News Briefs 9/6

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Josh Alburtus, News Editor

Abortion protest draws crowds at GV’s Carillon Cook Tower as legal fight continues

Anti-abortion protesters gathered at the base of Grand Valley State University’s Cook Carillon Tower on Sept. 1, equipped with wooden crosses and signs proclaiming their opposition to the practice.

The group’s presence eventually sparked a counter-protest from a number of students who arrived to show solidarity with activists who have advocated for the continuation of abortion access in Michigan.

The protest came one day after the Michigan Board of Canvassers, in a 2-2 vote, rejected adding the Michigan Right to Reproductive Freedom Initiative to the November ballot.

The rejection came following a Bureau of Elections recommendation to make the addition, verifying that the initiative contained over 596,000 valid signatures – about 150,000 more than required.

Although on-campus advocacy groups like Students for Choice and Pro Life at GVSU as well as the Gayle R. Davis Center for Women and Gender Equity have been vocal on their stances regarding abortion access, university administration has taken no public position on the matter.

U.S. Department of Education Under Secretary visits GV following student debt forgiveness

U.S. Department of Education Under Secretary, James Kvaal, visited GVSU on Aug. 30 to meet with students and hear their experiences with GVSU and the education system.

During his trip to GVSU, Kvaal also met with a number of faculty including GVSU President Philomena Mantella.

The visit came less than one week after the Biden administration, working through its Department of Education, announced a plan to forgive up to $20,000 in federal student loans for student borrowers depending on their previous loan history.

The move is expected to relieve debt for thousands of GVSU students who are expected to be able to begin applications for forgiveness in October.

GV area gas prices continue to decline as school year begins

Gas prices in the Allendale area have continued to decline in recent weeks, allowing much needed relief for students and commuters returning to GVSU.

As of the morning of Sept. 4, GVSU’s Ottawa County recorded an average price of $3.57 per gallon according to the national fuel price analysis organization GasBuddy.

Neighboring Kent County, home to GVSU’s Pew Campus and Michigan’s second largest city of Grand Rapids, recorded an average of $3.65 per gallon.

Michigan’s average stood at $3.80 per gallon that same day, down from its peak average of $5.22 in mid-June.

Although these decreases have occurred uniformly across the nation, prices in many areas remain higher than those prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February that disrupted supply lines and coupled with rising inflation to produce record-high fuel prices.