Page 1

Sustainability Projects:



Classes, programs pave path for sustainability

GV wrestles with issuing COVID-19 vaccine mandate PANDEMIC | A2

GV club soccer presidents reflect on year without soccer CLUB SOCCER | A11

M O N D A Y, A P R I L 1 9, 2 02 1 // VO L . 5 5 N O. 2 7

@ GV L A N T H O R N



The GVSU community has had a cumulative total of 2,939 COVID-19 cases since Aug. 1. The university’s update for this brief was from Friday, April 16. Through testing results this past week, GVSU’s Virus Action team have so far reported 193 current active cases including one member of faculty, eight staff members, 29 on-campus students, 111 “off-campus Ottawa” students, 40 “off-campus Kent” students and four “off-campus other” student with active COVID-19 cases. “Current active cases” is the count of positive cases reported to the Virus Action Team over the past ten 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. Testing and Incidence: GVSU’s own testing program has performed 80,474 tests overall since August 21, for a cumulative positivity rate of 1.97% from the latest update as of last week. “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.

PROFESSOR OF MATHEMATICS FEATURED IN NATIONAL PUBLICATION Robert Talbert is a professor in the Mathematics department at GVSU. He wrote an article titled, “Flipped Learning Can Be a Key to Transforming Teaching and Learning Post-Pandemic.” This article ended up being published by EdSurge, an education publication. The article is about the concept of “flipped learning” which is an approach to learning which concerns the structure of education. This idea involves assigning digital lecture videos for students to watch at home to make more time for interactive activities during class. Talbert references the context of the pandemic to support his argument for flipped learning.



GV wrestles with issuing COVID-19vaccinemandate BY HAILEIGH HUBER NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

Universities are considering requiring a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students to attend the upcoming year. While Grand Valley State University has not yet announced if they will be making vaccinations a mandate, they will continue to evaluate the idea and decide what will be best for the GVSU Community. GVSU Chief Financial Officer Greg Sanial has been heading the Universities Virus Action Team and is carefully watching COVID-19 cases in this area and communicating with Kent county and the Ottawa county health departments. “We are not 100% confident that we would even get to a vaccine mandate,” Sanial said. In the fall of 2020, GVSU was working closely with the health departments regarding the living centers and how many people could be in different rooms, restrooms, and dining areas. They were able to figure this out all because of their close relationship with the health departments and they will continue that relationship throughout this upcoming year.

GOT THE SHOT: With eyes set toward the fall 2021 semester, university officials have not spoken as to whether or not they will require students to have their COVID-19 vaccine. GVL | KATHERINE VASILE

“We want our campus to be as safe as possible for that robust on-campus experience that we all want to get back to,” Sanial said. GVSU wants to keep the student’s and faculty’s best interest at heart, but also wants to make sure that those who have controversial feelings about the vaccine are provided will the necessary information. “There are exemptions that universities who have made the vaccine a mandate follow,

LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


Seidman IPO Wins Student Life “Most Improved Organization of 2021” Award BY LAUREN FORMOSA NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

The Seidman Investment Portfolio Organization (IPO) underwent many notable changes at the start of the 2020-21 academic year. The organization is now being recognized for its hard work and has received the Most Improved Organization Award from

the Grand Valley State University Office of Student Life. At its core, the fully student-run organization has roughly 15,000 AUM that is managed by student analysts seeking to develop their business skills for future employment in the finance industry. Research analysts are placed into seven different sectors of Seidman IPO with its sixteen Exec-


The FDA and CDC have recently released a statement that recommends pausing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to potential health risks involved. This decision to recommend the pause was made after six people in the U.S. developed a severe type of blood clot after receiving their dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Cases of blood clots from the vaccine are rare. GVSU’s on-campus vaccine clinic originally planned on distributed Johnson & Johnson vaccines after they were supplied with 1,700 does. The University switched to the Pfizer vaccine following the Ottawa County Department of Public Health’s decision to follow the CDC’s guidance.

like health and religion,” Sanial said. GVSU has conducted two different pulse surveys with both students and faculty the last one being in the October and November time frame that helped them gather input and look at all their options.

utive Board members specializing in portfolio management, marketing, operations and presidency.   Seidman IPO was founded in 1976 and has an extensive history with its alumni and partners. However, in the years since its start, there was notably not much change to the internal workings and affairs of the organization. This changed when current President Landon Klausing took up his position last spring and came to his fellow E-board members with new and exciting ideas to grow the organization. Since that time last year, Klausing expressed that the position has almost become a part-time job for him with the amount of work that has gone into making Seidman IPO into what it is today. “When I became president in the spring, the E-board sat down and I was like, ‘Hey you guys, I’ve got a ton of awesome ideas for IPO. I’ve got a lot of new things, a lot of the old things that we’re going to continue, and some things that were going to completely change. LOG ON TO:

BACK IN BUSINESS: Grand Valley State University’s Seidman Investment Portfolio Organization was named “Most Improved” by GVSU Student Life for 2020-21. GVL | JONATHAN ELOI LANTIEGNE

www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE



| A2


| A4


| A5


| A6&7


GV opens COVID-19 vaccine clinic on campus


| A8



| A9


| A10


| A11


| A12

Word of the COVID-19 vaccine availability is spreading and eligible citizens are making their way to vaccine clinics across the state. Grand Valley State University will finally be among one of the places for students and faculty to get vaccinated. Previously, when Governor Whitmer expanded the vaccine eligibility to those who were 16+, the Virus Action Team advised students to get their vaccines at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. But, Grand Valley State University offered its first vaccine clinic on campus on Friday, April 17. The Pfizer vaccine will be offered to students in the fieldhouse on campus. While the State of Michigan previously allocated Grand Valley State University with 1,700 Johnson and Johnson vaccinations. Upon the news released by the CDC and FDA about the risk of blood clots with low levels of blood platelets, the Virus Action team assured students that Metro Health has switched and will be offering students the Pfizer vaccine. 

VOL. 5 5

NO. 27



Editor-in-Chief NICK MORAN Associate Editor OLIVIA FELLOWS


Associate Editor XAVIER GOLDEN News Editor MARY RACETTE


Sports Editor ZACK GOODROW Laker Life Editor YSABELA GOLDEN

Business Manager RACHEL MCDOWELL


Asst. Business Manager DAYTON HAMMON

to secure (a) vaccine,” Vice Provost for Health Jean Nagelkerk and Senior Director of Health Tina Barnikow said. “This advanced planning has allowed us to implement this clinic quickly.” LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

Madcap discusses significance of grit, adaptability at College of Business event BY JACOB DEWEERD NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

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 editorial@lanthorn.com. 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.

