Grand Valley Lanthorn vol. 56 no. 15

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Moving On Up? GV Athletics disputes football recruits’ claims of a move to DI

Decline in LIFT survey participation elicits concern


Students confused by differing COVID-19 capacity rules COVID-19 | A9

M O N D A Y, N OV E M B E R 2 9, 2 02 1 // VO L . 5 6 N O. 1 5

@ GV L A N T H O R N



The Grand Valley State University community has had a cumulative total of 4,411 cases since Aug. 1, 2020. The university’s update for this brief was from Saturday, Nov. 27. Through testing results this past week, GVSU’s Virus Action team have so far reported 155 current active cases including eight faculty members, 14 staff members, 17 on-campus students, 55 “off-campus Ottawa” students, 46 “off-campus Kent” students and 15 “off-campus other” students with active COVID-19 cases. “Current active cases” is the count of positive cases reported to the Virus Action Team over the past 10 days. This is an estimate of those currently in isolation, assuming a ten-day symptomatic period following the reporting of a positive test result. Actual periods of isolation are specific to the individual and determined by the county health department. Vaccination: GVSU encourages all students, faculty and staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. All students, faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated, barring a medical or religious exemption or postponement. According to the COVID-19 data dashboard, an 80% vaccination rate in the GVSU community is required to reach herd immunity and minimal virus transmission. Currently, approximately 83% of students report being fully vaccinated, while approximately 84% of faculty and staff reports being fully vaccinated. There are currently 2,139 students and 145 faculty/staff with approved vaccination exemptions. Testing and Incidence: GVSU’s own testing program has performed 110,318 tests overall since Aug. 1, 2020, for a cumulative positivity rate of 1.47% from the latest update as of last week. A total of 1,538 tests were performed over the last seven days. “GV Surveillance” includes the GV/ Spectrum administered programs of randomized testing, regular testing of high-risk groups, and invited testing of individuals connected to potential clusters. A calendar is available. “GV Total” includes surveillance testing plus all symptomatic/exposure tests administered by Spectrum.


Decline in LIFT survey participation elicits concern BY JOSH ALBURTUS NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

Providing feedback on instructors’ performance is a routine opportunity offered to students at Grand Valley State University at the end of each semester. However, with some instructors noticing a steady decline in students’ willingness to submit surveys, adapting to students’ needs may be becoming more complicated. At the close of each semester, GVSU utilizes the Laker Impressions of Faculty Teaching (LIFT) system to garner student feedback. Automatically generated emails for each class containing performance surveys are sent to students to give their thoughts on the class and its instructor. While the surveys are optional, they are often promoted by individual instructors as well as university entities. GVSU history professor Gordon Andrews said it’s the information from these surveys that allows professors to adapt their tactics to best fit students’ needs. Over time, however, Andrews said he has noticed a drop in student participation in surveys. “Since (the surveys have) gone online, I almost think students treat it like it’s an afterthought,” Andrews said. “So, the rates, I think, are just low.” The drop in student participation, Andrews said, provides fewer opportunities to meet the

FEEDBACK: Laker Impressions of Faculty Teaching (LIFT) surveys are emailed to students at the end of each semester. The surveys are an opportunity for students to provide feedback. GVL | ARCHIVES

needs of his students. “As a professor, you go in and you try to do your best every day, but you also want to attend to student interests,” Andrews said. “For history, it’s interesting for me to know that there are areas that students really want to delve more deeply into and so I’d like to make that adjustment.” Despite what professors like Andrews see as key information coming from the surveys, some students who opt-out of completing every survey signal that their hesitancy or lack of incentive to fill out LIFT evaluations stems in

part from concerns over the surveys’ efficacy. “I feel like whatever I put in there the professors don’t really take advice from it,” said GVSU sophomore Peyton Murney. Even some of those who do provide feedback share similar concerns. It’s why GVSU senior Emma Beal said she feels that while she participates in the surveys, students like herself find it difficult to know if they really do affect classroom change. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


Laker Esports Center opens on Allendale campus BY JAMIE WILSON NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

A new gaming room has come to life in the lower level of the Kirkhof Center at Grand Valley State University. Along with the potential for a bright esports future, rows of side-by-side computers, monitors and chairs fill the room.


Candidates for the Vice President of Student Affairs (VPSA) are expected to visit the Allendale campus throughout the week of Nov. 29 as part of the interview process, according to an email to the campus community from the VPSA search committee on Nov. 22. Four final candidates for the position will present 20-minute presentations on key strategies to address trends in student affairs related to student wellbeing, followed by an open question and answer session.


RESOURCE: While the space will provide GVSU’s Esports club to meet, the Laker Esports Center will be open to all students with a GVSU I.D. COURTESY | TWITTER @GVSUESPORTS

The room will open on Dec. 1 and will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday each week. Christopher Bilski, also known as Coach Bilski, is the head of esports at GVSU. Bilski is in charge of the Laker Esports Center, where he sets up and runs game nights and interacts with the student-run organization called the GVSU Esports club. The GVSU Esports club has nearly 550 members, which Bilski said shows the campus’s overwhelming interest in esports. “The club has been petitioning for GVSU to find a space for the members to game side by side, especially for students who don’t have any or quality gaming equipment,” Bilski said. “Everything will be provided for students from computers to headsets” While there will be designated esports club meetings taking place in the room, any student with their student I.D. is welcome to come to play during open play hours. The Laker Esports center has 10 different

games available, some including League of Legends, Rocket League, Overwatch, Valorant and Minecraft. Beyond open play and esports meetings, the Laker Esports Center plans to host events and competitions throughout the year. Currently, the esports club is only a student-led club, rather than an official university team, though they hope to gain enough momentum to become an official GVSU team in the future. If this were to happen, the team could have official tryouts, practices, matches and possibly the opportunity to travel for competitions. Jesse DeWeerd, a member of the GVSU Esports club, plays on the Rocket League blue team (also called the A-team). “For Rocket League we have a blue team (the A-team), a black team (the B-team) and a white team (the C-team),” DeWeerd said. “We are looking to make the blue team a university team.” LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE



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Lanthorn Layout Editor VIVIANA RUBIO



Associate Editor XAVIER GOLDEN

Promotions Manager ALEX DAGOSTINO


Students confused by differing COVID-19 capacity rules BY GILLIAN HANTON NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

While many places in the country have already begun to host in-person events again, such as sports, concerts and plays, the question of when and where to implement COVID-19 safety restrictions has become a new struggle. Capacity limitations are being enforced differently across venues in the wider Grand Rapids community, as well as at Grand Valley State University. Sporting events at college and professional levels have a large fan base and are important in stimulating local economies. As a result, the return of mass spectatorship for sporting events in late 2020 and early 2021 was a welcome change. However, the shift from limited to full capacity in sports stadiums took place very quickly, with little to no protective measures in place. Grand Rapids sports venues such as the Deltaplex and Van Andel Arena are currently operating under normal conditions despite the rising number of cases in West Michigan. In contrast, the arts and entertainment industry has taken the longest to recover from COVID-19, and still have many restrictions in place. The DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, for example, requires that all audience members wear a mask and






