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Campus Closes GV clears campus amid COVID-19 crisis

Sawyer makes its way to Area 51 for CAB’s Coffee House Concert PERFORMANCE | A8

GVSU Baseball, Swimming & Diving reacts to COVID-19 SWIMMING & DIVING | A9

M O N D A Y, M A R C H 1 6 , 2 02 0 // VO L . 5 4 N O. 2 8

@ GV L A N T H O R N



Although it’s only been a little over a week since the first coronavirus case was declared in the US, response has been swift and uniform. Almost every major sporting event has been canceled or postponed, including NCAA Basketball’s annual March Madness tournament. Medical experts around the world have been weighing in on the crisis in hopes of minimizing the spread as much as possible. Only time will tell how much the advice is helping the American population.


Applications are now open for the 2020-2021 Vice Provost Student Advisory Board (VSAB). VP of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Loren Rullman, is inviting any enrolled student (undergraduate or graduate) to apply to be a member of VSAB. The Board meets monthly throughout the academic year to discuss topics facing the institution and of importance to students. The Board’s perspectives help Dean Rullman consider ways the Division of Student Affairs can better serve students. Applications close March 16 and can be found at


According to the Kristen KruegerCorrado, Marketing and Communications Manager of the Grand Rapids Public Library, they will be closing down all locations amid COVID-19 concerns. “In the interest of public health, all Grand Rapids Public Library locations will be closed starting Saturday, March 14 for the foreseeable future,” Krueger-Corrado said. “Library staff will extend due dates and waive fines on material during this time. Patrons can return items to outside book returns or keep the material until we reopen to the public. GRPL’s digital services will still be available for free, including eBooks and eAudiobooks; streaming TV, movie and music services; research databases; and digital subscriptions to magazines.” Updates on further changes to library services will be posted on and on their social media pages. Additional resources regarding COVID-19 are available at



COVID-19 impacts student organizations, Student Life BY AMY MCNEEL ASSOCIATE@LANTHORN.COM

COVID-19 has had direct effects on campuses nationwide, as schools around the world have cancelled classes and switched to online learning initiatives. Grand Valley State University is no different, as classes are scheduled to be online for at least two weeks. However, COVID-19 is impacting the university in more ways than one, especially when looking at student life and student organizations. Along with the cancellation of classes, student organizations are facing meeting and event cancellations and postponed plans.  “All on campus student organization reservations are being temporarily suspended until further notice from the university,” said Assistant Director of Student Organizations Eric Stevens in an email sent to student organization officers and advisors March 12. “Effective immediately, the Office of Student Life strongly encourages student organizations to cancel, postpone or virtually conduct all off-campus activities, regardless of number of attendees.” These new regulations have resulted in the suspension of Student Senate general assembly meetings for the rest of the semester, along with the tabling of elections and all major resolutions and discussions. Additionally, GVSU Greek Life has been contacted regarding chapter and social events, with the university recommending the cancelation of these events. “This is a public health emergency and Student Life urges chapter leadership to put the health and safety of our community as top pri-

SHUT DOWN: COVID-19 has not only resulted in canceled classes, but also canceled student organization events. The spring concert is in the works to be rescheduled. COURTESY | NEWSCIENTIST.COM

ority,” said Associate Director of Student Life Valerie Guzman in an email to chapter presidents and advisors March 12. “The university has received phone calls from parents specifically about fraternity and sorority events that are still planning to occur; this goes against our current recommendation. “Although important to collegiate experience, fraternity and sorority activities are non-essential given the situation and we would strongly recommend you cancel all events taking place effective immediately through March 29.” Student Life also recommended that chapters suspend formals or any events that have contracts, along with adjust or eliminate attendance requirements. Along with the implications surrounding student organizations, Campus Activities

Board (CAB) has had to postpone the spring concert, which was scheduled for April 2. The headliner was set to be T-Pain. “The spring concert will not be held due to events with over 250 people being banned by the state through April 5,” Guzman said. “Student Life and CAB are exploring options to reschedule during homecoming week.” Along with spring concert, the fate of Commencement is also uncertain. Guzman said the university is currently researching “Commencement options for postponement, virtual and other.” Those with questions about student organizations or events can contact the Office of Student Life via email or phone, as they plan to remain staffed with full-time employees to provide support.


Student Senate pushes elections back, prepares for changes BY SEAN CAUVET NEWS@LANTHORN.COM


The recent change from in-person to online classes has sparked a necessary change in the university regarding late withdrawal dates. The former deadline to drop a class with a “W” was March 7, but this date has now been extended to April 6. This change has been made to support students who may struggle with the online learning atmosphere. Those who drop a class with a “W” will be 100 percent refunded. In an email sent to professors March 15, the university said that “Emails can be used to expedite the approval process and retained as withdrawal documentation.” CANCELED: GVSU’s Student Senate postponed elections until fall semester. GVL | MICAH HILL

In the past week, Student Senate President Eric-John Szczepaniak and other members of Student Senate met with members of Faculty Senate to discuss how to best move forward surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States and Michigan. In the meetings, many things were discussed, including moving elections back to the fall semester. “All of our elections and everything are all going to be postponed till the first two weeks of the fall semester,” Szczepaniak said. “So, I will just be kind of like the caretaker and president for the summer.” Szczepaniak said this is a big change because usually the summer is used for the newly-elected officials to learn what is expected of them and begin to prepare for the next academic year.

