Page 1


A L L E N D A L E & G R A N D R A P I DS , M I C H I G A N ST U D E N T- R U N P U B L I C A T I O N S // P R I N T · O N L I N E · M O B I L E // L A N T H O R N . C O M

T H U R S D A Y, F E B R U A RY 2 2 , 2 0 1 8 // VO L . 52 N O. 4 5


Student senate to host week of activities ahead of elections BY SARAH HOLLIS SHOLLIS@LANTHORN.COM

As the end of the winter semester at Grand Valley State University approaches, so does the time for electing new senators and cabinet members for the GVSU student senate. To help create excitement for the upcoming elections, as well as provide necessary information to those interested in running for an open seat, student senate will be hosting Student Senate Week beginning Monday, Feb. 26. “We put it on for a multitude of reasons,” said Morgan Mattler, chair of the public relations committee. “We want to get our student body involved, we want to get our student body informed on what senate is all about and we just want to get the name of student senate out there as well.” Every day from Monday, Feb. 26, through Thursday, March 1, there will be different events and activities on campus related to student senate. Current senators hope to get as many students involved in these events as possible. “We just want as much involvement from our student body as possible,” Mattler said. “We do this through an assortment of ways with all of these events that try to engage students and inform students. A trend that we’ve seen in the past is there’s a slight disconnect between the student body and student senate, and it’s the kind of thing we’ve noticed also through OREs this year. “So, the beautiful thing about Student Senate Week, assuming we get the word out well enough, is we can really bring in a lot of students who can come in and learn what we’re all about and why student senate is here.” This year, for the first time, there will be a Coffee with Coordinators event where students will be able to grab coffee and get information about sexual assault and sexual assault prevention and awareness. “The event is put on by student senate, more specifically the sexual assault awareness committee, which is a committee that I run,” said Rachel Jenkin, chair of the campus affairs committee of student senate. “The event is going to be LIB 100- and 201-approved, and the idea of it is to be a more comfortSEE SENATE | A2

CAMPUS HAPPENINGS: GVSU President Thomas Haas introduces the keynote speaker in the Fieldhouse Arena on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 16, 2017. In an email sent out campus-wide Friday, Feb. 16, Haas announced that the university is conducting a search for a full-time victim advocate. GVL | LUKE HOLMES

Search for full-time GV victim advocate underway BY DEVIN DELY DDELY@LANTHORN.COM


n a recent email sent to students, Grand Valley State University President Thomas Haas announced a number of reviews and changes being made by the university to improve safety and address sexual assault on campus. Among these efforts was an announcement that GVSU is searching for a new full-time victim advocate. “I am proud that we are a campus that values and maintains open communication, transparency, and builds strong relationships across administrative and academic units,” Haas wrote in the email. “This culture of transparency and accountability will not be deterred.” The search began last fall following the departure of Ashley

Schulte, who held the position until September. The search committee is being headed by Marlene Kowalski-Braun, assistant vice president for inclusion and student affairs, and Jessica Jennrich, director of the Gayle R. Davis Center for Women and Gender Equity. Jennrich, whose job on the committee is to help coordinate the search and conduct policy review throughout, said the search has been treated with the utmost importance by GVSU. “(The university) realized it’s an absolute priority and that it can’t wait,” she said. “It’s very common when a position is vacant to take a few months and evaluate it before filling it. In this case, President Haas decided we would just go ahead and fill this position rather than continue the long process that

we were in the middle of.” According to Jesse Bernal, vice president for inclusion and equity, the process of finding a new advocate has given the university an opportunity to review some of its sexual assault policies and take a closer look at the future of victim advocacy at GVSU. “When Ashley left and took a job at Ferris (State) last semester, we worked internally to examine the work we’ve been doing for victim survivor services,” he said. “It was a really good opportunity for us to pause and think about how we want to move forward with this role.” Despite sexual assaults on and near campus last semester, as well as an incident last year involving a former student senator’s controversial comments about the existence of rape culture, Jennrich hopes students

continue to use the services offered to them on campus. “Speaking in generalities, I think since the fall, there’s been about 55 people that have utilized the victim advocacy services that I know of, for a multitude of reasons,” Jennrich said. Victim advocacy is a concept that may be unfamiliar to many, even those who may need it. Bernal hopes students will not be deterred by their confusion about its purpose and will not afraid to use it if they need to. “Advocate is an interesting word for this position,” Bernal said. “I think that piece refers to the awareness-building of the position. Then, there’s the support piece, actually connecting with an individual who has SEE ADVOCATE | A2



TEDxGVSU: The Euphoria a cappella group performs during the TEDxGVSU event held in the Cook-DeWitt Center on Feb. 24, 2017. TEDxGVSU will host another event at GVSU on Friday, March 16. The theme of the event is ‘Shape.’ GVL | KEVIN SIELAFF

TEDxGVSU is proud to announce its second idea-sharing event meant to spur creative thought and discussion on March 16 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the DeVos Center Loosemore Auditorium. The event will bring together a number of students and faculty members from different disciplines and will highlight special projects being worked on by local scholars and professionals. Nikhil Watsa, a GVSU student involved in planning the event, said it took a dedicated student and faculty body to host the event for the second year in a row. “TED is an international corporation, so for us, the X-talks are independently hosted events, so either universities, businesses and cities can host events like this,” Watsa said. “So here at Grand Valley, we have a host of students and a couple faculty members who are helping to host the event here. “We really want to motivate and inspire people in this community. We’re showcasing major work that individuals and groups are doing here, specifically in the Grand Valley and Western

Michigan region. We tried to stay local to Grand Rapids, but we included others from West Michigan. Most of our speakers come from here, though.” GVSU student Alyssa Jones was also involved in establishing the event and highlighted why this year’s theme will be interesting and engaging for the public. “The theme for this event is ‘Shape,’” Jones said via email. “This theme focuses on how everyone plays a role in shaping our societies. From forerunners to critical thinkers to visionaries, all people play a role in shaping our societies. TEDxGVSU challenges the community to look closely at their individual shapes and those around them to embrace broader conceptualizations. “What impressions have shaped your experience? What shape does your identity hold? How can your impact shape society? We hope that from this event, attendees gain a better understanding of how not only themselves but other individuals shape our society.” Both Watsa and Jones spoke highly of last year’s event, emphasizing TED’s SEE TEDX | A2



The city of Grand Rapids was named one of 35 finalists in the 2018 philanthropist’s challenge, a competition that challenges city leaders to uncover and implement new strategies in philanthropy. Grand Rapids will advance a six-month round where officials can refine their idea for community engagement. More than 320 cities entered the competition. As a finalist, Grand Rapids received a $100,000 grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies for its project. “We are incredibly grateful to Bloomberg Philanthropies for the opportunity to work with our community to test, learn and adapt our Mayors Challenge idea,” said Mayor Rosalynn Bliss in a press release. “We believe this initiative has great potential to move us forward in a significant way as we work to become a more equitable city.” Grand Rapids will submit a refined version of its current pitch in August. The current proposal is to make city census data available by location, giving community leaders a better idea of where to deploy health and community resources.


Four democratic candidates for Michigan’s governor seat will be participating in a forum on Saturday, Feb. 24, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 3315 Eastern Ave. in Grand Rapids. Democratic candidates Gretchen Whitmer, Abdul El-Sayed, Shri Thanedar and Bill Cobbs will participate in the forum. The event is open to the public.


Grand Valley State University’s Padnos International Center is holding a passport fair on Tuesday, Feb. 27, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center Grand River Room. Those interested in obtaining passports need to bring proof of U.S. citizenship, proof of identity with photo ID, two separate checks ($110 to the State Department, $25 to the U.S. Postal Service) and $3 cash if they wish to have their passport photos taken at the fair. Passports could take up to six weeks for processing.

CAMPUS CULTURE: Student senate meets to discuss campus happenings during their general assembly meeting on Thursday, Feb. 8. The student senate will host a Public Opinion Day in the Kirkhof Center regarding sexual assault on Wednesday, Feb. 28. GVL | DYLAN MCINTYRE



able, informal discussion of things that are hard to talk about and educating students on what Title IX is.” Jenkin hopes to have representatives from the Title IX office, the GVSU Police Department, and the Gayle R. Davis Center for Women and Gender Equity at the event.

