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EXECUTIVE ORDER Students protest, talk about President Donald Trump’s order to end visa issuing to immigrants and visitors from seven Middle Eastern countries

“So the main concern is that I don’t know anything about my future right now, because whatever I had planned is shattered. So I don’t know. I don’t know anything. I don’t know if I’m going to stay in the states, go back to my own country, I’m going to go to some other country for working, I don’t know anything right now.”

“My family is affected from this. My parents are immigrants to this country from Iraq, a country banned on this list, one of the seven countries. So that’s why I came out, to show my support.” Yacer Mirza Electrical engineering sophomore

Morteza Safdarnejad Electrical engineering PhD Dissertation student

“As soon as we heard about the executive order and how bad it was, first, we wanted to try to relay the message in a way that we could make people hear about it, hear stories and put faces to the actual stories, and then what can they do to actually mobilize? So that was pretty much the goal. It was to give people calls to action, what they can actually do.”

Syria

Iran

Libya Iraq

Sudan

Yemen

Somalia

Abraham Aiyash President of Muslim Students’ Association Senior political theory and constitutional democracy

“I am actually a Muslim first being, so I think that’s very important, and my parents are both immigrants. So this whole Muslim ban has kind of hit home just a bit.” Marwa Mallah Social work senior

“A big concern of mine is that, while we do have a huge population here that oppose the ban, obviously, there’s a huge, amazing turnout here tonight, there’s a lot of people who are either in agreement with it or who haven’t taken a stance on it and are finding ways to justify it.’’

Katy Hollobaugh Arabic senior

ILLUSTRATION: TAYLOR SKELTON

Students and members of the community gathered for a protest at The Rock on Jan. 31. The Michigan State Muslim Students’ Association hosted a “No Ban, No Wall: Spartans for Sanctuary and Solidarity” as a response to President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration. PHOTOS BY ZAINA MAHMOUD T HU R S DAY, F E B R UA RY 2 , 2 017

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Petition started for lower parking rates BY LAURA BOHANNON LBOHANNON@STATENEWS.COM

MSU business sophomore and East Lansing native Claire Fossum started an online petition calling for the MSU and East Lansing Police Departments to lower parking rates.The petition has 1,404 supporters as of 5:45 p.m. on Feb. 1. “My friends and I have dealt with it forever and it’s been outrageous,” Fossum said. “I was just like, you know what? I’ll start a petition and see how it goes. And it’s actually gone really well so far.” Fossum and her hometown friends aren’t the only ones who are frustrated with parking on campus and in East Lansing. Graduate students Kathryn Stahl and Meredith Wagner said parking on campus only adds more stress to their day-to-day lives, and agreed it’s expensive. A Minnesota native, Wagner said the University of Minnesota handled parking similarly with meters stationed throughout campus, adding parking at large seems to be endemic of large college campuses, because there’s is not enough space for cars. Stahl previously attended Central Washington University, where she didn’t park on campus as much, but her friends did.

“I never heard any complaints, unlike here, I hear it all the time, everywhere you go,” Stahl said.Stahl said scarcity of parking spaces on campus is a big issue for her as well. “I don’t have classes on certain days until 12:30 (p.m.), but I get to school by 8:45 every morning just to make sure I have parking,” Stahl said. “As a grad student, one of the rules is we have to park south of the river, which is ridiculous because all of my classes are north of the river.” Stahl said graduate students can park in the International Center parking lot or the lot across from it.She said she thinks her parking costs “$120-$130 per semester, so you’re looking at $260 to wake up early ... and it’s not even reliable. You have to park in a specific spot only to have classes in the complete opposite spot of campus.” Expensive parking rates aren’t the only thing Fossum is hoping her petition will impact.She said accumulating expensive parking tickets from MSU police and East Lansing’s Parking and Code Enforcement, PACE, have cost her hundreds of dollars already. “The past four years of driving, I’ve probably spent over $500 on tickets, maybe more,” Fos-

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sum said. “I’ve lived in East Lansing my entire life. ... My parents have always dealt with getting tickets in our driveway if you park over the edge or in the grass.”Fossum described an experience in which a PACE officer prematurely wrote her a ticket while waiting for the time on her parking meter to expire.

