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Michigan State University’s independent voice | | East Lansing, Mich. | Tuesday, January 22, 2013



Millions in renovations haven’t changed perceptions By Alex McClung THE STATE NEWS ■■


President Barack Obama is sworn in for a second term as the President of the United States during his public inauguration ceremony Monday at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, D.C.

Obama inaugurated for second presidential term By Kellie Rowe THE STATE NEWS ■■

Rawley Van Fossen pulled up his wool socks and shrugged on his thick winter coat at 4 a.m. Monday morning. Numb f ingers and toes couldn’t keep h i m f rom watc h i ng President Barack Obama’s inauguration. That morning, the social relations and policy sophomore watched the man he spent months campaigning for speak in person in Washington, D.C. for the fi rst time. “When he took the podium — that right there sealed the deal,” said Van Fossen, a member of Spartans for Barack Obama, an MSU campaign organization. “Hearing his voice over the loudspeakers — it was just surreal.” Van Fossen was one of almost a million to watch Obama’s public inauguration address Monday in the nation’s Capital. The 44th U.S. President’s speech intertwined traditional Democratic values, such as gay rights and health care access, with the fundamental principles created by the founding fathers. College students, a demographic that helped win him the presidency four years ago, weren’t left out. “Our journey is not complete

... Until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country,” Obama said. Criminal justice junior Pamela Brown , president of MSU’s chapter of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, missed the inauguration. She wasn’t sleeping in on her day off, she was giving back to the MSU community during Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day of Service. Brown spent the morning volunteering at a shelter for homeless families and the afternoon symbolically marching alongside Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity across campus to represent King’s effort toward social change. To her, the fact Obama’s public inauguration was hosted on Martin Luther King Jr. Day wasn’t a coincidence. When he took the oath of office Sunday, Obama placed one hand on Abraham Lincoln’s Bible and the other on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s. “I think it stands for just justice,” she said. “(King) was a man who tried to make a great change in society, and I think that’s what Obama stands for — change within our country.” See OBAMA on page 2 X

Hundreds of millions of dollars in renovations. Revamped dorm rooms, more comfortable study spaces and shiny new cafeterias. Free laundry. Tutors and clinics minutes away. In the last several years, MSU has redone much of campus, from Brody Square to the Union to Shaw Hall. Ashley Chaney, the assistant director of communications for Residence Education and Housing Services, or REHS, said the university wants to keep students living on campus partially because of its academic benefits. “Studies show that students who live on-campus have higher grade point averages, graduate sooner and are more engaged in the campus community,” Chaney said. “We know that providing on-campus housing for as many students as possible contributes greatly to that.” But for some students, being convinced to live on campus goes beyond the renovations. Living on means convenience, living off means independence. “At this point, I wouldn’t move back onto campus for the new services,” said Chris Ross, a social relations and policy junior. “I like the independence I have off campus and ability to make changes and control the atmosphere of the place that I’m residing in.” An on-campus living experience Plenty of students want to live on campus — enough that several hundred students found themselves in transitional housing last fall, which puts three students in a dorm room that is intended only to occupy


Williams Hall pictured from the early 1900s originally located near the MSU Museum. The hall later burned down in 1919 and since has been rebuilt.


Nursing senior Tia Sharp studies in her room in Williams Hall.

two students. Last fall, 14,941 students were living in the dorms, a

More online … For a timeline of renovations across campus in the last decade, visit

See DORMS on page 2 X



What fiscal cliff bill means for students Students celebrate MLK Day By Kellie Rowe THE STATE NEWS ■■


o many students, the term “fiscal cliff” means a whole lot of nothing. But buried in the jargon and minute details of the bill Congress passed early this month to avoid an economic disaster are some positive signs for Michigan industries — and for students looking for jobs in those industries. Here are a few of the benefits. 1. Milk and honeybees The price hike of milk from $3.50 to $8 per gallon could have meant the end to late-night cereal binges. Congress averted the spike by extending the 2008 Farm Bill, which keeps prices low through a process of calculating milk prices. The fiscal cliff bill also provided

assistance to some farmers for losses caused by bad weather — such as early freezes and droughts this past year. Corn and soybean crops were particularly hard hit by the drought, said Jill Cords, field career consultant of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The bill also extends tax breaks for research, conservation, energy and organic agriculture programs, some which are found at MSU. 2. Wind energy MSU students looking for a career in renewable energy have a greater chance of working with wind energy for at least another year. The fiscal cliff bill extended tax credits for wind energy production, which will cost the country about $12.2 billion and save up to 37,000 jobs, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Michigan ranks No. 7 among the top 10 states for overall wind jobs, employing between 4,000 and 5,000 workers

in energy-related careers. “We’re in the midst of an expansion of wind energy in the state,” said Fred Poston, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and former vice president of finance and operations.” 3. Michigan NASCAR The Michigan International Speedway, home of the state’s NASCAR races, sped away from the fiscal cliff deal with a $78 million dollar tax break. A section of the fiscal cliff bill extended the 7-year recovery period for “motorsports entertainment complexes,” which means anyone who builds a racetrack will receive tax benefits and can deduct thousands in expenses for seven years after it’s built. 4. Film-makers There is good news for movie producers eyeing the

mitten as the set of the next big hit — $430 million in tax credits for movie producers. When Gov. Rick Snyder took office, he reversed the 2008 filmmaking initiatives in Michigan and capped spending at $25 million in 2011. According to the fiscal cliff bill passed this month, federal funding will pay the first $15 million filmmakers spend in production costs — $20 million for movies filmed in economicallydepressed areas. 5. Electric Cars For any environmentfriendly driver looking to buy an electric car, the government will cover 10 percent or up to $2,500 of the vehicle’s cost. MSU has its own electric vehicle charging station in the Kellogg Center parking ramp and East Lansing installed another at the East Lansing Public Library.

through service, marches


From left, graduate students Darci Evans and Nicole Faulkner help organize the supply cabinet Monday at the Greater Lansing Food Bank, 919 Filley St., in Lansing.

