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Messages from Chief Student Affairs Officer

Please see below for messages from the Drake University Chief Student Affairs Officer. Please note, on July 1, 2021, Jerry Parker was promoted to Chief Student Affairs Officer from his previous role as Dean of Students.

Message from the Chief Student Affairs Officer - August 8, 2022

Dear Students,

We are excited to welcome you to campus for the Fall 2022 semester! As we prepare for your arrival, we continue to monitor COVID-19 and its impact on our campus community. Below are some important updates related to COVID-19 and the start of the semester.

  • If you test positive, report your result through this form to determine your isolation end date. Completing the form will provide more information about our COVID-19 protocols.
  • Residential students who test positive are welcome to isolate at home or in Ross Hall. Students isolating in Ross Hall may be assigned a roommate with a shared bathroom. Additional details are included in the form.
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, complete the same form to receive more information. Please read and complete each question carefully.
  • Free PCR tests are available for pick-up in the Student Services Center located in the Olmsted Center. Tests can be picked up and returned Monday–Friday between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • Vaccines and boosters are readily available through most pharmacies and health care providers. We strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to take advantage of all eligible boosters.
  • Move-in testing will not be administered for residential students. Additionally, residential students will not be required to quarantine upon arrival.
  • International students and those who have traveled outside the U.S. should follow CDC guidance. International students seeking additional information can reach out to the Office of Global Engagement at
  • Masks continue to be optional in all University buildings.

We will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments and update our policies and guidelines in accordance with the CDC, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and Polk County health officials. More information on the University’s COVID-19 response can be found at Should you have questions, please reference a list of student FAQ’s or email us at

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t address recent concerns about monkeypox. Please know the University is closely assessing the spread of this virus. Watch your inbox in the coming week for more information about the virus and preventative measures we can take to protect ourselves and others.

Let us continue to do our part so we can enjoy a full and vibrant fall semester. I look forward to seeing you on campus soon!

Message from the Chief Student Affairs Officer - August 6, 2021

Subject: Fall Start & Student Vaccination Incentives

Dear students,

On Wednesday, August 4, President Martin sent out a student communication sharing our approach for the start of the fall semester, including our current vaccination rates and our strong recommendation to get vaccinated. In support of our vaccination efforts, we are rolling out an incentive program that qualifies every student who has submitted proof of vaccination to be entered in prize drawings. Winning students remain eligible for future drawings, incentivizing early submission of proof of vaccination. Those who are fully vaccinated can provide proof of such through this secure website in order to be eligible to win.

Get it for You – Get it for Drake – Get it for Good 

Drawings will be held on August 13, August 20, and September 24.

  • August 13 drawing: Ten students who have submitted their proof of vaccination will each receive a $250 Visa gift card.
  • August 20 drawing: Ten students who have submitted their proof of vaccination will receive a Drake parking pass for the 2021–2022 academic year. (If you win a pass and have already purchased one, you will be reimbursed the cost of your parking pass.)
  • September 24 drawing: We will draw for 20 one-time (non-renewable) scholarships in the amount of $2,500 each if we reach a student in-person vaccination rate of 80% by this date.
    • Scholarships will be applied to the spring 2022 semester or to unpaid balances from the fall 2021 semester. A student’s total financial aid may not exceed the student’s Cost of Attendance Budget per federal guidelines. If this scholarship results in an over award, reductions to scheduled loan disbursements will be required to accommodate the addition of the scholarship.

The value of gifts, prizes and awards will be reported on Form 1099 if aggregate taxable payments received exceed $600 during the calendar year. 

Get it for You – Get it for Drake – Get it for Good 

For those students residing in a residence hall this fall, we want to provide move-in COVID-19 information.

  • All residential students must check in at Lot 24 (28th Street and University Avenue,

  • Residents should check in 10 minutes before the move-in time they registered for on SignUpGenius.

  • Students who have submitted proof of vaccination by Friday, August 13 will receive a slip at Lot 24 allowing them to proceed to their hall.

  • If a student has not submitted proof of vaccination by Friday, August 13 or is in between their first and second shot, they will need to be tested before being allowed to move into their residence hall. Move-in helpers (parents, guardians, etc.) will not be tested or required to show proof of vaccination.

  • As a reminder, each residential student is allowed to have two healthy helpers assist with their move-in. In addition, masks will be required for everyone during move-in within all campus buildings, including residence halls.

For more questions on move-in, please contact the Office of Residence Life at

Get it for You – Get it for Drake – Get it for Good 

As we strive to turn the corner on this global pandemic and the ongoing surge of the Delta variant, it is critically important that we all use good judgement both on and off campus.  Student life is paramount to your experience and as such the University wants to safely support each of you and our surrounding community.