“I put in probably 15 minutes worth and was timing myself to make sure I didn’t get a ticket, and I ran outside and there’s a PACE officer already standing there, already writing me a ticket and I know the time hadn’t run out yet,” Fossum said. READ MORE AT STATENEWS.COM

COST OF PARKING PERMITS ON MSU’S CAMPUS, IN E.L. SOURCE: CITY OF EAST LANSING AND MSUPD WEBSITES

$306 $204

$90 a month

$80 a month Division Street Garage

Charles Street Garage

Lot 91 (Corner of Service Road & Hagadorn Road

Lot 65 (Brody)

E.L. will not comply with immigration ban BY RILEY MURDOCK RMURDOCK@STATENEWS.COM

East Lansing City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt a resolution stating its refusal to comply with the executive order on immigration recently issued by President Donald Trump, reaffirming its commitment to the civil liberties of East Lansing’s citizens. The highly criticized order, which places a freeze on immigration and refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries, has also prevented legal residents such as green card holders from returning to the U.S. “Even Reagan said we were the ‘golden [sic] city on the hill,’” Mayor Mark Meadows said. “What this president, short though this reign may be already has done, I believe sets us back tremendously.” In addition, the order states “sanctuary” cities that refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373, a federal statute reading that no government entity may withhold or impede immigration status information from the Federal Government, will be ineligible for federal grants. “In this case, I think the executive order that I just referred to is completely unconstitutional because the president does not have the authority to legislate,” Meadows said. “Given that there is no penalty for violating 1373, the executive order cannot create one, which it has tried to do, and in addition to that 8 U.S.C. 1373 is an unconstitutional activity of Congress, in violation of the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution.” Those in attendance were vocally in favor of the resolution, with Meadows receiving mid-meeting applause for stating the city would not comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373.

“Starting Friday night, I think there has been enormous fear and outrage and anger across this country about the executive order and the effect it’s having on people’s lives,” East Lansing resident Christine Root said. “The role that you can play as a local government matters, and I am so pleased that this resolution says that the city of East Lansing will resist every effort by the federal government to implement President Trump’s executive order within its borders, and it makes me glad to live here.” Councilmember Erik Altmann said he attended a No Ban No Wall rally at the Rock earlier Tuesday and heard enthusiasm from students when he announced what council had planned. “When we passed the welcoming cities resolution one of the things I said was that we were going to be back here talking about this issue again, and here we are talking about these issues again, and we’re going to be talking about them again, I’m sure of it, in the coming years,” Altmann said. “We are in the fight of our lives, and we have to figure out how to stay energetic and take care of ourselves along the way. It helps a lot that we are all in like company, that makes a huge difference.” On Dec. 1, 2015, council passed a resolution declaring East Lansing a welcoming community for Syrian refugees. This resolution follows the declaration in addition to neighboring Lansing’s recent steps toward becoming a “sanctuary city.” “The president, in his EO, has declared us to be a sanctuary city, so I am happy to support this resolution,” Meadows said. “I’ve read (Lansing) Mayor (Virg) Bernero’s very articulate statement of his position with regard to the executive order relating to immigration, and I would just say that, ditto.”


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Cameron Macko Managing editor cmacko@statenews.com

Nassar suit claims MSU women’s gymnastics coach knew in late 90’s BY BRIGID KENNEDY BKENNEDY@STATENEWS.COM

A new motion filed in Grand Rapids on Tuesday alleges that MSU women’s gymnastics head coach Kathie Klages was aware of allegations of sexual abuse against former MSU employee Larry Nassar as early as 1997. Nassar is accused of sexually abusing patients in his role as a doctor, including MSU student-athletes and members of the U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team. The motion aims to add a plaintiff, identified as “Jane BMSU Doe,” to Denhollander et al v. Michigan State University et al, a lawsuit filed against Nassar. If all current motions are granted, the lawsuit will have 26 plaintiffs. Jane BMSU Doe alleges that Nassar treated her for lower back pain with “intravaginal adjustments,” in which he touched and digitally penetrated patients’ genitals, and that these treatments occurred once a week to once every two weeks for more than two years. A lawsuit filed in California disputes that this is an accepted medical practice, saying they “were done for Nassar’s own sexual gratification.” The motion alleges that Jane BMSU Doe told

