Express Yourself

by Published: Jan 22, 2014

As a Millennial com­ing of age in the United States, it’s frus­trat­ing to be gen­er­al­ized as part of a pop­u­la­tion that doesn’t care about any­thing (other than twerking).

Politicians, pro­fes­sors and par­ents are among those ask­ing my peers and me what we stand for. Unfortunately, at this point, many Millennials don’t have an answer. Even more unfor­tu­nately, those who do are often chas­tised for their answers.

On Dec. 5, Grand Valley State University’s stu­dent news­pa­per, the Lanthorn, ran an edi­to­r­ial ques­tion­ing the increas­ing pres­ence of donor names on cam­pus build­ings and addressed its pos­si­ble impact on GVSU’s mis­sion as a pub­lic university.

With 31 new rooms being named after donors just this year, the “No More Billboards” colum­nist was con­cerned that if this trend con­tin­ued, aca­d­e­mic integrity and free­dom could be sacrificed.

The admin­is­tra­tive response to the edi­to­r­ial was, in one word, disheartening.

Lanthorn editor-in-chief Lizzy Balboa was per­son­ally con­tacted by three of GVSU’s top admin­is­tra­tors. The admin­is­tra­tors accused the Lanthorn staff of being “ungrate­ful” to donors (despite thank­ing them in an edi­to­r­ial ear­lier this year), sug­gested that they were unde­serv­ing of their merit-based schol­ar­ships and asked the pub­li­ca­tion to recant the editorial.

In other words, Balboa and the Lanthorn staff were attacked for express­ing an orig­i­nal thought.

But wait, I thought Millennials were just under attack for not hav­ing any orig­i­nal thoughts? Ugh, I can’t keep up.

As a Bulldog, I never thought I’d say this, but way to go Grand Valley—the Lanthorn that is. The Torch admires your com­mit­ment to hon­est dis­cus­sion and crit­i­cal think­ing. Please con­tinue to express your opin­ions and ques­tion author­ity for the ben­e­fit of students.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

In our case, fel­low Millennials, it’s time for life to begin. Find your voice and break the silence. Like the Lanthorn staff, stand up for what you believe in.

  • Guest

    To the Administrators of Grand Valley– You Can’t Have it Both Ways– don’t encour­age activism and then try to slay the messenger.…shame on you and kudos to The Torch for sup­port­ing their rival.