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Study: Freshmen more focused on employment

Column: The benefits of going greek

Merchantt looks for leadership after Purdue rdue loss




Sophomore guard Kiana Johnson. JULIA NAGY/THE HE STATE NEWS

Weather Rain High 52° | Low 37° Michigan State University’s independent voice | statenews com | East Lansing, Mich. | Tuesday, January 29, 20 2013 0113 3

Three-day forecast, Page 2



Campus to campus and THE STATE NEWS ■■


auline Bateman knew from the very start that she wanted to be a Spartan.

Growing up in nearby Holt, Mich., she frequently was on MSU’s campus. When the time came for her high school graduation, there was no doubt in her mind that she wanted to end up at MSU — “end up” being the key words.

Plans changed when Bateman received minimal financial aid from MSU, and she delayed her attendance at the university to earn credits in a more cost-effective way at Lansing Community College, or LCC. “I went that route to save money and get my basics out of the way,” Bateman said. “I had always planned from the get-go to go to MSU.” Now looking back as a psychology senior, she appreciates the time she spent at LCC, but wishes she had been able to spend more time at MSU while still getting a degree — something more students will be able to do following


More online … To see a video of a student discussing transfering to MSU, visit

recent legislation in Michigan. In a new reverse transfer agreement, community college transfer students can attend a university, but later choose to apply those credits back to a community college degree. The agreement is new, but the policy is just another step in an ongoing relationship between MSU and LCC. A new tie Legislation passed last fall requires universities to create transfer agreements with community col-

leges, which might create more opportunities for students in a tough economy and tougher job market, according to university officials. MSU Associate Registrar Traci Gulick said the agreement allows students who transfer to MSU from Macomb, Lansing or Grand Rapids community colleges to have credits from the university transfer back to the community college while the student still is attending MSU. The legislation is meant to help students get a degree


At Fr iday ’s Boa rd of Trustees meeting, the board unanimously approved construction plans to relocate and rebuild the on-campus fuel station. The station, which serves university vehicles only, is being relocated after the U.S. Department of Homeland Securit y, or DHS, deemed its current location at Spartan Stadium a safety hazard to the university.

The project will cost $4.8 million. Construction is slated to commence in April, with substantial completion by August 2014

from a community college in case the economy begins to suffer, and they no longer can afford higher tuition, or they need to graduate earlier with an associate degree. “We want to make sure the students are going to be able to graduate with the right knowledge in the shortest amount of time,” Gulick said. The reverse transfer agreement might be especially appropriate for students such as kinesiology junior Jill Fimbinger, who spent some time at LCC and would prefer to stay at MSU to finish her degree. Fimbinger, who spent two

The new gas station and car wash will be built on Service Road, east of the Laundry Building. According to the meeting agenda, the project will cost $4.8 million. Construction is slated to commence in April, with substantial completion by August 2014 and full completion in August 2015. After the meeting, Ron Flinn, the assistant vice president of the MSU Physical Plant, said the underground fuel tanks adjacent to the stadium pose a big safety concern. If a person generated an explosion with the fuel station’s gasoline during a football game,

See LCC on page 2 X

See FUEL on page 2 X

New legislation strengthens ties between MSU, LCC

By Darcie Moran and Michael Koury



State funding to Michigan ASMSU backs cheaper textbooks, fitness universities might increase By Robert Bondy and Christine LaRouere

By Kellie Rowe THE STATE NEWS ■■

After years of cuts, state funding to Michigan universities could be on the rise. A recent study shows Michigan universities received more state appropriations in the past year, but university officials doubt this trend will continue. T his f iscal year, Michigan colleges and universities received a 3.1 percent increase in state funding compared to

State Rep. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing, and former East Lansing mayor, recently was appointed to Michigan’s House Appropriations Committee ... increasing MSU’s political sway massive cuts in recent years, according to the Grapevine sur vey featuring research collected by Illinois State University. MSU College of Education Dean Donald Heller said state appropriations to higher education likely are increasing in

Finance sophomore Stephen Oh exercises his pectoral muscles in the fitness room of IM-Sports West on Monday. The fitness center fee is proposed to be included in a student’s annual tuition bill, allowing students free access.

Years of cuts begin to ease for Big Ten universities


State funding for higher education, percent change on previous year

At last week’s ASMSU general meeting, MSU undergraduate student government representatives voted on several bills ranging from greek life to the Union.



Mich. +3.1% Penn.




Ohio +1.3% Wisc. +2.5% Ind.

Neb. +1.4% -3



-1 0 +1 +2 Percent change



correlation with Michigan’s increasing revenue. “When state budgets contract, higher education is generally one of the first parts of the budget to get cut,” he said. “A s state budgets grow, See FUNDING on page 2 X

Textbook tax holiday ASMSU representatives agreed to be an advocate for the state legislature for a textbook tax holiday for all students. During the “holiday,” state sales taxes on textbooks would be eliminated, said ASMSU President Evan Martinak . “When you look at something like sales taxes on textbooks, it does seem like something we can change.” Martinak said. “This is one way that we can do it.” Opt-out fi tness fee The representatives agreed to support the optout fitness fee in students’ overall tuition to help student health and wellness around campus. A fee of about $50 would be included in every student’s tuition,


and students would have the decision of whether or not to opt-out of the membership. “I think relatively, MSU is truly the bottom of the barrel when it comes to IM services in the Big Ten,” Martinak said. Fund retreat for heads of greek life ASMSU allotted $6,000 to the Panhel len ic Counci l, Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council and Independent Greek Council to help fund a leadership conference in Indianapolis. The conference will help presidents of

greek organizations bring new ideas to local greek life. Free billiards at the Union A bill for free billiards in the ne wly r e nov ated Union was passed, with a meeting with the Union Interim Director Tami Kuhn ahead for the group. “We will certainly be willing to hear what ASMSU has to propose to help our students,” Kuhn said. Currently, billiards cost $5 per hour and are free Wednesday nights. 8

Off -campus voter registration ASMSU voted to support a proposed city ordinance requiring East Lansing property owners to prepare voter information for renters when they sign their lease. East Lansing Mayor Pro Tem Nathan Triplett presented the ordinance at the meeting. ASMSU is planning to show its support at the Feb. 5 City Council meeting. “ASMSU is a good partner in the city,” Triplett said. “When they show their support for something, it does go a long way.”


Police brief Man dies from E.L. parking ramp fall A 25-year-old Lansing resident died Sunday morning after reportedly falling from the top of the parking ramp off of Albert Avenue. East Lansing police found the man in front of the entrance to the CVS Pharmacy, 240 M.A.C. Ave., public parking entrance, according to a press release from the East Lansing Police Department. A witness told police the man fell from the City Center Ramp, according to the release. The man was taken to Sparrow Hospital, 1215 E. Michigan Ave., in Lansing, and declared dead shortly after his arrival. He was not an MSU student, according to the release. The incident is being investigated, and the police are working on informing the man’s family. ISABELLA SHAYA | THE STATE NEWS

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Corrections In the page 3 story “Alpha Gamma Rho hosts beef preview show” (TSN 1/21), Jason Smith’s major is crop and soil sciences and agribusiness management. The State News will correct all factual errors, including misspellings of proper nouns. Besides printing the correction in this space, the correction will be made in the online version of the story. If you notice an error, please contact Managing Editor Emily Wilkins at (517) 432-3070 or by email at feedback@


Department of Homeland Security lists fuel station near Spartan Stadium as saftey hazard

“If someone were to target and take advantage ... I don’t think that was a risk we wanted to take on.”


Mitch Lyons, MSU Trustee

MSU would have a “huge tragedy ” on its hands, he said. “I believe that was our number one concern we had on this campus for safety,” Flinn said, adding MSU Police would be the most knowledgeable on this topic. “It’s felt that if the terrorist has their way, that is the one thing they are going to do is (target) a big public assemblage of people, and that’s why Homeland Security said anything like this is not good, and it has to change.” MSU police declined to comment on the potential security threat. MSU Trustee Mitch Lyons said whether it be the potential of a terrorist action or even an accidental explosion or fire, the general consensus of the board is this much fuel in such close proximity to the stadium is dangerous and needs to change. The issue was brought to the board’s attention in 2012, Lyons said, adding the DHS reported this concern more than two years ago. “That certainly is an issue — if someone were to target and take advantage and put people in jeopardy,” Lyons said. “I don’t think that was a risk we wanted to take on.” Bob Nestle, university engineer for the Physical Plant, said although there never has been a direct terrorist threat at MSU, this relocation is a method to ensure the MSU community’s safety. “Quite frankly, the likeli-

hood of (the stadium) being a terrorist attack target is quite remote, but you can’t say it’s zero,” Nestle said. “If there were a fire there during a football game, even if it were small, when you have 70,000-plus people in one spot, the chance of panic setting in is (big).” Nestle said for more than 10 years, there has been talk about moving the entire automotive services operations, located at the stadium. Although he could not recall the year DHS expressed concern about the fuel station’s location, he said it likely was brought up a few years ago. Nestle said following the concern, the fuel station was a top priority to be relocated before other automotive operations. At football games, Nestle said MSU has extra security and police patrols. But there is no special security in terms of protecting the fuel station, he said. Comparative cultures and politics senior Megan Orth said she has gone to nearly every football game since her freshman year and has never considered this threat. But when hearing about the DHS’s concern, she said she is at ease knowing MSU is taking action. “I can definitely see why they would want to move it now that (the) association has been linked,” Orth said. “Especially with increased security on college campuses in general, it makes sense they would want to take as many precautions as possible.”


House Appropriations Committee and was appointed as vice chair of the Higher Education and Education subcommittee, potentially increasing MSU’s political sway when the time comes to pass a budget. W hen compa red to t he national average, Michigan students receive about $2,000 less per student in state funding, according to Grapevine research. “The state needs to reinvest in higher education if it wants to see more students attaining postsecondary education credentials,” Heller said. “Otherwise, tuition will continue to rise at rates that will price many students out of attending college.” Cantwell said universities typically are one of the fi rst areas to experience budget cuts because they can raise revenue by increasing tuition, whereas public bodies, such as police departments or K-12 schools, cannot. To increase funding, the MSU Board of Trustees approved a 3.5 percent increase in tuition for in-state students and a 5 percent increase for out-ofstate students for the 2012-13 academic year. Although state appropriations to universities increased this year, Cantwell said students shouldn’t expect tuition to decrease. While Evan Martinak, president of ASMSU — MSU’s undergraduate student government — understands legislators have to pick and choose what they spend money on, he said cutting higher education funding could hurt the economy in the long run. “If we want to draw that kind of financial capital, we need to invest fi rst in our human capital,” he said.


OPINION EDITOR Katie Harrington CAMPUS EDITOR Rebecca Ryan CITY EDITOR Summer Ballentine SPORTS EDITOR Kyle Campbell FEATURES EDITOR Matt Sheehan COPY CHIEF Caitlin Leppert

Although state funding for public universities increased last year, trend not expected to continue FROM PAGE ONE




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higher education tends to get more money.” When Michigan was at one of its lowest economic periods, Gov. Rick Snyder cut 15 percent of state appropriations toward higher education for the 201112 fi scal year. But a year later, he allocated about $299 million to MSU for the 2012-13 fiscal year, a slight increase compared to last year’s $284 million appropriation. Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education assistant professor Brendan Cantwell said higher education historically experiences some return in funding after recessions, but Michigan universities shouldn’t expect the trend to continue. Instead, Snyder placed a higher emphasis on performance metrics to determine funding, Cantwell said. The metrics measure a range of variables, such as how effectively the university increases graduation rates, how many students earn Pell Grants and how many students are enrolled in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields. “I think that members of the state Legislature feel that they need to provide incentives for colleges and universities to engage in (these) particular activities,” Cantwell said. St ate Rep. Sa m Si ngh, D-East Lansing, and former East Lansing mayor, recently was appointed to Michigan’s


New regulations make transfers between LCC and MSU easier FROM PAGE ONE

years at LCC and transferred this fall, said although she misses the class sizes at LCC and feels MSU faculty go much faster, she would still rather stay on campus if she ever opted to earn an associate degree from the community college. John Dirkx, a professor in the Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education program at MSU, said the new policy might be beneficial in a world where companies place more emphasis on earning a college degree, although he noted most employers are looking for bachelor’s or graduate degrees. Bateman said although the plan might not be for everyone, she has considered taking a break from MSU at times. “What happens if a student isn’t able to complete a (bachelor’s) degree?” Gulick said. “If a student isn’t able to, at least they have the associate degree.” A long-standing relationship Dirkx said relationships need to be fostered between universities and community colleges. “You can’t understate the role of community colleges in higher education,” Dirkx said. “It’s providing for people who might not otherwise have the opportunity or access to higher education.” LCC applicants make up a large portion of applicants to MSU, Senior Associate Director of Admissions Mike Cook said. Cook said LCC applicants made up 13.4 percent of the applicant pool for fall semester 2012, and so far, they make up

Level: 1


14.8 percent of the applicant pool for fall 2013. Jim Cotter, MSU director of admissions said starting at a community college might be a better fit for some students than to start at a large university. Gulick said it is wellknown many LCC students end up transferring to MSU, but some MSU students also take classes at LCC. The relationship doesn’t stop there. Dirkx said LCC also has collaborated on research with MSU and on state-level projects. MSU faculty also have been keynote speakers at LCC events. Other collaborations between MSU and LCC include sharing faculty to train people to work in the film industry in 2009. The program was held five days a week for two months but stopped because of lack of funding, said MSU Director of Broadcasting Gary Reid, who led the program. Reid said faculty from both sides came together, with MSU helping to provide the facilities and LCC providing set design, hair and makeup. Bateman said although the universities collaborate on projects and have many of the same students, there needs to be further collaboration between the advising departments, which she said caused her the most trouble in her move between the institutions. Rafeeq McGiveron, an adviser at LCC, said he has tried showing students how to find information on classes and transferring on the MSU website, but there are some students who find that difficult. The online transfer guide includes information about general education courses, but nothing on specific majors. Despite the challenges, McGiveron said the collaboration between MSU and LCC helps to provide students with a full education. “The community college and the land-grant institution, with their overlapping missions, they partner up really well I think,” Dirkx said.

3 4



Complete the grid so each row, column and 3-by-3 box (in bold borders) contains every digit, 1 to 9. For strategies on how to solve Sudoku, visit © 2013 The Mepham Group. Distributed by Tribune Media Services. All rights reserved.




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



Economy, employment gives college appeal to freshmen SMARTPHONE APP MIGHT PREVENT ON-CAMPUS CRIME


By Darcie Moran


A record number of college freshmen think attending a university will help them get a better career, a recent survey shows. The results of the 2012 Freshman Survey were released Thursday by the Cooperative Institutional Research Program, part of the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles. The 2012 survey, which nearly 200,000 freshman across the country participated in, found 88 percent of those surveyed said the ability to get a better job was a very important reason to go to college. Numbers have grown for more than 30 years. In 1976, about two-thirds of freshmen responded in the same way. The survey also found students are concerned with being economically comfortable. About three in four — the highest on record — freshmen said the ability to make more money was a very important reason to go to college. Jaclyn Hadler is one of these freshmen. The prenursing student said she decided to attend college because of the economic and career opportunities the degree might provide her. “I wanted to have options and be able to make enough money to live the way I want to,” Hadler said. Bill Morgan , experiential learning and on-campus internship coordinator for MSU Career Services, said it is important for students to build a strong résumé to show employers before graduating.



Students talk to internship recruiters in 2011 at a career fair sponsored by MSU Career Services. The event was meant to help students find internships, which the network said makes students more employable after graduation.

“When a student lands on campus, or hopefully even in high school, really the question always is, ‘What do you want to do when you’re done with college?’” Morgan said. “It’s important you take the steps to make sure you are preparing yourself for when you’re done with school.” Morgan said he calls these skills “building blocks” that a student needs as a foundation before they enter the job market. Helpful tools include a well-written résumé, getting a part-time job or internship and seeing one of MSU’s career advisers to help assist in finding a career. “Those building blocks help students get off to a good start

“It’s important you take the steps to make sure you’re preparing yourself for when you’re done with school.” Bill Morgan, experiential learning and on-campus internship coordinator for MSU Career Services

and have a better grasp of what’s going to happen when they enter the job market,” he said. Morgan said MSU’s Career Services Network provides students with multiple options to search for internships and gain advising to help find a job. Recent graduates also can take advantage of some of these services, such as using the career search engine MySpartanCareer, for up to two

years after graduation. Jack Ottenwess, a political science and pre-law freshman, said he is not wasting any time finding job opportunities he thinks will be beneficial in helping him get into law school. He spent his summer working at a law firm in downtown Detroit. “It gives me great experience that I am 100 percent sure will be relevant,” Ottenwess said.

While conversations on college campus safety have been ignited by recent attacks on campuses across the nation, some universities are turning to apps to improve safety. Several Big Ten universities, including Ohio State University, are discussing launching a pilot program of the Canadian-based application Guardly, which allows users to give specific incident information — including exact location and which authorities to send — without making a phone call, Guardly sales director Luke Slan said. “Oftentimes, something happens on a campus, you might not be near (an emergency) light,” Slan said. “It goes a long way for providing peace of mind for students.” He said in the event of an emergency, students can use the system through a smartphone app to contact authorities immediately. Previously logged incidents or volunteered background information, such as allergies, can be communicated to dispatchers so the right response team and tools are delivered. Universities have the option to buy the enhanced version of the program, which enables police to monitor the system from their dispatch center. According to the app description, the basic app contacts friends and family to help in case of an emergency, instead of local authorities. MSU police do not have a separate dispatch center and

use the Ingham County dispatch. Although MSU police Sgt. Florene McGlothian-Taylor said she could not comment on whether the Guardly system could or would be implemented at MSU, she said MSU was one of the first in the country to have emergency light phones, as well as the first to use a 3-digit police contact system, such as 9-1-1. MSU has about 170 emergency green light phones on campus, excluding phones in residence halls, she said. The lights are tested about every other week. Ontario College of Art and Design University Manager of campus security Louis Toromoreno — whose university uses the app — said university police have had issues communicating what the system is meant for, but fully implementing the system this semester has given the university access to new information. “We need to start to think about how can we use technology to make our campuses better,” Toromoreno said of campus security, adding the system might deter crime. Hospitality business senior Jennifer Miller said following the reported abduction and assault of a Central Michigan University student and a shooting at a Texas community college, the idea of a smartphone app to improve safety might be an added comfort. “It’s an extra layer of security because if I’m walking alone at night, the phone is right next to me,” Miller said.

More online … To view a map of emergency green light phone locations, visit



College of Law students work to handle stress By Lilly Keyes THE STATE NEWS ■■

Even though law student Andreina Rosa is looking forward to the Barrister’s Inaugural Ball this weekend, she has more on her mind than the new gown she’ll be wearing to the “law school prom.” “It’s … gold,” she said as she pulled out her phone to show off a photo of the dress. “It looks kind of white, but it’s gold — here’s what the back looks like.” Soon after, thoughts of the responsibilities she’ll neglect while wearing the dress brought her back to reality. She’s one of many law students overwhelmed with stress from school.

“We do have events to enjoy ourselves, but at the end of the day we (think) ‘Oh, I feel bad because I didn’t get this work done,’” she said, taking on a more serious tone. “Especially when the event is over.” Rosa, who noticed her stress heighten after starting law school, said she started the Wellness in Practice program to offer help to other struggling students. After their first semester of law school, the Dave Nee Foundation reported 27 percent of law students show signs of depression. After three years, this figure rises to 40 percent. That’s why Wellness in Practice worked with Diversity Services and the Office of Student Engagement to host Food for

Thought: A conversation about Health and Wellness in the Legal Profession. This free event for students featured experts in the mental health and legal fields who answered questions and provided students with helpful tips to handle the stress on Monday afternoon at the Castle Board Room in the College of Law Building. More than 75 students and faculty packed the room, enjoying picnic lunches and watching presentations about how to seek mental support in such a hectic college atmosphere. The cutthroat atmosphere of law programs is a large contributor to the reported 96 percent recorded stress among law students, said Katherine Bender, programming consultant for the Dave Nee Foundation. “It breeds competition, so everyone’s kind of isolated,” MSU Student Bar Association president Cameron Lawler said. “Day one, you walk in and you can cut the tension in the air.” Although seeking help is the first recommended step for students who think they might have depression, Caroline Kingston, associate director for student engagement, said certain aspects of the bar application taken after law school might deter them from actively looking for help. The 54th question on the application asks students about their mental health history, and Kingston said the stigmas associated with mental health frighten some students more than it should. “The question itself may have a chilling effect,” Kingston said, adding the best approach to this

Grad student stress

96% of law students say they feel stressed

70% of medical school students say they feel stressed


MSU Counseling Psychologist John Taylor speaks with MSU College of Law students about depression in the work environment Monday at the College of Law.


of graduate students as a whole say they feel stressed SOURCE: DAVENEE FOUNDATION

question is to be open about mental health history. “Just knowing they are someday going to have to answer that question can be scary. But it’s important to clear up the misconceptions to examine what the question is really asking.”

NEW APP MIGHT EASE COMMUTE For journalism and professional writing senior Jessica Whitmill, getting to class in the morning used to be a pain. “I would always miss the bus by like, two minutes,” she said. “It was always frustrating.” This might change for Whitmill, after she and two former MSU students develop a mobile app to help make it easier for students and morning commuters. — Michael Koury, The State News


ACROSS 1 Bit of high jinks 6 Eastern European 10 Sounds of disapproval 14 Team leader 15 Hang (around) in a hammock, say 16 Dos cubed 17 Second-largest Indian city 18 Play parts 19 Say grace, say 20 *4-0 World Series win, e.g. 22 Salad fish 23 Make illegal 24 Spy for Moses 26 Bit of schoolyard disagreement 29 Gardner of Hollywood 32 Under the covers 35 “The Shield” force, briefly 36 Diabolical sorts 39 “Norma __” 40 Pooling vehicle 41 *Broom alternative 42 www bookmark 43 Org. with many specialists 44 Online newsgroup system 45 Nora was his mistress 46 Justin Timberlake’s former band 48 Fir feller 49 Bok __: cabbage

L.A. Times Daily Puzzle

50 Nudges 53 Corrosive stuff 55 Cashless deal 57 Designed for two functions, and a hint to the answers to starred clues 63 Buffalo’s lake 64 Not nuts 65 Run to the window 66 Gave for a while 67 Malevolent 68 Great enthusiasm 69 Colony critters 70 Riga resident 71 Scatter about

DOWN 1 Adapter letters 2 Carolers’ offering 3 Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s __” 4 Sleepy Hollow schoolteacher Crane 5 Plates for company 6 Side with a sandwich 7 Bridal gown trim 8 Ancient Mexican 9 Italian scooter 10 David Letterman list 11 *Scouring aid 12 Genghis __ 13 Tofu source 21 Bureaucratic bungles 25 Speech therapist’s concern 26 Highway to Fairbanks 27 Sirs’ counterparts

Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Lewis

28 *Graffiti maker’s medium 30 Clamping device 31 MetLife competitor 33 Turn a deaf __ 34 Airport annoyance 37 Carlsbad Caverns locale: Abbr. 38 “I’m listening!” 41 “Watch your head!” 45 Prevailed against, slangily 47 Common rental restriction 51 Four-wheeled flop 52 Dry Italian wine 54 Safecrackers 55 Ward of “CSI: NY” 56 Small songbird 58 Army division 59 Shot at the bar 60 Cold War country: Abbr. 61 Mal de __: Henri’s headache 62 “That hurts!”


Get the solutions at



Featured blog

BSA considers lifting ban “On, an article was posted about how the Boy Scouts of America are close to ending a decade-long ban they have had on gay members and leaders. This news comes as a surprise — since last July, a national executive board member for the Boy Scouts said the ban was ‘the best policy for the organization.’”



— Greg Olsen, State News reporter



here is a sense of American pride observed when you pass a house displaying the “War Mother’s Flag.”

But would this view of American pride change if you knew the military member overseas was a female? For years, women have worked to participate as soldiers in the military, and they have succeeded — with certain limitations. But last Thursday, the U.S. Military announced it would formally remove a ban that has been in place for almost two decades — banning women from combat zones.

Now that this ban has been lifted, women officially will be allowed to apply for positions in combat rolls starting in May. There are concerns to mull over when discussing whether to allow women to fight in combat zones. Trying to make men and women equal in this sense is a tough task. The strength of a woman is one of the main concerns that originally put the ban into ordinance and still has many people troubled today. Women are not built the same as men, and they naturally have a more petite structure and less muscle mass. Because of this, one has to stop and think from a general soldier’s perspective: when raiding a building and expecting an ambush from the enemy, would you want a man or a woman behind you, watching your back and providing you cover fire? This is a difficult issue to discuss without sounding sexist or degrading to a certain extent. We live in a society that constantly strives to make everything and everyone equal, and if women want to be in combat, our society has made it possible that they have an American right to do so. A simple solution to the strength argument of women in combat is women must pass the same physical tests as men, ensuring they would be able

to, for example, carry a fallen comrade across a field braving gunfire. The U.S. currently is in a position where we have many threats against our country, and we need as many people as possible fighting in the military during our time of need. Furthermore, not all combat-related roles are based solely on the front lines. There are other roles equally as important in the combat zone women also could perform. They could be a gunman in a tank supporting their troops, or a helicopter pilot picking up comrades in a raid. Just as each military soldier specializes in a certain area and has his or her own strengths and weaknesses, women naturally fit better into certain roles. Women already serve in a number of combat positions, including serving on ships in combat areas. It has been reported that about 292,000 women have served in combat zones since the since the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. In both wars, 152 women have died from combat or noncombat causes and 958 have been wounded in action.

Read the rest online at

Denying women who fight in combat roles the rewards granted to men has been an unfair reality since the original policy was implemented, and the decision to lift the ban is years overdue. The men who have been fighting alongside these women agree. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the service chiefs were unanimous in their support of the move. In the end, the role someone plays ultimately is based on what the safest plan of action is for the soldiers on the battlefield, ensuring they can perform their tasks the safest and most efficient way possible. If women prove they are able to perform the same tasks as men, we should support them in this right. After all, that is what the U.S. is all about.


Comments from readers ■■

“Snyder’s plan steers state in right direction” ANDY CURTIS

The roads and bridges do need work. However, Snyder is trying to put it on the little guy. How many people can afford to pay an additional $125 for their license plates? I don’t know anyone who can. We need that money for food, clothing, etc. If he were going to be fair about it, he’d increase what the truckers pay and reduce the increase on everyone else. Also, what guarantee do we have that those funds would even go toward the roads and bridges. They’d find something else to spend it on. After all, we are talking about career politicians. (comment continued at Lexi, Jan. 28 via

JUST SO YOU KNOW Putting it on “the little guy?” Who do you think already pays taxes to repair the roads? Simply forcing truckers to pay more doesn’t mean it doesn’t trickle down to you. Whatever product they haul becomes more expensive because businesses always add taxes into the price of their product.

No 30% Increase fuel taxes and None 74% vehicle registration fees 52% One 23%

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Increase the state sales tax by 2 percent 30%

Do you support the U.S. military’s decision to allow women to fight in combat roles? To vote, visit

I don’t care 18%

Matt, Jan. 28 via 0

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Total votes: 35 as of 5 p.m. Monday

Greek life helps student reach full potential


t’s usually quiet on Friday afternoons at the Zeta Mu chapter of Sigma Pi. The most that one can hear throughout the afternoon is the slow North Harrison traffic, and some of the brothers preparing for class. Last Friday was quite different — a good change for the house. Since early in the week, my brothers had been making arrangements and decorations in preparation of our largest charity event of the year. Friday was our annual Miss Greek pageant, and throughout the day everyone was rushing to clean, put last-minute touches on banners and arrange for transportation to downtown Lansing for the event. The event meant a little more to some of my brothers this year as the proceeds went to the Lyme Disease Association, or LDA, a nonprofit organization devoted to awareness, prevention and treatment of this terrible disease — something no one would

want to face. We chose the organization because one of our brother’s siblings back home currently suffers from Lyme disease. As everyone rushed about putting their efforts toward preparations, I thought about how everything we do often is looked at with intense scrutiny — from the parties we throw, to the way fraternal organizations are portrayed in the media and popculture. If you were to base all your views of greek life from the parties you have attended or National Lampoon’s “Animal House,” you only have skimmed the surface. I am a student at MSU strictly to prepare myself academically and professionally for the real world. As a freshman, I was a nongreek and often spent much of my time studying or in the dorms with the group of friends I had made. It was comfortable. I didn’t realize how much I was missing out on. Last semester I pledged Sigma Pi. I didn’t go there for the

parties; I went there because my Tournament — an event that has best friend had been on my case consistently raised more than $1,000 for charity in the past. ever since he joined. All the while, my grades have After contemplating everything he had been doing through not suffered. I have progressed the fraternity and how through through my brotherhood — his involvement he had grown something I am sure many of my and matured significantly, I fellow greeks can attest to. After I joined, I was jealous of GUEST COLUMNIST fully understood how differentthe appeal of greek ly he carried life, the unseen himself. side that many — He had myself included grown, and — overlook. he had proYes, greek life gressed. I offers the largest had remained parties on camstagnant. It NICK BRUEWER pus. But break w a s s ome the surface and thing I saw in there are unparhis maturation that drove my curiosity to Sigma alleled charity and leadership opportunities. Pi. It was something I wanted. Our internal management and During the past fall semester, I have done more than I executive boards offer experiever anticipated. My entire fresh- ence for almost any career path man year cannot even compare. you can think of. From public relations to phiI have grown socially and professionally and have been able to lanthropy, there is something contribute to service projects and for everyone. The experience large scale philanthropic events and responsibilities one can gain like Miss Greek. I look forward to through greek life is similar to organizing this year’s Volleyball an internship.

Time management is crucial. But at the end of the day, we are all at MSU for the same reason: school. Most houses on campus hold a minimum-GPA requirement — even an initiation GPA requirement. Grades are something we take very seriously. We take pride in national statistics that rate greek GPA’s higher than nongreek students, as well as a higher graduation rate by 21 percentage points. Socially, greeks are forced out of their comfort zones. Intergreek events bring the community together toward a greater goal of service. The upcoming Greek Week brings all fraternities and sororities together in fun events that raise money for charitable causes and help improve campus. Last year alone, the greek community came together and raised more than $240,000 for the American Cancer Society and donated more than 200 units of blood for the American Red Cross. Through these events we come into contact with hundreds, even

How to reach us 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. 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

thousands, of students who all share a common cause. We have hundreds of opportunities to improve our social skills and professional demeanor while maintaining contact with each other and charitable organizations. No matter what race, religion, major or interests, there is a house out there that has found common ground in order to support the greater good, all while having fun doing so. We are not perfect; we are only human. But we ever strive to build relationships and improve the Spartan community and our home here in East Lansing. Friday’s Miss Greek is in the past, and we consider it a great success for the LDA. As we look forward to this week’s new member recruitment, my brothers in Sigma Pi will strive for an even larger and more successful Miss Greek next year. We will strive to become the best brotherhood we can, and, above all, we will progress. Because as a Spartan community, that is all we ever can hope to do.




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



From left, associate professor of violin Dmitri Berlinsky, and professor of viola Yuri Gandelsman perform at Cook recital hall at the Music Building on Monday. Jan. 27 was the 257th birthday anniversary of Mozart, and the concert was part of the Joanne and Bill Church West Circle Series.

Apps shaping networking world By Omari Sankofa II THE STATE NEWS ■■

Networking is important for college students. After all, the ultimate goal of college not only is to earn a degree but find employment after graduation. Thanks to mobile applications, experts said the social networking process is becoming more intuitive and personalized. “One of the way apps have transformed the experience of social networking is now you can have a niche network within your larger Facebook network,” assistant professor of educational technology Christine Greenhow said. “You can form groups with similar interests around your interests in Facebook.” Greenhow, an expert on social media in education, was the principle investigator on a Facebook app project called Hotfish, an app designed for people interested in environmental issues and climate change. “Hotfish members could do a


MSU holds concerts to celebrate Mozart By Katie Abdilla THE STATE NEWS ■■

It’s been more than 200 years since famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Austria in 1756, yet the MSU College of Music had cause for celebration. The college hosted two performances Sunday night — his actual birthday — and Monday night in the Music Building called “Happy Birthday Mozart” as a part of the annual Joanne and Bill Church West Circle Series. The concerts included performances from several faculty members within the College of Music, including former Detroit Symphony Orchestra member Corbin Wagner.

Kathleen Adams, the College of Music’s communications manager, said tickets sold out quickly. “We had a full house (Sunday),” Adams said. “We do attract so many people to the West Circle Series that we have two performances each time.” Generations after the end of the Classical period, dean of the College of Music Jim Forger said it’s still important for students to recognize Mozart’s historical relevance to modern-day music. “Mozart is a timeless composer and brilliant individual who wrote outrageous things at the age of six,” Forger said. “He’s a treasure to the modern world, and he wrote some of the most recognizable tunes you’ll ever whistle.” Forger also said he hoped

attendees left feeling a sense of worthwhile experience. “Music touches the soul, and there isn’t better music than this,” he said. When it comes to contemporary music, graduate student Sarah Manasreh said much of it has roots in classical styles of music. “Classical music is a historical part of where we’re going,” Manasreh said. “It impacts the music we listen to today, whether we recognize it or not.” Each concert began with the crowd singing happy birthday to Mozart — and of course, cupcakes. “You can’t have a birthday without cupcakes,” Forger joked.

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Wharton Center welcomes the British Broadcasting Corporation, or BBC, Concert Orchestra 7: 30 p.m. Thursday. As the first stop on their U.S. tour, BBC Concert Orchestra will perform under conductor Keith Lockhart. The BBC Concert Orchestra holds the title of the world’s longest-running live music program on the radio with British Broadcasting Radio 2 for their performance on the show “Friday Night is Music Night.” Bob Hoffman, public relations manager at Wharton,

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BBC Orchestra conductor Keith Lockhart is headed to Wharton. is excited East Lansing residents have the chance to witness a group of classicalmusic greats. They are “one

of the world’s most respected orchestras,” he said. BRYTANIE KILLEBREW

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said the app especially can come in handy at college fairs. “You’re in a position where you’re meeting a lot of people. You may not remember names. When you meet somebody, you usually don’t have them send you a text, you’ll put the number in and save it.” Falkauff said beyond college fairs, social networking has been given a look by major institutions. “We’ve actually spoken to some colleges that say that one of the biggest problems right now is big institutions being unable to graduate kids in four years, and they’re looking for ways for not only students to stay better connected to each other, but for students to stay better connected to staff, the services on campus,” Falkauff said. Greenhow said interest-related apps give people something to come together around. “There’s something about having an app for your particular interests. It’s very motivating.”


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bunch of challenges like start a recycling program, or write a letter to the editor, or go to a town meeting about climate change,” she said. “So there were ways to participate in your local communities but then come into the Hotfish app and post about what you did. And that really help incentivize other Hotfish members into doing things.” Adam Falkauff, cofounder of Water’s Edge Partners, recently launched a mobile app called REON. REON records the time and place of every contact you enter into your phone. Falkauff said the social networking implications of the app are considerable. “When you take a contact in your phone, it records where and when you met that person. We can search them on a map, not only where you met the person, but any of the address you have,” Falkauff said. Media arts and technology senior Jordan Berger is a student ambassador for REON. Berger

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Aries (March 21-April 19) Today is a 7 — When it comes to productivity, you’re on fire. But don’t push yourself so hard that you get ill. Rest is especially important now. Don’t forget that a bird in the hand is worth two who are not. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Today is a 9 — If you discover you have more than enough, leave it where it is for now. Follow the rules to the letter. A conflict of interests knocks at your door. Discuss possible solutions privately. Gemini (May 21-June 20) Today is a 9 — Prioritize now. Delegate a difficult job to someone with experience. Visit a gallery for inspiration, but otherwise stay close to home for comfort. And discover something new about yourself. Cancer (June 21-July 22) Today is an 8 — Get that gift for yourself that you’ve been thinking about. See where your ideas take you.

Something doesn’t add up, though. Trust your intuition on this one. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) Today is a 7 — Make sure you’re aligned. Compromise may be required, and you’re good at it now. When you’re at a loss for words, find a friend to support you. It helps to put all your ideas on a list. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Today is a 9 — You’re more connected to your community than you think. Use your newly gained power to advance together through the challenges and be surprised by a breakthrough. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Today is a 6 — Embrace your mistakes. Creativity grows from the broken pieces. Expect to be pleasantly surprised. Happiness shows up sooner or later. Love your lover. Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Today is an 8 — The more you work, the more you make and save. Just

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Today is an 8 — Expand boundaries to discover new career opportunities. Play with fire and learn about burns ... push the envelope cautiously. Friends help you make the connection needed. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Today is an 8 — Venture farther today and tomorrow, well equipped and in the right company. Advance slowly and steadily. Make a beneficial discovery in your own garage. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Today is a 6 — Pay special attention to finances and revise your budget. Add glamour to your event without breaking the bank. Friends offer valuable, objective, insights. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) Today is an 8 — Consider that you don’t have the answer, but rather plenty of questions, and that’s the fun part. Open your mind. Enhance your community and improve your quality of life. Romance is available.



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Apts. For Rent

Apts. For Rent

Apts. For Rent

Apts. For Rent


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



Merchant looks for leadership after losses Izzo praises team in loss to Indiana By Stephen Brooks THE STATE NEWS ■■

Looking back on a week marked by a pair of tough fivepoint losses, MSU women’s basketball coach Suzy Merchant is looking for a little more fire from her team. The Spartans entered the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time last week, checking in at No. 25, before dropping consecutive games for the first time this season — on the road at Nebraska and against No. 14 Purdue at home Sunday. “I think we’re fighting. We’re competing. We’ve just got to get over the hump a little bit and got to get a little more want-to and aggressiveness out of some key players,” Merchant said at her Monday press conference. “We’re right there. It’s either teams’ to take, and we just gotta do a better job of being aggressive and making the choice to get it done.” Looking for an offensive spark, Merchant switched up the starting lineup for the first time this season against Purdue by swapping sophomores Jasmine Hines and Kiana Johnson for junior forward Annalise Pickrel and sophomore forward Becca Mills. Johnson, a guard, led MSU in scoring for the third consecutive game with 19 points while Hines went 1-for-12 from the floor in the center’s first career start. “Obviously at Nebraska we just really needed to make a change between Becca and (Hines),” Merchant said. “And then (we) give (Hines) the opportunity, and she didn’t do much with it. So, it’s frustrating. We need to get more consistency out of them.” The Spartans have been one of the country’s top defensive teams all season, but as of late it’s a sputtering offense that is cause for concern — whether it’s poor execution or a lack of aggression.

MSU got 26 more shot attempts than the Boilermakers but struggled to 30.5 percent shooting on the night. After missing a jumper to win it in regulation, the Spartans went on to go 1-of-11 shooting in overtime.

Senior Moments Merchant specifically put pressure on her seniors, mainly forward Courtney Schiffauer and guard Jasmine Thomas, both after Sunday’s loss and at her press conference to lead the rallying charge she’s looking for. “That’s what I’d like to see, a little more urgency,” Merchant said. “I mean it’s certainly not a time to panic. But that was a difficult thing a little bit for me, is I don’t see a lot of urgency. I think the fight is there but there’s a difference, there’s another level you’ve got to kick in. And quite honestly, I think that’s when a Schiff and a Jasmine Thomas has to step up.” Schiffauer finished with four points and three rebounds in 34 minutes against the Boilermakers, while Thomas dropped in

10 points. But it’s the leadership and mental aspects that irk Merchant the most, not the on-court production. Thomas accepted responsibility after the Purdue game and reflected much of what Merchant said regarding leadership. “I definitely think there needs to be some senior step-ups coming from me, coming from Schiffauer,” Thomas said Sunday. “This being our last go-around I think there needs to be more emphasis on what we need to be doing for this team.” After two close losses, the coach said she plans to have conversations with the senior duo about those concerns. Merchant said she’s waiting for someone, senior or not, to put the team on their back and maneuver the Spartans through adversity when it strikes. “As your team goes, so go your seniors as they say,” she said. “And that’s the time: When you’re at home, (playing the) 15th-ranked team in the country with opportunities to get the job done, and we weren’t able to do it.”


Senior guard Jasmine Thomas tries to score around a Purdue defenseman during the basketball game against Purdue on Sunday at Breslin Center. MSU lost the game in overtime with a final score of 67-62, of which Thomas scored 10 points.

By Dillon Davis

Freshman guard Gary Harris makes a three-pointer as Indiana guard Victor Oladipo puts a hand in his face Sunday at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind. Harris recorded 21 points during the Spartan’s 75-70 loss to the Hoosiers. THE STATE NEWS ■■

After taking one of the nation’s top teams down to the wire before falling short of the victory Sunday, there was little different about the way Tom Izzo spent his postgame press conference. Nervous feet squirming under the table. Lengthy answers, frequently darting away from the topic of the question. Cautious criticism of his team, while sometimes lamenting an outcome that could have been. But after weeks of criticizing the Spartans (17-4 overall, 6-2 Big Ten) for underachieving and playing down to the competition, Izzo said he saw his team rise to the challenge in a losing effort against thenNo. 7 Indiana (18-2, 6-1). Having watched the game film and reliving critical moments of Sunday’s 75-70 loss to the Hoosiers, it was a sentiment he again shared with the media Monday. “We were not a great 17-3 team; we were a good 17-3 team,” Izzo said. “I thought some consistency was missing. Getting more than one or two guys to play well at the same time was missing. I told my guys after the game that we are a better 17-4 team than we were a 17-3 team.” One player Izzo singled out for his performance was Gary Harris. The freshman guard scored a team-high 21 points in a hostile environment and broke through with his strongest showing since his careerhigh 22-point outing earlier in the month against Purdue. It was a strong sign of recovery for Harris, who has been battling multiple shoulder injuries in his first season with the program.


More online … To watch a video from Monday’s press conference, visit

“I couldn’t have been more pleased with the way Gary played, because he really played well defensively, ran the court well, made shots and he handled a difficult situation,” Izzo said. Despite taking verbal shots from the Hoosier faithful all afternoon from, Harris found his stroke against Indiana. “It was definitely a tough environment,” Harris said. “A lot of people. It was loud a lot of times. Great environment to play college basketball in.” Unfriendly confines With Harris taking verbal abuse from Indiana fans Sunday, the question also was raised about how the Izzone would react to an opposing player in a simi-

lar situation. Izzo said he would like the Izzone to show more tact than they have in recent weeks, especially in the way of the language being used. “Well, I’m going to tell the Izzone to lay off with the vulgarity I’ve heard the last couple of games,” he said. “No insult to anybody, but I don’t mind them getting on a guy. … Some of the things that are said are so low right now but in our freedom of speech of America. “I mean, what do you want me to do, tweet them to settle down? You know, I feel for (Harris’) family but it’s probably that way and I’m going to encourage our people not to be that way.”

Tuesday 1/29/13  

The State News is published by the students of Michigan State University, Monday through Friday during fall, spring and select days during s...

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