Klages that she had concerns about her treatments with Nassar “sometime in late 1997 to mid 1998,” and Klages said that she could file a report, but the report “would have serious consequences” for both Jane BMSU Doe and for Nassar. MSU policy at the time mandated Klages to report incidents of sexual assault in the university community, according to the motion. After hearing Jane BMSU Doe’s concerns, Klages called Nassar to warn him about the conversation, according to the motion. When Jane BMSU Doe showed up to her appointment with Nassar later that day, he told her she didn’t understand the treatment and allegedly performed another “intravaginal adjustment.” This motion, like the one filed Jan. 27, alleges that representatives from MSU told “potential victims” not to speak with the police or the media, and suggested “that athletes’ personal cellular phone would be checked for police or media contact.” “If evidence is uncovered that an MSU employee sought to interfere with the criminal case or prevent individuals from coming forward, we will take appropriate action,” MSU spokesperson Jason Cody said in an email statement.

MSU football National signing day

Spartans Rebuilding Michigan

Spartans try out virtual reality

See a graphic breaking down where MSU’s commits are coming from

Large philanthropic group on campus gives back to community

First annual SpartanCon held to showcase new technology

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Number MSU men’s basketball is ranked in the Big Ten See page 7

“It’s not like you’re practicing football and then game time comes and you’re still goofing around and practicing. All breaks are off. You need to focus and you need to play.”

Connor McDougall, MSU League of Legends club president PAGE 6

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SPARTAN CARD

James Madison college freshman Jonathan Walkotten raises his sign on Jan. 31 at The Rock on Farm Lane. The Michigan State Muslim Students’ Association hosted a “No Ban, No Wall: Spartans for Sanctuary and Solidarity” as a response to President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigrants and refugees form seven Muslim-majority countries. PHOTO: ZAINA MAHMOUD

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RELIGIOUS GUIDE Spotlight Look for this directory in the paper every Thursday and online at: www.statenews.com/religious St. John Catholic Church and Student Center 327 M.A.C. Ave. East Lansing, MI 48823 (517) 337-9778 stjohnmsu.org Sunday: 8am, 10am, Noon, 5pm, 7pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 12:15pm Lansing Church of Tuesday & Thursday: God in Christ 5304 Wise Rd., Lansing, MI 9:15pm 48911 The Islamic Society of http://lansingcogic.org/ Greater Lansing Worship hours Sunday: 10:30am, 5:00pm 920 S. Harrison Rd., East Lansing, MI 48823 Monday Family Prayer: Islam 101 Feb. 5, 2:30 p.m Ascension Lutheran Church 6:00pm Friday Services: 2780 Haslett Rd., E. Lansing 12:15-12:45 & 1:45-2:15 Little Flock Christian Between Hagadorn & Park For prayer times visit Fellowship Lake Rds. www.lansingislam.com/ A Non-Denominational(517) 337-9703 Evagelical Church Adult Bible Study: 9am Trinity Church MSU Alumni Chapel Sunday School: 9am 3355 Dunckel Rd. (Basement Hall) Worship Service: 10am Lansing, MI 48911 Sunday Worship Service: ascensioneastlansing.org (517) 272-3820 10am-12 Noon. Saturday: 6pm Fellowship Lunch after the Sunday: 9:15am, 11am Eastminster Presbyterian service Church trinitywired.com 1315 Abbot Rd, East Lansing, Weekly Bibly Studies & University Baptist Students’ Meetings. MI, 48823 Church littleflock.msu@gmail.com (517) 337-0893 4608 South Hagadorn Rd www.littleflock.org www.eastminsterchurch.org East Lansing, MI 48823 Worship Gatherings: (517) 351-4144 Martin Luther Chapel Sunday Worship 10:30 am www.ubcel.org 444 Abbot Rd. UKirk Presbyterian Campus 10 AM Worship Service East Lansing, MI 48823 Ministry Wednesdays at 7pm 11:15 Coffee Hour (517) 332-0778 www.ukirkmsu.org 11:30 Sunday School martinlutherchapel.org Sunday: 9:30am & 7:00pm University Christian Greater Lansing Church Wednesday Worship: 9pm Church of Christ Mini-bus pick-up on 310 N. Hagadorn Rd. 310 N. Hagadorn Rd. campus (Fall/Spring) East Lansing, MI East Lansing, MI 48823 (Meeting at the University (517) 332-5193 Peoples Church Christian Church building) universitychristianCampus Ministry (517) 898-3600 wired.com 200 W Grand River Ave., Sunday: 11:15 am Students welcome! East Lansing, MI Sunday Bible Study: Sunday Worship: 8:45am (517) 332-5073 10:15am Sunday Bible class: 10:15am Sunday Evening: Small Group ThePeoplesChurch.com University United Wednesday: 7pm - bible study Worship Times: Sunday: 10:30 AM worship Methodist Church & Students please feel free to 11:30 AM Student Lunch MSU Wesley call for rides & Gathering 1120 S. Harrison Rd. http://www.greaterlansingMonday: 6:30 PM Student East Lansing, MI 48823 coc.org Dinner & Bible Study (517) 351-7030 universitychurchhome.org Haslett Community Church River Terrace Church msuwesley.org 1427 Haslett Road Sunday: 10:30am 1509 River Terrace Dr. Haslett, MI 48840 9:00am Garden Service in East Lansing, MI 48823 Phone: (517) 339-8383 the summer (517) 351-9059 Worship Hours: Sunday TGIT: 8:00pm Thursdays www.riverterrace.org Worship at 10:00am Service times: 9 & 11:15am Sept. - April www.haslettcommunityWELS Lutheran Campus church.org Ministry 704 Abbot Road East Lansing, MI 48823 (517) 580-3744 www.msu.edu/~weisluth 6:00pm Saturday All Saints Episcopal Church 800 Abbot Road East Lansing, Michigan 48823 Phone: (517) 351-7160 E-mail: allsaints@allsaints-el.org Website: http://www.allsaints-el.org Worship Times: Sunday Worship: 8 am & 10 am Sunday School: 10 am Sunday Vespers: 5 pm Thursday Prayer & Breakfast: 7:30 am