“I just really encourage students to challenge themselves to become educated on this stuff because it is really important and it does affect all of us,” Jenkin said. “It really just adds to our campus culture and climate to have students that care and are active.” Prior to the Coffee with Coordinators event, student senate will host a Public Opinion Day (POD) in

the Kirkhof Center regarding sexual assault. Then, surveys from the POD will be discussed during the Coffee with Coordinators event. The POD will be held Wednesday, Feb. 28. Student senate will also host its annual Election Information Night during this week. “This event is important because we want as many students as possible run-

ning for elections,” Mattler said. “We want students that think that they can really make a change on campus. … It’s going to be very informational, and hopefully we get a great turnout and a lot of students can learn the necessary steps that it takes to run.”

perience or something that happened a long time ago— to giving them info about Title IX, going with them to a police station or helping them find a nurse,” she said. “We’re victim-centered, which means we allow our victim survivors to kind of drive the process and tell us what they need. We try to destress the situation for them.” The search committee members will likely take some time before they come to a decision. In the meantime, there is still a part-time victim advocate available to students. “I just want folks to

know there are people who are committed to this work,” Bernal said. Students can find more information about victim ad-

vocacy at or by stopping by the Center for Women and Gender Equity in the Kirkhof Center.



Grand Valley State University was found to be the top producer of both faculty and student Fulbright scholars in the region, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Fulbright Program is a U.S. government international educational exchange program. Three faculty members and four students were selected as Fulbright scholars.


The priority deadline to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is Thursday, March 1. Those in need of aid for the 2018-19 academic year are encouraged to submit their applications before that date. Grand Valley State University’s Financial Aid and Scholarship’s department is holding a financial aid workshop Thursday, Feb. 22, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Henry Hall 113 for those who need assistance with their documents.

VOL . 52


experienced sexual violence at any point in their life, and that’s a distinction we make here. It’s not just about things that have happened on campus.” Jennrich offered her thoughts on the responsibilities of the position as well. “The services a victim advocate provides can be anything from talking through options after experiencing gender-based violence— whether that is a recent ex-

We’re victim-centered, which means we allow our victim survivors to kind of drive the process and tell us what they need. We try to de-stress the situation for them.” JESSICA JENNRICH DIRECTOR OF THE GAYLE R. DAVIS CENTER FOR WOMEN AND GENDER EQUITY

NO. 4 5

Lan thorn EDITORIAL STAFF Editor-in-Chief EMILY DORAN Associate Editor JENNA FRACASSI


News Editor ARPAN LOBO




Laker Life Editor TY KONELL A&E Editor ANNE MARIE SMIT Image Editor

Campus Accounts Manager



Business Manager SHELBY CARTER

Digital Editor MATT READ

Asst. Business Manager ALEXIS LAMB


Distribution Manager MEGHAN FITZGERALD


VIEW: Shannon Cohen speaks during the TEDxGVSU event on Feb. 24, 2017. The talks feature a variety of people. GVL | KEVIN SIELAFF

HIGHLIGHT: Moderator Linda Chamberlain introduces speakers during the TEDxGVSU event on Feb. 24, 2017. GVL | KEVIN SIELAFF


cess is open to anyone. “There is a potential for TEDxGVSU to draw speakers from outside the West Michigan region,” Jones said. “Our speaker application and nomination form is open for anyone to apply to, no matter the location. Many applications are West Michiganbased, though, due to the demographics of our followers.” Both Watsa and Jones heralded the efforts of the planning committee to host the event, as many students and faculty have donated their time to ensure that the event will run smoothly. “We have a lot of plans in place for the TEDxGVSU event,” Jones said. “Currently, the entire event is pretty thought-out, from speakers to decor to day of schedule. We have put a lot of work into this event to make sure it is absolutely astonishing.”

CONTINUED FROM A1 At the Lanthorn, we strive to bring you the most accurate news possible. If we make a mistake, we want to make it right. If you find any errors in fact in the Lanthorn, let us know by calling 616-331-2464 or by emailing 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 GVSU community. For additional copies, at $1 each, please contact our business offices.

The Lanthorn is published on recycled paper and is printed with soy bean ink. This means that our newspaper is entirely compostable. Help us do our part to be kind to the environment by recycling or composting this newspaper after you enjoy reading it. POSTMASTER: Please send form 3579 to: Grand Valley Lanthorn 0051 Kirkhof Center Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI 49401

focus on challenging attendees to think outside the box. “Honestly, all of our speakers last year were received very well,” Jones said. “We had a great variety of talks from a variety of different people. It was very refreshing to hear so many different viewpoints. “ Watsa hopes to have another group of speakers who span multiple disciplines, noting that last year’s event featured a motivational speaker as well as a physicist. He said the multidisciplinary backgrounds of the speakers is what makes the event unique. “That’s the focus of TED as a company: to have diversity in topic and in speakers,” he said.

Although the final list of speakers has not been released, both Jones and Watsa are optimistic that the event will be engaging for the public. “We haven’t released this year’s list yet,” Watsa said. “We’re just finalizing those speakers, and they’ll be notified this week and the next week. We’ll give updates through social media and will post the list up on our website.” The speaker application process is not limited to faculty, either. Students who have worked on unique projects in the community have been encouraged in the past, and many presented at last year’s TEDxGVSU event. Students can also nominate faculty they would like to see present, and although most speakers are regionally located, the application pro-

Watsa encouraged students not only to attend the event but to get involved in planning future TEDxGVSU events, as student engagement ensures that the events are tailored toward relevant topics. Interested students can also apply to volunteer at the event, nominate a potential speaker and apply to join the TEDxGVSU planning team next year by emailing Only 100 tickets are being sold, and they will be available on a first come, first served basis for $20 each, so students are encouraged to register as soon as possible. Tickets go on sale Monday, Feb. 26, and include refreshments and a TEDxGVSU gift bag at the event. GO TO: FOR MORE INFORMATION




‘We fear those things we don’t understand’ Author Daryl Davis lectures at GV on relieving racial tensions BY RACHEL MATUSZEWSKI RMATUSZEWSKI@LANTHORN.COM

Musician and author Daryl Davis spoke to Grand Valley State University students about the events and research that inspired his book “Klan-destine Relationships: A Black Man’s Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan.” The event took place in the Kirkhof Center Grand River Room on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Davis first experienced racism when he was 10 and pop cans were thrown at him as he led his boy scout troop in a parade, holding the American flag. When his parents told him why white people had tried to hurt him, he did not believe them. This experience marked the beginning of his quest to answer the question, “How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?” Students learned about Davis’ first encounter with a KKK member. After Davis finished a set with his new band at the “all-white” Silver Dollar Bar, the man put his arm around his shoulder and commented on his talent on the piano. The two sat together and Davis learned why the man had never talked to an African-American before because of the membership card he kept in his wallet, which contained the KKK insignia. This encounter sparked the

idea for his book, for which he interviewed the Maryland KKK Grand Dragon and others across the country to try to answer his question. His first encounter with the Grand Dragon, or topstate officer of Maryland, Roger Kelly, was a surprise. Davis had his secretary make the appointment because he knew Kelly would recognize he was black by his voice. When they planned to meet in a hotel room, Davis was prepared for the interview with a Bible, cassette tapes and sodas to be hospitable. When the Nighthawk, or KKK bodyguard, entered in front of Kelly, Davis recalled how Kelly froze, confused to see an African-American waiting to speak to them. The conversation was tense, with the Nighthawk reaching for the gun in his holster every time Davis moved. Davis went into survival mode. In the middle of the interview, a sound alarmed them both, making Davis jump and put his hands on the table in front of them, prepared to knock both of them to the ground because he could not outrun a bullet. Davis recalled that he and Kelly locked eyes as though to ask each other who made the noise. Yet, Davis’ secretary discovered it was the soda cans falling because the ice had melted.

BRANCHING OUT: Daryl Davis speaks about respecting opinions that are different than your own at the ‘Accidental Courtesy’ event on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Davis also spoke about his experiences dealing with the Ku Klux Klan to try to ease racial tensions. GVL | SHEILA BABBITT

“The lesson taught is this: All because some foreign entity of which we were ignorant, that being the bucket of ice and cans of soda, entered into our comfort zone via the noise that it made, unbeknownst to us, we became fearful of one another,” Davis said. “Ignorance breeds fear. We fear those things we don’t understand. If we don’t put a lid on that fear and keep that fear in check, that fear in turn will breed hatred because we hate those things that frighten us. “If we don’t keep that hatred

in check, that hatred in turn will breed destruction. We want to destroy those things that we hate. Why? Because they frighten us. But guess what? They may have been harmless and we were just ignorant.” After this encounter, Davis interviewed more Klan members and stayed in contact with Kelly. He emphasized the importance of conversations and listening to each other to be able to learn each other’s point of view. “I did not respect what Roger Kelly had to say,” Davis said.

“I did respect his right to say it.” That respect has gone a long way, as Davis now owns the robes Kelly wore as an Imperial Wizard when he renounced his affiliation with the group. Davis’ collection of robes and people walking away from the hate group has grown to 45. “The first time it happened I was shocked.” Davis said. “I realized while you were actively learning about somebody else, at the same time you are passively teaching them about yourself. They were seeing things in me I

didn’t realize they were seeing. Our country, our society, is going to become one of two things. It has no choice. “It will become what we let it become or it will become what we make it. You choose what you want to be a part of.” Davis’ storytelling struck attendees as well. “The more information and conversations you have, the more you can combat the issue,” said GVSU student Rachel Hecht. “I think he was a good storyteller. He had a good theme throughout.”


