News Briefs 1/14

Nick Moran

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Ottawa County land purchase furthers progress of trail connecting GV to Grand Haven, Grand Rapids

Following the purchase of 16.5 acres of land by the Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission, Grand Valley State University is one step closer to be connected to both Grand Rapids and Grand Haven by trail. The new land will help further the goal of having a 27-mile trail.

Construction in the spring will further expand the Idema Explorers Trail, which runs as far west as Grand Haven. The trail runs through GVSU before connecting to the Kent trail, which takes patrons north toward Grand Rapids. 

The purchase is part of the Ottawa County’s Grand River Greenway Campaign, which has the intention of “protecting thousands of acres of natural lands, creating green infrastructure, developing new recreational opportunities and connecting communities.”

These advances follow the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners meeting held at GVSU on Nov. 15, where the plans for acquiring new land were presented to the public. 

GV alumnus receives MSTA award for science education

A Grand Valley State University graduate and science teacher at Shumate Middle School in Gibraltar, Mich., Jeff Bouwman was recently named the Michigan Science Teachers Association’s (MSTA) Middle School Science Teacher of the Year. The award will be presented to Bouwman in March during the MSTA’s annual conference in Grand Rapids. 

Bouwman, who graduated from GVSU in 2003, was selected in part due to his engagement with Lake Sturgeon, bringing various programs through the Department of Natural Resource’s into the classroom and involving his students. 

Additionally, Bouwman has been recognized by NASA as a Solar System Ambassador. His other accomplishments in Michigan include his involvement with creating the first WeatherSTEM weather station in the state, providing information to NASA’s GLOBE program and other STEM-related educational programs. 

Student senate passes resolution supporting on-campus housing contract change

On Thursday, Jan. 10, Grand Valley State University’s student senate passed a resolution providing their support for a rewording of section 13 of GVSU’s housing contract. The resolution passed following a near-unanimous vote of approval.

The wording in question states that the university has the right to enter living spaces “without notice as allowed by the law.”

The proposed revision elaborates upon the terms in which the university can enter living spaces, such as “inspection, verification of occupancy, safety, health, maintenance, or in the event of violations of university rules and regulations,” following notice. The rewrite says that the university may also enter without warning provided there is an emergency.

The sole dissenting vote cited a lack of clarity on what is classified as an emergency.

With the senate’s approval of the resolution, GVSU’s Housing Department will have to take the proposed change to its legal team before enacting the change.