The Hauenstein Center is pleased to introduce a new way for our audience to stay engaged digitally. Starting March 25, we will be sharing daily updates to spark discussion for the duration of the pandemic. We will share the topics on our social channels and keep a running list below.

August 12, 2020, Biden picks Kamala Harris as running mate, first Black woman

Announced yesterday afternoon, Kamala Harris will be Joe Biden's running mate for the 2020 presidential election.

August 10, 2020, Lakers Together Weekly Update - Face Coverings

The new weekly update from Lakers Together features two of our incoming Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy Fellows!

July 31, 2020, Free Speech Prevails at Princeton

Robert George, one of our featured speakers in our June Newsletter available here, has recently published today's feature article focusing on the free speech issues Princeton was facing.

July 30, 2020, Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation

Today's feature is an opinion piece John Lewis wrote to be published on the day of his funeral. Today we remember John Lewis and the work that he accomplished.

July 29, 2020, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Prepare for Their ‘Big Tobacco Moment’

"The captains of the New Gilded Age — Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google — will appear together before Congress for the first time to justify their business practices."

Today in congress Tech giants will be on the floor defending their sites. Today's feature discusses some of the finer details of the meeting.

July 28, 2020, Mail-in voting attracts millions in donations for the first time

Today's feature provides a great rundown of the investment both sides are putting into mail-in voting.

"The massive effort by political parties, super PACs, and other organizations to fight over whether Americans can vote by mail is remarkable considering the practice has long been uncontroversial."

July 23, 2020, Taking sides during the pandemic. How beliefs affect the way we process information, react to discord

Today's feature was written by GVSU's own professor and chair of psychology, Michael Wolfe. He discusses his research in regards to how beliefs affect the way people process information and how this is related to the mask debate we are currently seeing.

July 22, 2020, U.S. orders China to shut Houston consulate in move China calls 'unprecedented escalation'

Today's feature article covers the still developing dispute at the China consulate in Houston.

"The United States has told China to close its consulate in Houston in a dramatic worsening of ties between the world’s two biggest economies, and a source said Beijing was considering shutting the U.S. consulate in Wuhan in retaliation."

July 21, 2020, PHOTOS: Apollo 11 moon landing, looking back 51 years later

With the 51st anniversary of the moon landing this week, we wanted to share some images and the historic event and another article that points the possibilities of another space race in our future.

June 17, 2020, TED’s summer culture list: 114 podcasts, books, TV shows, movies and more to nourish you

As we approach the weekend, today's feature shares some fun movies/shows, podcasts, and books to enjoy this summer while engaging your brain!

"Whether you’re staying put or going away, summer can be a great time to relax and try new things. So we asked TED speakers to recommend podcasts, books, TV shows, movies and more that have nourished their minds, spirits and bodies (yes, you’ll find a link to a recipe for olive-cheese loaf below) in recent times."

July 16, 2020, John Roberts Is Just Who the Supreme Court Needed

Today's feature talks more about Justice John Roberts, the key swing vote in many cases recently heard by the supreme court.

"Roberts said he would try to persuade his colleagues to put institutional legitimacy first by encouraging them to converge around narrow, bipartisan decisions to avoid 5–4 partisan splits."

July 15, 2020, Queen to knight record-breaking UK fundraiser Captain Tom on Friday

We wanted to bring you all a delightful update to a story we shared a few months ago. Congratulations Sir Tom Moore!

"Captain Tom Moore, who became a national hero in Britain after raising more than 33 million pounds ($40 million) for health workers in the run-up to his 100th birthday, is to be knighted by Queen Elizabeth on Friday, Buckingham Palace said."

July 14, 2020, A President's Evolving Approach to Fiscal Policy in Times of Crisis

This is an interesting article that we wanted to share about FDR for today's feature.

"FDR began his 1932 campaign for the presidency espousing orthodox fiscal beliefs. He promised to balance the federal budget, which Herbert Hoover had been unable to do. Indeed, when FDR came into office, the national deficit was nearly $3,000,000,000."

July 8, 2020, A Letter on Justice and Open Debate

Harper's Magazine has published a statement from writers, scholars, professors, and others asking for the protection of the free exchange of thoughts and ideas. They are asking that we all seek common ground in what we are discussing and seek to understand one another rather then sensor what we are reading and writing about.

"Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes. Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal."

July 7, 2020, New ICE guidelines take Zoom U off table for foreign students

Today's feature provides a good overview of the recent news regarding foreign students and online courses being offered instead of in-person lectures this Fall.

"International students at colleges using remote learning this fall must leave the United States or transfer schools, say guidelines released Monday. The policy creates an urgent dilemma for students and colleges that rely on international tuition."

July 6, 2020, Nelnet And Great Lakes Will No Longer Service Your Federal Student Loans

Today's feature is important for many of our students and alumni as 13 million student loan borrowers will soon have different loan providers.

"The surprise announcement comes as the U.S. Department of Education, led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, seeks to improve student loan servicing."