Asst. Business Manager DAYTON HAMMON

Multimedia EditorHAILEIGH HUBER

At the Lanthorn, we strive to bring you the most accurate news possible. If we make a mistake, we want to make it right. If you find any errors in fact in the Lanthorn, let us know by calling 616-331-2464 or by emailing The Grand Valley Lanthorn is published weekly by Grand Valley State University students 31 times a year. One copy of this newspaper is available free of charge to any member of the Grand Valley Community. For additional copies, at $1 each, please contact our business offices.

have proof of vaccination upon entry. While the hall is currently operating at full capacity, the decision to do so was made in late September 2021, several months after the same decision was made for sporting events. Arts events at GVSU are still facing restrictive measures concerning event capacity and face coverings. Students like Megan

Wolter in the Music, Theatre and Dance Department said they feel they have been hit the hardest by restrictions. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

Golden Grounds Coffee serves Allendale Campus

The Grand Valley State University community has welcomed a new small business. Located just off campus in Campus View Apartments along 42nd Avenue, Golden Grounds Coffee opened during the fall semester and has quickly become a favorite among the GVSU community. Golden Grounds founders Hannah Kos and Kendall Gardner are best friends, both 21 years old. They drove past an empty parking lot at Campus View apartments and saw the opportunity to start a unique and needed business for GVSU students. “We started asking ourselves, and each other, why is there not a coffee shop here?” Gardner said. “College students love coffee.” Gardner said she and Kos were growing

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

LIMITS: GV dance major Megan Wolter said she is frustrated with capacity limits at upcoming performances, while athletic events like the Anchor Bone Classic are sold out. GVL | ANNABELLE ROBINSON

ENTREPRENEURS: Golden Grounds co-owners Hannah Kos and Kendall Gardner are best friends and business partners. The duo saw an opportunity to serve Grand V’s Allendale campus. COURTESY | GOLDEN GROUNDS COFFEE CO.

frustrated with driving almost half an hour to Grand Rapids to work and meet with friends at coffee shops and wanted to establish an option for students closer to the Allendale campus. First, Gardner said she and Kos focused on clearing up the red tape, forming and writing up an LLC and finding an investor. While the coffee shop began with just a cart, they soon realized the coffee shop space needed to be kept at warmer temperatures and offer a comfortable place for clients to sit and enjoy their coffee. Gardner and Kos then built a shed-like structure around the mobile coffee cart to ensure they were able to heat the space and have a kitchen. “When we started forming the business, our main goal was to have a place where people just feel welcome,” Gardner said. “Whatever they are wanting to do for the day, whether it’s read or study or just hang out with a friend or be artistic, we really just wanted it to say ‘whatever you’re doing, come do it here.’” The name “Golden Grounds” holds a special meaning for the two small business owners. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

PART-TIME JOB! $800 / Week Tuesday - Friday • Includes child care and light housekeeping • Must have experience working with children • Must speak English • Non-smoking preferred


Send your references and interest! Email:




Who’s right in the debate around LIFT evaluations



“No Sudden Move” review


“No Sudden Move” is like “Mad Men’’ meets the opening scene of “The Dark Knight.” The cast consisting of Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, Jon Hamm, Matt Damon and Ray Liotta brings late 1940’s Detroit back to life in this crime drama. The movie is simplistic yet im-

mersive as a criminal thriller. “No Sudden Move” is a perfect two hour movie that enthralls its audience and leaves them asking no questions. I’m a sucker for most crime based and mafia movies. “No Sudden Move,” takes this typical--and honestly overused movie genre--and flips it on its head by the presence of so many stars, type of protagonists and the old-school Detroit setting. The protagonists, Curt Goynes (Don Cheadle) and Ronald Russo (Benicio del Toro), are two crooks who take on a simple burglary job. The duo soon realize that they were meant to be killed after the job was complete so that there were no loose ends after forcing Matt Wertz (David Harbour) to steal a file from his boss’s safe. While the plot of the film is simple, the movie comes alive with

its Detroit setting and consistent plot twists. It was an excellent movie to watch as I continued to figure out who was going to be double-crossed, shot or who was truly behind seeking the plans Curt and Ronald possessed. It was great to see a movie from an underdog and villainous perspective. The duo of Cheadle and del Toro reminded me of some of “The Sopranos” characters that weren’t in the mafia life. If Tony or Christopher hired outside of the mob for a whack or for a robbery, these hitmen would be offed soon after the job was done to close the ties back to the mafia.



I’m not quite sure how to process the fact that my college experience will be complete in less than a month – I haven’t even figured out how to make my way around Kirkhof yet. Campus navigation aside, I’ll be exiting GVSU with a multitude of other unknowns: how to jumpstart a

“45” by Bleachers My freshman year was defined by Bleachers’ sophomore album “Gone Now,” an excitable yet melancholic project about coming of age. Now, thanks to front-man Jack Antonoff, I get to exit my college experience with their third record, “Take the Sadness out of Saturday Night.” Antonoff ’s raw

evaluations and simply don’t. Many students choose not to fill out the evaluations because they feel that their feedback is not put to good use. However, LIFT evaluations— and faculty evaluations in general, across many universities— play an important role in many departmental and administrative decisions; faculty evaluations shape course content and career paths, determining things like whether or not a professor receives tenure, a raise or a promotion. Providing a time and a space to fill out LIFT forms, as well as reminding students of their importance, are strategies that professors can employ to increase the number of students filling out evaluations. It’s also critical for professors to encourage students to think critically, and efficiently, about what they’re saying in their feedback. But in spite of all that, ultimately, the impetus is on students; while they can be a distraction during finals week and a genuine challenge to complete thoughtfully, they’re as much of a responsibility as writing a paper or taking an exam.


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


The soundtrack to my senior year career, what the future holds for me, etc. Something I do know for certain, however, is that I wouldn’t have gotten through the last year or found passion in my work without the music that accompanied me on my walk to class every day. (Hopefully) without falling down a rambling rabbit hole of self-indulgence, here are a few of the tracks that I’d consider the soundtrack my senior year.

onday, Nov. 29 marks the penultimate week of classes at Grand Valley State University. Students and faculty are juggling final papers and exams, burnout and increasingly harsh weather. In addition to the regular stresses that accompany the end of a typical semester, COVID-19 rages on and a new, potentially more dangerous variant— “Omicron” — is on the horizon. With all of these external variables on the minds of students and faculty, an essential element to the success of the next semester is often left in the dust — Laker Impressions of Faculty Teaching (or, “LIFT”) evaluations. These evaluations are offered to all GVSU students near the end of the semester to give them an opportunity to provide feedback on the course to their professors. The two most frequent suggestions for faculty in evaluations, among many universities, are for clearer communication in the classroom and clearer organization of the class. But many professors have said that they feel the number of student responses are, generally, very low. Some students may have the time or energy it takes to complete LIFT

vocals, minimalist production style, and hard-hitting lyrics like, “Are my hopes finally gonna waste me? Am I the worst compass I could know?” manifests in the musical equivalent of a warm embrace. “Devil’s Advocate” by The Neighbourhood Another artist whose music has stuck with me since my early teens, The Neighbourhood’s 2020 record “Chip Chrome & the Mono-Tones” brought some much needed light into an otherwise dreary (to say the least) couple of years. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