The University’s mask policy continues to be in place and will be enforced. Face coverings are required in campus buildings unless you are studying alone in a fully enclosed room or participating in activities in which a face covering cannot be worn or would prohibit respiratory function (e.g., eating or drinking), excluding your residence hall room. It is important that we all consistently adhere to this policy to ensure we are protecting both ourselves and others within the campus community. Please refer to the University’s current face-covering policy for more details.

The social moratorium that was put in place last year has been lifted for the start of the 2021-2022 academic year. Student programming, both on and off campus, will adhere to existing University policies and protocols. More information can be found by reviewing the Student Life FAQ.

With the lifting of the social moratorium, we ask that you think of the greater community when gathering as we all need to represent the very best of Drake in combating the spread of COVID-19. All Drake students should continue to self-monitor for symptoms consistent with COVID-19 as indicated by the CDC. Students should email Contact Tracing at regarding the following: 

  1. Any symptoms currently considered to be associated with COVID-19 as indicated by the CDC including a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher,
  2. A personal diagnosis of COVID-19, or
  3. Close personal contact (defined as being within 6 feet for 15 minutes or longer) with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Any student who experiences COVID-19 symptoms should contact the Drake Student Health Center to be seen during clinic hours. To schedule an appointment, please call 515-271-3731. If you seek testing off campus and receive a positive test result, immediately share that information with

In addition to COVID-19 testing, students can receive the Pfizer vaccine at no charge during the following dates and times in the lower level of Hubbell Dining Hall:

  • August 23, 24, and 27, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • August 30 – September 3, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

*No appointment is needed to receive the vaccine during these dates and times.* 

Get it for You – Get it for Drake – Get it for Good 

It is our intent to provide all of our students with robust and engaging academic and co-curricular experiences this academic year. Our faculty and staff are continuing to work diligently to ensure a robust face-to-face experience through teaching, programming, and community engaged and global learning enabling us to reconnect beyond what we all have become too familiar with over the last 18 months—the computer screen. However, if we are going to achieve this, we must take to heart what President Martin shared in his message earlier this week:

The COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection we have against the virus. Beyond safeguarding our own health, by getting vaccinated each of us significantly reduce the risk that we will infect a friend, family member, or someone else. Each person’s willingness to meet this collective responsibility has been, and continues to be, the key to safely managing our way through the COVID-19 global pandemic.

We look forward to sharing another student update as we get closer to the start of fall classes.  Until then, be safe, get vaccinated, and submit your proof of vaccination.

Learn the facts about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine

Hannah Clayborne, PhD
Dean of Students

Scott Law
Executive Director, DPS & University Operations

Jerry Parker, PhD
Chief Student Affairs Officer   

Message from the Dean of Students - November 10, 2020

Subject: Asymptomatic Testing

Dear students,

As President Martin shared in his message to campus today, we will provide free asymptomatic COVID-19 testing prior to Friday, November 20, for all students who are enrolled in at least one course on-campus this fall. Students who are experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms must continue to be tested at the Student Health Center by calling 515-271-3731 to schedule an appointment.

The free asymptomatic testing will be available as follows:

  • On-campus residential students can secure a free COVID-19 test tomorrow through Friday (November 11–13) by clicking here to sign up for an available timeslot.
  • Off-campus students will be able to secure a free COVID-19 test starting next Monday, November 16, by clicking here to sign up for an available timeslot.

Here’s what you need to know now:

  • There is no cost to you.
  • The test being administered is a saliva test; thus, you’ll essentially be spitting in a cup.

Prior to your test:

  • If you are experiencing any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please do not get tested through this process and instead call the Student Health Center at 515-271-3731 to schedule your test.
  • Otherwise, please arrive during your timeslot! (Do not be early or late.)
  • Do not eat or drink for at least 10 minutes prior to arrival. This includes gum, mints, and water.
  • Wear your mask prior to and after the sample collection.

After the test:

  • Negative test results will be emailed to you generally within 48 hours.
  • Positive test results will be communicated via a phone call from 515-271-2353 or a 515-271-xxxx number.

If you have any questions, please email

Take care and stay well,

Jerry Parker, PhD
Dean of Students
Drake University

Message from the Dean of Students - November 10, 2020

Subject: Virtual Learning - Residential Message

Dear residential students,

This message is a follow-up to the campus-wide communication from President Martin sharing that all fall classes will be finished through virtual delivery beginning Wednesday, November 11th. Beginning tomorrow, residents will only have access to their own assigned residence hall. You are strongly encouraged to relocate to your home before November 20th and take advantage of asymptomatic testing being offered to all on-campus residents on Wednesday, November 11, through Friday, November 13. I will be providing more information to the campus community later today regarding the logistics of asymptomatic testing. As a reminder, students who are planning to return to on-campus living this spring do not need to relocate all their personal possessions home—only take what you will need until you return in the spring. For students who are currently in on-campus isolation or quarantine, you have the ability to remain on-campus. If you are currently isolating or quarantining on-campus and decide to relocate home, please email Contact Tracing at

