Lanthorn October 12, 2009 : Page 1

LANTHORN Lakers fall from dominance, B1 at Lanthorn.com Grand Valley Lanthorn Grand Valley State University Celebrating 41 years of serving the Grand Valley State University community www.lanthorn.com Monday, October 12, 2009 Judge Ken Post speaks on legal interaction with students By Chelsea Lane GVL Assistant News Editor The line of young people winds out the door of the building. Those standing outside brave the rain. They are not here to land coveted concert tickets or get into a hot new club. They are here to see Judge Ken Post. In his almost 30 years as a judge, 58th District Court Judge Post has overseen countless criminal hearings involving Grand Valley State University students and campus- area crimes. After a busy morning of Post sentencings, Judge Post sat down to share his experiences as a judge and discuss an infamous GVSU “urban myth” about himself. Lanthorn: How long have you worked as a judge and what initially attracted you to the profession? Post: I’ve been a judge since 1980. I was elected in 1980 and took office on Jan. 1, 1981. I was a prosecutor before that and worked in the city attorney’s office in Kent and Grand Rapids. What attracted me to the position? Just an interest in seeing things run well and the law. I enjoy the law and I enjoy helping people. I enjoy encouraging people. Lanthorn: What is the most common crime you see committed by GVSU students or young people in general and what is the typical sentence for those crimes? Post: (For) GVSU students, minor in possession. Sentence is fines and court costs of $210. That’s probably the most common one. I think for GVSU students, probably the next closest one is larceny or domestic matters; assaults between boyfriend and girlfriend, that sort of thing. We don’t see a lot of those. Most of those, the larcenies, is usually restitution and sometimes there’s probation involved with that. In the domestic violence matters, there’s always probation that’s involved. Lanthorn: Do young people usually have legal representation at a court hearing? Why or why not? Lanthorn: Do you believe the law or sentencing can be subject Post: They do if they request it. If a person requests a court-appointed attorney because they can’t afford one and they petition the court, we provide court-appointed counsel. If they hire an attorney, they’ve always got counsel. If they choose to represent themselves, they do. The only difference is whether they choose to or not. In minor in possession charges, since there’s no possibility of incarceration, they don’t have a right to be represented by an attorney, so for that reason, the court doesn’t appoint one. Plus we don’t have enough money to provide attorneys for everybody that would want one. to personal interpretation and is it possible for one court to be more “strict” or “lenient” than another? Post: I don’t know that I can comment on how one court is versus another court. I think that the fines and costs are many times prescribed as to what they’re going to be. There’s a fee schedule posted out in the lobby with regards to many of our costs, so we don’t deviate in that sense. Issues in restitution and things of that matter are always varying, depending on what the case is and what the facts are. I suspect that depending on a whole host of different things, you can have courts that are perceived to be more lenient or less lenient. One thing that I think really See Judge, A2 Two GV students run, place in international half marathon By Anya Zentmeyer GVL Staff Writer About 2,000 men from all across the globe gathered at the starting line and Grand Valley State University senior Andrew Sisson raised his right hand in the air and spoke with them in unison. “They had everyone recite a ‘runners’ code’ declaring friendship and for the fun of sport among other things before we could start,” Sisson said. “This was first done in the native Tamil and then in English.” Sisson, along fellow with internationals. Behind me were about 2,000 other men. I ended up running most of the race with two Indian men who latched on as I caught up to them. One dropped off after 11 km and the other at 17 km. Both helped pace me well as I had never run that far in my life. My final time was 1 hour, 36 minutes, of which I am very proud.” After the race, Sisson was being interviewed by a local Indian paper “India has made me more aware of the conveniences that we most often take for granted in the U.S. ... ” GVSU senior Lindsay Nicoson, was a place holder and participant in the Idea Chennai Give Life International Half Marathon while studying abroad with other GVSU students at Pondicherry University in India. The half-marathon is a fundraiser for the Give Life Foundation. Sisson finished in sixth place GVL Photo Illustration / James Brien Taking precautions: Vaccination against the H1N1 virus is now available. University officials are urging caution in combating flu symptoms. N Lakers fall from dominance, B1 at Lanthorn.com Grand Valley Lanthorn Grand Valley State University Celebrating 41 years of serving the Grand Valley State University community www.lanthorn.com Monday, October 12, 2009 Judge Ken Post speaks on legal interaction with students By Chelsea Lane GVL Assistant News Editor The line of young people winds out the door of the building. Those standing outside brave the rain. They are not here to land coveted concert tickets or get into a hot new club. They are here to see Judge Ken Post. In his almost 30 years as a judge, 58th District Court Judge Post has overseen countless criminal hearings involving Grand Valley State University students and campus- area crimes. After a busy morning of Post sentencings, Judge Post sat down to share his experiences as a judge and discuss an infamous GVSU “urban myth” about himself. Lanthorn: How long have you worked as a judge and what initially attracted you to the profession? Post: I’ve been a judge since 1980. I was elected in 1980 and took office on Jan. 1, 1981. I was a prosecutor before that and worked in the city attorney’s office in Kent and Grand Rapids. What attracted me to the position? Just an interest in seeing things run well and the law. I enjoy the law and I enjoy helping people. I enjoy encouraging people. Lanthorn: What is the most common crime you see committed by GVSU students or young people in general and what is the typical sentence for those crimes? Post: (For) GVSU students, minor in possession. Sentence is fines and court costs of $210. That’s probably the most common one. I think for GVSU students, probably the next closest one is larceny or domestic matters; assaults between boyfriend and girlfriend, that sort of thing. We don’t see a lot of those. Most of those, the larcenies, is usually restitution and sometimes there’s probation involved with that. In the domestic violence matters, there’s always probation that’s involved. Lanthorn: Do young people usually have legal representation at a court hearing? Why or why not? Lanthorn: Do