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Responding constructively to Parkland shooting

In the wake of the recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida, many people are joining together in solidarity with the shooting survivors to fight for change. While another mass shooting staining our country's history books has reignited the age-old gun-control debate and emboldened online trolls, plenty of people have been reacting to the tragedy peacefully and with outward expressions of solidarity in order to not produce any more hurt. This response speaks to a larger issue: Peaceful protests, or nonviolent protests that don't involve hurting people or property, are a good way to make our voices heard. 

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Taking action in the wake of another school shooting

There are certain events that shake us as U.S. citizens to the core. Oftentimes, these events prove to be divisive and citizens feel obligated to pick a side. One of these events occurred on Valentine’s Day, a day meant to strengthen the feeling of love, but it instead reinforced the existence of hate. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was ravaged by a mass shooting. Instinctive reactions were a combination of grief, disgust and activism, but now as a country we must ask ourselves what we’re really going to do about it.

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We shouldn't hate the unknown

In an inspiring lecture from Daryl Davis, author of "Klan-destine Relationships: A Black Man’s Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan," the Grand Valley State University community was reminded that striving to understand others' beliefs is key in bridging the gap between people.

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When did immigration become such a bad thing?

The U.S. that we all know and love (at least most of the time) has been built off one very important thing: immigration. Most of the nation's citizens are descendants of people who immigrated to the country, many of whom didn’t do so politely or legally. Yes, I’m talking to you, Andrew Jackson. Our Founding Fathers were not even familiar with the idea of illegal immigration because during the 18th century, it simply did not exist. Still, this era was a pivotal time for our country as a whole, and it makes me wonder when immigration became so bad. 

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Olympic Games serve as opportunity to come together

When the Olympics start, I put all other television programs and movies aside. For two weeks, the games are my only true form of entertainment. I love the competition, seeing people make their dreams come true and watching underdogs become victors. Mostly, though, I love watching the opening ceremony and seeing athletes from countries around the world come together. 

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GVSU officials need to be transparent with Presidents' Ball cost

Many Grand Valley State University students are completely unaware of how much Presidents' Ball costs to put on. The allocation amount is accessible, but the actual budget in full is not readily available to students, nor is it particularly transparent, despite the event's cost being described as such by many officials. The least that students should expect from those in charge of planning and funding the event is explicit accuracy and transparency. If an event is taking place to get prospective students to come to GVSU, the students who go here now should know what they're paying for first. 

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Why the 2018 Winter Olympics are significant for LGBT athletes

The fanfare surrounding the Olympics is nothing new. Every two years, either the summer or winter games provide a perfect setting for the world to come together. Perhaps more importantly, the Olympics allow people from different races, religions and identities to truly connect. The focus of each Olympic cycle is always different, but this year, the winter games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are highlighting something particularly important: LGBT athletes.

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The Dumbledore problem

As the shrinking group of people who are still deeply invested in "Harry Potter" probably already knows, there’s a new movie written by J.K. Rowling coming out this November called "The Crimes of Grindelwald." Despite being named for an entirely different character, the film will apparently be giving a lot of focus to everyone’s favorite absentminded headmaster, exploring “how Dumbledore becomes Dumbledore.” 

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