General Check Out Information for Students Leaving Campus

To help ensure an efficient check out process, please follow these directives:

  • All residents will be required to return their room key and mailbox key (where applicable) in the Express Checkout Envelope to the front desk of your hall in the designated mail slot prior to your departure for winter break. If you are not aware of where the key box is located, please ask your Area Coordinator or email Residence Life at
  • The Express Envelope has been placed on your residence hall room door.
  • No residents may keep their room key or mailbox key (where applicable) during Winter Break for any reason.
  • Even if you are planning on returning to your same residence hall, you should RETURN your mailbox key (where applicable) in the envelope along with your room key.
  • Failure to return your residence hall room key prior to your departure will result in a $25.00 improper checkout fee and $50.00 lock change assessment to your student account. Failure to return your mailbox key (if applicable) will result in a $5.00 fee assessed to your student account.
  • Late key returns will not be accepted after your hall closes, December 12, 2020 at noon. After this date, all residents who have not yet returned their room and mailbox keys will be billed to their student account.
  • Residents who are completely moving out of the residence halls and not returning to the halls for the Spring Term: may have two healthy, symptom-free and masked non-residential guests assist them for a maximum of a three hour period of time, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Saturday, November 21. The Room Cancellation Form must be completed online in the Housing Portal prior to departure from the residence halls.
  • Only residents who responded on their survey that they were staying on campus post November 20, 2020 will have access to their own residence hall of assignment until the close of the term on December 12, 2020 and will continue to receive mail/packages. Hall access will be turned off for all other individuals and their mail/packages will be returned to sender November 21, 2020 through January 29, 2021.
  • All mail/packages that arrive on campus between Saturday, December 12, 2020 and Friday, January 29, 2021 will be returned to sender. Mail will not be held on campus. Please plan accordingly with your textbook/course materials. Your winter break address is your best option.

Excluding those students who have completed the survey to stay on campus, after November 20, we will not be permitting any other students and/or guests into the halls with the exception of move-out by December 12.

I am proud of the overall success of our students complying with the Drake Together Compact this fall semester. We understand that these are unprecedented times for our students and we are thankful to all who helped get us this far into the fall semester.

If you should have additional questions regarding checkout, please email the Office of Residence Life at


Jerry Parker, PhD
Dean of Students
Drake University

Message from the Dean of Students - October 2, 2020

Subject: Follow-Up to COVID-19 Drake Update - Oct. 2, 2020

Attachements: Drake Counseling Center Information(pdf), Symptoms Poster(pdf) 

Dear students,

This morning I was impressed to review key data points coming from our most recent COVID-19 Update.  Since our last update on September 25th, we have seen an impressive decline in students in isolation and quarantine, including a continuation of outstanding results from random sample testing.  After speaking with the leadership of our Contact Tracing Team to inquire more about the decline in numbers, they were clear and upbeat in their response to me: 

“Students are listening – they are wearing masks – they are distancing – and they understand how essential it is to limit gathering size and limit contacts.  They are doing everything we are asking them to do to keep us together. ”

Just three weeks ago, our Contact Tracing Team and countless other staff members were working around the clock due to an uptick in isolation numbers, but more so in the number of students that needed to quarantine due to contacts with positive cases.  At this time, the chain of potential spread from a few weeks ago has been broken and I join countless other colleagues in extending our deepest thanks for taking our protocols seriously – this is keeping us together as a community and preventing spread to our local community and neighbors.  Thank you for being selfless and putting the wellbeing of others at the forefront of your decisions and behavior – this isn’t easy to do and it comes with hardships – we know this.  We know it has limited students’ ability to congregate in larger settings in connecting with more students; as essential as these protocols are right now we don’t want our students to be closed off from one another.  There are ways for students to still be engaged and feel connected with one another.  For example, staff have been working hard to provide programming and opportunities for students to safely engage and participate in activities that promote wellness and our True Blue Skills.  We have many students participating in these programs, including fitness opportunities that you can learn more about by visiting https://www.imleagues/drake.  To learn about all our program offerings, please visit

As we enter our seventh week of being together this fall semester, it’s important that we continue to lean on each other and provide grace to our friends and those we don’t know – we all are sharing life together in the most interesting times.  We don’t know what everyone is navigating within their own lives – kindness goes a very long, long way.  Drake is committed to providing our students with continued support through counseling services.   Attached to this email you will find resource and support information being offered through our University Counseling Center.  Students can be seen through one-on-one appointments and/or participate in a number of group therapy programs.  Please know you are not alone – do not hesitate for a second to seek out assistance. 

