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Inside: Commemorative Graduation Issue

Grand Valley Lanthorn

Grand Valley State University

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Lanthorn takes a look back at the 2009-10 academic year, featuring the moments of pride, defeat, steps forward and commemoration of the past

Cover designed by Alana Holland



Monday, April 26, 2010

Grand Valley Lanthorn

Campus mourns student’s death from H1N1 complications By Lauren Fitch GVL Managing Editor

Originally published Nov. 4, 2009

John David Prince, 33, became the first Grand Valley State University student to die of complications related to the H1N1 virus on Oct. 29, moving the Kent County flu-related death toll to two. Prince’s family said one of his most memorable qualities was his love of learning. “John loved the environment out there (at GVSU),” said Jack

Prince, father of John Prince. Jack Prince said his son frequently talked about the areas on campus where he would sit and debate different issues with fellow students. Prince was majoring in sociology and psychology at GVSU. Prince started showing symptoms of the H1N1 virus a week before his death. His father said he had been feeling better for about four days when he had a relapse on Sunday. Monday night, John Prince had a seizure caused by encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain and a rare complication of the flu. He died Oct. 29 with no pre-existing health conditions. “He was the most positive, uplifting spirit I’ve ever been around,” Jack Prince said. “He was a friend to all.”

GVL Archive

GVSU lost Battle of the Valleys to rival SVSU by almost $20,000 for the second consecutive year.

GVSU out-battled for second year SVSU raises $38,000 to GV’s $19,299 in Battle of the Valleys By Nadira Kharmai GVL Staff Writer

Originally published Sept. 14, 2009 Spirits were high because of the football victory over rival school Saginaw Valley State University but as for losing Battle of the Valleys for the second consecutive year, some students are left disappointed. Grand Valley State University raised $19,299 for Kid’s Food Basket, but that did not beat SVSU’s $38,000 raised for the Boys and Girls Club. “The loss is tough because we put countless hours into raising funds but at the same time, we keep thinking about the cause we’re benefiting and when it comes down to it, I’m happy our school

Grand Valley Lanthorn Volume 44, Number 60 The Grand Valley Lanthorn is published twice-weekly by Grand Valley State University students 62 times a year. One copy of this newspaper is available free of charge to any member of the Grand Valley Community. For additional copies, please contact our business offices. POSTMASTER: Please send form 3579 to Grand Valley Lanthorn, 0051 Kirkhof, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI, 49401


Editor in Chief JENNY WHALEN Managing Editor LAUREN FITCH News Editor CHELSEA LANE Assistant News Editor ANYA ZENTMEYER Sports Editor EMANUEL JOHNSON Arts and Entertainment Editor HALEY OTMAN Photography Editor BRIAN SEVALD Assistant Photography Editor ERIC COULTER


Web Managing Editor DAN MICHNIEWICZ



reached out and donated,” for the past two years and said Student Body Presi- admits it is disappointing dent Autumn Trombka. to lose but is still “very This year’s competi- pleased” with the amount tion was tougher, Trombka of money raised this year. said, because “essentially, “GVSU does a lot of we only had three days to outreach and it’s together raise money because of the and give to a good cause,” shortened week due to La- Fredericks said. “The loss bor Day.” is sad but when you think A representative from about it, raising almost Kid’s Food Basket was at $20,000 in a matter of three the game Sept. 12 to re- days says something about ceive the check. our school.” “(The representative) For Emilie Pulver, a sewas absolutely grateful for nior who has participated the check and seemed sur- in BOTV since her freshprised at the man year, amount we this year’s “The loss is tough raised,” said loss was BOTV com“embarrassbecause we put mittee meming.” countless hours ber Alyssa “ W e into raising funds s h o u l d n ’ t Tierney. It is esbe losing ... when it comes timated the twice in a down to it, I’m money raised fundraising happy our school this year will match to feed 24,000 our rivals,” reached out and children. Pulver said. donated.” “ We ’ v e While she got to look is happy to AUTUMN TROMBKA at the brightsee students GVSU STUDENT SENATE er side and donate, she PRESIDENT know that said she we still did a hopes more good thing” students will Tierney addbe aware of ed. the competition and take a According to Student bigger initiative in donatSenate, most of the money ing next year. raised was from T-shirt How can GVSU beat sales. Student Senate or- SVSU next year? dered 3,000 battle shirts Tierney simply said and by Friday, they were “more student involveleft with less than 100. ment and donations.” Next “We had a lot more help year’s competition will be with selling shirts,” Trom- in November which gives bka said. “I am grateful Student Senate more time students bought more this to plan ways for students year and without Campus to donate. Dining cashiers asking stu“We’re hoping to come dents to donate money or to up with more ideas for stupurchase a shirt, we might dents to be involved and not have sold as much.” different fundraisers they Next year, Student Sen- can participate in.” Tromate hopes to order even bka said. more shirts to earn money. Senior Katie Fredericks has participated in BOTV



The Grand Valley Lanthorn is published under the authorization of the GVSU Newspaper Advisory Board.


In the April 22 issue of the Lanthorn, the highway that will be closed during move-out week was mistakenly identified. I-196 is the correct highway that will be under construction during that time.


Chelsea Lane News Editor

Grand Valley Lanthorn Monday, April 26, 2010


State solves budget deficit with broken Promise Proposed elimination of Michigan Promise Scholarship will strip $5.6 million in aid from more than 4,000 GVSU students By Lauren Fitch GVL Managing Editor

Originally published Oct. 1, 2009 Some 96,000 promises will be broken if the Michigan Senate approves the amended bill passed by the House of Representatives to cut the $140 million Michigan Promise Scholarship program. Under the proposed bill, the entire Promise Scholarship will be canceled and any awards for the 2009-10 school year must be paid back. The Senate originally passed a bill to reduce the amount of money awarded through the program, and the House approved an amended version to cut it completely on Sept. 30. The Senate committee was set to voice its final opinion on the bill with a deadline of Oct. 1 to finalize the state budget, which carries the threat of closing the state government due to the current $1.4 billion deficit. “I wish we didn’t have to do it,” said Republican state Sen. Wayne Kuipers. “But I’m afraid there are not a lot of other options of places to cut.” The Promise Scholarship has been in place since 2006 and gives high school students who score well enough on the MEAP test during their junior year up to $4,000 for at least two years of post-secondary education. Kuipers said the federal government has played a role in Michigan’s financial crisis because they control so much

funding through the stimulus package. The state cannot cut any federal programs because they would lose even more funding, Kuipers explained. “We don’t have a lot of money or flexibility,” Kuipers said, adding he thinks the government has to start eliminating programs rather than reducing them in order to keep the government from shutting down, which happened in 2007. If the state government shuts down, schools will not receive any state aid, unemployment and disability checks will not be processed and corrections officers will not get paid, among other things. “Most people are in agreement we don’t want to shut the government down,” Kuipers said. “The consequences are severe.” The only other option the Senate found to solve the budget problem was to cut the Promise Scholarship. When asked what kind of message the state was sending students by making such cuts, Kuipers replied, “It’s not something we want to do.” Rep. David Agema, R-Grandville, said he did not see many other options at this point either. Agema also cited the federal government as the root of Michigan’s woes. He said the strings attached to President Barack Obama’s stimulus money kept the state government from spending it on areas that really need it. “If the money’s not there, we can’t

spend it,” Agema said. “We can’t create money. I can guarantee if those strings weren’t there, you wouldn’t be losing the scholarship.” Even before the stimulus money was part of the equation, Michigan had budget problems. The state closed briefly in 2007 due to a $1.75 billion deficit, which was remedied by tax increases. Democratic Sen. Glenn Anderson said he was pushing for a reduction of the scholarship rather than its elimination. “I believe there will have to be some type of reduction, but I’m opposed to eliminating it,” Anderson said. “At this point it may be possible to reduce it, but I think it’s virtually impossible to get it completely restored.” Anderson said the state is not presenting itself as seriously as it should in keeping its promises. “It’s wrong to pull the rug out from under students,” Anderson said of requiring students to pay back the scholarship they had already been awarded for the current school year. “It is a promise we made to students and I think we should stand by that.” Grand Valley State University President Thomas J. Haas said the state is sending mixed signals in its attitude toward higher education. “Unfortunately the state is considering eliminating scholarships for our students who have earned it,” Haas said. “It has become a cultural

norm in Michigan. Our leadership doesn’t understand the value or need of investing in higher education.” GVSU, which currently receives the lowest amount of state appropriations per student of any state university, offers several scholarships through its general fund and has recently increased the number of scholarships available through private donors. “We’re doing our darndest to create a fiscal u n i v e r s i t y, ” Haas said. For the 2009-10 school

year, 4,646 GVSU students would have received the Promise Scholarship, totaling $5.6 million in aid, according to the Financial Aid office. “The university is committed to working with students to provide options,” said C. Edward Kerestly, director of the Financial Aid office. “We’re waiting for a decision to be made in Lansing.” The deadline to finalize a state budget is Oct. 1, however, if no consensus is reached, the governor can file for a 30day extension. Voters can stay updated on the Promise Scholarship and voice their opinions at h t t p : / / w w w. michigans managingeditor

GVL Graphic / Joey Salamon

GV sets $255 million budget for 2009-10 By Jenny Whalen GVL Editor in Chief

Originally published Aug. 31, 2009 Following last year’s 13 percent tuition hike, a 5.3 percent increase this year finds university administrators once again answering a questioning student body. The increase adds about $200 per semester to resident undergraduate tuition -- tuition which accounts for 84.1 percent of Grand Valley State University’s $255 million budget. In addition to the tuition increase, the university’s Board of Trustees approved a 2.8 percent salary raise for staff, though one-third of the raise will be delayed until April, provided

GVSU meets budget goals. While staff raises are part of the operating budget, Board of Trustees Chair Kate Pew Wolters said she does not believe there is a direct correlation between raising tuition and staff raises. “People would probably like us to hold on staff increases, but from the quality perspective we didn’t feel we could,” Wolters said. “We have made millions of cuts to get to where the budget is now. Every single thing the administration does is with cost efficiency in mind. You can always go deeper, though the quality of education is likely to suffer.” Because state funding for GVSU is not based on an enrollment count, the university roughly receives the same amount of state funding it did 25

years ago for less than 15,000 students as it does now for its more than 24,000. “Grand Valley is the lowest funded university in the state and has been progressively (moving) further from that midpoint,” said Jim Bachmeier, vice president for Finance and Administration. “I hope to never again bring a doubledigit (percent) tuition increase in my professional career. We let tuition rates fall out of the center of the pack ... so the sum of lowest appropriation and year loss tuition wasn’t realistic or sustainable.” In almost 50 years, GVSU has only raised tuition by double-digit percentages 15 times, the greatest being 19.6 percent in 1988-89, according to the Office of Institutional

Courtesy Graphic / GVSU Accountability Report

A decrease in state appropriations compared to increased demand for revenue has forced tuition up.

Analysis. of services to our students and As operating costs for the we were able to capture about university have increased, state $7.2 million toward cost savings, appropriations have been cut, which reduced the pressure on shifting the burden of funding increasing tuition.” to students’ tuition dollars. The current budget assumes While GVSU expects to a 3 percent reduction in receive $62 million from the state appropriations from the state and this year, state appropriations an increased need for financial account for only 24.3 percent of aid among GVSU students. the university’s budget. “We made sure financial aid As for was going to the monies go up at least at “We looked at our promised higher the same rate entire operation education as the increase through the in tuition, and and we looked at stimulus we actually where we could package, went up more void costs.” Bachmeier than that, predicts GVSU knowing the THOMAS J. HAAS will not see circumstances GVSU PRESIDENT any significant our students funds. and families “There will likely be more face,” Haas said. than $100 million of stimulus More than $24 million of money that goes into the the university’s budget has been universities, but it will come to us slated for financial aid. as part of our operating budget,” Though most of GVSU’s Bachmeier said. “(The stimulus) financial aid is funded by stalled a very significant cut, but private donations and university it will largely replace last year’s fundraising, Haas said because (funding cuts).” GVSU operates more as a To help weather continued private college than a statefinancial challenges for supported institution, the model students, GVSU President GVSU follows could have Thomas J. Haas has vowed to students who do not receive reduce operating costs, avoid aid paying through their tuition new expenditures and expand dollars for those who do. financial aid for GVSU. “It’s an interesting dynamic,” “We looked at our entire he said. “Many other institutions operation and we looked at in Michigan are following where we could void costs,” the same pathway, and our Haas said. “We made some cuts fundraising efforts have been that wouldn’t affect the quality very successful.”

While this year’s 5.3 percent tuition increase will hurt many GVSU students, Bachmeier said if GVSU had not started cutting prior to the economic crisis, GVSU would be forced to cut students’ programs, university staff and facilities, as many other institutions across the state and nation have done to rein in spending. University executive officers, including Haas and Bachmeier, will also return their salary increases to the university. “It doesn’t go a long way to balance the university budget, its more symbolic, but if you ask any of those (who gave up their increase) it probably feels a little more than symbolic,” Bachmeier said. He estimates the sum of the salaries returned will be around $40,000. “We are using every dollar, every hour and every square foot to the best we can for our students,” Haas said. “We try to use every dollar in the best way we can to provide the educational experiences and services that students deserve given their investment of tuition dollars.” He attributes GVSU’s recognition as one of “America’s 100 Best College Buys” for the 13th year in a row as confirmation by students of GVSU’s educational value for the dollar.

Trustees vote to pursue Pew library project without government aid GVSU Board gives go ahead to construct $70 million library without state aid By Chelsea Lane GVL News Editor

Originally published Feb. 8 Reacting to years of denied capital outlay requests, the Grand Valley State University Board of Trustees has officially and unanimously approved to proceed with plans for the estimated $70 million Mary Idema Pew Library and Information Commons without state aid. The project will rely solely on private and university funds. The approval was met with applause and some standing ovations from the audience. Requests for funding through Michigan capital outlay process, which allocates tax

dollars for the construction and renovation of facilities at the state’s public universities, have been consistently denied by the state, forcing the library project into stalemate. Original plans called for $40 million in state aid with a $30 million match by the university. With the decision on Feb. 5, GVSU has elected to take on full funding responsibility for the project. “This is an outstanding project that will greatly enhance our mission to create the graduate who will be able to thrive in today’s economy,” said GVSU President Thomas J. Haas. Haas also noted the construction plans will have “no direct impact on an increase in tuition.” The approved plan calls for a five-floor, 140,000-squarefoot building, which will hold 150,000 books on its shelves and 600,000 more available through a storage ordering system.

