At Grand Valley State University, students may feel satisfied with their courses, professors and overall academic opportunities. However, we at the Lanthorn wish to encourage GVSU students, faculty and staff to push for new programs if they see that there is something the university does not yet offer.

Human rights is an important topic that often comes up in classes and everyday conversations. The GVSU Student Senate has introduced a human rights minor, and will vote on Thursday as to whether they will officially start the process of implementing the minor into the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies.

The topic of caring for the environment and sustainability practices is another that is often debated and discussed. Starting on March 17, students can register for the spring, summer or fall session of the new sustainable food systems certificate program, where they will gain field experience.

The university allows you to choose your classes and your program, so adding options like the human rights minor and the environmental studies certificate are things that everyone should at least have the chance to take. Our school needs these things in order to maintain its well-rounded, balanced atmosphere that caters to everyone involved.

Students should take a look into what GVSU currently offers and critically evaluate if there is something missing. There could be a course that should be added to an already existing major or minor that would better prepare students in their field of study. Or there could be a major that would help GVSU better define itself as a liberal arts university with well-rounded programs that should be added to the curriculum. Think outside of the box — what would you ideally want offered at GVSU?

It is up to the students to bring up ideas and needs to leadership at the university. Student Senate has meetings every Thursday evening with specific time set aside to allow for public comment. Take advantage of the opportunity, as these student senators are there to represent GVSU students as a whole and cannot do so effectively without input from the students.

Not only will this help the university, but it will also help students become more versatile individuals that have a broad background. After graduation, employers will look at what stands out about your experience and interests to see if you are their ideal candidate. Taking classes in human rights and sustainability, among other subjects, can help you learn about important topics that are applicable to life outside of the classroom.

Don’t be afraid to speak up if there is something you want to see added to the course catalog in the future, as it could help you stand out in the job market and help students who enroll at GVSU in the years to come become more well-rounded individuals.