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

The switch from the Johnson & Johnson to the Pfizer vaccine was completed thanks to the Metro Health, GVSU, and Ottawa County Department of Public Health, who shared the new information with students about the change in vaccine. “GVSU had proactively developed plans to host vaccine clinics so that we would be prepared when we were able




SHOT CLOCK: Students wait in Grand Valley State University’s Fieldhouse Arena for their COVID-19 vaccine. The University distributed 1,700 Pfizer vaccines Friday, April 17. GVL | KATHERINE VASILE

ADJUSTMENTS: Madcap co-Founder and coCEO Trevor Corlett shared his business’s pandemic journey. GVL | JONATHAN ELOI LANTIEGNE

The Seidman College of Business hosted a Focused Learning Lab on Wednesday titled “How Madcap Coffee Has Thrived Despite the Pandemic”. The event featured Madcap co-Founder and co-CEO Trevor Corlett, who discussed the difficulties that his team has faced over the last year and how they have altered business strategies in new and unexpected ways. Traditionally, Madcap has operated much differently than a typical coffee shop business. Instead of buying coffee from wholesalers or other suppliers, Madcap is directly involved with the importing of carefully selected coffee from growers overseas. They also act as a wholesaler and sell their product to restaurants, coffee shops and other retail locations. “Folks in Grand Rapids, most of their experience with Madcap seems to be just with our cafes and they think we’re strictly a retail company,” Corlett said. “In actuality, our coffee is involved at every level of the coffee value stream.”

The bulk of Madcap’s revenue used to come from its wholesale deals, but that has shifted over the last year. As restaurants and coffee shops closed their doors to comply with health safety protocols, the wholesale demand for Madcap’s coffee dwindled. “Two-thirds of our revenue was in wholesale distribution to other businesses, and almost overnight we lost about 80% of that business,” Corlett said. Even though local eateries were closed, customers’ demand for Madcap’s coffee never faltered. Madcap sells pre-packaged coffee through their website, and customers quickly turned to the internet to fulfill their coffee needs. “About 5% of our revenue pre-COVID was online, direct-to-consumer. Last April when COVID was in full force, our online sales skyrocketed 200%,” Corlett said.  Corlett also mentioned that roasting coffee at home actually saves customers money, as the cost of a cup of coffee goes from $3-5 at a cafe to around 40 cents at home. LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE




From sports to healthcare, trans rights still uphill battle




The surefire guide to college that only sometimes works


As I stare graduation in the face, I can say I’ve done everything right looking back, but it feels like I’ve missed something as I look forward. The first of four kids in my family to

go to college, I promised myself I would make this journey count. I was never as concerned with meeting hundreds of new people or attending every social event. It inevitably happened and I’ll never say I’ll regret it, but I was more concerned with making the price tag of college worth it. I’d be damned if I didn’t get something – a career, a life-changing epiphany or something of that caliber – out of the time and the loans that went into attending a university.  I had four years to build up a name for myself. Armed with a few high school accolades in my back pocket that no one would care about, I jumped back into student journalism within months. I picked up undergraduate research six months in. The year after, I took an active role in clubs.  Those commitments were part of the well-balanced Grand Valley State

University diet that I always felt was an unspoken rule. First, nail your studies and have the grade to prove it. Second, get involved, and if possible, hold some leadership positions. Third, do something outside of GVSU, like volunteering, working or interning.  That was always the recipe for success, and the result was your ticket into an entry-level job you could grow into. If you were lucky, it was a solid career off the bat.  So I started checking off boxes. I reached toward the top shelf and grabbed two majors and some graduate-level classes to match. An aisle over, I grabbed a two-for-one on club leadership. 

LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

The most good is done in the in smallest places


Before attending college or any institution involved with higher education, I’ll be open about the fact that I had pretty limited education about my options –

and this is in part due to my own young negligence for information, granted. I went in relatively blind, deciding my major in multimedia journalism without knowing anything about the actual program or its professors. I ended up getting lucky in choosing (in my current, biased opinion) one of the best journalism programs in the state, if not the nation. Because of this, I found myself challenging and engaging in my chosen field in a way that I hadn’t before in terms of challenging the very ideas and ideologies that helped create the very curriculum I was learning from. This way of learning has allowed me to uncover where and how I could make the most difference in the journalism that I wanted to do. As a budding journalist, I am often

pushed to reach higher and aim for the largest and most well-known news organizations like the New York Times, the Washington Post or CNN that focus on global and national news. However, throughout my education and as I engaged in internships, I quickly learned that where my passion lied was local journalism. There are so many issues that we face today that begin at the small community level. During my internship junior year with a local paper out of my home town, I got to know just how influential smalltown journalism can be, and I realized that so many issues can be addressed at an interpersonal community level if enough people pay attention.

LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

his year has seen a massive wave of legislation targeting transgender teens. Anti-trans policy isn’t anything new – Trump’s executive order banning transgender people from serving in the military is a few years old at this point – but with President Joe Biden’s election and Democrats controlling the House and the Senate, it felt like we could expect a change in direction. Biden did, after all, repeal Trump’s military ban early on in his presidency. However, in 2021, numerous states are considering adopting (or have already instituted) policies that discriminate against trans teens. According to GLAAD, there are 56 bills in 30 states that are meant to keep trans teens out of sports. There are also 35 bills in 22 states that aim to prevent them from receiving gender-affirming healthcare. On top of these policies, news coverage and opinion pieces are framing transgender rights as a matter of debate, when – despite that many remain uninformed on the issue – the fact remains that trans rights are human rights.  In an interview with NPR, Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson – who attempted to veto Arkansas’s anti-trans bill that will go into effect this summer – explains that he believes that conservatives are targeting trans teens because they support a victimhood narrative. In the eyes of

many Republicans, he said, cisgender, white and upper-middle-class people are victims of a “culture war” that’s being waged against tradition and decency. Michigan was one of the 30 states that proposed legislation that would ban trans teens from playing school sports. The authors of Senate Bill No. 218 – which was openly criticized by the ACLU back in March – totalled to 13 senators from around the state.  These bills don’t come out of thin air. They are crafted by elected officials that we collectively put into power. If 2021’s wave of anti-trans policy has proved anything, it’s that state officials can impact our lives just as much as the ones we vote for in federal elections.  Also in Michigan, COVID-19 cases are surging and hospitals are in danger of being overwhelmed. One of the many reasons behind this surge is the insistence on in-person schooling and high school sports.  Throughout the pandemic, people argued against following public health measures, citing the suicide risk that social distancing and quarantining might pose to teenagers. But trans teens are more likely to die from suicide than their peers since before the pandemic began. LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

