Laker Life Briefs

Is the American Dream a myth?

For college students in 2020, the archetypal “American Dream” may seem less desirable than it was for their parents. Not only does “a yard, a white picket fence, 2.5 children and a nice car in the driveway” not necessarily mesh with modern ambitions, but it definitely doesn’t mesh with America’s rising student debt crisis.

But was the American Dream the true reality for our parents? Our grandparents? Has our country ever truly reflected the belief that anyone can achieve success in America — that through hard work and sacrifice, upward mobility is possible for everyone?

That’s the question professor Steven Tripp intends to answer in “Democracy 101: The Mythology of the American Dream.” The interactive session, which discusses the history of the American Dream back to the 1930s, will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29 in the Multipurpose Room of the Mary Idema Pew Library. The event is LIB 100 and 201 approved.

Learn how GV can help prevent violence

There’s nothing worse than feeling powerless to prevent you or people you know from being hurt. That’s why Grand Valley State University has resources available to students, faculty and staff who need help ending a violent situation. On Thursday, Jan. 30, the university is hosting a Violence Prevention Response Panel to inform the GVSU community about campus resources surrounding sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, stalking and harassment.

The panel will be held from 6-7:30 P.M. in the Kirkhof Center, room 0072. The event is LIB 100 and 201 approved. Those with questions about the panel or GVSU’s violence prevention resources can email Krystal Diel, Victim Advocate for the Center of Women and Gender Equity.

Talk agriculture at the Growing Connections Food Summit

In 2013, GVSU held a summit that identified multiple opportunities for altruistic initiatives made possible by West Michigan’s diverse agriculture system. Seven years later, they’re holding the Growing Connections Food Summit once more in order to bring farmers, businesses, non-profits, educators and students of West Michigan together, connecting needs with opportunities for growth and success.

The summit will take place on Friday, Jan. 31 from 1-5 p.m. in the DeVos Center’s Loosemore Auditorium on Grand Valley’s Pew Campus. The event will consist of three speakers — Lance Kraii, Farm Director for New City Neighbors, Eleanor Moreno, Director of Community Engagement for The Other Way Ministries and Youssef Darwich, Farm Manager and Educator for the GVSU Sustainable Agriculture Project — before breaking down into group discussions. Those interested can RSVP online at