Visiting professor to lecture on disability, impairment BY ITA TSAI ITSAI@LANTHORN.COM

The department of sociology at Grand Valley State University is presenting a lecture on impairment and disability held by University of Toledo professor Mark Sherry. The lecture will take place Monday, Feb. 26, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Lake Michigan Hall, Room 176. This lecture will be based off Sherry’s forthcoming book, “A Sociology of Impairment.” After conducting 600 interviews with different individuals with various health conditions, Sherry proposes a “social model of impairment.” Here, the lecturer will explore how “impairment” and “disability” are ideas created by society that don’t truly reflect the individual experiences of people with health challenges. “Individuals suffering from impairments or disabilities are poorly understood by the wider population and also suffer from discrimination due to their condition,” said Joel Stillerman, GVSU professor of sociology, via email. “Hence, it is important for the general population to have an understanding of these people and dispel some of these myths. “The sociology department seeks to expose students and faculty to research conducted by scholars in the region. The sociology of disability is an important area of the discipline but is not widely taught in our courses at Grand Valley.” Sherry, a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Toledo, focuses on five main areas in his work: traumatic brain injury, abuse and hate crimes against disabled people, human trafficking of disabled people, social theory and the labor movement. He has published two books, “If Only I Had a Brain: Deconstructing Brain Injury” and “Disability Hate Crimes: Does Anyone Really Hate Disabled People?” “It was apparent to me that there was a need to discuss impairment and disability in a way that engaged with people’s stories but also framed them in terms of contemporary social

PROFILE: Mark Sherry, visiting professor. Sherry will lecture at GVSU on addressing impairments. COURTESY | TOLEDOBLADE.COM

theory,” Sherry said via email. Sherry believes that individuals can be more inclusive toward people with disabilities. “People with a variety of health conditions may not be believed, encounter stereotypes or prejudice that limit their opportunities, and be frustrated by bureaucracies,” he said. “They could also encounter supportive environments. I’m interested in the lessons that we can learn from their experiences. In particular, I think we can listen to their stories and improve our practice, policy, theories and methods to be more inclusive. “These illness narratives, as we call them, teach us a lot about the human condition, about what is important in life, and about equality and human dignity.” While the event is sponsored by the GVSU department of sociology, it is open to all majors. “Understanding disability and chronic illness is useful for students in all majors, not just the obvious ones like medicine, nursing, allied health or social work,” Sherry said. “For instance, sociology majors can learn about the unique forms of power disabled people experience, understand the impairments that are caused by environmental racism and begin to identify the specific

barriers that ethnic minorities experience. “Students in education encounter large numbers of disabled students and need to develop their disability awareness and inclusive skill set, too. Engineering students have a professional obligation to include disabled people through universal design principles. Disability and chronic illness cuts across all disciplines.” The goal of the lecture is for students to gain a new perspective of the different ways individuals with disabilities and impairments live their daily lives. “I hope that students who attend the talk come away with a richer and more sophisticated understanding of disability and impairment,” Sherry said. “If they haven’t experienced physical or mental health problems themselves, they will know someone who has, and hopefully this lecture will give them a set of tools to better understand what these people go through. “I also want to highlight the complexity of the identities of people with a variety of health conditions. Even if they have severe impairments, such as being amputees, being deaf or having serious mental illness, many people will not identify as being ‘disabled.’” Sherry’s lecture is LIB 100and 201-approved, and is free and open to the public.




By Natalie Schunk

We shouldn’t hate the unknown


n an event that took place Tuesday, Feb. 20, musician and author Daryl Davis spoke to Grand Valley State University students about the events and research that inspired his book “Klan-destine Relationships: A Black Man’s Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan.” Davis spoke candidly of his experiences befriending members of the KKK to try to understand their point of view and connect with them, all with the goal of relieving racial tensions. One of the key points of Davis’ speech was that we fear things we don’t know. When he very first experienced an act of racism at age 10, he questioned, “How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?” During the event, Davis said, “Ignorance breeds fear. We fear those things we don’t understand. If we don’t put a lid on that fear and keep that fear in check, that fear in turn will breed hatred because we hate those things that frighten us. “If we don’t keep that hatred in check, that hatred in turn will breed destruction. We want to destroy those things that we hate. Why? Because they frighten us. But guess what? They may have been harmless and we were just ignorant.” If you think about what Davis is saying on a much smaller scale, you will likely realize the unsettling truth of his words. How often do we fear things we don’t understand, and how frequently does this fear turn to hatred for no valid reason? Many people are afraid of spiders and at one point or another have likely said, “I hate spiders.” Now, think about this in terms of people—living, breathing people—who are

hated solely because they are misunderstood. We could overcome a lot of what stands between people of different beliefs if we could “bridge the gap” and try to understand each other better before we make such harsh judgments. We so often are paralyzed by our fear of the unknown, and not only does it prevent us from experiencing the world, learning about other cultures and getting to know so many incredible people, but it also causes us to feel baseless bitterness. This is where bias stems from, too. One example of this is a fake news story about the city of Dearborn, Michigan, which began to make the rounds around the internet in early 2018. Dearborn is commonly known as being the U.S. city with the highest Arab-American population, and the fake news story asserted that ISIS members were caught in the city. Dearborn’s high Muslim-American population makes it an easy target for hate. But if those who have fears of the city or the people who live in it took the time to actually set foot in Dearborn and its communities, they would see hard-working Americans who are not that different from themselves. However, rather than people basing their assessments off their own authentic experiences, they base it off their fear(s). That sentiment coincides with Davis’. Davis is an example of someone who takes the steps to ease the tension between people who haven’t even met or misunderstand one another. We should all follow Davis’ steps and look to take action to alleviate our fears, too.


Taking action in the wake of another school shooting


There are certain events that shake us as U.S. citizens to the core. Oftentimes, these events prove to be divisive and citizens feel obligated to pick a side. One of these events occurred on Valentine’s Day, a day meant to strengthen the feeling of love, but it instead reinforced the existence of hate. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was ravaged by a mass shooting. Instinctive reactions were a combination of grief, disgust and activism, but now as a country we must ask ourselves what we’re really going to do about it. Our country is certainly not new to mass shootings. We are engrained with

Editor-in-Chief Associate editor News editor Sports editor Laker Life editor A&E editor

WHAT IS A LANTHORN? Lant • horn, n. [Old English] A lanthorn is a lantern that was used in mid-to-late 16th-century Europe. It was constructed of leather and a single lens made from a thin

piece of ox or steer horn. It was used for illumination and as a beacon. The Grand Valley Lanthorn slogan is “Give light and the people will find their own way.”

GVL OPINION POLICY The goal of the Grand Valley Lanthorn’s opinion page is to act as a forum for public discussion, comment and criticism in the Grand Valley State University community. Student and columnist opinions published here do not necessarily reflect those of the paper as an entity. The Lanthorn strives to be a safe vehicle for community discussion. With this in mind, the Lanthorn will not publish or entertain any forms of hate speech, but neither will it discriminate against any other views, opinions or beliefs. The content, information and views expressed are not approved by—nor do they necessarily represent those of—the university or its Board of Trustees, officers, faculty or staff.

Letters to the editor should include the author’s full name, relevant title and a headshot, along with a valid email address and phone number for confirming the identity of the author. Letters should be approximately 500-650 words in length, and they are not edited by the Lanthorn staff except to fix technical errors or to clarify. Reader submissions on the opinion page appear as space permits. To make a submission, email or drop your submission off in person at:



them responsibly. I, myself, have shot a gun on multiple occasions. As cliche as it may be, it is true that guns don’t kill people: People kill people. I also don’t believe that our gun policy is faultless. Call me liberal, but I just don’t see the point in bump stocks or high-capacity magazines. In reality, they serve no function other than increased efficiency and deadliness. Still, at the end of the day, it is not my opinion that matters because I am not the one making the rules. To be honest, I don’t even have a solution to the predicament that our country is facing. I know that we need to change, but I also see faults in every proposal that comes about. Either way, I know that the worst thing we can do is nothing at all. Whether you believe that guns, mental health or parenting is the problem, there is an actionable way to effect change. Maybe that means just being a more present citizen, or maybe it means voting differently come election time. But no matter what, we are not helpless in this struggle. Fortunately, it appears that our leaders are starting to follow

suit because just recently President Donald Trump came out in support of banning bump stocks, and I commend him for doing so. Sure, it is only a small move, but it is better than no move at all. As a country, the worst thing we can do for our citizens is nothing. We need to stop diverting attention from guns and mass shootings just because our world has other problems, too. Yes, people die in automobile accidents. Yes, people purchase drugs even though they’re illegal. Yes, guns will always exist in our country no matter the laws we pass. The world will always find evil and death, but does that mean that we should give up trying to circumvent it? Whatever we choose to do from here on forward, it needs to be actionable because the U.S. is at a turning point. People should not be living in fear. This problem is multifaceted and there is no easy answer. There is no magic wand that will alleviate all of these problems, but ideally even one small policy change will begin to reduce the number and frequency of these unnecessary deaths.