By Lilly Keyes THE STATE NEWS ■■

Even though classes were cancelled Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, human resource management freshman Princess Harmon and 214 other students

sat at desks in N130 Business College Complex and awaited See MLK DAY on page 2 X

More online … To see a video of students volunteering, visit


From the blog roll BeyoncÊ gains well-earned praise for National Anthem rendition What a historic day it was for America on Monday. Our nation’s first African American president, Barack Obama, was sworn in to his second term on the same day we reflected on the life of Martin Luther King Jr., but that wasn’t the only history made during the cold afternoon. It was pop singer and mega-celebrity BeyoncÊ that wrote her own page in the history books as she showed the crazy, do-anything-for-attention world of singing without leaving the nation’s members shaking their heads. Before a crowd on the National Mall, BeyoncÊ belted out a smooth, graceful national anthem; a complete opposite of what we are accustomed to seeing in big events lately. It wasn’t over the top, it didn’t include extra theatrics and it certainly didn’t have people scrambling to mute their TV. MATT SHEEHAN | STATENEWS.COM/BLOG

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As million-dollar renovations continue, students evaluate dorms’ appeal FROM PAGE ONE

small increase from the 14,908 who lived there in fall 2006. But the number of seniors living in MSU housing increased during that time period from 670 seniors in 2006 to 1,136 in 2009, before falling to 922 this year. For upperclassmen seeking independence, Chaney said REHS provides various of options to cater to their needs. She said the apartment communities of Spartan Village and University Village provide students with the independence of living in an apartment, with added on-campus convenience. Chaney also said returning students can sign up to live with their friends by reserving blocks of rooms on the same floors, more commonly known as “Rock the Block.� “We will work with students and make it easy and

convenient for them to focus on what they came to MSU to do, and that’s to graduate and to have what we call an outstanding Spartan experience,� she said. She added the university did not plan the renovations to increase profit, although the cost of room and board was increased 4.95 percent in 2011. But for Lindsay Wilkinson , an interdisciplinary studies in social science and health studies senior who lives in Emmons Hall, staying on campus for four years had nothing to do with the renovations. She stayed on campus despite them. “Before the renovations, the study lounges had doors and were better,� Wilkinson said. “There was a basketball court and volleyball court in the courtyard, and now there’s an amphitheater that no one uses.� She said she thinks the university forgets about the wants and needs of students already living on campus. “The renovations, I feel like, are just for looks to attract potential students,� she said. “Not for the students that

actually live in the renovated dorms.� A student’s choice For Chris Ross, a social relations and policy junior, the services and renovations occurring on campus were not enough to keep him from moving off. Ross, who lived in Case Hall during his freshman and sophomore years, said although he enjoyed the convenience of living on-campus during his fi rst two years at MSU, he moved off campus to become more independent. He now lives on Gunson Street. “I thought it was an important part of my life to learn how to provide more for myself and take care of myself without someone providing services like the dorms do,� he said. Ross said it was this independence and his ability to make changes and control the atmosphere of the place he’s living that kept him from living in a residence hall this year and from moving back on campus his senior year. Even though the off-campus living is not always perfect, it’s given Ross the freedom he wanted.

Although Wilkinson said she wasn’t impressed with her residence hall’s renovation, Dhruv Alexander, a social relations and policy and economics sophomore, said the new Case Hall cafeteria, South Pointe, was part of the reason he decided to stay on campus his sophomore year. “(The cafeteria) is pretty convenient because it’s relatively close to all of my classes as well,� Alexander said. But it wasn’t enough to keep him for another year, as Alexander said he is doubtful he’ll remain on campus for the rest of his college career. “A lot of my friends are moving off campus next year,� Alexander said. “I want to experience not living on campus.� Regardless of her disappointment with the renovations, Wilkinson said living on campus all four years was the right choice for her. “Living in the dorms is so convenient and, being as extroverted as I am, it’s great meeting tons of new people each year,� Wilkinson said. “The convenience of the cafeteria and how close my classes are to me is the main reason I stayed in the dorms.�


that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own,� he said. Van Fossen said watching the president give a “spoton� speech was a sign that all the work Spartans for Barack Obama put into his campaign was worth it. “We just felt like this was the (result) of what we started back last May,� he said. International relations and

economics sophomore Alex Dardas, an intern for state Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw, said although the inauguration should be a time to set aside party differences, he’s hoping the nation’s economy improves in the next four years. “I think ever yone would say, even him, economically we should be further along,� Dardas said. For Brown, Obama’s second inauguration means more than four more years of the same presidency. It means contin-

ued work toward uplifting the economy and a better health care systems. “It really gives students, like me, the opportunity to see I can be someone successful,� Brown said. Although the feeling in his toes came back, Van Fossen still hasn’t fully processed his chance to watch history in the making. “Everyone around us had a smile on their face,� Van Fossen said. “Everyone felt like they had a reason to be there.�

Public inauguration for Obama’s second term sparks hope for next four years FROM PAGE ONE

During his speech, Obama spoke of economic recovery and equal opportunity for all Americans alike. “We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows

the Union to Beaumont Tower in remembrance. E conom ic s sen ior Dave Walsh used his day off to sleep in until 1 p.m. Since classes were cancelled , Walsh said MLK Day presented him and his friends the opportunity for a rare, guilt-free Sunday night at the bar. “We figured, ‘Why not?’� he said. “Who doesn’t want to take an extra day off?� Walsh isn’t alone — each year, East Lansing bars prepare for long lines and a 25-30 percent fi nancial boost the days surrounding MLK Day, Buffalo Wild Wings general manager Aaron Weiner said. Across town, the Greater Lansing Food Bank also felt a boost from their volunteers, seeing tasks that had sat on their to-do list for months vanish in a day. “This is huge�, said Neal Valley, an Americorps volunteer for the Food Bank, as he continued to sort colorful seed packets. “This project we’re working on today is one we’ve been trying to power through all year. We’ll get through in one day what would have taken three or four months.� After a day of volunteering with Into the Streets, advertising sophomore Egypt Eaddy met up with friends at the Union to be a part of Alpha Phi Alpha’s Commemorative

March to Beaumont Tower to celebrate King and the values he stood for. In addition to helping others by volunteering, she said she personally benefitted from

the holiday. “It’s kind of a way to celebrate Martin Luther King (Jr.) day even deeper by celebrating what he stood for,� Eaddy said.