you believe the law or sentencing can be subject Post: They do if they request it. If a person requests a court-appointed attorney because they can’t afford one and they petition the court, we provide court-appointed counsel. If they hire an attorney, they’ve always got counsel. If they choose to represent themselves, they do. The only difference is whether they choose to or not. In minor in possession charges, since there’s no possibility of incarceration, they don’t have a right to be represented by an attorney, so for that reason, the court doesn’t appoint one. Plus we don’t have enough money to provide attorneys for everybody that would want one. to personal interpretation and is it possible for one court to be more “strict” or “lenient” than another? Post: I don’t know that I can comment on how one court is versus another court. I think that the fines and costs are many times prescribed as to what they’re going to be. There’s a fee schedule posted out in the lobby with regards to many of our costs, so we don’t deviate in that sense. Issues in restitution and things of that matter are always varying, depending on what the case is and what the facts are. I suspect that depending on a whole host of different things, you can have courts that are perceived to be more lenient or less lenient. One thing that I think really See Judge, A2 Two GV students run, place in international half marathon By Anya Zentmeyer GVL Staff Writer About 2,000 men from all across the globe gathered at the starting line and Grand Valley State University senior Andrew Sisson raised his right hand in the air and spoke with them in unison. “They had everyone recite a ‘runners’ code’ declaring friendship and for the fun of sport among other things before we could start,” Sisson said. “This was first done in the native Tamil and then in English.” Sisson, along fellow with internationals. Behind me were about 2,000 other men. I ended up running most of the race with two Indian men who latched on as I caught up to them. One dropped off after 11 km and the other at 17 km. Both helped pace me well as I had never run that far in my life. My final time was 1 hour, 36 minutes, of which I am very proud.” After the race, Sisson was being interviewed by a local Indian paper “India has made me more aware of the conveniences that we most often take for granted in the U.S. ... ” GVSU senior Lindsay Nicoson, was a place holder and participant in the Idea Chennai Give Life International Half Marathon while studying abroad with other GVSU students at Pondicherry University in India. The half-marathon is a fundraiser for the Give Life Foundation. Sisson finished in sixth place GVL Photo Illustration / James Brien Taking precautions: Vaccination against the H1N1 virus is now available. University officials are urging caution in combating flu symptoms. reaches reaches campus One reported case of flu strand most commonly linked to H1N1 virus at GVSU By Chelsea Lane and Katie Bludworth GVL Staff The Campus Health Center has confirmed that in the past three weeks, one individual has tested positive for the A-type flu. This strand of the flu is the one most commonly linked to the H1N1 virus, also known as “swine flu.” With about 50 to 60 patients walking into the Health Center each day, it is not uncommon to have someone complain about flu-like symptoms and each case varies in its severity. The ways in which a patient may care for these symptoms are all incredibly similar and most doctors prescribe Tamiflu, a prescription medication said to relieve the symptoms of the flu. It is the H1N1 virus that has become harder to treat since the pandemic began in June of this year when people began to bring the virus into the U.S. after vacationing in Mexico. This past week, the World Heath Organization released the H1N1 vaccine. But some health officials worry the vaccine may cause more problems than it actually helps. Already the vaccine is being questioned based upon some officials’ s p e c u l a t i o n s into what may be possible ingredients. Some of the influenza vaccines,” said FDA chief scientist Dr. Jesse Goodman in a press release. The Center for Disease “... it’s also important for students to know the steps toward treatment of and the spread of the H1N1 flu.” MARILYN vaccine’s supposed ingredients have been known to cause paralysis in test subjects such as lab mice as well as in one 1976 case of the swine flu. However, the Food and Drug Administration has attempted to quell fears about the vaccine. “The H1N1 vaccines undergo the same rigorous FDA manufacturing oversight, product quality testing and lot release procedures that apply to seasonal INDEX A VANDERWERF GVSU PROFESSOR Control’s recommended method of vaccination is four immunization shots for children and the elderly: two for the seasonal flu and two for the pandemic swine flu. Adults should receive three shots: one for the seasonal flu and two for the swine flu. With a minimal of number confirmed cases of the A-type flu virus, the only step recommended by the university thus far is to get a seasonal flu vaccination. Other universities are taking more severe precautions with Carnegie Mellon University boasting of makeshift infirmaries and paper masks becoming Washington State University’s new must-have fashion accessory. See Flu, A2 News..........................................................................A3 Nation / World...............................................................A4 Opinion.........................................................................A6 Laker Life.......................................................................A7 Advertisement..............................................................A8 B ANDREW SISSON GVSU SENIOR about being an international runner when two other Caucasian men approached. The men asked Sisson where he was from in the U.S. “When I told him Michigan, his face lit up and (he) concurred that he was also from Canton, Mich.,” Sisson said. “When I told him I was from Grand Rapids, he said he was an alumnus from Grand Valley.” The GVSU alumnus, Tim internationally among the men, and Nicoson placed fifth among the women. “They forced all the international runners to the front of the start line,” Sisson said. “I was next to three Kenyans and one Ethiopian professional runner and about six other McCurry, was staying in India briefly for two weeks as the company he worked for, Ford Motor Co., had opened a new line of cars there. Although Sisson’s world seemed very small at the race, he said life overseas is much different than here in Allendale or See Marathon, A2 Courtesy Photo / News and Info International race: GVSU natives Andrew Sisson, Tim McCurry and Lindsay Nicoson meet up after running the Idea Chennai Give Life International Half Marathon in India. Sports...........................................................B1 A&E.........................................................B4 Marketplace................................................B5