Your brain wants you to master a second language


memories of Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook and Columbine, among others. But the bigger problem is our lack of action in response to these occurrences. Our political system is far from efficient, but in the face of a problem as impactful as mass shootings, we need to buckle down and really make something happen. The problem with most gun-related policy is simply that it is unactionable. This problem lies on both sides of the fence. For those who are “anti increased gun control,” no action can be taken because they do not want to infringe upon their Second Amendment rights. For those who are “pro increased gun control,” the solution oftentimes involves regulations or restrictions that are either too extreme or just too unlikely to occur. Of course there are gray areas on both sides of the debate, but ultimately the result is a standoff that holds strong until yet another shooting occurs. Personally, I do not believe that removing all guns from the hands of U.S. citizens is the answer. Many people I know own guns and use


The truth is, being bilingual or multilingual can only be a good thing. There are benefits of speaking more than one language beyond the fact that doing so makes it is easier to travel. Multilingual versus monolingual brains have certain differences. As expressed in the TEDEd video by Mia Nacamulli called

“The Benefits of a Bilingual Brain,” it has been proven that adults who speak more than one language confront problems well and exhibit less emotional bias. When gaining the ability to speak, read, write and listen in a different language, our brains become more flexible cognitive-wise, as if it were a workout. In fact, as mentioned by Nacamulli, the “workout” our brains execute when developing or practicing multilingual fluency can delay our chances of having Alzheimer’s or dementia by as much as five years. However, according to Nacamulli, in the 1960s, a child who was bilingual would be considered “handicapped” since the development of two languages at the same time seemed to delay the process

of truly strengthening either of the two. Furthermore, in the U.S., there has never been enough emphasis on bilingual education. While English is the most learned and taught language worldwide, Spanish is the one natively spoken in the largest number of countries, and Chinese is spoken by the most individuals in the world (due to China’s enormous population numbers alone). While every non-Englishspeaking country enforces the teaching of English as a second language since elementary school, many countries even enforce a third language as well, such as French or German, starting in middle school. Therefore, it is crucial to realize that while most Americans have the advantage of speaking the language that everyone outside

the U.S. is trying to master, we must not sit back and relax as though it isn’t necessary for our children to learn a second language. The cognitive “workout,” vocabulary expansion and perspective changes that multilingualism has been proven to bring to our brains are not factors to ignore. In fact, according to Viorica Marian, professor at Northwestern University, “Research has shown that the bilingual brain can have better attention and taskswitching capacities than the monolingual brain.” If that does not sound like a benefit for the number of children who need more focus development and attention-span increases, I do not know what would. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE




Do you know how much GVSU spends on Presidents’ Ball?

Are you going/would you go to the TEDx Talk on campus?

“We came equals into this world, and equals shall we go out of it.”

Yes No


43% 57%


-George Mason




“Yeah, I would. I enjoy TED Talks, so I would go just for the fun of it.”

“Probably not. I’m really busy.”

YEAR: Senior MAJOR: Therapeutic recreation HOMETOWN: Saranac, Michigan

YEAR: Sophomore MAJOR: Electrical engineering HOMETOWN: Hart, Michigan



“I went to the one last year, and I think it’s good for the Grand Valley student base to attend to learn something new.”

“Depends on what it’s about, but I probably will. I’ve seen a bunch in class and stuff. It’s super interesting.”

YEAR: Junior MAJOR: Biomedical sciences HOMETOWN: West Bloomfield, Michigan

YEAR: Junior MAJOR: Supply chain management HOMETOWN: Marshall, Michigan




Campus for Consent hosts event on domestic violence BY ANNIE GIFFELS AGIFFELS@LANTHORN.COM

“Are you going to survive the night?” This is a question that Sarah Omicioli, a prevention and education specialist at Safe Haven Ministries, must ask women, children and teenagers who are being domestically abused. Omicioli delivered a lecture on domestic abuse Tuesday, Feb. 20, in the Kirkhof Center Pere Marquette Room to a crowd of about 40 people, most of whom were Grand Valley State University Students. The event, titled “Domestic Violence and Stalking With Safe Haven,” was hosted by GVSU’s Campus for Consent student organization. Omicioli’s presentation consisted of an in-depth slideshow, crowd participation, a video and time at the end for questions. “Today, we’re talking about abuse from intimate partners,” Omicioli said. “This type of abuse does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone regardless of age, race, socioeconomic status, anything at all.” Omicioli also spoke

about topics that relate to domestic abuse, such as sexual assault, consent and bystander intervention. “These topics are important to learn about now rather than later,” Omicioli said. “Issues like these are especially prevalent on college campuses.” Omicioli discussed bystander intervention, a method of stopping sexual assault by stepping in at the sign of something suspicious. “As bystanders, it is our job to speak up when we see something wrong,” Omicioli said. “A lot of people don’t want to step in. They might think someone else will, or they believe it’s none of their business.” Omicioli identified two questions that bystanders should ask themselves when appropriate: Does the person in front of the bystander truly want to give consent to someone, and are they capable of giving consent? Some people still struggle with the idea of consent, especially when alcohol is involved. Drinking on college campuses may seem inevitable, but to Jessica

Goodwin, the vice president of GVSU’s Campus for Consent, sexual assault should not be this way. When Omicioli asked the crowd what consent is, Goodwin raised her hand immediately. In a clear, strong voice, she answered, “Consent is an enthusiastic, unquestionable yes.” Another important aspect of Omicioli’s presentation was how to recognize and respond to abuse. “At the root of all domestic abuse is one person’s need for power and control over the other,” she said. Omicioli explained her rule of thumb when it comes to witnessing certain acts: Trust your gut. “People are not born abusive,” she said. “This is something that is learned.” Omicioli also discussed the prevalence of victim blaming in response to reported sexual assault. Toward the end of the presentation, she talked about the many ways to respond to someone if they reveal they have been sexually or domestically abused. The most important response, in her opinion, is to believe them.

LESSONS: Sarah Omicioli speaks during a domestic violence and stalking lecture hosted by Safe Haven Ministries and Campus for Consent on Tuesday, Feb. 20, in the Kirkhof Center. GVL | DYLAN MCINTYRE

“What risk do you take in believing them rather than not believing them?” she

asked. “Oftentimes, when people share such revealing information with you, they

aren’t looking for advice. They want support and a friend to count on.”


Wheelhouse Talks series returning to campus Local physician to discuss leadership in medical field BY DREW SCHERTZER DSCHERTZER@LANTHORN.COM

PROFILE: Tammy Born. Born will be speaking at GVSU for the Hauenstein Center’s Wheelhouse Talks series on Friday, Feb. 23, at the L.V. Eberhard Center on GVSU’s Pew Campus. COURTESY | GVSU.EDU

The Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies’ Wheelhouse Talks series is returning to Grand Valley State University. The series was created to give mentors the opportunity to share advice on how to be a leader in the workplace. For this upcoming talk, the owner and operator of Born Preventive Health Care Clinic, Tammy Born, will speak Friday, Feb. 23, at the L.V. Eberhard Center on GVSU’s Pew Campus. Born studied osteopathic medicine, which is the treatment of medical disorders through the manipulation of bones, joints and muscles. She will be hosting her “Leadership and Medicine” discussion starting at 4 p.m. As the title of the event suggests, Born will go into detail about attitudes she has carried with herself as a leader during her career in medicine. “Our Wheelhouse Talks series is dedicated to bringing in community leadership and to help provide a visioning process for students,” said Chadd

Dowding, senior program manager for the Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy (CLA) at the Hauenstein Center. Dowding said the discussion with Born will be formatted as an open conversation. Students will be able to ask Born questions about her career, experiences, what she has learned and more. Born was asked to speak because of her successful career as well as the leadership qualities she has displayed in the medical field. Dowding said a good leader has emotional intelligence. Being empathetic, listening deeply and seeking understanding are some of the ways students can be effective leaders. Dowding hopes students will gain a vision of the sort of dedication that goes into being a good leader after attending this Wheelhouse Talk. “For us it’s important that students walk out of the university with an additional set of skills to achieve their long-term dreams and ambitions,” he said. Noah Vaitkevicius, biochemistry student at GVSU, expressed his excitement about Born’s upcoming discussion. He believes the med-

ical field is one of the hardest fields someone can study and that it is even harder to be a leader in this field. “As a rugby player, we always are talking about leadership,” Vaitkevicius said. “It’s something that is easy to talk about but difficult to put into actions.” Dowding is putting on this Wheelhouse Talk in part for the CLA. There, students who are doing well at GVSU are chosen to transition their achievements into long-term success. He said the CLA helps students develop leadership skills, professional skills (such as public speaking) and a good mentality for the workplace to help them in the future. The CLA assigns community mentors to be paired up with CLA students. The Wheelhouse Talks are an extension of this. Students are able to hear from a plethora of speakers from an array of backgrounds. Students can then learn about leadership from these new angles, Dowding said. GO TO: http://hauensteincenter. org/wheelhouse/ FOR MORE INFORMATION