The library will also have 1,500 seats, multiple reading and collection rooms, a “genius bar,” cafe, art display and poetry reading area, designated study spaces, an outdoor terrace and green roof technology. In addition, the facility will meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum specifications, the highest possible standards of their rating system. The chosen construction site for the library sits at the intersection of West Campus and Campus drives. Assistant Vice President for Facilities Planning James Moyer, who presented the plan to the Board of Trustees, said the area was chosen to create a “lively location” where students can gather. Moyer added while the library will hold a prominent location on campus, he believes it will not disrupt existing student foot traffic routes as students walk to and from class. “We have a flow of students that we don’t want to interrupt

and we want to maintain,” he said. The project’s cost will also include renovation of the existing Zumberge Library, which will be used for new purposes once the Library and Information Commons is completed. The building is currently scheduled to open sometime in spring of 2013. The board has discussed and voted on the project during the past seven years. In addition to the approval of the new library, the board also heard reports from the Housing and Enrollment departments. Theboardmembersapproved a proposed housing and dining budget of $43.8 million for the 2010-11 academic year, along with a 2 percent increase in room and board rates. Currently 4,907 students live on campus and 4,591 students purchased meal plans for the winter 2010 semester. Director of Housing and Health Services Andy Beachnau

said the most common reasons students moved off campus after the fall semester were commuting, choosing to live at home or an off-campus facility and for financial reasons. Vice Provost and Dean of Academic Services and Information Technology Lynn Blue said enrollment for the winter 2010 semester rose

2.7 percent from last year and the trend of more individuals enrolling as full-time students increased as well. Currently, about 77 percent of GVSU students are full time. Blue added minority enrollment makes up 12 percent of the university’s total head count.

GVL Archive

GVSU’s Board of Trustees voted to forego state funding and proceed with building the new Mary Idema Pew Library.



Monday, April 26, 2010

Grand Valley Lanthorn

Officials stay wary of H1N1 virus said it is important students understand how H1N1 operates. Originally published on Sept. “The H1N1 virus is spread 17, 2009 from person-to-person contact, Authorities at Grand Valley mainly through coughing, State University continue to sneezing or kissing,” she keep a sharp eye on the H1N1 said. “Sometimes people may virus, more commonly known become infected by touching as “swine flu.” a surface or object that has the Guidelines issued by flu virus and then touching their the Ottawa County Health mouth or nose. Students are at Department and the Centers for high risk for H1N1 infection Disease Control and Prevention because large numbers of are being people are in c l o s e l y close contact “Students are at followed, in classrooms high risk for H1N1 and at campus and students, faculty and infection because events.” staff members L e i r a s large numbers are advised Laubach went to keep of people are in on to say an themselves infected person close contact in informed spread the classrooms and at can about the virus to others virus. campus events.” from 24 to 48 The H1N1 CLAUDIA LEIRAShours before pandemic hit and five to seven LAUBACH the U.S. in days after he GVSU PROFESSOR spring 2009. or she starts to In May, show signs and the Michigan Department of symptoms of infection. Community Health confirmed Therefore, it is critical each 157 H1N1 cases in the state, student consider others as a including 48 in Kent Country possible source of infection at and 15 in Ottawa County. all times. Dr. Claudia Leiras-Laubach, Persons who get an H1N1 an associate professor at the infection will experience Kirkhof College of Nursing, fever, cough, sore throat,

By Mark Couturier GVL Staff Writer

runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also experience diarrhea and vomiting. Dr. Steven Hecht, an associate professor of biomedical sciences at GVSU, said unless a person infected with H1N1 has an underlying health issue, such as asthma or pregnancy, that person is unlikely to die from the diease or even be sicker than if he or she caught a common strain of flu. To avoid H1N1, Hecht suggests students wash their hands regularly, get plenty of sleep, eat plenty of fruit and cover their mouths with their elbow or a Kleenex while coughing. Leiras-Laubach added students who become infected should isolate themselves and alert their professors of any symptoms by phone or e-mail. She also said she is not aware of any H1N1 cases at GVSU. Hecht said a vaccine for the virus should be available for distribution by mid-October, and early reports said it is highly effective. Leiras-Laubach said she believes the media is not blowing the H1N1 issue out of proportion and added seasonal

GV offers free H1N1 vaccine By Katie Bludworth GVL Staff Writer

GVL Archive

Students wait at the Campus Health Center for the free H1N1 vaccine.

variation in flu occurrence and the fact H1N1 is a new type of influenza point to the likelihood an outbreak could occur at GVSU. Rebecca Hambleton, director of Study Abroad and International Partnerships at the Padnos International Center, said no current study abroad programs have been cancelled, but suggests students planning to go abroad visit the Web sites for the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Students studying in cities

that have been hit by the H1N1 pandemic should go to the local authorities and find out what measures they should take to prevent infection,” she added. Leiras-Laubach said she believes education can serve as students’ greatest weapon against H1N1 as well as regular flu. She and colleague Marilyn Vander Werf recently teamed up with the Provost’s Office to develop and distribute the bookmark “If you stay healthy, your campus will stay healthy.”

Presidents’ Ball proves ‘much to celebrate as Lakers’ More than 4,000 students attend 24th annual formal dance at DeVos Place By Nadira Kharmai GVL Staff Writer

GVL / James Brien

A couple takes in the “Night of Crystal Elegance” at Presidents’ Ball 2010. Various faculty members were also recognized that night.

Originally published on Feb. 2, 2010 It was not a typical night for college students on Jan. 29. Instead of clubbing or going to house parties, more than 4,000 students put on their formal wear to attend this year’s Presidents’ Ball hosted by Student Senate. The theme, “A Night of Crystal Elegance,” for the 24th annual dinner and dance carried through with many students and their attire. Though most Lakers refer to themselves as “poor college students,” guests who attended this year’s event called the night a “special occasion” to justify their splurge. Some students dusted off their old suits or prom dresses while others ventured to the mall to make a special purchase for a new outfit. “Presidents’ Ball is a good excuse to buy new clothes and

make memories with friends,” said Levi Martin. He and his friends did not mind spending extra money for their night; not only on clothing but also on transportation. Martin and 19 of his friends rented a party bus for the dance. “We wanted the night to be unforgettable and once in awhile, it doesn’t hurt to spend a little more,” he said. Friday’s gala also exceeded expectations with faster service. In past years, the lines getting in and out of DeVos Place were almost always lengthy. “We had more people taking tickets at the door which made for a faster entrance for students,” said LeaAnn Tibbe, assistant director of Student Life. Organizers also tried a new way of getting students home by passing out tickets assigned to different busses going back to the Allendale Campus. “After students dance and have fun, they’re tired and just want to get on the bus home,” Tibbe said. “The new ticket system was a successful idea.” The evening was not just all about dancing; the night was dedicated to honoring two faculty members for their

service. Pat Waring of the Presidents’ Office was given the Distinguished Individual of the Year and Lynn Blue, vice provost and dean of Academic Service Office, received the Presidential Appreciation Award. “(Waring and Blue) appreciated the award because to be able to be recognized by your peers and the student body at a university level is a great honor,” said Autumn Trombka, president of Student Senate. Similar to past years, faculty played a part in providing entertainment as well. As the live band Smooth Groove Entertainment jammed to the song “Celebration,” the lead singer called GVSU President Thomas J. Haas, Dean Bart Merkle and Director of Student Life Bob Stoll, among other faculty, to make an appearance on stage and dance. “We have so much to celebrate this year as Lakers,” Haas said. “Students work hard in their collegiate careers so it is a good way for them to enjoy each other and what the Grand Valley community has to offer.”

Originally published on Oct. 26, 2009 For many college students, the most enticing word is free. Many of these students may not even find it necessary or important to do or buy something until that lovely, four-letter word gets tacked on. With that idea in mind, the importance of getting vaccinated for the H1N1 strand of the flu is being emphasized. Beginning at the end of October 2009, the vaccine will be offered free of charge at the Grand Valley State University Campus Health Centers. However, the first wave will only be made available to priority groups: pregnant women, caregivers in households with children younger than 4 years of age, “It’s kind people of scary under the age of 24 to think and peothat the ple aged swine 2 5 - 6 4 who have flu is on health campus.” conditions KUU associated with HUBBARD a greater GVSU risk of FRESHMAN medical complications from influenza. These priority groups include most college students, giving those who missed the opportunity to receive a seasonal flu shot from the health clinics a chance to avoid the H1N1 virus. In addition, all members of the Kirkhof College of Nursing are required to receive the vaccine once it becomes available. GVSU has decided to cover the cost of the vaccine for all students, faculty and staff members, with dates and times of when the vaccine will be made available to be announced at a later date. “It’s kind of scary to think that the swine flu is on campus,” said freshman Kuu Hubbard. “I’m not a huge fan of shots but I can always make something social out of it, bring some friends along, and we can all get the vaccine.” The importance of getting vaccinated was reiterated recently in a press conference held by Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Center for Disease Control. “Based on everything that I know, (the) vaccine is the best protection against this virus,” she said. “I feel very comfortable with the safety profile that we are seeing. I would say that the most important feature that the vaccine has is providing direct protection to the person who is vaccinated.” Preventive measures have already been put into effect at GVSU in the form of installing Purell hand cleansers in high traffic areas, holding H1N1 awareness meetings and distributing informational cards and posters. In spite of the measures being taken across campus to keep the pandemic flu from spreading, many students are beginning to claim that they or someone they know has the virus. “Someone I work with caught the swine flu,” said senior Anton Flowers. “Not even joking. It’s spreading now.” School closings across the greater Grand Rapids area have contributed to the fear of spreading flu and surgical masks are beginning to appear in an attempt to prevent the spread of the infectious virus. However, the best way to keep the flu from spreading to others is to stay in bed, take care to drink lots of fluids and follow a doctor’s recommendation.


Grand Valley Lanthorn

Monday, April 26, 2010


How will health care reform affect students? By Chelsea Lane & Sam Butcher in several stages between now and

2014, when it takes full effect. Some of the changes that will take effect Originally published March 25, within the next six months include 2010 placing a 10 percent tax on indoor As President Barack Obama signed tanning, requiring chain restaurants the historic health care reform bill on to post caloric information on their March 23, many students were still menus and prohibiting insurance uncertain of what the bill would mean companies from withdrawing for them. Despite the extensive media coverage when a person becomes ill. coverage the bill has seen during By 2014, insurance companies will the past year, some students are still no longer be able to deny coverage confused about what exactly the bill based on pre-existing conditions. contains. Part of the Insurance companies problem is the bill’s “It can be really will also no longer be size, said Roger Moiles, able to place annual valuable to have a Grand Valley State limits on coverage. a few more years University affiliate professor of political under your parents’ How will science. plan. ” individuals “I’ve had students purchase health coming to me over ROGER MOILES care? the past couple of GVSU PROFESSOR Individuals who days with questions receive health care about anything and everything,” he said. “It’s the sheer from their employers would have their breadth of it. It’s a huge bill, and that insurance policies grandfathered in and their coverage would essentially makes it hard to absorb.” Moiles said he thinks one of the continue as it did prior to reform. But most significant aspects of the reform beginning in 2014, people who are for students is that it will allow students unemployed, self-employed or work for to stay on their parents’ insurance until businesses that do not offer insurance they are 26, without having to stay will be able to shop for coverage using online “health exchanges,” where enrolled in college full-time. “I think this is especially important insurers offer different kinds of plans. for students in Michigan,” he said. Congressional budget experts estimate “It can be difficult getting a job right 25 million Americans will purchase out of college, and a lot of times the their policies through exchanges. All policies would be inspected by ones that you can get don’t pay very the government to ensure the plans well and don’t offer benefits. It can meet government standards and are in be really valuable to have a few more “the interest” of buyers, according to years under your parents’ plan.” The bill will be implemented the bill. GVL Staff

Policies would be offered at four price levels: platinum, gold, silver and bronze. Citizens may also purchase insurance outside of a health exchange at the same rates as the exchange policies.

Who qualifies for subsidized aid?

According to the Congressional Budget Office, health care reform will provide or subsidize health care for approximately 32 million previously uninsured people. Those who qualify for subsidized insurance would receive financial assistance from the government to purchase health care. The income cutoff for receiving subsidized insurance is about four times the federal poverty level. For example, any non-dependent individual who makes less than about $40,000 annually -- or, comparably, a family of four who makes less than about $88,000 a year -- would be eligible to receive subsidized aid. The aid system would work on a sliding scale, with those who make less receiving a larger amount of aid and vice-versa.

Is the reform unconstitutional?

Some critics have challenged the constitutionality of the health care reform bill once President Obama signs it into law. Currently, attorney generals from at least 11 states have publicly stated their plans to take their legal complaints all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary. Most of the controversy centers around a federal mandate included in the bill that would require all Americans to purchase a health

AP / Rod Edmonds

President Barack Obama successfully passed his health care reform in 2010.

insurance plan or pay a tax penalty. GVSU political science department chair Mark Richards said there is no definitive legal precedent indicating which way the Supreme Court would likely rule on the constitutionality of the bill, should the case reach the Court. “The main issue is whether Congress has authority under the commerce clause to require individuals to purchase insurance,” Richards said. “In general, the Supreme Court has been deferential to congressional attempts to regulate economic issues under the commerce clause, although the Court struck down congressional attempts to regulate gun

possession near schools and authorize lawsuits for violence against women. In comparison, health care reform is more clearly an economic activity.” Richards added the Court has also stated that regulatory regimes must be viewed in their entirety, and in this context, health care reform would be constitutional under the commerce clause. “On the other hand, the Court under the leadership of Chief Justice Roberts has not been particularly deferential to Congress and it would be tempting for this political Court to use its power to overturn the law,” Richards said.

Google Fiber healthy for Grand Rapids’ diet By Garrett Pelican GVL Staff Writer

Courtesy Chart / Student Senate

The student organization budget is expecting a $100,000 cut for the 2010-11 academic year.