I end by thanking our students for rising to the occasion.  Stay diligent – stay safe – and stay well.  And if you experience symptoms, get tested. 


Message from the Dean of Students - September 3, 2020

Subject: Labor Day Weekend

Good afternoon,

As we prepare for the upcoming three-day weekend, I want to share that it is our hope students will remain at Drake and within the Des Moines area. Des Moines has a number of parks, bike paths, and outdoor opportunities for you to safely enjoy while masking and social distancing. I know Labor Day Weekend is usually a time to celebrate with others while also finding some time to relax. Travel also tends to be popular over this holiday, but this year we are strongly encouraging our campus community—including students, faculty, and staff—to travel only for essential reasons. That guidance has been articulated for students in our COVID-19 FAQ:

Students who must travel away from campus, including outside of Iowa, during the fall semester, should only do so for essential reasons in order to reduce the chance of spread at your destination or when returning to campus after travel.

If you do travel, please continue to do all the great things you are doing on and off-campus by wearing a mask, adhering to social distancing guidelines, and keeping your gatherings small—be sure to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer readily available. As many of us recall, the country saw an uptick in cases following this past July 4th because people did not adhere to CDC recommendations. Even when you are off-campus, please wear a mask when you are entering public places or within six feet of each other. Remember, it’s not just about protecting you but also about protecting those around you by mitigating the chance from spread on-campus, in the Drake neighborhood, or in the community that you live.

So in closing, you don’t have to seek out my approval to travel or inquire with me whether your travel is a good idea—you know what the expectations are. But whether you travel or not, remember to #WearTheDamnMask. This message was approved by Griff II! 

Stay safe,


Message from the Dean of Students - August 20, 2020

Subject: In this Together

Good afternoon Bulldogs,

I am writing to thank you, our students for your display of community we are seeing on and around campus.  Over the last few days the Student Affairs staff has been walking around campus and the neighborhood, talking with you and your peers, and thanking those who are clearly upholding the Drake Together Compact and our guidelines found throughout the COVID-19 website.  The University is continuing to disinfect spaces thanks to our outstanding custodial team–please extend your thanks and appreciation to them–it goes a long way. 

We see you practicing social distancing and wearing masks in buildings and when within six feet of each other. As you know, these practices will help us stay together this fall.  When outside, everyone must be wearing a mask when within six feet of another individual with the exception of eating.  When walking with each other, continue to wear a mask unless you are six feet apart.  Once again, we appreciate everyone spacing themselves out and not sitting more people than can be accommodated at a table.  Following the news around the country over the last few days, we have seen institutions that reopened for on-campus learning that suddenly closed due to growing COVID-19 “clusters” stemming from on-campus and off-campus behavior.  We must all–students, faculty, and staff–be committed to do what we can to prevent that from occurring here at Drake.  

We are witnessing individuals physically distancing themselves from one another while still being socially connected.  Trust me when I state the University wants students to be socially connected with one another.  Over the last few days we have witnessed students responsibly playing spike ball, ultimate Frisbee, throwing the football around, playing cards, socializing outside, and so much more.  Students are going out to eat in Dogtown and getting familiar with the Drake neighborhood. Driving up and down Greek row and other neighborhood streets we have seen students outside, laying on blankets or sitting around socializing with one another, playing bags and pick-up basketball and doing so responsibly.  Students are grilling out with their roommates and having a few friends over—once again, they are doing this responsibly. 

Some have asked, “How do we define a social gathering or party?”  Here is the best answer I can give you and I’ll start with explaining the reasonable observer standard.  If a person were to walk or drive by and see people inside a property and or outside exceeding the capacity for safe distancing, that would be a social gathering or party.  Or to use another analogy, “if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.”  Now, I know this answer will not satisfy many of you because people want specific numbers.  However, many of you live in different housing arrangements.  You need to think about the capacity of your apartment and/or house and limit the people you have over based on social distancing expectations.  I know of organizations at Drake that have shared with their members that no outside guests are allowed in their house.   They are doing this out of precaution to mitigate the chance of a COVID-19 cluster spread.  In our residence halls, it’s one Drake residential student per room occupant as articulated in our guidelines. 

Here’s the deal: If we have any chance of getting through the fall semester, it falls on each one of us to do what is expected, even when people are not looking.  When you go off-campus, wear a mask in stores or walking into and out of a restaurant.  When you have a few friends over at your place, ask them to wear a mask.  If you go to an establishment off-campus where social distancing and capacity guidelines are not being enforced, it would be better for you and our community that you do not frequent that establishment.  Once again, if we want to stay together we need to prevent a COVID-19 cluster, which could rapidly spread the virus throughout campus and into our neighborhood. 