PARKLAND: Maria Cimitile, GVSU provost, speaks during a vigil for shooting victims on Wednesday, Feb. 20. GVL | EMILY FRYE


THOUGHTS: GVSU students participate during a vigil for the victims of the Parkland, Florida, shooting on Wednesday, Feb. 20. Student senate coordinated the event to allow the community to express its solidarity with the people affected. GVL | EMILY FRYE




ARTS AT A GLANCE MOSAIC LECTURE EVENT TO BE HELD TUESDAY, FEB. 27 The 2018 mosaic lecture is set to focus on women in mathematics, in order to celebrate diversity in mathematical sciences. This year’s lecture, being given by Deanna Haunsperger, will focus on the lessons that women mathematicians have contributed to the field. The event is set to take place from 7:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27. Haunsper, who is president of the Mathematical Association of America and professor of mathematics at Carleton College, will continue the Mosaic Lecture Series efforts to raise the voices of underrepresented groups in the field of mathematics. The event is LIB 100- and 201-approved, and is free to the public. For more information, contact Jonathan Hodge 616-331-8589.

FRENCH DOCUMENTARY DOUBLE FEATURE SET FOR WEDNESDAY, FEB. 28 Professor Safoi Babana-Hampton will be hosting a viewing of her documentary films “Hmong Memory at the Crossroads,” and “Growing Up Hmong at the Crossroads,” on Wednesday, Feb. 28 from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. in the Loosemore auditorium in the Grand Valley State University DeVos Center. Babana-Hampton created these films to highlight the history of the Hmong people, an indigenous population who were recruited and trained by the French to fight against the Vietnamese. However, despite helping the French and American militaries, their history is largely forgotten. Babana-Hampton hoped to uncover that history and bring attention to it with her films. After the film showings, there will be a questions and answer panel for those who attend. The event is LIB 100and 201-approved and is free to the public. For more information, contact professor Isabelle Cata at

COFFEE WITH COORDINATORS EVENT SET FOR WEDNESDAY, FEB. 28 Officials from the Grand Valley State University Gayle R. Davis Center for Women and Gender Equity, Title IX and GVPD will be hosting an informal and open conversation to talk about commonly asked questions about sexual assault on Wednesday, Feb. 28, in the Kirkhof Center from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. Attendees will be able to have a casual conversation with professionals regarding sexual assault information. The event is set to follow a survey that gauges student knowledge about sexual assault and Title IX services. For more information, contact Rachel Jenkin at 734307-6927.

ATO fraternity preps for annual MS awareness walk BY TAYLOR CROWLEY TCROWLEY@LANTHORN.COM

It’s around the time where the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity members gather up their finest walking gear to prepare for their annual 160-mile walk for multiple sclerosis, called “ATO Walks Hard.” This is the sixth year the brothers will participate in the fundraiser. The fraternity brothers donate the money entirely to the Michigan chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Instead of heading down to Florida or going on a getaway vacation to Mexico, these men dedicate their spring break to walk for a cause that hits home for them. Matt Bertoia, philanthropy chair of ATO, said the brothers really get to know each other during this time. For the fraternity brothers, the walk is not an easy task. They head up to Traverse City to begin their long journey on Friday, March 2, for a total of eight days of walking until Saturday, March 10, when they end up at the Cook Carillon Tower by the Kirkhof Center. Battling Michigan winters, blisters and sore muscles, the men continue to walk 20 miles a day to complete their challenge. During the walk, the brothers get a chance to bond with one another while listening to music and sharing an experience of a lifetime. “People with MS go through a lot more pain than we experience during the walk,” said Sam Weideman, president of ATO,

TOGETHER: The brothers of Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) fraternity pose in a group shot on March 11, 2016, to mark their walk to Traverse City to raise funds for multiple sclerosis. COURTESY | ATO FRATERNITY

who had 19 blisters on each foot during last year’s walk. Weideman feels personally connected to this philanthropy because he has been closely connected to people who battle MS and has even lost family members due to the disease. Weideman said their philanthropy was one of the biggest reasons he joined the chapter. In the last five years, the brothers have raised over $170,000. Just last year, they totaled a whopping $54,000. This year, they hope to raise $55,000, and they’ve already received over $25,000. They hope to secure $10,000 worth of donations from businesses. “We have become the sec-

ond largest donor for the MS Society in the state of Michigan,” Bertoia said. Despite a major size difference, GVSU’s ATO chapter has raised enough money each year to keep up with Division I schools such as the University of Florida and the University of Oklahoma. The other chapters have around 180 members, while GVSU’s chapter has 80. The brothers take pride in what they do and continue to pursue this fundraiser in the hopes of ending multiple sclerosis entirely. In five years, the brothers have been reported on by 12 different news sources on the event. Next week, the fraternity

brothers will have their annual MS Awareness Week where they will be hosting several events to raise awareness of the disease. For example, GVSU students will have a chance to pie an ATO member for $1, and all donations will go toward the fundraiser. Besides raising money, the brothers use this opportunity to connect with the community and each other. The brothers wish to continue to amplify the event and make it known that this is what they work so hard for. GO TO: FOR MORE INFORMATION



The Grand Valley State University department of human resources is set to host an Excellence Series workshop surrounding bias incident reporting on Tuesday, Feb. 27 from 3:30 p.m until 5 p.m. at the GVSU DeVos Center. The workshop, being presented by the GVSU Team Against Bias (TAB), will focus on explaining what constitutes a bias incident, how the bias incident process works and understanding the steps to take if a bias incident is witnessed. For more information, contact the GVSU department of human resources at

LOGO: New GVSU organization Humanitas, logo above, is a volunteer group with a large focus on aiding refugees. Humanitas has hosted clothing drives, such as their recent Winter Warmth Drive, which helped to clothe the homeless. COURTESY | HUMANITAS FACEBOOK PAGE

New club gives opportunity for humanitarian work BY TASMAN MATTOX TMATTOX@LANTHORN.COM

Many Grand Valley State University students feel a draw to volunteer work, and there are a lot of ways to get involved on campus. Humanitas, a GVSU club that started this academic year, is giving students a way to help those in need. “We just started back in September, and we initially talked about it back in spring,” said Abby Coberly, the club president. “Basically, it started with Professor Ivanovic, me and a few other students. He

is a philosophy professor, and he thought we showed genuine interest in doing humanitarian work, so he said he’d be our adviser. He helped us get started.” Humanitas is primarily a volunteer work group. Their biggest focus is helping refugees. “Right now, we have a core group of about 10 people, and our main goal is to bring focus to humanitarian issues locally and abroad,” Coberly said. For many students, it can be hard to know where to start with clubs and outreach. “I’ve always been involved in my community,

but I wasn’t really involved in anything at Grand Valley,” said Haley Cascone, one of the club’s general officers. “When I heard about this club, I knew the professor involved was super awesome and had some classmates in it already, so I knew I wanted to get involved.” Coberly believes that Humanitas can provide students with a place where they can learn about their privilege and how to use it in a way that is not patronizing to those being helped. “Personally, I see it as an issue of privilege,” she said.

“I think it’s important that people understand that they have privilege and are able to use empathy and help people and give agency when helping them. Having that autonomy is important. We want to center those people and do what they think is important, not just what we think will help.” Cascone said she likes being part of the group because of its intimate atmosphere and the variety of issues addressed. “I think we have a very unique dynamic,” Cascone said. “We like to keep things smaller so each individual

has a role in what we do. We also work both locally and internationally. We did the winter coat drive and did things for Puerto Rico last semester, so it’s very diverse.” Humanitas’ most recent endeavor was a Winter Warmth Drive, where they collected clothing for cold weather and then distributed anything donated to the homeless. “We have a very large homeless population in Grand Rapids, so we wanted to start gathering supplies to hand out to people. We were able to distribute those supplies,” Coberly said. “A lot of

the people who came to get things left other things behind. This guy brought a box with hand warmers and left it when he came to get things.” For interested students, getting involved is simple. “Right now, the best way to get involved is when we have donation drives or fundraisers is donate to those things,” Coberly said. Students can also get connected online. “We have a Facebook page and a Twitter, which I run, so there’s always information going on those, too,” Cascone said.


