GVPD chief says her final farewell at student senate meeting

Joshua Vissers

Director of Public Safety and Grand Valley State University Police Department Chief Renee Freeman gave her last public address to the student senate general assembly Thursday, Sept. 28.

“It’s bittersweet that I’m leaving, but I was hired as a change agent,” she said of her four years at GVSU. “I’m going to try to embrace retirement.”

While in front of the student senate, Freeman addressed several questions, including a couple about “Food 4 Fines,” an initiative that Parking Services and the Replenish food pantry have put together to accept donations instead of money for parking fines between Monday, Sept. 25, and Friday, Oct. 6.

“Don’t just go and park where you want thinking you can bring some peanut butter in,” Freeman said. 

The program, detailed on the Parking Services website, has specific dollar values assigned to certain needed donation items. Maddie Rhoades, the student senate vice president for diversity affairs, reminded everyone that donations can’t be brought to Replenish for the program.

“They’ll say, ‘Thanks for the donation,’ and you’ll still have a citation,” she said.

For students to get credit toward citations, food needs to be brought to Parking Services on the Allendale Campus.

Further, Rachel Jenkin of the student senate campus affairs committee heard back from the Laker Store regarding the planners sold with Columbus Day printed in them.

“The ones with our logo, there’s a high possibility they’ll be changed,” she said, stipulating that it wouldn’t be until the fall 2018 semester. The unbranded planners, however, may not get changed. 

Jenkin is also working with Heather Alberda of the Ottawa County Department of Public Health to find funding for a vending machine that would contain things like condoms, pregnancy tests and Plan B pills to be placed somewhere “discreet but available.”

During public comment, Bilal Qureshi, who recently applied to the student senate and is awaiting approval, stood to introduce himself to the group and let everyone know how excited he is to join them.

“This is really a great community that you have,” he said.

Finally, before adjourning until next week, student senate nominated its homecoming regent, senator Phillip Todd, who promised to cook for everyone if he won in the end.