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






GVPD cautions against excessive drinking BY HANNA HALSTEAD NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

Grand Valley Police Department Assistant Director of Public Safety and Captain Jeff Stoll said that Grand Valley State Uni-

versity has had multiple students admitted to the hospital for alcohol overconsumption over the course of the semester. Stoll said that the GVPD was grateful for the friends of students who sought out help by calling 911, allowing them to pro-

CONVERSATIONS: “Power, Privilege and Difficult Dialogues” was the theme of the 9th annual TeachIn. The Teach-In is a melting pot of topics since anyone can propose a discussion. GVL | MAX RITCHIE

vide medical assistance to GVSU students in need. This is thanks to Medical and Student Amnesty policies at GVSU, and in the state of Michigan. In an effort to encourage students to seek help in alcohol and drug-related medical emergencies, GVSU policy may provide amnesty to GVSU students who are seeking help or experiencing the medical emergency associated with drugs and/ or alcohol. These scenarios include where a GVSU student would not face formal university disciplinary action and the creation of a formal disciplinary record, nor be subject to legal consequences from GVPD or Ottawa County Sheriffs Department. Additionally, Michigan medical amnesty law provides an exemption from prosecution for the following situations: A minor who, after consuming alcohol, voluntarily presents themselves to a health facility or agency for treatment or observation, including medical examination and treatment for any condition as a result of sexual assault. Any minor who accompanied an individual who, after consuming alcohol, voluntarily presented themselves to a health facility or agency for treatment or observation, includ-

ing medical examination and treatment for any condition as a result of sexual assault. Any minor who initiated contact with law enforcement or emergency medical services personnel for the purpose of obtaining medical assistance in connection with a legitimate health care concern. “We’re always concerned about people who choose to consume alcohol in excess because it endangers their lives,” Stoll said. “When you’re drinking to excess, it’s important to keep track of how much and what it is that you are drinking.” According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), a standard drink contains 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol. This can commonly be found in a bottle of beer at 5% alcohol by volume (ABV), eight ounces of malt liquor at 7% ABV, five ounces of wine at 12% ABV, and 1.5 ounces of hard liquor, or one shot, at 40% ABV. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


In-person Thanksgiving celebrations return in Michigan BY GRACE SMITH NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

Last Thanksgiving, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services had placed restrictions on gatherings both indoor and outdoor gatherings. Due to restrictions and surging COVID-19 cases across the state, many families opted for virtual holiday celebrations if they chose to celebrate at all. Following the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021, many families are returning to in-person celebrations. This year, the American Automobile Association estimated 53.4 million people traveled over the holiday weekend, which is a 13% increase from 2020. Grand Valley State University Student Natalie Belt said she was excited to celebrate with family this year after an exposure to COVID-19 kept her from doing so last year. “Last year my roommates had COVID during thanksgiving so none of us got to see our families,” Belt said. “Thanksgiving is one of the only times I can take time off of work to see my family so I love it.” GVSU student Rebecca Crawley said that for her, it was as simple as seeing relatives who weren’t able to attend the celebration in 2020 due to concerns over COVID-19. For Carlyn Homann, prepping the thanksgiving

meal with her grandparents is an important tradition she’ll be able to partake in again this year. “The older members of the family, like grandparents, did not come last year due to COVID,” Crawley said. Being unable to celebrate traditions as usual due to COVID-19 concerns, GVSU Skylar O’Berry said her family’s tradition of reflecting on what they are grateful for has taken on more meaning this year. “Every year we write on cutouts of leaves what we are each thankful for and put them in a jar & after a few years we open them up and read them,” O’Berry said. Annual events like parades and marathons are also returning after cancellations due to COVID-19 in 2020. While the Grand Rapids Santa Parade was canceled again in West Michigan, America’s Thanksgiving Parade returned to Detroit in full force. GVSU student Raven Thomson said her family participates in a “Thanksgiving Road Rally,” which was online last year, and was excited to return to an in-person format. “It’s basically like a big scavenger hunt the morning of Thanksgiving with a prize when it’s in person,” Thomson said. “Last year it was virtual because of COVID, so each team just submitted photos to a Facebook page

CONVERSATIONS: “Power, Privilege and Difficult Dialogues” was the theme of the 9th annual TeachIn. The Teach-In is a melting pot of topics since anyone can propose a discussion. GVL | MAX RITCHIE

and the prize was bragging rights.” While many returned to celebrating in-person, COVID-19 cases are still on the rise across the state. GVSU’s Virus Action Team (VAT) encouraged students to celebrate safely, following a rise in reported cases following Fall Break in October. While cases are overall lower than last fall, the

VAT echoed recommendations to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and booster, wash hands frequently and wear masks. Additionally, the VAT said that students should monitor COVID-19 data and the spread of the virus in the communities they return home to over the holidays.



Moving On Up?

RECRUITS: There’s been miscommunication between the GVSU Football coaching staff and the 2022 football recruits after published interviews with recruits point towards the Division II team moving to the FCS in 2023. GVL | ARCHIVES

GV Athletics disputes football recruits’ claims of a move to DI BY HOLLY BIHLMAN AND ZACK GOODROW SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM

As one of the most successful schools in Division II football, Grand Valley State University has been dogged for years by speculation that the school is looking to move up to Division I. Recently, these rumors have gained momentum. As the verbal commitments for GVSU’s 2022 recruiting class started coming in, quarterback recruit Aidan Lucero gave an interview to Tim O’Halloran of that seemed to confirm the rumors of a 2023 move to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in 2023. “GVSU is also leaving D2 and will be playing at the FCS level in the Ohio Valley conference in 2023 so it’s really exciting times for the school and the football program,” Lucero told O’Halloran. In a separate interview with the Lanthorn, Lucero elaborated. “I know that they’re (GVSU) a really good program, and this was before I knew they were going to make the transition to the FCS,” Lucero said. “And obviously that kind of played a big role in my commitment. It was actually Coach Mitch (that told us) when I went there for my visit; all the recruits were sitting in the room. Most of the

kids that are in my commitment class, I believe, pretty much all had DI offers, so Coach Mitch was kind of the one that broke the news, and that was in-person while we were there.” While not every verbally committed recruit took the same tour of the GVSU football facilities and visited with the team, several others have made similar claims in separate interviews with the Lanthorn. Offensive lineman Mathew Haan, a current high school senior, claims Mitchell told his parents about the possible move to the FCS during his photoshoot. “Coach Mitchell sat down with all the parents while we were doing our photoshoot in our uniform, and he told them that all signs point towards FCS,” Haan said. “It’s not for sure, but they’re treating this recruiting class like Division I so that they’re going to be prepared when they take the jump, and they are expecting to.” The prospect of being part of GVSU’s first DI roster is exciting news for new recruits, and could influence their decision to commit to GVSU with offers from other Division I programs. “We didn’t make much of it because, yeah they (the media) probably say that for every successful DII,” Haan said. “But when we got (the news about the FCS) from the coaches we were like,

FCS MOVE: GVSU’s transition to Division I has always been a topic of conversation, but recent media attention has led the Lanthorn to recruits and the Athletic Department for further clarification. GVL | ARCHIVES

‘whoa, this is serious. Holy crap, this might be a FCS school,’ and that’s so awesome.” In several more interviews with committed recruits, it is apparent that other GVSU coaches were relaying the same information during these visits. Safety-linebacker Kyle Johnson heard the news from Associate Head Coach and Secondary Recruiting Coordinator Nick Postma.