Dinner to raise funds for Haitian students to attend GV BY TY KONELL LAKERLIFE@LANTHORN.COM

HAITI: People in Haiti, above, celebrate at an event. The GVSU PIC is set to host a Haiti dinner Sunday, Feb. 25. COURTESY | USA TODAY

Through the Padnos International Center (PIC), Grand Valley State University offers several study-abroad programs, one of which is a four-week program in Haiti. On the flip side, the PIC has also been working to bring Haitian students to GVSU. To raise funds for these students to study abroad at GVSU, a Haitian dinner event is set for Sunday, Feb. 25, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Glenn A. Niemeyer Learning and Living Center Multipurpose Room. The money raised will go to the Empowering Haiti Through Education Fund, a GVSU-specific endowed scholarship that helps Haitian students attend GVSU. “It’s a scholarship that’s specifically set up to be offered to people from Haiti

to come to Grand Valley,” said Peter Wampler, associate professor of geology at GVSU and leader of the summer study-abroad program. Wampler, who has been going to Haiti consistently for over a decade, started by traveling to the country alone, but he has now brought several GVSU students there with him as well. “I first went to Haiti in 2007, about 11 years ago, and just took a trip there and was involved with a nonprofit organization working there,” Wampler said. “I came back and told my classes at Grand Valley and ended up starting to take students to do research, and the last three years I’ve been taking student groups from Grand Valley.” In Haiti, the study-abroad students are not simply taking classes—they are also do-

ing hands-on work. “The name of the studyabroad program is Service Learning and Environmental Issues in Haiti, so it’s a combination (of) doing projects and also learning about it—the culture, geography and environmental issues over there,” Wampler said. The group’s service work varies, but the goal is to help both families and entire communities. “Last year, we distributed about 150 water filters to different families,” Wampler said. “We raised funds before we left, and that was part of our service learning. We had people come, and we trained them on how to use the filters and then gave them one, and we also trained some medical workers there on how to use them and they took them back

to their communities.” At the dinner event, students who have gone to Haiti as well as Haitian students who have come to GVSU will speak about their favorite moments and overall experiences. “There will be at least three or four students who have gone on trips there in the past,” Wampler said. “They’ll be showing some photos and talking about what they like about Haiti and about what surprised them about Haiti. We’ll also have a couple of Haitians coming to talk about their experience coming to Grand Valley. They were born in Haiti and came to Grand Valley. “So, they’ll share their experience of what it was like to come to the U.S., what they think about Haiti, and kind of just their backgrounds and stuff.”






The Grand Valley State women’s tennis team opened their spring season on Sunday, Feb. 18, claiming a 9-0 victory over Walsh College. The Lakers won the GLIAC regularseason title and the GLIAC Tournament, and they now have won 14 straight matches dating back to the fall season. No. 1 singles Madison Ballard came out with a victory in a 7-5, 6-4 decision. Alexa Sweeney claimed another point for GVSU after she won 6-2, 6-2 from the No. 2 singles spot, while Aimee Moccia won from No. 3 singles by a score of 6-3, 6-2. Abby Perkins battled hard from the No. 4 spot, as she won the first set 6-2, but fell in the second set 4-6. Perkins came back strong in the third and won 10-7. Olivia Hanover and Livia Christman both had strong performances and claimed victories from the No. 5 and No. 6 singles spots, with scores of 6-2, 6-2, and 6-0, 6-1. The success continued for the Lakers in doubles actions, as Moccia and Sweeney won 8-3 from No. 1 doubles, while Ballard and Hanover tabbed another point for GVSU after they won 8-4 from the No. 2 doubles position. Perkins and Christman claimed the Lakers’ 9th point of the evening after they won 8-1 from No. 3 doubles. GVSU’s next match will be Friday, March 2, as they head to the east side of the state to face Eastern Michigan.


The Grand Valley State Lakers and head women’s lacrosse coach Alicia Groveston announced the hiring of Chelsey Bishop as an assistant coach for the 2018 season. Bishop was a four-year attacker for the Lakers from 2014-17 and is joining the staff to assist with the offense as well as strength and conditioning. Bishop appeared in 56 games for the Lakers during her four-year career, helping GVSU to GLIAC regular-season titles in all four campaigns and GLIAC Tournament titles in her first three seasons. Her breakout junior season helped the Lakers to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2016. She ranks third all-time in program history with 50 career assists, and she posted 14 goals during her four years in Allendale. Bishop scored seven goals in her junior season to go along with 35 assists en route to an All-GLIAC honorable mention. She had multiple assists in eight different games during her junior campaign. She also earned GLIAC All-Academic honors for her senior year. Bishop and the Lakers begin the 2018 season on Saturday, March 3, on the road against Kutztown.

STARTING ROLE: GVSU sophomore Cassidy Boensch watches her free-throw attempt sail through the net during the Lakers’ 73-29 blowout victory over Tiffin on Saturday, Feb. 17, at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena. Boensch has earned GLIAC North Division Player of the Week three times this season. GVL | SPENCER SCARBER

Off the Boensch

Basketball standout Cassidy Boensch stepping up to fill injured player’s spot BY BRADY MCATAMNEY ASSISTANTSPORTS@LANTHORN.COM


any people have blessings. Some of them are easy to notice. Some of them are not. Cassidy Boensch’s blessing—her imposing 6-foot-4-inch frame that is so rare even in Division II basketball—stands out in all the right ways. “I’ve been playing basketball since fourth grade,” she said in an interview after practice at the Fieldhouse Arena. “How long have you been 6-foot4?” called out point guard Jenn DeBoer from behind her with a laugh. Boensch joked that it’s been since sixth grade before giving a serious response: She has been 6-feet4-inches (an entire foot taller than

the average American woman) since “eighth or ninth grade.” Talk about a growth spurt. But somehow, her gift of height did not immediately draw college scouts in her direction—and that even goes for Grand Valley State. Her first contact with the school came through her own initiation, not from the Lakers. “They actually were recruiting because (GVSU guard) Jenai (LaPorte) and I played on the same AAU team, and they had invited her out to a football tailgating thing,” Boensch said. “I was like, ‘Oh, I want to come,’ so I contacted the coaches and they were like, ‘Yeah, of course,’ and ever since then we just had a personal contact, and I committed here like before my junior year of high school.” Luckily for head coach Mike Williams, the girl who wanted to tag

GV TRACK & FIELD’S BOBBIE GOODWIN EARNS GLIAC FIELD ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Grand Valley State junior Bobbie Goodwin was named the GLIAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week following the eighth weekend of the 2017-18 indoor track and field season, per a release by the league office. This is Goodwin’s second conference award this season, as she received the honor during the third week of the season. Goodwin had another strong weekend as she placed first during the GVSU Tune-Up after she hit an NCAA provisional mark and set a new personal best of 19.31 meters in the weight throw. Goodwin now holds the secondbest distance in the GLIAC and the sixth best in Division II.

VARSITY SCHEDULE MEN’S BASKETBALL Thursday 7:30 p.m. at Lake Superior State Saturday 1 p.m. at Ferris State WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Thursday 5:30 p.m. at Lake Superior State Saturday 3 p.m. at Ferris State TRACK AND FIELD Friday-Sunday 9 a.m. at GLIAC Indoor Championship

STANDING TALL: GVSU center Cassidy Boensch—who stands at 6-feet-4-inches— prepares to take a free-throw shot on Saturday, Feb. 17. GVL | SPENCER SCARBER

along with her teammate to their tailgate ended up being pretty good. “I had seen her play, and she was a player that we thought had great potential with her size,” Williams said. “She had size, she was skilled, she had good feet, good hands and good athleticism.” When she first arrived at GVSU for her freshman year, she felt the nerves that come with settling into a new place and new lifestyle. Along with being a student, she obviously had to focus on basketball, too. Lucky (or unlucky) for her, the Lakers’ roster was chock-full of seniors and talented post players, meaning she would only average 9.7 minutes per game during her first season. “I think (not playing much is) the best way to learn because you learn and, when you get in, you’re put in situations where you can succeed,” Williams said. “Sometimes players play too soon, they get in situations where they fail and they don’t get a chance to grow, and I think it was a great year for her.” In her limited action, Boensch averaged 4.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and just over one block per game on 48.5 percent shooting. Not bad for a freshman playing only a few minutes, but hardly anything to write home about. This season started out with more of the same: few minutes, decent numbers. Boensch still came off the bench to back up senior post players Korynn Hincka and Taylor Parmley, which the sophomore had no qualms with. Then, something weird happened. In week seven of the regular season, Boensch was awarded the GLIAC North Player of the Week award for the first time in her collegiate career and did so by coming off the bench in all three games. In wins against Cornerstone University, Saginaw Valley State and Northwood University, Boensch averaged 14.3 points, six rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game to claim the award. The honor would not be her last. Boensch earned her first career start against Wayne State on Thursday, Feb. 8, when Hincka was forced to sit out with a concussion. She went on to average 14 points and nine rebounds during the weekend, resulting in another GLIAC nod the very next week when she averaged 22 points and nine rebounds against Ashland and Tiffin—a game she also started following Parmley’s season-ending knee injury. If you’re keeping track, that’s three Player of the Weeks and only two starts. “I just think it shows her coach isn’t very smart,” Williams said. “That’s what it shows there that she’s not starting, but I think that’s a nice thing about this team. There’s a role, and her role has been to come off the bench, and I don’t think our

