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Opinion News Arts & Entertainment Laker Life Sports Graduation Special

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‘March for Our Lives’ proves youth have been underestimated BY LANTHORN EDITORIAL EDITORIAL@LANTHORN.COM

MARCH 26 In response to February’s horrific mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, activists across the U.S. held marches Saturday, March 24, to stand in solidarity with victims of gun violence and demand gun-control reform. Remarkably, Grand Rapid’s student-run version of the national “March for Our Lives” attracted thousands of participants. In fact, organizers estimated that more than 4,000 individuals showed up to take

part in the rallies and march through the streets of the city. This type of turnout served as a blunt contradiction to the image of teenage uselessness painted by politicians and others who have outspokenly doubted the power of today’s youth to participate so actively and effectively in the political sphere. The six high school students leading the march on Saturday—yes, six high school students—were holding local and national legislators’ feet to the fire with their enormous, well-organized demonstration. A common sentiment expressed at the march was that

“this time feels different.” And at the march, it really did. This time, demonstrators assured each other, we are at the cusp of significant changes. What makes this time different? The general consensus is that the unique perspective and involvement of Generation Z, the fuel behind the “March for Our Lives” movement, are enough to pressure politicians to produce new legislation. For several reasons, this seems accurate. The teenagers leading this movement seem passionate enough to follow through on their demands. They are

young enough to remain idealistic and hopeful despite their disenchantment with the current political system. They are young enough to be angrier than anyone else. Combine these elements with the fact that this generation was raised in the era of first-world mass shootings, and you have a recipe for a throng of fed-up, invigorated adolescents who won’t take no for an answer. The timing of the horrendous Parkland shooting and subsequent marches could prove to be vital for these young activists as well. All of

these events have occurred during an election year, so if Saturday’s marchers can keep the flames burning for a few more months, surely the polls will be inundated with fed-up voters who will force certain local and national leaders out of office. A lot of high school students participating in the “March for Our Lives” movement will also be old enough to vote in November, and they have been reinvigorating their parents, teachers and friends to join them. It would be surprising if low voter turnout, especially among young people, contin-

ued to be an issue this fall. By the end of the march on Saturday, participants had made their message loud and clear: “Enough is enough.” The youth of Generation Z believe they are the ones who will finally accomplish what others have been pushing for years, including the enactment of stricter gun-control laws they believe will cure the country’s massshooting epidemic. As long as they can keep their momentum going through November and beyond, there seems no reason why they shouldn’t be able to bring about the change they are demanding.




GV should consider campus smoking ban BY LANTHORN EDITORIAL EDITORIAL@LANTHORN.COM

APRIL 1 At its general assembly Thursday, March 29, Grand Valley State University’s student senate considered whether or not to support a smoking-ban proposal presented by representatives of different GVSU departments. While student senate voted against supporting the proposal (president Jonathan Bowman cited a lack of time to consider it and gauge student-body reactions as a reason), the senators have expressed interest in working with administrators to adjust and improve the proposal down the line. A smoking ban (at least on cigarettes, not necessarily e-cigarettes and vaporizers) is definitely something GVSU should consider implementing. Currently, GVSU is only one of two four-year institutions in Michigan (Ferris State University is the other) that don’t have such a rule. It’s 2018, and we know


just how harmful breathing in secondhand smoke is. For the sake of the general campus community’s health, GVSU should consider such a ban. One of the compromises listed in the proposal presented to student senate was a designated smoking area to confine the activity to one specific section of campus. This would be a good way to appease individuals who are concerned about their personal liberties being encroached upon, at least temporarily, but GVSU should seriously consider making such an area secluded and eventually easing the university into a policy banning cigarette smoking entirely. One issue with the proposal presented at student senate, however, is that it included a ban on e-cigs and vapes. While neither of these smoking options are healthy, they are still less harmful than cigarettes and are actually used by some individuals to quit smoking cigarettes. In addition, the secondhand “smoke” from e-cigs and vapes is far less obnoxious for everyone else who has to

breathe it in. For the time being, at least, it would make sense to leave e-cigs and vapes out of a smoking-ban policy. Of course, it is rarely a good idea for university administrations to make sweeping, campus-wide policies without gathering input from the campus community. Kudos to Amy Campbell, associate director of Campus Recreation, and Lindsey DesArmo, Health and Wellness manager for Human Resources, for presenting the proposal to student senate, and kudos to student senate for not blindly throwing its support behind the proposal without getting sufficient feedback from the campus community first. While it may be easy for the Lanthorn to say, “Yes, smoking should be banned on campus, if only because it will improve the overall health of campus,” affected community members should be able to weigh in on the issue. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE



JAN. 22 Following the emotional impact statements given by the victim survivors of Larry Nassar, a former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor, widespread calls have been made for MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon to step down. Publications like The State News, the Lansing State Journal and The Detroit News have called for Simon’s resignation following the Nassar scandal, in which officials at MSU, including Simon, knew about Nassar’s sexual abuse of underage girls for more than 20 years. After viewing the impact statements and the in-depth investigations conducted by various outlets, the Grand Valley Lanthorn is also calling for Simon’s resignation. Simon was the head of a culture of enablement for Nassar at MSU. She failed in her responsibility to maintain the safety of those who trusted her the most, and therefore has lost the confidence of the community. Her removal is among the steps necessary for victim survivors to begin

to move on with their lives, even after the horrific acts committed against them. As the pressure for Simon to step down increases, only one of eight trustees has spoken out to call for the current president’s resignation: Mitch Lyons. In a statement issued Saturday, Jan. 20, Lyons said, “I have been very troubled since yesterday’s board announcement. I do not agree with our statement of support for Pres. Simon. As I expressed repeatedly to fellow board members during our discussion Friday, I don’t believe Pres. Simon can survive the public outcry that has been generated by this tragedy and even less so after hearing the testimony of these brave survivors of Larry Nassar’s abuse. “I believe our best recourse is for President Simon to resign immediately in order to let the healing process begin, first and foremost for the survivors and secondarily for our university.” This change is noteworthy because the board’s decision was originally made to appear unanimous. The other seven trustees are still unwaveringly lending their support to Simon—a move

that has the public crying out even louder for a change. More than 140 women have alleged that Nassar abused them, and around 90 victims have testified in court this week at his sentencing hearing, according to the Detroit Free Press. Many of these victims have spoken out calling for Simon’s resignation, too, and these are voices that deserve to be represented. Having Simon stay on is preventing a change that desperately needs to happen for the university and beyond. While this decision impacts the MSU population directly, students from other universities are looking at this case carefully, too. Grand Valley State University in particular prides itself on creating a safe environment for students, and the university has crafted many initiatives to ensure students’ mental and physical well-being. MSU is currently making moves that go against the needs of its student population—and the general public—with little remorse. The administration there is setting a really good example of what not to do. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE





GV officials need to be transparent with Presidents’ Ball expenses BY LANTHORN EDITORIAL EDITORIAL@LANTHORN.COM

FEB. 19 Presidents’ Ball is a long-standing Grand Valley State University tradition. Starting off in the Kirkhof Center, the event has since moved downtown to the DeVos Place and grown to an audience of 4,500 people. According to GVSU’s Winter 2017 Enrollment Report, 23,963 students were enrolled during the winter 2017 semester. This means that around 19 percent of the study body had the opportunity to attend the 2017 Presidents’ Ball, which used around $100,000 of student tuition money in total. The money used for the highly promoted event comes

from the Student Life Fund, which is made up of tuition money. Student senate provides an allocation amount for the event ($40,000 for 2018), and whatever cost is left over after revenue is accounted for is also pulled from the Student Life Fund. Many students, as well as other campus community members, are completely unaware of how much Presidents’ Ball costs to put on. The allocation amount is accessible, but the actual budget in full is not readily available to students, nor is it particularly transparent, despite the event’s cost being described as such by many officials. The enormous amount spent on Presidents’ Ball ($138,790.74 in 2017) is be-

yond what many weddings cost. And the fact that the event still produces a deficit with an allocation of around $40,000, plus ticket revenue totaling over $80,000, is concerning. The budget doesn’t seem to be particularly strict, either, considering how the event has gone over budget heading on three years in a row now. Aside from the substantial cost of the yearly event, the misreporting done by the Office of Student Life (OSL) errs on the side of carelessness. Even if GVSU does have the money to bail out any overages in expense, the OSL should be clear on that. In the 2016 Presidents’ Ball budget, approximately $16,000 is unaccounted for, creating a hole greater than $4,000. In 2017, the event was nearly $10,000 in the hole.

When representatives from the GVSU student senate asked about how much money should be allocated to the event this year, they cut the allocation amount from $45,000 to $40,000 based on the event’s “profit” the past two years. This supposed profit is based on one erroneous budget and another that had not yet been compiled. This could potentially even create a larger deficit, as the 2018 Presidents’ Ball numbers are expected to be released around spring break. However, in justification of the sizable cost, GVSU officials assert that the event is a “Laker tradition” and put on for the benefit of students. There is no denying the popularity of the event, nor the good times students have while attending,

but one can easily dispute the justification for how much is spent every year on one single night. One explanation for the event’s cost is that the university is using Presidents’ Ball as a tactic to get more students to come to GVSU because this event sets them apart from other universities. As enrollment is increasingly competitive, GVSU could be using Presidents’ Ball to draw in potential students. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, aside from the fact that they are using current students’ tuition dollars to do it. The event gets a little more expensive and extravagant each year, seemingly ignoring more “low key” venue options that could host a crowd of students for less cost (one example would be

the Fieldhouse Arena). Recently, ​ the Central Michigan University Board of Trustees approved extension of in-state tuition rates to students from across the U.S. This allows CMU to recruit beyond state borders. A move like this only demonstrates the competitiveness of enrollment in Michigan, something GVSU administrators understand well as they are constantly making moves to boost their numbers. One way or another, GVSU students pay for Presidents’ Ball. The least they can ask from those in charge of planning and funding the event is explicit accuracy and transparency. If an event is taking place to get prospective students to come to GVSU, the students who go here now should know what they’re paying for first.



MARCH 12 After a few weeks of deliberation, the Grand Valley State University student senate finally voted Thursday, March 1, to continue the annual Battle of the Valleys charity competition against Saginaw Valley State University. While some senators had expressed concern that the competition might not be well-known enough to be worth keeping (reflected in the 12 votes against continuing it), Battle of the Valleys is arguably one of the only Laker Traditions that has a tangible and significant effect on the surrounding community. While other traditions, such as Presidents’ Ball, can cost the university thousands of dollars to hold, Battle of the Valleys actually raises thousands of dollars every year for the Laker

Children’s Fund, which awards mini grants of up to $5,000 to organizations specializing in childhood growth and well-being in Kent and Ottawa counties. According to the Battle of the Valleys’ history web page, the competition, which has been around since 2003, raised a whopping $17,331 for the Laker Children’s Fund in 2016. While GVSU has never raised more than SVSU, the competitive nature of the fundraising has clearly spurred Lakers to open their wallets and contribute to this worthy cause nonetheless. Even though some senators may be convinced that this event is overshadowed by the accompanying football game, surely they are doing something right because money is still being raised. And down the line, perhaps they can harness the hype of the football game in their promotional en-


deavors to encourage even more donations from the Laker community, turning what might be considered a competitor for attention into an attraction for fundraising efforts. In addition, while senators might be concerned that students don’t know about the fundraising side of Battle of the Valleys, replacing the competition with another charitable endeavor won’t solve this supposed issue. GVSU students across campus are constantly pushing new initiatives and agendas as part of their respective organizations, so a new charity effort would likely just get lost in the noise of other Laker happenings. It’s better that senate is working to push a pre-existing Laker Tradition, building on an established history to continue to raise money for the Laker Children’s Fund. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE



Donors like Secchia need to be held accountable BY LANTHORN EDITORIAL EDITORIAL@LANTHORN.COM

JAN. 29 The fallout from the Larry Nassar scandal has seen top Michigan State University officials like former President Lou Anna K. Simon and athletic director Mark Hollis resign as more information continues to come out about the university and staff and administrative knowledge. Following Simon’s resignation, notable MSU—and Grand Valley State University—donor Peter Secchia was speaking to WZZM 13 in Grand Rapids about the fallout from the case. The case has been well-reported, as more than 170 brave victim survivors testified in court. Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexual abuse charges, on top of the 60 years he was sentenced for child pornography charges. Despite all of the horror that has been uncovered in this case, Secchia’s comments on the situation didn’t exactly do much to express his support or

sorrow for the victims. “We all wonder why the National Gymnastics people aren’t being dragged in, the Olympics aren’t being dragged in, why some of the parents remained quiet,” Secchia told WZZM. “Were they driven to have a gold medal or driven to have a child who is a star? Were they holding back on the information they had because they didn’t want to embarrass their daughter? There are so many different currents in this river of distraught. ... It’s not a pleasant time, ... but it can only get better.” In his role as a donor, Secchia is also a public figure. His comments come off as insensitive and ignorant. Obviously, there are many people to blame in the Nassar case, but he shouldn’t look to defer the blame. Simon and Hollis stepping down is a good step in beginning the healing process for everyone involved (although Simon’s resignation letter didn’t exactly voice regret), but Secchia’s comments scream a lack of in-

tegrity and accountability. By shifting the blame onto USA Gymnastics and—even worse—the parents of the victim survivors, one of whom took his own life out of guilt from the situation, Secchia looks inconsiderate and callous. Secchia’s donations to MSU and GVSU have earned him praise. His name is on Secchia Hall on GVSU’s Pew Campus, as well as the MSU Secchia Center in Grand Rapids. He is the former U.S. ambassador to Italy, as well, and his contributions to the institutions and communities shouldn’t be ignored. However, he, and every other donor, should still be held accountable for his comments. And universities and their communities shouldn’t turn a blind eye to ignorant comments made by donors, either. By doing so, they are essentially saying that they can be bought, and so can their silence. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE




Fighting for funds

University officials travel to Lansing to make case for increased state backing BY ARPAN LOBO NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

MARCH 12 Before students left Allendale to celebrate spring break, two university officials spoke in front of Michigan representatives for an increase in state funding. On Thursday, March 1, Grand Valley State University President Thomas Haas, as well as GVSU student senate president Jonathan Bowman and student senators Cameron Jones and Julian VanDaele, traveled to the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing to discuss an increase in GVSU’s state-allocated funds. Seeing an increase in funding for GVSU has been a priority for Haas. In his retirement announcement Wednesday, Feb. 28, he spoke of the necessity for more resources put into the university. “We cannot tolerate any

further disinvestment in higher education,” Haas said. “Education is a public good, and states that invest in it have more lively economies and communities.” Multiple universities were present at the event. However, Bowman was the only student representative to speak. “I think the fact that I am in front of you today shows the student-centered attitude of Grand Valley, an attitude which all universities should have,” he said in his statement. “Representing Grand Valley’s 25,000 students, I want to share how impactful our college experience has been. Grand Valley is preparing future nurses, engineers, teachers and people in many other fields who will be the driving force for the innovation and development of our great state. “We need the state to invest more into our education and for higher education to be seen as a priority.”

