Drake to host conference to discuss issues on college campuses

Ellen Bombela

Drake University will host a day-long student-based conference called Students Originating Solutions Summit on Saturday that will focus on race relations; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer inclusion and mistreatment; sexual assault and interpersonal violence; and mental health.

These topics were chosen because they were thought of as things that have effects on college students nationwide, according to a statement released by the Drake Leadership Education and Development organization, which is hosting the event. 

“We are wanting to invite students to come, and it’s going to be a day of collaboration and idea sharing,” said Anna Leenerts, student in the fall semester cap-zone class for the leadership organization. “Our goal is to try and create new solutions to address what we have identified as the four major topics on college campuses.”

The summit is a new event this year and is unique because it is a gathering of students to share ideas and address some of the issues going on around them on their own campuses.

The day will include guest speakers, breakout sessions, lunch and a call to action and reflection time with a reception to follow. About 90 students from more than 10 different schools are expected to attend.

“Our hope is that students will come not only to be inspired by what other schools are doing but also get those ideas and take those back to their respective colleges and initiate those ideas and start those groups for action that they found helpful from other schools and get the ball rolling at their school,” Leenerts said. “We just really want to build those bridges between campuses so that we are addressing those issues in the best way possible.”

Registration for the event closed Thursday evening. Anybody who has questions or wants more information can visit the event’s website at www.sos-summit.com. The website includes a schedule, information about the event and speakers and contact information.