Drake students fall Relay sick

Drake University students experience a surge in COVID cases after Relays Week.

Drake Students are falling relay relay sick, after a weeklong of Relay activities that took place on Drake’s university campus.

As of Tuesday morning, students, faculty/staff received an email about the recent COVID surges on campus. The confirmed number of students was 55 positives cases, with 20 residential on-campus students isolating. Within a couple of hours, another email was sent out by President Marty communicating more cases, and encouraging everybody to adhere to CDCs guidelines.

President Marty also communicated that Executive Faculty Senate voted and agreed on moving finals online.

As of Wednesday morning, the university had reported 255 confirmed cases, with 500 still pending for results. Professors have also been given the discretion to decide whether they will continue the remainder of the semester in-person or remotely.

Interesting enough, the university claims that it’s contact tracing is not coming from Relays but rather prior to relays. Leaving many in doubt. Sure, there is a possibility that the spread started before Relays, but are we really going to deny the fact that one of the biggest athletic meets in the country is a great chance too? Keeping in mind that thousands and thousands of people are visiting all over?

KCCI reporting live on Drake University’s campus

In my opinion, it was careless and selfish on the University’s part. One, COVID never left, yet we were behaving like it did after the mask mandate dropped. COVID was also there, and the fact that there is an outbreak of a new strain does not make this situation easier. Two, the university knew that Relays would take place shortly before finals. The fact that they did not properly outweigh the risks is disappointing ti say the least. Because now you have hundreds of students falling sick during the last week of classes, when they could have use this time wisely to prepare for finals next week.

Students are now being forced out of campus and asked to move into hotels to help limit the spread on campus. All extra curricular activities and events have either been cancelled or postponed until further notice.

Spring commencement is still in session, and is being closely monitored by administrative staff.

For many, this has become the norm. Especially graduating seniors who have spent most of their academic careers in a pandemic. Let us all be reminded that the university has gone remote, hosted hybrid sessions and also had a mask mandate.

Considering everyone’s excitement when the mask mandate dropped in March – I guess that lasted long enough!

Creativity Fun Reads

Drake hosts first ‘Prelays’ session ahead of 2022 Relays!

We’ve heard a lot of talk about the Relays, but what are the Prelays?

Captured, a track & field event during Relays, at Drake Stadium

Thursday evening at 6 PM, Drake University held its first ever Prelays session at Sussman theatre. Executive Director of Campus Safety, Scott Law, kicked off the session with a question for the attendees.

“Just a show of hands, how many of you in this room were at the 2018/2019 Relays?” Surprised but expected, only 5 hands out of approximately 120 students went up. Scott Law further explained, that is the reason why administrative staff thought it would be best to get ready for Relays by organizing a Prelays event.

The purpose of this event was to let Bulldogs know what they can expect in the upcoming Relays, and ways to stay safe during the weeklong event.

Drake relays – 100th Relays Video

“Drake students look out for Drake students”, said Scott Law. He explained that this campus is expecting about 8000 guests, so it is crucial for everybody to look out for each other. There will be an increased presence of public safety around the Drake neighbourhood, along with Des Moines Police Department (DMPD) officers. He encouraged students to lock their cars, and residence halls throughout this week, and further encouraged students to download the Rave Guardian App – a safety application.

“Parking will be a nightmare. Don’t move your car starting Wednesday evening,” said Scott Law. Being very adamant, Law put emphasis on parking. He explained that because the campus will be expecting about 8000 visitors, it is wise to not drive around that week. He also stated that Forest Avenue will be closed, and 24th to 27th street will be barricaded, and will reopen Saturday night at 8 PM. Law reminded students, that the DART Bus is free of use for Drake students, and were advised to use the bus for any sort of movements to avoid inconveniences and unnecessary accidents.

“There will be a rotation team from the Dean of students, and all hands will be on Deck.” Explained Hannah Clayborn, Assistant Dean of Students. Ms. Deck declared that this will be her first Relays experience.

Watch the 2021 Beautiful Bulldog Contest

Student leaders, who were apart of the panel, Debbie Horan and Katie Palmer, spoke on their experiences from a student’s point of view. The ladies prompted all students who were in attendance to take advantage of all activities taking place that week.

“Take advantage of every single thing, if you can.” Said Debbie Horan. She pushed  for students to attend the Beautiful Bulldog Contest, the concert taking place on Forest Ave, and many more. She also prodded students to stay hydrated and to pace themselves accordingly as there will be a lot happening.

Most importantly, the audience was invigorated by the given tips and tricks given to navigate their way through Relays Week.

Drake Broadcasting System broadcasts 2021 Relays
Fun Reads

Let’s Talk About the Oscars!

You have probably seen the video, heard all the different opinions and maybe (like me) tired of talking about the oscars.

Sunday 27th of March 2022, Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars Academy after a distasteful joke about his wife.

On Sunday evening, Actor Will Smith and Comedian Chris Rock found themselves in an altercation after Chris Rock making a distasteful joke about Jada Pickett Smith.

