News Briefs 1/7

High school teams gather at GVSU for FIRST kick-off event

Over 300 high school students and parents gathered at Grand Valley State University’s Eberhard Center last Saturday, Jan. 5 to take part in For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology’s (FIRST’s) Robotics Competition kick-off event. The event consisted of 74 robotics teams from around West Michigan.

The event prepared teams for their return to GVSU at the end of March, where they will participate in a robotics challenge.

At the kick-off event, teams learned about the details of the challenge as well as the field in which it will be taking place. Following the teams’ return, they will have six weeks to design and build their robot to compete against other teams’.

Also featured at the event was engineer and entrepreneur Prescila Ontiveras, who gave a speech to guests. Ontiveras has experience participating in NASA’s United Space School, co-founding FIRST Lego League Bolivia and speaking at TEDx events. 

For more information on West Michigan’s FIRST Robotics Competition, visit

Student Senate passes resolution denouncing in-person Election Day exams, assignments

During their last general assembly of the fall semester, Student Senate voted on a resolution that supported the creation of a university policy banning required in-person assignments, exams and presentations on Election Day. The resolution, which was initially introduced Nov. 29, passed following discussion.

Sponsored by Student Senators Austin Marsman and Eric-John Szczepaniak, the resolution cites GVSU’s advocacy of student citizenship, but notes that certain laws make it difficult for students — especially those who are first-time voters — to vote. Especially for students with addresses in Michigan, the state requires those who are voting for their first time to vote in-person.

Discussion on the resolution was met by both support and criticism. Proponents cited the need for serious consideration on further promoting students’ civic participation, while dissenting opinions spoke on the resolution’s lackluster likelihood that it would be accepted by Faculty Senate and various departments. 

GV Muskegon Innovation Hub announces new innovation award

Grand Valley State University’s Muskegon Innovation Hub is launching a new award to support local innovators. The “Lakeshore Innovator of the Year” award aims to “celebrate and recognize the most innovative ideas on the Lakeshore.”

The award will be given to an individual or team that can propose the most innovative solution, product or idea to a problem. The individual or team must have an association to the Lakeshore area, whether it be through business, organization or association. 

“The Muskegon Innovation Hub is a place that helps businesses and entrepreneurs maximize their potential, so we want to highlight efforts to innovate across all kinds of businesses and organizations,” said Director Kevin Ricco.

Award finalists will be announced in February, with the award being given at a reception on March 14. 

Applications are open from now through Jan. 31 at 5 p.m. at