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In the Jan. 17, 2013, edition of The State News, the story “Ocourt conict, on-court winâ€? refers to MSU head coach Tom Izzo being the third coach in Big Ten history with 200 or more conference wins. However, there are ďŹ ve previous members in this group including Purdue’s Ward Lambert, Illinois’ Lou Henson and Indiana’s Branch McCracken along with Knight and Keady.If you notice an error, please contact Managing Editor Emily Wilkins at (517) 432-3070 or by email at feedback@


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MLK DAY Students celebrate day o in various ways — volunteering, marching or relaxing FROM PAGE ONE

their assignments. These students, participating in the MLK Day of Service, helped 14 different volunteering agencies in the Lansing area — from cleaning up the Red Cedar River with the Office of Campus Sustainability t o sorting seeds at the Greater Lansing Food Bank, 919 Filley St., in Lansing. Into the Streets , the community service student organization that planned the event, sent Harmon to the food bank where she sorted seeds, which eventually will be given to families to start low-cost gardens. “Martin Luther King Jr. had such an impact on the community, it’s important keep his legacy (alive) by going into the community,� Harmon said, adding she didn’t mind waking up early on her day off from classes. While Harmon chose the route of volunteering to help a local organization on MLK Day, hundreds of other students enjoyed the break from classes by visiting local businesses. Others gathered to march from

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CAMPUS EDITOR Rebecca Ryan, CITY EDITOR Summer Ballentine, PHONE (517) 432-3070 FAX (517) 432-3075

WORD ON THE STREET What was your reaction to President Barack Obama’s inauguration, and what would you like to see him do in the next four years? In case you missed it …

“My mom’s a teacher. Education is really important to me.” Michelle Cusick advertising senior

“(I’d like to see) a reduction in the budget. If it’s done, I’d be really impressed.” Anthony Machniak secondary education junior

“We get a second chance to see what he can do. He’s more motivated now to be able to accomplish some of the issues on everybody’s minds.”

“The symbolism was amazing (for) a president being sworn in on Martin Luther King Jr. Day … Looking forward to the next four years.”

Jaqueline Castaneda psychology senior

Philip Lewis sociology senior


President Barack Obama officially was sworn into his second term of office Monday. Students weighed in on the inauguration and what they hope Obama focuses on during the next four years.

“It was a historical moment for an African American to become president of the U.S. For him to be inaugurated on MLK Day, it showed that (King’s) goal was accomplished.”


Jasmine Joshua zoology sophomore


Students celebrate Yalda during coffee hour By Lilly Keyes THE STATE NEWS ■■


Hudson resident Josh Kastel, left, helps groom 11-year-old Hillsdale resident Tyler Neukom’s cow, which he bought Saturday at the MSU AGR Beef Preview Show at the Ingham County Fairgrounds.


For many of the students in Alpha Gamma Rho, or AGR, the smell of cattle is nothing new. So it was only appropriate for the farm lovers to use their knowledge to host a cattle showing for charity last weekend. The fraternity held the AGR Beef Preview Show on Friday through Sunday at the Ingham County Fairgrounds, 700 E. Ash St., in Mason, for the first time. The event benefitted Michigan AgrAbility, which provides injured or disabled farmers with equipment and resources to continue working. The event raised about $4,000 for the charity, said David Stutzman, chair of the AGR Beef Preview Show, member of AGR and beef cattle management junior.


JAZZ STUDIES RECEIVES $1M GIFT The MSU College of Music received a $1 million gift from MSU Federal Credit Union, or MSUFCU, on Sunday to help create a new jazz studies artist in residence program as soon as next year. The $1 million gift will go toward bringing national and international jazz artists to campus for a week to perform for the public and teach students. The visiting performers also will teach at local high schools and middle schools, and MSU’s top jazz group Jazz Orchestra I will travel across the state with the artists. MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon spoke at the event, sharing thankful remarks to MSUFCU, according to a release from MSU Today. “We are so grateful for the ongoing generosity of MSUFCU to MSU, which has enabled countless people to access a wide variety of university resources,” Simon said. “This gift, to fund the MSUFCU Jazz Artist in Residence Endowment, will have an exceptional and lasting effect on campus, as well as in our community, state and nation.” ROBERT BONDY

“We help them get adapted equipment to make it easier for them to get up and do their work every day,” Michigan AgrAbility Director Ned Stoller said to a crowded arena. More than 215 beef cattle from across the country, and even as far as Ontario, Canada, were shown at the preview. Each showman brought his or her cattle into the arena to be judged on showmanship and market, which judged the structure of the cattle. Stutzman said he came up with the idea for the preview from other AGR chapters that have held successful shows for years. “Farmers are always excited to get out and try a new show and win some cash,” Stutzman said. Jason Smith, member of AGR and crop and soil sciences biology and agribusiness management junior, said the main shows in

Michigan occur in December and April, so the AGR Beef Preview Show fills the gap between the two shows. Some members of the Gamma chapter of Sigma Alpha, an agriculture sorority at MSU, came to the preview to support AGR. Nikki Hersch, agribusiness management sophomore and member of Sigma Alpha, has been showing cattle for about 12 years. Before entering the arena to show her steer, she described the perfect muscle tone, pose and shiny coat judges were looking for. “I was really happy they put it on,” Hersch said, adding it’s “good to have (the proceeds) go toward a good cause.”