Throughout the 2017-18 academic year, both university administration and student senate have made an effort to draw attention to GVSU’s comparative lack of funding. In January, senate collaborated with other schools in Michigan to create a petition geared toward state funding. The 11th annual Accountability Report, released in November, showed that GVSU has received the second-lowest funding per student for the past five years. According to university officials, an increase in state funding could result in lower tuition costs for GVSU students. In Haas’ nearly 12 years at the university, he has made a concerted effort to alleviate financial concerns on the behalf of students. LOG ON TO: https://bitly/2F5kEap FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

DISCUSSION: GVSU President Thomas Haas speaks with a student on April 13, 2017. In early March, Haas and student senators traveled to Lansing to argue for increased state funding. GVL | LUKE HOLMES


GV tentatively approved for bump in state funding Increased allocation would move university closer to lower-tuition goal BY DEVIN DELY DDELY@LANTHORN.COM

MEETING: Student senate meets on Nov. 13, 2017. In April, senate announced that GVSU should receive an increase in funding from the state of Michigan, moving GVSU closer to its goal. GVL | MATT READ

APRIL 14 Grand Valley State University may be a little closer to reaching its goal for state funding. In March, GVSU President Thomas Haas and members of student senate took the fight to Lansing, where they spoke in front of Michigan State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker’s Appropriations Subcommittee for Higher Education. The funding on the table for higher education in Michigan as a whole was $17 million more than what Gov. Rick Snyder had originally proposed, increasing from $28.6 million to $45.6 million. GVSU will receive 3.7 percent of the $45.6 million. Last week, student senators

learned that the committee had approved this request. “We’re super excited,” said Cameron Jones, student senate vice president-elect for external relations. “This is what we’ve been working towards all year. It’s progress. I was told when I started this project to expect no progress, but the fact that we did get a budget increase this year is huge. It means that we could hit that target a lot sooner to get that drop in tuition.” The drop in tuition Jones mentioned is in reference to a promise by Haas to lower tuition by $2,000 if GVSU is able to obtain a state average in university funding, which amounts to about $5,000 per student. According to Julian VanDaele, a student senator on the external relations committee who worked on the state funding project, the

3.7-percent of increase “will not take us there, but it’ll get us closer (to our goal).” Money from this proposal will be divided up for different uses, including campus security and sexual assault prevention, mental health initiatives, and university operations. Western Michigan University will get the smallest share of the $45.6 million at 2.6 percent. However, the decision is not final yet; Michigan’s Senate and House must vote on the proposed increase separately before it can be finalized. VanDaele thinks it will pass, though, citing Schuitmaker’s advocacy for the funding as well as GVSU and Oakland University’s joint letter-drive efforts as reasons for his confidence. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


Laker Line receives federal funding

New busing system to streamline transit between Allendale, Grand Rapids BY DEVIN DELY DDELY@LANTHORN.COM

FEB. 14 Development is officially underway for a new transit system between Allendale and Grand Rapids. The Laker Line initiative received federal funding on Friday, Feb. 9. This latest project is meant to improve transportation between GVSU’s Allendale and Pew campuses. D. Scott Richardson, retiring acting vice president for finance and administration at GVSU, said this project has been a long time coming. “This is a project that’s almost five years in the making,” he said. “In particular, it’s going to have an impact on students who need to get from this campus (Allendale) to the health sciences building. It’s going to streamline and shorten the run.” The new bus system will replace the 50 route, which currently connects the two campuses, and will run 16 buses, all larger than the ones being used now. The 50 seats

about 40 passengers, while the new buses will seat 60 and have the capacity to carry up to about 80 people. Despite the good news of the project receiving the funding it needs, many are still wondering why the approval took so long. According to Richardson, national politics may have played a role in the delay. “I think for one it’s a significant project,” he said. “But also, there’s lots of financial discussions that started happening with the new president and new administration on tax relief, government structure and funding programs for things like this. Everything slowed down for a while until the new administration made decisions on funding. “Given that, we’re quite excited and thankful to the people in Washington who helped with this. Bill Huizenga was helpful in guiding us through the bureaucracy, talking to the right people in the right offices and keeping them focused on this project.” The project will cost around $70 million, with more than 80 percent of the costs being cov-

ered by the recent federal grant. The Michigan Department of Transportation will cover the remaining costs. Other new features of the bus system include traffic signal priority technology and newer, nicer bus stops, which will be elevated to the level of the buses and heated in the winter to prevent ice. Since GVSU’s population makes up more than 2.5 million passengers on the Rapid bus system annually, this new initiative will most likely have a bigger effect on GVSU students than anyone else. But in addition to helping out students at GVSU, the new Laker Line bus system will also have a community impact. “The Rapid is a six-community consortium,” Richardson said. “It’s not just Grand Rapids; it’s other cities as well. I hope the impact on this is greater than just Grand Valley. If there’s people that work at Spectrum and live along M-45, they should be able to take the bus to work now.” LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

MOVING ALONG: GVSU students board buses at the Kirkhof Center on Wednesday, Feb. 14. This year, GVSU got funding for its brand-new Laker Line initiative, which will replace the 50. GVL | HANNAH HILL




‘Enough is enough’

Thousands of demonstrators demand gun-control reform at Grand Rapids’ ‘March for Our Lives’ BY EMILY DORAN EDITORIAL@LANTHORN.COM

PROTEST: Student leaders from Forest Hills Northern High School walk during the ‘March for Our Lives’ in Grand Rapids on Sunday, March 24. The march was one of several nationwide. GVL | EMILY FRYE

MARCH 26 Student leaders from Forest Hills Northern High School direct the ‘March for Our Lives’ protest in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Saturday, March 24. In conjunction with marches held nationwide, thousands of demonstrators gathered at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids on Saturday, March 24, to express support for victims of gun violence and demand more gun-control legislation. Grand Rapids’ “March for Our Lives,” which featured fiery speeches, a table where participants could register to vote and a visually powerful walk through the city’s most populated streets, was organized

entirely by West Michigan high school students. “We hope … to have our voices heard and to have legislators act on sensible guncontrol laws,” said Emily Dieffenbach, a sophomore at Forest Hills Northern High School in Grand Rapids who helped organize the event. “We’re going to demand action from our legislators until there’s change.” Prior to the march, the organizers held a rally at noon in Rosa Parks Circle that featured performances from the Grand Rapids Justice Choir and speeches from students and other individuals who demanded gun-control reform at the congressional level. Several speakers even threatened to vote “inactive” politicians out of office in November, prompting the

crowd to erupt into chants of “Vote them out” at several points throughout the rally and subsequent march. As part of the event, the speakers and organizers offered concrete opportunities for participants to make a difference and continue their support of gun-control reform even after the conclusion of the march. “We’re encouraging people to participate through civic action by writing letters to their state legislators,” said Kathleen Fallon, a senior at Forest Hills Northern who was manning a table with letter-writing materials, sample wording and the addresses of state legislators and representatives. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


Campus officials address safety concerns after Parkland shooting BY DEVIN DELY DDELY@LANTHORN.COM

FEB. 26 Dozens of students gathered outside the Cook Carillon Tower on Grand Valley State University’s Allendale Campus on Wednesday, Feb. 21, to hold a candlelight vigil for the victims of the recent mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. It was a somber event, filled with pictures of victims and emotional words from students looking to make a change. The event, organized by student Brian Bialowas, featured strong words from Maria Cimitile, GVSU provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs. “We are prepared to deal with this,” she told reporters at Wood TV8 of Grand Rapids on Wednesday. “Even though it’s the most difficult thing to have an

assault on humanity, we know what to do.” Her words come at a time when many students are questioning if they are safe. Mass shootings have become increasingly common in the U.S., with many students wondering what procedures are in place if a similar tragedy were to occur at their own school. GVSU President Thomas Haas addressed these concerns in a campus-wide email Monday, Feb. 19, reassuring students that GVSU is capable of protecting its students. “Recent events show the importance of continuous efforts and underscore the importance of working together,” he wrote. “Our collective safety is my top priority. We must all continue to be directly engaged in creating and maintaining the safest possible Grand Valley.” The email proceeded to highlight various resources students could access in a potentially suspicious or un-

safe situation. GVSU Police Department Acting Director Brandon DeHaan praised Haas for his words, saying that he identified a lot of key points about campus safety. “I think what’s important here is that we do have qualified law enforcement officers that are working in the Allendale Campus,” he said. “As a Laker culture, we need to look out for one another.” According to DeHaan, universities as a whole have put a lot more work into campus safety since the Virginia Tech shooting of 2007, in which a single gunman killed 32 people and wounded 17 others. “We’ve seen a number of changes since 2007,” DeHaan said. “Colleges and universities have begun to adapt. It wasn’t really that high of a priority for many before that.” LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

PROVOST: Provost Maria Cimitile speaks to the GVSU community Wednesday, Feb. 21. Student senate organized a vigil to remember victims of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. GVL | EMILY FRYE


GVPD holds active-shooter-response training in Mackinac Hall BY EMILY DORAN EDITORIAL@LANTHORN.COM

ARMED AND READY: GVPD officers sweep through Mackinac Hall in an active-shooter-response drill on Dec. 17, 2017. GVPD worked alongside other local safety departments for the session. GVL | EMILY FRYE

JAN. 10 In the middle of a hushed, snow-covered, largely deserted Allendale Campus following students’ winter-break exodus, Mackinac Hall buzzed with tension and activity in the surrounding gloom. Firetrucks, one of which was outfitted as a control center, and police cruisers were parked out back and in the adjacent lot. Signs outside the building warned passersby not to enter. Inside, the first floor of the classroom building swarmed with local law enforcement, firefighters and volunteers.


In the absence of bustling students and faculty members, the hallways and classrooms of Mackinac Hall were transformed into makeshift active-shooterresponse training zones teeming with participants clad in neon green and orange vests and sporting combat gear—helmets, face masks, groin guards—distributed from plastic bins. Approximately 40-plus police officers, 20-plus firefighters and 20 to 25 volunteers participated in the Grand Valley State University Police Department’s largest annual training session designed to prepare its staff for an active-shooter situation on campus. As part of its yearly exercise, the GVPD partnered with the Ottawa County Sheriff ’s Office and other emergency organizations on Sunday, Dec. 17, to practice confrontation and rescue techniques. This year, local fire departments also participated for the first time. “It’s a relatively new concept,” said Sgt. Steve Wolbrink, EMS coordinator for Allendale Charter Township Fire Department, about the inclusion of local fire departments in police training. “It used to be fire would wait until it was safe.” Because victims who are bleeding out need to be treated right away, however, Allendale, Georgetown and Tallmadge fire departments participated in the activeshooter-response training this year to practice executing an immediate rescue plan. “You have to get people treated and leave quickly,” Wolbrink said. “People need to learn how to control bleeding.” In addition to the police of-

ficers and firefighters acting in the simulations, other participants and volunteers—many of whom were GVSU students—were assigned to roleplay as bystanders, the active shooter(s) and injured victims. “The intent here is to make it as real-life as possible,” said GVPD Acting Director Brandon DeHaan. For each simulation— three in total, each about 15 to 20 minutes—volunteers playing victims and bystanders positioned themselves around the first couple floors of Mackinac Hall with at least one person playing an active shooter, known only by the simulation organizers. Getting into crouching poses, police officers, with their shoulders pulled up to their ears, sporting protective gear and brandishing rifles and handguns, swept through the hallways of the building in search of the shooter(s), while firefighters found “victims,” applied tourniquets to their “wounds” and dragged them out on flexible plastic sleds. Occasionally, “gunfire” in the form of FX rounds—ammunition designed for training simulations—broke out with loud claps around the building. The annual active-shooterresponse training is just one of many ways the GVPD is actively involved with other local law enforcement. “We work very closely with the sheriff’s office on a daily basis,” DeHaan said. Capt. Robert Tease of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said his department had a good relationship with the GVPD. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE



GV President Thomas Haas announces impending retirement BY ARPAN LOBO NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

MARCH 1 Grand Valley State University President Thomas Haas announced his impending retirement date Wednesday, Feb. 28, in the Haas Center for Performing Arts. Haas, who is currently in his 12th year at the helm of GVSU, told an audience of Board of Trustees members, faculty and student senators that he will remain president of the university until June 30, 2019. “It’s with profound appreciation that I’ve had the opportunity to serve as president of Grand Valley for the past 11 and a half years,” Haas said. “I’ve advised the board, and today I’m announcing to you and others in our community that I will retire on June 30, 2019. “Marcia and I have been so proud to represent Grand Valley for almost a dozen years, and we will continue to give it our all.” Haas, 66, became the fourth president of GVSU in 2006 after being president of the State University of New York Cobleskill. He was an honors graduate from the

United States Coast Guard Academy in 1973. In addition to serving as GVSU president, he is also an appointed professor of chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He will continue his professorial duties at GVSU following a break after his retirement. “It has been my absolute privilege to work with steadfast trustees and members of the Grand Valley Foundation,” Haas said. “I don’t want (this) to sound like it’s a goodbye because I’m announcing my retirement now so the board has the best opportunity to find the right candidate for the next phase of Grand Valley’s continued growth in quality and stature.” Haas reflected on GVSU’s dedication to creating a safe atmosphere on campus during his tenure. “The greatest pride for my administration has been and is campus safety,” he said. “I’ve appointed committees and groups to continue to examine practices, procedures, policies on sexual assault cases and campus-wide response to acts of violence. “We must plan, we must

prepare and we must continue our drills so we are ready.” Haas also spoke of GVSU’s need to remain relevant in both the West Michigan and higher education communities. He touted the university’s contribution to the city of Grand Rapids with buildings such as the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences and the currently under construction Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall. Haas stressed the importance of state investment at GVSU. “We cannot tolerate any further disinvestment in higher education,” he said. “Education is a public good, and states that invest in it have more lively economies and communities.” Haas will travel to Lansing to meet with legislators Thursday, March 1. There, on behalf of students, he will vouch for increased state funding. After Haas spoke, he received a standing ovation from the audience. He was followed by student senate president Jonathan Bowman, who voiced his appreciation for Haas. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

FAREWELL: GVSU President Thomas Haas announces his retirement on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Haas will remain GVSU president until June 30, 2019. He was GVSU’s fourth president. GVL | SHEILA BABBITT


GV Board of Trustees approves increased housing budget, funding for downtown parking BY EMILY DORAN EDITORIAL@LANTHORN.COM

FACILITIES: James Moyer presents his case for renovation of the PAC during a Board of Trustees meeting on April 29, 2016. On Friday, Feb. 2, the GVSU Board of Trustees approved an increased housing budget and funding for a downtown parking ramp. GVL | LUKE HOLMES

FEB. 5 At its meeting on Friday, Feb. 2, in the L. William Seidman Center, the Grand Valley State University Board of Trustees approved increases to the university’s 2018-19 housing budget and dining rates, as well as budgets for two parking projects in downtown Grand Rapids. For the 2018-19 fiscal year, the housing budget is $55.1 million, a 1.7-percent total increase from the previous fiscal year’s budget of $54.2 million. According to the Finance and Audit Committee report brought before the Board of Trustees detailing and justifying the proposed increases, the $900,000 budget elevation means that students will be paying an average of $20 more for housing each semester. Per the same report, $5.8 million of

the total housing budget will be dedicated to “repair and renovation projects for the housing and dining facilities.” Meanwhile, GVSU’s primary meal plan option will increase by $25 per semester. According to the report, the combined rate increase for housing and dining is 1.1 percent. Specific increases for different housing and dining options are detailed in the report. At the meeting, the Board of Trustees also approved funding for a new parking structure near the Medical Mile in downtown Grand Rapids. The project, which is a collaboration between GVSU and Spectrum Health, will provide parking spaces for both GVSU health students and Spectrum Health employees. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


Kent County Animal Shelter euthanasia rate among highest in Michigan BY DREW SCHERTZER DSCHERTZER@LANTHORN.COM

APRIL 19 The Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS) euthanized 2,002 animals in 2017. That number constitutes one of the highest euthanasia rates in Michigan. Year after year, KCAS’s euthanasia rate continues to be two to three times higher than the Michigan state average, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The number of euthanized animals was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request sent to KCAS. A long debate has existed about whether animal shelters should euthanize animals or not. Some shelters, like the KCAS, believe that adoption and eutha-

nasia are the left and right arms of keeping animal populations in control. “We have to take in all types of dogs and cats, and the main reason is that the owner has requested the euthanasia of their animal because it was hit by a car or too sick,” said a Kent County Animal Shelter clerk, who asked to remain anonymous. “If an animal is too aggressive, it also has to be euthanized if it is at risk for biting someone.” KCAS believes that euthanasia is justifiably for the greater good and for aggressive animals. However, Chris Walter, admissions counselor for the Animal Behavior College, expressed a different opinion. “In my training, I’ve seen the psychology of how dogs think, learn and their needs,” Walter said. “When a dog has aggressive behavioral issues, it isn’t usually an issue with the

dog—it is an issue of humans understanding the dog.” Gerald Byrne, deputy managing director of operations for the Kent County Road Commission, explained that animals being hit by cars isn’t extremely common, either. “Animals occasionally are hit by cars,” Byrne said. “For people’s pets, the number is low enough to where we don’t keep count.” While euthanizing animals and the reasons for it are controversial, adoption seems to be a common middle ground. KCAS handles predominantly dogs and cats. This is how most shelters and humane societies function, specializing in dogs, cats or both. Some, like the KCAS, have room for a few other small animals, such as birds or ferrets.

