News Briefs 3/27


GVL Briefs

Elizabeth Schanz, News Editor

GVSU receives negative national attention for inclusive celebration

Recently, national news outlets accused Grand Valley State University of “segregating graduation ceremonies by race,” bringing GVSU’s upcoming commencement celebrations into national and local attention. 

Fox News and the New York Post have been the largest publishers of the claims that the ceremonies are split by different groups of identities such as Black, Asian, LGBTQ, Native American, Hispanic and Latino groups. However, GVSU said this is not the case. 

GVSU stated the university holds “unified Commencement ceremonies for all of its graduates” while the smaller ceremonies held by different student organizations and faculty leaders are an extra opportunity to honor graduates. 

“These more intimate celebrations are a complement to GVSU’s Commencement and are open to all students and their supporters,” said Chris Knape the GVSU communication coordinator in the university’s statement. “The vast majority of graduating students who participate in these celebrations also choose to participate in our larger Commencement ceremony where degrees are conferred.”

Knape also said the smaller commencement ceremonies for various groups of students are not new. The ceremonies began in 2007 with the Lavender Ceremony which recognizes LGBTQ students. 

In an interview with MLive, Knape said smaller graduation celebrations often commemorate students’ involvement during their time at the university and their self-identity. He said other student groups like veterans and foster children also have held their own events. 

Large amount of Fentanyl seized by authorities while being transported from Grand Rapids

Federal agents have confiscated more than 40 pounds of fentanyl, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency, which the feds say would be enough to kill every person in Michigan. 

The fentanyl was found during a traffic stop of a vehicle traveling from Grand Rapids to Detroit. Although the exact location of the seized drugs was not announced, the DEA says that the drugs originated from Mexico. 

According to the Detroit Free Press, Kent County investigators notified the DEA of the drugs shipment allowing for authorities to wait to stop the delivery.