Hillel Jewish Student Center 360 Charles St., E. Lansing (517) 332-1916 Friday Night Services: 6pm, Dinner: 7pm September - April

Trump’s travel ban order hits home for MSU

Physiology senior Tasneem Sannah holds up her poster on Jan. 31 at The Rock on Farm Lane. The Michigan State Muslim Students’ Association hosted a “No Ban, No Wall: Spartans for Sanctuary and Solidarity” as a response to President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries. PHOTO: ZAINA MAHMOUD BY STAFF REPORTS FEEDBACK@STATENEWS.COM

President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration was just another policy for some. For others, it was a warning sign. For political theory and constitutional democracy senior Abraham Aiyash, it was a devastation.

Aiyash’s parents are both immigrants from Yemen who came to the United States around the late 1970s and early 80s. While his immediate family is located in the United States, Aiyash still has extended family outside of the country. To escape the current conflict, Aiyash’s family applied for visas. The process had

almost been completed before the order was signed. But two Sundays ago, Aiyash’s uncle was killed in a bombing incident from the conflict. “It was extremely personal for me to hear that his kids — my cousins — and his wife have no opportunity to come here now for the next three months and they’re at risk for death now,” he said. The narrative is not uncommon. For MSU students and their families, the executive order that was signed doesn’t mean more security, it means separation from family and friends and uncertainty about the future. Since the ban Aiyash, who is president of the Muslim Students’ Association, helped organize the No Ban, No Wall: Spartans for Sanctuary and Solidarity Rally days after the order was signed. Hundreds of people gathered for the rally Tuesday night at The Rock on Farm Lane. “As soon as we heard about the executive order ... we wanted to try to relay the message in a way that we could make people hear about it, hear stories and put faces to the actual stories and then (address) what can they do to actually mobilize,” Aiyash said. “That was pretty much the goal. It was to give people calls to action what