Student orgs budget takes $100,000 cut decrease in funds accordingly. The Student Senate is set to vote on the 2010-11 base budget at its meeting on Feb. Originally published on Feb. 1, 2010 4. Each year, the Student Senate’s finance “I feel the new process is working committee works to develop an annual exceptionally well,” Martus said. “We won’t budget for division among Grand Valley have as much rollover because the dollars are State University’s student getting spent and not sitting organizations and programs. in a group’s budget being “I feel the new Based on the number of That was a big part process is working unused. credit hours taken by enrolled of putting the new finance students, the university exceptionally well.” process in place and we are designates a certain amount all very pleased with the to be used for student results.” programming each year. JARRETT MARCUS Why the increase or The finance committee STUDENT SENATE VICE decrease in funds for created this year’s budget PRESIDENT OF FINANCE individual councils? based on the receipt of $1 “The gains and losses are million. The budget for 2009based on what has been used 10 was based on $1,100,000. by the council to this date,” Martus said. “If As 2010-11 looks to be more financially a council still was sitting on a lot of unused demanding, the finance committee has funds and not many requests (were) coming prepared the budget to withstand a $100,000 through we made appropriate adjustments for loss. However, should the budget receive that council.” more than $1 million, the money will be Martus added those councils that will see deposited in the reserve fund and distributed an increase in funding tended to be those that as needed. pushed a number of requests to appropriations Jarrett Martus, Student Senate vice for additional funding or had a lump sum president of finance, said he does not requested and moved into the council for anticipate receiving less than $1 million. additional funding already this year. A final adjustment of the budget is applied Individual council budgets were based on in February of each school year and the the spending trends of this year. finance committee plans for an increase or

By Jenny Whalen GVL Editor in Chief

Originally published March 22, 2010 Amid reports that Grand Rapids is a leading contender in the “Google Fiber for Communities” campaign, citizens showed their true colors - blue, red, yellow and green - in the city’s push for the Internet titan’s latest venture. The winning city will receive a trial of the ultra high speed broadband network that Google claims is more than 100 times faster than the Internet access available to most Americans. Led by Mayor George Heartwell and a grassroots initiative called “Google Fiber for Grand Rapids,” hundreds of Grand Rapidians dubbing themselves the “My GR Flash Mob” flooded Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids the afternoon of March 19 to show their support. “The turnout was just a terrific show of community support,” Heartwell said. “This has become an important project and I’m convinced it will help develop Grand Rapids’ already growing community.” Tommy Allen, one of the initiative’s founders and lifestyle editor for Rapid Growth Media, praised the turnout despite previous concerns it might not draw the crowd it deserved. “I feel really good about the turnout,” Allen said. “Now, we’re in the top three of all the cities in the country and that’s something that everyone from this region can be proud of.” With fanfare befitting of a tickertape parade, the crowd

bolstered its presence with music spun by a disc jockey, multicolored balloons and signs reading “My Grand Rapids is ...” on the front and adjectives such as “creative” and “connected” on the reverse. Another founder, Pete Brand, said those efforts contributed to the event’s success. “The people just kept going and going and going,” Brand said. “We had lots of enthusiastic people who turned out in Google colors with fun signs, and I think that showed what Grand Rapids means to them.” Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the afternoon was that the event and its patron cause have been driven solely by volunteer efforts. Another of the initiative’s leaders, Paul Jendrasiak, attributed the successful afternoon to the city’s sense of community. “Grand Rapids has always had a community that steps up to the plate and this is just

another example of that,” said Jendrasiak, social media expert and CEO of Spambully. “With the city’s health care, education and media industries, we believe we’ve got a community that will help Google Fiber.” Similarly, Google Fiber will benefit its destination. With the average connection in the Grand Rapids area estimated at about 6 megabytes per second, Google Fiber’s connection of 1,000 megabytes per second would be a vast improvement for local Internet speeds. In addition to the tremendous advance in connection speeds, experts have noted the venture would serve as a catalyst for economic growth and may also help to stem what many call Michigan’s supposed “brain drain,” an idea that resounded with Heartwell. “Grand Rapids is truly doing everything we can to retain and attract creative and educated young people,” Heartwell said.

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“My GR Flash Mob” shows their support for Google Fiber in Grand Rapids.

Congratulations Graduates! Carrabba’s will be opening early for your convenience on May 1st. Reservations will be accepted between 12:00 and 4:00 pm. Normal call ahead seating will apply after 4:00 pm. Grandville: 616-261-3020



Grand Valley Lanthorn Monday, April 26, 2010



GV Pride

Though everything in the past year did not always fall in our favor, the Grand Valley State University community should be proud of the character it showed even in the face of adversity. Looking back on the 2009-10 school year, there is much to celebrate at GVSU. The Board of Trustees finally approved the construction of a new library, even without the longsought state aid. The women’s soccer team won its first National Championship in school history and GVSU made West Michigan theater history with its production of “Rent.” However, GVSU was also dealt its share of blows with the elimination of the Michigan Promise scholarship, the H1N1 outbreak that cost the life of one student and the death of many of GVSU’s founders and long-term supporters. On top of all that, the football team fell short of reclaiming its championship title in Florence, Ala. Though the state economy is still recovering and many students face uncertain finances and job markets, the optimism at GVSU is evident. Faculty, staff and students continue to believe in the mission of this university and show their support for the common goal of “educating students to shape their lives, their professions and their societies.” From fundraisers to aid the people in Haiti to increasing our efforts toward sustainability and featuring the work of faculty and students at the Grand Rapids ArtPrize, the GVSU community has demonstrated its faith in the future in a number of venues. GVSU is aware of the world beyond its campuses and is dedicated to investing in its improvement. As the winter 2010 graduates go off to the “real world” and the rest of the student body takes a breather before next semester, all students and alumni can continue their GVSU pride and the positive attitude they developed in the past year.


Negative words, positive response Anyone walking in front of Au Sable Hall this week would have heard if not seen Preacher Man. From sexist comments like “women are the weaker gender because they are more easily corrupted” to misinformed ideas like “’homosexual’ is a four part word coming from ‘man,’ ‘couch,’ ‘semen’ and ‘copulate,’” the people of Soulwinners Ministry are doing some good in spite of the negative speech used.

At first glance, it seems these people are doing the exact opposite of their namesake but look at the many people gather around in smaller clusters. Complete strangers are talking about religion. While in no part of my mind do I think that Soulwinners Ministry’s spokespeople are correct in saying that everyone is going to Hell if they don’t join their church, they are bringing people together to talk who never would have said hello to each

other. Why does religion have to be “join mine or burn in Hell”? I feel the pagan/Wicca saying holds true and has stood the test of time: Cause ye no harm, do as ye will. Condemn on, Preacher Man. You only bring us closer together. Maybe one day you will listen to us when we are speaking of open-mindedness and acceptance. Until then, blessed be. KayLee DeBoer GVSU student

The student-run newspaper of Grand Valley State University

Editorial Page Board Jenny Whalen Eric Lee Lauren Fitch Chelsea Lane

Editor in Chief Business Manager Managing Editor News Editor

Should states set their own penalties for illegal immigrants?


The ultimate goal of the Grand Valley Lanthorn opinion page is to stimulate discussion and action on topics of interest to the Grand Valley Community. Student opinions do not reflect those of the Grand Valley Lanthorn. The Grand Valley Lanthorn welcomes reader viewpoints and offers three vehicles of expression for reader opinions: letters to the editor, guest columns and phone responses. Letters must include the author’s name and be accompanied by current picture identification if dropped off in person. Letters will be checked by an employee of the Grand Valley Lanthorn. Letters appear as space permits each

What is your most memorable moment at GVSU from the past school year?

“Probably being scared half to death during all the football games when the canons went off right next to my apartment.”

“A comedy show — it was Arvin Mitchell. He came a couple weeks ago.”

“The Presidents’ Ball. It’s just fun because there are thousands of people there dancing.”

“The football game against Wayne State. I know some people from Wayne State and to beat them, it felt good to talk to them about it after.”

“The initiation into my fraternity, Delta Upsilon.”

Jaime Jackson Sophomore Biology Fowlerville, Mich.

Alexis Eziukwu Senior Health Professions Muskegon, Mich.

Sarah Brower Sophomore Nursing Grand Rapids, Mich.

Demario Black Freshman Accounting Farmington Hills, Mich.

Corey Stevens Sophomore Film and Video Kentwood, Mich.


Lawmakers, administrators break their promise Paul LeBlanc GVL Columnist

Originally published Oct. 12, 20009 I wonder if Michigan lawmakers see the irony in eliminating a scholarship called the “Michigan Promise.” After all, a “promise” is what millions of Michigan college students received from the state of Michigan when they scored well enough on the Michigan Merit Exam to be guaranteed up to $4,000 to assist them in paying for college. But now, in the midst of yet another budget crisis, legislators in both houses of the state government have decided to axe the Promise Scholarship in a last-ditch effort to pass a budget for the com-

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issue. The limit for letter length is one page, single spaced. The editor reserves the right to edit and condense letters and columns for length restrictions and clarity. All letters must be typed. The Grand Valley Lanthorn will not be held responsible for errors that appear in print as a result of transcribing handwritten letters or e-mail typographic errors. The name of the author may be withheld for compelling reasons. The content, information and views expressed are not approved by nor necessarily represent those of the university, its Board of Trustees, officers, faculty and staff.

ing fiscal year. Gov. Jennifer Granholm has insisted she will not sign any budget proposal that cuts the Promise, but this resolution seems hollow when considering the current fiscal state of the government. The state must make up for a $2.8 billion defi cit to pass a budget for the coming year. With about half of that amount being covered by funds from the federal stimulus package passed in February, there still remains almost $1.5 billion that must be accounted for either in tax increases or budget cuts. With legislators already calling for cuts to Medicaid and further slashes to education, there do not seem to be many options left on the table other than cutting the Promise. But perhaps the

worst part of this whole situation is many college students are being blindsided by the development that their scholarship money may be taken away. One might blame the fact that many collegeage students do not pay attention to current events. However, in the case of students here at Grand Valley State University, there is one culprit who must shoulder at least part of the blame: the administration. For those of us who have yet to use all of our Promise Scholarship money, we saw the amount we had left on our student account at the beginning of the school year. There was no indication that may be taken away or that each student is responsible for paying back the money GVSU fronted for the Promise Scholarship in the event it

is cut by the state. Of course, no one would expect GVSU to front the money for the scholarship from its own budget without reimbursement from the state. Nevertheless, the administration did many students a disservice by crediting the Promise money to student accounts without informing students they may need to take out additional loans or secure other forms of financial aid to pay this money back. This lack of warning will no doubt hit many unsuspecting students hard, who must now find ways to come up with additional funds to pay the school back. At times, it seems as if the only promise kept by those in power is they will find some way to break their promises.

Mixing up passengers on the GV coaster GVL Columnist

Did you fill out the Census form?

This week’s question:


Zee Fossett

Valley Vote Yes: 100%

GVL Archive

Originally published Nov. 5, 2009 In September I contributed to the Office of Multicultural Affairs’ wall of diversity. I documented my understanding of this token term as inclusive of varying yet equal belief systems, lifestyles, heritage, interests, experiences, opinions and personalities, to say the least. Grand Valley State University is a liberal education-based college. As an institution, it believes in diversity and the undeniable need for its presence here on campus. The school’s fourth goal, as stated on its Web site, is a continuing one; “to promote and integrate diversity in all aspects of university life.” This column addresses the ways in which I believe GVSU has

captured diversity’s flag and, too, the disconnect I’ve discovered that has left us a couple French fries short of a Happy Meal. As the owner and conductor of a worthwhile education, the courses I’ve taken here have worked as pistons— the driving force for my train of success. LIB 310 (Creativity), LIB 314 (The Life Journey), SOC 280 (Social Problems) and ANT 206 (Human Origins) are just a few of the courses I’ve taken that encompass goals directly related to magnifying the differences among us, glorifying them and explaining possible reasons for their existence. I am currently enrolled in Japanese 201, too, one of 12 foreign languages available to students here. From the sociology of food to the background of Roman civilization, from linguistics to gender identity, the university is positively shaping the minds of its students. Behind the excellence

of classes stand credible, personable professors who are academic experts, lending their life experiences, energy and passion to students. In the classroom, these professors contribute unique teaching styles and creative methods of communication; often times using their own history to inspire students. From different states and sometimes, different countries as well, the staff and faculty all work together to make our campus one of solidarity. Even the inner workings of curriculum here show an appreciation for diversity. Alternative Breaks, study abroad programs, professional lecture series events, community reading projects and one-of-a-kind volunteer opportunities lend students capable of encountering interesting notions, learning about lives peculiarly separate from their own and making changes in their own lives. In 2007, the university welcomed 14 percent

minority students. This fall the percentage has decreased, and now, 11.7 percent of students are of color. Additionally, although we service international students from 65 countries, the population is approximately 86 percent white. Faces from other cultural backgrounds naturally aggrandize the student body. What good can discourse about diversity do if the conversations mainly occur between individuals with like faces and similar, if not mimicking, backgrounds? How can the university claim to be “diverse” and not prove to be, in the most literal meaning of the word? “A liberal education ... transcends the acquisition of information and rests on scholarship and the open exchange of ideas.” This academic amusement park is a great place to be. I just want more faces along for the ride to enjoy it.


A7 Character Close-Up: Justin Wierzbicki - GVSU’s Pyscho Fan

By Lauren Fitch GVL Managing Editor

Originally published on March 18, 2010 Any Laker basketball fan has probably noticed the guy at the end of the bleachers with “Psycho Fan” printed on the back of his T-shirt. With all the yelling, running around and dancing, he’s hard to miss. While many recognize Psycho Fan, fewer people know his alter ego Justin Wierzbicki, a fifth-year senior at Grand Valley State University majoring in political science. “Originally I wanted to be called Justin, but after awhile I realized that people remember the name on the back of the jersey so I’ve grown to like either/or,” he said. “There’s only one Psycho Fan; there’s more than one Justin out there.” However, Wierzbicki was willing to retire his Psycho Fan role during one basketball game long enough to share some of the methods behind the madness of his cheering. As he removed his sunglasses, adjusted his official Psycho Fan jersey and wiped the sweat from his forehead, Wierzbicki smiled while explaining the inspiration fueling his over-the-top hobby. “With something that exemplifies excellence like Grand Valley athletics and really puts a good name to the college, I just think at the end of the day we need to let (the athletes) know we love them, we support their efforts, we’re

proud of them,” he said. pop culture into his cheering. Wierzbicki’s“rambunctious” “Basically whatever pops cheering style began in seventh into my head,” Wierzbicki said grade and continued through his of the sources for his boisterous time at Hopkins High School yelling. “The idea is to be when he was officially named sportsman-like in supporting “Psycho Fan,” though he our team but also to try and get said what he currently does at in the heads of the other team.” GVSU’s basketball games is the Wierzbicki clarified there toned-down version. are five levels of Psycho Fan. In contrast to the rowdy Level one entails sitting on the personality he exhibits on the bleachers and yelling. Level sidelines, Wierbicki was laid two adds dancing during time back as he talked about how outs. Stepping it up to level he originally planned to give three involves running along the up Psycho Fan altogether when court, and level four is for when he got to college. he “really gets “I mastered this However, 10 into the game minutes into the and starts Psycho Fan art first Laker home screaming about two years basketball game off the top of ago.” he attended, (his) lungs Psycho Fan and just doing reappeared crazy things.” JUSTIN WIERZBICKI and has been Level five is GVSU SENIOR cheering on saved for rare GVSU athletes occasions and for the past five Wierzbicki years. said he has only used it a couple “It’s been difficult to explain times for an Elite 8 game. what I do to a lot of people,” “It’s when I’m so Wierzbicki said. “I’m out there rambunctious even I question trying to get everybody fired what I do,” he explained. up and I’m kind of the first With the intense nature of line of cheering outside of the his cheering, Wierzbicki said cheerleaders ... I yell really there is a risk of injury and so loudly all the time; that’s the he usually arrives about an hour probably the best way to say before the game to stretch, warm it.” up his voice and survey the best Psycho Fan’s routine area to encourage the team. involves much more than “I mastered this Psycho yelling, with the crazy dance Fan art about two years ago,” moves, slow motion sports Wierzbicki said. “I know how replays, singing and running long I can yell before my voice around the sidelines. He said he gets a little sore. I know how hard tries to incorporate elements of I can push it physically without

injuring myself ... Basically the rule is, is our team playing at its best? And if they’re not I need to try and get them fired up.” Two years ago, Psycho Fan made a point to attend at least one event of every GVSU sport. However, he said he overextended himself and has since focused on basketball, where he feels most effective. “Different sports aren’t quite ready for Psycho Fan,” Wierzbicki said. He attends all the home basketball games, spending about 12 hours a week in the Fieldhouse Arena. He also travels to most of the away games within Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Wierzbicki said the coaching staff has been outstanding in supporting his efforts to pump up the team. The appreciation is mutual, according to men’s head basketball coach Ric Wesley. “It took me longer to notice him than most people because I was focusing on the game,” Wesley said. Once he did notice Psycho Fan, though, Wesley said he has also observed a positive impact on his players. “The more energy, more enthusiasm and more support from the crowd, the more it eggs on our guys, and he is at the forefront of that,” Wesley said. “I think he’s great. I wish we had a thousand psychos.” Looking back on his five years as GVSU’s Psycho Fan, Wierzbicki reminisced about one game that stood out as his