The policy in place for the KCAS is that the shelter must take in every dog that comes there, the KCAS clerk said. She explained that there are laws for dogs but not for cats. Regardless, according to the clerk, the shelter takes in mainly stray cats. Carly Luttmann, program supervisor for the KCAS, declined to comment about euthanasia rates. However, in a 2012 interview with The Rapidian, she expressed her opinion of adoption being key to lowering rates. The adoption process begins with applicants having to fill out paperwork. They then have to provide verification that animals are allowed in their homes. The adoption fee is $130 for any dog. Kittens under four months old are $40, and any cats that are older are $5. Animals are required to be spayed and neu-

tered to help lower population by law as well. Austin Fry, a Grand Valley State University student, adopted a pit bull named Bella from the KCAS. He believes the process is simple and easy. “I went there once, and all the dogs were barking except Bella; she was just sitting there,” Fry said. “She’s a child to me, and I can’t imagine not having my dog.” The KCAS clerk said the shelter can hold around 350 animals at any given time. Adoption fees are decided by the KCAS to cover the cost of keeping animals in the shelter prior to adoption, transfer, reclamation and euthanasia. Despite what Fry calls an easy adoption process, the KCAS had twice as many animals euthanized as animals adopted in 2017. Critics of kill shelters, like the No Kill Advocacy Cen-

ter, believe there are alternative routes that don’t involve euthanasia. They list several factors to end kill shelters, including volunteers, behavioral prevention, public involvement and more. A program in Michigan, the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance, is working toward ending kill shelters across Michigan. The organization offers ideas similar to those of the No Kill Advocacy Center, as well as rewards for shelters that cut down their euthanasia rates. There are still many debates about euthanizing animals in Michigan. Many programs are set in place to decrease the number of animals that are euthanized every year. The Michigan state average for euthanasia rates dropped to 14 percent in 2016, but the KCAS currently has a euthanasia rate three times the state average.




Student senate sets 2018-19 budget

Club sports again receive largest increase in allocations BY ARPAN LOBO NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

APRIL 19 Grand Valley State University’s student senate has set the university’s 2018-19 Student Life Fund. The fund jumps from $1.07 million for fiscal year (FY) 2017-18 to just below $1.1 million for FY 2018-19. Club sports once again received the largest increase in allocations for the coming academic year, increasing from $425,000 to $440,000. Senate finance chair Carly Aller explained that the bump in allocations is meant to benefit students who participate in club sports at GVSU. An increase in the amount of money senate dispenses to club sports means less money has to be paid in dues by club athletes. This money is typically spent on equipment and leases for offcampus venues where certain sports take place. This increase is similar to the one that took place in 2017, when senate increased club sports’ allocation from $396,000 to $425,000. Other increases include the reinsertion of the Greek Life Council. The council, which

had been folded into senate after the 2015-16 school year, was reinserted for 2018-19 with an allocation of $14,500. Its purpose is to coordinate Greek life activities at GVSU, such as Greek Week and Lipsync. The student media budget at GVSU, which funds the Grand Valley Lanthorn, Grand Valley Television (GVTV) and WCKS The Whale increased from $80,000 to $89,200. The travel fund designated for student organizations increased from $79,500 to $85,300. Aller explained that “the volume of travel requests has been increasing for years.” Councils and subgroups receive increases or decreases in funding based on the amount of money used during a fiscal year. If one category of student life is requesting additional funding for projects, while another is not using its total allocation, money can be shifted accordingly. Senate also has a reserve fund if groups use up their total allocation. Notable decreases in funding include the Laker Traditions allocation dropping from $40,000 to $33,000. The drop in allocations can be attributed to Battle of the Valleys, the

university’s annual charity competition with rival Saginaw Valley State University, being shifted from a collaboration between Laker Traditions and student senate to a solely senate-operated promotion. According to Aller, this resulted in the student senate internal operating budget being increased from $20,000 to $22,000. Spotlight Productions, the organization responsible for events like the spring concert, saw its budget decrease from $170,000 to $160,000. However, Aller said that the organization has a reserve of $50,000 stemming from the cancellation of the 2017 spring concert. Senate president-elect Rachel Jenkin believes the budget reflects the time and effort of Aller and the finance committee. “(The) decisions that were made were based on use or the lack of requests coming from certain organizations in their field,” Jenkin said. “It’s all really based on the usage from these organizations. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

MONEY MATTERS: Student senate holds a meeting to elect new officers on Thursday, April 5. In March, senate created the 2018-19 Student Life Fund, comprised of nearly $1.1 million. GVL | SHEILA BABBITT


Student senate votes against proposal to ban smoking on campus BY SARAH HOLLIS SHOLLIS@LANTHORN.COM

FREE SMOKE: A student vapes outside on Wednesday, April 18. On Thursday, March 29, GVSU student senate voted against a proposal that would ban smoking and vaping on campus. GVL | SHEILA BABBITT

APRIL 2 With voting for next year’s Grand Valley State University student senate underway, the senate general assembly on Thursday, March 29, was used for announcing final information on long-running projects, and discussing and voting on two final proposals. Much of the general assembly was used to discuss and vote on senate support for a proposal for a smoke/e-cigarette/vapefree campus. The proposal was brought before the body as a collaboration between several GVSU departments and was spearheaded by the Health and Wellness department. The proposal would replace GVSU’s current smoking policy, which prohibits smoking inside buildings and within 25 feet of buildings, bus stops and the Little Mac Bridge.

The proposed policy would prohibit smoking anywhere on the GVSU campus, with the exceptions of a designated smoking location next to Au Sable Hall and students’ enclosed personal vehicles. It would also create additional support and resources for students who decide they want to quit smoking. According to Amy Campbell, associate director of Campus Recreation, and Lindsey DesArmo, Health and Wellness manager for Human Resources, the main reasoning behind this proposal is to improve the health of the campus. After a lengthy discussion, the senate body voted against supporting the proposal, with 10 votes for, 23 votes against and zero abstentions. Despite the student senate body voting against supporting the current proposed policy, Campbell and DesArmo will continue to work with senate going forward and will continue the

conversation about the implementation of a smokefree campus policy. They have stated that they are committed to making sure the students are heard on this proposal and that the policy is implemented correctly. The student senate body is also willing to continue this conversation and work with these departments to improve the proposal. “I think it’s definitely really important to have constant communication with the whole task force, and there are student representatives on the Health and Wellness task force that has been working on this,” said Jonathan Bowman, student senate president. “I think that cooperation is going to continue. This was actually the first time that this proposal was ever brought to this body before, and it was happening right at the end of the year, so it was kind of rushed. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


GV Wellness looking for student support of smoking ban BY ARPAN LOBO NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

APRIL 19 Grand Valley State University is just one of two public institutions in Michigan that has yet to go tobacco-free. In late March, GVSU student senate voted against supporting a proposal that would implement a tobacco ban on the university’s campuses. The proposed ban wasn’t just limited to traditional cigarettes: Vaporizers and e-cigarettes also fell under the proposal. Despite the proposal falling short at senate, representatives from Campus Recreation and other GVSU departments are still pushing to make GVSU a smokefree campus. Their goal: not to punish smokers, but to push healthier lifestyles for students, faculty and staff. Amy Campbell, associate director of Campus

Recreation, and Lindsey DesArmo, health and wellness manager for Human Resources, spoke to senate about the proposal. Despite the vote falling short at senate, they still hope to garner more student support in the upcoming academic year. “It was a risk we took,” Campbell said. “But at least we got the conversation going, and I think it’s a good thing that students are talking about it.” The early draft of Campbell and DesArmo’s policy earned support from GVSU Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Maria Cimitile, Acting Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Stephen Glass, the athletic department, Admissions Office, Housing and Residence Life, the University Counseling Center, the College of Health Professions and the

GVSU Police Department. The GVSU Wellness Task Force, which consists of 19 different GVSU and GVSUaffiliated departments, supported the early draft as well. With strong support from various departments, Campbell and DesArmo thought of presenting their proposal directly to university administration. Yet, student support remains a vital part of the proposal. “We wanted to make sure to have (student) representation,” DesArmo said. “I feel like having more of that engagement will make a more successful delivery of this.” “I think we could have presented to administration,” Campbell said. “And that was a decision we made, that we wanted to have student senate support first. It’s important to us, and we value the students.” Student senate president Jonathan Bowman cited a lack

of time to properly discuss the proposal as reasoning for its failure to pass through senate. Senate president-elect Rachel Jenkin spoke of working toward a solution together. “We’re obviously willing to work with any administration on any issue,” Jenkin said. “But we also want to make sure that we’re not just dropping into saying that we want a policy just because it sounds good. We want to make sure if we’re going to have a policy that it’s something that students are going to follow.” Jenkin also alluded to providing resources for students who do smoke and use tobacco products on campus. The proposal has a timeline for implementation that would allow a buffer year before the ban would take place. In that time, the university would offer resources and information on quitting smoking.

DesArmo and Campbell’s proposal to senate listed Aug. 1, 2019, as an implementation date. Had the proposal passed, the bulk of the 2018-19 academic year would have been spent educating students on the proposed changes. Campbell and DesArmo even administered a survey of GVSU students, which received more than 1,400 respondents. In the survey, 80 percent said they had never used cigarettes, while another 74 percent said they had never used e-cigarettes. E-cigs and vaping are newer trends for smoking. They, too, would be prohibited under the ban. DesArmo explained that vapes still pose a public health risk, even if they are not as stigmatized as traditional cigarettes. “There are chemicals. There’s nicotine in (vapes),” she said. “We don’t know

everything that’s in it because they can put whatever, which would be concerning to me, as I’m taking this in to my body, like I don’t know what’s in it.” The survey also found that GVSU students are using ecigs at a rate 10-percent higher than the national average. As Campbell, DesArmo and the rest of the GVSU Wellness Task Force continue to look for solutions to the issue, they maintain that student involvement and support is vital to the cause. “We need that voice,” DesArmo said. Campbell hopes students can get involved so that when the proposal is taken back to student senate, the case will be even stronger. Those interested in working with GVSU Wellness can reach Campbell at



2018 Presidents’ Ball costs total over $130K BY JENNA FRACASSI AND ARPAN LOBO ASSOCIATE@LANTHORN.COM

APRIL 19 February’s Presidents’ Ball ran a deficit for the third consecutive year for a combined total of around $30,000, according to an analysis of documentation provided to the Grand Valley Lanthorn by the Grand Valley State University Office of Student Life (OSL). This year’s Presidents’ Ball general budget, which is not yet final, shows a loss of about $9,000. This is after the event generated $87,701 in ticket revenue and received $40,000 in allocation from the Student Life Fund. Expenses totaled $136,485.82. The expenses’ total is slightly smaller than what was spent for the event in 2017. In 2017, Presidents’ Ball expenses came out to $138,790.74. However, the Student Life Fund allocated $45,000 to Presidents’ Ball in 2017. The deficit can be attributed to cost increases for traditional Presidents’ Ball expenses, as well as a de-

crease in allocation money. For example, SMG Grand Rapids, the management firm tasked with managing DeVos Place, received a payment of $23,683 to cover both the deposit and reservation fee from the OSL. This is more than $2,000 more than the 2017 expense of $21,477.25. Captus Creative, the company tasked with designing the lighting and entertainment for the event, also received more than $1,000 more in 2018 than in the previous year. Another line item that could be reduced: the online ticketing service that cost $7,807 for the 2018 ball. LeaAnn Tibbe, associate director of student life, explained that the online transaction fees are absorbed into the Presidents’ Ball budget, as event organizers didn’t want to charge students the fees (these prices ranged from $2 to $3 extra per ticket). Tibbe believes the shift to online ticketing is worth it. She said it’s much more convenient for students, especially those located down-

town, to not have to go to the 2020 Information Desk located in the Kirkhof Center. The change to online ticketing happened because it’s easier for 2020 to administer, according to Tibbe. Selling physical tickets meant that a lot of money was collected at the 2020 Desk, and the staff was not trained to handle that, she said. This year’s Presidents’ Ball saw a decrease in charges for online ticketing. In 2017, the OSL spent $11,694.30 for online ticketing services, around $4,000 less. In 2016, the last year before sales went exclusively online, tickets cost $1,818.88. One area that did see an increase in cost, however, was the 2018 Presidents’ Ball promotional video. The video’s production cost $7,100 in 2018, whereas in 2017, the video team received a payment of just $5,570 for the production. The video is done every year through the Promotions Office video team. Tibbe explained why she believes using an in-house pro-

EXPENSES: GVSU President Thomas Haas dances during Presidents’ Ball. This year’s event had a total cost of $136,485.82, making it the third straight year the ball has gone over budget. GVL | EMILY FRYE

duction team is beneficial. “I’ve never gone outside (OSL) because it’s just like we use our promotions team,” she said. “It’s paying a student who is getting paid a wage plus getting a great experience. … I’ve never priced it

elsewhere because, I mean, I just know the cost of video.” Tibbe was not optimistic about the prospect of contracting with a company outside of the university to make the video more cheaply. Sill, she is open to the idea of

other student or professional organizations outside of the OSL filming the promo video in the future. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


The real cost of Presidents’ Ball Misreporting, accounting errors evident after analysis BY JENNA FRACASSI AND ARPAN LOBO ASSOCIATE@LANTHORN.COM

DANCING AWAY: Presidents’ Ball attendees dance and enjoy the event on Friday, Feb. 2. Presidents’ Ball, a longstanding GVSU tradition, consistently has more than $100,000 in costs. GVL | EMILY FRYE