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Spotlight

Cameron Macko Managing editor cmacko@statenews.com

“We have no idea what the future’s going to hold for us, what other surprises (Trump is) going to spring upon us. This is really worrisome for us.” Thasin Sardar, Outreach coordinator for The Islamic Society of Greater Lansing they can actually do.” The executive order on Muslim immigrants and refugees, which ends visa issuing to migrants or visitors from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen—all predominantly Muslim countries—suspends the U.S. refugee resettlement program for at least 120 days and bars refugees from the United States. In the aftermath of the order, MSU spokesperson Jason Cody said MSU would not be releasing the immigration status of its students, something he said was just the status quo for the university. Later President Lou Anna K. Simon released a statement saying, in part, that “we must protect our borders, but we also must ensure we do not stem the flow of people of goodwill who come and work to make this nation better. Our students and scholars come from around the world to become Spartans, and then return to the world to make it better. We must not allow fear to change the nature of who we are.” Vice President for Student Affairs and Services Denise Maybank was among those attending the rally. She said she attended to show support for students who feel they’re not welcome or not wanted. “Michigan State University is built on values that say, ‘We’ve invited you to be here’ and we want to make sure that they know that they belong and that they are part of Michigan State University,” Maybank said. “I just have to be here to be visible and let them know that.” Student reaction Electrical engineering sophomore Yacer Mirza and chemical engineering sophomore Menar Muflihi were also at the Rock. Mirza had the Iraqi flag draped over his shoulders, the country his parents are from. “My parents are immigrants to this country from Iraq, a country banned on this list, one of the seven countries, so that’s why I came out, to show my support,” Mirza said. “First, I thought, you know, this is inhumane, history is repeating itself. … I just see it going down a bad road.” The Sunday after the executive order was signed into action, the International Students Association, ISA, held a meeting in which members discussed how they want to move forward. In attendance at the meeting was ASMSU President Lorenzo Santavicca. ISA Vice President Chris Symons offered the floor to Santavicca to address the students of ISA. Santavicca spoke about his belief that there is no partisanship in opposing the order. “This is about Spartan dignity, that’s how I see it,” Santavicca said. Adding onto that idea, Santavicca said he doesn’t see any issue in supporting the international students who make up the student body. “It’s a human to human issue of Spartans helping Spartans and Spartan dignity, and I think that’s really what leadership is about here on campus,” Santavicca said. The ASMSU president also encouraged the students of the ISA to work with Stephen Brown, the ISA Representative to ASMSU, to create something to bring to ASMSU’s general assembly. In terms of what is currently being done, Santavicca said he is in discussions with Council of Graduate Students, or COGS, and Residence Halls Association, RHA, about what the next steps should be for the student organizations.

Additionally, Santavicca said, “It’s my intention as president that I will hopefully sign on to a statement of solidarity for our international students here very soon with some other counterparts on campus.” Santavicca said he looks to take into account a lot of what he heard in the ISA meeting when it comes to future action regarding the issue. Other student groups who have a stance on the executive order are MSU College Democrats and College Republicans. On Monday, College Democrats released a statement in response to President Trump’s executive order. In the press release, College Democrats said, “The MSU College Democrats abhor the actions that are being taken by this new administration, not merely because it is in the hands of an opposite political party, but because the man at the helm of this government is the most temperamentally unfit person to assume the Office of the President.” The statement went on to expand on the ways the organization feels the president has done a less than satisfactory job as commander-in-chief. “This ban is not who we are. We are greater than this, and we must continue to stand together, reject these actions, and work towards restoring faith and justice in our country and each other,” the statement reads. In a separate statement by College Democrats President Daniel Eggerding, he said the American people have stood idly by for too long. “It’s not the time to say, ‘if I was alive then I would have…’ No! The time is right now! You are alive now. You are here now. There are injustices now. Either stand up and speak out against them or watch as we all fail together,” Eggerding said in the written statement. On the other side of the discussion, MSU College Republicans made a statement regarding the executive order on their Facebook page on Monday. In the post, College Republicans stated, “The Michigan State University College Republicans stands with President Trump’s decision to invoke Executive Order ‘Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States’ concerning extreme vetting.” The group added that they believe the order is a great first step toward further securing the safety of the United States. The statement went on to explain the executive order was based off of a list of “countries of concern” that former President Barack Obama established in 2015. Adding onto this, the post said, “This is not a Muslim ban. This is a temporary order that applies to all citizens of Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Sudan regardless of religion. MSUCR is confident that this order will help protect our nation.” A community close to home Although Arabic senior Katy Hollobaugh and her fiancé Omar Elsherif are concerned about their future and whether their friends and family will be able to make it to their wedding this summer, they have hope for the time ahead. “Hopes are one thing and reality is definitely another,” Elsherif said. “I hope that we reach a point where everyone is valued for, you know, being human, not categorized as to who you