Grand Valley Lanthorn Monday, April 26, 2010

GVL Archive

Psycho Fan pumps up the fans and the team at every basketball game. Justin Wierzbicki has been Psycho Fan for five years.

finest moment. At the 2007 men’s basketball game against Michigan State University in the Breslin Center, Wierzbicki got a ticket for the MSU alumni section. “Unfortunately for Michigan State, they didn’t let me move to the Grand Valley section,” Wierzbicki said, laughing. “I was yelling, got (Tom) Izzo’s attention and he called me a few

things we probably can’t print.” After the Lakers won the game in double overtime, Wierzbicki said he was the most unpopular person in the building and fled to the parking lot. “It’s going to be hard to top that,” he said. “I’ve never felt more alive than running to the parking lot out of the Breslin Center.”

Relay celebrates stories of hope those people currently fighting cancer, and received a preliminary diagnosis of “Remember” the loved ones who had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, any large group GVL Staff Writer lost the fight against cancer, teach Relay of cancers of lymphocytes, or white blood Originally published on April 12, 2010 participants to “Fight Back” against cancer cells. Although students and seafarers alike and “HOPE” for the cure. Ciluffo was placed in critical care for packed the Fieldhouse Arena the night of The Luminaria, glow-stick lit paper bags 23 days, during which time he had to battle April 9, one idea plagued the minds of all with messages of loss and hope for those cardiac problems. He was not yet strong crowded into the indoor track: 8,709 of who died of cancer, surrounded the track as enough to receive chemotherapy treatments, the current Grand Valley State University participants embarked on a walk of silence and he could feel himself giving in to the students will be affected by cancer at some in memory of the dead and in hope for a cancer. point in their lives. cancer-free future. “Please get me out of here,” he Colleges Against Cancer’s annual Relay Representatives from Colleges Against remembered he said to his girlfriend when for Life rocked the Fieldhouse Arena from Cancer said each luminaria looked like a she visited him. “I don’t want to be sick April 9 at 6 p.m. to April 10 at 6 a.m. candle on a birthday cake. The luminaria anymore. Please.” Outfitted to look similar to a dock represent a vision for our shared future: we Soon, the doctors confirmed their initial anchored in the harbor, the stage locked imagine a world with more birthdays for diagnosis. It was official - Ciluffo had nonparticipants’ minds onto the night’s theme: those facing cancer diagnoses. Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The cancer had “Sailing towards a cure.” Colleges Against At 10:30 p.m., the Fight Back ceremony advanced to stage IV and his cancer was Cancer staff members donned pirate attire welcomed cancer survivor Brian Ciluffo to in the t-cells, a lesser researched variety to stand out in the crowd the stage for the first time in and a type that could not undergo radiation and ship displays offered two years. treatment. “The moment words of encouragement The last time he took “I remember the silence in the room, you give up is the the stage, Ciluffo was bald, the blank stares,” Ciluffo said, recounting on their sails. The Relay event brought pale and struggling in what the moment the doctor told he, his mother moment you let back its main events: the he said was “the fight of my and his girlfriend his diagnosis. “They were cancer win.” caregiver presentation, the life.” scared and so was I.” Luminaria ceremony and Two years ago, Ciluffo He started receiving chemotherapy once the more recently inducted went to his primary care a week, battling the nausea, pain and weight BRIAN CILUFFO Fight Back ceremony. practitioner with complaints loss or gain depending on the day. CANCER SURVIVOR At 8:30 p.m., using of trouble breathing, waking “As long as my mind and body were her personal testimony, with sweat-soaked sheets, in synch, I knew I would be able to beat freshman Alysha Connelly from Colleges rashes and a constant cough. The doctor cancer,” he said. “The moment you give up Against Cancer gave a presentation for the gave Ciluffo the diagnosis of a cold four is the moment you let cancer win.” caregivers. times in one month. Ciluffo said one of his proudest moments Four years ago with the rest of her When Ciluffo’s boss found the student came a year into his remission. At a Relay family, Alysha Connelly listened to the final curled behind his desk at work to relieve for Life, a high school friend slung an arm murmurs of her mother. some pain, Ciluffo made a fifth appointment around Ciluffo’s shoulders and called him Deanna Connelly said the angels were with his doctor. The doctor checked him “hero.” calling her and it was time for her to go. into the hospital. “I fought back so that my children can Although Deanna had juvenile arthritis Surgeons withdrew fluid from around one day hear my story as I put them to bed since age 8, which often affected her his heart - the equivalent of one quart of oil - on a rainy night, and they can call me their employment possibilities, she never let her and he was discharged two days later. hero,” he said. daughter go without. Despite being a single But Ciluffo had far from seen the last of Sunday will mark Ciluffo’s second year mother receiving no child support checks the hospital. in remission. and despite contracting and surviving After receiving a phone call, he returned cervical and ovarian cancer, Deanna kept a smile on Alysha’s face. Deanna did her daughter’s hair for cheerleading events and took her on adventures to doll museums hundreds of miles away in West Virginia. But when Deanna contracted lung cancer, never having smoked a cigarette, Alysha was forced into a new role as the caregiver. As the cancer spread, she woke up every two hours during the night to give her mother some of the 37 pills necessary. Alysha, 87 pounds at the time, carried her 80-pound mother to the toilet and to the bathtub. Alysha threw out her back once and ended up in the hospital as a result. Before her mother died, Alysha Connelly recorded some of inspirational words said by Deanna Connelly before she died: “Being brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It means that you are scared, but you do what you have to in order to survive. Everyone gets scared sometimes.” At 9 p.m., participants celebrated the Luminaria ceremony, a signature event in the Relay for Life program. Four lanterns topped the front of the stage, each bearing the classic moon and stars insignia of the American Cancer Society. GVL Archive The lanterns offered four staples of the Relay. The Relay would “Celebrate” Participants join in the “Sailing towards a cure” theme of Relay for Life 2010.

By Susie Skowronek

GVL Archive

Participants pose at a Sibs & Kids Weekend activity.

Childhood fun comes to campus Sibs & Kids welcomes Laker families for long weekend fun By Tracy Gershon GVL Staff Writer

Originally published on Jan. 25 The population of Grand Valley State University increased Jan. 23-24 with the addition of hundreds of sibs and kids partaking in a longstanding campus tradition. Sibs & Kids Weekend is an annual event sponsored by Spotlight Productions, with funding assistance from Student Senate and various co-sponsors. The two-day event, with “Free Time with Your Sibling” on Sunday, offers a vareity of entertainment options for GVSU students and their visitors to enjoy. “It invites students to share their experience on campus with their younger siblings,” said Friederike Habbel, a student organizer for Sibs & Kids. “There are also a lot of different student groups which are volunteering or co-sponsoring events, which helps encourage interaction between the different student organizations on campus.” Events included movies in the Big Screen Movie Theater, a photo booth, airbrush tattoos, a moon bounce and mini glow golf in Kirkhof Center on Friday night. On Jan. 23, guests enjoyed attractions at the Fieldhouse Arena such as bumper cars, a mechanical bull, a bungee run, a climbing wall and a magic show by David Hall. That morning, kids stood

in line outside the doors of the Fieldhouse Arena with their older siblings or family members. When the doors opened, children flooded the arena and raced to the front of the lines for Build-a-Bear and caricatures. TheBuild-a-Bearworkshop was the most popular event of the day with children lined up to make stuffed hippos, dinosaurs, moose and bears. The workshop featured miniature Laker apparel to dress the stuffed creatures. Habbel said the weekend was a success because nothing broke down and the lines did not seem too long. Sophomore Kelsey Rauhut and two of her cousins, Gleb and Nikita, took part in the festivities. “This is a good opportunity to see family and have them visit,” Rauhut said. “They aren’t bored because there are a lot of activities to keep them entertained.” Rauhut’s cousins said their favorite activity Jan. 22 was the moon bounce because they could jump and do flips. They were also excited for the next day’s events, especially bumper cars and the bungee run. “For my cousins, they have no concept of what a college is, so it’s fun for them to see what it’s like,” Rauhut said. Spotlight Productions and representatives from Greek Life staffed the weekend’s events. Volunteer Kelsey O’Dell said she had a positive experience volunteering at Sibs & Kids Weekend because it was fun to act like a kid again - eating snow cones and enjoying the games.


Monday, April 26, 2010


Grand Valley Lanthorn

GV prepares for 12-hour groove-fest All proceeds for Dance Marathon 2009 benefitted Children’s Miaracle Network, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital By Susie Skowronek GVL Staff Writer

Originally published on Nov. 2, 2009. The Kirkhof Center rocked Nov. 6, 2009 during a 12-hour marathon of dancing that lasted long after Cinderella hit the sheets. Dance Marathon 2009 included live entertainment — students could learn how to belly dance from the Belly Dance Club and learn to line dance from instructors courtesy of Texas Roadhouse — and proceeds from the event benefitted the Children’s Miracle Network and the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. The event took place in the Grand River Room of the Kirkhof Center from 2 p.m. Nov. 6, 2009 to 2 a.m. Nov. 7, 2009. Individuals and teams were able to register at the Community Service Learning Center. Registration cost $12 per person with a reduced cost for teams. After registering, participants could raise money with their team and submit donations to the Community Service Learning Center office. Dance Marathon partnered this year with the Grandville Texas Roadhouse and the Holland Papa Johns. These businesses donated 20 percent of their sales on Nov. 4, 2009 to Dance Marathon and the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. “It’s helping out the kids directly, and all the money goes to equipment and medicine,” said Bailey Werner, president of Miracle Movers, the student organization that plans Dance Marathon. “They are really appreciative of anything we can do.” Dance Marathon originated at the University of Pennsylvania. The concept of couples dancing for a set time or outlive other dancers became a money-raising event. Now, most campuses put on Dance Marathons for the Children’s Miracle Network, which in turn supplies marketing tools, binders and other

necessary equipment for the event. began helping to plan the marathon The Children’s Miracle Network is soon after the sorority’s founding in the a nonprofit organization that fundraises summer of 2008. for more than 170 children’s hospitals, “It’s good to have the support of the including the Helen DeVos Children’s Greeks on campus,” Fadase said. “To Hospital in Grand tap into their group has Rapids. Donations to the been helpful.” “It’s good to have Miracle Network fund Last year, Dance the support of medical care, research Marathon raised $1,000 the Greeks on and education to save for its charities, but and improve lives of Fadase said any little bit campus.” about 17 million children raised is a success. every year. “We need to start BUNMI FADASE Bunmi Fadase, adviser slow,” she said. “We DANCE MARATHON for Dance Marathon have to build upon our ADVISER and coordinator of the past success.” Community Service The event provided Learning Center, said GVSU’s marathon participants with other food, prizes is still growing, only getting its start in and entertainment to fill the 12-hour 2006. marathon afternoon and evening. Phi Mu, whose national philanthropy is the Children’s Miracle Network,

Courtesy Photo / Miss GVSU

Public relations major Morgan Lind was named the first-ever Miss GVSU. Lind will go on to compete at Miss Michigan.

Public relations student named first-ever Miss GVSU Morgan Lind wins scholarship, $800 worth of prizes as first Miss GVSU on way to compete for Miss Michigan By GVL Staff

GVL Archive

The Dance Marathon raised funds for the Children’s Miracle Network and the Helen DeVos’ Children’s Hospital. The event included food, games and dancing for particpants.

Originally published on March 1, 2010 Public relations major Morgan Lind was named the first-ever Miss Grand Valley State University Feb. 27. Lind bested six other contestants to win a $700 scholarship and the opportunity to compete in the Miss Michigan Scholarship Program. She also won $800 in prizes to help prepare for the statewide pageant, which will take place from June 16 to 19. The second and third place contestants also won scholarship money. At the Miss Michigan pageant, Lind will compete against the winners of 29 other pageants from across the state. GVSU and

Lawrence Tech University are the only four-year schools that host satellite pageants for the Miss Michigan Scholarship Program. Miss GVSU codirector Amy Post said the Miss Grand Valley State Scholarship Student Organization plans to host the event annually. Those who wish to participate in next year’s pageant should contact The Miss Michigan Scholarship Pageant is scheduled for June 16-19. The Miss Michigan Pageant Finals will be held at 7 p.m. on June 19. For more information on Miss Michigan, visit the Web site, http://www. html.