Among all of the tables set out for the Office for International Students and Scholars, or OISS, weekly Coffee Hour, one table stuck out vividly among the rest. While other tables offered different coffee varieties on simple black tablecloths, the Yalda table was festively decorated to reflect Persian traditions with purple and gold candles, and traditional food and drink such as pomegranate seeds, a specially-carved watermelon and Persian tea — all set on decorative red, blue and gold fabrics. “The difficult part was designing the watermelon, you see,” Persian Student Association president Fariborz Daneshvar said, who skyped with his family on the actual holiday — the Persian equivalent of Thanksgiving — which took place Dec. 21. Daneshvar, along with roughly 70 other Iranian students at MSU, celebrated the holiday away from his family. While it was disheartening for Daneshvar to be so far from home, he said he was happy the OISS helped him celebrate his Iranian culture on campus. In order to celebrate Yalda Night in the U.S., the Per-


Graduate student Elaheh Esfahanian plays a tombak drum at a Yalda night celebration on Friday at the International Center.

sian Student Association used the OISS’ weekly Coffee Hour as a platform to showcase the holiday. The event also shed a positive light on Iranian culture, which has been bogged down by negative stereotypes in the past, students at the event said. “We are showing that we also have these nice things in our culture, and (we’re) showing this beauty and the history of Iran to MSU and other societies,” graduate student Soroor Soltani said. “Maybe (we can change) all the wrong conceptions people have (about) Iran and try to bring out the nice things we do— the celebrations of culture.” Ravi Ammigan , assistant

director for the OISS, said fostering these types of discussions is the nature of the coffee hours, which take place 4-6 p.m. every Friday in Spartan Room B and C of the International Center. When students walk in the door to the coffee hour, they are instructed to write down both their name and country of origin. After grabbing cups of coffee, students naturally form circles and have discussions — rarely does the same country show up on more than one name tag in each circle. “We want it to be organic. Very rarely will we stop the energy in the room — we want to build community,” Ammigan said.


L.A. Times Daily Puzzle Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Lewis

More online … To see a video and photo gallery of the cattle show, visit


GERMAN PROGRAM RECEIVES AWARD OF EXCELLENCE MSU’s German Program, which is part of the MSU College of Arts and Letters, received one of the highest marks in program history, now considered a “German Center of Excellence” by the American Association of Teachers of German, or AATG, for 2013. AATG received numerous applications from colleges and universities across the country, and the committee ruled MSU’s German program outstanding in every category, according to a release from MSU Today. MSU was one of two schools to fall in this class of high distinction. The MSU German Studies Program stands above the rest because of the humanist dimension for international and global studies to create the best learning environment for students, the release said. The program also offers multiple curricular and co-curricular opportunities that put students on campus and in study abroad positions to help enhance academic and pre-professional learning. ROBERT BONDY

ACROSS 1 Manila envelope feature 6 Baseball SS’s stats 9 Web money 14 Old Turkish bigwig 15 Dwarf with glasses 16 2009 Panasonic acquisition 17 “Something to Talk About” singer Bonnie 18 *Coffee drinker’s complaint 20 Poet’s before 22 Contest for lumberjacks 23 Nova __ 26 *Direct path 30 *Rowboat attachments 33 Key of Mozart’s Requiem Mass 34 Juneau-to-Ketchikan dir. 35 Some sorority women 37 D.C. baseball team 38 Frittata base 40 Convent dweller 41 Painted Desert formation 42 Controversial apple spray 43 Mexican state bordering Arizona 45 “Reading Rainbow” network 47 Country with six time zones

49 *Flaw in a fence 51 *Quarter 53 Kitchen gadget 54 Volleyball venue 56 Street shader 57 *”The Golden Girls” co-star 61 Crème de la crème 65 Big name in bars 66 “Do __ favor ...” 67 Lucky roll, usually 68 Teacher’s group 69 Like a single shoe 70 Flair

DOWN 1 EMT’s skill 2 Anaheim team, on scoreboards 3 “Take me __ am” 4 “Fiddler on the Roof” village 5 Hale and Revere, notably 6 EPA-banned pesticide 7 Not up to snuff 8 Shaggy’s dog, to Shaggy 9 Regard 10 “Sweet” woman in a Neil Diamond title 11 Yucatán year 12 Thesaurus entry: Abbr. 13 Sty dweller 19 Winter transports 21 Individually 23 Urgent call at sea

24 Source of legal precedents 25 Tomato sauce herb 27 Up the creek 28 Distinguished 29 Stalling-for-time syllables 31 Numbers game with 80 balls 32 Was so not worth seeing, as a movie 36 Like many quotes: Abbr. 39 Safety rods in shower stalls 41 Without a partner 42 Comic’s routine 43 Occupied, as a desk 44 Harry Potter costume 46 Sun. delivery 48 Country music star __ Bentley 50 Speaker of the first syllables of the answers to starred clues 52 Chowderhead 55 Shaded 57 Secretly keep in the email loop, briefly 58 Pipe bend 59 Battery type 60 “Far out!” 62 Columbia, for one 63 Bus. card letters 64 Acetyl ending

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Inauguration confirms true views “President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage is a controversial topic. His sudden change of heart from his first term in office, when he stated his Christian values held true to traditional marriages between a man and a woman, to May of 2012 when he voiced his support for same-sex marriage, seems contradictory.”




hat do traffic jams, cockroaches and Nickelback all have in common? Unfortunately for the members of Congress, the answer isn’t something to be proud of. A recent national poll conducted this month by Public Policy Polling found Nickelback to be just one of the many items from a list of 26 things people prefer more than Congress. The poll found Congress has a 9 percent

favorability rating, with 85 percent of voters viewing it negatively. This figure is slightly lower compared to the current national approval ratings collected, which has Congress coming in three points higher at 12 percent. But as crazy of an idea as it might seem that voters from across the country preferred things such as Brussels sprouts and colonoscopies to our nation’s leaders, when considering the year Congress has had, their rational becomes a bit more clear. During the past two years, the word Congress almost has become a synonym for incompetence. Every two years, elections are held with the goal of finding capable leaders to make decisions for this country, always yielding the same unfortunate result in the end. And although the outcry of criticism Congress receives from dissatisfied Americans would seem like enough to motivate our leaders, little change ever seems to come about. This incompetence and inability to come together was observed on numerous occasions this past year. Consider how Congress handled the crisis surrounding the fiscal cliff.