Professor Austin Jackson speaks to crowd on Jan. 31 at The Rock on Farm Lane. The Michigan State Muslim Students’ Association hosted a “No Ban, No Wall: Spartans for Sanctuary and Solidarity” as a response to President Trump’s executive order on immigrants and refugees from seven Muslimmajority countries. PHOTO: ZAINA MAHMOUD

are or where you’re from or who you’re with or what you believe in. So, in terms of hope, it’s where we reach the point where it’s equal between everyone.” Finding hope is becoming a more familiar goal. The Islamic Society of Greater Lansing is an organization which provides hope for many. Recently, the center has received a lot of support from the community. “(We) picked a really welcoming city,” outreach coordinator for the Islamic Center Thasin Sardar said. “We are very thankful for the community as a whole for standing up for us.” While the people in the Lansing area might be welcoming there are still many causes for concern. “Mr. Trump has been stroking fury in the people,” Sardar said. “His actions basically dehu-

manize Muslims around the country and around the world.” The issue is that nonviolent people can be incited to violence if there is enough stigmatization, Sardar said. “It’s kind of associating anybody who follows the religion of Islam with terrorism,” Sardar said. “This is needlessly stroking fear in the people, and we’ve all seen what’s happened in Quebec.” The Islamic Center has issued statements to advise people who are planning to travel on ways to receive help. If the Islamic Center cannot help them, the center will find a group who is able to help, Sardar said. “We have no idea what the future’s going to hold for us, what other surprises (Trump is) going to spring upon us,” Sardar said. “This is really worrisome for us.”

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Crossword

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

Features

McKenna Ross Features editor features@statenews.com

League of Legends club competes in Big Ten esports

ACROSS

1 Greek sandwich 5 Happy gatherings 10 Baby cow 14 Control for an equestrian 15 In full view 16 Buckeye State 17 Horse feed 18 TV’s “The Practice,” e.g. 20 “Bummer!” 22 Ford fiasco 23 Provides staff for 24 “That makes sense” 26 Champagne stopper or popper 27 Genius Bar pro 29 JFK’s successor 32 High-card-wins game 33 Enjoy 35 Submitted tax returns with a click 38 Door holder’s witticism 41 Part of Congress 42 Somali-born supermodel 43 Wide shoe size 44 Frat. counterpart 45 Aid in a felony 47 Traps in an attic? 49 Deborah of “The King and I” 51 Fictional Hawaiian police nickname 52 Rage 55 Procter & Gamble laundry detergent

60 Australia’s “Sunshine State” ... or where you might find the ends of 18-, 20-, 38- and 55-Across? 62 “Go back” computer command 63 Sch. near the U.S. Mexico border 64 Tweak, say 65 Raise a big stink? 66 Pops a question 67 Outlaw chasers 68 Hours next to flight nos.

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12 Green citrus fruit 13 Baby horse 19 Lousy grade 21 Sock that covers the joint it’s named for 25 Biblical queendom 26 Pet store enclosures 27 Ref’s ring decision 28 Spine-tingling 30 Margarine that shares its name with Texas’ state flower 31 Ballet leaps 32 “Now, where __ I?” 34 “Sadly ... “ 36 Red Sox ballpark 37 Hair coloring 39 Cocktail makers 40 Ambulance fig. 46 S.O.S shelfmate 48 Make certain of 50 Fish-eating eagle 51 Rapper with a title 52 Poolside shade 53 Pecans and cashews 54 Nerdy type 56 37-Down containers 57 Singles 58 Binged (on), as snacks 59 Pans for potstickers 61 Maple extract

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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 www. sudoku.org.uk SOLUTION TO TUESDAY’S PUZZLE

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Hospitality business senior Vinci Chen communicates with a teammate during the MSU League of Legends club practice on Jan. 31 at Communication Arts and Sciences Building. The team worked on communication and strategy under the coaching of their manager, chemical engineering junior Kyle Kilponen. “One of the reasons I play this game is because every game is different so it keeps it really refreshing... You can do things where you outplay your opponents and it just makes you feel good,” Chen said. PHOTO: CHLOE GRIGSBY BY JONATHAN LEBLANC JLEBLANC@STATENEWS.COM