However, with the next few months being very uncertain, that just wasn’t a possibility this year. Another topic discussed was about expanding broadband and accessibility for students that don’t have access to computers at home. “We’re working with our faculty partners to make sure the university supports those students because we know there’s data that shows GPAs are worse for students when they only have a cell phone, and trying to do homework on that.” Some good news from the meetings is that it appears that every college is being able to take their own unique approach to moving classes online, such as making classes credit or no credit. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE



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VOL. 54

NO. 28



Editor-in-Chief NICK MORAN Associate Editor BRIANNE KERR


Associate Editor AMY MCNEEL News Editor SEAN CAUVET


Sports Editor KELLEN VOSS Laker Life Editor YSABEL GOLDEN



Business Manager RACHEL RUTGERS Asst. Business Manager NEHEMIAH HUDGINS-LOPEZ

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


GV honors Robin Spring with excellence award BY MACKENZIE KELLER MKELLER@LANTHORN.COM

Grand Valley State University is an institution that puts its students first. Teaching excellence is something that the university puts great pride into, so it only makes sense to award those professors who go above-and-beyond on behalf of their students. On Feb. 11, GVSU hosted the 20192020 Faculty Awards Convocation Ceremony. Assistant Professor Robin Spring was awarded the Pew Teaching Excellence Award for her phenomenal work at GVSU. Though she has been a professor for the past 15 years, Spring became a fulltime tenure track assistant professor in 2014. She has just recently started the process of tenure and promotion review. The Pew Teaching Excellence Award is not an easy award to win. In order to qualify, the professor must be nominated by their department and pass through several rounds of judgement from the College level. After passing through their college, in Spring’s case the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), the nominees are forwarded to the Faculty Teaching and Learning Center, who select the recipients. Nominees are informed of their nomination and allowed to work to demonstrate why they should receive the award. It is a months-long process with a lot of waiting in between steps. Spring was informed of her nomination at the beginning of the Fall 2019 semester, but has been preemptively preparing her materials since the summer. She was informed of her finalist status in January. Getting recognized for an award at the convocation ceremony is a tremendous honor with such steep competition. “It feels wonderful to be recognized for all the effort I put into my teaching,” Spring said. “There are a lot of really great professors at GVSU, so to be rec-

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

ACCOMPLISHED: Professor Rachel Spring is honored for her hard work. COURTESY | GVSU

PRESTIGIOUS PROFESSOR: Showing off her newly-received award, Assistant Professor Robin Spring is recognized for her work with the Pew Teaching Excellence Award. COURTESY | STEVE DAMSTRA

ognized among them is quite an honor.” The Pew Teaching Excellence Award is based on specific criteria including: multiple approaches in classroom instruction and evaluation, stimulates intellectual curiosity in students, and demonstrates commitment to student learning as instructor, role model or positive influence on career development of students. The GVSU FTLC describes Spring as “innovative and energetic, and her courses incorporate design thinking and teambased learning. Of significance is her stellar leadership of the National Student Advertising Competition team, earning regional and national recognition.” Along with Spring, six other faculty members were honored with the Pew Teaching Excellence Award. The recipients come from a variety of departments, including: engineering, accounting, chemistry, geology, english, communications (Spring) and psychology.   “I just really enjoy working with young people and I think they know it,” Spring said. “I enjoy making a difference in their life if I can.  And I truly believe in the value of a strong Liberal Arts Education. Grand Valley delivers that model of education that develops the whole self, but in the end, it’s all about the people that make that happen.  In my opinion, there’s no better job in the world.” Spring enjoys trying out new teaching styles and believes that being transparent with students allows for more understanding in the classroom. Every student learns differently and she hopes that she can teach them new ways to learn.



By Athena Jasman



What will be this year’s Student Senate legacy?



Lanthorn Reviews: Biscuit TCG embodies best, worst of card game creation


I’ve had my hands on collectable card games for as long as I can remember. I started off with Pokemon, whose cards reminded me of my favorite characters on the shows I would watch and then eventually I moved on to refined Yu Gi

Oh, with darker themes and a straightforward set of rules. As a college student, I’ve picked up Magic: The Gathering for its engaging community and draft format, and even played digitally in the Tespa Hearthstone Collegiate Championship for a few semesters. Growing up playing established card games was always a joy, but seeing them evolve from their roots was bittersweet. Early in Yu Gi Oh and Hearthstone, cards were arbitrarily given power levels and lacked interesting synergies or abilities. To win, players build a deck that has a range of monster costs, niche spells and hopes to draw well. Seeing all of these games grow over my years of playing and following, there is a level of depth to most cards, with interesting abilities, unique synergies and an established power level per card cost.

This all swelled to the forefront of my mind when I had the chance to play Biscuit, a new card game made by one-man-army Bob Thrasher. I’ve been following Thrasher’s art for some time now, so when I saw that he combined that with his passion of game development, I was hooked. The first version was released August 2019 and a much stronger version was released October 2019, which included more cards and rich lore. I got my hands on three packs of 50 cards: the Abyssal, Biohazard and Stellar packs. In Biscuit, you build an army of 30 cards which include monsters and various spells. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

Communication nearly as important as medicine during COVID-19 crisis


On Monday, I decided I was going to write speculatively about the coronavirus; who might be infected, who would be in danger and

what we could do. Four days later, Michigan is in a state of emergency. This topic isn’t speculative anymore, and as it turns out, it hasn’t been for a very long time. Our government is partially to blame for this. When people needed to know the severity of this disease, our president told them not to panic. There are strategies that could have been implemented to slow the spread of the disease — use the test that Germany developed instead of making a flawed one, pass laws that would let people take sick leave — that they didn’t do, because of petty political agendas.  But criticizing the president for this, there’s no vindication in it for me. Even though his elderly supporters are, finally, the ones being put in

danger by his irresponsible behavior, they can’t even acknowledge it because of their faith in our president. I’m fully aware that this isn’t the end of the world, but the nihilism that COVID-19 is prompting is almost suffocating. Movie releases are being delayed, conventions are being canceled, people are staying home; it’s like America is holding its breath, just waiting for it to be over.  And that brings me to my point, or at least what I think is the weirdest thing about this pandemic: the cancelations. Some of the very first people to take action against COVID-19 were private companies. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

ollowing the movement of classes from in-person to online, Student Senate has had to suspend general assemblies for the rest of the year, table all major discussions and resolutions, and put a hold on elections, extending everyone’s terms into next year. With that, it only feels appropriate to discuss the legacy of Senate now, as it seems that, just like many sports teams here as well, their season has been cut short. So, what is there to say about Student Senate this year? Ultimately, the legacy of the 2019-20 student senate will be synonymous with the legacy of the U.S. congress over the last few years. The congress has been criticized more than a few times for worrying about their image and reputation rather than making actual change happen. That summarizes this school year’s Senate body almost perfectly.  Student Senate spent weeks in the limelight flipping back and forth over whether or not the Pledge of Allegiance should be included in their agenda. After weeks of news coverage, guests filling meeting galleries and switching their position over and over, nothing changed. The Pledge was in place before and it remained in place after.  When the Lanthorn was facing national coverage over former offensive coordinator Morris Berger’s comments, Senate spent almost an hour and a half during their general assembly to argue over whether or not to make a statement of support against institutional attempts to remove those comments. Despite several senators reaching out personally, many

were afraid to support a student organization. Nothing was done. After allegations arose against former student senator Dorian Thompson, who was removed from his board position at the Michigan Federation of College Republicans due to sexual assault allegations, Student Senate stayed quiet. They refused to denounce the actions of their former senator. With a history of supporting students, it should have been easy to stand by the survivors and at the very least issue a statement supporting them. Over the past several years, the Lanthorn has covered the campus-changing decisions that these young politicians have made, no matter how it made them look. When there are actions that support students — such as providing menstrual health products around campus free of charge — we look forward to sharing these resources with students. This is the good work that Senate has done, but it is often clouded. But more and more each day, GVSU’s Student Senate appears to be pushing papers to uphold the guise of progress, while twiddling their thumbs when the opportunity to do something small, but impactful arises. With that, Senate has fumbled the ball on what could have been easy touchdown runs, and only to their detriment. Until Student Student stops letting their PR team run their organization for them and focus on tangible legislation for their constituents, they will only distance themselves from the student body that they so desperately say they want to connect with. Both students and Student Senate deserve better.

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

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





CreateAthon cancellation ‘heartbreaking’ for GrandPR BY JANE JOHNSTON NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

The CreateAthon, the biggest event of the year for Grand Valley State University’s student-run PR firm, GrandPR, was scheduled to be held last weekend. Members of the firm were gearing up to create advertisement campaigns for six different Grand Rapids nonprofits in under 24 hours. Students like junior Kady Volmering have been planning for it all semester. “I’m definitely looking forward to seeing and being with all my friends for 24 hours,” Volmering said on March 11. “GrandPR is filled with such creative and smart students that pretty much can tackle anything.” Just hours later, the team had to tackle something they never would have dreamed of. Later that day, GVSU made the decision to follow suit with public universities across the state and make the switch to remote learning due to the spread of COVID-19. Students were told to pack up their bags and go home if they were able, and events across campus were cancelled in order to practice social distancing. CreateAthon was one of those events. “It’s pretty heartbreaking,” Volmering said in a text message. “We all worked so hard on planning this event and dedicated a lot of hours to making it the best it could be.”

The CEO of GrandPR, senior Emily Gagnon, said this decision was not taken lightly. “Within an hour of the university closing, we had roundtable discussions with members of our leadership team and our advisor to devise a crisis response of our own and to create a strategy for all of our activities based on the information we had at hand considering a multitude of variables,” said Gagnon via email. Ultimately, they felt it was in everyone’s best interest to cancel the event. Gagnon gave credit to GrandPR’s members who were “supportive and understanding” of the decision. “As public relations students, we are trained to be flexible, proactive and adapt to issues as they arise,” Gagnon said. This was the third consecutive year GrandPR, which formed in 2007, was chosen to host a CreateAthon, the likes of which are hosted across the country by different public relations firms. Student-run firms are rarely chosen to be a part of the event and Volmering would have been participating for the first time. “Basically,” Volmering said, “it’s just about getting that experience, being a part of CreateAthon... and giving back to the community that we’re a part of.” Gagnon said the six non-profits the team had planned on creating campaigns for pro-bono have been understanding of the circumstances.

LOCAL COMMUNITY: In previous years, CreatAthon students have created advertisement campaigns for a variety of local nonprofits, including GRPL, Ele’s Place and Kids’ Food Basket. COURTESY | GVSU

“We want to honor our commitment to these organizations,” Gagnon said, saying that they’ll reach out to the organizations again next year. In the meantime, GrandPR isn’t slowing down. They plan on continuing to work on other projects, including ones with GVSU’s

Disability Support Resources, 77 IdeaLab and the Student Success Network. “While we are disappointed that we are unable to work with our amazing clients, this has left us more prepared and ready to hit the ground running for CreateAthon 2021,” Gagnon said.


Rev. Jesse Jackson endorses Bernie Sanders at Grand Rapids Rally BY NATHAN SLAUER NSLAUER@LANTHORN.COM

The Rev. Jesse Jackson announced his support for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president during a rally in Grand Rapids on Sunday, March 8. Several thousand audience members cheered when Jackson arrived to deliver his speech in downtown Calder Plaza. Jackson, a clergyman, became the second African-American to mount a nationwide run for president of the United States when he announced his candidacy in 1983. The civil rights icon rose to prominence by working with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and founding Operation People United to Save Humanity, an organization that promoted black self-help and organized boycotts. During his remarks, Jackson praised Sanders for his lifelong advocacy for civil rights and empowering minority communities. “When we’re together, everybody wins,” Jackson said. “Everybody in, nobody out.” Additional guest speakers included former Michigan gubernatorial candidate Abdul ElSayed, former U.S. Senator Don Riegle and former United Auto Workers President Bob King. When Sanders took the stage, he described how the Rainbow Coalition, a multiracial movement founded by Jackson in 1969, paved the way for Barack Obama to become the first African-American president of the

United States. Sanders expressed his desire to build upon Jesse’s legacy by fighting against all forms of discrimination. “Now what Jesse Jackson has spent his whole life talking about and that I believe is that campaigns like this are not about me, they’re about us,” Sanders said. “This campaign is of course about a presidential election, but it’s about more than that. It’s about creating a movement.” In a wide-ranging speech, Sanders promoted universal health care, criminal justice reform and a national $15 minimum wage. Underlying these policies was a call for people of all racial and socioeconomic backgrounds to unify in favor of a progressive platform and defeating President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. “How do we unify the American people?” Sanders said. “I’ll tell you how. You give them an agenda that all working people support. Sanders expressed confidence in his campaign’s ability to win Michigan and recapture the momentum that propelled him to victory against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic Primary. “Back in 1988, Jesse Jackson won this state,” Sanders said. “In 2016, I won this state. On Tuesday, if we stick together, we’re going to win it again.” LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE







WHERE DO WE RECYCLE? All housing living center units and academic buildings! Laker Village, Ravines, and Grand Valley Apartments have multi bins in their parking lots.

FEBRUARY 2 - MARCH 28 The GVSU Recycling Program was created to allow our campus the opportunity to recycle many commonly used disposable items. This not only keeps materials out of the land fill, but also saves energy and raw materials in the manufacturing of new products


COVID-19 crisis sh

Classes, facilities, athletics all affec


Grand Valley State University has cancelled all classes March 12-15 due to COVID-19, or the “coronavirus.” The University has also announced that March 16-29, all classes will be digital, with face-to-face classes cancelled, following suit with other universities in the state and around the country. In an announcement made by the University to the community, President Philomena Mantella said GVSU will be updating its website as it works with local health officials and new information arises. Information can be found at www. “We are taking this step for the well-being of our community, and have procedures in place to support students with their courses, and faculty and staff with their work,” Mantella said in the campus-wide email. “This virus demands we remain alert and make constant adjustments to our plans, and we will update our community as needed.” All students should return to their permanent places of residence if possible, according to the email. GVSU Housing will offer support as needed if students need assistance and fees collected for those living on campus or have meals plans “will be adjusted as appropriate,”

according to the email. The University has not closed campus for employees, but the Office of the Provost will be contacting faculty on online teaching resources. Staff members will be expected to continue to work. Student employees should reach out to their supervisors. GVSU is also barring events that contain over 100 attendees, including those organized by outside groups, through March 29. Additionally, GVSU-sponsored international travel is banned and domestic travel is discouraged through March 30. Throughout the week, various parts of the campus community have been af-

fected, with resources like the Tutoring Center preparing for online sessions and various study abroad programs being cancelled through the summer. Events on campus have also been cancelled, such as Student Senate’s Thursday general assembly and the Frederick Meijer Honors College’s March 12 Lecture Series event among others. With this announcement, GVSU joins Central Michigan University, Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Michigan Technological University and Oakland University in moving classes online. Wayne State University has cancelled classed through March 23, extending Spring Break for its students.

Cancellations sweep university BY NICK MORAN EDITORIAL@LANTHORN.COM

Grand Valley State University administrators provided more information to the Lanthorn regarding on-campus cancellations. These cancellations are spanning from classes to on-campus events to facilities. Effective immediately, Provost Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Maria Cimitile said some campus dining locations will remain open (including Kirkhof ’s Lobby Shop, Kleiner, The Common’s Fresh Food and The Connection in Allendale, and The DeVos Center’s Plaza Cafe on the Pew Campus), as well as the University’s libraries. Cim-

itile said that student employees on work study should contact their supervisors. As of March 12, students living on campus are feeling one of the largest effects, which was the news that Housing & Residence Life were closing residential buildings by Sunday, March 15. In doing so, these students were told to either return to their permanent residences or fill out a request form to stay on campus due to extenuating circumstances. As of the morning of March 12, President Philomena Mantella told the Lanthorn that there were approximately 500 students who requested to stay on campus. Also feeling special pressure from the shift to online classes are members of

nursing, health or science majors, whose in-person labs are not easily transferable to online education. Cimitile said that deans in each of those colleges are still exploring the best ways to teach those classes. Those conversations are reflective of university-wide planning for a shift to digital classes. Cimitile said that all faculty have experience with Blackboard, but those who need additional training in online education are taking intensive lessons March 12-13. “Our faculty care deeply about the quality of the education of our students and I am confident they will do everything they can to ensure a smooth tran-

sition to an online format for students,” Cimitile said. The University’s latest update on cancellations includes large-scale events planned throughout March. These events include: The West Michigan Healthcare Ethics Conference and the DeVos Medical Ethics Colloquy scheduled for March 16 at the Eberhard Center, The Michigan Humanities’ Great Michigan Read with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, sponsored by GVSU’s Kutsche Office of Local History and Grand Rapids Public Library, scheduled for March 24 at the DeVos Center, and The Region 12 Science Olympiad Tournament scheduled for March 28 on the Allendale Campus.


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COVID-19 Due to increased severity of Influenza and COVID-19, Metro Health is encouraging patients to call their healthcare provider if experiencing related symptoms. IF YOUR SYMPTOMS ARE LIFE-THREATENING, CALL 911. SYMPTOMS INCLUDE: Fever Cough Difficulty Breathing

GVSU CAMPUS HEALTH CENTER 10383 42nd Ave Allendale, MI 49401

616.252.6030 METRO HEALTH ALLENDALE 11160 W.J. Presley Parkway Allendale, MI 49401



Coming to the end of Winter semester with registration on the horizon, a lot of students will be needing guidance to put together a schedule that keeps them on track for their academic goals. With COVID-19 putting Grand Valley State University online, however, students can no longer walk in to the CLAS Academic Advising Center to get the help they require. Fortunately, those who still want to make an appointment while the university is under social distancing protocols can go to or call their office at 616-331-8585 to schedule a virtual or phone conversation with an advisor. Students aren’t required to have or use a webcam during online appointments. If your questions pertain to the new Banner Registration system, try consulting the info page at


GVSU students were required to vacate their on-campus residence Sunday, March 15 unless they applied (and were approved) for a departure exemption request. As permission to remain in on-campus housing was given only for specific circumstances on a case-by-case basis, the majority of the campus population may have found themselves rushing out the door before their Sunday deadline. Thankfully, if a student realizes that they’ve left behind an important belonging, or a book they thought was unnecessary has suddenly become required for a class, there’s still an option for retrieval. Even though unapproved students no longer have access to their housing units, students who need to schedule an appointment to get back inside can contact Housing and Resident Life at or 616-331-2120 to find a time when they can return to campus.


Everyone and their mother seems to be stocking up on food and basic household needs to prepare for social distancing, but doctors are recommending that Americans prioritize a few other purchases. As COVID-19 germs can be destroyed by almost any soap or household cleaner, it’s a good idea to stock up on disinfectants that you can use to clean any frequently-touched household surfaces. For those with at-risk family members who are feeling extra cautious, a solution of nine parts water and one part bleach works especially well. In addition, if someone in your household does contract COVID-19, you’ll want to have both acetaminophen (Tylenol and generic) and ibuprofen (Advil and generic) available. Alternating doses between these two medications is a safer and more effective method to treat fevers and body aches, the primary symptoms of COVID-19.



Sawyer makes its way to Area 51 for CAB’s Coffee House Concert BY MARY RACETTE ARTS@LANTHORN.COM

The Campus Activity Board (CAB) held one last event for students before classes went online. On the night of March 11, The Coffee House Series featured Nashville-based, girlduo Sawyer in Kirkhof Center’s Area 51. After receiving positive feedback from the previous Coffee House Concert with Drakeford, CAB’s Director of Live Music Terry Jones said that CAB decided to keep much of the event the same as last time. They once again provided donuts, hot chocolate and coffee for students who wanted to relax and enjoy music in a coffee house setting.  CAB booked Sawyer through the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA), the same organization they used to find Drakeford. “I thought it would be so nice to have a girl-duo band come because we’ve never had an all-female band before,” said Jones. Musical soulmates Emma Harvey and Kel Taylor were both songwriting majors at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee when they became friends and started making music together. They said one of the defining things that really brought them together and fueled their songwriting was when they both broke up with their boyfriends on the same day. They continued to collaborate and write together, and about a year later,

CONCERT BEFORE CLOSING: Students were able to attend one last event before the temporary campus shut down, joined by two Tenessee musicians in Area 51. GVL | MEGHAN LANDGREN

they started Sawyer. Harvey and Taylor said that their friendship is a foundational part of their band. While they claim to be opposites, their personality and musical differences bring new twists to their sound, which work together to complement one another. Taylor said that her specialty is primarily in lyric writing while Harvey, who she describes as a “guitar wizard,” is skilled in writ-

ing music. While it is different for every song, the two often come together with their own ideas and develop it into a song. Sometimes this process takes a day, but sometimes it takes three weeks. They also collaborate with other people often and write with them. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


Increasing levels of sleep deprivation challenge many college students   BY AUTUMN BABAS LAKERLIFE@LANTHORN.COM

In recent years, a large percentage of Grand Valley State University’s student population has struggled to reach the necessary hours of sleep. An important determinant of overall health is getting the adequate amount of sleep — and if you aren’t, using

REST: Sleep is an important factor in overall wellness for students. GVL | AUTUMN BABAS

the correct techniques to solve the problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults aged 18 to 60 years old need to be getting seven or more hours of sleep every night — something college students aren’t getting. Stress, anxiety, depression and tobacco use are just some of many major influences on how effective a college student can sleep at night. “There are three main “P’s” when it comes to the main causes of insomnia,” said Kelly Waters, Doctor and board-certified Neurologist of Spectrum Health Hospital. “There are predisposing factors, precipitating factors and lastly perpetuating factors.” According to Waters, one predisposing factor could be someone who is high strung or experiencing high stress levels. One precipitating factor could be worrying about aspects of our lives, such as a big test coming up. She describes perpetuating factors as spending too

much time awake in bed or having the lights on late at night, stimulating the brain to stay awake. Not having a specific time and steady schedule going to bed and waking up can prevent an individual from having a healthy rhythm that their bodies are used to. “My classes start at different times every other day, so it’s hard to get the same amount of sleep every night,” said GVSU junior, Alina Pasternak. Other common struggles that Waters sees is students staying up too late to finish assignments along with heavy work loads. Focusing attention on finishing assignments and not on creating healthy sleeping habits can lead directly to sleep deprivation. “I struggle with getting seven or more hours of sleep at night,” Hannah Swain said. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE





GVSU SENIOR SWIMMER NCAA 3-METER DIVING CHAMPIONSHIP FOLLOWING ONE DAY OF COMPETITION Grand Valley State University senior Mikayla Karasek dominated for the Lakers on the opening day at the 2020 NCAA DII Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships in Geneva, Ohio when she moved up five spots in the evening finals to claim the National Championship on the 3-meter board with a score of 473.50.

GLIAC NAMES 108 STUDENT ATHLETES TO ALL-ACADEMIC TEAMS Grand Valley State student-athletes have earned a combined 108 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) All-Academic and All-Excellence honors for the winter 2020 semester, as released by the league office on Thursday, March 12. A total of 644 student-athletes were honored by the conference. Any student-athlete who is an active member on the roster, not a freshman or first-year transfer student is eligible to receive honors. The All-Academic Team is comprised of student-athletes who placed a cumulative 3.0-3.49 grade point average, while the All-Excellence Team is made up of student-athletes who have a cumulative 3.5-4.0 GPA.


Announced earlier this week, the Grand Valley State women’s basketball team was properly awarded for their successful season. Senior Cassidy Boensch was named to the D2CCA First-Team for the All-Midwest region in addition to being honored as the CoSIDA Academic All-American of the year. Boensch’s teammates were honored for their hard work as well, as Boensch was joined on the All-GLIAC First Team by senior guard Jenn DeBoer and senior forward Maddie Dailey, while Boensch, Dailey, senior guard Victoria Hedemark and senior guard Taryn Taugher were named to the GLIAC AllDefensive Team. The GVSU women’s basketball team also proved to be dominant in the classroom this season, as four women were named to the All-Academic team and seven women were honored with GLIAC All-Academic excellence


In addition to be named to the GLIAC first-team, junior Jake Van Tubbergen was also named First-Team All-Region on Friday. Van Tubbergen wasn’t the only Laker with All-GLIAC honors, as senior Jeremiah Ferguson and junior Christian Negron were both named to the GLIAC Second Team. After leading the GLIAC in blocks per game, Negron was also named to the GLIAC All-Defensive Team. The Lakers had an outstanding year off the court as well, with sophomore Luke Hyde (film & video), junior Steven Lloyd (finance) and senior Ben Lubitz (nursing) all being honored as part of the GLIAC AllAcademic team.

SPREAD YOUR WINGS: The swimming and diving team had its season cut short due to COVID-19, as they were forced to stop competing in the middle of the NCAA Championship. More than 17 GV swimmers and divers made the cut to compete, but many didn’t get the chance. GVL | KATHERINE VASIL

GVSU Baseball, Swimming & Diving reacts to COVID-19 BY ZACK GOODROW ZGOODROW@LANTHORN.COM

Many spring sports athletes at Grand Valley State University heard extremely dire news early last week. With the news of GVSU’s classes cancelling and moving online to the end of the month, many university events were cancelled as well. GVSU suspended sports, too, including women’s lacrosse, softball, baseball and others. This is extremely disappointing news for everyone involved. This not only affects the players who have dedicated parts of their lives to the sports they love, but also the coaches who have put all of their efforts into their teams this season. The decisions made by GVSU and the NCAA were taken into exceptional consideration. They were not easy decisions to make but they were appropriate to making sure the student body and athletes are safer for spreading this new virus. Most coaches and players understand the decision needed to be made, but it is still painful nonetheless.  “To invest as many hours physically, mentally and emotionally as our players and coaches invest into the entire body of work leaves a very empty and incomplete feeling,” said GVSU baseball coach Jamie Detillion. “It’s what we work for twelve months out of the year whether guys are on campus or at home on their own. The games in large part, complete the experience. Let me say this though, the top priority is everyone’s health so there is zero intention of downplaying the potential impact this virus could have. It has created such an abnormal experience and has escalated so quickly to fully comprehend yet.” GVSU seniors are arguably affected the most by the cancellation of games.

These athletes have given their college experiences to their respective sports and potentially will never play again. Earlier games that have happened this season may have been their last. “It’s tough that the season ended on such short notice especially after the hot start we’ve had,” said senior infielder Anthony Cocco. “Now we are left with a lot of unanswered questions about the future and wondering what could have come from the early success in the season. We were extremely disappointed by the news. We worked hard all fall and winter to prepare us for our season.” GVSU’s baseball team was off to a hot start. The team had an 11-4 record and were second in the GLIAC conference. The team was full of potential and could have won the GLIAC, but now fans and players will have to wait and see if the season even gets to that point. The baseball team was well underway in their season and it’s painful to see it come to a halt. It’s arguably more heart wrenching to see a team suspend play after the season has barely started. GVSU’s women’s lacrosse team was 3-1 and on their way to another highly successful season. The team made it all the way to the GLIAC championship last season and had a lot of hope for a 2020 revenge tour. Some teams had cancelations mid-events. The GVSU swimming and diving team was forced to stop competing in the middle of the NCAA championship. The team had worked tirelessly all season to reach this point. More than 17 swimmers and divers made the national cut to compete, and many of them didn’t even get the chance. After the men’s team won the GLIAC championship, it was disappointing to many players to see the season end so abruptly. 

“I am really upset about this whole situation,” said sophomore Jesse Goodyear. “Everyone on our team was extremely upset and frustrated that all the hard work and effort they had put in to not only swim, but to just even qualify for the championships. It felt as if it was for nothing now. I only got to compete in the 1,000-yard freestyle and didn’t get to swim my main event, the 1,650, where I was seated third. I really wish I got to race it as I felt good and ready for it but I guess I’ll just have to bring all I’ve got next time.” The event cancelling was also the last time seniors on the team would compete. “The team was very disappointed upon this decision to cancel the meet, we had seniors incredibly upset and that their last ever swim meet was cancelled so abruptly and others that really wanted to race and give it their all,” Goodyear said. “Overall, in the perspective of the NCAA this decision had to be made but from my eyes I really wish they continued the meet for the remaining two days as everyone at the meet had been together with each other for five days beforehand.”  Sports and class cancellation have also affected international students. With the virus outbreak, President Donald Trump has banned travel in and out of the European Union. It will be difficult for international athletes and students to go home and see their families while this crisis runs its course.  “I will be flying home on Monday back to Australia before my government begins bans on traveling into the country,” Goodyear said. “Many internationals on our team are going or on their way home already, all just adding to a disappointing end to the season and semester.”



Men’s Basketball reflects on successful 2019-20 season BY KELLEN VOSS SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM

Following a GLIAC semi-final loss to the Michigan Tech Huskies, GVSU Men’s Basketball was in bittersweet spirits. While they knew they may have just played their final collegiate basketball game, they were confident that they would get an at-large bid in the DII NCAA tournament, since they were ranked fourth out of eight Midwest teams slotted to compete in March. “It’s hard to imagine this is it,” Wesley said in last weekend’s post-game press conference. “To win the (GLIAC) South division, to get to the semifinal in the conference tournament, the number of wins we had — if that’s not good enough to get a bid, then our league needs to think long and hard about what we’re doing. I would argue Ferris, us and Michigan Tech are some of the top 64 teams in the country. I don’t think this is the end for us.” Much to the surprise of the GVSU men’s basketball team and those who follow them, when the bracket was revealed late Sunday night prior to the cancellations due to concerns of COVID-19, the Lakers were left with-

out a seat at the table and no room on the floor at the big dance. Despite the shocking ending, the 2019-20 season for GVSU basketball has a lot of positive takeaways. The awards came flying in for GVSU basketball players last week, with junior Jake Van Tubbergen earning an all-GLIAC first team and senior Jeremiah Ferguson and junior Christian Negron earning spots on the all-conference second team. Negron also was awarded for his defensive prowess, as the GLIAC leader in blocks per game (2.6) also earned a bid on the GLIAC all-defensive team. Those all-conference were not the only honors that Van Tubbergen took home, as he brought home the hardware with a spot on first team All-Region announced on Tuesday. The Holland, Michigan native led all Lakers with 18.1 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game. The Lakers were also dominant in the classroom as three Lakers — sophomore Luke Hyde (Film & Video major), junior Steven Lloyd (Finance) and senior Ben Lubitz (Nursing) — were all named academic All-Americans by the GLIAC on Thursday. While Lubitz should be honored to re-

HOPS: The GVSU men’s basketball team had a shorter season than predicted, as the team was not given a bid in the DII NCAA tournament following a successful season. GVL | KATHERINE VASILE

ceive the award, it sunk in for seniors Lubitz, Ferguson and Jayden Hodgson after last Saturday’s loss that they may have played their last college basketball game ever. “Right now it’s a bittersweet feeling — it doesn’t feel like our season is over,” Hodgson said following the Michigan Tech loss. “That

was the championship game for the GLIAC in my opinion, it doesn’t feel like the season is over with yet with the reality hitting that our season could be done. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


GVSU Women’s Basketball’s most successful class has final season come to abrupt end ELI ONG EONG@LANTHORN.COM

As of Thursday, Mar. 12, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors have canceled all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships effective immediately. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, the NCAA’s ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities. This, of course, marked an abrupt end to the illustrious career of Grand Valley State University’s women’s basketball’s senior class. Seniors Cassidy Boensch, Jenn DeBoer, Maddie Dailey, Victoria Hedemark, Jenai LaPorte, Meghan Belke, and grad transfer Taryn Taugher played their final game against Ashland University on Sunday, Mar. 8 and registered their last win, a program record 107th victory, against Wayne State the previous day on Mar. 7. The Lakers could have added on to their career record in wins against first round opponent and conference rival, Ferris State, in the first round of the Midwest Regional in the NCAA tournament last Friday, Mar. 13. But ultimately,

the opportunity to earn their 108th win and tie GVSU’s highest win total in the last four years (29) was rescinded in hopes of putting the athletes’ and fans’ health and safety first. In addition to the cancellation of the 2020 winter championships, the NCAA has also canceled its 2020 spring championship slate as well. Upon the announcement by the NCAA, GVSU also canceled the entirety of its spring sports schedule due to rising concerns surrounding the spread of the COVID-19. The announcement came unilaterally with the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, who in consultation with the Council of Presidents and athletic directors, also canceled all athletically-related activity through May 31, 2020. During this unprecedented world-wide fight against the COVID-19 threat, the GLIAC stated that they support national and NCAA efforts to protect student-athletes, coaches, fans and communities. GVSU’s spring sports include baseball, softball, men’s and women’s track and field, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s Lacrosse. This cancellation runs parallel with numerous other professional and collegiate

sports cancellations and suspensions taking place across the country as the United States continues to try to stymie the spread of COVID-19. The GVSU athletic department will seek to reassess conditions surrounding the Coronavirus outbreak after May 31 and whether or not they will make any further cancellations in regards to athletic competitions in the near future.

BITTERSWEET: COVID-19 put an abrupt end to the basketball season. GVL | BENJAMIN HUNT




Promising GVSU Softball season cut short due to COVID-19 BY ROSEMARY BOOHER RBOOHER@LANTHORN.COM

Grand Valley State Softball’s season has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus, also known as the “coronavirus,” putting an end to a promising softball season for the Lakers. Although the season had just begun, the Lakers showed signs of having another successful season.  One of the reasons for their budding success was junior Nikoma Holmen. Holmen, a Wyoming, Michigan native, after playing in just 16 games this season had already started to accumulate impressive statistics, especially while up to bat. She has a batting average of .448 and has had 58 total at bats this season, 28 hits, 17 RBIs and scored 10 runs herself. While she has been a major leader and source of points for the Lakers, she is not alone in her success while on the bases. Another leader for GVSU was sophomore Lydia Goble, and she too has been a major driving force for the Lakers while batting. She has had 41 at bats and has also tallied a .463 batting average, as well as 19 hits, 14 RBIs and 13 runs scored herself. 

Goble is accompanied by junior Taylor Rieger, who also has been a force to be reckoned with this season. Her batting average was .438 while she has had 48 at bats 21 of which resulted in hits, she has bit 18 RBIs, and has scored 18 runs. These three players were a major reason why GVSU had gotten such a fast start of the season, the team had an overall record of 13-3 but had yet to get into any conference matchups. During their spring trip the Lakers played 12 games and had only lost their first down in Florida where the tournament was held. They held a winning streak of 11 and a percent of .812 overall for the season.  The Lakers had big shoes to fill this season and wished to follow in the footsteps of the ones that came before them. The previous season GVSU had an overall record of 51-10 with a pct of .836, a conference record of 24-6 with a pct of .800, and had even made it into the College World Series.  Now, the Lakers will not get the chance to raise to the level that they had last year despite their explosive start to the season.

SWING BATTER, BATTER: GVSU’s softball season was cut short due to COVID-19. The team, although early in their season, was shaping up to have a successful run this season. GVL | KATHERINE VASILE


NCAA cancels track & field GLIAC Championship meet last minute amidst COVID-19 outbreak BY HOLLY BIHLMAN HBIHLMAN@LANTHORN.COM

THE END: The GLIAC track and field Championship was canceled. GVL | BENJAMIN HUNT

As the Grand Valley State track & field team was preparing for their highly anticipated GLIAC Championship meet in Birmingham, Alabama, the NCAA called off all events, leaving the student athletes in complete dismay and heartbreak. The week leading up to the meet was filled with excitement and confidence as the women’s track and field team was ranked No. 1 in the nation, but ended in severe disappointment for the seniors on the team that will never get another opportunity to compete for GVSU after this season. The athletes have all managed to remain healthy and safe, but taking a mental break after the shocking weekend and a long season. The outdoor track and field season has been suspended as well, meaning the students will no longer be competing for the rest of the 2019-2020 season.  John Groendyk, a sophomore on the team, gave some insight as to the events that occurred in Alabama this past week, saying that the first sign of the COVID-19 having

an effect on their meet was when the banquet was canceled on Thursday. Following this announcement, the directors of the meet decided that there would be no audience, just the athletes and coaches which for most families traveling for this event was crushing as well as inconvenient due to travel arrangements. The night before the first day of the meet on Friday, the GVSU athletes were fully prepared to run and actually made it to the pre-meet before they were informed the entire meet was canceled the day of. “At that point, there was a lot of questions in our head like, ‘Are we even going to run this,’ which was quickly diffused to a no, the meet is over, even though we had been exposed to all the athletes the previous days,” Groendyk said. “Because the NCAA shut down we couldn’t run the meet. It was a very sad night for the seniors because they came here to compete, the girls were ranked number one, we thought we were going to take home a couple trophies, and a bunch of us just felt robbed.”  Groendyk summed up the difference in energy throughout the week.

“I’ll put it this way: when we got on the plane to go there we were all confident because we knew that we were ready for it,” Groendyk said. “The return trip home, I mean, complete devastation and just felt like something was taken away from us.” Despite the harsh and abrupt turn of emotions, the team members found a lot of strength and leadership during this tough time and relied on each other for support, trying their best to leave the championship on a more positive note. Sarah Beulla, a graduate student at GVSU, was one of the seniors that felt utterly devastated by this news considering she won’t be eligible for the next season. However, she explained that after the news broke, the sense of family and togetherness helped them get through the heartbreak.  “Our head coach does a really good job of remaining positive and he said to look at the bigger picture,” Beulla said. “This is bigger than us.” LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE



GIVE AND GO: Senior guard Jeremiah Ferguson (center) passes the ball to fellow senior guard Jayden Hodgson (13) and looks to make a cut towards the basket at the GVSU Fieldhouse. Ferguson, Hodgson and fellow senior Ben Lubitz saw their collgiate careers come to an abrupt ending last week when they were surprisingly not given a spot in the NCAA DII tournament bracket. GVL | KATHERILE VASILE

GVSU Men’s Basketball being left off DII NCAA tournament bracket is blasphemous BY KELLEN VOSS SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM

Following Saturday’s GLIAC semifinal loss to Michigan Tech, in the middle of junior Christian Negron’s response to how he would remember this season if the team didn’t get a postseason bid, Grand Valley State coach Ric Wesley interjected. “It’s hard to imagine this is it,” Wesley said. “To win the (GLIAC) South division, to get to the semifinal in the conference tournament, the number of wins we had — if that’s not good enough to get a bid, then our league needs to think long and hard about what we’re doing. I would argue Ferris, us and Michigan Tech are on of the top 64 teams in the country. I don’t think this is the end for us.” Much to the surprise of Wesley and the rest of the GVSU men’s basketball team, when the NCAA revealed the DII bracket last night, March 9, only two GLIAC teams were included: Ferris State and Michigan Tech. It felt like a mistake. It felt like a misprint. Upon seeing the bracket and after uttering a few choice four-letter words, I wanted to call the NCAA personally to question their judgement. I had the pleasure of covering this team all season long. This was one of the most talented basketball teams that I had ever watched, full of skilled players and brilliant, strategic minds in the coaching staff that combined for one of the more successful seasons in recent program history. 23 wins. A GLIAC South Division title. A GLIAC tournament semifinal fin-

ish. The seventh toughest schedule in DII. A consistent top-25 ranking. Two wins against teams who made it into the Midwest region by a combined margin of 21 points. That’s a pretty formidable resume if you ask me. And to add insult to injury, the Lakers were ranked fourth in the latest Midwest region ranking last week. I guess a single loss to one of the nation’s hottest teams in Michigan Tech was enough to drop GVSU from the bracket entirely. Following the news, GVSU assistant coach Taylor Johnson tweeted out that he will never forget this team, and I couldn’t agree more. This was a talented group of classy guys lead by wise veteran seniors, talented juniors who racked up all-conference awards and young players ready for a starting role in the next few years. They deserved more basketball, and definitely didn’t deserve this blasphemy. As Wesley echoed in that post-game press conference, the NCAA DII tournament committee needs to think long and hard about what they are doing. Leaving a talented team like GVSU off the bracket entirely is an absolute joke, and is another edition to the laundry list of reasons as to why the NCAA continues to be one of the most inept organizations in the world. To wrap a bow on the 2019-20 men’s basketball team, they were always a joy to watch and were a consistent force all season long. This has to be bulletin-board material for next year’s, as freshman Jett Fortuny has already tweeted about a revenge tour. Next year’s GVSU basketball team should have one mission: prove the

DRIBBLING WITH A PURPOSE: Grand Valley State junior point guard John Slater drives into the lane with his left hand and looks to score at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena. GVL | MEGHAN LANDGREN

NCAA that they were wrong once again, and earn more postseason basketball to get justice for this year’s seniors in Jayden Hodgson, Ben Lubitz and Jeremiah Ferguson, who all had their Laker careers prematurely cut short.

GVSU has put the rest of the DII basketball world on notice, as they will be playing next season with a colossal chip on their shoulder. You’ve been warned, @GLIAC. #RevengeTour2020

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Issue 28, March 16, 2020 - Grand Valley Lanthorn  

Issue 28, March 16, 2020 - Grand Valley Lanthorn