Laker Life Briefs 4/4

Jacob DeWeerd and Xavier Golden

GV American Cancer Society hosts first in-person Relay for Life in two years

Relay for Life of Grand Valley State University was held from April 1-2 at the Fieldhouse Arena. The event was hosted by the American Cancer Society (ACS) of GVSU. 

The COVID-19 pandemic moved GVSU’s ACS events outdoors or online. This year’s Relay for Life of GVSU was the first in-person Relay since 2019. 

ACS of GVSU Vice President Nicole Miller said the intervening years of virtual events affected the process of organizing Relay. 

“We have two new classes that have never been part of an in-person Relay,” Miller said. “So most people either don’t know what Relay is or have no idea what to expect.” 

While participants walked laps around the Fieldhouse Arena, the event featured live music, yard games and an inflatable obstacle course. 

Miller said further challenges included raising awareness of the event in the GVSU community, but ACS is optimistic about the turnout for upcoming events. 

“We had our biggest year in 2019, this year, as a rebuilding year, is setting us up well for the future,” Miller said. “I hope, next year, we can get as many people on campus involved as possible.” 

By the end of the event on April 2, the ACS of GVSU had raised over $30,000. 

“(That money) will be going towards ACS and their research efforts, and services they provide to cancer patients and their families, like running the National Cancer Information Center and things like Road to Recovery, which gives chemo patients rides to treatment,” Miller said. 

Miller has been participating in Relay for Life for over a decade and noted some differences between the community events of her childhood and Relay at GVSU. 

“I think people get a little more involved with a student event, and it’s a lot of fun,” Miller said. “Like the sandcastle contest, there are more youthful activities.” 

Miller also spoke to her history with Relay and its personal importance. 

“Cancer is a horrible thing, but it brings people together and unites them in a common cause,” Miller said. “We all come from different backgrounds and have different beliefs, but we all get to share in this one thing to help end cancer.” 

Celebrate AAPI heritage and history

The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) is hosting an interactive presentation that discusses the history of racism against AAPI Americans on Wednesday, April 6. By the end of the presentation, OMA says students will be able to identify historical events that have impacted AAPI Americans, define differences between racism and microaggressions, and understand how to be an ally to AAPI Americans. This event is open to students and approved for INT 100 and INT 201.