So, when you decide to get together with others, ask yourself if what you are about to do jeopardizes our ability to stay together.  Ask yourself if your behavior jeopardizes the health and safety of not only you but others.  And, remind yourself that we are living through a global pandemic and we must do things differently to save lives.  Continue to showcase the many positive examples we are witnessing on and off-campus. We can do this, but we have to do this together. 

I share in the enthusiasm of classes beginning on Monday due to the tireless work of our faculty and staff in course and campus preparations throughout the summer.  Have a great start on Monday, get some rest, and responsibly enjoy the weekend. 

Take care and stay well,


Message from the Dean of Students - August 15, 2020

Subject: Your Actions Matter

Good morning,

I am heartened to see so many exciting emotions from students and their families as we opened the residence halls. The start of the school year is here, and for those who have chosen to live on campus or in the Drake community, welcome!

As students return to on-campus and off-campus housing for the start of the fall semester, I want to reiterate what we have continued to share regarding our expectations for the fall: your actions matter. The Drake Together Compact and all situations presented in our COVID-19 Response FAQ will be effective only when each of you upholds all expectations—you do not pick and choose which expectations you wish to follow. I have witnessed a number of students upholding our expectations and I thank you for your actions! It is our hope to continue to share positive reinforcement. However, when the actions of others fall short, we will also address those with the entire campus community.

If you live on-campus and have a gathering in your room that exceeds what we have set out, you and your guests will be sent home for a minimum of two weeks. Today, 14 students were asked to leave campus for two weeks due to a violation of the expectations made clear to all students before their arrival. As also laid out in those expectations, several are now facing repercussions through the Code of Student Conduct. This message is not intended to call out the students involved—it is a reminder that we must hold each other accountability.

If you reside off-campus and throw a party, the hosts will not be allowed on-campus for a minimum of two weeks and will also face the Code of Student Conduct. Any attendees that we learn were at the party will also not be allowed to come onto campus for two weeks. If the attendees live on-campus, they will need to relocate off-campus for a minimum of two weeks at their own expense—they will not be allowed to stay in their residence hall room. This information is nothing new. We have continued to push out our expectations through campus messages, the COVID-19 FAQ, and meetings with students. 

If we are going to get through the fall semester, it will come down to our decisions and our actions. Simply put, we need to be Drake Together. I want to be crystal clear: we are serious and we will not hesitate to take the necessary actions to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19, jeopardizing the health and safety of others.

Take care and stay well,


Message from the Dean of Students - August 13, 2020

Subject: Preparation for Move-In 

Dear residential students, 

In preparation for move-in, we want to send out additional information following the last email message you received on Tuesday, August 11, from Drake University Housing.  In addition to these communications, please review the University’s COVID-19 website for more updates and timely information.  Once again, students may request to take all fall 2020 semester courses remotely by completing the Request for Remote Course Delivery form by tomorrow, August 14. If approved to do so, all coursework must be completed remotely.  

To assist Drake staff in directing you to your correct testing car line and unloading area, please print the dashboard card that corresponds with your residence hall prior to your arrival at move-in.  We ask that you also write your last name above your residence hall.  Hold up the card as you approach traffic personnel and place it on your dashboard once on campus.  This information was once again provided in Tuesday’s email.

All residential students moving into a residence hall will be tested for COVID-19 upon move-in during their selected time slot. If you have not registered for a time-slot for move-in, please do so by following the instructions listed on the Residence Life FAQ or by viewing Tuesday’s email.  As reminder, we ask that you bring a thermometer for daily self-checks. 


  • New residential students will move into their on-campus residence Aug. 15 and Aug. 16. Students will need to arrive 10 minutes before their move-in appointment and proceed to the Olmsted Center parking lot for testing. Students will remain in their car for testing. They will need to print out the building placard prior to move-in and write their name above the building name on the placard.
  • Returning residential students will move-in to their on-campus residence Aug. 17 and Aug. 18. Students will need to arrive 10 minutes before their move-in appointment and proceed to the Harkin Center Lot (Lot 24 across from Olmsted) for testing. Students will remain in their car for testing. They will need to print out the building placard prior to move-in and write their name above the building name on the placard.

We expect test results to be confirmed within 48 hours.  You will be contacted only if your test comes back positive for COVID-19.  

Here is a common question being asked by many of our students:

If a student must self-isolate, what should they bring with them to their temporary isolation room?

A student who must self-isolate should plan to bring the following items with them to their temporary isolation room:

  • Pillow
  • Blanket
  • Sheets (size twin extra long)
  • Towels and wash cloth
  • Toiletries and related necessary supplies
  • Clothes (enough for 14 days and detergent to wash clothes)
  • Prescription medicines
  • Charge cords and electronics
    Laptop, textbooks, work, and related supplies
  • Thermometer and oximeter to monitor health conditions
  • *Dishes, mugs, silverware, and detergent to wash dishes
  • *Snacks, coffee, tea, soup, beverages
  • **Over the counter medicines such as cough drops, Tylenol, vitamin C, and Zinc
  • *Optional because meals will be delivered.
    ** Recommended based on over the counter med needs/choices.