FEB. 19 The DeVos Place ballroom is illuminated by multicolored lights as Grand Valley State University students of all class standings gather around the stage. “Are there any Lakers in the house?” GVSU President Thomas Haas shouts over a roaring crowd of cheers. “We’ve got the best students; we’ve got the best faculty. Did I say we have the best students? In America!” A longstanding GVSU tradition designed to be a celebration of both the university president and the student senate president, Presidents’ Ball is the largest (non-athletic) student event at the university. The event consistently attracts more than 4,000 GVSU students and community members, and this year, the DeVos Place hosted a crowd of 4,500 people that included students, administrators, faculty, staff and alumni. However, what many attendees may not know is the

cost for creating such a grand night has totaled close to a quarter million dollars the past two years. They also may not know that, rather than running a profit, as university officials told the student senate, the event lost thousands of dollars in 2016 and 2017. In 2017, student senate allocated $45,000 to Presidents’ Ball from the university’s Student Life Fund—a fund comprised of $1,235,000 for the 2017-18 academic year, according to Brian Copeland, associate vice president for business and finance. Monies from GVSU’s general fund ($690,000) and housing and dining ($545,000) make up the Student Life Fund, he said. In other words, the Student Life Fund is made up of students’ tuition money. In 2018, senate dropped the Presidents’ Ball allocation to $40,000. The rationale for this decrease—presented in the student senate finance committee’s “FY (Fiscal Year) 18 Budget Proposal”—stated that the past two years, Presidents’ Ball has turned a $10,000 profit carryover into

the following year. “If the budget is reduced, it will reduce this carryover and allow the money to be used in another beneficial area of student life at Grand Valley while still leaving Presidents’ Ball with a $5,000 buffer,” the document states. LeaAnn Tibbe, associate director of student life, recommended the cut, according to the budget proposal. But an exclusive analysis of Presidents’ Ball budget documents obtained from a student senator reveals that even after a $5,000 increase from the student senate, the much-hyped event generated a loss of nearly $10,000 in 2017. Presidents’ Ball expenses totaled $138,790.74 in 2017, the last year for which data is available. The event generated $84,507 in revenue (from ticket sales) and was also subsidized by student senate ($45,000), for a total of $129,507. As a result, the 2017 event had a $9,283.74 deficit, budget documents said. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


The ‘battle’ continues

Student senate votes to keep annual charity competition


MARCH 12 At its general assembly Thursday, March 1, Grand Valley State University’s student senate voted in favor of continuing the annual Battle of the Valleys charity competition. The vote concluded a three-week-long discussion of whether or not to keep Battle of the Valleys going. The senators had been debating keeping it for the sake of having a week devoted to charity or finding another charity to promote, as some senators believe most students are unaware that Battle of the Valleys is more than just a football game. “Don’t stifle an amazing thing because it takes time and effort,” said GVSU student and former student senator Brooklynn Golnick. Golnick spoke on behalf of keeping the competition. Her reminder of GVSU’s contri-

bution to the Laker Children’s Fund, the main beneficiary of the competition, ultimately swayed voters. Once the list of speakers was exhausted, 26 students voted in favor of keeping Battle of the Valleys, while 12 voted against it and one abstained. “We’re going to keep doing it, so I think that’s exciting,” said student senate president Jonathan Bowman. “We are going to work towards planning (it), and if people want to get involved in that process, I encourage them to reach out to us.” As part of its weekly business, student senate also addressed its finance guidelines, which is the control of the $1.2 million Student Life Fund and how the senators plan to disperse it to student organizations for the 201819 academic year. After the budget is reviewed, the organization’s requests are divided into certain categories. “I think the huge thing for people to know is about

the budget,” Bowman said. “I think the students need to know where the (fund) is going, if they have comments, questions, concerns, (to) reach out to us so we can address those. (We want to) help people better understand that money is there for students to use, and we spend the whole year dispersing that fund to students. It’s there for organizations to request it however they deem fit.” Student senate also invited Chris Swank, an operations manager for Pew Campus and Regional Centers Operations, who discussed the construction of the Laker Line, a brandnew busing initiative to be finished in fall 2020. The plans are meant to improve the pace and ease of the bus drop-off and pickup at the Kirkhof Center. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

TROPHY: GVSU’s Battle of the Valleys game on Sept. 30, 2017. At its general assembly Thursday, March 1, student senate voted in favor of continuing the Battle of the Valleys competition. GVL | EMILY FRYE




Rachel Jenkin elected student senate president Morgan Mattler named VP, other e-board positions filled


APRIL 16 At the Grand Valley State University student senate general assembly Thursday, April 12, new cabinet members were elected from the body for the 2018-19 academic year. Before the voting started, several GVSU students and senators voiced their support for different candidates during the public comment section of the general assembly. By the end of the night, Rachel Jenkin, vice president of campus affairs from this academic year, was named the president-elect. Jenkin is focused on improving relations between senate and the student body and continuing the work accomplished by this year’s senators. “One of the big projects that I want to move forward with is getting a seat for a student senator at the Board of Trustees’ table,” Jenkin said. “Seventy

percent of public universities have that seat, but Grand Valley for some reason does not. Also, I’m trying to encourage consistency in communication on our body. I think we have a really strong relationship with administration, but we really need to encourage that relationship with the students. “So, going through and just having that physical connection and reaching out to students in various organizations, going to their meetings, grabbing coffee with their presidents, really trying to establish those face-toface conversations. ... I’m really trying to make sure that we don’t just hit the reset button on this last year because we have new senators.” Morgan Mattler, vice president of public relations this academic year, was elected as the new executive vice president. “The vice president serves as the internal source to really help guide all the senators in the body, building their projects, and just helping with any

and everything they may need,” he said. “I’m very honored and excited to serve as executive vice president. I have plans in regards to outreach; I really want our student body to know that we’re coming for them, and we’re excited to interact with them so much more than we have in previous years. “On top of that, I’m super excited just to serve as that resource to my fellow senators, both VPs as well as every single senator on this body. I’ve had excellent experience with an assortment of different projects just being on public relations that past two years.” As for the rest of the cabinet, new elects include Holly Neva for vice president of senate resources; Amanda Crawford for vice president of finance; Carter Engler for vice president of campus affairs; and Erin McIntosh for vice president of educational affairs. Rachel Ibarra was also elected vice president of diversity affairs; Cameron Jones was named vice president of external relations; and Bilal

EXECUTIVE: Student senate meets on Nov. 13, 2017. Rachel Jenkin (farthest right) was elected student senate president for 2018-19 on Thursday, April 12, during the general assembly. GVL | MATT READ

Qureshi was voted in as vice president of public relations. The voting process was comprised of three sections: speeches, Q&A and discussion. Each senator-elect for every position had five minutes to give a prepared speech in front of the senate body. Then, all the can-

didates sat in front of the body and were allowed to answer five questions each from the body. The answers to these questions were capped at two minutes. After the Q&A, the candidates left the room while the rest of the senators discussed their options and

expressed support for their preferred candidates. GVSU student senate general assembly takes place every Thursday at 4:30 p.m. during the school year in the Kirkhof Center Pere Marquette Room. The entire campus community is welcome to attend.


‘You have given so many women their lives back’ GV alumna, reporter speaks on breaking USA Gymnastics/Nassar scandal BY ARPAN LOBO NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

MARCH 30 Marisa Kwiatkowski talks about the role she played in breaking the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal on

Monday, March 26, 2018. The USA Gymnastics scandal has sent shock waves through the sporting world in recent months. A highly publicized trial culminated in former USAG and Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar being sentenced to

up to 175 years in prison for sexual abuse in January. Nassar’s atrocities came to light after an Indianapolis Star report surfaced detailing USAG’s policies of undermining sexual assault victims. Marisa Kwiatkoswki, a Grand Valley State Univeristy alumna, was

SHEDDING LIGHT: Marisa Kwiatkowski talks about the role she played in breaking the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal on Monday, March 26. Kwiatkowski graduated from GVSU in 2004. GVL | EMILY FRYE

among the lead reporters. On Monday, March 26, Kwiatkowski returned to GVSU to participate in a Q&A session. The event took place in the DeVos Center Loosemore Auditorium and was moderated by GVSU multimedia journalism professor Jeff Kelly Lowenstein. The session allowed Kwiatkowski to share her experience, from getting the first tip on USAG to watching the impact statements at Nassar’s trial. The event was similar to an earlier session held on GVSU’s Allendale Campus. Kwiatkowski graduated from GVSU in 2005. From there, she worked at the Grand Haven Tribune and The Times of Northwest Indiana before joining IndyStar. Kwiatkowski discussed how after a tip, the investigation began with a policy held by USAG. “There were pieces that were from current and former USA Gymnastics officials that talked about their policy for handling sexual abuse allegations,” she said. “What that showed was that they had a policy of dismissing allegations as hearsay unless they had been signed by a victim, a victim’s parent or an eyewitness to the abuse.” Kwiatkowski also described how Nassar was able to create

an image as a respected gymnastics doctor by manipulating those around him. “When we started our investigation into Larry Nassar, he was running for school board at the time,” Kwiatkowski said. “He was this beloved figure in the sport of gymnastics. He was wellknown, well-respected. ... He was a prominent figure. “Larry Nassar groomed not only the people directly around him, but his environment.” In a competitive culture such as the one found in gymnastics, coaches are often extremely demanding of their athletes, pushing them as far as they can go. Nassar presented himself as the antithesis to this, being a calmer presence for young athletes desiring to reach the pinnacle of their sport. “He positioned himself as the foremost expert in pelvic floor methodology, he would present at conferences, he wrote a textbook chapter, he would talk a lot about the work that he was doing,” Kwiatkowski said. “And at the same time, in the sport of gymnastics, when you’re trying to achieve at the highest level, a lot of times your coach is pushing you and really trying to get you to that next level. He

was the counterpart to that; he was the nice guy. “He was the guy that would sneak them candy. He would give them little gifts and encourage them, be their confidant, and at the same time, he’s also doing the same thing with the parents.” Kwiatkowski explained that Nassar presented himself as a friend to most parents, being able to go the extra mile to give them what they or their child needed. “He, for a lot of parents was this great guy who would go out their way to help them,” she said. “If they had a busy schedule, he was the one saying, ‘Hey, I’ll meet you after hours, no big deal,’ or ‘Hey, I can stop by and do that at your location instead of making you come to me.’ “He really positioned himself in such a way that when any of these allegations would come out, and they did come out numerous times over these decades, people either didn’t believe the people who came forward, they dismissed them, or they discouraged people from moving forward and reporting their claims.” LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


Abdul El-Sayed speaks at GV Democratic gubernatorial candidate shares policy with students, community members BY ARPAN LOBO NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

MARCH 15 As November’s gubernatorial election looms, the campaign season has begun to heat up. On Wednesday, March 14, one Democratic dark horse spoke at Grand Valley State University. Hosted by the GVSU College Democrats, candidate Abdul El-Sayed spoke in front of GVSU students for a little more than an hour in the Kirkhof Center Grand River Room. During the town hall, El-Sayed addressed revitalizing Michigan’s economy, investing in public education, addressing corporations in politics and more. “I am done waiting; we are done waiting,” he said. El-Sayed’s platform can be viewed as rather progressive. He would be the first Muslim-American to serve as governor in the U.S., but he has previously spoken about not wanting to be looked as a Muslim but as an American. While he has drawn parallels

to former President Barack Obama, a more apt comparison would be former Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders. El-Sayed, 33, served as the executive director of the Detroit Health Department from 2015 to 2017. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and was a Rhodes Scholar from Oxford. He fulfilled his M.D. at Columbia University. During the town hall, he shared his desire to remove corporate backers in politics. “Our politics are a show,” he said, comparing them to professional wrestling. ElSayed explained that while citizens may see politicians engage in heated debates on television, they are often taking money from the same multinational corporations in the same way wrestlers portray fabricated heated rivals. “The same old politicians play the same old game,” he said. “We’ve got to be honest about what is broken, and we’ve got to be honest about to fix it.” El-Sayed was introduced

by GVSU College Democrats president Andrew Nurmi. Nurmi called El-Sayed a “champion of progressive affairs” in Michigan. Nurmi also claimed that the turnout for the El-Sayed town hall drew the largest crowd among College Democrats events. El-Sayed also addressed issues pertaining to the opioid crisis in Michigan, immigration and gun reform. He called U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ recent interview on “60 Minutes” a “hot mess,” saying that DeVos’ preferred method of charter schools has no place in American education. “Not everyone in Michigan can say that (they have a right to an education),” El-Sayed said. He broke down his plan for education in Michigan, saying that money needs to be invested in both teachers and students in an equitable manner. He cited the gap between educational funding for students in Oakland County, the richest county in Michigan, and students in Detroit. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

PLATFORM: Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed speaks at a GVSU town hall meeting on Wednesday, March 14. The event was hosted by GVSU College Democrats. GVL | EMILY FRYE



Congratulations, graduates!



Abigail Elliott

Adrianna Lee

Wow, hard to believe you are completing this journey. You have accomplished so much, and have worked so hard. We are so very proud of you. Congratulations to you!

Happy Graduation Day, Adrianna! We are so proud and happy for you. Lots of Love, Mom and Steve

Aimee Madeleine Haugli Congratulations Madeleine! Your hard work and dedication have paid off. We are so proud of you! Love Thomas Kristoffer, mamma & pappa

Alyssa Schutzenhofer

Amari Rose Congratulations big brother! - Aidan Yay! You did it! I’m SUPER proud of you! I wish you much success & happiness in your future. - Love Always, Mom

Congratulations Alyssa! You made it. We are very proud of all your hard work and dedication! We can’t wait to see what the future brings! Love, Mom, Dad, Emily, Josh

Wow! I guess you weren’t that stupid! Congrats big bro. -Jana Lose some, win some, long as the outcome is income. - Mac Congratulations big brother! I wish you the best for your future!! - Diara Congratulations to my FIRST grandson. Your graduation represents the beginning of your adult life. May you experience happiness, peace, love, health and long life. I will always love you! - Nana

Alex Sikora Congratulations Ali, we are so proud of you and all your accomplishments. Your beautiful smile and willingness to help others along with your hard work and determination make you such a special young lady. Wherever the future takes you, we know you will succeed! The best is yet to come! Remember we will always be your biggest cheerleaders and we love you to the moon and back bug! Mommy, Daddy, Frankie and Sparkie

Amanda Handy I’m very proud of the young woman you’ve become. Your persistence and accomplishments are going to benefit you for the wonderful future ahead. I love you very much, mom. You might not be able to explain what a manager does ... but hopefully you will be able to show me with how successful you become. Love, Dad.

Amanda Fox Congratulations! You make the most of your opportunities, plans and dreams. You have always aimed to be the best you can be. We’re proud of you. Love, Mom & Dad



Annita Claude Xavier Metha

Autumn L’Oreal Smith Autumn L’Oreal Smith You were born a star now shining brighter. Keep the Lord in you as your presence lights up a room. We are very proud of you.

Annita, It is time to celebrate. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams.” Go for it and set the world on fire! Congratulations!

Love Mom, Saquoia, Torrie

Benjamin LaFeldt You are a trustworthy steward of the gifts with which were blessed. Congratulations on your academic and personal achievements! We love you! Mom & your Michigan and Colorado families

Angelo Zannis Congratulations! We are so proud of you. No matter where life takes you, remember that your passion and hard work will define the extraordinary young man that you are. Believe in yourself and never give up on your dreams. Love, Mom, Baba, Sylvia XOXO

Ashley McCreery We are so proud of the young lady you have become. You will succeed in anything you choose to do. Keep your head up and always go for your dreams. You inspire us every day. Live to your fullest potential. Remember we will support you through your life always. We love you, Dad and Mom!