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

or staff. Letters to the editor should include the author’s full name, relevant title and a headshot, along with a valid email address and phone number for confirming the identity of the author. Letters should be approximately 500650 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 editorial@lanthorn.com or drop your submission off in person at:





New agreement between GVSU, FVSU creates talent pipeline BY KYLIE ELWELL NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

On April 8, representatives from Grand Valley State University met with Fort Valley State University, a historically Black college/ university (HBCU) based in Georgia, to sign a new agreement to help support students through a GVSU graduate program in Engineering or Computing, as well as helping diversify the talent for West Michigan employers. According to the University, this is the first of many collaborative agreements that GVSU will have with HBCUs in the future. FVSU offers many strong programs in the STEM fields of education, but they are not as broad as GVSUs. The HBCU created a program called  Cooperative Developmental Energy Program (CDEP), which identifies high-talent students as early as middle school and mentors them through middle and high school. Then, they complete an accelerated Bachelor’s Degree program in three years. This program is what brought them to the attention of the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing.  Paul Plotkowski, dean of Padnos College

COLLABORATION: Representatives from GVSU and FVSU pose next to each other after finalizing a new agreement that would create a diverse talent pipeline for West Michigan. COURTESY | GVNEXT

of Engineering and Computing said, “Grand Valley and Padnos College, who were the first ones to offer this program a number of years ago, has offered combined degree programs where a student can do a bachelor’s

and a master’s (degree) at the same time, in the Engineering and Computing disciplines. That has been very popular with our students and it made sense to extend that concept to partnering with schools like FVSU.”

Students who decide to enroll in this agreement will be able to complete a combined degree program, which allows them to finish a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Engineering or Computing in the timeframe of five to six years. The Padnos College of Engineering and Computing is the first program to offer these combined degree options to its students. The Padnos College will be extending its internal program to FVSU students in order to support them and provide them with career-building resources. “I was a first-generation college student myself and I think if you ask your faculty, you’ll find out that a remarkably large number of them were first-generation to college,” Plotkowski said. “For me personally, making opportunities happen for first-generation students with diverse populations has always been an effort and a lifelong goal. I’m very proud of how much we have diversified in terms of ethnicity, but in our fields male and female as well. I’m proud to say that we have a lot more women faculty than most schools.” LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


GV Student Awards Convocation honors exceptional students BY ELIZABETH SCHANZ NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

In the midst of COVID-19, Grand Valley State University hosted a virtual Student Award Convocation that helped to honor student achievement across all disciplines and activities during their time at GVSU. One honoree, mechanical engineering senior Jenna Stolzman, received the Kenneth

R. Venderbush Leadership Award which honors exceptional performance in both leadership and academic achievements. Stolzman is on the executive board of the Society of Women Engineers that focuses on community engagement with women in STEM. In addition to this, she is the secretary of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and participates in the National Aeronautics and Space Ad-

RECOGNITION: Grand Valley State University’s Student Award Convocation celebrates standout students from across all disciplines who serve as leaders in their communities. GVL | ARCHIVES

ministration design challenge where she is a part of the team that designs and tests projects. She has also worked with General Electric Aviation and Additive, as well as conducting various research projects. Stolzman emphasized that this level of involvement that led to this award was not always natural to her. She decided to take a jump into various opportunities in college. “Just get involved early,” Stolzman said. “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. It’s not going to hurt you at all in any way, it’s only going to help and open so many doors.”  Stolzman felt the support from her professors at GVSU. She said Sanjivan Manoharan, a professor in mechanical engineering, has helped her reach her potential. She took this support and worked hard throughout her schooling. “When I received the award, I sat there for like five minutes in shock,” Stolzman said. “There weren’t any words to describe it. It feels good to know all my hard work was recognized.” Additionally, individuals were honored from each undergraduate and graduate program with the Excellence-in-a-Disci-

pline Award. The honoree from the GVSU Dance Department is Rya Greene. Greene’s journey into her dance major was not a straight line. She explored many majors including physical therapy and political science, but continually felt drawn to dance.  Greene emphasizes this need for self-discovery for all incoming college students. “Find what you love to do and do it,” Greene said. “Don’t waste time doing what other people want you to do or what you think you should do. I am a full believer in that if you are doing what you love, you will find success.” Greene took the “leap” into the dance department wholeheartedly. She performed with the American College Dance Association, won the short paper category in departmental writing for a research paper on dance history, received both Alexander Calder Honors Dance and the Upper Division Dance Scholarships, and performed her senior solo at the Regional-Alternative Dance Festival. LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

A6&7 | NEWS


BLOOMING: Wildflowers along the rivers in Allendale flourish during the spring season, bringing pollinators and animals food. GVL | Annabelle Robinson

FLOWERED: Blooming trees give off pollen and help sustain bugs and bees. GVL | Annabelle Robinson

GV celebrates growing tradition of sustainability BY AUDREY WHITAKER NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

FLOWING: The Grand River provides nourishment for several species of fish that feed on algae, bugs and other fish. GVL | ANNABELLE ROBINSON

In Grand Valley State University’s 2016-21 strategic plan, sustainability is listed as one of seven value statements, guiding the growth and direction of the university. The statement makes a commitment to working with community partners, preserving resources for future generations and integrating sustainable practices in every facet of university life. While this may seem daunting, the interdisciplinary nature of sustainability lends itself to these goals, said Office of Sustainability Studies Director Yumiko Jakobcic. By incorporating sustainability across different fields of study, students are equipped to make environmentally conscious changes in their lives and communities.  “We’re really lucky that we have over 250 classes that focus on sustainability all across the board,” Jakobcic said. “You might learn about sustainability in a nursing class, or business, or art – all these different classes, not just environmental studies or science.” In the spring of 2019, Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ENS) became one of GVSU’s newest majors.  While the university always encouraged students to explore environmental issues through other programs like biology, geology, or natural resource management, there was no program that took an interdisciplinary approach and addressed social and cultural as-

pects of environmental problems. “I would be advising students in liberal studies who would have the environment as one of their focus areas,” said Sarah King, GVSU professor and Director of Environmental and Sustainability Studies. “So we worked to build a program that connects to all of those departments, and now we have a program that has courses in anthropology, sociology, social work, business, biology, geology and geography.” King said that the ENS program reflects GVSU’s mission through its emphasis on public service, hands-on learning and a focus on building stronger communities through sustainable careers. In addition to education, GVSU has made a commitment to sustainability “behind the scenes,” including facilities, waste sorting, and resources like the solar garden and Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP) Jakobcic said. “There’s tons and tons of people working behind the scenes on sustainability,” Jakobcic said. “That gives us a great opportunity to use those spaces as labs to let students see what it’s like in the real world.” One example of behind-the-scenes work is the 24 LEED-certified buildings between the Allendale and Grand Rapids campuses according to a 2018 report. GVSU pledged that any new buildings, additions, and renovations will be a minimum of LEED Silver certified.  Many aspects of these buildings that are designed to save water, use less energy, and reduce environmental impact go unnoticed,