Community garden grows fresh tastes Number of garden plots almost doubles for new season for the Health and Wellness Center. The staff formed a committee in conjunction with the university’s Originally published on Sept. 17 sustainability initiatives and health and When the students in the winter 2008 wellness objectives. Ecological Literacy and Sustainability The committee agreed on a location: a course formulated the idea for a community plot newly purchased by GVSU. garden, they did not imagine such an “We want to encourage students to think enthusiastic response. Now, the garden about community gardens — how to eat has 30 plots for faculty, staff, students and whole foods, not processed from bigger community members to raise gardens. The stores and how to appreciate the benefits of Community Involvement Group, a unit of sustainability,” Sloop said. grade-schoolers, helped start the garden, Campus Dining participated in the planting flowers in a beautification effort. project, originally accepting a 10-byBart Bartels, project manager for the 10 segment of the garden. As this year’s Sustainable Community Development zucchini crop grew beyond expectations, Initiative, had a plot with his family. The their plot soon expanded to 20-by-20. tomatoes, zucchini, green Marketing manager for peppers and chili peppers all Campus Dining Deb Rambadt “We want to see grew well, he said. But the said one zucchini has reached how big it can bugs ate the squash plants. 35 pounds, and harvesters Participants of the grow.” refuse to pick it. community garden consumed “We want to see how big it most of the food they grew, can grow,” she said. Bartels said. Campus Dining and other “We were hoping to be university services participate DEB RAMBADT able to sell some produce in the community garden CAMPUS DINING at the farmers’ market on to support the university’s campus, but we never had a initiatives, Rambadt added. big enough surplus of food to be able to The community garden and Campus turn around and sell it,” he added. “We’re Dining are currently developing a new hoping to be able to extend our growing compost system in which dining facilities season, to increase campus involvement will provide food waste — otherwise sent and to have more to sell at events.” to landfills – for the betterment of the With the number of garden plots almost garden soil doubled from last year’s number, Bartels Engineering students will contribute their said word must have gotten around about efforts to create a compost demonstration the taste and nutrition of locally grown project, illustrating the best compost system produce. for the university. “The taste freshly picked from a garden Now, gardens aim to raise $10,000 for is so much better than something bought new tools, a sustainable bamboo fence, from a store,” he said. seeds and a paid intern. However, keeping up the garden is no The Community Garden will sell plots simple task. of the garden and seeds to raise money and Because the community garden relies will accept donations. on organic farming methods, it does not “One of the neat things about the project take long for the weeds to overtake other is that the class ended in May of 2008, and plants. the students are still involved in it,” said But Bartels said the challenges promote professor of philosophy Kelly Parker, who community interaction among the planters. taught the six students who helped initiate “Everybody works together to improve the garden. “I am really thrilled the garden the garden; watering each others’ plots is still up and running, and it has gotten is part of participating in the garden,” he more people involved.” said. Visit the community garden on Luce Last semester, a group of six students Street, halfway between 42nd and 49th acted on a plan to establish a community streets. garden and under the guidance of interested staff, such as Sue Sloop, work life consultant

By Susie Skowronek GVL Staff Writer

Courtesy Photo / Danielle Ostafinski

Students celebrate the completion of the fence at the GVSU community garden on Luce Street.

Courtesy Photo / GVSU Community Garden

Members of the GVSU community garden till the soil to prepare it for another season of planting.


Emanuel Johnson, Sports Editor

Grand Valley Lanthorn Monday, April 26, 2010


Perfection: Women’s soccer nets first Division II National Championship By Jared Greenleaf GVL Senior Reporter

Originally published Dec. 7, 2009 Playing through an injury will take its toll on any player. However, for freshman forward Ashley Botts, adrenaline gave her a chance to deliver in the key moment, propelling the Laker soccer team to claim the NCAA Division II National Championship. With 12 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in regulation, Botts scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over California State UniversityDominguez Hills in Tampa, Fla., on Dec. 5 to bring the hardware home. “I was at the right place at the right time,” Botts, who suffered a sprained ankle last week in practice, said. “It was really sore, but adrenaline started to kick in, and the pain went away during that moment. I’ll have a whole month to heal up now, so (the injury) won’t matter anymore.” With the victory, Grand Valley State University finished the season with a perfect 22-0-4 mark and secured its first national title in school history after falling just short in recent years. “It’s just a huge relief for our program,” said head coach Dave DiIanni. “I have two daughters, but I feel like I have 28 with our 26 soccer players and couldn’t be any more proud of them.” In his seventh season with GVSU, DiIanni was finally able to complete the journey toward a championship.

“It’s a great honor for me, but in general, it’s more honoring and rewarding for our family, our program and our senior class,” DiIanni said. DiIanni, who received about 70 text messages from alumni after Saturday’s win, said winning the national title is redemption, but not just for the players and coaches involved. “This one is for everybody,” DiIanni said. “This is for our proud alumni who have been involved in this program and it’s for our school. We put a lot of time and effort into what we do and we feel like nobody works harder than us.” For the Laker players, they could not be any happier to see DiIanni get his first championship at GVSU. “It’s really great for him because he’s one of the best, if not the best coach in the country,” said senior defender Natalja Stanski. “It’s always nice to have a coach who you really care about and like as a person. It makes it easy to play hard for him when motivations aren’t always there.” Saturday’s victory was a fitting ending for the Laker senior class, who experienced heartbreak in a 1-0 overtime loss to Metro State in the 2006 national championship game. “It’s incredibly special to finish what we started when we were freshmen,” Stanski said. “To win it as a senior is just a cherry on top of a really good career at Grand Valley.” The Laker senior class will finish as the all-time winningest class in the history of the

Courtesy Photo / Steve King

The Lakers celebrate with the National Championship trophy after their big win on Dec. 5.

program with a record of 84-4-6. “Seeing them all teared up after was very tough,” DiIanni said. “They don’t want it to end. They just won a national championship. It was very rewarding as a coach and as a father to see that out of those girls. They’ve been a class of different personalities and they’ve all been great leaders.” Botts said sending their seniors out with a

Lakers second-half rally not enough to claim national title GV loses National Championship by 7 points to Northwest Missouri By Matt Kuzawa Former GVL Sports Editor

Originally published Dec. 14, 2009 When all seemed to be lost, the Laker football team almost ripped the national championship trophy right out of the hands of Northwest Missouri State but came up short losing 30-23 in the NCAA Division II National Football Championship. No. 2 Northwest Missouri State (14- 1) snapped a fourgame losing streak in the Division II title game, to claim its first National C h a m p i o n s h i p since back-to-back championships in 1998 and 1999 in front of a crowd of 6,211 at Braly Stadium on Saturday. “We felt like we had opportunities to win the game here the last four years, and we came up short every year,” said Bearcat receiver Jake Soy. “We willed ourselves to win this game and it’s an unbelievable feeling” In their first trip to Florence, Ala., since 2006, the No.3 Grand Valley State University team (13- 2) fell short of their goal to win a national title for the third straight year. “Definitely winning it (was our goal) but sometimes you come up short in life — we can’t do anything about that now,” said senior Blake Smolen. Northwest Missouri State dominated the Lakers early, scoring on their first three possessions. The Lakers fell behind 21-0 at halftime, before narrowing the score to 23-20 in the fourth quarter. The Lakers were one play away from getting the ball back, trailing only by three. However, on the fourth

GVL Archive

Despite a second-half rally, the Lakers were unable to take the 2009 title.

down, Northwest Missouri State junior running back Brad Bolles found Soy in single coverage and connected to up their lead to 30-20. GVSU’s offense could only muster a field goal on the following drive. “When we got it to 23-20 I thought that we were going to win the game — I really did,” said GVSU head coach Chuck Martin. “One more stop, one more score, then they make a play and get it to 30-20 and get a little more breathing room. Hats go off to them — they won the game in the first half.” Despite never leading in the game, GVSU almost pulled off a come-from-behind victory fueled by two second half takeaways by the Lakers’ defense. “We pretty much shut them down in the second half, but it’s hard to win a championship when your defense

gives up 30 points,” said GVSU junior linebacker Justin Victor. The Lakers’ rally fell short following a blocked extra point converted to two points for Northwest Missouri State and a failed on-side kick with more than four minutes remaining. “We kind of shot ourselves in the foot in the first half and couldn’t help out our defense; That’s why it’s a team game,” Iciek said” Iciek and the Laker offense were denied on a potential game-tying touchdown drive, as an incomplete pass fell short on a fourth and 15 attempt. With just 58 seconds left in the game the Bearcats needed just one first down to seal the 2009 Division II football National Championship.

bang in the form of a national championship is a bittersweet feeling. “I love the seniors to death, and I’m going to miss them to death,” Botts said. “It’s been one hell of a year for them and I’m glad we got the opportunity to send them out on a high note.”

Mitchell marks third straight internal hire for GV football By Emanuel Johnson GVL Sports Editor

Originally published Jan. 11, 2010 For weeks after Brian Kelly accepted the job as head football coach at Notre Dame, Grand Valley State University fans speculated whether or not Laker head coach Chuck Martin would leave to join him. The public was officially informed on Dec. 26 that Martin had accepted a job as the defensive backs coach at Notre Dame, but sophomore defensive lineman Ricky Thomas said the players could see the writing on the wall far before then. “You could sense that he was leaning toward leaving before he took the job,” he said. “You never see Coach Martin emotional, especially when it comes to football, but he was visibly emotional at the end of the season when he was talking to all of the seniors. There was something extra in his speech.” In Martin‘s absence, GVSU has hired defensive coordinator Matt Mitchell to take the reigns of a program fresh off of a runner-up finish in the 2009 National Championship game. Prior to his 2004 hiring at GVSU, Mitchell served four years as an assistant coach to a Wartburg College football team that won two straight Division III national titles during his final two years. He is the third straight internal hire at GVSU and will replace a coach who finished 77-7 overall and won two National Championships during his tenure. But rather than cave in to the pressure, Mitchell said he welcomes it as a privilege and looks forward to working with authority over the team. “I love that we have high expectations at Grand Valley,” he said. “We have the facilities and the alumni support to put our success in our

own hands rather than missing out on opportunity because of lack of resources. I’d rather be at a school that has the potential to win national championships Mitchell than at a place where a winning season is a major accomplishment.” A new coach generally translates into new coaching personnel, new schemes and new game time tendencies, but Mitchell said he plans to keep several aspects of his regime similar to those of Martin‘s tenure. “I’m just hoping that the results that we’ve had on the field continue,” he said. “I’m sure that there’ll be a few things here and there that might be a little bit different, but we’re still going to run the same offense and the same defense, and we’re still going to hold our kids to high standards. The guts of the program will generally remain the same.” Mitchell has yet to address the team as a whole as head coach, but several players have already expressed satisfaction with the school’s decision to promote him. “I didn’t know what to think when Coach Martin first left,” said sophomore linebacker Brad Howard. “I had to wait and see if Coach Mitchell would be promoted or if they would bring in a new head coach. I probably would have been more upset if they brought in someone new. We were sad to see Coach Martin go, but it’s an upgrade for him and we’re happy for him.” Mitchell will hold a team meeting on Tuesday to discuss goals for both the offseason and next season.

Men’s basketball marches on in first round of GLIAC tourney By Jared Greenleaf GVL Senior Reporter

Originally published March 15, 2010 As was the case several days ago in a 61-53 loss to Hillsdale College in the GLIAC Tournament, the men’s basketball team got off to yet another erratic start March 13. On this particular night, however, it was the Lakers who weathered the storm and came out victorious in the biggest game of the season thus far. With the help of an aggressive offensive and defensive attack, Grand Valley State University overcame an early 11-point hole to pull off a 6856 comeback victory over the defending national champion University of Findlay in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Owensboro, Ky. “Once the jitters kind of went away, we settled

down a little bit and started to play better as the game went on,” said GVSU head coach Ric Wesley, whose team snapped an Oiler eight-game winning streak. “Our goal all year has been to get back to the tournament and advance and now we’ve done that. We started the day one-of-64 and ended the day one-of-32, and we’re anxious to see how far we can go.” In the opening eight minutes, the Oilers came out on fire making 5-of-6 from 3-point range to build a 17-6 lead. The Lakers then exploded on a 16-0 surge holding the Oilers scoreless during an almost seven-minute span. The Lakers, who captured the lead with more than seven minutes left in the first half, took a 30-27 lead into halftime. “Coach just told us to stay focused and keep chipping away,” said sophomore guard Alvin Storrs, who played a monster role in the victory

by contributing a team-high 14 points and four steals. The Oiler offense struggled against the stout Laker zone defense. Findlay shot a season-worst 34 percent from the field. Junior Oiler guard Nathan Hyde, who nailed four 3-pointers in the first half, was a non-factor in the second half as he scored two points in the final 20 minutes. Hyde finished with 14 points while senior guard Marcus Parker led the Oilers with 15 points. “They had a hard time when we ran (the zone) against them earlier this year,” Wesley said. “As much as anything, it helped us identify where their shooters were without having to chase them off screens, and it worked really well against them.” Getting big baskets in the clutch was also a big factor on March 13 as the Lakers converted 7-of18 3-point attempts and had a 26-10 advantage in


points in the paint. With junior center Mike Pryzdzial going down with a season-ending knee injury last week, the win was also an emotional one for the Lakers. “It was great to get a big win for him,” said sophomore center Nick West, who finished with 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench. “I know how hard he works every day and how hard he worked throughout the year. It was the least we could do for him and I’m happy we got it done.” The Lakers advanced to the March 14 Midwest Regional semifinal game against the No. 8 seed in St. Joseph’s University, who pulled off a 7270 upset victory over top-seeded host Kentucky Wesleyan College. The Lakers lost to St. Joseph’s 78-76 in overtime.



Monday, April 26, 2010

Grand Valley Lanthorn

Women’s track places second at nationals Lakers ‘work hard, compete hard’ to tie for runner-up with Ashland University By Aaron Brandt GVL Staff Writer

Originally published March 15, 2010 The Grand Valley State University indoor track team wrapped up its season at the NCAA Divison II Indoor National Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., on March 12 and 13. The women’s team tied with Ashland University for second place overall, finishing behind Lincoln University of Missouri, while the men’s team finished 29th. Although they could not come up with the overall victory, GVSU head coach Jerry Baltes said he was pleased with the women’s performance. “I’m proud of our ladies,” Baltes said. “It’s hard to win this darn thing, and Lincoln is a great team. Last year they beat us by 40 or 50 points, and this year it was less than 10, so we closed that gap on them and we worked hard

and competed hard.” The women had several standout performances among the 16 athletes who competed for GVSU. Sophomore Monica Kinney finished second in the mile with a time of 4:50.48, and senior Chanelle Caldwell finished second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:08.87. Freshman Liz Murphy finished third in the weight throw with a toss of 61 feet 11 inches while senior Maegan Doyen finished fourth in the high jump with a mark of 5’ feet 8.5 inches. Despite the second place finish, senior Danielle Fonseca was happy with the team’s solid effort. “I think that we went out there and did our best and gave everything we could,” Fonesca said. “We all put 100 percent effort into every race, event, jump and pole vault. As a team, overall, we performed really well.” The men’s team’s 29th

place finish may not have shaken up the standings, but Baltes said the best is yet to come for his young team. “We definitely want to finish higher than that every year, but we did get on the board in some places,” he said. “We are young and we will have more kids here next year and we’ll score a lot more points.” Out of the men who did compete for the Lakers, sophomore Matt Armstrong placed eighth in the shot put with a throw of 57 feet 3.75 inches while senior Matt Gordoneer placed fifth in the pole vault with a personal best of 16 feet 3.25 inches. “I am really happy with how we performed,” Gordoneer said. “We got the GLIAC title back and we had a few more guys come with us to nationals, so it was a good year overall.” Now that the indoor season is finished, Fonseca plans on taking full advantage of the time off in order to get

herself and the team to where they want to be this outdoor season. “I will stay focused and train really hard before the outdoor season because I know that individually I can make it to outdoor nationals again, and I know as a team we can make it there and place higher than we did last year,” she said. Even Baltes has little time to relax as his focus turns towards the outdoor season. Last year the women’s team finished fourth overall while the men’s team placed 12th. “We did a lot of great things and we have a short meeting afterward to talk about the positives. Then we have an outdoor season that starts next week with training, and in two weeks we have some kids competing and its off and running,” Baltes said. “We will take a deep breath and do it again and maybe outdoors will be our shot to win the whole thing.”