— RuAnne Walworth, State News reporter

Despite knowing Read the rest online at about the problem for more than a year and a half, Congress still was past deadline on coming to a compromise to combat the fiscal cliff. Even more, the agreement formed was temporary, and Congress simply seemed to kick the can further down the road to avoid any more more compromise and change is on the horizon. ridicule. Regardless of political ties, the members of ConAlso consider the scrutiny Congress received for their handling of relief for the areas impacted by gress should view these next two years as a chance to re-evaluate the problems that separated them as Superstorm Sandy. As days passed with little aid being delivered, a whole. Instead of pushing for secret agendas and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie openly complained party-first ideals, our elected leaders should once about the inefficiency of the group. Christie also again work to satisfy their constituents’ needs. Instead of being remembered as being a part of insulted Speaker John Boehner, who reportedly wouldn’t return calls from the governor when talk a group of inefficient political pundits, members of additional aid was being discussed. of Congress should use these next few years as a Despite the challenging year Congress has faced, chance to erase the mistakes of their past, and look there still is reason to be optimistic. forward to the betterment of their country. As our country looks onward to the future, folAfter all, when things like Nickelback have a lowing the celebration of President Barack Obama’s higher approval rating, it’s not like things can get second inauguration, there still is reason to believe much worse.



Who’s really to blame in Te’o snafu?


why writers often survey other publications instead of uncovering every detail with traditional methods. Veteran journalist Jackie MacMullan commented about the change in deadlines and the hoax, saying 20 years ago, you would go talk to the family members. Acquaintances of the grieving. Anyone you could. “That’s how you formulate a story.” The average deadline requirements Catfishing, constructing a fake of modern journalism seems to have online identity to deceive another changed that. But perhaps even more interestperson into an emotional relationship, recently erupted as a truly mod- ing than the details and duration ern scandal. And Te’o’s catfishing sto- of the hoax was the public’s willingness to accept it ry has brought about a as truth. After all, weirdness that conGUEST COLUMNIST national media is not a jures images of Tonya national product withHarding. out public demand for The inspirational stothe story. How many ry of the sports season All-American linethat was broadcasted for backers are in the four months on essencountry? How many tially every national of them have girlnews outlet, was a hoax. friends? How many The deceased girlfriend TYLER GROSS of those girlfriends never existed. get severely injured Te’o might have been in car accidents, and conned, but it was a mere pickpocketing compared to the then die shortly after of leukemia? The seemingly storybook plot bank robbery executed on nationbecomes instantly believable when al media. How could a nonexistent person published in unison by national appear real for so long under such media. The media, perpetually racintense media spotlight surround- ing to get the sensational story, has ing such a sensational story? How conditioned us to believe and desire could it require the journalism tal- certain narratives. We want the Manti Te’o’s of the ents of Deadspin for the hoax to be exposed? The implications are world to exist—their stories representing narratives of love, tragfrightening. Person X is the favorite to win edy and redemption are ones the event Y, but did you ever hear about public has come to expect of their tragedy in his or her life Z? Con- entertainment. This also explains the anger that structing that story is lazy journalism and it’s lazy consumerism. rippled through the media — and Countless major, national media out- my friend circles. If we identify Te’o lets ran stories reporting the nonex- as the naive target of an elaborate, istent woman was a Stanford stu- catfishing operation, who is there for dent, had been admitted to a known anyone to really be angry at? The impulsive sense of betrayhospital after a car accident and had al onlookers felt was the clearest died months later of leukemia. All exposing the truth required indicator of our reliance on familwas for a single reporter to make iar narratives; people felt betrayed a call checking Stanford student because the incredible, desired naror hospital records, or asking for a rative from which they drew joy and inspiration was fake. death certificate. The story had been as real to fans Why wasn’t such a call made for six months — even when alarming- as Te’o’s girlfriend was to him. The ly little information of the alleged familiar story of overcoming tragedy girlfriend was found outside of her filled onlookers with so much comfort that no one found it odd the man relationship with Te’o? When the Notre Dame-local South in question did not visit the proudBend Tribune started publishing sto- ly broadcasted love of his life in the ries of the nonexistent girlfriend, hospital, or even go to her funeral. Every once in a rare while a stocomplete with details now understood to be false extensions of the ry emerges, like an inconvenient hoax, national media apparently mirror, that reflects ourselves in viewed their work as done for them. ways we would rather not see. To In a grand, corporate game of grade the world of journalism, it solemnly school telephone, the same five gran- reminds us to do our homework. If deur stories were echoed through my momma tells me she loves me, I the national news circuit without should get some sources on that. To sports fans, it shows steroids aren’t ever being checked for accuracy. Modern journalism employ- the only way to sell a fake product. ment for major newspapers usual- To all of us, it serves as a sobering ly demands a written submission reminder that fairy tales are best left every 48-72 hours. Compared to on the bookshelf. Oh, by the way, that CuteGirl1990 the one-week minimum for a story that journalists a decade ago would you have been talking to? Maybe a have gotten, it is easy to understand meeting is in order.


ust one week after Manti Te’o, Notre Dame AllAmerican linebacker and media darling, became undoubtedly the largest and most public catfishing case in history, more questions have been raised than answers revealed.

Just so you know

Comments from readers



FRIDAY’S POLL RESULTS After reading Friday’s column, who do you agree with: Greg or Katie?

I have never seen it this bad. I was talking to a friend at Gander Mountain and she said the suppliers could have never predicted this and there was slim chance of resupply. Obama and his cronies have done more in the last month to put more guns in the population than anything I can remember. Obama’s election and re-election was bad, but this is as worse as I’ve seen it.

