President's Message to Campus - November 2, 2018

This past week we were reminded again that hatred exists in our world, and when it erupts, shocking, senseless acts can occur. People across our nation are mourning after a gunman opened fire on congregants worshipping Shabbat inside the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pa. When the devastating news broke that 11 people were killed as a result of this attack, it was another wakeup call that we all must take a stand against bigotry and hate. The lives of those lost, and their families, are in our hearts and prayers. It is difficult to comprehend the pain those families are experiencing from this senseless act of violence.

When tragedies like this occur, we ask ourselves, “What can we do? How can we make things better?” I would encourage you, today and every day, to take time to look out for one another – students and colleagues, neighbors, friends and family, and especially those we don’t know. Introduce yourself to people on campus and in the community whom you haven’t taken time yet to meet. Have conversation. Let them know you care. Each and every one of us can help make the world a better place. This is a value our founders instilled into the fabric of our institution, and together, we can make an important difference in the lives of others.

Cultural Awareness Events

As a part of our continued commitment to diversity, inclusion and understanding, there are a number of cultural awareness events on the Big Rapids campus during the month of November. These are free and open to all students, faculty and staff, in addition to members of the community:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 6: Hidden Disablers Among Our Children Series: The Effects of Poverty on Children - This interactive seminar helps participants experience the common challenges faced by families in poverty and process how children’s lives and their education are affected. RSVP to [email protected] 4-6:30 p.m. – University Center 203
  • Thursday, Nov. 8: Hidden Figures (Movie & Discussion) - This is the recent motion picture about three brilliant African-American women at NASA whose mathematic genius enables the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. Doors open: 7:30 p.m., movie begins 8 p.m. – University Center 202 Sponsors: Residential Life-Harmony Project, Residence Hall Association (RHA), Entertainment Unlimited, Office of Multicultural Student Services
  • Tuesday, Nov. 13: The 2018 Native American Heritage Month Celebration 5-7:30 p.m. – University Center 217 Sponsors: The Circle of Tribal Nations, The Office of Multicultural Student Services
  • Tuesday, Nov. 27: Conversations on Race: #CallThePolice, A Reflection on the Policing of Black People 6-7:30 p.m. – IRC 107 Sponsor: The Office of Multicultural Student Services

Thank you to Andrea Kitomary, OMSS and all of the sponsors for bringing these important events to campus. I encourage you to attend those of interest to you.

Athletics

On Tuesday the women’s soccer team broke the all-time program record for single season victories with a 4-1 win over Davenport in the GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinals. They are ranked 14th in the nation, and with the win advanced to the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals, hosted by top-seeded Grand Valley. Tonight the women take on third-seeded Saginaw Valley at 7:30 p.m. for the third time this season with the league tournament title game set for Sunday at 1 p.m.

There will be a host of athletic activities happening this weekend, with football, volleyball and hockey all playing at home. The Bulldog football team hosts Davenport on Saturday with kickoff at 1 p.m. at Top Taggart Field. With a victory, the team will claim the GLIAC Championship. The team is currently ranked second in the nation. They are 9-0 overall and 7-0 in the GLIAC after a hard-fought win over Wayne State last weekend. Quarterback Jayru Campbell was named the GLIAC offensive player of the week for the fifth time this season for his performance against Wayne State.

Women’s volleyball moved up two spots this week to #8 and hosts their final two regular season matches against Michigan Tech on Friday at 7 p.m. and Northern Michigan on Saturday at 5 p.m. The women, who are undefeated in the GLIAC, currently lead Michigan Tech by a single match in the GLIAC standings as they aim for a fifth consecutive league regular-season championship.

Finally, Saturday evening Bulldog hockey takes on Michigan State at 7:07 p.m. at Ewigleben Ice Arena. Last weekend, the men opened WCHA play with a home sweep over Alaska-Anchorage and are at the top of the league standings heading into this weekend’s nonleague action. Goaltender Roni Salmenkangas, a freshman from Tampere, Finland, was in the nets both evenings against UAA, is now 3-0 on the season, and was named the WCHA Rookie of the Month.

Congratulations to our student-athletes and their coaches for their extraordinary performance. We are all very proud of them and their success.

David L. Eisler, president