Video games can be considered a form of relaxation, a method of releasing anger and a means of escape from the real world. Few people are able to play video games at a highly competitive level, and even fewer are able play these video games, or esports, at a professional level. This is what the competitive MSU League of Legends club is doing, now with other League of Legends teams across the landscape of the Big Ten. Computer science sophomore and vice president of the club Connor McDougall said there’s a difference between playing casually and playing competitively. “When you’re playing casually, it’s not about winning or losing, at least to me,” McDougall said. “It’s more of just talking with (other players) and bonding with them and you’re all doing the same thing. You’re having fun together. Sometimes you can meet new people like that.” For competitive playing, McDougall said players have to know the styles and tendencies of their teams. “You have to know the ins and outs of your team, how they’re going to play, what they say, how they communicate, some of them yell really loud,” McDougall said. “All of us yell really loud.” McDougall said the team also has an objective — rather than playing for fun, they want to play to win. There is a big difference between playing casually and competitively, and the competitive nature draws similarities from traditional sports such as football. “It’s not like you’re practicing football and then game time comes and you’re still goofing around and practicing,” McDougall said. “All breaks are off. You need to focus and you need to play.” This requires a lot of time practicing to perfect strategies, which hospitality business senior Vinci Chen said makes esports like actual sports. “To get good at something you do, it takes hours of hours of practice,” Chen said. “I would say it’s its own category of sports, (but) I would definitely say it’s an actual sport.” But with this, McDougall said traditional sports such as football aren’t exactly the same as esports. “You have people out there playing football, they’re practicing five to six hours a day, maybe even more and it’s a lot more physical than gaming,” McDougall said.

“The physical, you don’t really need as much.” One of the major differences between major sports and esports, chemical engineering junior and manager of the competitive team Kyle Kilponen said, is how in traditional sports players can call a timeout during the game, but in esports they can’t. “I can’t even talk to the players during the game,” Kilponen said. “They’re very strict about the players being independent and playing their own game.” Even without the physicality, McDougall said sports such as football and esports have a lot of similarities. “You need coordination, you need teamwork, a lot of the same cerebral team aspects of traditional sports, you need,” McDougall said. “You drop the physical. There’s the same level, or more of team play and coordination.” Kilponen said there are some physical aspects to playing esports, which sometimes might be overlooked. “It’s how quickly can you press the buttons, it’s how well can you manipulate yourself in the game and there’s also decision making — in basketball, it’s basketball IQ,” Kilponen said. “We call it mechanics.” These roles and competitiveness have also translated into ratings, as the Riot Games League of Legends World Championship in 2016 pulled in around 43 million unique viewers, while Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals pulled only 30.8 million viewers. Kilponen said this type of viewership and quality of players starts at the collegiate level, and eventually turns into a “developing ground” for potential esports players. Chen said people were skeptical at first of news outlets such as ESPN, since people thought “you could be doing other things that are proactive.” Still, other networks are following suit. On Jan. 19, the Big Ten Network, or BTN, and Riot Games — the company that created League of Legends — announced a partnership in which BTN will broadcast the inaugural season of League of Legends on the app BTN2Go and will televise the championship, according to a press release. The League of Legends Big Ten conference will include teams from every Big Ten school, minus Penn State University and the University of Nebraska, according to the press release. McDougall said he thinks the esports scene will blow up, especially at MSU. “In a couple years, it’s going to be big,” McDougall said. “I can tell you that there’s interest from people inside the school.”