GVL Archive Senior Danielle Fonseca placed second at the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships. The GVSU women’s track and field team tied for second overall at the championships.

GVSU rows uncharted territory in San Diego By Aaron Brandt GVL Staff Writer

Originally published March 25, 2010 Imagine if Grand Valley State University had a club basketball team. Now picture them going up against top Division I schools such as Duke University, the University of Kentucky and Ohio State University all in one day. That was the situation the GVSU women’s rowing team is heading into with its race at the Jessop-Whittier Cup in San Diego, which was part of the San Diego Crew Classic on March 26-29. It

was the first time either the men’s or women’s team has raced in California. The cup featured top Division I rowing schools such as Harvard University, the University of Virginia and the University of Southern California, making this event special for GVSU head coach John Bancheri. “I’ve coached 30 years and for the women, this is the biggest race that I’ve ever been a part of,” he said. “For me it’s exciting as well as for our athletes. It’s a great challenge.” The women’s crew was not only the first

Division II team to participate in the race, but also the first club team to sink its oars into the San Diego Bay. The crew has competed against Division I schools in the past, but not on this level, noted junior Kelsey Arnold. “We’ve raced at Dad Vail (in Philadelphia) last spring against some DI schools, but they weren’t as fast as the ones we are going to race,” she said. “We’re all pretty nervous and trying to stay relaxed, yet we’re excited for this opportunity.” In order to combat pre-race jitters, Bancheri had his team to focus on their own race. The crew changed up its usual race strategy in order to remain competitive. “Our strategy is generally what you call ‘pacefly,’ where we try to go at an even pace over the course, then give it all we got towards the end,” he said. “I think we’re going to reverse the strategy and try to get in front and see how long we can stay there.” Besides utilizing Bancheri’s strategy, senior Katie Phelan had no other expectations set in stone. “I think having an expectation would only be a hindrance because if we expect to do well, we can be disappointed, but if we expect to do poorly, then the confidence isn’t there,” she said. “It’s

kind of an exploration to see what we can do, so all of us are going to go for the experience and see what happens on the water.” The men’s crew also traveled to San Diego to compete at the American Specialty Health Cup, which is also a part of the San Diego Crew Classic. Sophomore Marco Benedetti said he is looking forward to the opportunity to travel and compete. “It’s going to be interesting to see how we stack up against teams that have been in their race lineups longer than we have, but we’re pretty confident in ourselves,” he said. “It gives us the opportunity to see how we stack up against teams that we wouldn’t normally race, so were all really looking forward to it.” For both teams, the only aspect that matters to Bancheri is his own crews, rather than the competition. “If we can gain speed, we’re going to do very well, and if anybody beats us, they’re damn fast,” he said. “We can’t control what they are doing since there is no defense in our sport, it’s only offensive. It’s a 2,000 meter race like any other 2,000 meter race, so we just have to get to the other end as fast as we can.”

GVL Archive

The women’s rowing team was the first Division II club team to compete in San Diego Bay. The men’s team also traveled to San Diego to compete in the American Speciality Health Cup.


Grand Valley Lanthorn

Monday, April 26, 2010


Record-setting finishes highlight swimming and diving teams’ national run By Greg Monahan GVL Staff Writer

Originally published March 15, 2010 Last year, the Grand Valley State University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams gained national respect with their best finishes in school history. This year, each team continued to march upward. After both teams finished ninth in the nation in 2009, the Lakers traveled to Canton, Ohio, for the 2010 NCAA Division II National Championships. The women ended the tournament ranked eighth out of 37 teams while the men took fourth overall in a tightly-contested field. GVSU head coach Andy Boyce said with two top 10

finishes in as many years, the teams have established themselves nationally. “(The finishes) are huge for us,” he said. “We both finished ninth last year. Moving up in both places is big and repeating in the top 10 is another great accomplishment for us. With the men finishing in the top four, they get to bring home a trophy, so that was really nice. They’re all sitting on cloud nine, loving every minute of it.” Sophomore swimmer Aaron Beebe, who anchored the final event that clinched GVSU’s finish in the top four, said every single member of the team is to thank for the strong showing. “I can’t say that any one person or one event really carried us,” he said. “It was

a universal thing, our divers stepped up big, our relays were huge, there is really no one thing that you can pinpoint. Across the board everyone swam out of their minds.” The women, who at 180 total points were just three points behind Ashland University for seventh place, also took home a special sense of accomplishment. “The top 10 finish is extremely rewarding,” said senior swimmer Samantha Stump. “It’s nice to see all those long days, weekends, early mornings, everything all pay off. Six months of training and here it is all the way at the end, and it’s so exciting to come out and prove ourselves as a team.” Stump, who helped the

team capture first place in the 400-yard freestyle relay ‘B’ heat, said she had extra motivation to come through for her team. “This is definitely extra special for me,” she said. “I made nationals my freshman year and I hadn’t made it since then, so it’s a little extra rewarding for me. I’ve been pushing for this for the last three years to make it back to nationals again, and here I am. I had the meet of my life, and it’s extremely rewarding and a great way to go out of my college swimming career.” The strong finishes for the Lakers were especially significant considering the amount of growth the team has exhibited in such a short period of time, said Beebe. “We’re all just so proud

GVL Archive

The swimming and diving teams finished in the top 10 at nationals.

right now because two or three years ago, Grand Valley’s best finish ever was somewhere around 20th,” he said. “Hardly anybody went to the national meet, and they hadn’t broken top 20 until last

year. We’re all pretty ecstatic here. It’s a great team; we’re all really close, and we’re so happy to move up the way we have.”

Women’s lacrosse gains varsity status By Matt Kuzawa GVL Sports Editor

Originally published Sept. 17, 2009 With the announcement Grand Valley State University Athletics will add women’s lacrosse as a varsity sport, comes mixed reactions from the school’s two club lacrosse teams. For some, such as women’s club lacrosse president Trisha Blake, it is a dream come true. “Everyone is excited because we’ve been waiting for it for a really long time,” she said. “To be able to possibly play on a varsity team for Grand Valley, which is one of the best athletic programs, is awesome. I’m definitely going to be working really hard in the next two years to find myself on that roster.” As a sophomore, Blake will be a senior when the program starts competing in the 2011-2012 school year. Blake said she realizes whether she makes the team or not will depend on the future coach. “I think it really depends on what the coach’s outlook on building a roster is,” she said. “I think it’s a good possibility because there are not a lot of players in the area, so I don’t see a lot of transfers for upperclassmen. I’m sure (the coach) is going to want a leadership base from older players.” GVSU Athletic Director Tim Selgo said they hope to have a coach in place by January. “As soon as we hire a head coach, we’ll want that coach to begin recruiting a team, putting a team in place for next year,” he said. “We’re going to field a team next year and practice and begin

preparations to compete in the spring of 2012.” Any players on next year’s team will redshirt, so they do not lose a year of eligibility as they prepare for competition in the following year. “We want the program to be a little more established before we begin competition,” Selgo said. The decision to add women’s lacrosse to its varsity program instead of other sports was an easy decision, Selgo said. “We looked at quite a few, but we pretty much narrowed in on lacrosse a while ago because of its increasing popularity in the Midwest,” he said. “It’s our feeling that you’re going to see more and more colleges add lacrosse as a varsity sport in the years ahead, and we wanted to be a leader in that.” However, for others, such as junior Jeff Alexander of the men’s club lacrosse team, the announcement is bittersweet. “I wanted guys to make varsity,” he said. “We’ve been in line longer as far as I understand. But you have to congratulate them; it’s cool for them.” When he heard women’s lacrosse was chosen instead of men’s lacrosse, Alexander said he was surprised. “I mean, I get it - the whole (Title) IX thing,” he said. “It’s kind of (like) getting punished. We pay $1,100 in dues this year for guy’s lacrosse and they’re getting picked up by the school? It’s cool for them, but it sucks for us.” While the addition of women’s lacrosse pushes the total of women’s varsity sports to 11, compared

GVL Archive

Recently named a varsity sport at GVSU, the women’s lacrosse team will begin competing in 2011-12.

to nine men’s, there are still more male athletes competing at GVSU than women, Selgo said. Selgo noted there are more athletic scholarships available for women than men, however, GVSU’s student population is 61 percent female and 39 percent male. “This will help us in terms of making progress with regards to increasing opportunities for females and increasing scholarships for women,”

Colorado thwarts men’s hockey’s run at national championship By Greg Monahan GVL Staff Writer

Originally published March 22, 2010 There is no more important position in hockey, and arguably in all of sports, than the goalie. A goalie can single-handedly determine the outcome of a game, something the Grand Valley State University men’s hockey team knows all too well after being upended in this weekend’s National Championships. Entering the tournament needing to win all three games in their pool, the Lakers first got revenge over Miami (Ohio) University with a 5-2 win, just

GVL Archive

GVSU lost 4-3 to Colorado.

one week after the Redhawks beat the Lakers in the GMHL conference playoffs. Against Colorado University, GVSU carried play in all three periods and outshot the Buffaloes 58-32, but Colorado goalie Kevin Litinski turned away a remarkable 55 shots in a 4-3 Laker loss. “We did everything that we could,” said senior Grant Lyon. “We threw puck after puck at the net, and if we get the shots, it’s really out of our hands. The goaltender on the other team stood on his head, and sometimes that’s the way it works out. When you get 50-plus shots, you’re doing everything right, but sometimes you just run into someone hot and there’s nothing you can do about it.” The difference in the game was the team’s struggles on the power play, an issue the team battled throughout the season. GVSU netted just one power play goal in eight opportunities while Colorado tallied three in six chances. “Colorado capitalized on power plays and scoring opportunities,” said senior captain Jason Brown. “I feel like that game was one of the

Berezik among four Laker football players suspended By Matt Kuzawa GVL Sports Editor

Originally published Dec. 4, 2009 Four Grand Valley State University football players including junior running back Jimmy Berezik have been suspended for the NCAA Division II national semifinal against CarsonNewman College due to violation of team rules. GVSU’s assistant athletic director for media relations Tim Nott said head coach Chuck Martin has announced that four players – Berezik, sophomore starting defensive tackle Andre Thomas, and second stringers Ryan Wheat

(defensive tackle) and Blair Hollis (linebacker) have been suspended indefinitely. The four players will not be on the active roster when the Lakers take the field at Lubbers Stadium to be televised on ESPN. Berezik was arrested last season at an off-campus party and was suspended for the Lakers’ quarterfinal loss to the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Berezik pled guilty to assaulting, obstructing and resisting a police officer, and was sentenced to two years probation and 40 hours community service.

best we played all year, and it’s just unfortunate that we came out on the losing end. It’s still quite an accomplishment to pull out two wins at nationals. It’s a disappointment to not make it to semis like we had hoped, but life goes on.” After the loss against Colorado, the Lakers ended the tournament with a 5-3 win over Montclair State University, capping a 2-1 tournament record that GVSU head coach Mike Forbes said was still impressive. “We had a pretty tough bracket,” he said. “I think we had the toughest pool out of all four, and I was very happy with our play this weekend. But the cards fall where they may and you have to win all three games in a lot of cases to get into the final four. We didn’t do that, so unfortunately we’re going home a day early.” The Lakers now focus on next year’s season, which will feature many of the same faces, though some fixtures on the GVSU roster during the past four years will be missing. The team will lose five seniors, including a slew of defenseman in Brown, Andy Dykstra and Kevin Thomas.

Brown said it is hard to believe his career with GVSU is over. “To be honest, I don’t think it has all settled in yet,” said Brown. “It seems like things just flew by, these last four years that I’ve played. We’ve been around great people, great coaches, great families and great players, so it’s hard to be disappointed at times looking back on the great things that happened to me the last four years as a part of this hockey team.”

Selgo said. GVSU will be the first Division II school in Michigan to offer a varsity women’s lacrosse program, with the University of Detroit (DI) and Adrian College (DIII) being the only other intercollegiate programs. The Lakers will compete as a Division II independent in women’s lacrosse for the time being.



Monday, April 26, 2010

Grand Valley Lanthorn

Baseball team dominates conference opponents By Emanuel Johnson GVL Sports Editor

GVL Archive

The Laker baseball team has three games remaining before tournament play.

Originally published March 22, 2010 The members of the Grand Valley State University baseball team may be individually experienced in collegiate baseball, but with several transfers on the team, the players are fairly new to each other. But that did not stop the Lakers from mowing over their opponents in conference action on March 18-20. The team downed the University of Findlay in two games (13-2 and 178) and dominated Hillsdale College in three (12-2, 13-1 and 11-5). “It couldn’t have gone a whole lot better,” said GVSU head coach Steve Lyon. “Offensively we scored a ton of runs. We had double digits in every game that we played and just really hit the ball well up and down the lineup. We showed, even in our spring trip against teams down south, that we can hit the ball really well.” And the Lakers hit the ball, very well. The team finished the weekend with 66 total runs off of 77 hits and 10

homeruns. As a team, the Lakers were .435 from the plate. “It seems like everyone in the whole lineup was hitting well,” said sophomore outfielder Cody Grice, who finished the final game with three hits on five attempts and a homerun. “One through nine in the order was coming up with big hits one after another. Putting up runs in each inning was big for us, and we’ve just got to keep that up.” While the slew of runs scored marked the highlight of the weekend, the team also only committed five errors through five games. While it may not be perfect, Lyon said he is impressed with the play nonetheless. “Our defense continues to play well,” he said. “We made a couple of mistakes that we’re trying to work at and correct. As a coach, you always want perfection, but you understand that it’s probably not going to happen. We just have to make sure that we can make defensive plays when necessary to help the pitching out.” But the pitching did not need a whole lot of help. The pitching staff pitched three complete games while

tallying an ERA of just 3.65. The team allowed six extra-base hits. “The pitching has been outstanding the last five games for sure,” said senior first baseman Cory Maguire, who finished the final game with three hits and three runs. “We had a few pitchers go complete games, which is huge. A few of our starters got hurt, so we had some middle relievers and closers come in for starts and ended up giving us a lot of strong innings. Hopefully it can continue throughout the season.” The Lakers faced a week-long home stand of nine games March 2328 against Northwood University, Ashland University and Tiffin University. “As conference play goes on, it generally separates itself,” he said. “Some of the teams are a little bit better than others. Ashland, Wayne State and Northwood have generally been competitive with us at the top of the conference, and two of them — Ashland and Northwood — we have this week. That’ll be a good test for us, but it’s still a long haul in the conference.”