Drake Dining will be delivering meals to the locations in which students are isolated.  In addition, those students needing to quarantine due to potential exposure to COVID-19 will have their meals delivered to their residence hall.  Once again, if you are in quarantine that means you can remain in your residence hall room because you have tested negative and are asymptomatic.   If a quarantined student’s condition should change over the 14 day period by showing symptoms and/or tests positive they will be relocated to an isolation room.   

For any additional housing questions, please email  For general questions related to COVID-19, please review the FAQ and then email

Stay well, 

Office of Residence Life

Message from the Dean of Students - July 31, 2020

Subject: Extension Deadline - Fall Virtual Course Delivery

Good afternoon,

The deadline to request virtual course delivery for fall 2020 semester courses has been extended to Friday, Aug. 14. If approved to do so, all coursework must be completed virtually and students may not convert to on-campus instruction after Aug. 14, 2020. Students may request virtual course delivery by filling out this form.  If you have additional questions please know that more information will be shared on Monday through our COVID-19 update. 

Stay well,


Message from the Dean of Students - June 26, 2020

Dear Bulldogs,

Fall semester begins in less than two months. We can’t wait to see you! As you can imagine, we are very busy preparing for your arrival here on campus. My goal with this message is to give you some clarity regarding the semester ahead. Please know there are many decisions still being finalized, so to keep you informed I will share weekly updates beginning in July and continuing into August.

Important Dates: We have previously communicated the following important dates, but as a reminder:

August 15-16: Move-in for new students
August 17-18: Move-in for returning students
August 17-22: Welcome Week
August 24-28: First week of classes to be conducted virtually
November 23-27: No classes during Thanksgiving week and no required return to campus thereafter. Last week of classes and finals will be completed remotely.*

*Please refer to my June 10th message for details. Visit scroll down to “Messages from Dean of Students,” and select the June 10th tab.

Move-in: Details and instructions regarding move-in will be shared in July.

Campus Protocol: We are finalizing the “return to campus” guidelines for students, faculty, and staff members. Be assured that health and safety are guiding every decision. More specifics will be shared about how campus will operate this fall in my weekly updates. I appreciate your patience, resilience, and cooperation as we work to create a safe and positive experience for every Bulldog.

Your homework assignment right now? Spend time with family and friends, and make sure to relax as much as possible. Fall will be here before you know it.

Stay safe. Enjoy the Independence Day holiday!


Message from the Dean of Students - June 10, 2020

Fall Academic Calendar Changes

Dear undergraduate students,

I hope this message finds you well. As Provost Mattison shared in a recent update, the fall academic calendar will look slightly different this year as we work to ensure the health and safety of our entire community. Today, I am writing to provide additional details regarding the first two weeks of the semester, the fall and Thanksgiving breaks, and the last week of class and finals.

Move-in Day

Residence hall move-in for new students will occur on Aug. 15 and 16, while returning resident move-in will take place on Aug. 17 and 18. Students living in on-campus residence halls must move into their room on the dates that correspond to their status. Note that move-in will take place one week prior to classes. In the coming weeks the Office of Residence Life will be providing more information on move-in sign-up.  Students living off-campus are encouraged to move back to Des Moines at this time as well.

Per campus guidelines, facemasks are required to be worn while inside all University buildings, and are required to be worn on University grounds when you are within six feet of others. This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, and visitors while they are on campus.

Welcome Week

In order to ensure meaningful small group interactions for our new students, Drake has extended its Welcome Weekend program to a full week of activities. Welcome Week will take place Aug. 17–22. By extending the program to a full week, we are able to host our usual in-person events while adhering to the appropriate physical distancing measures. This ensures students are able to actively engage with one another in a safe, structured, yet meaningful environment.

First week of classes will be held remotely

One of the more significant changes to the Fall 2020 calendar is that the first week of classes will be taught remotely. By allowing students to move in a week early and administering the first week of classes online, 14 days will pass. This timeframe is consistent with guidance from the CDC regarding how long it takes for one cycle of COVID-19 infection to play out. Classes will move into regular scheduling after the first week of the semester. If you are uncomfortable attending in-person classes, you may request to take all of your Fall 2020 semester courses remotely by completing the Request for Remote Course Delivery form by Aug. 1. If approved to do so, all coursework must be completed remotely.

Questions you may be asking may include, “Why will Welcome Week activities be held in-person? Doesn’t this contradict the 14-day incubation period?” Welcome Week involves first-year students only, a much smaller number than the entire student body. After thorough planning—including active involvement from Drake’s director of environmental health and safety—we are confident we can structure activities in a way that is safe and consistent with public health and physical distancing requirements.