July 4, 2020, Whose Fourth of July

How have those in the past celebrated the Fourth of July? This podcast centered around the holiday features historian Martha S. Jones, the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University, and Christopher Bonner, an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Maryland.

"In this episode, we explore What did the Fourth of July mean for African Americans in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries?"

July 1, 2020, House announces July vote on major bipartisan lands bill

This month the House is set to vote on a lands bill that will provide funding for conservation of land and water in neglected parks across the country.

"The National Parks maintenance overall backlog totals $12 billion. According to the National Parks Conservation Association, the National Park Service 'is second only to the Department of Defense in the amount of infrastructure it manages'."

June 30, 2020, John Roberts Was Already Chief Justice. But Now It’s His Court.

Over the past two weeks, many landmark cases have been decided upon at the SCOTUS level. One judge has been the swing vote in many of these cases.

"No chief justice has been in the majority in every closely divided case over an entire term since Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes in the term that ended in 1938"

June 29, 2020, The Black-White Wage Gap Is as Big as It Was in 1950

Today's feature article is a New York Times piece that compares the wage gap that we are still seeing. The research shows that comparatively, the gap is as big as it was in the 1950s.

"That gap indicates that there have also been powerful forces pushing against racial equality."

June 26, 2020, Death of the office

As we continue to work from home, some of us really are missing our desks. Today's article raises the question of why we are seeking to return to the workplace at all. The history of office spaces and the nostalgia of them is discussed while issues of office space use are brought up in today's feature.

June 25, 2020, Gleaves Whitney speaks about qualities of great Presidents

Gleaves Whitney joined Spring Lake District Library to discuss our past presidents. Topics included what makes a great president and the discussion of some first ladies.

June 24, 2020, Announcement Regarding Gleaves Whitney's New Opportunity

Announcement Regarding Gleaves Whitney's New Opportunity. Gleaves to Lead Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation! Director of Grand Valley State University’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies
to take over new role on Sept. 1, 2020.

For more information please use the link for more information.

June 23, 2020, The Debate Over Biden’s VP Pick Is Full Of Half-Truths And Misleading Arguments

While this election year may seem different to years in the past with today's current events, VP picks will be more critical than ever. Read about the debate as to who Biden should select in today's feature.

June 22, 2020, What Is an "Essential" Purchase for a Low-Income Family?

This research leads us to the question of internet accessibility. During these challenging times, tough decisions are being made about what needs to be purchased.

"Phone or flour? People with lower incomes are judged more harshly for what they choose to buy."

June 19, 2020, How We Juneteenth

This collection of stories and articles shares what Juneteenth means to multiple creators and asks what is freedom in America. The Podcast to accompany the piece, available here, dives deeper into the history and meaning of Juneteenth.

June 18, 2020, Supreme Court Delivers Major Victory To LGBTQ Employees & Supreme Court Rules Against Trump Administration In DACA Case

This past week, two high profile and highly debated cases were decided on in the supreme court. Both LGBTQ members and DACA saw victory in the past week as the court ruled in favor of their cases.

Learn more about the LGBTQ case and ruling here and  more information about the DACA ruling is available here.

June 17, 2020, If The Supreme Court Lets The Electoral College Vote However It Wants, Will Chaos Ensue?

As election season begins, today's feature answers a question many of us asked after the 2016 election.

"There is already controversy surrounding the Electoral College and its election of George W. Bush in 2000 and Donald Trump in 2016 — neither won the popular vote. Adding in a few faithless electors who could flip the outcome of the election might pose a significant threat to the Electoral College’s continued legitimacy. Yet, the history of presidential elections is not exactly littered with faithless electors."

June 16, 2020, The State of U.S. Strategic Stockpiles

Strategic Stockpiles are a mass recourse that we can tap into during times of national crisis such as COVID-19. This article provides answers to questions you likely didn't have about U.S. Strategic Stockpiles before.

"The 2020 coronavirus pandemic has focused attention on the SNS (Strategic National Stockpile), which many have criticized as being inadequately supplied. Meanwhile, some have questioned the need to maintain the SPR (Strategic Petroleum Reserve) given the boom in U.S. oil production over the last decade."


June 15, 2020, Tommie Smith’s Fist Is Still Raised: ‘We Still Need to Fight’

The Tokyo Olympics have been pushed to 2021 due to the global pandemic of COVID-19. A look back at the 1968 Mexico City games tells a very similar story to one we are seeing today.

"Wearing black socks and no shoes to represent poverty and black gloves to signify black power and liberation, the sprinters raised their fists."

June 13, 2020, Back Ex-Cop: I Understand the Anger. But Don't Defund the Police. It Could Make Things Worse.

"If you strip police funds, the first cuts will be community interaction programs that require humanity and commitment, not guns, tanks or pepper spray."

Erroll G. Southers was a former officer and FBI agent, he writes on the matter of defunding the police and voices his concerns about what may ensue.