Austin Williams Congratulations Austin on a job well done! Remember, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with GOD! ----------------------------------------Austin, May the “Fore’s” be with you as you continue to BELIEVE, ACHIEVE, SUCCEED! Always by your side, Your loving family.

Brandon Sulkey Dear Brandon, Congratulations B-Boy!! We are so proud of you and all that you have accomplished, but more so the wonderful young man that you’ve become. Your hard work and determination have paid off and we can’t wait to see what great things you will do in this world. We love you very much, Dad, Mom and Emily Keep moving forward!



Brittney DeJohn Your love of learning and being a hard worker has gotten you to where you are today! We are so proud of you and all you’ve accomplished! Love Mom, Dad, Haley

Bryan and Janelle Myerscough Congratulations Bryan & Janelle! We could not be prouder of what you have accomplished. Wishing the best of luck in all your future endeavors. Love, Mom, Dad, Danielle

Breanna Foss Breanna Marie Foss, Words cannot describe how utterly proud of you we are! Today is the day you have been dreaming of! The day all your hard work pays off! It has been a privilege to watch you grow from a beautiful baby into the amazing woman you have become! The sky is the limit, never stop reaching for those stars! We cannot wait to see what adventure life brings you now! We all love you so much! Congratulations on achieving your dreams and never giving up!

Caleb Geselman We are proud of your dedication and commitment to your goals and dreams. Congratulations! From Dad, Mom, John, Maria and Gabe

Chandler Schroeder Your efforts have paid off! The future is yours to create. We are all so proud of you. Go achieve your dreams. Congratulations. Love, Mom, Dad & your Bros. XO

Caitlin Hunter Caitlin, We are so very happy to celebrate your college graduation! This has been an amazing accomplishment you have attained because of your hard work, tenacity and discipline! We love you and are so proud of you! We know you will continue to brighten the world with your love and joy and positively impact your students lives. Love, Mom & Dad

Calla Braymer Our dearest Calla, “When you smile, it’s like the sun coming up.” May the sun always smile down on you. Congratulations on a job well done! Love Mom and Dad

Chris Clew Many congratulations Chris on attaining your C.J. degree!! We are so very proud of you and your hard work and determination. With very much love, Mom, Dad, Maisie and Cody

Christian Carroll ChristianYou have always embraced God’s perfect plan for your education, maintaining a desire to learn more. We are so very proud of you! We love you, Mom & Dad



Dylan McKinley Jones Congratulations Dylan, you did it!! We love you and are so proud of your achievements. And then the student became the teacher. Go make some history! Love Mom, Dad and Noah

Emily Brasmer Emily, I’m so glad that I’ve gotten to experience senior year of college with you by my side. Here’s to the next chapter of our lives ... together.

Dalton Reiche

Your exit buddy.

Congratulations, Dalton! We have always been very proud of you and your achievements. You did a great job reaching all of your goals at GVSU, including playing for their men’s LAX team all four years. Now go forward to live the dream with Samantha (Sammy). Your future is bright and we will always be praying for your career choices and your future family. Remember what is important! So happy to share in the excitement of your graduation day - what a blessing you have always been. Love, Dad, Mom and Clayton

Emily Rose Doran Congratulations to Editor-in-Chief Emily Rose Doran, 2018 Honors College Magna Cum Laude graduate. We couldn’t be prouder of all you’ve accomplished and the fantastic young woman you’ve become during the last four years. The future is yours, Em. With all our love, Mom and Dad.

Emily Hamel Emily Loren Hamel, we knew from the beginning that you were someone special. You’ve finally made it and we’ve enjoyed the journey. Congrats! Love Mommy & Daddy

Emily Milne Well done! With this success comes greater opportunities and challenges. Face them with the same desire you always have. Congratulations! Love, Mom & Dad

Eric Lacerna Congratulations! Always remember that you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think! You have the ability to create a beautiful world of tomorrow.

Emily Whitney Congrats Emily! Our quiet storm. Today we celebrate another great achievement, and cheer on the brilliant and outspoken tapestry you continue to weave. Your loving family!

Eric Shalayko Congratulations on your college graduation Eric! You are an intelligent, hard working, funny and extraordinary young man. We are so proud of you! Love, Mom, Alex, Nanna, and Nannu

Jordan Sheatzley “Oh, the places you’ll go!” Congratulations Jordan. We love you so much. - Mom, Mike, Dad, Paige and Aaron



Kaitlyn Allison

Kara Waite

Be courageous, enjoy life and use your talent to make the world a better place! You are amazing! Excited to watch the next phase of your life!

Congratulations Kara! We know how hard you worked to get here. Your foundation is finished. Time to relax and have some fun. Olive juice! Love, Mom, Dad and Andrew (and Penny)

Love Mom and Jeremy!

Jacob Meissner

Josh Ferguson Congratulations Josh! We are so proud of what you have accomplished, and excited to see what lies ahead in Medical School.

We wish you lots of ADVENTURE on your journey and the STRENGTH to face challenges with confidence. Listen to your HEART and weigh risks carefully. PRAY often, give THANKS daily, and FORGIVE generously. Remember how much you are LOVED. We are so PROUD of you and all you have accomplished. Congratulations! Dad and Deb

Katherine Dupuie Congratulations Kate! We are so proud of you. Your dedication and hard work have paid off. Now go follow your dreams! Love, Mom, Dad and Joe

Kaye Suarez Whether it’s sashaying or coding, your determination and creativity will carry you through. Proud of you! Love, Mom and Dad, Anton, Taylor and Agustin, Scott and Laura

Katelyn Shippy Keaton Kinder Keaton R. Kinder, your future’s so bright you gotta wear shades. Congratulations! We are proud of your achievements and excited for your future. Love Mom, Dad, Griffin and Bianca

Kimberly Dent Congratulations Kimberly! We are so very proud of you. Take pride in how far you’ve come and have faith in how far you can go. Love ya!! Mom, Dad and Katie

Katelyn, you’re amazing! It seems like yesterday I was dropping you off at preschool. Now, you’re graduating college. What an accomplishment you have made. I am so proud! There have been some rough times these past four years, and you still pulled through - even making the Dean’s List. Joe is looking down on you and beaming with pride. He is always with you and will guide you in your life’s journey. Your strength and dedication will take you far in life. We all love you, Mom, Harold, all your siblings

Krista Guinther We are so proud of you, Krista! All your hard work is paying off. We love you! Dad, Cheryl, Jacob, Eric



LaSonia Harris We love you and we are extremely proud of all you are accomplishing. Know that the Lord is still fighting all your battles princess. Love, Mommy & twin sister LaTonia

Lauren Brouillard Congratulations Lauren! We are so proud of you! Wishing you continued success on your education journey. May all your dreams come true! Love you, Mom & Dad

Lauren Hammes Congratulations Lauren!!! We are all so proud of your accomplishment. You have worked so hard and are a true inspiration to us all. Love, Your ENTIRE Family!!!!

Lindsey Hartsig Congratulations, Lindsey Marie Hartsig. We are so proud of you.

Madyson Mansfield Good looks, brains, heart, and now a diploma too? You’ve got it all! Spread your wings and soar. May this new chapter in your life take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of hopes, to the windows of opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever imagined. Kindness, forgiveness, and love trump all. God’s strength is always within. We all are so very proud of you. Love you more than there are grains of sand in the universe always and forever, Mom & Marshall

Love, Mom and Alyssa

Melanie Watson Congratulations on your well-deserved achievement! With your inquisitive mind, creativity and determination to succeed we know you will embrace everything the world has to offer. We are so proud of you! “Take pride in how far you’ve come. Have faith in how far you can go. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey.” - Michael Josephson. Love, Mom and Dad

Maya Johnson Maya, We are so proud of you. “One Team One Family” Love always, Dad, Mom, and Sis.

Matthew James Brand Congratulations, Matthew, on successfully completing your undergraduate studies at GVSU! May God keep you humble and guide you toward a rewarding and purposeful career. Love, Mom and Dad

Meghan Fitzgerald Meggy, You’ve been a Laker all your life. Congratulations - we knew you could do it! Looking forward to watching you sail off to success. Love mom, dad, Caitlin (Fitzgerald)



Nicholas Crimando

Nathan Baker Congratulations, Nathan! We are proud of your academic success, hard work, and who you are. Te queremos mucho. May God bless and guide you on your journey.

Congratulations Nicholas! You make us proud everyday; your determination and willingness to help others will bring you success! Keep reaching for your goals! Work hard and have fun! Love, Mom and Dad

Nathan Forster Congratulations Nathan!! We are so very proud of you and all of your accomplishments. Your dedication in earning a double major in Marketing and Economics, involvement in related associations and student organizations, is certain to bring you many additional successes and rewards. May your next pursuit in life’s journey be as memorable and admirable. We love you very much… Mom, Dad, and Natalie

Pauline Mansour We’re immensely proud of you and all your hard work and accomplishments! Your extraordinary dedication have brought you to this amazing celebration. Love you infinitely! Proud of you always!

Rachael Zaborowski Rachael, Your Dad and I could not be more proud! Congratulations!

Rachel Gold Rachel, we are so proud of your accomplishment at GVSU. Go pursue your dreams of being the writer that you are. Love you, Mom, Dad, Lilly and Grandma.

Nicholas Farmer Nick Farmer, Congratulations on your college graduation from GVSU! It is an honor to share this outstanding achievement with you! We are so proud of you! Your journey is just beginning! We are excited to see what is in store for you next! We love you very much! Love, Your family

Pierce Cesaretti Pierce, We could not be prouder of your accomplishments! You are an amazing young man! The world is yours for the taking. We love you so much. Dad and Brenda

Rachael Zaborowski So proud of you! I look forward to seeing you grow as a student affairs professional. Zeke, Obi, and I will be happy to have you back home! Love you!

Rachel Kurth Rachel we are in awe of all the accomplishments you have experienced at GVSU. More importantly we are proud of the woman you have become. Love Dad, Mom, Nathan



Richard Conklin

Rachel Peterman

We are very proud of you and have enjoyed watching you excel over the years. We can’t wait to see what’s next. So, study on! Congratulations!

Behind you, all your memories. Before you, all your dreams. Around you, all who love you. Within you, all you need. Congratulations baby girl. We are incredibly proud of you! Love, Mom & Dad

Love, Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Jordan

Robert James Triano

Sara Ormsby Sara, Seems like yesterday you were learning how to drive. Keep reaching for your dreams, as they are always within your reach! Very proud of you & Ollie also! Love, Mom & Dad!

Robbie, we are so proud of you! Your wide range of great experiences at GVSU will launch you to achieve your goals! Congratulations! Love, Mom, Dad, Cinnamon and Matt

Sara Ann Gorkowski

Sarah McLelland Congratulations Sarah! We are so proud of all that you have accomplished.

Graduation is finally here! We are so proud of you and your accomplishments - can’t wait to see what you are going to do next!

Love, Mom, Dad and Madison

Love! Mom, Dad and Matt

Shelby Carter Taylor Welton Congratulations Sweet Pea, your family is so proud of you! Remember, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Love, your family

Savanna Vanderburg Savanna, Congratulations on your success! We know that you have reached your goal through a hard work ethic and perseverance. We are very proud of you! Love, your family

Congratulations Shelby!! We are very proud of you! You worked very hard at school and now your efforts will soon be realized. We look forward to seeing where your next steps will take you! Congratulations! Love, Mom, Estel & Alex

Tanner Rubin From early on, you were ready for adventure & fun! We’re deeply proud of you. Can’t wait to see what adventure God has for you next! Much Love, Mom, Dad, Daws, Brock



Thomas Hool I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13) Congratulations, Thomas! Love, Mom and Dad, Andrew, Danny and Jenny, Caitlin and Chris, Michael, Monica, Payton, Jaclyn and Kathryn.

Tiffany Marie Mann Tiffany, Ever since you were little you were always interested in history, which often involved bones and skeletons. You found the perfect field of study and we are excited for your future! We are so proud of you and look forward to your next adventure! Follow your dreams and be happy! Congratulations! Love, Mom and Dad

TJ Vanderheyden “Take pride in how far you’ve come. Have faith in how far you can go. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey.” Proud of who you are. Much love, Mom

Zachary Jordan Congratulations Zach! Your hard work has always amazed us. You will excel in the GVSU PA program. We are so proud of you! Love, Mom, Dad, Derek

Veronica Meza Congratulations on your graduation Vero! We are extremely proud of you! With love, Mami y Papi

Haley Gallero Congratulations Haley! We could never be more proud of your accomplishment and looking forward to seeing what the new chapter of your life holds. Love, Your Schmidt, Gallero, Kiekbusch Family

Jaclynn Rewa Congratulations Kid! We are so proud of you and all your hard work. We wish you all the success and happiness you deserve. Forever our Sunshine. Always, Mom and Dad.

Haley Thiele Hayley, we wish you adventure on your journey...Listen to your heart and take risks carefully...Remember how much you’re loved...We love you always in all ways!

Hannah Ketelhut Congratulations Hannah! We are so proud of all you have accomplished in these past four years at GVSU. We love you so much, Mom & Dad

Jordan Grochola Congratulations Jordan on your significant accomplishment! You will always be this little girl in my eyes. You will do and be so much in your future! Love Dad

Jessica Dowty Jess, we are so proud of you. There is nothing that you can’t do! You will be the change in the world. Love always and forever, Mom and Dad.



Francesca Glolus

Jeff Beyer “I’ll ride the wave, where it takes me!” - Eddie Vedder What an amazing reward this wave has given you. Congratulations on your MBA! So proud of you. Love, Your Family!

Francesca, Congratulations on your graduation! We are so very proud of you and your many accomplishments. You amaze us every day. Continue to follow your dreams! Love, Dad, Mom, and Christopher

Jordan Meyer Congratulations Jordan! We are so proud of you! Can’t wait for the places you will go! Love, Mom, Dad, Jenna, Roxy, Maria


graduating staff

Emily Fyre Emily Rose Doran Emily has dedicated all four years of her time at Grand Valley State University to working at the Lanthorn. Starting off as a columnist in 2014, she transitioned to the news section in 2016 where she was promoted to news editor later that year before taking on the role of editor-in-chief in 2017. This role was in no way an easy one, and with a constant dedication to putting out the best paper possible twice weekly, Emily supported a strong year of coverage by the Lanthorn. Not only did Emily prove herself a fantastic copy editor, but she also spent countless hours editing to ensure content met readers’ expectations. Her commitment to the Lanthorn never waned, no matter the circumstance.

Emily has worked at the Lanthorn for nearly the entirety of her college career. Once promoted to image editor, Emily took on the role with grace and excitement. Always surpassing expectations with her incredible photography skills, Emily managed her busy schedule and stress of the semester while consistently meeting deadlines and keeping a smile on her face. Emily also proved to be a great guide to her staff, constantly providing them with encouragement and advice. Her kind heart and positive attitude made her a friend to all.