Judge Ken Post Speaks On Legal Interaction With Students

Chelsea Lane

The line of young people winds out the door of the building. Those standing outside brave the rain.<br /> <br /> They are not here to land coveted concert tickets or get into a hot new club. They are here to see Judge Ken Post.<br /> <br /> In his almost 30 years as a judge, 58th District Court Judge Post has overseen countless criminal hearings involving Grand Valley State University students and campusarea crimes. After a busy morning of sentencings, Judge Post sat down to share his experiences as a judge and discuss an infamous GVSU “urban myth” about himself.<br /> <br /> Lanthorn: How long have you worked as a judge and what initially attracted you to the profession?<br /> <br /> Post: I’ve been a judge since<br /> <br /> 1980. I was elected in 1980 and took office on Jan. 1, 1981. I was a prosecutor before that and worked in the city attorney’s office in Kent and Grand Rapids. What attracted me to the position? Just an interest in seeing things run well and the law.<br /> <br /> I enjoy the law and I enjoy helping people. I enjoy encouraging people.<br /> <br /> Lanthorn: What is the most common crime you see committed by GVSU students or young people in general and what is the typical sentence for those crimes?<br /> <br /> Post: (For) GVSU students, minor in possession. Sentence is fines and court costs of $210. That’s probably the most common one. I think for GVSU students, probably the next closest one is larceny or domestic matters; assaults between boyfriend and girlfriend, that sort of thing.<br /> <br /> We don’t see a lot of those. Most of those, the larcenies, is usually restitution and sometimes there’s probation involved with that. In the domestic violence matters, there’s always probation that’s involved.<br /> <br /> Lanthorn: Do young people usually have legal representation at a court hearing? Why or why not?<br /> <br /> Post: They do if they request it. If a person requests a court-appointed attorney because they can’t afford one and they petition the court, we provide court-appointed counsel.<br /> <br /> If they hire an attorney, they’ve always got counsel. If they choose to represent themselves, they do.<br /> <br /> The only difference is whether they choose to or not. In minor in possession charges, since there’s no possibility of incarceration, they don’t have a right to be represented by an attorney, so for that reason, the court doesn’t appoint one. Plus we don’t have enough money to provide attorneys for everybody that would want one.<br /> <br /> Lanthorn: Do you believe the law or sentencing can be subject to personal interpretation and is it possible for one court to be more “strict” or “lenient” than another?<br /> <br /> Post: I don’t know that I can comment on how one court is versus another court. I think that the fines and costs are many times prescribed as to what they’re going to be.<br /> <br /> There’s a fee schedule posted out in the lobby with regards to many of our costs, so we don’t deviate in that sense. Issues in restitution and things of that matter are always varying, depending on what the case is and what the facts are. I suspect that depending on a whole host of different things, you can have courts that are perceived to be more lenient or less lenient.<br /> <br /> One thing that I think really Affects that is whether or not a court has the ability to incarcerate. In Kent County, for example, there are many judges that have only a certain number of beds that they can use, so they have a tendency to save those for what people would perceive as more severe matters — things like stalking. That’s a reasonable expectation. We don’t have that kind of limitation. We’ve always managed to work out all those issues, so people do sometimes end up going to jail on what people would consider lesser matters.<br /> <br /> Seldom does anyone go to jail on a first offense. There are limited exceptions. One of those is hosting a party where alcohol is involved. Pretty routinely, while the jail is not required, I do sentence them to a couple days in jail. Mainly because of the danger they committed to the other members of the community.<br /> <br /> Lanthorn: How do you balance whatever personal feelings you may have about a case or an individual, be they positive or negative, with your responsibilities to uphold the law?<br /> <br /> Post: I don’t think I’ve ever been involved in a case with someone I knew personally. I always disqualify myself or at least offer to disqualify myself, so it’s never been an issue.