Student senate addresses Laker Effect, Battle of the Valleys

By Jess Hodge | 10/30/16 11:18pm


GVL/Mackenzie Bush - A Student Senate meeting is held in Pere Marquette Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016.

by Mackenzie Bush / Grand Valley Lanthorn

What is the Laker Effect? How do Grand Valley State University students contribute to the Laker Effect? Rhonda Lubberts, associate vice president for institutional marketing at GVSU came to talk with student senate Thursday, Oct. 27 during its general assembly meeting about the impact of the Laker Effect.

Lubberts not only explained what the Laker Effect campaign was, she emphasized the important role student senators play in making the campaign grow.

Mackenzie Bush

GVL/Mackenzie Bush - Rachel Travis seeks answers from guest speaker, Rhonda Lubberts, about the Laker Effect at the Student Senate meeting Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016.

She explained it in terms of a winter snowstorm blowing over Laker Michigan. The ‘lake effect’ weather has such power and impact over West Michigan and the state.

“That’s what the Laker Effect is sort of indicating, it’s about our collective impact of the Grand Valley community on individual students, on West Michigan, on the state and beyond,” she said. “You are all influencers of people and the power you wield is huge when it comes to marketing.”

Lubberts said the student senators are the “personification” of the Laker Effect and said spreading the word about the campaign is the best way to market the idea.

Telling and sharing personal stories with the hashtag #GVLakerEffect will also help people understand the concept and extend it beyond the GVSU campuses.

“What we hope to show the world is this awesome effect that Grand Valley has of creating impact bigger than ourselves,” Lubberts said. “We are doing things here that are having a positive impact on our communities, the academic excellence (and) the first (rate) faculty that we have here all contribute to awesome things that are bigger than us.”

Nikhil Watsa, vice president of the student senate external relations committee, said he knows as Lakers, they are trying to have a good image, but he asked Lubberts what type of values Lakers should have.

“When you think about Laker Effect, you think about what values we as Lakers are showing toward the community, (is) there (any) definition for what those values might be?” Watsa said.

Lubberts said the Laker Effect campaign focuses on many things, including academic excellence, the faculty, return and investment for students, the facilities at GVSU and all of the campuses. She also said they follow the core values laid out by the university.

“Lakers are driven by our passion our learning and we’re using that knowledge for the common good,” she said. “We make a difference by focusing on others and making lasting contributions.

“The Laker Effect sets us apart as leaders (and) problem solvers, entrepreneurs and advocates that help shape the future.”

During their meeting, student senate also discussed the upcoming events for Battle of the Valleys happening throughout the week.

In addition to week-long events like a raffle, penny wars and T-shirt sales, there will be the "GV’s Got Talent" show Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 9 p.m. in the Cook-DeWitt Center, the Mr. Laker Pageant Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 9 p.m. in the Cook-DeWitt Center and a water pong tournament Friday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center lounge.

For a full list of BOV events, go to 

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