Jenna Fracassi Jenna stepped into one of the most important leadership roles in the office fresh off her first semester as a news reporter in winter 2017, a jump that few in Lanthorn history have ever made. During a time of enormous administrative and technological overhaul, Jenna adopted significant responsibilities with grace and a level head, always willing to help out where help was needed and saving the editor-in-chief from many a hair-pulling episode after long production nights. Her writing and investigative skills have only continued to blossom as well, and she has contributed to some of the Lanthorn’s biggest stories this year. A friend to all in the office, Jenna proved that the old cliché that “good” reporters are cutthroat isn’t always true.

Anne Marie Smit Anne Marie started off as a news reporter for the Lanthorn in September of 2017. After a semester of producing extremely strong news content, she was promoted to arts and entertainment editor for the winter semester. Since taking over this role, Anne Marie has continued to create intriguing and strong articles, all while supporting her staff and ensuring they meet their potential as well. Anne Marie was a great addition to the editorial staff this past semester, and she will be an asset to any team moving forward.

Meghan Fitzgerald Working as the distribution manager, Meghan has helped ensure that the entire Lanthorn operation runs smoothly. Without her, our physical print presence would be very different. Among other things this year, Meghan oversaw the entire newspaper delivery process to make sure that the Grand Valley State University community woke up to a paper every Monday and Thursday morning. Her dependability, competence and upbeat attitude will be missed. Congratulations and good luck, Meghan!

Arpan Lobo Arpan came on as news editor for the Lanthorn in early October of 2017. Saving the day after a few tough months without a designated editor manning the news section, Arpan took control and was a great leader to his team. Producing many solid investigative stories over the year, Arpan is a strongminded individual who believes in both himself and his work. His confident attitude was contagious, too, serving as encouragement to everyone in the office and to his staff to strive and achieve their very best every week. Arpan is a great editor and an even better teammate.

Shayna Kozkowski Shayna’s bubbly personality never fails to brighten up the office atmosphere whenever she steps in to work on posting articles, brainstorm marketing strategy or chat about her ideas, which are always fresh and exciting. In fact, Shayna rarely attended an office meeting during her time here without offering some new idea to keep the Lanthorn fresh and relevant or to improve the organization’s marketing techniques. In addition, Shayna’s unofficial title this year has been “interdepartment liaison”; the editor-in-chief could always depend on her to help coordinate projects between the editorial, business and advertising departments. The Lanthorn is confident that Shayna has the drive and energy to succeed in whatever field she pursues.

Shelby Carter Functioning as the stable foundation of the office, Shelby is smart as a whip, sensible and innovative. She has both a “savage” sense of humor and a true leader’s spirit. In addition to overseeing the nuts and bolts of the Lanthorn and making sure everything functions as it should, she has also acted as a sounding board for ideas and a source of wise counsel for others in the office. The Lanthorn wishes her the best of luck in the future and knows she will crush it wherever she goes. Congratulations, Shelby!








Student publishes poetry book following friend’s suicide BY ANNE MARIE SMIT ARTS@LANTHORN.COM

MARCH 19 Last April, Grand Valley State University junior Natalie Masterton was getting ready to move back home for the summer when she received a phone call: A friend from home had just committed suicide. Following this tragic news, Masterton began to write every night after work to process her unexpected loss. She had been writing privately for some time in her journal, but after her friend’s death, she decided to use her writing to raise awareness about mental illness and offer comfort to those struggling themselves. Masterton is from a small town near Ann Arbor, which she described as a place where not much changes. She leaves for school and comes back for the summer and everything is basically just as she left it. But that spring, she said, everything had changed; the town didn’t know how to process the tragedy. Her poetry was a way for her to work through her own

emotions while educating people about the risks of leaving mental illness unchecked. “I’m from a really small town,” she said. “When it happened, I think people were not only shocked, but didn’t even know how to start the conversation. I think a lot of people were really angry and that it was a selfish act. ... They didn’t really know how to look towards solutions—they were just looking at the problem and saying it’s too big.” Masterton self-published her book “Clockworks” in August 2017, just months after her friend’s suicide. She decided to publish the book herself because publishing companies wanted her to choose 10 to 15 poems as an excerpt before agreeing to publish the book, and she thought all of the poems would have to be read together for her message to be understood. She chose the title “Clockworks” because her friend’s death caused her to think more about time, and many of her poems have that theme. “I have a lot of poems about

time, and I think one of the things I struggled with a lot when my friend passed was, you know, our own mortality,” she said. “Animals don’t have a sense of time—they’re not worried about missing things or being late or anything—but we’re very obsessed with time, and that time is the third party in all our relationships. “When I was going through the poems and stuff, I noticed that I kept coming back to time, and I kept coming back to this idea of what we do with it and where it goes.” Many of the poems in “Clockworks” are about her friend and his relationships with others, as well as the need to understand mental illness and its warning signs. “There are a lot of poems about him,” Masterton said. “(One) favorite is one that says that mental health is just as important as physical health and that society has started to have a conversation about that more, but definitely a couple years ago it wasn’t something people talked about.

“People thought depression was just a disease instead of saying, ‘You know what, people need help. We need to talk about this more so there’s not such a stigma around it.’” One of the most rewarding experiences for Masterton in publishing her book was seeing those from her hometown begin to understand or empathize with what they previously didn’t. It was also a source of comfort for some. “The coolest part since I published (the book) was that so many people from my hometown (bought) a copy and (said), ‘Hey, this got me through some really bad stuff, and you had a way of saying things that made me feel that someone else gets it and I’m not alone,’” Masterton said. Masterton is currently working on another poetry book, which she described as the “cousin” of “Clockworks.” She wants to continue to experiment with her writing and share her voice on meaningful topics. “Clockworks” is currently available for purchase on

TRIBUTE: A GVSU student raises awareness about mental illness with her poetry book ‘Clockworks.’ COURTESY | NATALIE MASTERTON


Documenting resistance: Standing Rock photography installment highlights national movement, discussion BY NICK MORAN NMORAN@LANTHORN.COM

RIGHTS: Protesters gather at the Standing Rock reservation in 2016. Journalist Levi Rickert displayed photos of the protests in the Mary Idema Pew Library Exhibition Space. COURTESY | LEVI RICKERT

FEB. 5 Starting in 2016, demonstrated resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline running through the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation has been vibrant. Journalist Levi Rickert has captured the reactions of on-site confrontations and marches around the U.S. in more than 1,500 photographs, many of which are currently featured in the Mary Idema Pew Library’s newest Exhibition Space installment. The exhibit, titled “Standing Rock: Photographs of an Indigenous Movement,” is a collection of Rickert’s work as an editor and publisher for Native News Online, which captured the protests as they unfolded. Filling the Exhibition Space with images of the movement and his accompanying narrative, Rickert aims to lay out the long story of the movement around the nation. “The exhibition is laid out to tell the story of resistance, triumph and even survival at Standing Rock,” Rickert said via email. “The photographs help tell the story of American

Indians’ long struggle to retain their indigenous sovereignty in contemporary times.” The exhibition is a collaboration between Rickert and the Kutsche Office of Local History, directed by Kimberly McKee. As part of the Gi-gikinomaagemin Project—meaning “we are all teachers”—the exhibit aims to capture the lives and experiences of Native Americans in West Michigan, McKee said. “In 2016 and 2017, our special projects graduate assistant worked closely with Mariano Avila from WGVU on the documentary ‘We the 7th,’ which documented the largest public gathering of American Indians in over 100 years at Standing Rock,” McKee said via email. “(It) followed the experiences of Native Americans from Michigan who felt compelled to lend their support at Standing Rock. … (This new) exhibit is part of our (continued) commitment to examine how a national movement has local connections.” Working closely with Rickert, the office helped fund the exhibit, select photos, create graphics and manage the process, Rickert said. Through this collaboration, Rickert aimed to

share a theme of rallying in his photography, especially supporting the importance of water to those in Standing Rock. “In Lakota, the theme is ‘mni wiconi.’ In English, the saying is ‘water is life,’” Rickert said. “On the boards (in the exhibit) that contain the narrative and photos, water is screened into the background. The message of ‘water is life’ is woven in throughout the exhibition.” For McKee, the exhibit is all about localizing a national issue. While issues of indigenous rights and environmental protection are key to the Standing Rock movement, representing those who resisted the pipeline locally is crucial to understanding how larger issues impact the community. “(The Kutsche Office of Local History’s) mission is to give voice to diverse communities through history,” McKee said. “This exhibit preserves the experiences of Michiganders who traveled to Standing Rock and how the work nationally affects local efforts concerning environmental justice.” LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


New York artist’s Great Lakes paintings on display at Grand Rapids Art Museum BY ANNE MARIE SMIT ARTS@LANTHORN.COM

JAN. 29 The Great Lakes, which constitute the largest body of fresh water in the world, are one aspect of the Michigan environment that makes it unique. Alexis Rockman, an artist from New York, has visited the Great Lakes and studied them over a number of years, producing paintings he hopes will initiate discussion on the importance of the Great Lakes for many ecosystems, as well as how they are threatened by climate change, globalization, invasive species, mass agriculture and urban sprawl. Rockman’s project, “The Great Lakes Cycle,” will be on display at the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) until Sunday, April 29. To gather research for his artwork, Rockman visited eight states, including some

Canadian provinces. The exhibit includes all of Rockman’s recent work, including six watercolor paintings and five mural-sized paintings that chronicle how the Great Lakes have evolved throughout history, ranging from the Pleistocene Era to present day. A title and description of each painting is provided so that visitors understand Rockman’s intended message. Rockman looks to the past for his paintings, but his work is futuristic: He imagines the impact of our current environmental decisions on the future of the Great Lakes. When he encountered posters of Michigan, Rockman recognized that there was a side of Michigan’s story that wasn’t being represented, a much more bleak side, and he decided people needed to be informed about it.

“There’s a series of the state of Michigan posters that I see around—you know, like Sleeping Bear Dunes or White Pine Forest or a river,” Rockman said. “I would see these posters and I’d be like, ‘That’s only half the story. There’s a much darker story that’s happening in these images.’ “And that’s what I’m after: the story that only an artist can tell in this culture, or a novelist, because when you’re controlling your own production, and you don’t have corporate overlords to answer to, you can basically do whatever you want as long as you’re responsible.” Rockman spoke about his painting “Forces of Change,” which takes a look at what caused the Great Lakes to change over the years. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

ECOSYSTEMS: Jon Los admires one of Alexis Rockman’s paintings at the GRAM on Saturday, April 21. His series of paintings explores the Great Lakes’ history and climate change. GVL | SHEILA BABBITT



Comedian Drew Lynch dazzles at LaughFest BY TASMAN MATTOX TMATTOX@LANTHORN.COM

MARCH 15 “If there’s one thing that slays a dragon, it’s a stern talking-to,” said comedian Drew Lynch, pointing a finger toward the cackling audience before breaking into a sheepish smile himself. The 26-year-old comedian visited Grand Rapids on Tuesday, March 13, to deliver a free stand-up performance hosted by LaughFest and Grand Valley State University’s Spotlight Productions. Lynch had the crowd of more than 100 people laughing from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. Lynch grew up acting, and after high school, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue film. While on a softball team, he sustained an injury to his throat that left him with a severe stutter. “The long and short of it is that when the people who represented me decided they didn’t want to represent me anymore because of my speech, I started to do comedy to re-establish an outlet I could have to make me feel something again,” he said. Lynch’s comedy took him to America’s Got Talent (season 10), where he finished in

second place. His time on the show garnered him many new fans, and he now has a YouTube channel with upwards of 1.3 million subscribers. “I’ve been following Drew since his America’s Got Talent audition and have been an avid follower ever since,” said Capriana Calvachi, a GVSU freshman who attended the Tuesday event. “I watch his dog vlogs on a daily basis.” Lynch views performing in front of a crowd as a way to express himself. “In the day to day of our lives, when I’m talking to somebody, I never feel like I get to say what I actually want to say,” he said. “On stage, it’s all you. You take sole responsibility and credit for what happens on stage. If something does go well, that’s due to your work. If it doesn’t, you’re also responsible. It’s a very independent art form.” Lynch’s dedication to his comedy is clear to those who watch him perform. “I love his quirky style of comedy and how real he is with his audience,” Calvachi said. “He may not be loud, but his control of the room is fantastic.” Lynch’s story can also be inspiring to those who attend his shows and follow his work.

“The fact that he has been able to accomplish so much in the stand-up world despite his severe stutter affirms my belief that anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it,” Calvachi said. Despite his talent, Lynch faced adversity when he tried to break into comedy. “I was highly influenced by other people’s opinions and what they saw,” he said. “There are lots of people that have a lot of doubts about what you can do, and that always has more to do with what they can’t do. I had a lot of people say, ‘You can’t do it.’ I never found a greater motivator than someone saying I can’t do something because I’m too stubborn to let them be right about that.” Lynch encourages young creators to ignore doubts and take action. “I would just try to implore anybody who is trying to do anything to just do something before they think about it,” Lynch said. “If you think about it for too long, you’re gonna talk yourself out of doing it. Many times, I’ve created projects, shows, jokes and routines where I somehow tricked my body into doing it before my mind told me I couldn’t.”

PERFORM: An excited audience waits for Drew Lynch to take the stage at Grand Rapids’ LaughFest on Tuesday, March 13. Lynch earned second place in season 10 of ‘America’s Got Talent.’ GVL | SARA CARTE


GV students create apparel company to promote bee conservation BY TY KONELL LAKERLIFE@LANTHORN.COM

HANGING OUT: A Happy Bee Outfitters cofounder lounges around in one of the company’s nylon camping hammocks, for sale on COURTESY | HAPPY BEE OUTFITTERS




MARCH 1 To make a difference, initiative is a necessity. With this in mind, a few Grand Valley State University students have banded together to create Happy Bee Outfitters, a startup apparel brand that benefits the conservation of bee life and efforts to increase bee populations. Happy Bee Outfitters was founded in the summer of 2017 by a group of GVSU students who wanted to make a difference and make a positive impact on the environment. “Although we do sell clothing, our main products are actually nylon camping hammocks,” said Nelson Schrader, co-founder of the startup company. “We wanted to develop a product that would be used by people who had a passion for the environment and

enjoyed being outdoors.” Before starting Happy Bee Outfitters, the people behind the company were not as informed about the movement to save the bees and only found out about the issue on the internet. “To be honest, before this company, we weren’t really involved in the ‘bee scene’ at all,” said Ricky Gonzalez, cofounder of Happy Bee Outfitters. “Before we founded the company, we were actually made aware of the issue due to the surge of ‘the bees are dying at an alarming rate’ memes online. After delving more into the issue, we discovered this is a more niche area of the environment that we could make a positive impact in.” To help make that impact, the team behind Happy Bee Outfitters paired up with the GVSU Beekeepers club and helped them obtain necessary materials for the continuation of the

club’s success. “My first year as an RA on campus, the president of the GVSU Beekeepers club was my resident, who I became close friends with,” said Christian Yap, who also co-founded the company. “When I started the company, I reached out to her to see how we could help their cause. She gave us the GVSU Beekeepers’ wishlist of the equipment the club needed to ensure the success of the next generation of beekeepers. “Recently, we were able to fulfill their entire wishlist with a $540 donation to their club, which we are very proud of.” Presently, the company is searching for Michigan manufacturers and creating a brand to bring focus to a handful of environmental issues. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


GV students sweep Outdoor Weber Idea Competition BY TY KONELL LAKERLIFE@LANTHORN.COM