In addition to operations, the STARS rating reflects sustainable efforts in other areas including innovation and leadership, planning and administration, academics, and community engagement, according to www.reports. aashe.org. GVSU’s location along with the Grand River and Grand Ravines system is one reason why King thinks sustainability has become a focus for the university. “Biology students or GIS students can go right into the ravines and do research,” King said. “I take my idea of nature students out into the arboretum all the time. I think in the long run, that’s something that’s shaped how we think and talk about the environment.” The SAP is another way in which GVSU has taken a unique approach to sustainability, said farm director and educator Michael Hinkle. “Grand Valley has a very unique student farm, you know,” Hinkle said. “There’s no other student farm like the SAP out there because we try to get students from all different disciplines out there to get a unique take and work on unique projects.”

Jakobcic said. “It’s stuff that you wouldn’t necessarily think of when you’re looking at the building, for example, the sidewalks around the building are light-colored pavement, the landscaping is native plants that don’t need a lot of water,” said Jakobcic. The Mary Idema Pew Library is the highest-rated building on campus in terms of sustainability and incorporates features like green roofs and energy-efficient light and heating solutions. “Zumberge hall, which used to be the library, was half the size of the Pew Library but it used to use twice as much electricity, just because of the way that they can design these buildings,” said Jakobcic.  Jakobcic shared that while the university grows, it has continued to cut down on utilities. “In the last 15 years, campus has grown tremendously, but all of our utilities have gone down,” Jakobcic said. “Our water use has gone down about 45% and our electricity, steam, natural gas, those have gone down around 30-40%.” GVSU has maintained Gold certification from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) since 2013. The latest available report from 2019 reflects the reduced consumption of resources across campus. For example, compared to data from 2005, GVSU used over 20.5 million fewer gallons of water and showed a 41% reduction in water use per unit of floor area in 2017.

The farm typically participates in the GVSU Farmers Market, operates an online farmstand and is open for volunteer hours. In the past, the SAP has provided internship and volunteer opportunities to students studying the environment or biology, as well as art, video, film and marketing students. In the strategic plan for the Office of Sustainability Practices, increasing class visits to the SAP was objective 1A. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SAP hosted 15 class visits, supported 15 interns, and allowed for approximately 870 student volunteer hours in 2020, according to the strategic plan website. The SAP also works with student organizations like Farm Club, Student Environmental Coalition and Native American Student Association (NASA). “We’re working with NASA to have an inclusive place for Indigenous students where they can grow native foods from a seed bank of native crop species,” said Hinkle.  Beyond specific projects, Hinkle said that the SAP is an important campus resource for growing and learning about nutritional food.

“The sustainable agriculture project really pushes the food justice initiative by showing students what they can do in their home and trying to get them to thinking about their food,” Hinkle said. “It’s not a problem that anybody’s going to fix overnight, but the more people we can get to think about this kind of thing, when they’re making these decisions consciously, the quicker it will change over time.” King also cited the work of the Making Waves Initiative and student organizations, which go to show the GVSU community’s commitment to sustainability now and in the future. King said that this is an encouraging new approach to environmental issues. “When I started as an undergraduate student, there were very, very few environmental science or environmental studies programs, because it was like such a provocative conversation,” King said. “Now, I think everybody recognizes and accepts that these are things we have to attend to and now we’re arguing about how we’re going to address them.”

BUZZ: Bees are an essential part of many ecosystems and help flowers grow. GVL | ANNABELLE ROBINSON

BRIGHT: Flowers grow along the Grand River are full of color and life. GVL | ANNABELLE ROBINSON

NESTING: Several species of birds use the leafing trees to build nests. GVL | ANNABELLE ROBINSON



GV-based communications firm earns National Affiliation status BY TREVOR HUBERT NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

GrandPR, GVSU’s student-run communications organization, has been recognized as a nationally affiliated firm by the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Out of the over 100 student-run firms at colleges and universities across the country, GrandPR is one of just 34 firms to achieve this status, according to the PRSSA website. The goal of GrandPR is to grow budding public relations and communications students into blossoming professionals before they have even earned their college degrees. Their work with clients includes helping with promotions, media relations and social media management.  GrandPR CEO Lindsay Corwin credits their success and newfound status to a high level of professionalism and a structurally sound organization, as well as a strong relationship with the WMPRSA, West Michigan’s local chapter of the PRSA.  “We work tirelessly at being the best we can, so to be recognized by our National PRSSA chapter means a lot to us as young professionals in such a competitive industry,” Corwin said. “It shows our commitment to

clients, qualifications, and above all, our growth as students in this industry”. 2020-21 marks the third time in GrandPR’s history that National Affiliation has been earned, which was most recently achieved in 2015. On top of providing services to their clients, GrandPR is able to provide connections to the professional world, which Corwin believes improves the firm as a whole.  “We offer top-notch programming with professionals across the country, professional development opportunities in multiple disciplines, and opportunities within WMPRSA to become involved as a student in the committees for yearly planning,” Corwin said.  During the 2020-21 school year, GrandPR put a more intense focus on serving the Grand Rapids community, providing pro bono services to the NAACP of Grand Rapids to promote non-profit organizations in the Grand Rapids area. GrandPR staff was also involved in “Life 101” -a video series meant to help educate high school students on the transition to college. The series won the “Care for Community” category at GVSU’s 2021 Student Life Awards.  Corwin believes that being a Nationally Affiliated program puts GrandPR

SERVICE: GrandPR works to create student committees to serve the Grand Rapids community and providing pro bono services to local organization chapters like the NAACP. COURTESY | GRANDPR

on solid ground for the future of the organization, but the real foundation lies inside the strong relationships they have already built. “The status of National Affiliation is one that GrandPR has held previously,

but continues to strive toward each year,” Corwin said. “As far as the future goes, we hope to continue to create long-lasting relationships with our clients, and foster new relationships as the years move on.”


