DES MOINES, Iowa — Drake’s mascot, Porterhouse the bulldog died two years ago but some students say the university’s effort to replace him is taking precedence over a serious campus issue involving women.
An anonymous student hung the poster around campus reading: “Drake cares more about finding a new mascot than finding a rapist.”
Freshman, Phoebe Clark said, “It was definitely shocking but I thought it was a really good point.” She said the sign was unnecessarily harsh but it at least kept the concern and conversation of sexual assault alive.
Last fall a Drake student filed a complaint with the U.S Department of Eduation’s Office for Civil Rights after the university made its decision on the sexual assault case.
Some students who didn’t like how the university handled the case, formed the student group “Demand a Better Drake,” urging the university to change its policies and make clear punishment for those committing the crime.
“I think Drake and all campuses for that matter need to acknowledge we have problem and make an environment safe for reporting,” said Clark.
Drake’s Associate Dean of Students says the university has areas they need to look at and enhance. Jerry Parker said the university is beginning to make some changes by making the student code of conduct more easily accessible and raising awareness about campus counseling services. Parker also says he and other faculty members meet with student groups on a regular basis.
“At the end of the day, we’re all in this together. Collectively this is an important area for many universities around the country. We want to make sure to get this right,” he said.
Drake’s federal investigation wrapped up a couple weeks ago but it could be months before the university receives a report on the investigation’s findings.
Drake is one out of about 100 colleges and universities currently under similar investigations.