Fall and Thanksgiving breaks

There will not be a two-day fall break in October. Instead, we will take a full week off at Thanksgiving, rather than the normal half-week. This change will prevent you from having to leave and return to campus multiple times during the semester, which will help to minimize any spread of infection.

Last week of classes and finals

The final week of classes and all finals will be delivered remotely. As Provost Mattison stated in her latest update, you are encouraged to leave campus for Thanksgiving week and not to return until the start of the spring semester.

I understand these calendar changes will require some shifting in plans, and for that, I thank you for your patience, understanding, and adaptability. Be assured that we are working hard to ensure that the Drake experience, no matter what limitations we face, continues to be grounded in a vibrant and exceptional learning community.

We know that the fall semester will be different in many ways, particularly regarding physical distancing measures and wearing masks. We must work together to build a culture where these health guidelines are respected and adhered to. It is our shared responsibility to support and protect the health and wellbeing of all members of our community.

If you have any questions on these changes, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me and be sure to follow updates made to I look forward to officially welcoming you to campus in two months. In the meantime, take care and enjoy your summer.

Stay well,

Message from the Dean of Students - March 25, 2020

Good morning Students,

A few moments ago, President Martin shared that classes will continue online for the remainder of the spring semester. I know many of you hoped classes would return to face-to-face instruction by Monday, April 6, but due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic this timeline is no longer feasible. To ensure the safety and welfare of our students, faculty, and staff, I’m sharing with each of you important information on how we will be handling residence hall move-out and prorated room and board refunds. 

For those students who reside in on-campus housing and/or have a commuter meal plan, the following FAQs are important for you to review: 


Understanding that earning a higher education degree is a seminal moment that deserves public recognition, we are working on alternative plans to celebrate our May 2020 graduates. More information can be found by clicking here

Call Center Info

I ask that you review these resources thoroughly prior to calling the Drake University COVID-19 Response Line. If you have additional questions after reviewing the online resources, please call 515-271-2353 (or extension 2353 from on campus). Drake staff members are available to answer calls 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. CDT, Monday through Friday. 

Working together, we will continue to meet the challenges we are facing as a global society and as a campus community.   The University will continue provide updates via the COVID-19 website and email students when appropriate.

Message from the Dean of Students - March 24, 2020

Grab N Go Meals

For those students that are residing off-campus that wish to use their meal plan (including flex, Bulldog Bucks, cash/credit) for Grab N Go meals, all meals are to be picked up on Pomerantz Stage (Olmsted).  Please note that for those students that need to self-isolate based on new state guidance (see my email from Monday, March 23), you can participate in Grab N Go meals based on the system we have set up to enforce social distancing and no gathering in Olmsted. However, if you have any flu like symptoms, including fever, cough, and/or respiratory symptoms, you are not allowed to participate in Grab N Go meals out of precaution for the safety and welfare of other students and staff.  If you have any of these symptoms and currently reside in the Drake Neighborhood or in a residence hall, please follow the guidelines shared in my Monday email or visit Drake’s COVID-19 website by clicking here.   

Revised Hours for Grab N Go (Pomerantz Stage)

Monday – Friday
Breakfast: 7:15am – 8:15am
Lunch: 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Dinner: 5:30pm – 6:30pm 

Saturday - Sunday
Breakfast: 8:00am – 9:00am
Lunch: 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Dinner: 5:30pm – 6:30pm

Starbucks & C-Store (Olmsted, Open Monday – Friday)

Convenience Store (Olmsted) *No more than 4 people in the store at a time*
10:00am – 4:00pm

Starbucks *No more than 5 people in the area at a time*
7:30am – 4:00pm

Thank you for taking the time to review this information.  I ask that you continue to take the appropriate social distancing precautions by staying a minimum of six feet of distance from one another, and no gatherings of more than 10 people.  The University will continue provide updates via the COVID-19 website and email students when appropriate.

Message from the Dean of Students - March 21, 2020

Remote classes begin on Monday for at least the next two weeks. I am writing to share important information you need to know regarding auxiliary and student support services:

  • Section 1 only applies to students who will be residing on campus or in the Des Moines area.
  • Second 2 applies to all students regardless of location and summarizes important services that will continue during the weeks ahead.

Please remember that the Code of Student Conduct and all other University policies apply to every student enrolled at Drake no matter where they are living. 