GV aims to ‘Take Back the Night’ for Sexual Assault Awareness Month BY MACKENZIE KELLER NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

April is nationally recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. To raise awareness and support survivors, the Grand Valley State University Center for Women and Gender Equity (GVCWGE) has paired with the Campus Activity Board (CAB) to host a series of events titled “Take Back the Night.” “Take Back the Night” is a series that has been hosted across college campuses for decades. Though GVSU was not able to host their event last year due to the pandemic, they are bringing it back this year with full force. This year’s “Take Back the Night” series consists of six different workshops throughout the first two weeks of April. The six workshops are “Identifying Red Flags,” “Art Therapy,” “Leading with Empathy,” “Reclaiming Consent,” “Supporting Victims/Survivors,” and finally “Trauma-Informed Yoga.” There is also a keynote event to close out the series on April 14. This series focuses on not only sexual assault survivors, but survivors of other types of relationship or partner abuse. The

AWARENESS: GV’s “Take Back the Night” focuses on survivors of sexual assault and other forms of abuse and educating individuals on how to provide proper support to them. GVL | ARCHIVES

goal is to show survivors that they are supported by the people around them. “We want victims/survivors to know that there is a community on campus that is survivor-centered and will believe them,” said Leah Short, violence prevention and edu-

cation coordinator at GVCWGE. “That is something we hope these events convey is that healing is not linear and some healing spaces may be helpful for some, but some spaces might not feel right for everyone.“ The GVCWGE and CAB also paired togeth-

er to give away survivor supporter bags. There were 200 bags containing materials to write letters to survivors and “Believe Survivors” sweatshirts for the GVSU community. “We were meant to pass out the bags all last week however, thanks to so many wonderful GV students, the bags and sweatshirts were all gone by Tuesday,” said Alyson Zduncyzk, Student Senator and Greek Life Representative. The events were such a success this year that the organizing committee is intending to create a student organization to organize survivor advocacy events years round, not just during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. “We want to create a campus where victims/survivors are heard, believed, and supported,” Short said. “We also hope that those who have the privilege to ignore the problems that gender-based violence causes are more motivated to start paying attention. This violence impacts all of us, and it will take us all to unlearn and heal together.” They intend for the advocacy group to form for the fall semester and hope to start hosting events for the upcoming school year.




The Campus Activities Board is celebrating the end of the academic year with a day of free, live music on the Kirkhof lawn. From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Apr. 23, the GV community is encouraged to sit back and enjoy the show. Accompanying the music will be a plethora of food choices, from a cookout, dessert food trucks, and lattes from 1-5 p.m. to an evening of s’mores from 6-8. More information on the Lakerpalooza festivities, as well as CAB’s other endof-the-year events, is available on their LakerLink page at gvsu.campuslabs. com/engage/organization/laker-traditions-team-student-life.


Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is observed by Muslims across the globe as a time of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. Each daily fast begins at sunrise and ends at sunset, with observing Muslims abstaining from food and drink from the pre-dawn meal of suhur to the nightly feast of iftar. This month, the Muslim Student Association is hosting an “Immerse Yourself in Ramadan” series. From 6:307:30 p.m. on Thursday, Apr. 22, Sheikh Mohammed Ishtiaq will be giving a virtual presentation on how to overcome the “Mid-Ramadan Slump.” The Zoom link, as well as information on the rest of series, is available though the student organization’s LakerLink at gvsu.campuslabs. com/engage/organization/muslim-students-association.


For those stressed from the encroaching avalanche of final exams, Grand Valley’s AOD Services is offering some stress relief through this week’s scavenger hunt. From Monday, Apr. 19 to Sunday, Apr. 25, AOD is hiding treasure bags across the Allendale campus as a part of GV’s “Exam Cram” programming. Visit their Instagram, @gvsuaod, to find clues to where the treasure bags are hidden. Prizes include dining gift cards, t-shirts, snacks and more. For a full schedule of Exam Cram activities, like “Take & Make Friendship Bracelets” or “Caffeinated Bingo,” visit gvsu.edu/examcram.



Human trafficking is estimated to affect 40.3 million people worldwide, according to the International Labor Organization. Investigator Neal Lofy, an FBI-recognized police detective in the Special Investigations Unit of the Racine Police Department in Wisconsin, was invited by the Hospitality and Tourism Management Club at GVSU to lead a discussion and presentation focused on human trafficking in hospitality. “The basic principle we are going to talk about today is what exactly is human trafficking?” said Lofy. “How does it impact our life, what does it look like, how can we see it, and, ultimately, what can we do about it?” The topic of human trafficking is important to discuss, both in terms of prevention and education. In 2012, Lofy helped to start a non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of human trafficking in Wisconsin, called Fight to End Exploitation. His experience in the topic has arisen from his law experience and his contributions to the organization these past 9 years. “Fight to End Exploitation is a non-profit whose missions are to educate, to create public awareness, and most importantly to advocate for victims of human trafficking,” he said. The first step to prevention is education and being honest about the current numbers that exist in relation to human trafficking. “Because human trafficking is such a hidden crime and a fairly new crime based on our laws, it is very hard to get an accurate

EDUCATE: FBI-recognized police detective Neal Lofy spoke about the dangers of human trafficking and what the warning signs and practices are among traffickers. GVL | ANNABELLE ROBINSON

count on what human trafficking entails,” said Lofy. Within the United States, the Polaris Project says that 22,326 victims of human trafficking were identified in 2019. “In the end, I think this number is really, really low,” said Lofy. “In any given year, I myself work with roughly 50 human trafficking victims. And I am only one person, in my day job of law enforcement.” Investigator Lofy’s presentation focused specifically on labor and sex trafficking, within the United States and in our own states and communities. There are many important elements to understand about human trafficking, from common signs, typical locations where trafficking happens or starts, and the psychology of why victims stay. Included in that understand-

ing, is how human trafficking can happen and how international consumerism impacts the areas involved in human trafficking. “Unfortunately, exploitation is in almost everything we use,” said Lofy. “It is in our clothes, diamonds, coffee, tea, chocolate, fishing, and the industries that provide a lot of what we use on a daily basis like technology. This isn’t to scare you against buying these products, but to bring awareness about how people within our own communities are being exploited not just at an international level but in our backyard.” LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


Lavender Graduation acknowledges LGBT students BY AUTUMN PITCHURE LAKERLIFE@LANTHORN.COM

