The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

Opinion Year in Review 2023-2024


Elections and expirations: how old is too old to hold office?

As the presidential race comes closer and closer, we are getting increasingly concerned about the age and mental competency of the candidates proposed on the ballot.

This year, it is forecasted that 81 year old Joe Biden will be the Democratic elect and 77 year old Donald Trump will be the Republican president-elect. Biden is the oldest elected president in U.S. history, breaking the previous record set by Trump during the 2016 election. This means that both Biden and Trump are currently on track to break the record for the third consecutive election. Frankly, we’re sick of this. We don’t think records for the oldest politician are the ones that need to be broken.

Both leading presidential candidates are multiple years beyond the life expectancy of the average American male. Obviously speculation about the chances of a U.S. president possibly passing away in office due to old age exists, but more importantly the cognitive ability of former President Trump and President Biden absolutely must be called into question.

To read more of the Lanthorn Staff’s editorial, click here.

“So magnetic it’s almost obnoxious”- ranking Taylor Swift’s 1989 (TV) Vault tracks

On Oct. 27, Taylor Swift released her fourth album rerecording– “1989 (Taylor’s Version).” Originally released in 2014, the new release allowed Swift to own the legal rights to the album, which sold over a million copies almost a decade ago.

According to Forbes, Swift “vowed to regain control of her music after Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings controversially acquired her back catalog in 2019 and later sold it to a private equity firm.”

Swift described the selling of her masters as a “worst-case scenario” in a post on her official Tumblr account from 2019.

Since losing control of her first six albums in 2019, Swift has re-recorded and released her “Taylor’s Version” albums: “Red (Taylor’s Version),” “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” and the newest, highly anticipated “1989 (Taylor’s Version).”

To read more of the Lanthorn Staff’s editorial, click here.

The possible death of Sports Illustrated is a sign of a bigger issues in journalism

The news of enormous layoffs at popular American sports magazine Sports Illustrated jumped out of nowhere for us. It was a shocking development for fans of the historic magazine, and yet another traumatic blow to an industry being torn apart at its seams.

Talk of the mass layoffs came after the news that The Arena Group, the publisher of Sports Illustrated, failed to pay “its licensing fees to the magazine’s parent company,” reported NPR.

It is the second time in recent years that major layoffs have hit Sports Illustrated. Back in 2019, S.I. laid off 30 percent of their staff when media conglomerate Meredith Corporation sold the company to Authentic Brands Group.

The term “media conglomerate” is one that makes news media employees shudder. Now, something that once seemed to hurt small newspapers has begun to destroy legacy news media.

To read more of the Lanthorn Staff’s editorial, click here.

Out of touch and out of our pockets: CAB’s spring concert disappointment

With the upcoming Grand Valley State University Spring Concert on April 6, we are underwhelmed by the lineup of artists set to perform. Given previous concerts featured relevant and big-name artists like T-Pain, Yung Gravy, All-Time Low and Bo Burnham, this year’s lineup feels like a substantial step down in terms of quality and anticipation.

Headlined by former American Idol runner-up Lauren Alaina, GVSU’s Campus Activities Board (CAB) is taking a decidedly pop-country approach to this year’s concert. Joined by Julia Cole and the already famous yodeling Walmart kid, Mason Ramsey, Alaina will have big shoes to fill following last spring’s concert.

We don’t deny that Ramsey is talented, but his appearance as an opener seems more like a gimmick due to his past as a meme, rather than a thought-out choice on CAB’s part. At the same time, Alaina is arguably a less interesting choice. None of us on the Lanthorn Editorial Board actually knew of her prior to the spring concert announcement, and many other students vocalized their disappointment on CAB’s initial Instagram post.

To read more of the Lanthorn Staff’s editorial, click here.


Domestic violence is not funny, Matt Rife

“Comedian” Matt Rife is rightfully under fire for clips in his new Netflix stand-up “Natural Selection” surrounding domestic violence.

For context, Rife said he entered a restaurant and the hostess had a black eye. He said he knew where the black eye came from, insinuating that someone purposely had given that to her. He then went on to make a joke about how he didn’t want someone with a black eye representing the restaurant, and she needed to go back to the kitchen so no one saw her. If that wasn’t already offensive and insensitive enough, Rife then continued on and made a joke saying if she knew how to cook in the kitchen maybe she wouldn’t have gotten the black eye in the first place.

Many people did not find this “joke” funny, so Rife quickly received backlash from viewers. After being under fire, he posted a public “apology” on his Instagram story stating, “If you’ve ever been offended by a joke I’ve told — here’s a link to my official apology,” which included a link to a medical site that sells helmets for persons with disabilities. Not only is Rife poking fun at domestic violence victims, but he is also blatantly making fun of people with persons with disabilities. Instead of doing the right thing by apologizing and taking accountability for his actions, Rife created a bigger problem.

To read more of Maddie Zimmerman’s column, click here.

Grand Rapids’ top 5 greatest bars

As a Grand Valley State University senior who turned 21 going into this school year, I now consider myself a connoisseur of the downtown Grand Rapids bar scene. I journeyed from my Allendale apartment by bus or Uber, and stood in the entry lines in the cold and rain, to concoct this list of five of the best places to go out.

To read more of Elizabeth Schanz’s column, click here.

OSU’s dance team took home the trophy, but at what cost?

The last few years, I have noticed the Universal Dance Association (UDA) College Nationals become increasingly popular because of the competition’s increased visibility on social media with many routines posted on YouTube and TikTok. The world of dance teams and competitions are not new to me, as I competed in UDA Nationals all four years of high school. However, the attention and popularity that the 2024 UDA College Nationals have gained among college students is undeniable.

During UDA Nationals, which took place the weekend of Jan. 12-14, Ohio State University’s (OSU) dance team competed their Division 1A Jazz routine to “My Way” by Frank Sinatra. The routine, which placed first overall in the category and division, was powerful and emotional. The work that goes into learning, perfecting and performing a competitive dance routine is nothing short of incredible and OSU’s dance team always shows up and shows out. However, the work of the team in my eyes is overshadow by the unfortunate truth that OSU’s jazz routine was choreographed by Travis Wall, a choreographer known for sexually harassing multiple dancers and peers, including minors.

To read more of Chloe Schram’s column, click here.

New NFL rules may change football’s dynamics

Many changes have been brought to the NFL’s games this offseason. Owners of the NFL voted to pass two game changing rules that will be in effect starting in the 2024 season. The first rule change was to adopt a low-impact kickoff– previously used in the XFL. In addition, hip-drop tackles were banned and would result in a penalty if used.

I look forward to the new kickoff rule being implemented next season. The ball will still be kicked from 35-yard line with the new regulation. Every player on the kicking team, other than the kicker themselves, will now line up with at least one foot on the returning team’s 40-yard line. During this new kickoff, no players can move until the ball is fielded by a returner.

To read more of Sam Nowotnik’s column, click here.

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About the Contributor
Hailey Hentz
Hailey Hentz is the Lanthorn's Arts & Entertainment editor for the 2023-2024 school year. She previously worked as a staff writer in the Arts & Entertainment section. Hailey is a journalism, broadcasting, and digital media major. In her free time, she likes to play guitar, read, watch films and draw. She also enjoys researching music and art history, particularly from the 1990s. Graduating Winter 2026 Major: Journalism, Broadcasting, and Digital Media