players care who starts and who doesn’t start, and I think it’s allowed her to grow, coming off the bench, and play in situations where she can succeed. By doing that, obviously she’s had three great weeks of the season and three GLIAC awards.” By now, Boensch has gone from a player who plays select minutes off the bench to one of only two players in the conference to win at least three GLIAC POTW awards and someone who draws frequent double-teams. “I guess I didn’t really think about it like that,” Boensch said. “I don’t know—going into this year, I knew my role was going to be a lot different from last year, but with two great senior post players, I knew my role was going to be coming off the bench, and that’s where I fit in all season. “To be honest, that’s where I’d rather be if it meant we could have (Parmley) back, but I’m glad that I was able to play a couple games from whatever role I had to play and help the team get a win.” This season, the sophomore has seen her numbers rise across the board. Now playing 18.2 minutes per game (only seventh most on the team), she is averaging 10.5 points (fourth), 6.3 rebounds (second), 1.6 blocks (first) and is shooting a 62.2 percent from the field, which is highest on the team, second in the GLIAC and would be fourth in the entire country if she had qualified at the time of writing this. Again, this is a sophomore who played fewer than 10 minutes per game last season. With youth comes room for improvement. Boensch wants to improve her outside game, as she is 0-2 from 3-point range in her GVSU career and is shooting only 66.4 percent on free throws in her two years with the Lakers. For Williams, too, there’s plenty to work on in order to get Boensch to the level she is capable of reaching. “Basically three things,” Williams said. “Number one is her strength. Just getting strength and toughness, both mentally and physically. The GLIAC can be a really physical conference at this level. Secondly is, I think, her balance. We’re really working on her balance, getting her down a little bit, getting her center of gravity a little bit lower, a little bit wider. “And then just to do things at the fastest pace she can do them at. She’s a very well-thought person so she’s very methodical. She likes to take her time doing things. We’re trying to do it at more of a quicker pace and just see the game at a faster pace, and I think she’s getting better at all three of those.” Boensch is slated to start the rest of the Lakers’ games this season, both in regular and postseason. After that, her role will only increase moving forward.



BEING VOCAL: GVSU senior guard leads the offense during the Lakers’ loss to Wayne State on Thursday, Feb. 8. GVL | EMILY FRYE

RAISING THE BAAR: GVSU senior center Drake Baar slams it home during the Lakers’ win Saturday, Feb. 17. GVL | SPENCER SCARBER


After demolishing the Tiffin Dragons 84-62 on Senior Day on Saturday, Feb. 17, the Grand Valley State men’s basketball team could finally let out a sigh of relief. That relief came from finally clinching a spot in this season’s GLIAC Tournament—their third consecutive year qualifying for postseason action. While the Lakers currently sit as the seventh seed in the eight-team tournament, GVSU head coach Ric Wesley believes the general public just doesn’t understand how difficult the task of simply qualifying for the postseason truly is. “We’re in such a competitive conference full of misfits and really solid teams,”

Wesley said. “There’s not a single team where we can take a break from. People don’t realize that it’s really something to pride yourself just making it to this point.” However, the Lakers can’t breathe easy quite yet. Heading into their final weekend of regular-season competition, GVSU will face off against the No. 1 and 2 teams in the GLIAC— No. 3 nationally ranked Ferris State (27-1 overall, 17-1 GLIAC) and Lake Superior State (20-6 overall, 14-4 GLIAC)—on the road. Although a difficult way to close out the season, these contests will give the Lakers another chance to scout these teams heading into the tournament. Currently as the No. 7 seed, GVSU will most likely face No.

TIME OUT: GVSU head coach Ric Wesley talks to his team during a timeout Thursday, Feb. 8, at the DeltaPlex Arena. GVL | EMILY FRYE

GV men’s basketball to face top two GLIAC programs on the road to end regular season

2 LSSU in the opening round. “I don’t know all the mathematical possibilities on if we can move up the ranks or not, but it would certainly help our cause if we could win these games and move up a spot or two to have a better seed,” Wesley said. “If it ends up that these are the teams we’re going to face, then this gives us a trial run at them. No matter what happens— good or bad—we’re going to learn something from these games that we can bring into the tournament.” The first contest of the weekend will take place in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, against the Lakers of LSSU. In their matchup earlier this season, GVSU grabbed a 66-62 victory in their most

impressive showing of the entire season Thursday, Jan. 18, at the DeltaPlex Arena. But that doesn’t mean GVSU can take it easy against the other Lakers. Besides being the lone team to beat FSU this season, LSSU has the star power to defeat any team in their path. Leading their team is the 5-foot-8-inch point guard Akaemji Williams—a Division II version of Russell Westbrook, according to coach Wesley— who currently ranks third in the GLIAC in points per game (18.8) and first in assists (7.0). In their previous matchup, GVSU’s game plan was to let Williams “beat them” on offense instead of getting his teammates open. The plan worked as Williams only converted six of his 24 attempts for 16 points.

“He’s most effective when he gets his teammates going, so we knew we had to let him take over the game,” said senior point guard Myles Miller in the post-game interview. After that tough task, GVSU will then head to Big Rapids, Michigan, for an even larger task against the No. 3 nationally ranked and archrival Ferris State Bulldogs on Saturday, Feb. 24. The Lakers had an upset victory in their grasps earlier in the season, but they couldn’t stop the Bulldogs in the final minutes to drop the contest 87-71 on Saturday, Jan. 20, at home. This is a tough time to face the Bulldogs as they have won 15 consecutive games after their loss to LSSU. Unless something

major derails their team, the Bulldogs have a real shot at claiming the National Championship. Their major production comes inside from junior center Zach Hankins, who currently leads the GLIAC in rebounds (9.4)—about one more rebound on average than the No. 2 spot—while also averaging 15.2 points per game. But Hankins isn’t their only major source of production as seniors Drew Cushinberry (13.8 PPG) and Noah King (12 PPG) make it uneasy for any defense. These final two contests may serve as the truest evaluation of the Laker team all season. To watch/listen to the games at home, head over to for more streaming information.


‘Do it for Parm’

GV women’s basketball looks to close regular season strong despite senior Parmley’s ACL injury


FLOATING: GVSU junior guard Natalie Koenig hops in the air to launch off a floating layup attempt during the Lakers’ blowout win over Tiffin on Senior Day on Saturday, Feb. 17. GVL | SPENCER SCARBER

The best time of the year is almost upon us. As March draws closer with each passing day, the smell of playoff basketball madness is getting stronger and stronger. After a very entertaining overtime loss to the No. 1 ranked Ashland Eagles on Thursday, Feb. 15, the Grand Valley State women’s basketball team looks ready to recover and move on, finishing off the last few preparations before the GLIAC Tournament. “The team has been doing great; they have been very resilient,” said GVSU head coach Mike Williams. “We matched Ashland’s will, and if a couple of things here or there go our way, we would have won that game.” GVSU will have some big shoes to fill over the next few weeks, as senior forward Taylor Parmley tore her ACL in last week’s overtime thriller against Ashland. “Sadly, this isn’t the first time an injury like this happened to us since we lost Cassidy Boensch to torn ACL last year,” Williams said. “It’s not fun, but we have to keep going and someone has to step up to fill her role.” Parmley was a huge contributor for the Lakers this season, leading the team in scoring five games and in rebounding eight games. Besides that, she was an emotional leader for the team, and it’s going to be difficult for GVSU to fill the void. But at least Parmley’s spirits are still high as she continues to be a leader. “She’s the same leader she was before she got hurt,” Williams said. “It shows her character, and I think the team is feeding off that. Team

spirits are upbeat as we’ve had a little bit of a ‘Let’s do this for Parm’ mentality.” Even though the Lakers face two opponents who lack winning records this week, they are not taking either team lightly, and the current atmosphere at practice reflects that. “Practice has been really good lately,” Williams said. “I don’t think losing to Ashland affected us at all, which is a good thing.” GVSU will now travel to Sault Ste. Marie on Thursday, Feb. 22, for a matchup with the Lakers of Lake Superior State. Although LSSU is merely 2-21 on the year, GVSU can’t let this be a trap game as they look toward the playoffs. “Lake Superior State has been playing better as of late,” Williams said. “They have a good rotation, and it’s always hard to play at their place, so this week will be tough like any other.” Despite only having one win in the conference, the LSSU Lakers do a few things well. They have two senior post players in Tamara Novic and Natalie Peterson, who have combined to average 18 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. After that, GVSU will also head to Big Rapids for the regular-season finale against the archrival Ferris State Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are exactly .500 on the year and look to improve on that heading into the GLIAC Tournament. GVSU is preparing like they would any other game—by not letting their foot off the gas pedal. “We prepare for every team the same way,” Williams said. “We try to game plan for every team the same way, and these two road games won’t be easy, but we have to (get) back to our winning ways.” FSU does post some solid