June 12, 2020, I was a Police Chief stopped by my own officer, After Floyd we need change at all levels

Isaiah McKinnon became Chief of Police for the City of Detroit in 1994 after years of fighting against bias and discrimination amongst his peers. Mckinnon reflects on his journey to becoming the Chief and his recommendations for reforming the organization today. 

"At 14, the more I screamed, the more the police beat me. That day, I promised myself I would become a Detroit police officer and change the force."

June 11, 2020, Quarantine Fatigue Is Real

Epidemiologist and professor at Harvard Medical School, Julia Marcus shares her thoughts on what was, and still is, needed to continue fighting the spread of COVID-19.

"What Americans need now is a manual on how to have a life in a pandemic. If no one else provides the guidance that the CDC won’t, each of us will need to figure out our own."

June 10, 2020, Defund the Police - America needs to rethink its priorities for the whole criminal-justice system.

What do people mean when they say "Defund the Police"? The Atlantic has published an article tackling this question.

"The country needs to shift financing away from surveillance and punishment, and toward fostering equitable, healthy, and safe communities."

June 9, 2020, Research Shows Students Falling Months Behind During Virus Disruptions

We know first hand how hard these times can be for students. Today's article shines a light on recent research that shows just how much some students may be struggling. We are here for support and encouragement as we face these challenges together.

June 8, 2020, How Minneapolis, One of America’s Most Liberal Cities, Struggles With Racism

Today's feature discusses how a city with a diverse background of citizens and a history of progressivism in office, still is facing the same issues of systemic racism.

"The Midwestern city that has been the site of unrest views itself as embracing multiculturalism. But it also struggles with segregation and racial gaps on education."

June 5, 2020, Reporter's Notebook: Grand Rapids, this is us

Dustin Dwyer was there the nights of the riots and was a first-hand witness as to what was going on. He provides an account of that night and the history of what lead up to it in our own community.

"When we say that what happened Saturday night wasn’t our community, we also ignore what led to Saturday night."

June 4, 2020, Dr. Kiron Skinner

Dr. Kiron Skinner was hosted at the Hauenstein Center back in 2014. Her discussion on Regan's Path to Victory is available here. Recently Dr. Skinner was a guest on Fox News discussing the riots and the death of George Floyd. She presents interesting opinions and viewpoints to consider.

June 3, 2020, Jason Riley and Nikole Hannah-Jones

Jason Riley and Nikole Hannah-Jones were other voices previously heard at the Hauenstein center that we once again wanted to share. Their discussion about Race and the American Dream is just as pressing today as it was in 2017. The previous event is available here. Recently Riley has penned a piece at the Wall Street Journal and appeared on Fox News expressing his concerns about the tensions we are still seeing today. Nikole Hannah-Jones has also been very active recently about the events that are unfolding. We wanted to share her message, as well as Jason Rileys, as we seek to find common ground regarding these changing and challenging times.

June 2, 2020, Dr Cornel West

As we at the Hauenstein Center continue to seek common ground, we are looking at the actions and recent work of our past speakers during this time, seeking to share their viewpoints once again. Dr. Cornel West was an amazing speaker that we hosted in 2015 as apart of the American Conversations series available here. West was recently on CNN discussing George Floyd's death and the recent events of the time. He also has shared his thoughts on Fox News Sunday, speaking on the same matter available here.

June 1, 2020, Danielle Allen

As we begin to discuss the current events during these challenging times, we at the Hauenstein Center are looking to leaders that we have hosted in the past. One such name that came to mind, speaking on the current issues we face is Danielle Allen. We hosted Allen in November of last year for her discussion on "Equality and the American Experience" available here.

Please read Allen's thoughts on the matter, and what she recommends is needed right now in conversations and actions. "No justice, no peace, we often say. It’s also true, though, that without peace, there is no justice."

June 1, 2020, Why VPs Matter Less Than You Think

We recently posted an article about the history of VP selections and how candidates traditionally play coy about wanting the role. Today's feature, once again, discusses VP politics.

May 29, 2020, Prepare for the Roaring Twenties

While things will never truly return to normal, today's feature argues that once we see a decline to COVID-19, the need for human interaction will prevail just like it has in the past.

"No one can say how long the acute phase of this pandemic will last. But what is virtually certain is that its impact on the extent of human sociability will prove to be temporary. Five or 10 years from now, there will be about as many mass gatherings as there were before the coronavirus. Because we’re human."

May 28, 2020, Facebook Executives Shut Down Efforts to Make the Site Less Divisive

The Wall Street Journal posted an interesting read on the scrapped efforts to make the site less divisive. In a time of clickbait and trolls, why do you think Facebook made this decision?

"A Facebook Inc. team had a blunt message for senior executives. The company’s algorithms weren’t bringing people together. They were driving people apart."

May 27, 2020, Jonathan Haidt Is Trying to Heal America’s Divisions

Having hosted Jonathan Haidt a few years back, we wanted to share his incredible work during these trying times for today's feature article.

"The psychologist shares his thoughts on the pandemic, polarization, and politics"