<br /> <br /> Lanthorn: Some GVSU students erroneously believe you had a relative who was killed by a drunk driver. Would you care to comment on this rumor at all?<br /> <br /> Post: Actually I like to keep the urban myth alive. But I don’t really need to comment on that because I’ve never had any relatives injured or killed by a drunk driver ... That’s been around so long that it’s kind of like a legend.<br /> <br /> Lanthorn: Many students have never witnessed court proceedings firsthand. Do you think students could benefit from watching a real hearing in person?<br /> <br /> Post: 95 to 96 percent of the student body will never get in a courtroom. Those people don’t need to watch. The 4 or 5 percent that are here, especially the 3 percent that come back here on a regular basis, they could spend a lot of time learning. It might help them. So can they benefit?<br /> <br /> If they plan on using the court system, watching the process is always going to be beneficial.<br /> <br /> But if they have no need to use it, then it’s obviously not going to be beneficial.<br /> <br /> Lanthorn: Is there anything else you’d like to add or anything you would like to address to the GVSU student body?<br /> <br /> Post: I’m always open to suggestions if you think that we can do things a better way and help people get to the point where they won’t injure themselves or others.<br /> <br /> Assistantnews@lanthorn.com

Two GV Students Run, Place In International Half Marathon

Anya Zentmeyer

About 2,000 men from all across the globe gathered at the starting line and Grand Valley State University senior Andrew Sisson raised his right hand in the air and spoke with them in unison.<br /> <br /> “They had everyone recite a ‘runners’ code’ declaring friendship and for the fun of sport among other things before we could start,” Sisson said.<br /> <br /> “This was first done in the native Tamil and then in English.” Sisson, along with fellow GVSU senior Lindsay Nicoson, was a place holder and participant in the Idea Chennai Give Life International Half Marathon while studying abroad with other GVSU students at Pondicherry University in India.<br /> <br /> The half-marathon is a fundraiser for the Give Life Foundation.<br /> <br /> Sisson finished in sixth place internationally among the men, and Nicoson placed fifth among the women.<br /> <br /> “They forced all the international runners to the front of the start line,” Sisson said.<br /> <br /> “I was next to three Kenyans and one Ethiopian professional runner and about six other internationals. Behind me were about 2,000 other men. I ended up running most of the race with two Indian men who latched on as I caught up to them. One dropped off after 11 km and the other at 17 km. Both helped pace me well as I had never run that far in my life. My final time was 1 hour, 36 minutes, of which I am very proud.” After the race, Sisson was being interviewed by a local Indian paper about being an i n t e r n a t i o n a l runner when two other Caucasian men approached.<br /> <br /> The men asked Sisson where he was from in the<br /> <br /> U. S. “When I told him Michigan, his face lit up and (he) concurred that he was also from Canton, Mich.,” Sisson said.<br /> <br /> “When I told him I was from Grand Rapids, he said he was an alumnus from Grand Valley.” The GVSU alumnus, Tim McCurry, was staying in India briefly for two weeks as the company he worked for, Ford Motor Co., had opened a new line of cars there.<br /> <br /> Although Sisson’s world seemed very small at the race, he said life overseas is much different than here in Allendale or Even the U.S. in general.<br /> <br /> “No PowerPoints, no white boards but lots of chalk,” Sisson said of the classrooms.<br /> <br /> Aside from a few wild encounters with bugs and a difficult library system, Sisson said the program in India has drastically changed his outlook on the benefits of the American education system.<br /> <br /> “India has made me more aware of the conveniences that we most often take for granted in the U.S. like printers and reliable Internet, clean drinking water out of every tap (and) garbage receptacles instead of the ground being the receptacle,” Sisson said. “However, many differences and difficulties the group of us have encountered, we always seem to get over them with little problem and have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.” azentmeyer@lanthorn.com