“He said that we’ll be joining the Ohio Valley Conference pretty soon,” Johnson said. “I think he said class of ‘23 will, so probably after this following year. I always knew Grand Valley was, like, top tier among the DII schools; they have everything they need to take that big step, so I kind of saw it coming but I just didn’t know when until Coach Postma said it.”

Athletic Director Keri Becker is used to these questions. In 2018, she was interviewed by the Duluth News Tribune about why Division II schools in the NCAA are having trouble moving up to Division I. When asked by reporter Mike McFeely if GVSU was considering moving up, Becker’s response was to the point: “The short answer, to make this simple, is no,” Becker said. Yet the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s (GLIAC) ongoing membership issues might make a decision come sooner than later. With multiple teams leaving the conference in the past seven years, members of the GLIAC, including GVSU, are often forced to scramble to find teams to fill out a full regular-season football schedule. The GLIAC has been in turmoil for the past several years, with multiple teams leaving the conference: Ashland University (2021) Tiffin University (2018) University of Findlay (2017) Hillsdale College (2017) Lake Erie College (2017) Ohio Dominican University (2017) Walsh University (2017) Malone University (2016) Northwood University will also be leaving the GLIAC in 2022, resulting in 10 university members, only six of which have football programs. This leaves GVSU needing to find five non-conference opponents to complete their schedule from Divisions I, II, or III--each of which has its own obstacles. “It makes zero sense for a FCS school to play a Division II school; it makes zero sense for that to happen,” Mitchell said. “You don’t see that in the landscape of college football. It makes no sense for us to play any Division III opponent we played this year. We played Wisconsin-Lacrosse and that did nothing for us. When I’m on the Division II national football committee, one of eight members that selects the postseason field, that game was not even counted. In regards to our record, it’s like it didn’t even occur. So for us to play one of those contests, it gives us nothing to bolster our resume for postseason play, and you run the risk of injury.” With recruits seemingly assured of a move during their visits, the Lanthorn asked Becker, Coach Mitchell, and Associate Director of Athletics Tim Nott for clarification. “I think everybody’s evaluating their athletic department where it sits with what’s going on in the GLIAC,” Becker said. “We’re doing the same exact thing. We’re evaluating our status within the GLIAC, looking for all of the opportunities that exist because our league continues to lose members. That’s a real concern. The question is not, are we looking to move? The question is, we are keeping our eye on what opportunities exist for Grand Valley.” Yet the question remains: are coaches promising a move that has not been officially made? “They’re talking about the potential move because I addressed it,” Mitchell said. “I addressed it in the room; I’m not going to shy away from the fact that I addressed it. I addressed it with all of our recruits. When they came on a visit, I told

MISCOMMUNICATIONS: In interviews from several recruits and the head coach of the football team, Matt Mitchell, different accounts of the information relayed to prospective future players seems to have created confusion and misinformation regarding GV Football’s position in the NCAA in 2023. GVL | ARCHIVES

them all, like, listen, if you had to ask me as a football coach, there’s a high probability this thing’s (GLIAC) not sustainable. Again, what type of picture am I going to paint: a dying fruit on a tree that’s called Division II football, GLIAC football, an attempt to try to entice people to come to this university to play football? Or not trying to be optimistic and try to provide a picture of like, listen, we’re really good at Division II, but we’re also entertaining looking at some possibilities.”

If GVSU were to jump to the FCS, it would not be a simple move. Every other GVSU sport--basketball, soccer, tennis, swim and dive, cross country, track and field, baseball, softball, lacrosse and golf--would have to do the same. Furthermore, any DII school looking to make a move into the FCS also needs an invitation from the NCAA to join the conference. GVSU hasn’t received one. “GVSU’s name has become part of this con-

GLIAC STABILITY: A large factor in the conversation around GVSU’s move to the FCS is the recurring issues that the GLIAC has faced in the past few years with teams leaving for the GMAC. GVL | ARCHIVES

versation in the media, yet we have not been invited to any of these conferences,” Becker explained in an email. The fact that GVSU has not yet been invited to make the jump to DI leaves the recruits’ recollections as an open question. The three recruits the Lanthorn spoke to confirmed that they were told GVSU was moving to the FCS by Mitchell or members of his staff, which Mitchell feels is a matter of the recruits hearing what they want to hear, or attempting to justify their commitment to GVSU over DI offers. “When (recruits) start getting interviewed by people and things start to happen, you’ve got to provide some type of justification for why you’re going to sign with the Division II school and turn down FCS offers like Northern Iowa,” Mitchell said. “(Lucero) has a Northern Iowa offer and they’re in the FCS playoffs. You’re going to attempt to take the information that’s provided by the head football coach (himself) and a recruiting visit. And you’re going to work that in a way that would make sense to people. Like, why the hell would you turn down an FCS offer to sign with the Division II school?” Despite what recruits have said, Becker affirms that GVSU Athletics is currently determined to stay in the GLIAC, but that a move up is always possible. “We’re trying to make sure that we’re in the best position possible to continue our success wherever it’s at,” Becker said. “We’re working very diligently with our brothers and sisters to try and make sure our league is getting some new members. But we also have to take care of what’s best for Grand Valley. And that’s my job as the athletic director, to make sure this university is positioned to take advantage of whatever opportunities may present themselves. And that opportunity may be Division II; continuing Division II. That’s what we’re committed to right now. We’re a Division II institution.”



CREATIVITY: There are a variety of options for tattoo artists in the area that students can look into to get a tattoo. COURTESY | THE MANUAL

GV students discuss their tattoos BY KAY KELLER NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

Many new college students are living on their own for the first time. Away from their parents, college freshmen are newly eighteen and have the freedom to make their own decisions. With this power, many choose to do things their parents wouldn’t approve of, or even things openly discouraged at home. One common choice that students make is to get a tattoo. With a plethora of options near campus, students don’t have to travel too far for their artwork. “I got the tattoo because I went to Catholic school my whole life and could not have any visible piercings or tattoos, even though I’ve always wanted to,” said Grand Valley State University junior Grace Wangler. “So, going to college was very freeing, in that sense.” Wangler got her first tattoo two months after coming to college, the same month that she turned 18. She went to Wealthy Street Tattoo and said she had an amazing experience, but decided not to tell her family about it.