Twins talent deals rivals double threat By Aaron Brandt GVL Staff Writer

Originally published Jan. 14, 2010 This year, opponents of the Grand Valley State University women’s basketball team might think they are seeing double. In reality, they are going up against twin forwards Briauna and Brittany Taylor, who are in their first year at GVSU. The Taylor twins combined for 19 points and 12 rebounds in Monday’s 64-41 victory over Ferris State University. GVSU head coach Janel Burgess said their recent success can be attributed to the pair’s dedication to the game. “They’re athletic, quick and they have great basketball skills but had never really focused on basketball all the time,” she said. “To see them continue to grow in these last six months and really focus on the little things

has been encouraging.” collegiate-level athletics. Although the twins may “For me, the adjustment was be identical on the outside, actually not as hard as I thought they each have vastly different it would be because we have characteristics. While one twin such wonderful teammates was set on becoming a Laker, that help us,” she said. “This the other was not quite as sure. is the closest team that I have “Brittany went on the Internet ever been on because everyone researching cares about each “They were colleges,” other.” Briauna Taylor For Briauna definitely a said. “She Taylor, however, package deal.” wanted to go the move proved to GVSU no a bit more matter what, difficult. but I wanted to “Back in JANEL BURGESS look around. high school, we GVSU HEAD COACH When she said, didn’t have to ‘No, I’m going rely on details there,’ we came to an agreement because we were just better than that I would go to Grand Valley everyone else,” she said. “Since if she would play basketball.” we’re here, there is emphasis Once enrolled in college, on things like jump stopping the adjustment process had a and chinning the ball, so it was different effect on the twins as hard for me to actually get in the well. Brittany Taylor said she groove, but now I get it.” had little trouble transitioning to Although the team has been

together for several months now, Burgess said she still has trouble telling the two apart without their jerseys. “I still struggle, don’t kid yourself,” she said. “At least they have jerseys on, but sometimes when they don’t, I’m debating ... but they help me understand. They are hard to differentiate at times, but when they are on the court, you can definitely tell them apart.” One way she can tell them apart is their different playing styles. Briauna Taylor has proven to be a perimeter threat by shooting 13-20 from 3-point range while Brittany Taylor does more of the dirty work with 44 total rebounds. “Brittany is stronger and has more of a low-post presence,” Burgess said. “Brianna is more finished, more of a 3-point shooter and can maybe take it a little more fluently off

GVL Archive

Brittany and Briauna Taylor pose a double threat on the court.

the dribble, but both of them complement each other. I think as soon as they understand how much their strength can give to this game as well as how well they can play defense, it will be encouraging.” The benefits the Taylor twins bring to the program are worth the confusion, Burgess said.

“They were definitely a package deal,” she said. “When we recruited them they were getting full rides for softball and a couple offers for basketball, so it was a good opportunity to take two talented kids that we know could do very well in our program.”

Top-ranked Lakers upset by Hillsdale 27-24 By Matt Kuzawa GVL Sports Editor

Originally published Oct. 10, 2009 After giving up a touchdown with under a minute to play, the No. 1 ranked Laker football team could not muster a game-tying field goal and fell to Hillsdale College 27-24 Oct 10. The Lakers’ 48 game regular season win streak came to an end, which included 45 straight in the GLIAC. It was the team’s first regular season loss since Oct. 23, 2004 and was the 2009 senior class’ first regular season loss. With just 36 seconds left, Chargers quarterback Troy Weatherhead led his team down the field to take a 2724 lead, in front of Hillsdale’s

Homecoming crowd. Having little time to respond, the Lakers still managed to get close enough to attempt a field goal to send it into overtime, however Justin Trumble’s field goal sailed to the right. The Lakers outgained the Chargers by a 462 to 324 margin in offensive yardage. Junior running back Jimmy Berezik gained 93 yards on the ground. In the air Iciek completed 22 for 29 attempts for 261 yards and two touchdowns. Senior wideout Blake Smolen was on the receiving end of those, finishing with eight receptions for 125 yards. GVSU scored on its opening drive for the sixth time in seven games as senior quarterback Brad Iciek connected with junior wide receiver Mike Koster for

an 8-yard touchdown pass. After GVSU took a 9-0 lead in the first quarter, following a Trumble field goal, Hillsdale responded with 17 unanswered points to take a 17-9 lead. With 4:19 left in the first half, Smolen returned the ensuing kick 54 yards. Iciek drove the team down the field in an eightplay drive capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run from Berezik. The extra point was no good, and the Lakers went into the half trailing 17-15. To add insult to injury, starting wide receiver Mike Koster limped off the field on crutches at the end of the first half, giving Iciek one less option to throw to. With 4:47 left in the third quarter, the Chargers had to settle for a field goal and a 20-15

lead, after an overthrown pass by Weatherhead in the back of the endzone. The Laker offense responded when Iciek found senior wideout Blake Smolen at the 2-yard-line, and Smolen reached across the goal line to give GVSU a 22-20 advantage. After exchanging a pair of possessions, junior P.T. Gates put the Lakers in good position to add to their one-point lead with a punt return to the Hillsdale 42-yard line. A failed fourth down conversion on a dropped pass by Smolen, was thought to be another big stop for the Hillsdale defense, but a pass interference call gave the Lakers’ offense new life. Again, GVSU head coach Chuck Martin was faced with

a tough fourth-down decision at the 13-yard line. The Lakers opted to kick the field goal this time and Trumble connected from 30 yards, increasing the lead to 24-20 with 5:27 left in the game. Then, Weatherhead put the team on his back, leading the Chargers offense down the field on an eleven play, 67-yard drive, taking 4 minutes and 43 seconds off the clock. The Chargers capped off the drive with a 1-yard run to give Hillsdale a 27-24 lead with just 36 seconds left on the clock.

83 yards away from the endzone, the Laker offense faced a difficult task of tying the score, with just 26 seconds after the return. However, Iciek did manage to lead the team to the Hillsdale 32-yard line, hooking up with Smolen for a 32 and an 11 yard gain. With 5 seconds left, Trumble’s 49-yard field-goal attempt against the wind was long enough but sailed to the right.

Courtesy Photo / Eric Stoike

Brad Iciek completed two touchdowns against Hillsdale College.

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Grand Valley Lanthorn Monday, April 26, 2010


Summer class wraps feature film ‘The Darkroom’ By Josh Brunsting GVL Staff Writer

Originally published Aug. 31, 2009 Instead of lazing away at the beach during summer vacation, a group of Grand Valley State University students spent their time working on a feature film, “The Darkroom.” The Summer Film Series class wrapped up the filming of “The Darkroom” in August. The process of making a film in Allendale, Mich., was just as rigorous as it is in Hollywood, said GVSU professor Joseph McCargar, who was also the supervising sound editor on the film. Mike Johnson and Angela Pollema, boom operator and mixer, respectively, worked extensively with McCargar on the film. “I couldn’t have asked for two better collaborators,” McCargar said.

“(There are) just so many variables will be shown to the public in a in recording sound that to have as special test screening on Sept. 3. phenomenal sound as this film does, “We are hoping to get any and all it’s just a credit to them. I have all the objective feedback that we can get,” respect in the world for those two.” said director and GVSU professor Z. The crew managed to secure a Eric Yang. “This has been an amazing $30,000 budget from the School of experience. I had a great and big Communications crew. Over the nine and also received days we shot, each “This has been help with necessary day went anywhere an amazing materials from from 12 to 16 work Panavision, Kodak hours, and everyone’s experience. I had and Cineworks, great spirits really a great and big which allowed them made these days go to film everything by without many crew.” they needed and problems.” Z. ERIC YANG all of the necessary “The Darkroom,” GVSU PROFESSOR editing, said Kim written by Yang, tells Roberts, executive the story of an old producer of the project and associate photographer played by Michael professor at GVSU. Richey who attempts to transition The Film/Video 429 class at into the new digital age. However, GVSU is set to begin finishing sound when he goes for training, he for the film. Once all editing of the discovers the person training him film is finalized, “The Darkroom” is his estranged daughter, played by

Eleanor Caudill. “The film explores many cultural ideas,” McCargar said. “It looks at the tension between old and new technology, how technology contributes to art, the natural tension between generations, as well as the natural tension within families. It looks not only at these tensions themselves but how we all resolve them.” The Summer Film Series was created 15 years ago and has since produced 15 films. Twenty-eight GVSU film and video majors worked on this year’s production. All filming was done locally. A special test screening was held for “The Darkroom” on Sept. 3 in 174 Lake Superior Hall. The film premiered at Celebration Cinemas North on March 25 and will be entered in many national and worldwide film festivals.

Courtesy Movie Poster / ‘The Darkroom’

“The Darkroom” premiered March 25.

‘Into the Woods’ weaves threedimensional fairy tale Fellow theater professional Rhonda Lehan will join Babcock as stage manager for the pair’s third show together at GVSU. All aspects of this show and rehearsal have kept the actors on their toes, but the cast and By Haley Otman crew are always finding ways to GVL A&E Editor improve. Originally published Feb. 1, “This is a really complex 2010 show ... a show where everyone “This is by far the most has to be focused,” Lehan said. skillful cast ... that I’ve ever “Into the Woods” includes seen on this campus.” the use of many elaborate props Those are big words coming and sets, most of which do not from a professor at a university arrive on campus until less than boasting some 24,000 students, a week before opening night, but Dale Schriemer, the artistic so the actors make use of faux director and producer of the props and pretend the strips of upcoming production “Into the tape Lehan has applied to the Woods,” said he believes all the floor are the real set pieces. people working on the musical The characters portrayed deserve that recognition. in “Into the Woods” are “I’m thrilled with what’s familiar fairy tale figures such going on,” Schriemer said. as Cinderella, Jack and the Schriemer based his Beanstalk and Little Red Riding contentment on the huge level of Hood, to name a few. However, commitment and improvement Stephen Sondheim’s music and he has seen by the Grand lyrics bring about a whole new Valley State University students side of those characters. working on the GVSU Opera “There’s a lot of really Theatre’s spring production. fun fairy tale characters who Schriemer worked to we’ve always known as twobring back guest director and dimensional characters who are choreographer Karen Babcock thrust into three-dimensional for her fourth production at situations,” Babcock said. GVSU. Babcock, “They’re who also directed not always “It helps people “Guys and equipped to bridge the gap Dolls,” “The handle these Secret Garden” between the situations.” and “Ragtime,” The only academic world brings an new fairy tale ... and the real extensive characters Broadway and introduced world.” international are the Baker, DALE SCHRIEMER resume of her played by GVSU PROFESSOR own to the Matthew production. Kahl, and his “What I have wife, played appreciated about her work is by Kalli Siringas. her high standards,” Schriemer “We kind of serve as a link said. that ties all of the characters He added Babcock brought together,” Kahl said. the high expectations of a He said he learned a lot, Broadway show to Allendale especially from Babcock, while for GVSU students to absorb. preparing to play his fairy tale “It helps people bridge the character in an offbeat way. gap between the academic “You definitely have to do world ... and the real world,” he a lot of homework to feel like added. you’re doing any of the roles While Babcock admitted she justice,” Kahl said, which he does set high standards, she said aspires to do because Sondheim the GVSU actors and singers she is his favorite composer. has met are more than capable “Into the Woods” played of performing to them. Feb. 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. “We’re keeping the bar nice 12 and Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m., and and high, and I find that if you Feb. 14 at 2 p.m. keep it high, they come up to it,” she said.

Professionals help GV students become ‘most skillful cast’

GVL Archive

The GVSU Opera Theatre’s spring production was “Into the Woods.”

GVL Archive

Angel, played by Darion Murchison sings to the sky as he is dying from AIDS in the 2009 GVSU and Heritage Theatre production of Jonathan Larson’s “Rent.” The show, directed by Manley Pope, was the first production of “Rent” in West Michigan.

‘Rent’ comes to GVSU under direction of former Broadway cast member GVSU joins with Heritage Theatre to bring first production of ‘Rent’ to West Mich. By Danielle Slabbekoorn GVL Staff Writer

Originally published Nov. 12, 2009 “Rent” broke out in song and dance in Grand Valley State University’s co-production with Heritage Theatre, and became the first production of Jonathan Larson’s now-famous musical in West Michigan. “Rent” features the artists and homeless living on the fringes of New York during 1989, when AIDS was a serious dilemma causing many to die within three to four months of diagnosis. Manley Pope, the production’s director, acted in the Broadway production of “Rent” for four years playing the part of Roger. “’Rent’ is a period piece which people forget,” Pope said. “It’s more about rebelling against the oppression they were under from AIDS because nobody knew how it was transmitted.” The song “Will I” is what originally hooked Pope into performing on Broadway because he found it “very beautiful and poignant.” He said the song had only four lines, but it had a lot of power, which is what “Rent” is all about in this emotion-based rock score. “The students and Heritage Theatre have done a really good job at grasping what they can do,” Pope

said. “I’m pushing them beyond Murchison said “Rent” is very their boundaries to feel the true, real demanding, since it is not a typical emotions.” “having fun on stage” type of show as He added he hopes audiences will it deals with the shock and amazement be emotionally moved by “Rent” and of people living with AIDS. take away the love and perspective on Alicia Clark, who played Joanne a bit of life they did not get to see. Jefferson, a “power” lesbian lawyer, “’Rent’ can be played in a lot of said “Rent” is what she considers ways,” Pope said. “I want to capture a social-change theatrical since it the emotional heart that Larson brings forth both a positive and originally wanted so it shouldn’t negative aspect of the people living be compared to the in those times. Broadway.” “I haven’t cried “‘Rent’ is a really He said this this much in a show,” hopeful message production of “Rent” Clark said in referring about how you is based on the original to a riveting rehearsal. writing by Larson. “I love this kind of measure life. It’s In keeping with this, but I didn’t not about the years theater, Pope asked anyone think I would like you’ve lived but who has seen the ‘Rent’ as much as I do Broadway prodcution now.” about living out to keep an open mind Clark said her main your years.” to this more raw form goal is to have people KAREN LIBMAN of Larson’s play. leave “Rent” affected in GVSU PROFESSOR “It is a re-visioning some way or another. of the show,” Pope “’Rent’ is a really said. hopeful message about Karen Libman, cohow you measure life,” producer for “Rent,” said this was Libman said. “It’s not about the years the first time GVSU has worked with you’ve lived but about living out Heritage Theatre. your years.” “We are the first amateur theater to “Rent” performed Nov. 19, 20 do ‘Rent’ in this area,” Libman said. and 21 at 7:30 p.m. with a late night Darion Murchison played Angel performance at 11 p.m. on Nov. 20 Dumott Schunard, who he described and a matinee performance at 2 p.m. as “a very spunky type of guy that Nov. 15. takes every day as positively as he can.”