As part of efforts to recognize individuals for their defining contributions to the university, Grand Valley State University is hosting a “Lavender Graduation” online to recognize LGBTQIA+ students’ and acknowledge their achievements throughout their college career. GVSU will be having a variety of different graduation ceremonies for 2021 graduates; not to segregate, but to

recognize students in a unique way. “This is not a splitting up of graduations, this is more of an extra option for LGBTQIA+ students to celebrate with their community at GVSU,” said Krista Stites, Graduate Assistant in the Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center. “Students still attend their college’s graduation celebrations as well.” This year’s celebration will include a weeklong virtual recognition from April 19 to April 23 with various acknowledgments and high-

lights of the graduates. Guests can join the celebration through the LGBTQ+ social media accounts and on their webpage. The Lavender Graduation began in 1995 at the University of Michigan to honor the accomplishments of LGBT and allied graduates. Ronni Sanlo, the director of the resource center at that time, believed LGBT students needed their own graduation ceremony like that of other racial and ethnic minorities on campus. Since 1995, campuses across the country have hosted their own Lavender Graduations to honor the accomplishments of LGBT graduates. “Students are officially recognized by the institution for their leadership, success and achievements,” Stites said. The color lavender is important to LGBT history and culture as it is a combination of pink and black: the colors of triangles gay men and lesbians, respectively, were required to wear as prisoners in Nazi concentration camps. LOG ON TO:

HONORS: GV’s Lavender Graduation highlights the university’s LGBTQ+ identifying students to honor them in their studies and achievements during their four years at GVSU. GVL | ARCHIVES

www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


The Grand Valley State University Art Gallery is welcoming Ralph Gibson’s Sacred Land Project to their collection. Titled “SACRED LAND: ISRAEL BEFORE AND AFTER TIME,” and comprised of over 20 diptych photographs. Gibson’s work portrays Israel and its modernity alongside its ancient past.  Gibson, an American photographer, travelled throughout Israel and the surrounding region to create a portrait of the land today where the past is still a key part of the present. He contrasts the photographs in two-page spreads where color and blackand-white images face one another.  All of the works from Gibson’s book, “Sacred Land,” can be viewed in the art gallery’s online collection on their website. 


“Lions and Rabbits,” a gallery and event space dedicated to encouraging artists and creativity within the Grand Rapids community, are opening new opportunities for West Michigan artists. For their newest project, the gallery has been approved to paint 147 concrete barricades across the city of Grand Rapids, and are looking for artists to bring them to life.  They are also in partnership with LGROW’s “Adopt a Drain” program, commissioning artists to paint storm drains throughout the area.  Other opportunities consist of creating a sculptural installation for Brigg’s Park, an interior mural for the PUBLIC THREAD facility and the professional hanging of artwork at the Lions and Rabbits Gallery. For those interested, applications can be found on their website and are due by April 25. Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. highlights old murals, begins new ones In partnership with Gazelle Girl Michigan, a women’s only 5k/10k/half-marathon group, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) held a “Shakeout Run.” This walking/running tour was held to celebrate important female figures in Grand Rapids’ history by making stops at murals painted for the Women’s Way Initiative and doing yoga in front of them.  To continue their alley activation initiative, DGRI has also begun a new mural in the alley near 2 Jefferson.  Titled, “Live to Eat,” local artist Maddie Chaffer is coloring the once dismal alleyway with pinks, blues and different dishes. 

GV CAMPUS ACTIVITIES BOARD INVITES GRADUATING SENIORS TO GET CRAFTY As part of the Grand Valley State University’s annual “ExtravaGRANDza” event, students are invited to come decorate masks and graduation caps.  Being held in Kirkhof on Monday, April 19 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Grand River Room, seniors are welcomed to come and “add a little sparkle to graduation.”



GV Spring Dance Concert to combine pre-recorded, live performances BY MARY DUPUIS ARTS@LANTHORN.COM

The Grand Valley State University Dance Company will be holding their Spring Dance Concert through a mix of pre-recorded pieces and in-person performances. Taking place on April 24 at 7:00 p.m. and April 25 at 2:00 p.m., the live-streamed concert will feature eight total dances.  There will be three pre-recorded pieces, two of which had to be auditioned for and were choreographed by guest artists Queala Clancy from California and Yoshito Sakuraba from New York. The third piece will feature the entire dance company and was recorded outside with a drone for a unique aerial view.  Three live pieces will also be performed in the field outside of the Haas Performing Arts Center. Two of the dances were choreographed by GVSU Associate Professors of Dance, Carrie Brueck Morris and Hannah Seidel, and a third was guest choreographed by Alyssa Tollefson. The concert will feature two pieces from the Senior Dance Concert as well. It is unknown whether these dances will be performed live or pre-recorded.  Preparations for this concert began as soon as the semester did, with a mix of in-person and virtual rehearsals.  Dance major Megan Wolter said during the

first two weeks of the semester those who auditioned and were chosen to participate in pieces choreographed by Clancy and Sakuraba met in the dance studio and used a projector to display the Zoom call at the front of the room. Clancy said GVSU students were a joy to work with, and although it was difficult to collaborate across time zones, it was well worth it.  “This was my first time choreographing a work online with students in a different time zone -- which can play a role in energy -- that was dependent choreographically upon the students and faculty to assist with videography,” Clancy said. “I must say I am very impressed and extremely grateful for our collaboration.” Clancy’s piece is titled, “Direction of Thought,” and explores eye direction and behavior using three phases of spoken text that address suspicion, fear and excitement. She said the group worked every day for two weeks, and each movement phrase considers specific eye actions such as squinting and hard stares. The dancers also use eye directions such as looking up or down to communicate to the audience or with each other.  When it came to rehearsals for the larger faculty-choreographed pieces, things had to run much differently. Seidel said the rehearsal schedule had to shift this semester so that the company

FORMATS: GVSU’s Spring Dance Concert will feature live and digital performances. COURTESY | GVSU MUSIC, THEATRE, DANCE DEPARTMENT

could accomplish its goals while still adhering to safety guidelines. LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


GV Theatre Department to hold first in-person show in over a year BY ALLISON RAFFERTY ARTS@LANTHORN.COM