INK: Many students choose to get tattoos with a meaning. COURTESY | SCREAMING NEEDLE TATTOO

“I did not tell my parents because I made the decision pretty quickly and just didn’t feel it was necessary to tell them,” Wangler said. There are many reasons why parents worry about their children getting tattoos. Personal distaste is one of the most common reasons. GVSU junior Madison Hites said some parents are against their children getting tattoos because they personally don’t like the look of them. Hites got her first tattoo two years after she moved away from home to go to college. Though she describes her first tattoo as her pride and joy, Hites said she didn’t tell her parents about getting it. “(My parents) completely disapproved,” Hites said. “My dad got a tattoo and my mom almost divorced him over it. My dad said it was the biggest mistake of his 40s.” Another reason that parents disapprove of tattoos is that they are worried that their children will be discriminated against when trying to find a job, “My grandparents know, but they weren’t happy about it,” said GVSU student Bren Frick. “They were worried about my career prospects, even though my two small arm tattoos will not cost me a future job. The world is changing.” Frick got two tattoos within a year of moving out and said that both mean a lot to her. As an early education major, Frick said she isn’t worried that her tattoos will impact her career. In this day and age, most jobs don’t care about tattoos as long as they are not offensive, Frick said. Like Frick’s tattoos, many tattoos hold meaning for people that get them. They

FREEDOM: College students sometimes make the big decision to get a tattoo while they are away at school. In some cases, their parents do not support their decision. COURTESY | RAPID GROWTH MEDIA

may have strong connections to the art and what it represents for them. “I got this tattoo of butterflies on my right arm because it symbolizes everything I’ve gone through with my Crohn’s Disease and sits right next to the vein that’s been used for all kinds of therapies I’ve been on for almost nine years,” said freshman Sophia Brya. “I chose butterflies because phlebotomists always have to use the butterfly needles on me because of my fragile veins and because I feel like butterflies watch over me.” Byra got her butterflies within a few months of moving in. Her parents knew about it and supported her in regards to the tattoo. Byra said the butterflies were her second tattoo, the first one she got at 15 with her brother and parents. “I’ve decided to get tattoos because they

represent a memory or are a reminder of people or events that are a part of my life,” said GVSU sophomore Peyton Murney. Murney got her first tattoo three months after moving in on campus. She has four tattoos now, but said her parents only know about the first one. She’s gone to both Wicked Ways and Screaming Needles for her ink. While there are studies that show tattoos will not negatively impact students’ careers, others give contradictory evidence. This is becoming less of a concern for young Americans, as 47% of Millennials and 36% of Generation X have at least one tattoo, compared to only 13% of Baby Boomers. Ultimately, it will depend on the employer’s point of view, location and what the tattoos depict.



LOOK AT LAKER LIFE SING KARAOKE AT KARAOKE NIGHT On Monday Nov. 29 the Residence Housing Association is hosting a “Karaoke Night” for students. The event will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Students can take a break from studying to participate in singing karaoke and eating food. Pizza will be provided to those who attend, free of charge. This will take place in the Kirkhof Center room 2263. Students don’t need to RSVP to attend this event and they don’t need to sign up for karaoke spots beforehand to sing. Upon arrival students will need to show their event pass to attend.


Miracle Network Dance Marathon is holding a bake sale Tuesday Nov. 30 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center. There will be cookies, brownies and more available to be purchased. All of the proceeds will go to benefiting the Helen DeVos Children’s hospital. In four years the Miracle Network Dance Marathon has raised $162,000 for the hospital. The group will be fundraising for the hospital for the rest of the year before they hold their LakerThon in February.


Tuesday Nov. 30 Women in Business is hosting a holiday card making session where students can come to make cards for residents at Covenant Living of the Great Lakes. The event will take place from 5-6 p.m. at the Pew Campus in DeVos Hall room 201D. All supplies needed will be provided. This event is a way to spread joy to those who may not be receiving many holiday cards this year.


For students who need help focusing on studying, the Night Against Procrastination is devoted to helping students focus on their work and combat procrastination. NAP is being hosted by the Fred Meijer Center for Writing. This is an overnight event, starting on Thursday Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. through Friday Dec. 3 at 2 a.m. This will take place in Lake Ontario Hall room 120. This will provide a space for students to relax in a quiet setting to write, study and work surrounded by other students who want to study. There will be activities to help students focus, like desk yoga, and games to keep students minds focused. There will also be writing consultants available for students to get feedback while they are actively working. There will also be food available for free, like snacks and midnight pizza, as well as drinks, like coffee and hot chocolate. Students can park for free in Lot M without a permit. Students can also nap during the event if they bring their own sleeping bags and pillows. Students don’t have to RSVP to attend this event and event passes aren’t required.


Consumerism vs. Religion: Christmas in the United States BY YSABELA GOLDEN LAKERLIFE@LANTHORN.COM

Today, Christmas is arguably the most popular holiday in the United States: one 2017 Pew Research Center survey found that it was celebrated by 90% of Americans (though only 46% did so for primarily religious reasons). But Christmas wasn’t always the all-consuming national festivity it is now, and recent controversy over “irreligious” components of the celebration aren’t as novel as people might assume. In the 17th century, Puritan colonists actually wanted to suppress the celebration of Christmas on grounds that it was already too secular. For one, there was no biblical evidence that Jesus was born on Dec. 25 of the Gregorian calendar: the Puritans were as well aware as modern scholars that the date of Dec. 25 was chosen by the 4th-century Catholic church because it coincided with Saturnalia, the Roman winter solstice celebration of “misrule.” The Christmas traditions of the time weren’t exactly spiritual, either. They were characterized by excessive eating and drinking; casual and occasionally public fornication; cross-dressing (then called “mumming”); mocking established authority; and begging from door to door, often through

HOLIDAYS: With Thanksgiving now over, many are getting prepared for Christmas, however this holiday may have some negative connotations for some. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES

caroling. The last of these was often combined with the threat of physical harm, occasionally escalating into outright home invasion. It’s perhaps not surprising that the Puritans preferred to ignore the holiday, even making it illegal in the colony of Massachusetts; from 1659 to 1681, celebrating Christmas was punishable by a fine of five shillings.

December Calendar from Poor Richard’s Almanac for 1733, written by Benjamin Franklin. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


College students deserve a longer Thanksgiving break BY CLÉMENCE DANIERE LAKERLIFE@LANTHORN.COM

Thanksgiving break is a welcome rest for college students. This is time spent with friends and family, having a good home-cooked food and sleeping in is finally an option. Work-wise, it allows students to get time to breathe between classes, assignment deadlines and other responsibilities. However, is this break actually long enough for college students to be able to enjoy time off? During the fall semester, students only get six full days off of school, which only means

that classes are not in session that day. However, this doesn’t mean work can’t be assigned beforehand. Workloads are amplified for students during the days following days off in order to stay on track with the semester. This means that students, even during alleged breaks, don’t get to relax and take time for themselves. I personally haven’t gotten time to breathe over this Thanksgiving break. School follows college students home. Having classes Monday and Tuesday allows professors to assign work during break. This has been made easier with the use of online spaces now, due to everyone making the transition to online for

