accountability measure.” There will be forums throughout the months of October, November, and December in which students will have the opportunity to take a more in depth look into what changes can be mad to improve Drake’s Campus Climate.

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36%

RESPONSE RATE

80%

OF STUDENTS RESPONDED WITH COMFORTABLE OR VERY COMFORTABLE

87%

OF STUDENTS ARE SATISFIED WITH THEIR ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE

20%

OF STUDENTS HAD EXPERIENCED EXCLUSIONARY, INTIMIDATING, OFFENSIVE, AND/OR HOSTILE CONDUCT

4%

OF STUDENTS INDICATED THAT THEY HAD EXPERIENCED UNWANTED SEXUAL CONTACT

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