For the first time in over a year, the Theatre Department at Grand Valley State University is putting on an in-person, live audience production. GVSU students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend the play, “Ernest Maltravers,” in person on Friday, April 23 and Saturday, April 24, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 25 at 2:00 p.m.  Tickets for the in-person viewing cost $6, and the production will be held at the Louis Armstrong Theatre in the Thomas J. and Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts.  For those who are not members of the GVSU community or are unable to attend the in-person show, a live stream of the performance will be occurring simultaneously on ShowTix4U.com. Tickets can be purchased through their website and are $3 for students, $6 for non-students, and $15 for viewing parties.  Professor and Head of the Theatre Department, James Bell, said “Ernest Maltravers” is

a melodrama that follows the relationship between Ernest Maltravers, a high-class young Englishman, and Alice Darvil, the daughter of a notorious outlaw. “Alice Darvil is a remarkably strong character and never a stereotypical ‘damsel in distress,’” Bell said. “She fights her own battles and is the rescuer rather than the rescued even as she is a victim of a lot of mistreatment.” The cast is made up of 10 GVSU students, and seven other students are members of stage management and the production staff. As this is the first in-person performance, numerous precautions are being put into place to ensure the safety of everyone in attendance.  Rehearsals for the play were virtual with the exception of the last two weeks prior to the performance. Masks are required, and there will be assigned seating in order to maintain social distancing.  In addition, audience members will have to complete and pass the GVSU Daily Self-Assessment Screening before entering.  Director and GVSU alumni Katherine Mayberry said the theatre has taken every precaution, and she is happy with the efforts being

LIVE: Live shows are returning to GVSU. COUR-


made to adhere to safety guidelines. “I feel the theatre program has done an excellent job of planning for the students’ safety,” Mayberry said.  Both Mayberry and Bell said everyone involved is experiencing an abundance of nerves as it is their first in-person performance during the pandemic. More than anything however, they’re excited that their students get to experience theatre the way it was intended to be: in front of a live studio audience.  LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE




This past weekend the track and field team competed in the Al Owens Classic. This meet is the first time the Lakers have competed at home this season. As usual, the Lakers came to compete and got a handful of NCAA Division II qualifications. On the women’s team, Nicole Sreenan finished first in the 100m with a time of 12:00 seconds, followed by Angelica Floyd, taking second place just .03 seconds behind Sreenan. The Lakers earned first-place in the 4x100 relay at 46.04 seconds, which was also the fifth best time in school history. Sreenan, Floyd, Ashley Perryman and Marcedes Chandler not only solidified their place at the NCAA Tournament but also in the GVSU record books.  The men’s team on the other hand, almost broke their own record in the 4x100 relay.  Makiyah Smallwood, Calvin Hatcher, Antonio Passarelli and Jalen Kyles were only .14 seconds away from their historic performance last weekend. They finished the race on Saturday with a time of 41.00 seconds, recieving first place.  On the field, Elli Kimes earned GVSU’s second-best height in the pole vault at 4.21 meters, automatically qualifying her for the NCAA’s. Justin Scavarda also earned an automatic qualification with his two personal best throws in the shot put with 18.57m and the discus throw with 56.54m. 


The women’s lacrosse team had an especially stellar win against the Northern Michigan Wildcats on Friday, followed by another win on Sunday. Their overall record now sits at 8-1, however they remain undefeated in the GLIAC portion of their schedule. Four Lakers earned a hat trick over the course of their 60 minute game on Friday including Molly Bursinger, Sophie Conroy, Maddy Champagne and Maggie Hammer. The Lakers ultimately had another dominating victory led by their veterans and freshman players. Olivia Esposito joined her teammates in scoring multiple times during the game with two goals, just shy of a fifth hat trick for the Lakers.  On Friday, the team scored 11 goals in the first half, and only let five goals through, while on Saturday the team gave up three goals in each half. Goalkeepers Payton Neil and Abigail Dengler have continued to perform successfully for the team. Dengler picked up her sixth save on Friday.  The lacrosse team will be traveling to Rochester, New York this Thursday to take on the Roberts Wesleyan Redhawks, then moving along to Ashland, Ohio for two more games on Friday and Sunday against the Eagles.


GV club soccer presidents reflect on a year without soccer


There’s no denying that club sports and varsity sports are in different realms at any school, but for the Grand Valley State University club soccer teams, they’ve been living in a different world for the past year. Both presidents from the men’s and women’s teams have had a season filled up by COVID-19 regulations and socially distanced meetings, leaving no room for practices and games. Chelsea Clark was the treasurer for the women’s team last year when she found out there would be no fall season. As she was elected to be the president for her final year at GVSU, there wasn’t nearly as much planning, team bonding and responsibilities as a team captain for her to do.  “All of my administrative roles kind of dwindled, so that’s kind of what I was expecting along with more of a leadership role and trying to keep the team tight knit,” Clark said. “But I found that with this year, it really transitioned to trying to do whatever we could to keep the team close.”  Without those necessary team hangouts and practices, a huge part of the experience of being on the soccer team was lost. Despite the time that the teams have spent off the field, the club sports department at GVSU understood the importance of having a season and did their best to implement ways that the athletes could

KICKED: GV club soccer was disheartened at not being able to have a season this year because of COVID-19 regulations that barred club sports from play during the year. GVL | MEGHAN LANDGREN

still be a part of their sports. “The club sports department really advocated for club sports athletes, just because they know how much of an outlet this is for so many of us,” Clark said. On top of academics and all of the other parts of life that college students often juggle, being a part of a team has a lot to do with making friends and taking a break from homework. Dylan Furong, a first-year president of the men’s team this year, has also been feeling the same effects of this hiatus of their last season.  “Sometimes in the first semester, I felt as if I was doing a bad job, because I think

one of the big parts of being the president is bringing the team together and making it feel like a welcoming environment,” Furong said. “I would definitely say I don’t really know what it’s like to be the president.” As a result of their outlet being limited this year, most of the freshman on the soccer teams have been having a hard time making those crucial connections with the returning players on the team and learning the ropes of club soccer. LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


Beatus complete game leads to game one victory for Lakers in weekend series BY JOSH CARLSON SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM

Redshirt sophomore Hannah Beatus pitched lights out for the Grand Valley State University women’s softball team (26-6) in game one of the series against Northwood Uni-