MARCH 29 Two Grand Valley State University students placed first and second in the Outdoor Weber Idea Competition on Friday, March 23. The first-place team, consisting of Jordan Vanderham and Jared Seifert, created the Orindi Mask, which allows wearers to breathe warm air even in cold temperatures. Taking second place was Katarina Samardzija, who created Locker Lifestyle, which allows wearers to take small valuables with them while being active. The first-place winners took home $30,000 to put toward the capitalization of their products, while second place took home $7,500. Vanderham said the $30,000 that the Orindi Mask won is going toward executing the already-high demand for masks. Vanderham also said he and Seifert were flab-

SHOWCASE: Jordan Vanderham, right, and business partner Jared Seifert pose with their winning product, the Orindi Mask, at the Outdoor Weber Idea Competition. COURTESY | JORDAN VANDERHAM

bergasted when it was announced that they won. “Well, we were shocked. We were really surprised. It was fourth, third, second, then were were like, ‘Is it us?’” Vanderham said. “Because we didn’t know who

the top competitor was or what their product was. We weren’t confident that we won, but they called our name, and we just kinda awestruck walked up and smiled and shook all of their hands and stood up

on the stage.” The Orindi Mask uses the wearer’s own breath to make breathing in cold environments easier on the lungs. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE




GV track and field teams win GLIAC Championships

Women claim 19th-straight victory while men earn redemption BY D’ANGELO STARKS DSTARKS@LANTHORN.COM

MARCH 1 Eighteen. That’s the consecutive number of years that the Grand Valley State women’s track and field team had won the Indoor GLIAC Championships. And on Sunday, Feb. 25, they added one more to that number, making it 19 straight. The women had a dominant performance this past weekend to add to their great run. The team scored a total of 253.50 points in the meet, while the second-place team, Tiffin, only scored 117. “With how it’s been the past four years, winning GLIAC’s every year, I try not to take it for granted,” said senior runner Angie Ritter. “Seeing how many points we racked up at GLIAC’s made me realize how good of (a) program we have and how blessed I am to be a part of a program that dominates.” On the other hand, the men also had a successful season. The men pulled out

a close victory over Tiffin, scoring 186 as a team, while Tiffin scored 170. This weekend served as redemption for the Lakers, as they finished second last season. According to senior Chris May, his team’s feat of bouncing back to reclaim the top spot is one the Lakers will always treasure. “There was some vindication coming from the year before where we had really struggled at the conference level,” May said. “To come back our senior year and triumph over some great competition, it’s very exciting.” The Lakers now have a little over a week until the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships in Pittsburg, Kansas, on Friday, March 9, through Saturday, March 10. A big point of emphasis for the team is making sure the runners get a good amount of rest and recovery from the minor injuries that come along in any given season. “The biggest thing when

coming off of two hard days of competition like that is making sure we are recovered,” said coach Jerry Baltes. “We will look to have just one or two more good training sessions where we clean up some stuff ... technically in the field events and in the hurdles. There’s not a lot we can do fitnesswise. It’s more about getting down there in a good place mentally and physically.” Over the course of the indoor season, all of the scores and times that individual runners post get put on a list for each different event. The team then has to declare which events they want their athletes to participate in. Then, the NCAA committee sits down and gets the best 307 athletes on both the men’s and women’s sides and announces those who will be moving on to Nationals. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

VICTORS: GVSU track and field sits proudly at the Kelly Family Sports Center in Allendale after taking the GLIAC Championship title for both men’s and women’s on Sunday, Feb. 25. GVL | EMILY FRYE


GV soccer legend Gabriella Mencotti inks pro contract with Iceland club BY ARPAN LOBO NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

PROFESSIONAL: GVSU soccer player Gabriella Mencotti kicks the ball during the game against Ferris State on Oct. 1, 2017. This semester, Mencotti signed a pro contract with a club abroad, where she will begin her professional career in May after graduating. GVL | EMILY FRYE

MARCH 1 After a career filled with trophies for Grand Valley State soccer, one forward is making her away across the Atlantic. In February, graduating forward Gabriella Mencotti signed a professional contract with Throttur FC (Icelandic: Knattspyrnufélagið Þróttur and pronounced “pro-tour”) to play for the club’s women’s team. Mencotti, who will graduate in April, plans to join the club in May. Throttur plays in the Icelandic second division. They were close to earning promotion into the top flight last year but lost out on goals scored. With the club’s need for another

threat in front of the goal, a signing like Mencotti makes perfect sense. Mencotti scored 30 goals in her senior season alone. It was the second consecutive season in which she was named the D2CCA National Player of the Year. For her career, “Gabe” knocked in 85 goals, good enough for second all-time at GVSU. She was part of two National Championship teams as well as a national runner-up squad at GVSU. She scored the Lakers’ lone goal in their Elite Eight loss against eventual national champion Central Missouri. But her opportunity to play abroad actually came up after a former opponent recommended Throttur. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


Meghan Datema leading GV women’s lacrosse in strong senior season BY D’ANGELO STARKS DSTARKS@LANTHORN.COM

APRIL 5 Meghan Datema has been, in a word, incredible for the Grand Valley State women’s lacrosse team this season. In the team’s first nine games, Datema scored an impressive 26 goals to lead her team. More specifically, Datema scored in six consecutive games, netting 22 goals in that span. The Lakers have won each of those games. Lacrosse found its way into Datema’s life when she was in sixth grade because it was the first year that a team was offered at Rockford High School. She became interested not only because of her love for sports but because her brother had also played lacrosse. Datema said she always mimicked what her brother did, and from then on, lacrosse stayed in her life and became something she was very good at. In high school, Datema was a four-year varsity player and won back-to-back state championships her junior and senior years. She gives all of the credit to the program they had in

place at Rockford. “I was under some great players who really pushed me to be the best lacrosse player that I can be,” Datema said. “And we had a great coach leading the program.” When it came time to look for colleges, continuing her lacrosse career wasn’t initially in the plans. Datema knew she wanted to stay in the state of Michigan and had considered schools such as the University of Michigan and Michigan State before visiting GVSU. That visit is what ultimately swayed her decision. “I came here on a visit and just fell in love with the school,” Datema said. “I thought about how much I did really love lacrosse and how it really could help me through these four years and help me make a bond with my teammates and have a great time while studying as well.” Women’s lacrosse coach Alicia Groveston has seen a lot of progress from Datema in her time at GVSU. “She was one of the ones who filled a big void for us,” Groveston said. “She stepped up when it came to scoring

and in the draw circle. This year, there has been a lot more strategy involved when it comes to the draw circle, and she has been a major part of that.” Datema has been a contributor on the lacrosse team since her freshman year, but she has taken her game to a new level this year. “I think our team chemistry has helped us go a long way this year,” Datema said. “We have a lot of selfless players, so we have meshed well together. Our coaches are very invested and having their knowledge and scouting reports really help us. I think knowing it’s my senior year and this is all I have means I have to give it all I’ve got.” The friendships she has made with her teammates constitute some of Datema’s favorite Laker memories. “We have girls from places (like) Maryland and Texas, and I would have never known them had I not played lacrosse,” she said. “We all have the same schedule, and even though we all hate the 6 a.m. practices and lifts, we all do it and get through it together, so it’s fun.”

CELEBRATION: Teammates hug midfielder Meghan Datema after a goal at their game against UIndy on Thursday, March 29. Datema led the team in scoring in the first nine games. GVL | SHEILA BABBITT




GV men’s swimming and diving captures fourth straight GLIAC Championship, women finish second BY LOUIS RICARD LRICARD@LANTHORN.COM

SATISFACTION: The GVSU swimming and diving teams celebrate the final day of GLIAC Championship competition at Jenison High School on Saturday, Feb. 17. The men claimed first place. GVL | EMILY FRYE

FEB. 19 The stage has been set. Ben Walling enters as the last mevmber of the relay team with Grand Valley State tied in first overall with Wayne State. Walling hits two huge turns and gasps for all the air he can get, the finish line on the horizon. Last turn for Walling, only 25 meters away from being crowned a champion, and the junior gives one more push to seal the deal. With the win, the GVSU men’s swimming and diving won yet anoth-

er GLIAC Championship in 2018, their fourth in the row, while the women fell short for second place overall behind Wayne State. Competition began Wednesday, Feb. 14, and ended Saturday, Feb. 17, in Jenison, Michigan. However, the men had to give their everything to be able to set foot on the top of the podium. “We had some ups and downs,” said GVSU head coach Andy Boyce. “Diving was up the whole time, men and women. To be able to pull through it the way the men did and continue to drop time even when they were tired and

sore, it was awesome.” Diving may have been the deciding factor in the men’s win this year. In the second diving event, Joe Gucwa took the lead in the last round, followed by his teammate Jared Gregory. Gucwa, a senior for GVSU, ended his season on the highest note possible, winning GLIAC Diver of the Year along with a fourth GLIAC Championship under his belt. For diving coach Steve Burciaga, this accomplishment is one that goes far beyond the athletics. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


Germany native Moritz Bartels making a splash for GV swimming BY LOUIS RICARD LRICARD@LANTHORN.COM

JAN. 18 As practice is winding down, members of the Grand Valley State swimming team do one last rotation of 50 yards before exiting the pool. They’re all on the same page, crawling their way to the finish one by one. In the middle of the pack is Moritz Bartels, a freshman distance swimmer who is wrapping up an intense race with fellow distance swimmer Dayen Wilson. Bartels gets out of the pool with a wide smile on his face, seemingly not phased by the fact that he just swam 1,200 yards

during the practice. Of course, it could be because he just realized that he was named GLIAC Male Athlete of the Week. It could also be that after a few months spent here in the U.S., the German native is starting to feel right at home at GVSU. Bartels is from a small German town called Zweibrücken, located in southwest Germany right near the French border. Given that the town has a population of nearly 35,000 inhabitants, it is safe to say that coming to GVSU has offered a true change of scenery for Bartels, both in and out of the pool. The freshman did not find GVSU, but rather GVSU found him. As an interna-

tional student, Bartels went through an agency to find a new home in the U.S. GVSU swimming and diving head coach Andy Boyce received an email with Bartels’ profile on it and then decided to learn more about the openwater swimmer. “We contacted him, set up a couple Skypes, lots of emails, explained our program, explained that we were looking for someone to help in the distant events,” Boyce said. Bartels contacted multiple schools around the nation but felt a deeper connection here at GVSU. LOG ON TO: https://bitly/2qSJp4R FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

TAKING OFF: Moritz Bartels and the GVSU swim team participate in a meet on Saturday, Jan. 13, at the GVSU Recreation Center. During his time on the team, Bartels has made a ‘splash.’ GVL | MATT READ


Know your Lakers: GV softball pitcher Allie Grys BY KELLEN VOSS KVOSS@LANTHORN.COM

FOCUSED: Pitcher Allie Grys winds up to deliver a pitch toward the plate in a game against SVSU at the GVSU Fieldhouse on Sunday, March 25. Grys has been a huge asset for GVSU softball. GVL | EMILY FRYE

APRIL 5 The Grand Valley State softball team continues to dominate this season behind excellent pitching, picking up two more wins against Wayne State on Monday, April 2. The Lakers held the Warriors to only two runs total in the doubleheader. The second game of the doubleheader was won by GVSU pitcher Allison Grys. She pitched another solid outing, giving up only one run, two walks and four hits to Wayne State. With the win, Grys improves to 7-1 on the year. The senior has been throwing a softball around for a long time and can’t wait to help this team reach its full potential and lead them to postseason success. “I tried out all the positions growing up,” Grys said.

“I played infield, outfield—basically, I’ve played every position except catcher. But when I played, my number one position was always pitcher.” Grys has always considered herself as someone who lives in the moment, and she loves the game of softball today because she basically gets to play it every day. “I’ve always said that the sport I was in was always my favorite sport,” Grys said. “When it was basketball season, I loved basketball, and when it was softball season, I loved softball.” Not only does Grys love being on the mound, but she excels at the position and has the statistics to prove it. During her first season at GVSU in 2017, she threw three complete games, posting eight wins, two saves and a 1.93 ERA in her 16 appearances. Opposing batters had a rather pitiful .253 batting average against her.

Before transferring to GVSU, Grys played two years at Lansing Community College, where she had similar success on the mound. During those two years, Grys accumulated a remarkable 92-22 record, 940 total strikeouts and 45 total shutouts. Majoring in clincal exercise science with a focus in physical therapy, Grys felt the need to transfer to GVSU for academic reasons and has loved every minute of her time here. “We played at GV a few times when I played at LCC, and I always liked the school,” Grys said. “I wanted to transfer to a bigger school for education, and GV was close to home. I love the people, and I love everything about Grand Valley.” LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


GV baseball’s Ryan Blake-Jones dominating early at the plate


APRIL 5 They say that hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in sports. It’s harder than throwing a spiral, swishing a jumper or stopping a slap shot. To a hit a round ball with a round bat squarely at upwards of 90 miles per hour with less than half a second to react should not even be possible, but it is. If hitting is an art, consider Grand Valley State’s Ryan Blake-Jones an artist. In 2018, the catcher-turned-first-baseman is tearing the cover off the ball through 24 games, as evidenced by his .414 batting av-

erage, 36 hits, four home runs and 29 RBI—all of which are team highs. “Just changing my mentality from previously being pretty passive to being more aggressive in the batter’s box (has helped),” BlakeJones said. “Looking for fastballs early, I’ve just been seeing my pitch and getting it. It’s just been an aggressive mindset. I think it’s really fun to compete, just you versus the pitcher one on one. It’s fun to see who’s better in that moment.” At 6-feet-3-inches and 219 pounds, the imposing sophomore out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, got a late start getting his name out there for college coaches to see,

which wasn’t until GVSU head coach Jamie Detillion caught wind of him thanks to his teammate Brett Nearing, who had already committed to GVSU for baseball. “We didn’t know a lot about him at the time; we didn’t know him,” Detillion said. “We had one of the Nearings from his school, so their coach had been in contact with my assistant at the time. We went over and saw him and definitely thought there was some upside there. After, we talked and decided we wanted to bring him in and give him a chance.” LOG ON TO: https://bitly/2qSJp4R FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

SKILLED: Ryan Blake-Jones flips a ground ball to pitcher Christian Mercure covering first base on Tuesday, April 10, at the GVSU baseball field, showing his first-base fielding prowess. GVL | EMILY FRYE



Off the Boensch W. BASKETBALL

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

FEB. 15 Many people have blessings. Some of them are easy to notice. Some of them are not. Cassidy Boensch’s blessing—her imposing 6-foot-4inch 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-foot-4?” called out point guard Jenn DeBoer from behind her with a laugh. Boensch joked that it’s been since sixth grade before giving a se-

rious response: She has been 6-feet-4-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 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.” LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

DRIVEN: GVSU’s Cassidy Boensch holds her follow-through at the free-throw line on Sunday, Feb 18. Boensch’s size and high basketball IQ have helped the Lakers a lot this season. GVL | EMILY FRYE

Season in review M. BASKETBALL

GV men’s basketball lays groundwork for bright future BY ROBBIE TRIANO SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM

IT’S A BROTHERHOOD: The GVSU men’s basketball team stands together before the game against the Wayne State Warriors at the DeltaPlex Arena downtown on Thursday, Feb 8. GVL | EMILY FRYE