leadership at the backcourt. They start seniors Leah Humes and Rachel McInerney at the guard spots, and the duo is impressively averaging a combined 26.8 points, 4.4 assists and 3.6 steals a game. GVSU is preparing to game plan around them. Now, it is of course important for GVSU to focus on the games this week, but it is necessary to look toward the postseason, too. The Lakers don’t know their matchups in the playoffs yet, but two more wins this week could help improve their place in the standings. However, Williams and the Lakers aren’t worried about that right now. They are taking this season one game at a time and plan to prepare for the tournament when it gets here. “We haven’t really prepared ahead for the tournament yet,” Williams said. “I don’t even look at film until we’re done with the team we’re currently preparing for. It will be nice to play at home, but we’re preparing for Lake Superior State first.” GVSU currently sits in third place and has clinched a berth in the GLIAC, as well as a quarterfinal home game in the tournament. They will play LSSU at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22, and FSU at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24, both on the road. “We’re always ready, and we’ve always been determined in practice,” Williams said. “We are ready for each game we play, and we prepare for each game like it’s a very big game, so I think we’re ready.” Looking toward the future, the Lakers don’t know who’ll they play in the first round yet, but they do know they will open the GLIAC Tournament at home on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale.



GLIAC bound


HURDLING: GVSU men’s hurdler Tyler Kirkwood breaks away from the pack during his first-place finish provisional mark in the 60-meter hurdles at the GVSU Tune-Up on Friday, Feb. 16. GVL | SHEILA BABBITT

KEEPING PACE: A member of the GVSU women’s track team makes her way past the crowd in a distance event during the GVSU Tune-Up Meet Friday, Feb. 16, at their home track. GVL | SHEILA BABBITT

GOING THE DISTANCE: GVSU junior thrower Bobbie Goodwin spins and prepares to launch her throw during the GVSU Tune-Up Meet Friday, Feb. 16, at the Kelly Family Sports Center. GVL | SHEILA BABBITT

GOING UP: GVSU sophomore pole vaulter Jacob Battani is propelled through the air after his launch during his first-place finish—clearing about 5.02 meters—during the GVSU Tune-Up Meet before GLIACs on Friday, Feb. 16, at the Kelly Family Sports Center. GVL | SHEILA BABBITT



SHORTSTOP: GVSU softball shortstop Shannon Flaherty throws the ball to first base during the Lakers’ victory over Lewis on March 28, 2017. After a successful 2017 season, where the Lakers won the GLIAC title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament with a 33-18 overall record (17-5 GLIAC), GVSU softball will be bringing back 12 players and seven starters in hopes of repeating last year’s success. GVL | KEVIN SIELAFF

Ready for spring GV softball brings back seven starters to try for another playoff run BY D’ANGELO STARKS DSTARKS@LANTHORN.COM

The Grand Valley State softball team is coming off a big 2017 season, where the Lakers won a GLIAC title with a 33-18 overall record (17-5 GLIAC) and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the seventh year in a row. The team would drop two out of three contests in the Midwest Regional Tournament, but those losses have the Lakers poised to build on last year’s strong season. Luckily for the Lakers, they don’t have a heavy burden of replacing graduating talent. Twelve players from last year’s roster—including seven

starters—will be returning to hopefully continue last year’s success.v With temperatures consistently in the upper 30s/lower 40s range, the team has been relegated to practicing inside the turf building, so training options are limited. The team’s focus has been on facing live pitching as much as possible so that hitters can develop their timing for the season. “We’ve been doing situational type stuff for defense just so we can prepare for anything that might come up during a game,” said GVSU head coach Dana Callihan, who is now entering her fourth year with the program.

Although the expectations for this year’s team are higher than past years, Callihan is trying to manage those expectations by focusing on the small things. “We just want to go out there and be competitive every single day,” Callihan said. “Everybody has their own expectations for us, and we have our own. We want to do well in the conference and make the postseason. Those are always goals for us here, but we don’t want to put too much pressure on ourselves. We want to take it one pitch at a time.” The team saw the loss of some contributors on offense after last season. Some of

those graduating seniors included All-Midwest Region Second Team and All-GLIAC Second Team outfielder Janae Langs and Kelsey Dominguez, respectively. But the Lakers’ biggest shoe to fill will be that of Jenna Lenza. Lenza was a consensus All-American—the second GVSU player ever to be an AllAmerican on both teams—and she had also been named to her third straight All-GLIAC first team. This is production that’s hard to replace, but the Lakers are set up well to continue their winning ways. The team is bringing back reigning GLIAC Pitcher of the Year Allison Lipovsky, who

L A K E R E XC H A N G E Announcements


Wenger's Bowling! A westside tradition for over 75 years! Only 5 minutes away from the downtown campus. Located on 629 Leonard ST NW Special events: Wild Wednesday from 9:30 to close the have $1 games, shoes, and more. On Fridays after class from noon to 5pm they offer $1 games, shoes, and miller high life. For information give them a call at (616)454-4482 Passionate about mental health and making a difference on your campus? Apply to be a peer educator through the Grand Valley State University Counseling Center! Get more information at

Brian's Books: the better bookstore! Now carrying new and used book for purchase and rent! Located near the water tower, it's worth the walk! Guaranteed to save you money!

Go farther this summer at Macomb community college! Earn transfer credits by applying as a guest student. For more information visit t h e i r w e b s i t e Lake Effect Phone Repair & Resale Same day iPhone Repairs! We Buy and Sell new & used Devices! We sell merchandise & accessories! Call or message: 1 (616) 502-4447 || @lakeeffectphonerepair || Located: 40 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

We are located near the John Ball Zoo and are looking for a part-time (2-3 hours per week) house keeper to clean, do laundry and shop for groceries. Pay is negotiable. If you have any questions or interested in the job email Jenn at



ISO: 1-3 people to take over lease(s) at 48west townhomes that only runs through July. No need to commit to a lengthy lease! Renewal is still an option. C o n t a c t m e

Context for a complex World: Staying informed matters more than ever. The World Affairs Council's annual Great Decisions series begins January 29 and brings 8 critical global conversations going on till March 26. Get more information at or call 616.776.1721

Meadows Crossing is the best off-campus housing in Grand Valley apartments. Our townhomes and Allendale apartments in Allendale offer modern amenities, comfort, privacy, and a great location.

Do your part to conserve energy! If problems occur in your on campus living space always place a work order to customer service. Don't take matters in to your on hands.

Conveniently located at the 48th Avenue entrance to Grand Valley State Universityʼs Allendale campus. Schedule a tour today and experience the best offcampus, GVSU apartments in the Allendale rental market!

Looking for female to sublease 12 month lease at Meadows for 2018-2019. Contact me for more detail at

One bedroom sublet immediately available at Meadows Crossing Apartments! No curren t housemates, just you for $595. Text (248) 219-9405 for details!

from a leadership role ... those are the one(s) I am looking to,” Callihan said. With a good mix of youth and experience, this team has plenty of potential to not only make another run at the GLIAC title but a deep NCAA Tournament run (knock on wood). After dropping their first two contests during a doubleheader against McKendree on Sunday, Feb. 18, the Lakers will now face Winona State and Lewis University on Friday, Feb. 23, followed by another double-header against Illinois Springfield and Missouri University of Science and Technology on Saturday, Feb. 24.

FREE CLASSIFIEDS FOR STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF some restrictions apply email for more info on restrictions


Immediate sublet available at Meadows Crossing apartments. Currently NO roommates, live the single life for $595/month. Text me at 248-219-9405 for details!

posted a 16-4 record and 1.53 ERA. Kaylie Rhynard is returning after missing the majority of last season with a major injury, and coach Callihan named two more players she expects to step up and have big seasons. Teagan Shomin and Shannon Flaherty hold down the left side of the infield for the Lakers—both of them played games at shortstop and third base last year. Both played all 51 games for the Lakers last year,while also hitting over .300 and accumulating 50 hits each. Flaherty was also named an All-GLIAC Honorable Mention. “(Shomin and Flaherty) are my left side of the infield, and

National Eating Disorder Screening Day! Wednesday, February 21 Locations: Allendale at Kirkhof lobby from 10am-4pm and the Rec Center from 2pm-6pm Pew Campus at DeVos C from 10am-2pm and CHS Lobby from 11am- 3pm

Puzzle Answers


Issue 45, February 22nd, 2018 - Grand Valley Lanthorn  
Issue 45, February 22nd, 2018 - Grand Valley Lanthorn  

Issue 45, February 22nd, 2018 - Grand Valley Lanthorn