A-Type Flu Virus Reaches Campus

Chelsea Lane and Katie Bludworth

One reported case of flu strand most commonly linked to H1N1 virus at GVSU<br /> <br /> The Campus Health Center has confirmed that in the past three weeks, one individual has tested positive for the A-type flu. This strand of the flu is the one most commonly linked to the H1N1 virus, also known as “swine flu.” With about 50 to 60 patients walking into the Health Center each day, it is not uncommon to have someone complain about flu-like symptoms and each case varies in its severity.<br /> <br /> The ways in which a patient may care for these symptoms are all incredibly similar and most doctors prescribe Tamiflu, a prescription medication said to relieve the symptoms of the flu. It is the H1N1 virus that has become harder to treat since the pandemic began in June of this year when people began to bring the virus into the U.S. after vacationing in Mexico.<br /> <br /> This past week, the World Heath Organization released the H1N1 vaccine.<br /> <br /> But some health officials worry the vaccine may cause more problems than it actually helps. Already the vaccine is being questioned based upon some officials’ s p e c u l a t i o n s into what may be possible ingredients.<br /> <br /> Some of the vaccine’s supposed ingredients have been known to cause paralysis in test subjects such as lab mice as well as in one 1976 case of the swine flu.<br /> <br /> However, the Food and Drug Administration has attempted to quell fears about the vaccine.<br /> <br /> “The H1N1 vaccines undergo the same rigorous FDA manufacturing oversight, product quality testing and lot release procedures that apply to seasonal influenza vaccines,” said FDA chief scientist Dr. Jesse Goodman in a press release.<br /> <br /> The Center for Disease Control’s recommended method of vaccination is four immunization shots for children and the elderly: two for the seasonal flu and two for the pandemic swine flu. Adults should receive three shots: one for the seasonal flu and two for the swine flu.<br /> <br /> With a minimal number of confirmed cases of the A-type flu virus, the only step recommended by the university thus far is to get a seasonal flu vaccination.<br /> <br /> Other universities are taking more severe precautions with Carnegie Mellon University boasting of makeshift infirmaries and paper masks becoming Washington State University’s new must-have fashion accessory. <br /> <br /> In case the pandemic does strike GVSU’s campus, the administration has sent an e-mail to all professors stating attendance policies must be lightened as students may be more prone to getting sick with a violent illness this flu season.<br /> <br /> Many professors have done just that, relaxing their strict policies about failing when missing more than two or three classes in a semester and offering more flexibility if flulike symptoms become apparent.<br /> <br /> The Kirkhof College of Nursing has also partnered with Housing and Residence Life to give presentations about H1N1 in various on-campus living centers. The presentations are led by senior-level nursing students and provide students with tips and advice on how to avoid illness as well as dispel common rumors about the H1N1 virus.<br /> <br /> “It’s evident these presentations have helped to dispel rumors and fears,” said nursing professor Marilyn VanderWerf in a university press release.<br /> <br /> “While it’s important for students to know preventative behaviors, it’s also important for them to know the steps toward treatment of and the spread of the H1N1 flu.” The Campus Health Center wished to remind students the best way to fight the illness is to stay home and follow doctor recommendations for their particular case, as each instance can vary in severity.<br /> <br /> Assistantnews@lanthorn.com

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