COVID-19, professors now have access to students’ time even during a so-called break. This time off that is meant for students to spend quality time with family becomes a game of catch-up with all of the school work that is assigned before and after. Not to mention, finals are so close to Thanksgiving break that students feel the urge to spend time with their textbooks and laptops and away from loved ones who they have waited to see for months. A time that is supposed to be taken to express gratitude and love to friends and family is overruled by school-related stress and anxiety. Thanksgiving break is simply not long enough for school-induced stress to be alleviated. This three-day break also doesn’t factor in the time of travel and cost that college students have to endure to go home to their families. Although some students are lucky enough to commute and spend less time on the road, others have to factor in air travel or long road trips in order to get home during break. LOG ON TO:

STUDENT STRESS: Students at GVSU are facing academic stress with the deadline of finals fast approaching after their Thanksgiving breaks, leaving many with no time to rest on break. GVL | GVSU FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

A 10 | ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ARTS AT A GLANCE 2020 WORLD OF WINTER SCULPTURE MOVES TO ITS FOREVER HOME The “Manidoo Bawating” sculpture that was featured in World of Winter 2020 has recently been installed in its permanent home at Sixth Street Park in Grand Rapids. The custom sculpture was designed by the HYBYCOZO art initiative based in Oakland, CA in collaboration with the Grand River Bands of Ottowa Indians and local artist Alan Compo. “Manidoo Bawating” is an 11-foot-tall steel sculpture that was created to honor important symbols and traditions of the Native American community that was based along the Grand River and throughout the entire Great Lakes region.

GV MUSIC DEPARTMENT TO HOLD NUMEROUS PIANO STUDIO RECITALS Grand Valley State University professor Dr. Sookkyung Cho’s students will be holding an end-of-semester Piano Studio Recital. The concert will be livestreamed on Friday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. The link to the livestream is Dr. Helen Marlais’ students will also be holding a Winter Piano Recital. The concert will take place on Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sherman van Solkema Recital Hall in the Haas Center for Performing Arts. The concert is also able to be viewed via livestream at The students performing include: Tumaini Sango, Mei Lin Wooden, Amanda Wilson, Taylor Seelye, Luke Kunnen, and Sarah Doyle.

GV A CAPPELLA GROUPS COLLABORATE TO HOLD CONCERT Grand Valley State University A Cappella Groups GV Groove, Midnight Snack, and Euphoria will be coming together to host an event full of song. “A Night of A Cappella” will be held on Dec. 5 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Cook-Dewitt Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public, but seats are on a first-come-first serve basis. Students are asked to RSVP for the event on LakerLink.

THE ARTS MARKETPLACE AT STUDIO PARK IN GRAND RAPIDS EXPANDS The Arts Marketplace at Studio Park in Grand Rapids is an organization that features West Michigan Artists and Makers with an emphasis on supporting minority owned businesses. They do so by hosting opportunities, marketing, programming and events. On Nov. 27 the Arts Marketplace introduced a new Pop-Up Room, adding 800 square feet of retail and event space. The room offers a dressing room and the opportunity to display larger items, including woodcraft, clothing and textiles. Throughout the holiday season the Pop-Up Room will showcase 15-20 local businesses as well as a signature entry wall -a mosaic woodwork installation designed by Grand Rapids artist Shannon Mack. The Arts Marketplace will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 11-7 p.m. and on Sunday from 12-5 p.m.



New art exhibition presented on Pew campus BY MARY DUPUIS ARTS@LANTHORN.COM

The Grand Valley State University Art Gallery recently partnered with Avenue for the Arts, a Grand Rapids organization that supports local artists, to install artposts on the Pew campus. Artposts are outdoor miniature art galleries that were first created by Zachary Trebellas, a local artist and curator who helps to coordinate projects with Avenue for the Arts, for an ArtPrize 2021 exhibition. Trebellas worked with Professor Dulcee Boehm’s ART 392 Curatorial Studio class at GVSU to curate the artwork for the two new artposts on Grand Valley State University’s Pew campus that were installed in November, as well as other artposts throughout downtown Grand Rapids. ART 392 is an upper-level studio art course in the Visual and Media Arts Department at GVSU, and includes a culminating exhibition practicum. This year, the exhibition lies in the artposts. Titled “Flux,” the exhibition was curated by the students to explore life, death, and the cyclical nature of change that takes place in society. “Flux” includes artwork ranging from smaller scale examinations of the relationship between science, nature, and vitality as well as pieces made to comment on gender roles, environmentalism, and traditionalism. The artwork in the artposts comes from a combination of GVSU student artists as well as local artists. Those whose work is featured include Katherine Brewer, Gabrielle Schaub, Marika Christofides, Sarah Hearn, and Kel

CURATE: GVSU Art Gallery partnered with Avenue for the Arts to offer ART 392 students the opportunity to curate an exhibition to be featured in artposts downtown. COURTESY | GVSU ART GALLERY

Mur. Gabrielle Schaub, a senior majoring in studio art with a painting emphasis, said she began her project over the summer and submitted it to the ART 392 class because over time it evolved to fit the theme of “Flux.” Schaub’s work consists of an abstract drawing of her garden bed and is a mixed media piece on cardboard which was then glued to a piece of wood. She said she wanted the artwork to resemble the idea of change included in “Flux.” “Deterioration and evolution and growth and fluctuation are all a part of the subject matter and they’re a part of the materials, and the

way that I represent the garden,” Schaub said. “The piece of wood is an old, sort of rotting piece of wood and then the cardboard is specifically non-archival so that will also start to deteriorate soon.” Amanda Rainey, the GVSU Art Gallery user experience and learning manager, said she loves that the artposts help to bring the artwork to the eyes of the community in a new way.



Photography styles work together in senior showcase BY MARY RACETTE ARTS@LANTHORN.COM

Seniors in the Grand Valley State University photography major wrap up their last semester with a final project which reflects different techniques that they’ve studied in the program. This year’s title for the senior showcase is “A Modern Anomaly.” From Nov. 23Dec. 10, the Thomas J. and Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts Gallery will be scattered with projects that photography

GALLERY: Seniors present a variety of photographical style. COURTESY | GVSU ART GALLERY

seniors have worked on all semester. The Photography Thesis class is taught by professor Victoria Veenstra but overall, it’s a self-driven project. Each student also has an advisor from their major who is available to help develop their ideas. Photography professor Stafford Smith is the advisor for three of the students in the class. Smith has helped guide Skyler Gottschalk, Jesse Sandoval and Maggie Eder through their final projects. “My job is to work as a sounding board, letting them bounce their ideas off me and give them feedback and I have to be careful not to put too much of myself into it or be too discouraging,” Smith said. “So I’m trying to kind of walk a fine line of giving constructive criticism without going too far.” Stafford said Sandoval’s work is one of the most personal projects of the group as it expresses some of the struggles he has faced. “And so for him (Sandoval), it’s really like kind of mining his soul and communicating that in a way that makes sense not just to himself, but to people who don’t know him and don’t know anything

about the project,” Smith said. Gottschalk’s work uses herself as a model as she places herself in awkward positions and faces away from the camera. Stafford said her work can have many different interpretations from the viewer. Eder explores her surroundings with her project. For each scene in her project, she took an image of what is in front of her, as well as what is directly above and below the subject. “What I want you to take away from my work is the message to stop every once in a while and take a minute to appreciate what is in front of you because there is so much detail and beauty around us,” Eder said. Senior Riley Adkins’ thesis is titled “Pain | Lust.” Adkins said her work is an array of black and white photos that visually depict subjects in extremely raw and sexual forms. “Its main point is to provoke emotions in the viewer by not giving much information about what it is that I’m displaying,’’ Adkins said. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE



QUICK HITS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL ADDS ANOTHER TWO WINS TO OVERALL 5-0 RECORD The Grand Valley State University (5-0) women’s basketball team swept both opponents this past weekend in the Rollins Classic Tournament. On Friday, Nov. 26, the Lakers defeated Rollins College (3-3) 70-39 followed by Embry-Riddle University (2-3) on Saturday, Nov. 27 in another win, 67-47. Their first matchup started with dominating offense from the Lakers, shooting 67% and scoring 26 points in the first quarter to the Tars’ five. The Laker’s defense forced nine turnovers in the first half of the game, only allowing an additional six points from the Tars for a score of 39-11. The third quarter started off the same for the Lakers, advancing their lead from 28 to 32 points in the first minute. Sophomore guard Emily Spitzley led in scoring with 19 points, followed by senior guard Qay Stanton with 10 points and freshman guard Ellie Droste with seven. Saturday’s game had a much different pace from tip off, starting with the Laker’s 18-11 lead in the first quarter. The first half included 14 turnovers for the Lakers resulting in 10 points, giving the Eagles a burst of motivation for a seven-point run to limit the Laker’s lead to three points, 30-27. The Lakers regained their momentum, scoring an additional 10 points in the first three minutes of the half. GVSU went on to score 25 points in the third and held the Eagles to only nine, ending the game with a 20-point lead. Droste led the team with 17 points, followed by freshman Rylie Bisballe’s 13 points and five rebounds, and sophomore forward Hannah Kulas’ 12 points and eight rebounds. After sweeping the Rollins Classic, the Lakers look ahead to their first two matchups of GLIAC play this Thursday, Dec. 2 and Saturday Dec. 4 to face Saginaw Valley State University and Wayne State University at home.


The Grand Valley State University Division I men’s club hockey team defeated Western Michigan University on Tuesday, Nov. 23 with a final score of 5-2. The Lakers hosted the game at Griff’s Georgetown for their first matchup against the Stallions this season. The game started off hot with a quick goal from the Stallions, only for the Lakers to return the favor just a few minutes later to even the score 1-1. The Stallions would put one more in the net before the end of the first, but that would be their last goal of the night. A power play for the Lakers in the second period was no help for the team, maintaining the 2-1 deficit throughout the second. It wasn’t until the third and final period of the game that the Lakers were able to score an impressive four goals evenly dispersed throughout the remaining 20 minutes of the game. The Lakers return to the ice Dec. 3-4 for the Grand Rapids Charity Classic at the Eagles Ice Center on Friday against Davenport University and their opponent on Saturday to be determined.



The no. 4 ranked Grand Valley State University (10-2) football team traveled to Top Taggart Field to battle with rival Ferris State University (11-0) on Saturday, Nov. 27. The team lost in a heartbreaking repetition of their previous loss, 54-20. Not only was the loss their exit from the NCAA Division II playoffs, but it was a repeated set of mistakes from the regular season Anchor-Bone Classic, where GVSU suffered its first and only loss. “The game got away from us in the first quarter,” coach Matt Mitchell said to FSU Athletics in the post-game press conference. “We got out of what we were able to do in the first game, which was to run the ball, and the score got to the point where we had to try to throw it more than we’d have liked to.” FSU started off strong, capping off a three-play, 73-yard opening drive with a 65-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jared Bernhardt. After falling into an early hole, down 7-0, sophomore quarterback Cade Peterson led the GVSU offense down the field in four plays, finding senior running back Bryce Young-Walls for a six-yard score to even the game, 7-7. After nearly eight minutes without either offense finding the endzone, Bernhardt took matters into his own hands, powering his way into the endzone to give FSU a 14-7 lead with 3:41 left to play in the first quarter. The second quarter held much of the same,

RIVALRY: GV Football is defeated once again by Ferris State University in the NCAA Division II playoffs on Nov. 27. FSU beat GV Football earlier in the year at the Anchor-Bone Classic. GVL | ARCHIVES

as the next two GVSU drives stalled out, both leading to FSU touchdowns, making the score 27-7. FSU closed out the half with two field goals, taking a 33-7 lead and full momentum into the second half. “(The turnovers leading to FSU scores) were tough,” Mitchell said. “Obviously the first game that hurt us, (there were) turnovers in the first half, and we did the same thing again in this game. We put our defense in some bad positions with the turnovers.” The third quarter was a defensive struggle, as neither team could get anything going

on offense. After an interception by the FSU defense, the team’s offense began their drive deep in GVSU territory and capped it off with a 13-yard scamper by quarterback Mylik Mitchell to increase their lead to 33 points. However, GVSU didn’t give up. After a stop by the defense, Young-Walls bulled his way across the pylon from three yards out to make the score 40-13. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


Mental health in sports, from the big leagues to GV BY JOSH CARLSON, SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM

As the number one form of entertainment in countries across the globe, sports are often rated and promoted based on how good a team is, the star player’s performance, and who’s set to win championship titles. A huge issue in the sports industry that many fans and managers tend to overlook is the mental health of the athletes. The athletes entertaining fans at home

PRESSURE: Athletes come forward about personal mental health struggles. COURTESY | GVSU

and in the stands night-in and night-out have just begun to come forward and make their mental health struggles known, introducing a conversation much overdue. Recently, fans of sports have seen major athletes such as tennis player Naomi Osaka, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, and NBA star DeMar DeRozan speak out on the lack of focus on worrying about the athlete’s mental health, instead of how well they are performing. For Osaka and Biles, it was so bad that they had to drop out of major events such as the Wimbledon and the Olympics. Chicago Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan even went as far as to create a docuseries titled “The Me You Can’t See” that delved into the mental health and well-being of star athletes with the goal of helping people gain a better understanding of what athletes go through on a day-to-day basis. It’s not just an issue that professional athletes have to deal with-- although their performances appear on a much more public platform-- it’s something that can affect athletes at any level: pro, collegiate, even high school. Grand Valley State University women’s soccer team sophomore midfielder Alexa Morello

is a student-athlete majoring in pre-medicine. For Morello, this means having to juggle practice, games, schoolwork and the pressure of being a contributor on a no.1 ranked team. “I think as a student-athlete it’s definitely different for everyone,” Morello said. “It’s having to balance the pressures of performing your best every single day, pushing others, and having to be yelled at on the field because others want to push you too. That in addition to schoolwork; it’s hard to be your best every single day with all the stressors and pressures that are on you.” With the issue of mental health becoming more and more relevant and brought to the public light, GVSU decided to create a program for athletes called Laker Listen. This program is made so athletes on any sports team have an advocate on the team called an “anchor,” to serve as a resource for their teammates to listen and help if they are ever in need. Morello says this is a program that Laker athletes can use, and if they don’t, it can also help them find other resources that GVSU offers such as free counseling services through the university. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE



GV Football wide receiver coach Roy Roundtree’s road to coaching BY JUSTICE STEINER SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM

Many may hear the name Roy Roundtree and remember a game-winning touchdown catch in 2011 to beat the University of Notre Dame or a nine-catch, 246-yard performance to set what was a school record for receiving yards in a single game at the time. But now, the former University of Michigan wide receiver and All-Big Ten second-team honoree impacts the game of football in a new way: from the sidelines. The 32-year-old wide receivers coach at Grand Valley State University has had a long journey in his young career, coaching at five different schools since 2015, including at his alma mater as a graduate assistant. “I took a step back and became a GA (graduate assistant) and I learned so much more football,” Roundtree said. “Just learning to hone in on the little details and how important it is to be a teacher first and be able to relate to your players.” Roundtree said building a connection with the players is one of the key components to coaching that he learned in his time coaching under University of Michigan head coach, Jim Harbaugh. With his youth, energy and charisma, Roundtree has been able to use what he

learned from Harbaugh and bring it to GVSU in his own way. “He still has that young mindset; he’s out there running routes with us and stuff,” said junior wide receiver Jacob Miller. “We’ll be watching film and he’ll stop midway through and pull up his own highlights on YouTube and show us.” Other than being able to build relationships with players on and off the field, Roundtree has also brought an immense amount of experience and knowledge of the game to the wide receiver room for the Lakers. “I’ve learned more from him in his first couple of months here as a coach than I’ve learned in my whole receiving career,” Miller said. Although Roundtree was hired into the program in March of 2020, the 2021 season is his first season coaching with the program after the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19. With the protocols that were set in place, the team had to operate over Zoom for the beginning stages of his coaching at GVSU. “I was never in front of these guys and we were always on the Zoom calls,” Roundtree said. “That’s how we kind of connected and it really helped once we were allowed in the building; we were able to just take off from there.” Following the canceled season, Roundtree finally got the chance to coach in his first game as a Laker, which was against

Colorado State University-Pueblo, where Roundtree held his first coaching job for the Thunderwolves in 2015. With it being nearly two years since coaching in a game due to the canceled season, Roundtree said “it felt like Christmas” to get back on the field as the Lakers defeated the Thunderwolves 34-14. With the 2021 season now nearing its end, Roundtree compared his first year of coaching with the program to some Division I schools in certain ways. “The facilities, the people, the fans, the stadium, the resources we have is kind of similar to these Division I schools,” Roundtree said. “That’s the great thing about being at Grand Valley State; it wasn’t a far drive for me, it was an opportunity to display what I’ve learned over the years and implement it in our guys.” Even with all the individual accomplishments, Roundtree acquired in his time playing at the University of Michigan, he said his favorite memory was the team accomplishment of beating rival the Ohio State University in 2011. Adversity wasn’t an uncommon occurrence in Roundtree’s time playing the game of football. Roundtree said not starting his freshman year of college was difficult, especially when his roommate, running back Michael Shaw, was starting. But he decided to stick with the

ANCHOR UP: Roundtree has coached at five different schools. COURTESY | TWITTER @WRTREEZY

program, a decision that worked out well as he finished his career seventh on the school’s alltime receiving yards list. After the conclusion of his senior year, Roundtree also signed with the Cincinnati Bengals after going undrafted in the 2013 NFL draft. However, he was released during the team’s final roster cuts, another obstacle that paved the way for him to get where he is today. “I think it did (help me get where I am today) because of the situation that majority of the people in the NFL are in,” Roundtree said. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


GV Men’s Basketball improves to 5-0 after weekend sweep BY SHAWN ROBINSON SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM

The no. 23 ranked Grand Valley State University (5-0) men’s basketball team improved to 5-0 after winning three straight games this past week. On Tuesday, Nov. 23, the Lakers beat Grace Christian (4-5), 105-78 at GVSU Fieldhouse Arena followed by a weekend trip to Florida where the team defeated Florida Southern (2-4) 75-68 on Friday and Saint

LAYUP: GV’s basketball team finished the weekend 3-0 to stay undefeated. GVL | ARCHIVES

Leo (3-3) 68-67 on Saturday. On Tuesday, both teams started out slow as it was a back-and-forth game for the first seven minutes of the half. After the first timeout at 15:58, GVSU was struggling to make a shot only shooting 22% from the field. “We just couldn’t find the bottom of the basket,” said coach Ric Wesley. “They were good, open looks but we can’t just settle for the three-point shot.” With 13:50 remaining, GVSU got its biggest lead thanks to a three-point make by freshman Trevon Gunter. After a quick timeout from Grace Christian, Thomas Hill also made a three, reducing the GVSU lead back down to one. The Lakers’ offense started rolling after another three-pointer by Gunter, giving them a 38-34 lead. Following a Grace Christian turnover, senior Jake Van Tubbergen came down and made a fastbreak pull-up jumper, giving him an early 10 points and another four-point lead. With 3:31 left in the opening half, Van Tubbergen made a three-pointer which gave the Lakers and the game’s biggest lead of seven, 4336. That didn’t last long after Cole Powell made

a three of his own for Grace Christian. A 7-0 run by the Tigers gave Grace Christian a 48-45 lead with 1:18 left in the first. A free-throw make by senior Blake Verbeek gave the Lakers their first points in nearly two minutes. A layup made by Grace Christian’s Jarius Shumpert extended its lead to two. The half ended with a layup by junior Ja’Kavien Lewis with one second left, with the Lakers down two, 50-48. The second half started with Van Tubbergen making two free-throws which tied the contest at 50. Both teams traded baskets in the beginning of the half, until the Lakers started to run away with the game. Three straight three-point field goals put the Lakers up by seven, 67-60 with 12:07 left in the game. GVSU got their biggest lead after a Van Tubbergen jumper, which gave them a ninepoint advantage and a score of 72-63. After a made three-pointer by junior guard Luke Toliver with 8:35 left, the Lakers went up by 10 and never looked back. From there on the team went up by as many as 28 and closed the game out, 105-78. GVSU shot 52% from the field and 41% from the 3-point line while scoring a season-high 57

points in the second half. Van Tubbergen recorded 20 points and 10 rebounds while Harris had 24 points and two steals. “They executed really well in the second half,” Wesley said. “We made out shots, got to the free-throw line and played good defense that helped us to win that game.” Heading into the weekend, the Lakers traveled to Florida for the Terrance Hotel Classic to take on a pair of two Division II teams. On Friday, the Lakers took on Florida Southern in a hard-fought battle. To open the game, Florida Southern got out to an early 5-2 lead after a three-pointer by E.J. Dambreville. With 14:08 remaining, the Lakers found themselves down five after another three-point make by Moccasins’ Jack Casale. GVSU was able to cut the deficit down to one after a made jumper by senior guard Jordan Harris. The Lakers found themselves down by eight with 9:06 remaining in the half. Florida Southern continued to grow its lead to as many as 18 after a Xavier Rhodes made jumper. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

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