JUST SO YOU KNOW 8]k\ii\X[`e^ =i`[XpËjZfclde# n_f[fpfl X^i\\n`k_6

Greg 47% Katie 53% 10





“Proposed gun control increases local sales”



Total votes: 46 as of 5 p.m. Monday

TODAY’S STATE NEWS POLL Which of the following do you like the least: Congress, Nickelback, cockroaches or Brussel sprouts? To vote, visit

(comment continued at Hillbilly, Jan. 17 via

Americans voting with their wallets. Gun sales at an ALL TIME HIGH. The shelves are bare. NRA membership increasing by over 100,000 new members in just the past few weeks alone. First-time gun buyers are leading the charge. They never noticed their rights until somebody tried to take them away. (comment continued at MaximumBob, Jan. 16 via

We want to hear your thoughts. The State News welcomes letters to the editor. All letters must include your year and major, email address and telephone number. Phone numbers will not be published. Letters should be fewer than 500 words and are subject to editing.

How to reach us Questions? Contact Opinion Editor Katie Harrington at (517) 432-3070. By email; By fax (517) 432-3075; By mail Letters to the Editor, The State News, 435 E. Grand River Ave., East Lansing, MI 48823


Features COLUMN


No Greek life bid, no hard feelings Prior to my first welcome week at MSU, I had gone my entire life without being exposed to the alternative lifestyles offered by Greek life. Post-high school graduation, the only Greek letters I knew were the ones I remembered from my 12th grade calculus class. I knew nothing of Vera Bradley and her floral prints, and the only time I used the word “rush� was to describe an upcoming deadline. Within my first week as an incoming freshman, I got my first lesson in Greek life. My roommates had spent all day in front of the mirror, gussying up for fall recruitment. Upon their return, they wordlessly collapsed into bed and breathed a collective sigh of contempt. They described their experience as stressful and intimidating — to them, the Greek world was full of rules and secret behavior. One wrong move, and you were “done for.� This scared me out of ever wanting to be a part of the recruitment process — that is, until this year. To those who don’t understand it, it’s seen as a shallow, booze-filled hierarchy of college life. But to some of my closest friends, it has fulfilled their college experience in a way nothing else has. I decided to participate in spring recruitment because

FEATURES EDITOR Matt Sheehan, PHONE (517) 432-3070 FAX (517) 432-3075


of the experiences of two close friends. They couldn’t come from more opposite lifestyles, and both completely fell in love with their sororities before even receiving bids. They’ve made some of their strongest friendships with their sisters, and they always have fun stories to tell. If a particular sorority is right for you, I’ve been told, you know within moments of speaking to girls in the house. I entered the house the week of spring rush wearing my Sunday best and a smile, looking for the “moment� I’d heard so much about. After two days of waiting and worrying, the spark never came. I’d had great conversations with all the girls I’d met, and as a hater of small talk, I was impressed with how little of it I was met with. But when I went to sleep at night after the meetings, I did not feel excited to find out my fate; I felt anxious, and eventually indifferent. What I took from the experience is this: sororities can be a positive change in a person’s life, but it’s not right for everyone. I learned there is more to people in Greek life than people choose to see. They’re some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, and as a self-proclaimed human critic, I’ve found many of them to be genuine, loving people. Many balance work, school and other clubs with Greek life, unlike the slackers people seem to deem them as. Lastly, personal lives aside, finding work can depend on interpersonal connections and networking — the Greek community can provide just that. I walked away knowing I never would place Greek members into the same cookie cutter existence again. Amid the glitter-splattered T-shirts, semi-formals and dozens of smiles, there’s a home. If it’s the right fit, you’ll know it.


By Omari Sankofa II THE STATE NEWS â– â– 

High school senior John DelTufo and his father, Nick DelTufo , drove 11 hours from Mendham, N.J., to see MSU’s campus for the fi rst time. After reading a substantial amount about MSU online and in pamphlets, Nick DelTufo said that MSU lived up to the hype. “Sometimes you go to a college campus, and it’s a really big letdown,� Nick DelTufo said. “But (MSU ) was ever y t hing that we thought it was going to be. And riding 11 hours, you want it to (be worthwhile.)� The DelTufo’s were just two of more than 180 people who attended the Inside MSU event Monday. Inside MSU is a program that gives prospective freshman the opportunity to learn more about everything MSU. They are given a presentation at the Union , a 40-minute tour of campus and a meal at Brody Square. “This is an opportunity for students to come out and see campus on a weekday while class is in session,� said Mike Kolar, assistant director of the Office of Admissions. “(They) kind of get an idea of what the student body is all about, what a typical day at Michigan State is all about.� Kolar said the campus visit often is the tipping point for helping students decide on a college. “The campus visit, time and time again, shows that the campus visit fos-

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ters commitment for the applicant as far as matriculating to an actual freshman on our campus.� Kolar said it’s important that students and families — especially those that come from out of state — get the opportunity to tour the campus after admittance. “We’re finding out that many of these students and families, just their first time on campus, went ahead and applied based


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Interdisciplinary studies senior Kelsey Lash gives Inside MSU tour attendees background information about the campus Monday outside of the Main Library.

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on Michigan State’s reputation,� Kolar said. “Once they get admitted, there’s more of a point to come out because they know that Michigan State is an option for them in the fall, after their senior year.� Interdisciplinary studies in social science senior Kelsey Lash has been showcasing the campus as a tour guide for Inside MSU during all four of her years on campus. She said she enjoys being able

to inform potential incoming freshman about the ins-andouts of MSU. “This university has a lot to offer, and I felt that by being a tour guide I’d be able to improve upon my communication skills, talking in front of large audiences,� Lash said. “It’s just infectious when you’re around people who really care about the university. It makes being a tour guide and coming in and doing this type of job easy.� John DelTufo said he wants to go to a bigger school because of the social aspect, and MSU fits the bill for him. “I liked (the tour) a lot,� he said. “It had a lot of information about all of the different opportunities that’s here.�


to make them possible. Listen for ideas out of the blue, from those around you, and revise your plans.

Aries (March 21-April 19) Today is a 7 — You’re exceptionally intelligent now. Put your mind to good use. Surround yourself with people who you respect and respect you and ďŹ nd new solutions to old problems.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Today is a 9 — What you lack in funds you can compensate with creativity and self-conďŹ dence. Look around; you are well blessed. Love drops a happy surprise in your lap.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Today is a 5 — There’s plenty to go around; relax and enjoy it. Others need you. Provide leadership, and allow others to lead you, too. You’re surrounded by loving friends. Show them your appreciation. Gemini (May 21-June 20) Today is a 9 — Savor sweet moments and share them with a loved one. Your generosity is commendable. Don’t let your bright future blind you. Find support in your community, and return the favor. Cancer (June 21-July 22) Today is a 5 — Optimism is appropriate now. Pick up the pieces and make something new. Call on your intuitive talent, and accept guidance.

You’re surrounded by love. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) Today is a 9 — Beauty surrounds you. Pay attention to the surrounding syncopation to discover something new. Intuition ďŹ nds an opportunity. Allow yourself to get luxurious, but family comes ďŹ rst. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Today is an 8 — Take time to praise, admire and thank someone who’s made a dierence. A small risk now pays o. Negotiate from the heart. Relax to avoid a temper tantrum. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Today is an 8 — You have more than enough and keep earning more. Read and take the time to let thoughts sink in. Stock up. Share the luck and the love. Confer with family. Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Today is a 7 — Investigate previously impossible possibilities, and use your charm and wit

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Today is an 8 — You don’t quite know how brilliant you are, but you could ďŹ nd out. Go for what you believe in. Discover new friendships and projects to get involved in. Dive in. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Today is a 7 — A breakthrough moment is here. Expand your ideas to reach a larger audience. Use what you’ve gained to build structure. Income uctuates, so think twice before making a purchase. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) Today is a 9 — Toss the ball to a teammate. Relieve the pressure and make room for a fabulous opportunity. Reinvigorate your team and think outside the box. You’ve got a buzz going.




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SPORTS EDITOR Kyle Campbell, PHONE (517) 432-3070 FAX (517) 432-3075


Izzo names Appling 3rd captain By Josh Mansour THE STATE NEWS ■■

Playing for the homestate school is a dream for many aspiring athletes, but for a couple of out-of-state Spartans, the dream has changed, maturing into a passion to show the folks at home what they’re missing. Here are a few highlights of the No. 13 MSU men’s basketball (16-3 overall, 5-1 Big Ten) players’ clashes against their hometown teams. —JOSH MANSOUR



Gary Harris, 6-foot-4


Appling would join senior center Derrick Nix and sophomore guard Russell Byrd as the team’s third captain, an idea initially sparked by Byrd about a month ago. Appling was informed of the news Monday morning. Izzo stressed that going forward, his junior guard will have to expand his role beyond leading by his actions, adding more of a vocal approach. Appling leads the team in scoring and ranks among the top five in the Big Ten in assists, but in the past few weeks, Izzo said he’s seen indications of a change in

character for his starting point guard. “Keith is my hardest practicer, so he has earned it with his work, but he wasn’t going to get it with his work (alone) because then it is just lead by example,” Izzo said. “I need it both ways and I think right now he’s making progress the other way, so I think the kids have confidence in him. “He’s huddling guys up, he’s doing better things and for me it’s as exciting as a guy becoming a better player. In my mind he’s becoming better at dealing with the real world.”

In his first game against the school his mother used to lace up her sneakers for, Harris set a new career high, scoring 22 points against Purdue on Jan. 5.


guard from Fishers, Ind.

Junior guard Keith Appling plays defense against Ohio State guard Aaron Craft on Saturday at Breslin Center. The Spartans defeated Ohio State 59-56.

Branden Dawson, 6-foot-6 guard/forward from Gary, Ind. After spurning his homestate Boilermakers for MSU, Dawson has dominated Purdue, averaging 14.3 points and 8.3 rebounds against the Boilermakers in his career.

Freshmen guards hit 1st-year wall By Dillon Davis

Adreian Payne, 6-foot-10 center from Dayton, Ohio

Payne came up big for the Spartans with 14 points against Ohio State on Saturday and scored a thencareer high 15 points to help MSU beat the Buckeyes on Feb. 11, 2012.



The buzzer sounded as the ball miraculously floated through the net. As Keith Appling made his way back down the floor after beating the shot clock with an unexpected circus shot, he shook his head, smiled at the referee and began smacking his wrists. It was Appling’s not-so-subtle way of telling the official he was getting hit on the arms all game long. That’s what happens when you go against Aaron Craft. Appling’s battle with the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year was Saturday’s marquee matchup when the Spartans and Buckeyes tangled at Breslin Center. In the game’s final moments, it was Appling scoring the Spartans final six points to lift MSU to a critical 59-56 victory, highlighted by the go-ahead layup, which featured a hard crossover of Craft, leaving Ohio State’s star guard off balance. It was a moment Ohio State head coach Thad Matta described as one of the game’s biggest plays. “That’s just the competitive nature inside,” Appling said. “I’m a competitive player and each and every time I get the opportunity I’m going to try to attack my defender to keep him honest — it’s as simple as that. “Aaron Craft is a tough competitor. He plays hard for 40 minutes, and I love going against him because he makes me better each and every time we play.” After the game, Tom Izzo joked that he doesn’t know if anyone should enjoy playing against Craft, but on Monday he said Appling’s competitive nature helped land him a new role for the No. 13 MSU men’s basketball team — captain. At his weekly press conference, the Spartans’ head coach said he decided Sunday evening that

Players step up against home-state schools

It’s one of the most common and difficult barriers in all of collegiate athletics: the freshman wall. A talented freshman excels for the first several months of the season before experiencing a sudden and noticeable decline. Though difficult to predict when it might happen or the reason behind its occurrence, it’s a physical barrier facing many of college basketball’s diaper dandies. MSU guards Gary Harris and Denzel Valentine have not been immune to it. After starting the year as two of the more impressive freshman guards in the Big Ten — talented enough to earn starting roles and Big Ten freshman of the week honors in December for Harris — both players appear to be in the middle of slumps. Having witnessed first-year players crash into the methodical freshman wall time and again, head coach Tom Izzo said it’s a period many players are forced to battle through. “It’s like when I ran a marathon once and everybody told me the 20-mile mark is when you hit the wall,” Izzo said. “I got to 20 miles and I felt pretty good. I said that wall theory is out the door. “The 21-mile mark, my face started going numb, you know. Some guy who was 80 (years old) passed me and I knew I was in trouble.” After close to 75 practices and more than 20 games, including exhibitions, for the No. 13 Spartans (16-3 overall, 5-1 Big Ten), Harris and Valentine have showed varied degrees of struggle in January. Valentine has just six total points in his last four games and has had a tough time

making an impact against Big Ten opponents. Still, the Lansing native remains second on the team in assists (2.7 per game) and fourth in rebounds (4.2 per game), having played in all 19 of the team’s regular season games. Searching for more consistent production from his starters, Izzo recently replaced Valentine in the starting lineup with junior center Adreian Payne, while still getting Valentine 18 minutes on the floor in Saturday’s win against No. 14 Ohio State. “It was kind of hard on Denzel because he’s a freshman,” sophomore guard/forward Branden Dawson said. “He kind of hit that freshman wall but you know, he’s just adjusting and seeing from the bench what he needs to do when he goes in the game.” Harris is a different story, as he leads all Big Ten freshmen in scoring with 12.6 points per game. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Harris has faced multiple shoulder injuries this season and it appears to have affected the flow of his shot, noticeable in a 37.3 shooting percentage in the month of January. However, Harris said he doesn’t believe he’s hit a wall. “No, I don’t really buy into it,” Harris said after the game on Saturday. “(Izzo) said every freshman hits the wall, but I feel like I haven’t hit it yet so I’m going to keep playing.” During his weekly press conference Monday, Izzo said both players understand the writing on the wall and are working toward resolving a midseason slide. With a pair of challenging road games facing the Spartans this week against Wisconsin on Tuesday before traveling to meet No. 7 Indiana on Sunday, Izzo said he expects both players to make a comeback. “In my time, I’ve seen freshmen struggle a little bit but as tough as both of them are, I have no qualms they’ll bounce back,” Izzo said.

Fist-fights break out as wrestling team falls to No. 3 Iowa, 27-12 By Zach Smith THE STATE NEWS ■■

Tempers flared and fists flew as the MSU wrestling team fell 27-12 to No. 3 Iowa on an emotion-filled Sunday afternoon. Twice during the meet, both teams received an unsportsmanlike point for fighting, forcing the referee to separate the wrestlers. “Iowa is a tough team, and we knew it was going to be a fight, and that’s what it was,” head coach Tom Minkel said. “It’s kind of the nature of wrestling. We’ve had some other matches with them over the years that

have been pretty dramatic, so I don’t think we’ve settled very well with them.” Of the 10 wrestlers in the Iowa starting lineup, nine of them were ranked in the top 20 of their weight class, including two ranked No. 1 in the country. The three wins the Spartans had were from No. 7 junior heavyweight Mike McClure , who won on forfeit, sophomore 184-pounder John Rizqallah and senior 149-pounder Dan Osterman. Minkel said he was proud how they responded in a physical way to the stout competition. “It’s a huge bright spot,” he said. “John’s a sophomore and it’s his first year as a starter. He’s

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been wrestling really, really well and making great strides. Danny had a heck of a match, too.” Minkel said senior 157-pounder David Cheza will be out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. Senior Ryan Watts will take his place in the starting lineup. With a 10-4 upset win over No. 17 Michael Kelly, Osterman said the win gave him confidence for the rest of the season. “Aside from my body being sore, I feel really good,” Osterman said. “I did a lot of extra things this week just realizing that I only have two months left in my career. To have that reward of putting in the work, and seeing it pay off, is a really good feeling.” Earlier in the week, Rizqallah said regardless of the outcome, he wanted every member of the team to have a good showing, a feat he said they accomplished. “A lot of our kids are young,

but I do believe every single one of us went out there and fought, whether it was literally fighting physically or just fighting,” Rizqallah said. “Our 157-pounder, Ryan (Watts), literally fought the kid, and that kid is No. 1 in the country. (Ryan’s) not ranked, but he didn’t give up. It doesn’t matter who you are, we’re going to fight.” Along with Watts, 197-pounder Luke Jones also got into a fistfight with his opponent, Nathan Burak, before losing, 7-4. The Hawkeyes came to East Lansing after defeating Michigan, 33-10, on Friday. Rizqallah, who beat the No. 11 wrestler at his weight, said Iowa came in with the attitude that they were the alpha-males, and MSU was just regular guys. “We’re going to go out there and fight, it’s not going to happen like that, that’s not how we roll,” he said. “If you want to play


Senior 149-pounder Dan Osterman and Iowa’s Michael Kelly wrestle during a meet Sunday at Jenison Field House. Osterman won, 10-4.

within the rules, we’ll play within the rules, but if you’re going to be cheap, we’re going to be cheap as well. Sometimes it becomes more than a wrestling match.” The Spartans still are winless in Big Ten competition, but Minkel said the result against Iowa is a step in the right direction after a 41-0 trouncing by No. 1 Penn State a week ago. “We’re a fairly young team and

we need to learn from these,” Minkel said. “You can’t go week after week and just expect to get better. You have to learn from this environment and you have to learn from wrestling this caliber of competition. I think we are, I think we’re learning a lot.” Next up for MSU is No. 15 Northwestern at 6 p.m. on Friday in Jenison Field House.

Tuesday 1/22/13