SECTION 1: For students residing on campus or in the Des Moines area

General Information
  • Only residents that have received written approval can return to their residence hall and room beginning Sunday, March 22. 
  • Only residents can be in their own rooms.
  • Off-campus students are not allowed in any residence hall.
  • In emergency situations, contact Drake Public Safety at 515-271-2222.  Drake Public Safety is available 24/7.  If not residing on-campus or within the Drake Neighborhood, please dial 911.    
Drake Dining Locations & Hours (March 22-April 5)

All meals will be Grab & Go, with pick-up located on Pomerantz Stage. Hours of operation:

Sunday, March 22

Pomerantz Stage Grab & Go
Dinner 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Convenience Store (Olmsted)



Pomerantz Stage Grab & Go
Breakfast - 7:30am – 9:00am
Lunch - 11:00am – 1:00pm
Dinner - 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Convenience Store (Olmsted) *No more than 4 people the store at a time*
10:00am – 4:00pm

Starbucks *No more than 5 people in the area at a time*
7:30am – 4:00pm


Pomerantz Stage Grab & Go
Breakfast - 8:00am – 9:30am
Lunch - 11:00am – 1:00pm
Dinner - 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Convenience Store (Olmsted)


Campus Building Hours

All students will have access via card swipe to academic buildings Monday – Friday, 7:30 am – 4:30 pm.

Closed buildings

  • Cowles Library
  • Bell Center
  • Underground Fitness 
  • Non-academic buildings (e.g., Cole Hall, Old Main)

Olmsted Center’s Hours

  • Sunday, March 22, 4pm – 7:30pm
  • Monday – Friday, 7am – 7:30pm
  • Saturday & Sunday, 8am – 7:30pm

SECTION 2: For all students

Student Health

If you are living away from Drake, we ask that you please visit or call your primary health care provider for immediate health needs.

The Drake Student Health Center will serve students through remote access only. Students can call 515-271-3731 and set up a phone consultation appointment.  By calling the Student Health Center, medical staff will be able to respond to your health questions. The Student Health Center will set up appointments for existing medication refills by phone or Microsoft Teams. 

If you have symptoms associated with COVID-19 or believe you have been exposed, please contact the Student Health Center during business hours or your primary care doctor.  If you reside in the Drake neighborhood or have received written approval to return to your residence hall, after-hour support can be provided by Drake Public Safety at 515-271-2222.  Additional nationwide guidance outside of University business hours can be provided by calling 2-1-1.  For those students experiencing flu like symptoms and have been advised by a medical professional to seek care, we ask that you arrange your own transportation. In an emergency, and if you reside in the Drake Neighborhood or a residence hall, please contact Drake Public Safety at 515-271-2222 to discuss alternative transportation options.

For more information on Des Moines medical clinics, please click here.  Additional information can be found by visiting Drake’s COVID-19 website and scrolling down to the Student Services & Student Life section.

Student Counseling

The Drake Counseling Center will provide remote access appointments only, using Microsoft Teams.  If you currently meet with a therapist at the counseling center and are in Iowa, you can meet via remote counseling on HIPAA protected, Microsoft Teams. If you are interested in this option, please let your therapist know and they will offer you the paperwork and instructions to make this available before your next session. Utilizing this option will mean that you have access to a completely quiet and confidential space from which to engage in your session. At this time you may schedule an appointment by emailing the therapist you wish to see.

If you are outside the state of Iowa, a therapist can work with you on the phone or Microsoft Teams and provide brief consultation, crisis intervention, and point you to resources. If you would like to meet with a therapist where you are currently residing, we can also help you find a therapist in your community. 

For more information on remote counseling services and online support programs, please visit Drake’s COVID-19 website and scroll down to the Student Services & Student Life section.

Drake Social Media

It’s important to stay connected during this time.  Be sure to follow Drake Student Central on Facebook, including Drake’s Twitter and Instagram accounts.  There will be a variety of posts supporting wellness and ways to stay connected. 

Scheduling Remote Meetings

We want to assure students that you will continue to have access to support services staff during the next two weeks of remote course delivery.  Students can utilize the Starfish Student Success platform to schedule appointments with staff to occur either by phone or video chat through Microsoft Teams.  Click here for resources on how to use Starfish.  Instructions for how to access a Microsoft Teams meeting will be included with your appointment confirmation through Starfish.

Internet Connectivity away from Campus

As universities and colleges around the country transition classes online for part or all of the spring semester, Spectrum announced plans to offer free internet for 60 days to households with students. Depending on where you live, check with your local provider to see what services they are providing during this unprecedented time. 

Spectrum: 1-844-488-8395

Additional Student Services & Student Life Information

Students can find additional information on Student Disability Services, Tutoring, Academic Success, Professional & Career Development Services, Student Financial Planning, Co-Curricular Engagement, including many other services by visiting Drake’s COVID-19 website and scrolling down to the Student Services & Student Life section. 

Thank you for taking the time to review this information.  I ask that you continue to take the appropriate social distancing precautions by staying a minimum of six feet of distance from one another, and no gatherings of more than 10 people.  The University will provide updates via the COVID-19 website and email students when appropriate.