MARCH 12 Whether you religiously follow Grand Valley State athletics or not, even the most casual follower realizes the university’s dominance in Division II. From women’s soccer not making a fifth straight National Championship appearance seem like a “disappointment,” track and field quietly taking home multiple trophies a year or football becoming a factory of future NFL prospects, these programs are the gold standard of excellence in all Division II athletics. Before these programs found their consistent stream of success, each had

their own set of growing pains. Whether it was finding the right talent, implementing a winning culture or having the right personnel, their success did not happen overnight. It took a process of patience and hard work to reach that level. Then there’s the Grand Valley State men’s basketball team, whose season came to an abrupt end in the quarterfinals of the GLIAC Tournament after falling 73-65 to Lake Superior State on Wednesday, Feb. 28. With the Lakers ending the season with a 14-15 overall record (912 GLIAC), any non-follower could say this season didn’t match that level of excellence expected here at GVSU. But for those who followed their journey, it’s

hard to be disappointed with this year’s final product. After their top three offensive weapons from the season prior graduated, head coach Ric Wesley was faced with the task of implementing new recruits and transfers—while enhancing the roles of returning players—to fill those voids. Those newcomers who expected heavy minutes early on included Central Michigan transfer Hunter Hale, junior transfer Chris Pearl and incoming freshman Jake Van Tubbergen. Unfortunately, Van Tubbergen was unavailable to play the first four games due to a leg injury. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


GV football signs largest recruiting class in school history

THE FUTURE OF LAKER FOOTBALL: After missing the playoffs this past year, the GVSU football team looks to reload and revamp its roster with a slew of fresh recruits who are ready to take the field and are hungry to compete for the Lakers in Allendale. GVL | BECKY OPPMAN BY BRADY MCATAMNEY SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM


FEB. 8 Teams are built off of recruiting. Without a steady flow of the region’s top high school football players, teams would not be able to reload their rosters following the significant turnover that occurs at the end of each season. During last season’s signing period, Grand Valley State football added 31 players to the Laker family—a strong number—as well as 23 in 2016. If 31 recruits is good, then this year’s count of 44—the largest class in school history— is out of this world. The 2018 Laker football class is comprised of 30 play-

ers from Michigan, five from Indiana, four each from Illinois and Ohio, and one from Canada. Twenty-three of the players are on defense, 20 on offense and one kicker. Impressively, 10 of the signees received significant interest from Division I schools. “To be fully transparent, when you don’t make the playoffs and you’re used to making the playoffs, the next competitive thing is you want to win recruiting,” said head coach Matt Mitchell. “We got pretty aggressive. We got out there.” One reason the class reached the number of players it did was social media. When players committed, they would make their way to outlets like Twitter, Facebook

and Instagram to announce their decision and persuade their friends and teammates to consider GVSU. In addition to sheer numbers, the recruiting class sees its strengths in the trenches and at quarterback. They signed three quarterbacks— Josh Czarnota (Fenton, Michigan); Cal Endicott (Flushing, Michigan); and Cade Peterson (Maple City, Michigan) — along with 10 offensive linemen and eight defensive linemen. The offensive lineman class is highlighted by a quartet of potential Division I athletes in Quinton Barrow, a 6-foot6-inch, 310-pound behemoth out of Romulus, Michigan; Brian Buchman, a Detroit Free Press All-East honoree from Warren, Michigan; Trevor Dilley, a defensive-standoutturned-lineman from St. Joseph, Michigan; and Jake Kochanny, an All-State player from Cadillac, Michigan. On the defensive side, Caleb Murphy from Dowagiac, Michigan, stands out with three varsity letters and an AllState honor in his senior year in which he recorded 97 tackles, 27 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. “(At) O-line, we only signed two prospects last year,” Mitchell said. “You can’t go back-toback years with o-line—a developmental position—lacking depth, so we hit that hard, and same thing with defensive line. We signed two defensive ends in 2017. We need more than that. Because of the cycles of things, we had to hit hard, and I think with o-line, d-line and quarterback we killed it.” Mitchell emphasized that teams that are strong in those three positions oftentimes see ample success at any level, citing the Jacksonville Jaguars’

defensive line, the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive line and, of course, the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady. As far as immediate-impact players are concerned, the Lakers are currently unsure if any of their 44 freshmen will be called upon in 2018 to serve in a substantial role. With quarterback Bart Williams returning for his senior season, in-game reps will be scarce for the young players, and both lineman positions require development before any of those athletes receive playing time. However, there is one signee who could have a good opportunity to get some quick exposure to the big time: kicker Josh Gorball out of Elkhart, Indiana. “We had our struggles at kicker this year, not so much kickoff, but extra point/field goal may have hurt us a few games,” Mitchell said. “We signed a prospect out of Indiana, Josh Gorball. I think he’ll have a chance to compete.” A few other players who could wind up being significant within the Laker program are Tariq Reid, a running back out of Davison, Michigan, and Jayden Rodgers, a defensive back from Columbus, Ohio. Reid was regarded by some as the best running back in the state, and his accolades support that notion, as the 6-foot, 209-pound player comes to Allendale with four varsity letters and three all-state nods (as well as two academic allstate honors). He was also a two-time Michigan Player of the Year finalist. He accumulated 1,301 all-purpose yards and 14 total touchdowns in his senior year alone. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE




GV men’s DIII club hockey to host 3rd annual ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ event BY D’ANGELO STARKS DSTARKS@LANTHORN.COM

JAN. 25 Three years ago, the Grand Valley State men’s Division III club hockey forward Alex Bjork noticed that Aquinas College had been hosting an annual event called “Hockey Fights Cancer,” a game where the team raises money and awareness for the Van Andel Institute for cancer research. Bjork had also recently lost his grandfather to cancer. With his now deeply rooted connection with the illness, Bjork had the idea to contact Aquinas to find out how the event could be replicated here at GVSU. Aquinas put Bjork in contact with the Van Andel Institute, and from there he was able to move forward in the planning of the game. The team held the inaugural event that same year, 2016, and managed

to raise around $1,500. The tradition continues this Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Georgetown Ice Center as the DIII team will be hosting its third annual Hockey Fights Cancer game. They will be taking on Hope College at 4:30 p.m. The game will also serve as Senior Night to celebrate the careers of those graduating in April 2018. Anna Walz, a marketing professor in the Seidman College of Business, will be dropping the puck prior to the game. Walz took last semester off after being diagnosed with breast cancer, which she is still battling today. Walz returned to teaching one class this semester, and Bjork happens to be in her class. She told the class about herself and her story, which inspired Bjork to approach her about participating in the event. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

CAMARADERIE : The GVSU men’s Division III hockey players stand in unity with the opposing team as they join forces to raise money for cancer awareness on Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Georgetown Ice Center against Hope College. COURTESY | GVSU SPORTS INFORMATION


GV DII hockey tops Davenport on senior night, honors late referee BY KELLEN VOSS KVOSS@LANTHORN.COM

PLAYING FOR A CAUSE: Center Danny DeBlouw skates across the blue line in the game against DU on Tuesday, Feb 17. GVSU honored late referee Dave Rue in the game as well. GVL | SPENCER SCARBER

FEB. 19 Not only did they blow out crosstown rival Davenport 7-1, but they also honored their five seniors and celebrated the winners of the Dave Rue Scholarship. Their parents looked on in gratification as seniors Troy Marrett, Tommy Carey, Buck Maynard, Reede Burnett and Lucas Little were celebrated for all they have done in their four years at GVSU. “It was definitely a bittersweet night,” Carey said. “I’m sad to see my time here coming to an end, but I’m also proud of all my fellow seniors for all we’ve done.” GVSU head coach Mike Forbes is proud of his graduating players but clearly sad to see his two leading scorers and three starting

defensemen leave. “I’m proud of how these guys played these past four years,” Forbes said. “They always competed and developed into great leaders as the years went along, and I’m sad to see them go.” The seniors were not the only ones honored last night, as Saturday’s game was the second annual Dave Rue Scholarship game. Several raffles were held, raising funds for the Griffins Youth Foundation (which Rue was heavily involved in) and celebrating a beloved figure in college hockey officiating. During the second period intermission, the winners of the first Dave Rue Scholarship were honored on the ice. The scholarship is going to fund the trip for high schoolers to USA hockey officiating school to learn the proper skills and techniques

of officiating while also having fun in the process. “Its great to see so many people here to honor Dave,” said Caleb Lardie, a 14-yearold official and one of the scholarship winners. “So many people are willing to help, and it feels great to honor such a great man.” Rue tragically passed away last year and has clearly left his mark on the rink and in this community. “He was just a really cool referee, and when I was younger, I only really knew him as a funny official who danced at the intermissions,” Lardie said. “As I got older and realized how much he was helping aspiring officials like me, he truly became an inspiration for me.” LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

Chuckin’ knucks


GV men’s DII hockey tops Adrian College in slug fest BY KELLEN VOSS KVOSS@LANTHORN.COM

FEB. 5 Grand Valley State’s entire men’s Division II club hockey roster should be feeling sore this week after their matchup with Adrian this past weekend. In what was arguably the most physical hockey game they’ve played all year long, GVSU held on to win 6-3. In a game that featured multiple fist fights, 26 combined penalties, 100 total penalty minutes and three disqualifications, it was bit of surprise that no one left the contest with more than just a black eye. Despite all the physicality from both teams—highlighted by more than a few cheap shots from the Bulldogs—GVSU picked up the victory. Captain Troy Marrett was proud of the way his team handled a rather dirty hockey game, as GVSU had fewer penalties and did not retaliate much against Adrian’s hits. “I thought we really handled ourselves well, and I’m really proud of how my teammates kept their composure,” said Marrett, who had a goal and an assist. “We played physically and

showed almost no retaliation, so it was nice to see our team hold back from their dirty play.” While the first period didn’t have a lot of physicality, what it did have was a whole lot of scoring. Connor McEvoy got it started five minutes into the game, assisted by Grant Smith and Cameron Dyde. The Bulldogs responded quickly, as less than five minutes later, Adrian’s Dalton Anderson intercepted a pass on GVSU’s side of the ice and found Brandon McLean for a quick score. With seven minutes left in the first period, GVSU found the back of the net again, as Austin Lenar slapped the puck in off an assist from McEvoy. After Adrian’s Jack Clary scored unassisted at the end of the period to tie the game at 2, the Lakers needed a big scoring push to fend off the hungry Bulldogs. And a scoring push is exactly what the Lakers got in the second period. While the Bulldogs got much more physical, GVSU proceeded to score four unanswered goals in the period. GVSU went into the third period with a commanding 6-2 lead, along with a lot of bruises to show for it. “We did a great job of putting pressure on them and

getting the puck deep into their zones,” McEvoy said. “We also looked great in our defensive zones, and I’m proud of the way we did what we had to do to get that dub.” Goals in the second period came from Zach Resnick, German Samvel, Marrett and Reede Burnett, with both of the last two goals coming off the power play. Assists came from all over the ice as well, as Ryan Hein, Tommy Carey, Daniel Smith and Marrett saw their passes lead directly to GVSU goals. While the third period was obviously the most physical and featured two of the disqualifications (both being Adrian players), it was rather quiet in the goal-scoring department. Clary scored again for the Bulldogs, but with the majority of their penalties coming in this period, Adrian continued to look less like a hockey team. Dylan Knox, GVSU’s new tough transfer, posted a solid night in the net. He had 26 saves, including a penalty shot block in the first. He also held the Bulldogs scoreless in the second period. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

FIERCE: GVSU hockey player Troy Marrett passes the puck in the matchup against MSU on Friday, Jan. 26. GVSU participated in an abnormally physical game against Adrian College. GVL | DYLAN MCINTYRE



FOCUSED ON THE PUCK: GVSU left wing Troy Marrett halts to a stop near the blue line mid-game as he occupies the ice for the American College Hockey Association team in Europe. Marrett, defenseman Lucas Little and head coach Mike Forbes were among GVSU’s representatives selected to compete in games for the ACHA in Europe along with training in Albany, New York. COURTESY | GVSU CLUB SPORTS

GV men’s DII club hockey players represent US in European tournament BY KELLEN VOSS KVOSS@LANTHORN.COM

JAN. 10 The vast majority of Grand Valley State students went home over break. Some worked at old jobs, some saw family and friends, and (hopefully) everyone re-established a normal sleep schedule following finals week. However, for GVSU men’s Division II club hockey player Troy Marrett, his break was spent much differently than the average student’s. Marrett was selected to play forward for the 2017-18 American Collegiate Hockey Association Select Team, consisting of 22 players from 15 different ACHA universities, touring Europe to play against

serious international competition. GVSU defenseman Lucas Little was also selected to play on the team, and GVSU head coach Mike Forbes was picked to coach the team. Marrett has been having a productive season for the Lakers so far. During his senior year, he has already scored five goals and made 15 assists, leading GVSU to a respectable 15-3-2 record into the winter break. Before embarking on their international travel, the GVSUselected personnel traveled to meet the rest of the team, getting a chance to practice together on the ice. “We had training camp in Albany, New York, then we flew to Norway for an exhibition,” Marrett said, recapping the trip. “We got to play in Po-

land for the first game of the tournament, had two more tournament games in Slovakia, then we finished in Budapest and PragV ue for a couple more exhibition games.” Marrett and Little left for Poland on Dec. 27 and didn’t arrive back in the states until Tuesday, Jan. 9. They both had to miss the first two days of second-semester classes, but they realized it was worth it to represent the U.S. in the inaugural World Cup of College Hockey tournament. “I’ve spent close to 24 hours on planes the last two (to) three weeks, including 10.5 hours on Monday (Jan. 8),” Marrett said. “But it was a lot of fun seeing different cultures and playing hockey.” The men got to play three exhibition games in Hal-

den (Norway), Budapest and Prague. They then were able to fly to Poland for the first game of the tournament, where they might have played their best game all holiday season. The ACHA D2 Selects beat the EUHL All-Stars 5-1 that game, and Marrett looked right at home, scoring the second goal of the game to earn the Selects a 2-0 victory. His goal was assisted from Daniel Sabato of William Paterson University. One of the biggest things Marrett noticed on the trip was how different the game of hockey was on the other side of the world. “The way they play hockey is completely different over there because they play on bigger ice with a lot more space,” Marrett said. “The

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takeaways. “The biggest takeaway I have from the trip is that there is more than one way to play the game,” Marrett said. “It was cool to see everybody playing their role, being able to adapt to what the other team was doing, seeing different styles of play, and it was nice to get a different perspective on how to play the game.” Marrett and Little return to the U.S. to join a GVSU hockey team looking to improve its 9-2-1 record at home this weekend, as the Lakers have two home matchups with Indiana University. The games start at the Georgetown Ice Center at 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 12, and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13.

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puck moves a lot quicker than it does over there, but they are definitely not as physical as we are (in the U.S.).” Looking back on the trip, Marrett reflected on some of his favorite moments exploring new places, and he said the championship game of the tournament (which the Selects lost) was an experience he won’t forget for a long time. “My favorite moments were just hanging out with the guys in the different cities we went to,” Marrett said. “Budapest was my favorite city to be in. Since we got to check (out) the city two days there on our own, we got a chance to see a lot of interesting stuff there.” Ultimately, Marrett left the trip with a few major

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Issue 60, April 23rd, 2018 - Grand Valley Lanthorn  

Issue 60, April 23rd, 2018 - Grand Valley Lanthorn

Issue 60, April 23rd, 2018 - Grand Valley Lanthorn  

Issue 60, April 23rd, 2018 - Grand Valley Lanthorn