Monday, April 26, 2010

Grand Valley Lanthorn

Crew reveals backstage secrets Cast, crew of almost 30 wrap up preparation, share behind-the-scenes perspective on production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ By Jenny Whalen GVL Editor in Chief

Originally published Oct. 1, 2009 With less than a week until the opening of “Romeo and Juliet” it is organized chaos within Grand Valley State University’s Louis Armstrong Theatre. After several hundred hours of rehearsal and almost six months of behind-thescenes preparation, the efforts of more than 30 cast and crew will be realized on Oct. 2 in the first of nine performances. “Most people have no idea the actual amount of time, the detail one has to go to (in producing a play),” said director Chris Hayes. “A lot of the things we fret about when we do a play, the details of it, the audience doesn’t notice and one doesn’t want them to notice. It’s all part of the rich jigsaw of things that they’re looking at.” Planning for the GVSU Shakespeare Festival’s “Sweet 16” season began more than a year ago with the selection of the play. Hayes was invited from London to guest direct and cast auditions were held in April 2009. Because Hayes only arrived in Allendale, Mich., a few days ago, most of the show’s visual elements were designed through webcam and Skype conversations with set designer John Despres, who is based in Grand Rapids, Mich. “When you’re going to do a play so far in advance, it sort

of sits in your head,” Hayes more than 20 hours recording said. “Each time you do a play, the show’s mechanics. even if you’ve done it before, Based on this log, stage it’s always different because manager Ronda Leehan it is different people, a differ- will cue lighting, sound, set ent environment ... a different changes and actors’ entrances world.” throughout the show. One noticeable difference “The stage manager will sit in Hayes’ production is the in the light box and everyone set, or rather, the lack of set. (backstage) wears headsets as There are no stairways or bal- she calls the cues,” said Lauconies in this version, only ren Branstetter, assistant stage a few props and 15 curtains, manager. “Without a doubt the known to crewmembers such stage manager does the most as Margaret Kammenzind as on a show.” A through O. “Romeo and Juliet” is Br“Every“Most people have anstetter’s first thing is letstint working no idea the actual backstage. A tered and we bring the junior theater amount of time, scenes up and major, she said the detail one down as (the the experience has to go to (in stage manager) has given her gives us our producing a play).” a much greater cues,” Kamappreciation CHRIS HAYES menzind, a for what ev‘ROMEO AND JULIET’ GVSU senior, eryone else DIRECTOR said. “The curdoes besides tains are operated by a system the actors. of pulleys.” “An awful lot of what the Each of the curtains is in- playmaker has done passes dependently moving and will (the audience) by, but the kind take up a different position of music that is used, the way specific to each scene. people are standing, the way “I think an audience ap- they look at each other ... all preciates a play at a fairly these are signals we’re used to high percentage subliminally,” picking up when we interact Hayes said. “You don’t try to with others, but that we’re not understand it; you just react to conscious of,” Hayes said. it emotionally.” The work of cast and crew In the days leading up will culminate in the opening to the opening night perfor- performance of “Romeo and mance every cue, scene shift, Juliet” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in spotlight and bar of music be- the Louis Armstrong Theatre tween the first curtain and the on GVSU’s Allendale Camlast is entered into a computer. pus. During pre-production, Hayes estimates crewmembers spend

GVL Archive

The GVSU students who made up the crew for “Romeo & Juliet” wait for their cues backstage.

Courtesy Photo / GVSU Shakespeare Festival

Sean Kelly and Anna Walters portrayed Shakespeare’s famed star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet.

Students write script for locally-based comedy By Jenny Whalen GVL Editor in Chief

GVL Archive

Eric Spencer is on the air at WCKS The Whale, GVSU’s student-run radio station. The Whale decided to return to AM broadcasting in the fall semester after waiting more than a year for a verdict from the FCC on their FM application.

The Whale to return to AM broadcasting After a year without FCC approval, The Whale will continue online streaming By Haley Otman GVL A&E Editor

Originally published Sept. 21, 2009 WCKS The Whale, Grand Valley State University’s student-run radio station, hoped to begin the year broadcasting on the FM frequency. Since the Federal Communications Commission has yet to approve or deny their application after a year, the people behind The Whale made the decision to return to AM broadcasting and continue online streaming. “I remember last year we would check every day to see if we were approved,” said Justin Minor, president of The Whale. As months passed, though, the station started to lose hope a decision would come in a timely manner. Evan Daniels, the music director, co-promotions director and a disc jockey, decided to put himself in charge of investigating the FCC’s decision, and personally called the commission to try and find out what was behind the long delay. Daniels said he discovered there is a small window for applying for FM broadcasting, and so many different

people apply and the process can take CDs, Minor said, to be included in so long, the FCC will not speculate disc jockeys’ programs. The shows on a length of time before The Whale are broken up into different genres, finds out the verdict. including a new sports show. “We’re not in a bad situation, but it This semester, members of The just seems for a proper college radio Whale want to help expose bands, station we should be on FM,” said update and upgrade their Web site Nick Smith, coordinator of Kirkhof and connect more with the on- and Center Programming and adviser of off-campus community. They have The Whale. purchased a lot of new equipment Instead of deciding to continue including a new mixer and on-air sign waiting on approval and only and are investing in more promotional broadcasting online, the students at materials including T-shirts, bumper The Whale chose to return to AM stickers and buttons. broadcasting to give “It’s not so much people another listening it’s “We’re not in a bad revolution, option. evolution,” Minor “We do still have situation, but it just said. our AM equipment, it’s Minor said The seems for a proper just not up and running Whale is always college radio yet,” Daniels said. looking for new station we should members, and their The station should work on the entire next general assembly be on FM.” Allendale Campus meeting is 9 p.m. Oct. NICK SMITH and hopefully the Pew 5, in the Grand River ADVISER OF THE WHALE Campus, he added. Room of the Kirkhof In addition to broadcasting their Center. regular in-studio shows, they plan They are still broadcasting online to include more remote broadcasting and expect to be on AM radio by the this year. end of fall semester. “We want to broadcast from the The Whale is also planning their sports games,” Daniels said. Smith annual Splash Bash event tentatively said he wants The Whale to host a for November. series from Kleiner Commons, or To listen to The Whale, go to another place on campus. The Whale “They do have a mobile unit,” can also be followed on Twitter at Smith said. TheWhaleDotOrg. Back in the studio, the station has “thousands upon thousands” of

Originally published Dec. 10, 2010 While their peers write research papers and short stories, six college students are writing the pilot to what producers hope will be the first great sitcom to come out of Grand Rapids. Hailing from Grand Valley State University, Cornerstone University and Kuyper College, these students represent the first writing team assembled for the inaugural project of Bob Israels’ Center for Emerging Enterprises — the sitcom “Gofers.” Based in Grand Rapids, the comedy follows a group of misfit drivers through the outlandish situations they create while working at the fictitious delivery service Gofers. At the start of the fall semester, the writing team was given certain characters with skeletal parts to them and a rough sketch of the plot. “We were told, ‘It’s a delivery service and here are the characters who inhabit this little world,’” said Frank Boring, the GVSU professor heading the writing team. “All these background questions had to be answered at the very beginning.” In the first weeks of the semester, members of the writing team focused on developing the individual characters and building the relationships among them. The task is now to write

the 40-page rough draft of a 22-minute pilot episode that can be polished throughout the winter semester in preparation for the summer production deadline. The student writer’s group meets once a week for three hours at a time. While professional writers groups boast nine or 10 people to pitch and tweak ideas, Boring said the progress made thus far by six students is something deserving of recognition. “That we even got as far as we are now is pretty impressive and shows incredible creativity and work ethic of some of the students that I work with,” Boring said. In addition to the mentorship provided by Boring, students of the writing group also have the opportunity to work closely with Emmy-winner Tom Caltabiano, the co-executive producer of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Three times during the winter semester, Caltabiano will interact with the students via teleconference to critique their work and offer suggestions for improvement. With the start of the winter semester, new students will join the group while others will leave. Though Boring admits the lack of continuity between semesters will present some problems, he said he is confident the talents of the new group will produce a good rough draft he and Caltabiano will be able to polish prior to production.

Courtesy Photo / Denny Cuson

The writing teleconferences with “Gofers” producer Tom Caltabiano.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Grand Valley Lanthorn

DeVos family brings $250,000 ArtPrize to Grand Rapids By Haley Otman GVL A&E Editor

Originally published Sept. 24, 2009 ArtPrize may bear sponsors of big family names heard often in Grand Rapids, but it is anything but an everyday Grand Rapids event. The competition will be the largest of its kind in the world and award a total of $449,000 to the top 10 votegetters. Its founder, Rick DeVos, a member of one of Michigan’s most influential families, garnered prize money ranging from $250,000 for the winner to $7,000 for 10th place. The event began Sept. 23 and continued through Oct. 10. Winners were announced Oct. 8. A jury, however, does do the voting at ArtPrize. Guests’ text message and online votes will determine the winner. Voter registration began Wednesday, and anyone 16 or older can vote. “It really is an incredible social media experiment,” said Ginny

Seyferth of Seyferth & Associates, the public relations group working with ArtPrize. Also unconventional is the location for the event: Grand Rapids as a whole. One hundred fifty-nine different places in Grand Rapids will serve as venues for ArtPrize. Any property in the city could become a venue, and the competition accepted any amount of art that would fit in the available venues. More than 1,200 artists have registered for the competition, including people from more than 12 countries and 44 states. “We have artists from all over the world participating in one city, at one point in time,” Seyferth said. Grand Valley State University volunteered two venues on the Pew Campus, the Meijer Public Broadcast Center and the DeVos Center Frey Foundation Courtyard, for the competition. Individual artists worked with individual venues to decide what pieces fit best where. More than 20 members of the GVSU

community are involved with ArtPrize, including professors of film and video Deanna Morse and Kim Roberts. Morse created a video installation and projection that examines nature through the lens of time and Roberts created a large-scale video installation of giggling babies. “When I read about ArtPrize ... I jumped at the opportunity to create an installation where my film, with closeup images of nature, would be projected in an urban space,” Morse said. Her video projection is shown on the windows of the Eberhard Center, and she said students can see it from the Pew Campus bus stop. Overall, the people behind ArtPrize spoke with about 10,000 artists, design schools, art schools, museums and galleries to bring the event to fruition. “This is a bit of an art revolution,” said Jeff Speck, former director of design for the National Endowment for the Arts, in a press release. Both professional artists and amateurs contributed pieces to the

‘Vagina Monologues’ pair comedy, education

GVL Archive

A Grand Rapids 2009 ArtPrize entry, which depicts the Loch ness Monster, Nessy, was on display in the Grand River during the Sept. 23-Oct. 8 event.

competition. Artists were invited to work together on a piece, but only one entry per person was accepted. “In this event, there are many voices and ideas, and it provides a thoughtful and visual treat for all of us who live in this community,” Morse said.

Kort re-crowned at Last Laker and Michael Have Issues.” in operation being the “Usually I get calls for spotlights shining upon the college shows like these, stage. Waters performed a and they turn out to be talent 40-minute set before Joel shows, which is the worst,” Wood took the stage as the Waters said. “You have to first contestant. watch what you say because “Stage fright is always everyone’s family is there. my biggest problem,” said You can’t make fun of the finalist Greg Monahan. “You kids performing; it’s just no usually have a set game plan By Coty Levandoski fun as a comedian.” walking onstage, but tonight GVL Staff Writer Waters said he was quite I just tossed mine aside and Originally published impressed with Grand Valley improvised my entire set.” March 1, 2010 State University’s own Each contestant was There was literally a full given up to 10 minutes to house for Feb. 26’s Last Laker comedic talent. “College shows like this present entirely new material Standing finals, as those who usually have two or three for the judges, with Reese had not arrived when doors comedians, and at least one performing between each opened at 8:30 p.m. stood at the back of the Kirkhof of those three usually aren’t of them. By night’s end, on the student Center’s Grand River Room, quite par with a u d i e nce “Thr first stand-up where Greg Kort delivered the others,” along with his winning set for the second act I ever did was four GVSU he said. “It year in a row. professional a talent show my While weather conditions was nice to be part of a members did not affect guest sophomore year of staff show with cast paper attendance, comedian Pete high school.” solid ballots to Dominick could not make five performers. choose the his scheduled performance GREG KORT was three finalists. as host for the show’s fourth I GVSU STUDENT d e f i n i t e l y “You do annual outing. these things Filling in for him was impressed by just for the sheer enjoyment Reese Waters, a Washington, each of them.” The proceedings started of being on stage and D.C., native who has appeared with the Grand River Room performing, not for the prizes on “Live at Gotham” and Comedy Central’s “Michael going dark, the only bulbs and accolades,” Monahan said. With sets based on topics ranging from racism and squirrels to “Toy Story” and marijuana, the third-, secondand first-place finishers were awarded a GPS system, a Nintendo Wii gaming system with an additional controller and game and a Blu-Ray player complete with a stack of DVDs, respectively. Reese announced the winners onstage, with Joel Wood taking third, Jessica Sudy, the only female, placed second and junior Greg Kort reclaiming his crown. “The first stand-up act I ever did was a talent show my sophomore year of high school,” Kort said. “This is something I just do for fun, and I don’t really have any intentions of making a career out of it ... But if someone were to approach me, I might entertain the idea.” GVL Archive Reese was not familiar Junior Greg Kort delivers his winning act during Last Laker. with the format of Last Laker Standing, which is modeled after NBC’s own “Last Comic Standing.” “It was nice to see this competition though, I know it’s something I thrive upon myself,” he said. “The opportunity to both put on or participate in something like this as a student is such a genius idea ... I think I should enroll here next fall.”

GVSU junior Greg Kort wins Last Laker Standing for second consecutive year

GVL Archive

Valentine’s weekend brought a performance of the “Vagina Monologues” on campus.

GVSU’s Pew Campus will be one of ArtPrize’s eight major Exhibition Centers in 2010. For more information, visit the ArtPrize Web site at

ISSUE 60  
ISSUE 60  

Issue 60 - Apr. 26, 2010 - Grand Valley Lanthorn