SMASHED: GV softball had a successful win during their weekend series game against Northwood University. GVL | SHEILA BABBITT

versity (18-9). Beatus has put together a strong season so far, boasting a 12-1 record for the Lakers, along with a 1.05 ERA. Coach Dana Callihan was pleased with her ace pitcher after pitching a complete game and winning their first matchup against the Wolves. “She’s our leader on the field,” Callihan said. “We got her some runs early so that always gives you a little more confidence. She did what she’s always done for us, and we just helped her with the bats.” Beatus received help from the offense in the first inning, as the Lakers came out hot, scoring an immediate four runs with hits from sophomore Lydia Goble and a home run shot from junior Nikoma Holmen. Beatus kept the Wolves off the board, holding a no-hitter until the fifth inning when two shallow singles dropped just out of reach of the Laker outfielders. Beatus shook it off quickly and left them hanging on base, not allowing the Wolves to score. The Lakers then scored one more run in the bottom of the sixth inning with a hit

from junior Bailey Thatcher to finish out the 5-0 win for the Lakers. After the complete game and shutout, Beatus felt good about the atmosphere for the Lakers coming into game one of the weekend. “The weather was so nice; it was definitely a change from when we played them the last time,” Beatus said. “It was about 30 (degrees) and snowing at times. We were just excited to come out and play today and had a good feeling about the weather. We were able to make the adjustments we needed to in game one to come out on top.” Coach Callihan preached adjustments to her team all day. While the Lakers were able to make them in game one efficiently, game two didn’t go their way as they dropped the second to the Wolves 6-2, with freshman Genesis Eggart receiving the first LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE



Track and field starting off spring season on fire


The Grand Valley State University track and field team has been on an absolute tear this season despite all of the obstacles COVID-19 has presented. After not having a season last year, both national and school records have been broken and this team has proved to have some special talent on the roster. “We got a lot of really, really good records out there,” said coach Jerry Baltes. “Individuals have stepped up and have gotten stuff done. We’re only three weeks into the season and individuals have done a great job all the way since the pandemic started. They’ve continued to train at a high level and kept their goals at the forefront of why they’re training.” Staying safe, wearing masks, and getting tested has become normal for college athletes in their everyday lives during COVID-19. In the midst of all of this however, the team has still been successful and stayed resilient.  “It’s been a challenge for sure,” Baltes said. “You just have to stay at it, keep the grind, stay focused and control what you can control. You have to make sure your making decisions for the right reasons. You can’t necessarily be in

MILESTONES: The track and field team are off to their hottest start in years. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the team has broken several records and NCAA qualifications. COURTESY | GVSU ATHLETICS

fear of the virus but respect the virus and understand if you don’t, it can affect your teammates and housemates. We have to understand

lenge, the GVSU track team has still stayed focused on their goals for this season. Dennis Mbuta, a senior distance runner, has been off the charts this season. Earlier this year in February, he was part of the medley relay team that broke the GVSU and National Division II record. “Being able to race this year feels good,” Mbuta said. “It feels good to have my name up there with other great athletes. It’s a great honor.” In 2019, Mbuta finished first in the GLIAC Indoor Championships in the 800-mile and the distance medley relay. He also broke a GVSU record in the 800 at the GVSU Big Meet.  “After that season, I felt good about myself and what I had accomplished,” Mbuta said. “Not having a season last year in 2020 made me upset of course, so I felt that during this season I had to set the bar high for myself and make sure I was training and doing everything coach wanted me to do.” This season, Mbuta has broken the 800-mile indoor GVSU time again with a time of 1:48:62. He has also broken the outdoor 800m as well, finishing the race at 1:48:24. Even though track and field is more of an individual sport, Baltes has made sure this team his team has stayed together.  “It’s difficult because everyone may be in different places when training and competing,” Baltes said. LOG ON TO:

that every decision you make not only affects you but everyone around you as well.” Although the pandemic has been a chal-

www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

Connor McGregor praised by some, hated by many as UFC 264 fight announced BY JOSH ROCETTE SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM

Connor McGregor is a man of many mysteries. There have been several accusations, arrests and mishappenings over his now-lengthy career. Underneath all the racist comments, bar fights with the elderly over his line of whiskey, or even the attack of a bus filled with UFC fighters, there’s a man who once gave up a career in plumbing for mixed martial arts (MMA). He collected welfare in Ireland up until his first fight in the UFC in 2013, and the rest is history. His career exploded almost overnight and the charismatic Irishman continued his reign of terror for the better part of five years. He’s arguably one of the best strikers in UFC history, and also one of the most controversial figures in both pop culture and combat sports. Over his eight years with the UFC, his career saw many highs and lows filled with several “retirements,” lawsuits, and championship belts. Those years have been filled with controversy and plight,

but it has also led to some of the most entertaining television in years. For this reason, the court of public opinion is seemingly split along what they think of McGregor, though his opponents are often against him. He once told Brazilian national and former featherweight champion José Also he would ride through his favela on horseback, and even poked fun at Khabib Nurmagomedov about his father’s recent passing. The most recent of that long list is an exchange with Dustin Poirier, who defeated McGregor at UFC 257 in January of this year. The two had met while they both were starting to climb up the ranks of the UFC in 2014, with McGregor claiming the victory. Following the recent announcement of UFC 264, Poirier made some big accusations towards the former double-champ. Poirier claimed earlier this week that a promise was made prior to the fight last January that McGregor would donate $500,000 to Poirier’s charity, The Good Fight Foundation. The charity foundation has continued to be a focus of Poirier’s career, and is some-

thing that he admits to taking very seriously. According to MMA Junkie, the two exchanged bank information and details regarding the contribution prior to the fight. When the new fight was announced, Poirier made it clear on Twitter that the payment never made its way over. This is far from a shocking revelation to those familiar with McGregor’s actions outside of the octagon, but it leaves yet another blemish on what could have been the greatest career in UFC history. McGregor was quick to retaliate, blaming Poirier for the mishandling of the situation, but it could be argued that McGregor isn’t the most reliable source. He has made headlines recently for donating a million euros to hospitals across Ireland for COVID-19 related safety equipment, but it still comes across as a save-face attempt. Of course fighters are people too and deserve the respect and compassion that every human being deserves, but with a platform as big as McGregor’s, every mistake will serve to reinforce the opinion that many people already have. Sure, he’s an amazing fighter and

maybe even one with once-in-a-lifetime talent, but does that excuse every misdeed and hurtful action he’s committed? There’s one question that should linger: Is McGregor telling the truth, or is this another time we will look back on in shame as the UFC slowly moves on without him?

UFC: Some fans love Connor McGregor but others don’t. COURTESY | THE NEW YORK TIMES

Profile for Grand Valley Lanthorn

Grand Valley Lanthorn vol. 55 no. 26  

The Lanthorn celebrates Earth Day, provides some vaccine updates, and more!

Grand Valley Lanthorn vol. 55 no. 26  

The Lanthorn celebrates Earth Day, provides some vaccine updates, and more!


Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded