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G R A N D VA L L E Y L A N T H O R N

GV reveals new campus health initiatives Antigen rapid testing available on campus

Cooking with GV’s new dietician HEALTH | A2

GV Women’s Basketball ends three-game losing streak SPORTS | A12

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

@ GV L A N T H O R N

LANTHORN.COM


A2 | NEWS NEWS BRIEFS GV COVID-19 CAMPUS DATA UPDATE

The GVSU community has had a cumulative total of 2,382 COVID-19 cases since Aug. 1. The university’s update for this brief was from Friday, Feb. 26.   Through testing results this past week, GVSU’s Virus Action team have so far reported 24 current active cases including 1 faculty member, 3 staff members, 3 on-campus students, 7 “off-campus Ottawa” students, 9 “off-campus Kent” students and 1 “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 55,315 tests overall since August 21, for a cumulative positivity rate of 1.47% 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.

THE VIRUS ACTION TEAM DISCUSSES THE COVID-19 VACCINE

Representatives from the GVSU Virus Action Team and the Ottawa County Health Department came together Feb. 23 through Zoom to hold a panel discussion about the University’s plan for the vaccine. Panelists were not able to give a timeline on a COVID-19 vaccine clinic on campus but they encouraged community members to register for a vaccine in any way that is available to them. Once available, GVSU plans to offer the vaccine at clinics which will be first-come, first-served. They also laid out tentative plans for Fall 2021. At this point, the University said they do not plan to make the vaccine mandatory for the GVSU community, however, they said they will make their decisions based on advice from health experts. The University also plans to return to faceto-face learning in the fall, but they are prepared to “pivot” if needed. They aim to make Fall 2021 feel more like pre-COVID, but if necessary they will model the semester after Fall 2020 operations. 

CAMPUS

Student survey results show little drop off in satisfaction between in-person, virtual learning BY TREVOR HUBERT NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

College students across the country are now approaching a full year of learning under lockdown. Some students took the changes in stride, while others have voiced their displeasure with virtual education. Every student has their own unique method to be effectively educated, but student survey data does not show a major dropoff in student satisfaction. According to data obtained by GVSU’s Office of Institutional Analysis, LIFT survey results from fall 2019 and fall 2020 have minimal differences for the university as a whole. Data from winter 2020 is not available, as surveys were not given to students at the end of the semester.  Typically, the questionnaires are given out to every class at the end of each semester. It gives professors and university departments insight into what they can do to improve quality of life and learning in the classroom. Because the surveys are voluntary, they are highly dependent on student participation. Questions are scored on a scale of zero to five, with five being “excellent” and zero being “very poor”.  The average overall rating of all classes at Grand Valley in fall 2019 was 3.84, making the average class somewhere between “good” and “very good”. This number had little to no drop-off in the winter of 2020, with the overall average sitting at 3.80.  “Given the huge disruption in course de-

ONLINE: GVSU’S Office of Institutional Analysis utilized semester LIFT surveys to discern how online learning, hybrid, and in-person classes have impacted student success on campus. COURTESY | GVSU

livery methods, I think it’s remarkable how little the scores have changed,” OIA Director Philip Batty said via email. One area where students still seem to be satisfied is the content of the courses they are taking. The “course content” question on the survey produced a score of 3.78 for both semesters, making it the only section of the survey that saw no decrease in average rating between years. Batty said that the most drop-off for one section was seen in students’ perception of

their professors. The question regarding “instructor’s contribution to the course” dropped from 3.99 to 3.91 between years. Even with this decrease, this question was still the highest scoring out of any of the four included in the survey. There was no question that scored an average under 3.70 for either semester, showing that students at the university are generally satisfied with their education. LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

HEALTH

Cooking with GV’s new dietitian BY MACKENZIE KELLER NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

LOCAL BUSINESSWOMEN TALK ABOUT RESOURCES FOR WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES

Tuesday, March 2, students are invited to learn more about the funding resources that are available for women-owned businesses. The webinar “Entrepreneur’s Toolbox: Funding Resources for WomenOwned Businesses” will be offered for free from 10 a.m.-11 a.m.

MARCH 1, 2021 GRAND VALLEY LANTHORN @GVLNEWS

NUTRITION: Alison Cooney said she wants to help students make sure they are taking care of their nutrition. GVL | JONOTHAN ELOI

Every Tuesday and Wednesday, @gvsufood goes live on Instagram for 15-minute “Ask Allison” sessions on different food topics. The topic changes weekly, but general questions are accepted as well during the sessions. So far, the topics have included how to read a food label, a tutorial for making heart-shaped pizzas and a recipe for strawberry cheesecake brownie bites. Sessions are led by Grand Valley State University’s new dietitian, Alison Cooney. A Laker for a lifetime, Cooney earned both her undergraduate and master’s degrees at GVSU. Cooney’s time at campus dining did not begin with her dietician role, which she started in November of last year. She was actually a student employee during her undergraduate years. It is not an immediate jump for someone to move up from a student employee to a fulltime position. It was not until Cooney graduated from her master’s program that she was able to be considered for her new role. “I love Grand Valley so I was very thankful

for the timing and that I was offered the job, so I didn’t directly move up from a student worker to full-time,” Cooney said. “It was grad school at GV that made me qualified for the dietitian position.” Even though she has only been in the position for a few months, Cooney has big plans for GVSU nutrition and health. Starting March 1, she will be launching a 6-week Intuitive Eating Workshop over Zoom.

The main focus of the workshop will be creating a positive relationship with food and battling the diet culture mentality. The link to sign up can be found on the campus dining website.

Outside of online programs and activities, Cooney is actively working to make information about nutritional values and allergens more accessible. She has created binders full of information for each campus dining location. More specific information can be found out by asking managers for label details. Consultations with the dietitian are free for Grand Valley students and can be made by going to the campus dining website or following this link.


MARCH 1, 2021 GRAND VALLEY LANTHORN @GVLNEWS

CONTENTS CAMPUS

| A2

EDITORIAL

| A4

EVENTS

| A5 | A6&7

NEWS ORGANIZATIONS

| A8

LAKER LIFE

| A9

EVENTS

| A10

SWIMMING

| A11

TRACK

| A12

VOL. 5 5

NO. 20

Lan thorn EDITORIAL STAFF

Layout Editor VIVIANA RUBIO

Editor-in-Chief NICK MORAN Associate Editor OLIVIA FELLOWS Associate Editor XAVIER GOLDEN News Editor MARY RACETTE

Layout Designer KHOI TRAN PROMOTIONS Promotions Manager ALEX DAGOSTINO ADVERTISING STAFF Advertising Manager SHANE MCATAMNEY

Sports Editor ZACK GOODROW Laker Life Editor YSABELA GOLDEN

A3 | NEWS INITIATIVES

GV ‘Press Pause’ March campaign highlights importance of sleep BY OLIVIA FELLOWS ASSOCIATE@LANTHORN.COM

For the month of March, Grand Valley State University’s recreation and wellness Press Pause campaign has chosen to focus on sleep, and how a restful night can improve the success of students in higher education. The initiative focuses on a different staple of mental or physical health each month to encourage students to prioritize taking care of themselves during their education. According to Ryleigh Emelander, Health Promotion Assistant and Press Pause coordinator, sleep is a vital part of student wellness and often students forget that making enough time to rest and sleep on a daily and nightly basis will benefit them. “Students often prioritize school over sleep; and in general, people tend to think that the “typical” college student’s life is supposed to involve all-nighters while studying for big tests,” Emelander said. “We want students to know that it’s actually better to get a good night’s sleep; it’ll improve your memory and concentration, and it has been linked to better grades. Plus, there are a ton of other benefits.” National Sleep Awareness Week is March 14-20, 2021 and World Sleep Day is March 19, 2021. For college students, the causes of sleep deprivation can be many and varied for college students. According to Katie Jourdan, Student Health Promo-

REST UP: GVSU’S Press Pause campaign aims to educate students about a different physical or mental health topic each month and are focusing on sleep during all of March. COURTESY | GVSU

tions Coordinator, common causes of sleep loss in college students could include the stress of adjusting to college life, disturbances in nightly routines particularly if living with other students, alcohol and caffeine consumption, academic stresses like meeting deadlines and studying, new social demands, and underlying sleep disorders like anxiety which may be undiagnosed, or chronic sleep loss due to other psychological disorders.

Stella Sterling, WIT Peer Educator at GVSU, said that not getting enough sleep can not only impact your academic success but could have impacts on your physical health. According to the campaign’s research, adults should try to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

BUSINESS STAFF

A&E Editor MARY DUPUIS Image Editor MEGHAN LANDGREN

COMMUNITY

Business Manager RACHEL MCDOWELL

The GV community remembers Patricia Oldt

Asst. Business Manager DAYTON HAMMON

BY AUDREY WHITAKER AWHITAKER@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

REMEMBERANCE: Patricia Oldt gave back to her education community in many ways throughout her time as an Assistant Dean. COURTESY | GVSU

Patricia Oldt, retired GVSU Vice President for Planning and Equity, passed away on February 17, 2021. Oldt is remembered by friends and peers for her many accomplishments and passion for education and advocacy. As superintendent of Northview public schools in the 1990s, Pat Oldt filed the district’s first Title IX audit, which showed inequities in girls’ and boys’ sports. “I viewed athletics as an extension of the classroom, and many did not see it that way,” Oldt said in a GVSU profile in 2014. “I used to ask people, ‘What if your daughters didn’t have textbooks in the classroom? How is that so different from not having equal access in athletics?’” Oldt had a knack for addressing difficult situations with grace and compassion, always advocating for students to have the best, equal experience possible. Throughout her career in education,

Oldt served as Assistant Dean of Continuing Education at Grand Rapids Community College, Assistant Superintendent of the Grand Rapids Public Schools, Superintendent of Northview Public Schools 1993-2000, and both Distinguished Professor of Education and Vice President for Planning and Equity at Grand Valley State University where she was instrumental in developing the Grand Valley charter schools’ program. Oldt’s versatile background set her apart- she brought a unique perspective to her work in education, Charter Schools Associate Vice President Robert Kimball said.  “When she was an administrator of the charter schools office, she would be serving in the College of Education as a faculty member and working with the educators that were in the charter schools,” Kimball said. “She had this wonderful lens of how to improve this whole system.” LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


A4 | OPINION GVL EDITORIAL CARTOON

MARCH 1, 2021 GRAND VALLEY LANTHORN @GVLNEWS By Xavi Golden

EDITORIAL

U.S. House passes historic pandemic relief bill amid Republican pushback

T

3/1/21

editorial@lanthorn.com

Awareness of physical space key to relaxing headspace

BY MADDIE ZIMMERMAN FRESHMAN BIOLOGY EDITORIAL@LANTHORN.COM

A lot of the time, I find myself using social media during what I call my “break from schoolwork,” often starts when I’m not even 10 minutes into do-

ing homework. But I’m here to tell you that watching the 30th comedy TikTok isn’t really relaxing from the stressors from everyday life. Although it may seem like it’s impossible to put your phone down when you want to relax, I promise you, it’s possible.  Putting down your phone and putting it on silent is the best way to start. This way, you don’t have any pesky notifications or your mom telling you about the 10th Laker event she saw on Grand Valley’s Instagram. Notifications, social media and even texts can be very overwhelming whether you realize it or not. Once you set down your phone, you are a step closer to becoming overall more relaxed.  Second is finding a good environ-

ment. If you’re in a noisy area, sometimes it’s harder to feel like you can wind down. For me, I like just to curl up in bed with a bunch of blankets and watch The 100 (a great show, by the way). If you only have a few minutes between classes or are out and about and have a little bit but can’t be in bed to relax, you can walk around and take a break in nature. Nature is a great place to destress and also see some beautiful views. You can go on a walk on a trail, sit down and eat lunch on a picnic table at a nature park, go to the beach. 

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

LastPass adjusts terms, puts spotlight on secure password managers

BY FABIAN SEGURA SENIOR BIOLOGY EDITORIAL@LANTHORN.COM

Password managers have been in the news again following the announcement Feb. 17 from LastPass regarding its free tier of service. I’ve been using their ser-

vices since 2014 but the new terms of service have made me switch away entirely. Starting March 16, that free tier becomes much more limited in that you can only use one type of device per account — either a mobile device or desktop. In addition, email support has been removed and users are instead guided to consult the support center for self-help. As someone that uses multiple types of devices, this change in service was a signal for me to switch platforms. I already had my doubts about the service ever since the purchase of the company back in 2015 by LogMeIn, creators of Hamachi and other services. Since then, they had increasingly pushed their paid plans on login, but this new change was

all the reason to finally switch to Bitwarden in my case. The removal of email support on a password management service only further makes the new changes seem like a way to push the paid tier. I chose Bitwarden over all the other competitors in the space for a few reasons. For one, it offered an easy stepby-step guide to quickly transition from LastPass to its systems. For another, unlike Keepass, it offered similar application support with autofill chrome extensions and synchronization. Being open-source and having very little tracking were added bonuses.

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

his past week, the US House of Representatives passed a pandemic relief bill that included a federal wage increase. In the US Senate, Democrats sought to pass it with a simple majority, but Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled against it and decided that the bill needed 60 senate votes. Much-needed support for vaccination rollout and medical supplies is being held up by a debate around the proposed $15 minimum wage, with both sides reluctant to compromise. This is unsurprising, which makes it even more frustrating, especially for the people whose health and safety depend on receiving pandemic relief. This debate in the Senate is also relevant to all minimum wage workers, which includes people who work to pay for their schooling, the majority of college students. As time has passed, and tuition has skyrocketed, earnings from minimum wage pay for less and less of the expenses that college students face. $15 per hour would help most students at Grand Valley State University cover basic needs. And again, it’s not just the federal wage increase that’s being held up in Congress; pandemic relief is also being delayed. Without money to pay for more vaccinations, or to support small businesses and local and state governments, Grand Valley is far away from returning to normal. As the pandemic contin-

ues, we’ll keep isolating and remotely learning, we’ll risk losing members of our community, and students will have a harder time paying for tuition and housing. It’s times like these when it’s easy to get apathetic about politics and government. Jokes about how Congress can’t get anything done are as predictable as Congress itself. But upon closer inspection, the idea that both sides of the debate happening in the Senate are equally guilty doesn’t hold up. Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders is already looking for alternative ways to raise wages that might have a better chance of being passed, like incentivizing small businesses or penalizing large corporations by taking away their tax deductions. And despite some outsider Republicans in the Senate like Mitt Romney and Josh Hawley also proposing alternative means of raising the minimum wage, the party leadership hasn’t made any meaningful attempts at compromise.  Other than calling our representatives – although Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, Michigan’s representatives in the US Senate, both support this legislation – there’s not much we can do to affect the current standoff in Congress. However, when midterm elections come around in 2022, we can make sure to hit the polls, so legislation we support can have an easier time passing through the Senate.

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:

0051 KIRKHOF CENTER GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY


MARCH 1, 2021 GRAND VALLEY LANTHORN @GVLNEWS

A5 | NEWS

EVENTS

Current,former GV presidents gather to discuss strength of Constitution BY ELIZABETH SCHANZ NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

In the wake of the capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, the Presidential Roundtable convened on Wednesday, Feb. 24th for their first event. The event aimed to show the public that the framer’s goals for the U.S. constitution prevents mob rule and upholds democracy. Guest speaker Jeffery Rosen, the president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, Grand Valley State University’s President Philomena Mantella, and former university presidents: Arend Lubbers, Mark Murray, and Thomas Haas, discussed the constitution in our world today.  The discussion focused on how the framer’s intent for the integrity and longevity of the American democracy still holds true today. Jeffery Rosen emphasized the significance of the constitution and its barriers throughout history.  “Mobs incited by demagogues caused them to draft a Constitution strong enough to create a government based on reasoned thought,” Rosen explained. Similarly, this type of mob was evident in the events of Jan. 6 when a crowd of radical Trump supporters stormed the capitol in an

attempt to stop the certification of the new president, Joe Biden. “The constitution did hold and there were several opportunities for it to fail and it didn’t...checks and balances helped work through the challenge,” Rosen said.  The constitution and the government’s established institutions allowed for a peaceful transfer of power to occur in the face of adversity.   Rosen also delved into how a crowd of this nature develops through technology and social media and what implications these platforms have on our lives. He made the statement that information spread by social media and the radicalization of individuals through the internet brought the insurrection together.  “Part of the problem and part of the solution (for radicalization) could be algorithmic…(social media platforms) could be more mindful about what they recommend based on your previous watching habits and not recommend increasingly extreme versions of what you have already seen.”  LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

DISCUSSION: GVSU presidents of present and past gathered on Zoom to discuss January’s capitol insurrection and the current state of politics in a divided country. COURTESY | KENDRA STANLEY-MILLS

LEADERSHIP

Cook Leadership Academy adds micro-credentials to its curriculum BY RACHEL MATUSZEWSKI NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

LEADERS: The Cook Leadership Academy strives to create unique learning opportunities for college students. COURTESY | GVSU

Other than increasing their GPA with good grades in class and visiting the career center, students may wonder how to gain tangible skills to take into their future careers. The Cook Leadership Academy has just incorporated competencies into its curriculum that focuses on skills employers look for in their new hires. The Cook Leadership Academy (CLA) has just added micro-badging to its curriculum for students in the 2020-2021 cohort. Students assisted program manager Grace Tummel in selecting six micro-credentials to be taught for students to expand on their leadership abilities today and in the future.  Students have a hand in building the curriculum based on a list of 60 competencies of what employers are looking for in the workplace. This year’s competencies include self-understanding, productive relationships, social justice, conflict negotiation, vision, and responding to ambiguity. “(CLA founders Peter Cook and Ralph Hauenstein) wanted our community to be serving our students so then students are more prepared to enter into leadership upon graduation,” Tummel said.  Each micro-credential aids students in

understanding themselves, their future, and ways to handle situations in the workplace.

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


A6&7 | NEWS

MARCH 1, 2021 GRAND VALLEY LANTHORN @GVLNEWS

Dr. Teresa Beck plans to step in after current College of Health Professions retires BY ZSOLT PALMER NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

HEALTH: Grand Valley State University is now offering antigen rapid resting on campus for students, faculty and staff which get results back to patients in one to two hours after taking the test, a major improvement from the multiple-day wait of previous testing options. The process of antigen testing is incredibly similar to the testing GVSU has done on campus previously, but with faster results. GVL | KATHERINE VASILE

GV’s on-campus COVID-19 test sites are now offering antigen testing BY LAUREN FORMOSA NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

The wait for faster testing is over now that Grand Valley State University is beginning to offer COVID-19 antigen tests, commonly referred to as rapid tests, at its on-campus testing locations. Students, staff, and faculty can schedule an antigen test starting on March 1 and will receive their results within one to two hours from their testing period as opposed to the 72 hours it took to receive results for a PCR test.    The process of receiving the antigen test will remain the same as previous on-campus testing and costs of testing will be covered by the university. The GVSU Virus Action Team has expanded the hours and days available for testing on the Allendale campus and is now allowing all students, staff, and faculty to schedule up to two tests per week. “Students will be invited to test using the same approach as we have been with a focus on those students who have in-person classes, reside in on-campus or near-campus

housing, and those who are at a higher risk such as athletes or resident assistants,” said Vice Provost for Health and Virus Action Team Member Jean Nagelkerk. According to the CDC, antigen tests are used to detect the presence of a specific viral antigen that indicates if a viral infection is present. These types of tests are most commonly used when diagnosing respiratory pathogens, including influenza viruses and respiratory syncytial viruses. Results for an antigen test can be obtained in a relatively short amount of time when compared to the days it takes to receive results from a PCR test, making the antigen test well-suited for communities where rapid test turnaround is required, such as GVSU’s campus. “Antigen testing allows for the additional testing hours and quicker turnaround time of test results,” Nagelkerk said. “If an individual receives a positive test result, they can isolate and secure the appropriate health care services.”    Unlike the PCR test that detects the virus’s genetic material, antigen tests detect specific proteins from the virus in an infected person. While both tests detect ac-

tive COVID-19 infections and are usually highly accurate, antigen tests have given false positives and negatives in the past, according to the FDA. A healthcare provider may order a PCR test to confirm the results of an antigen test, especially if the patient is still exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms after receiving negative test results. With the introduction of antigen testing paired with the new two tests per week policy change, the Virus Action Team hopes to make receiving COVID-19 test results quicker and easier for everyone in the campus community. This will also allow students, staff, and faculty the ability to isolate quicker if they are positive for the virus and keep others around them safe. “This rapid testing and response assists with keeping our campus community as safe as possible,” Negelkerk said. “The expanded hours of testing will provide students, staff and faculty greater flexibility and convenience in testing. With the testing program changes, we anticipate that more individuals will test per week.” For more information as well as answers to questions or concerns regarding COVID-19, contact the Virus Action Team

at virusactionteam@gvsu.edu or through the Lakers Together Call Center at (616) 331-4636.

RAPID: Grand Valley State University’s new antigen testing is the university’s latest step in limiting COVID-19 spread. GVL | KATHERINE VASILE

Roy Olsson, the dean of the College of Health Professions at Grand Valley State University, is retiring June 21 of this year. First appointed to the position in 2008, Olsson was in charge of the College of Health Professions during a critical time, and helmed the addition of many new programs and initiatives, greatly expanding the college’s reach to students around the state, while maintaining a high quality of education. “Public Health, Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology, there’s a significant number of programs we were able to bring into the college,” Olsson said. “At the time I started my career, there were some eight hundred students, now there are twenty-six hundred students in the college. We continue to grow each year, and we continue to increase credit hours generated by about five percent a year.” Olsson is particularly proud of the quality of the education provided by the college, noting with pride the ratio of students that passed the board exam on their first attempt. “All of these programs have obtained accreditations, and all of our students pass the board in percentages of the mid-upper nineties,” Olsson said. Olsson’s replacement has been announced by the Provost to be Dr. Teresa M. Beck, Associate Dean at the College of Health Professions. On June 21, she will take Olsson’s place and become Acting Dean. The transition from Olsson to Beck has already begun and has proceeded smoothly. “It’s been easy because she’s been my Senior Associate Dean for quite some time. I keep my Associate Deans very well informed, and I think the transition is going to be fairly smooth because of that. Dr. Beck is an excellent pick,” Olsson said. Beck has an extensive history of service at GVSU, having served the university com-

REPLACEMENT: Dr. Teresa Beck will be taking over as Dean of the College of Health Professions and has many plans for program improvements and new additions. Beck said she will have her hands full as she begins to lead a handful of new programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. COURTESY | GVNEXT

munity in multiple positions, most notably the Faculty Director of Freshman Orientation, Chair of the Faculty Personnel Policy Committee, and member of the Faculty Salary and Budget Committee. “I’m extremely excited and honored to be put in this position to help lead our college through this next year, especially as we’re coming out of COVID, and what that means for how we do things for whatever the new normal is,” Beck said. “As an Associate Dean for the last few years, I’ve been involved with the administration of the college already, so I’m familiar with the ins and outs of running the college.” When asked as to what he hoped the

college would continue in his absence, Olsson indicated he hoped the college would continue to maintain the quality of its programs, as well as continue outreach to students around the state. “I would hope that they focus on the quality of the programs and continue to look at the board scores -- the first attempt board scores, to ensure they’re at a level which would represent Grand Valley, and certainly, move forward to getting programs out to students who might not be able to come to here,” Olsson said. “We’ve been able to reach students who otherwise might not be able to go, in Michigan and in neighboring states, and expand our reach to more

students with online initiatives.” Though she acknowledged that the new position would not be easy, Beck affirmed her willingness to commit to the continued high quality of education, and the continued growth of the college. “I’m going to have my hands full. We’re having a new program starting this fall in applied food and nutrition that we’ll be making sure gets up and off the ground running, and our respiratory care program starts in January of 22, and our masters in recreational therapy in fall of 22. So, it’ll be a combination of making sure things are maintained, but also making sure our new initiatives get off the ground as well,” Beck said.

EDUCATION: Dr. Beck has previously served the Grand Valley State University community as the Faculty Director of Freshman Orientation, Chair of the Faculty Personnel Policy Committee, and as a member of the Faculty Salary and Budget Committee at GVSU. Beck will now serve as Dean of the College of Health Professions, effective June 21 this year, despite the transition already proceeding smoothly. COURTESY | GVSU


MARCH 1, 2021 GRAND VALLEY LANTHORN @GVLNEWS

A8 | NEWS ORGANIZATIONS

GVPRSSA aims to help prospective students through “Life 101” BY KYLIE ELWELL NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

Grand Valley State University Public Relations Student Society of America (GVPRSSA) is launching a new program called “Life 101.” This program was organized by members of GVPRSSA in order to try and make the transition from high school to college easier for first-year students. The COVID-19 pandemic was a big motivation for creating this program, as the organizers said they want to aid students in their difficult transition from high school to college during a difficult time. “COVID-19 has made everything for students and teachers harder,” GVPRSSA Faculty Advisor Dr. Adrienne Wallace said. “Students are having trouble in nearly every area from reading comprehension to executing anything that has multiple steps or parts. In an effort to make entry to college life easier, we developed Life 101.”  Chapter President Allison Canter reorganized and reworked the content of Life 101 amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic and the switch to virtual learning for the majority of college students. This program will provide incoming students with a virtual library full of resources they may need in order to have a successful transition. All of the video resources can be found through GVPRSSA’s emails sent out to first-year students across Michigan, or on their Youtube Channel. The videos will cover topics such as finding

STUDENT LIFE: To make the transition to college easier for students and since there will be fewer college this year, the GVPRSSA has launched the “Life 101” program. The program provides students with resources to transition to campus, all in the form of a YouTube library GVL | ANNABELLE ROBINSON

roommates during COVID-19, staying on top of mental health, staying organized as well as many more resources and tips. “We were motivated to start Life 101 by various factors. However, our main motivation was the fact that we knew that the transition from high school to college

does not look like it did for any of us just a couple of years ago, and we empathized deeply with the amount of anxiety that this must cause incoming college students,” Canter said. “We also were motivated by the loss of informal conversation that high school students would have due

to the fact that they won’t be able to tour colleges as freely, visit campuses, and have unstructured conversations.” The goal of the program is to close the gap between high school students and college students since this new step can be especially hard during an ongoing pandemic.

LAKER EFFECT

GV begins new “Be a Laker, Bring a Laker” program BY HAILEIGH HUBER NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

LAKER PRIDE: “Be a Laker, Bring a Laker” program was developed to increase pride to high schools and to adult students. COURTESY | GVSU

Admissions at Grand Valley State University is kicking off the “Be a Laker, Bring a Laker” program, where they encourage the spread of laker pride to both high school and adult prospective students. The program offers the resources needed to inspire prospective students to apply to GVSU. As GVSU’s community continuously grows, prospective students must get the correct information they need about their possible future as a laker. “It provides resources and information that is necessary for prospective students to review, like scholarship and admissions information,” Admissions Counselor Michael Guerra said. “Be a Laker, Bring a Laker” consists of

four steps. It asks participants to fill out a referral form, discuss the benefits of attending GVSU, help prospective students set up visits to tour the campus and provide them with the information needed on how to start the application process and to get them on the University’s mailing list. Kate Stoetzner, Director of International Student and Scholar Services, has referred two prospective students and believes that this program makes people feel comfortable and less intimidated. “When they know someone who already has a connection to campus, it just formalizes the process,” Stoetzner said.  Prospective students can access the program right from their phones, making it easy to pass information to admissions. “(It’s) good to get prospective students connected and give them information that’s pertinent

to their specific interests,” Stoetzner said. Through this program, prospective students get information about GVSU from people who are community members and get encouragement from those who have been through the admissions process.  “Lakers can provide a more well-rounded visit experience for their friends and family, prospective lakers can leave Grand Valley well informed, and the Admissions Office can be assured that accurate, factual, and helpful information is provided,” Guerra said.  Professor of music Marlen Vavrikova has referred students to “Be a Laker, Bring a Laker” and believes that this program shows prospective students how welcoming the Grand Valley community is. “At our university, we value communication and are student-centered,” Vavrikova said.


A9 | LAKER LIFE

MARCH 1, 2021 GRAND VALLEY LANTHORN @GVLAKERLIFE

A LOOK AT LIFESTYLE LEARN ABOUT PERSONAL FINANCE On Tuesday, Mar. 2, Professor of Financial Planning Gregg Dimkoff will be leading a webinar on what young professionals should know about their finances as they graduate college and enter the workplace. The event will last from 4-5 p.m. over Zoom, touching on subjects like credit cards, vehicle leasing and ownership, and how your landlord’s insurance applies to your property. Though anyone can attend the event, it doubles as a part of the TRACKS program for students of the Seidman College of Business. Those who attend eight TRACKS events will receive a Certificate of Completion at the Seidman Evening of Honors. If you’re interested in joining this particular webinar, you can RSVP for the talk at gvsu.edu/seidman/ undergraduateprograms.

RELAX WITH TEA AND THERAPY DOGS

Grand Valley’s Campus Activities Board is looking to help students (or faculty) de-stress from midterms with their “Pup of Tea” event. As is tradition for exams, CAB is bringing friendly dogs to the Allendale campus for people to pet and mellow out with. The dogs will be hanging out under the Cook Carillon Tower from 12-2 p.m. along with cups of tea to-go.

JOURNAL YOUR COVID-19 EXPERIENCE The GVSU archives are interested in documenting and preserving the community’s experience of the pandemic. As a part of their COVID Journaling Project, the University Archives have been accepting online journal submissions from students, faculty and staff on their website at gvsu. edu/library/specialcollections. This week, however, they’re adding a new element to their collection: hand-written postcards. Every day until Saturday, Mar. 6, the Mary Idema Pew Library in Allendale and the Steelcase Library in the Grand Rapids Pew Campus will both have a supply of postcards, prompts for writing, and a mailbox for completed submissions. If you participate, your postcard may be archived and added to the digital collection online, and preserved in Seidman House for future research.

LAKER EFFECT

Students seek to advise GV administration through VSAB BY KATHERINE ARNOLD LAKERLIFE@LANTHORN.COM

Every year since it was founded in 2018, the Vice Provost Advisory Board (VSAB) seeks out students from different years, programs, organizations, and demographic representations to offer their perspectives and experiences as a part of the Grand Valley State University community. “I established VSAB three years ago because I thought it important for me to hear regularly from a wide cross-section of students about their needs, concerns, and experiences,” said Loren Rullman, Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students (VPDoS). “There are many ways students can influence the university, but the VSAB’s sole purpose is this, without obligation of other agendas, tasks, or distractions.” VSAB exists to connect the opinions and voices of students to Grand Valley State University’s upper administration. Many who served on the board found it to be not just a chance to improve the student experience as a whole, but a personal opportunity to learn important skills related to critical thinking and discussion. “My experience on VSAB has introduced me to a network of both faculty and students,” said Kylie Beaudoin, a third-year and member since the Winter 2019 semes-

PERSPECTIVES: GV’S Vice Provost Advisory board aims to find students who are looking to influence the kinds of organizations and experiences the university offers on campus. COURTESY | GVSU

ter. “It has also shed light on different student perspectives on various topics like wellness, diversity, and student life. It’s sharpened my skills in student collaboration and learning how to navigate tough conversations. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning about other student’s experiences while attending GV, and how our university works to tend to the

variety of our student body needs.” The student advisory board is a place for open and honest conversation, and each monthly meeting features a new topic worthy of discussion. LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

ORGANIZATIONS

Relax with the Tabletop Gaming Club BY AUTUMN PITCHURE LAKERLIFE@LANTHORN.COM

This fall, a survey by the Strata Education Network found that 44% of college students cited stress, anxiety, and loneliness as their biggest challenge of the semester. Stress can turn into chronic stress very easily, creating problems with psychological health, weight gain, sleep, academic performance, body functions such as weakening the immune system and so much

more. Human health is vitally important, and sometimes easing that anxiety and loneliness by creating time for yourself to loosen up can make a huge difference. The Tabletop Gaming Club (TGC) at Grand Valley State University serves to do just that, creating a fun atmosphere where students can come and play a wide range of games, relax with friends and take a breather to ease their stress. “I joined because I was really into board

games in high school,” Emily Booms, President of TGC, said. “I love how unique and crazy they can be. I come from a small high school and no one I knew went to Grand Valley, so I was also looking to make friends.” TGC is a space for students to meet and play board, card or dice games. TGC also has RPG players and some new online games for people to join in on as well. meets in-person in the Kirkhof Center room 1142 from 7-10 p.m. every Wednesday. They also have online meetings at the same time on their Discord. “What’s nice is that we don’t require that a person stays the entire time,” said Booms. “They can come and go as they please.” Faculty advisor, Craig Hulst, says that TGC is one of the oldest clubs on campus. It started as a club exclusively for role-playing games and used to be called Alternative Realities Gaming Club. Since then it has grown and evolved over the years with many students eager to join in on the fun. LOG ON TO:

GAMERS: The Tabletop Gaming Club invites students to come and unwind by playing a number of popular and classic tabletop games – now even offering virtual gaming options. COURTESY | GVSU

www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


A10 | ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ARTS AT A GLANCE SIMON TAM SHARES FIRESIDE CHAT WITH THEMES OF PERSEVERANCE, JUSTICE FOR ASIAN AMERICAN MUSICAL ARTISTS When most people think about their favorite rock band, images of furious guitar playing, stage dives, pyrotechnics, and chanting crowds all come to mind — not fighting the United States Supreme Court. Although that is probably the furthest thing from the stereotypical band experience, fighting stereotypes has never been an issue for Simon Tam. As part of GVSU’s yearly Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration, Tam held a fireside chat on Feb. 24 centered around his unique experience as an Asian American. Read more at www.lanthorn.com.

GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY OFFERS ON-DEMAND ACCESS TO ONLINE CONCERTS Beginning in February and available through March, the Grand Rapids Symphony has made online concerts available and ready for ticket purchase. Available until March 6, Vivaldi’s, “The Four Seasons” will only be around for about another week. With Marcelo Lehninger as the Conductor, this music is inspired by poetry and enlivened by one of the greatest musicians of the Italian Baroque era, Vivaldi. In this online experience, four Grand Rapids Symphony players will bring spring, summer, autumn, and winter into the comfort of viewers’ homes. Another concert available for ticket purchase, Igor Stravinsky’s, “The Soldier’s Tale,” will be online until March 27. Conducted by Julian Wachner, this concert features performances from the Ebony Road Players, a Grand Rapids theater company whose mission is to engage the community with high-quality theater productions focused on the Black experience. In this music-enriched tale, the audience will follow a soldier who, seduced by riches, trades the devil his fiddle for the knowledge of what is yet to come. As the future comes sooner than expected, he struggles to get back what he lost.

GV ART GALLERY USES INSTAGRAM TO HIGHLIGHT ARTIST ACCOUNTS EVERY FRIDAY Beginning in Jan. of 2021 Grand Valley State University’s Art Gallery’s Instagram Account began posting a series every Friday called “5 To Follow” where they highlighted five different accounts of creators that they felt deserved recognition. Now continuing into March, the account uses this series to shine a spotlight on creators, curators, and writers every week. Four of the five posts so far have focused on Indigenous artists. But, the account did make a Black History Month post in Feb. where they highlighted five accounts featuring Black artists. The accounts featured come from all over the United States, some with very large followings and others working their way up.

MARCH 1, 2021 GRAND VALLEY LANTHORN @GVLARTS

EVENTS

GV celebration of Asian American, Pacific Islander heritage offers invitation to share in rich cultural experience BY MARY DUPUIS ARTS@LANTHORN.COM

Grand Valley State University’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration was held in a virtual setting this year in order to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. But, that didn’t mean the lineup of events is any less exciting. Although the celebration of such events usually takes place throughout February and March to ring in the Lunar New Year, GVSU got a head start this year with “Korematsu Day” on Jan. 29. It was on this day that a panel on Zoom discussed the Korematsu case and the constitutional issues that are relevant today, the current state of affairs and political implications (including how history could repeat itself), the lived experience of people affected by the Muslim Ban, a lived experience during the WWII incarceration, and the Governor’s Proclamation of Jan. 30 as Fred T. Korematsu Day.  Next up in the line of events came a presentation on Zoom on Feb. 24 titled, “Slanted: How An Asian American Took On the Supreme Court.” During this discussion, Simon Tam, the man who started an Asian American dance rock band called “The Slants,” gave a presentation on what led him to light the fire behind an entire movement around freedom of expression and discussions on identity. 

CELEBRATION: GVSU’s student Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration included virtual events that discussed current events and celebrations of heritage. GVL | ARCHIVES

The largest of the celebrations so far took place on Feb. 27 where GVSU’s Asian Student Union (ASU) hosted the 2021 Asian New Year Festival on Zoom and YouTube Live containing a variety of different performances and interactive events for all those involved. ASU’s Vice President, Anthony Tran, has planned the celebration for the past two years but took on a mentoring role this year in order to let current ASU Activities Coordinator, Kyla Marquez, take the reins.  Tran said the Lunar New Year celebration is important to the Asian community because it represents a new start, a new year of new wisdom, and a chance to start over and

forgive any wrongdoings that they experienced throughout the past year. Though the celebration prevailed, it was not an easy feat.  Tran and Marquez both said that finding performers for the celebration was significantly harder than in previous years because little to none of the groups that would have usually performed had been practicing with one other.  This led both students to stretch their connections far and wide to gather performers to celebrate with.  LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

LAKER EFFECT

GV improv comedy team is back with the good, the bad, and the in-person performances BY ALLISON RAFFERTY ARTS@LANTHORN.COM

For the very first time since the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, Grand Valley State University’s improv comedy team, Subject to Change, hosted an in-person show.  The team put on two separate shows in the Cook-Dewitt Center on Friday, Feb. 26., called, “The Good, The Bad, and The Improv.”  The night began at 7:00 p.m. with “The Good Show,” also known as the family-friend-

ly show. Following this performance, “The Bad Show” took place at 8:30 p.m. and the content was, as implied by the name, not so PG. “The Good Show” was an hour long show of improv games and scenes that did not contain sexual jokes, swearing, or drug references. President of Subject to Change, GVSU senior Leah Erben, said the comedy in this show was well suited for anyone to see. Vice President of Subject to Change, GVSU senior Cole Curtiss, said “The Bad Show” was more unfiltered and some mature

themes were up for grabs when it came to coming up with jokes on the fly. “The audience could expect some more challenging vocabulary and subjects, but all in the nature of good fun and laughs,” Curtiss said. Although this first performance back was a major milestone for the team, the group didn’t actually find out they could do an in-person show until only a few weeks before they were set to perform. Rehearsals for the team are typically spent doing a mix of skill-building and practicing specific games. During the few practices before the show, the group makes sure to discuss ideas for the show’s “theme” and logistics.  Curtiss said although things had to come together rather briskly, it was a smooth process because the group finally had their groove back.  “These pre-show practices are always the most exciting since it really feels like we’re working towards something,” Curtiss said.  Prior to the show, safety precautions were also put into place to ensure a fun, safe evening for everyone.  LOG ON TO:

LAUGHS: GVSU’s improv and comedy team worked hard to create unique shows that were accessible to all audiences for their show “The Good, The Bad, and The Improv.” GVL | KATHERINE VASILE

www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


MARCH 1, 2021 GRAND VALLEY LANTHORN @GVLSPORTS

QUICK HITS GVSU MEN’S BASKETBALL MISSES GLIAC TITLE AFTER WINNING FINALLY WEEKEND SERIES

After winning their final weekend series against Northwood (6-12), GVSU (12-6) fell short in winning the GLIAC. Wayne State won their final game of the season, placing GVSU as the second seed in the conference. Despite not winning the GLIAC, GVSU rallied at the end of their regular season. They won six out of their last seven games and scored a season high in points in their first matchup against Northwood.   In their first game against Northwood, GVSU won 98-69. For the game, the Lakers shot an incredible 60.3% from the field and 19 of those shots came off assists. They also made 11 of their 21 attempted three pointers. Issac Gassman led the team with 24 points and four assists. Christian Negron had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jake Van Tubbergen added 17 points and Jordan Harris contributed another 13.  Ten Lakers scored during the game.  In their final game of the regular season, GVSU beat Northwood 67-51. The Lakers had another great performance with their perimeter shooting, finishing the game with making 41.7% of their three point attempts. After falling behind in the first half, the Lakers went on a 9-0 run to capture the lead heading into the second half. They outscored Northwood by 14 points in the second period to secure their victory. Negron led the team with 18 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks. Gassman added another 14 points and five rebounds. Van Tubbergen finished with a double-double by scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 boards. 

A11 | SPORTS SWIMMING

GV Swimming and Diving dominates GLIAC tournament by setting team records and sweeping every award BY ZACK GOODROW SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM

Both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving team at Grand Valley State University claimed a conference title in the GLIAC last week on Feb. 20. It was the men’s seventh consecutive victory at the GLIAC Championship Meet as they finished with a final score of 1,072.5 points, a GLIAC record. The women claimed their third title in the past six seasons. They also cemented their place in GLIAC history by scoring a conference high 1,200 points. They also had a record for the highest margin of victory, defeating second place Wayne State by 613 points. “It feels pretty good,” said coach Andy Boyce. “We’ve had some close championship meets over the years but this one wasn’t like that. The players worked hard on getting better everyday and us coaches worked hard on recruiting these guys to be Lakers. The women have been winning every other year, we have three titles in the last six years. Hopefully next year we can start a consecutive streak.” GVSU has been historically dominated in the GLIAC. This championship marks the men’s team’s ninth overall championship, all during Boyce’s tenure. Under Boyce, this marks the fourth championship for the women’s team. For the 2021 tournament, both teams thoroughly took out their competition.

CHAMPIONS: For the seventh consecutive year, the men’s swimming and diving team claimed the GLIAC title. For the women’s team, this will be their third title in six years. GVL | SHEILA BABBITT

They didn’t win every event however and it was never a sure thing that the team would outperform their competition by such a wide margin. The success that other teams in the conference had in some events pushed the Lakers even harder.   “We definitely thought we might have an advantage going in but you’re never sure,” said junior Jesse Goodyear. “Even though we have a history of winning in the GLIAC, we don’t win all the events every time. Some of them, like the

relays, we don’t always win. It really gives us a kick in our backs to go in and compete.” For the men’s team, freshman Eric Heiber finished first in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 15:16.51. Heiber set the all-time GLIAC record, GLIAC Championship Meet record, and GVSU record with his performance. LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

W. BASKETBALL

GV Women’s Basketball ends regular season with a win after three game losing streak

GVSU TENNIS FALLS TO 1-4 ON THE YEAR AFTER LOSING TO HILLSDALE COLLEGE

BY JOSH ROCHETTE SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM

At Grand Rapids Racquet and Fitness, the GVSU men’s tennis team lost another close matchup. After losing their first three matches to begin the season, the tennis team won their first matchup of the year against the Walsh Cavaliers 6-1. The hopes of starting a winning streak fell short on Feb. 27 as the team lost on a 4-3 decision to Hillsdale College. GVSU fought hard the entire match. Jack Dausman and Martin Matov won the No. 1 doubles 6-3. Sean Miller and Kushan Shah added another victory in the No. 3 doubles with a score of 7-5. In the singles events, Miller won two matches at 6-3 and 6-0. Freddy Cossio also won his set by winning two matches at 6-3 and 6-4.  Dausman suffered a defeat in his singles match after winning his first set. Ignacio Morera-Lucas also lost his singles matchup in the third set.

REBOUND: After a three game losing streak, the women’s basketball team won their last regular season game. GVL | SHEILA BABBITT

On Feb. 27, the Grand Valley State University women’s basketball team (14-4) beat Northwood University (11-7) with a score of 77-52. GVSU came into the matchup on a threegame losing streak. The Lakers lost to Northwood the day before, and had lost both games against Michigan Tech the previous week. With the GLIAC tournament approaching on Mar. 4, this game was their chance to end the regular season with a win. “It was like a different team from yesterday,” said coach Mike Williams. “I thought we played with a lot of pop on both ends of the floor. Northwood is a really good team, and I think sometimes the second day has an effect on that. It’s tough going back-to-back in this league.” The game started with GVSU finding open looks in the paint, something they struggled to do the night before. Senior center Kiri Tiemeyer and junior forward Hannah Kulas made several baskets early in the first quarter, giving the Lakers eight unanswered points to start the game. GVSU grew their lead going into the second

quarter with an 11 point run that highlighted their aggressive and efficient defense. The Lakers continued to force bad shots and turnovers with their play, and the offense continued to take advantage of Northwood’s drought. By the end of the first half, the Lakers were up 41-21. Their defense in the second matchups of the series improved. They only allowed one more point in the entire first half of this game than they did in only the second quarter of the game before. Among the strong performances from the Lakers was freshman forward Rylie Bisballe with nine points, six rebounds, and an assist in the half. The second half started off with the Lakers continuing to pressure the inside and take advantage of mismatches. A few minutes into the third quarter, Northwood found their groove going on an 11-point run of their own, but the deficit was already too wide and the Lakers led by 20 entering the final quarter of play. LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


MARCH 1, 2021 GRAND VALLEY LANTHORN @GVLSPORTS

A12 | SPORTS TRACK

After breaking the Division II record, the GV Track and Field medley relay teams looks forward to upcoming tournaments BY HOLLY BIHLMAN SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM

As the Grand Valley State University track and field team travel to Saginaw Valley University to compete on Feb. 27 and Feb. 28 in the GLIAC Tournament, a few of the runners are still celebrating a record-breaking weekend at the Big Meet three weeks ago. While the women’s medley relay team finished with a GVSU and Kelly Family Sports Center with a record-breaking time of 11.21.12, the men’s team broke the same two records with a time of 9.39.38. It also broke the previous National Division II record of 9.40.15. The runners that solidified their spots in National’s for the medley relay were Dennis Mbuta, John Groendyk, Caleb Futter, and Jackson Blanchard who will be competing in their own events at the GLIAC Tournament but will come back together to run their now-famous medley race next weekend at Nationals. To find out that they had broken the Kelly Family Sports Center and GVSU record came as no surprise to the guys. When Mbuta looked up the National DII record as Futter was finishing the last seconds of his mile, and saw that they had gone under the time, they were in complete shock.  “Honestly, I didn’t even know that we could break the record, I just went there to run,” Blanchard said. “I had no idea that we would be that close to the record, let alone

RECORD BREAKING: The men’s medley relay team members were all shocked to find out they had broken the NCAA Division II record, especially with a new runner. COURTESY | GVSU ATHLETICS

break it.” The runners had all completed their parts of the relay and were watching the clock intently as Futter ran the last leg of the race. Once the clock stopped, they all got a wave of excitement and motivation for the GLIAC and National tournaments.  “It was a massive shocker, but it was a good shocker,” Groendyk said. “And then to see the girls do as well as they did on top of

our team doing as well as they did, I think there was just motivation and a general sense of positivity and bewilderment and awe of what we just did.” Just a few days before the race, Blanchard, the only short sprinter on the relay team, was told he’d be racing with the three distance runners. Since the team practices in groups based on the events they run, Blanchard had hardly met any of the distance runners on top

of the fact that he had transferred from Central Michigan University this year. They practiced handing off the baton a few times before the Big Meet and ended up being the perfect combination of runners for the relay race. “I give all the credit to the 1200 runner, the 800 runner, and the miler,” Blanchard said. “They put in the work and they got us in the position that we needed to be successful in for that race and they did a really, really, really good job.” The guys had no idea what kind of history they would be making together after just one practice run, but their teamwork and love for the sport are what got them the surprise record. Now that the focus is on their upcoming tournaments. Their team goal is to keep the success going, especially after last year’s heartbreaking trip home from Birmingham, Alabama in the middle of the first COVID-19 shutdown.  “We were just so ecstatic, and people were like, ‘yeah, we haven’t been this excited and pumped in a long time,’” Futter said. “Especially with that DMR, we’ve all just been stoked, and like, ‘this is the year.’” For fifth-year distance runner Mbuta, the stakes are even higher after his last chance at bringing home a trophy for GVSU was robbed at the hands of COVID-19.  LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

BASEBALL

GV Baseball looks to continue their success from last year as their new season approaches BY JOSH CARLSON SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM

FRESH START: After starting last season at 11-4, the baseball team hopes to stay hot with eight seniors returning this year. GVL | ARCHIVE

As the spring approaches, so does America’s favorite pastime; baseball. The Grand Valley State University baseball team has been, like many other GVSU sports, chomping at the bit to get their season started. Coach Jamie Detillion was disappointed with how things ended last season, but knows that this team has to roll with the punches. “We’re excited and we were off to a good start last year,” Detillion said. “It was just disappointing to have to end because we had some injury issues and a couple of things from the year before that we needed a fresh start to reset our minds. We were off to an 11-4 start and things were rolling.” Although the season was cut short, there is some upside for the Lakers, who are returning plenty of key players. One of those key players is redshirt senior Ryan Blake-Jones. Before the

season was suddenly canceled, he led the team with a .475 AVG, 1.296 OPS, 19 hits, and seven doubles. Blake-Jones is returning for his sixth year in a Laker uniform due to the eligibility granted from the cancellation last spring. “Obviously, I wasn’t planning on playing another year,” Blake-Jones said. “But COVID-19 gave everybody an extra year, and I was going to be here working on my master’s degree still anyways, so it was sort of a blessing in disguise that I was still able to play baseball. I was expecting to be able to play this long, but it’s something I love to do, and I’m lucky to do it still.” The long wait had more benefits than just returning depth. It has given the Lakers more time to train and improve their abilities that more, which is something BlakeJones thinks will help in the long run. “We’ve been working in the weight room for a long time now,” Blake-Jones said. “People were able to play summer ball, and we have been in the Kelly Sports Center work-

ing and getting at-bats inside. We’ve had more time than usual this off-season, and people have been working hard. I think everybody’s even more ready to go.” Along with Blake-Jones, eight members on the Lakers roster are returning for another season as a senior once again and Detillion is welcoming them back with open arms after seeing what could have been a season ago. “When you’re 11-4 to start, and things are going in a great direction with great practice habits and good work ethic, as a coach, of course, I want that back,” Detillion said. “Whether they’re seniors or freshmen, the guys that demonstrate those habits and characteristics, I’ll take them back any day of the week. We have eight guys that returned, and all of them should contribute in some fashion to our team.” LOG ON TO: www.lanthorn.com FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

Profile for Grand Valley Lanthorn

Grand Valley Lanthorn vol. 55 no. 19  

Grand Valley Lanthorn vol. 55 no. 19  

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