The joke was centered off of Jada’s Alopecia journey, where she has been nothing but graceful and vulnerable with the rest of the world about her experience.

Now there is a lot of talk on who is right? And who is not but I am not here to focus on that. What I will say is, I do not condone violence in any form and believe that there were many other ways around this.

I am here to counter the narrative of “two black men being aggressive” furthering the stereotypes of the Black community. What happened in this moment, is simply a Black man risking his chance of winning an Oscar to stand up for his wife – a notion not too many people are used to because we have normalized the culture of constantly demeaning Black women.

This was a situation were two Black men were being human. Are Black people not allowed to be human?

Let us not forget that the Oscars Academy is a predominantly white institution, and the treatment Will Smith is unfair and just, if you consider there are “greats” who have been boo’d off stage for demanding equality pay, “greats” who have sexually assaulted other, “greats” – dare I say – who have even murdered others, but what repercussions did they receive?

The Academy is deeply rooted in racism and it is time that they get called out for it. The fact that Will Smith, one of the greatest Black actors in Hollywood, is risking expulsion from the Academy when others have been left free speaks volume.

However, I will say that I am disappointed in Chris Rock. Whether or not he wrote the joke, he had the choice to not say it. There are so many things to keep in mind: Jada’s honesty about her journey, the Crown Act which was recently passed and my favourite, the irony that played because Chris Rock produced a documentary about Black women called “Good Hair.”

If anyone should understand the struggles of Black women, it would be him. The fact that the Crown Act just recently passed, is enough proof that Black women have been discriminated against their hair for so long, that a law was finally put in place to make it illegal.

It’s high time there needs to be more work done to combat anti-blackness. It is no secret that is more of a systemic issue. We already know that the media space is heavily dominated by white people, thus giving them the upper hand to spew dangerous narratives.

Watch what really went down, altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock the night of the Oscars.
How to Deconstruct Racism, Baratunda Thurston.
Here’s a good podcast featuring Chaka Khan as guest speaker. She dives into her experiences as a Black creative in America.

Simple Tips to Awaken Your Creative Juices.

Believe it or not, everybody has a creative element – the problem is, how does one tap into it and become more aware of their creative side. Want to learn how, follow these simple tips I have put together.

  1. Surround yourself with people of similar interest – hang out with writers, artists, dancers, etc. Being in a creative environment can motivate your creative juices to get going.
  2. Just start – many times the problem lies at the start, having the difficulty to start a creative project. Sometimes just start can lead you somewhere.
  3. Exposure – an important element. Exposure to different things and people can expand your knowledge vastly.
  4. Find your time – many times we are told to be productive in the morning, but truth is people operate differently. Find and stick to a time that helps you stay focused and motivated.
  5. Learn – learning is a never ending cycle. Always be open to learn.
  6. Be in-tune with reality – being in tune with the world can help inspire a creative idea.
  7. Take a break – this one is a no brainer. Sometimes taking a breather is essential.
  8. Find a new activity – sometimes exploring into a new venture can help bring your creative side out.
  9. Trial and error – being in the creative world is more trial and error. Do not be discouraged.
  10. Attitude – changing your attitude towards your look can greatly influence your perception positively.
  11. Build – many times creatives tend to have the same thoughts, and many times there a lot of ideas out there that could use some developing. Take advantage of the fact that there were people before you, and build on to that knowledge.
  12. Networking – meet new people. It takes one person to elevate you to the next level.
  13. Silence the noise – sometimes silencing the outside noise is crucial. This is a good time to trust your intuition more.
  14. Carry a camera – with just your smartphone, try and capture images that will not only challenge your perspective, but add onto your knowledge.
  15. Carry a diary – (or notes on your phone) the human brain is constantly running. Sometimes our creative juices start to flow when we are occupied. Writing down these ideas will save you a lot of time trying to remember.
  16. Muscle Memory – creativity is like a muscle memory. It is important to frequently practice your acquired skills.
  17. Jot down all your ideas!
  18. Give yourself a deadline or timeline to complete a certain project.
  19. Remove yourself from unwarranted situations and people who bring you stress.
  20. Don’t be too harsh on yourself – many times we are our best critiques, but we can also be our worst.
  21. Quit telling yourself that you are not a creative.
  22. Random experiments – you know those random projects you may have worked on that end up being fun and possibly one of your best works? Do that more often.
  23. Keep trying – don’t give up. An easy thing to say, but again, creativity is like trial and error. If one strategy is not working try another.
  24. Pick a theme/topic – picking a theme or topic can help guide you and bring a sense of focus.
  25. Exercise daily – it is very vital to stay active and to take care of your mental wellbeing as well.
Here is a playlist from Spotify to help get your creative juices flowing. Enjoy!
A good talk led by Novelist, Amy Tan – Where does creativity hide?

Access a wide range of creativity courses on Udemy by clicking the button above.

” Creativity takes Courage “

Henri Matisse