Sports

Souichi Terada Sports editor sports@statenews.com

MSU looking for focus, consistency as the Spartans head to Nebraska BY CASEY HARRISON CHARRISON@STATENEWS.COM

Coming off a win over arch-rival University of Michigan Sunday, the Spartans (13-9, 5-4 Big Ten) did something against the Wolverines they hadn’t done in their previous three games — focused. For whatever reason, that focus seems much more evident in games played at the Breslin Center but is heavily diminished in games played on the road, moreover in conference play. In its nine games played during Big Ten season thus far, MSU is 4-1 at the Breslin, 1-2 in away games and 0-1 at neutral sites. As the team prepares to take on the University of Nebraska (10-11, 4-5 Big Ten) Thursday, the Spartans are eager in their chances to upend a Cornhusker team that recently upset then-No. 20 Purdue at home. The key to doing so? Diligence and persistence. “I think my team is on high alert,” head coach Tom Izzo said at his weekly press conference Tuesday. “We sometimes bring different energy at home and on the road. But, I don’t think it is because of the alertness. We haven’t accomplished anything yet. Who have we beaten? We have not put any consistency together yet at all. I don’t think we needed that win to do it.” With the four-day midweek turnaround, the Spartans are tasked with taking the win against U-M — which snapped a season-long three-game losing streak — into their second straight win and their first win on the road since Dec. 27, when MSU opened conference play against Minnesota. “We’ll come out lackadaisical and not focused, and that’s what beat us against Penn State, Ohio State and Indiana,” freshman forward Miles Bridges said after the team’s practice Tuesday. “We came out slow every time, so we just have to continue to stay focused … we can’t let the Michigan game get to us. We just have to keep going and get better.” In all three of the team’s most recent losses, lapses in the backcourt paired with troubles executing offen-

sive play calls resulted in the opposing team coming away with a victory. Against Ohio State and Indiana, MSU was able to cut once marginal leads down to single digits in the final minutes of the second half but came up short. Against Purdue, a tie against the ranked Boilermakers couldn’t be sustained, and not making headstrong plays late in the game resulted in a loss. “We’ll come out lackadaisical and not focused,” Bridges said. “We came out slow every time.” For junior guard Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn Jr., the team will have to avoid its recent pattern of winning a string of games at home but losing footing on the road. “We have to look for perfection when it comes to playing consistently and playing with extreme focus for 40 minutes,” Nairn said. “It’s hard to do, but that’s our goal. We’ve had some games where we play for 35 minutes, 30 minutes, 37 minutes and we have to continue to try and put together a full 40.” Nebraska comes in a similar team to MSU, featuring two forward and three guards in the typical starting lineup. Senior guard Tai Webster comes in shooting 44.4 percent shooting from the field and averaging 18.1 points per game, and a Big Ten-best 19.7 points a game in conference play. Sophomore guard Glynn Watson Jr. completes the main scoring tandem for Nebraska shooting 42.4 percent from beyond the arc and an average of 17 points per contest in conference play. The Cornhuskers have also gone through their non-conference gauntlet early in the season. With losses to UCLA, Creighton and Kansas — all ranked teams at some point this season — they’ve also earned wins against an Indiana team who defeated the Spartans, along with a Maryland team now ranked in the top-25. Injuries have also plagued Nebraska’s starting lineup, as sophomore forward Ed Morrow has missed the last five games with a foot injury, but could make his return against MSU. Prior to his injury, Morrow averaged 10.1 points per game and a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game.

Even if Morrow were to return, Nebraska ranks No. 12 in the conference in both scoring offense and defense, combining for the worst scoring margin, +0.1, in the Big Ten. Nebraska will also come into the game against MSU ranked No. 12 in field goal defense, No. 12 in field goal shooting, No. 13 in 3-point shooting and No.13 in the conference in defending shots from beyond the arc.

“We’ll come out lackadaisical and not focused, and that’s what beat us against Penn State, Ohio State and Indiana.” Miles Bridges, Freshman forward Nebraska’s below-average shooting defense gives the MSU wing players the advantage on paper, especially from the perimeter. Fifth-year senior guard Eron Harris and freshman guard Josh Lang-

ford, both starters, can get MSU to establish a rhythm by taking shots early. Senior guard Alvin Ellis III and sophomore guard Matt McQuaid can also provide shooting depth off the bench. McQuaid could also see an increased role after converting on 3-for-5 shots from the field against U-M. All three of McQuaid’s made shots against the Wolverines were from 3-point range. Even with the paper matchup favoring MSU, Webster and Watson combine for the best scoring duo in the conference through Big Ten play so far. The Spartans are also susceptible to giving up triples in their recent games on the road. As the team continues to work on its focus for the game against the Cornhuskers, the energy crisis for the Spartans can be mended with fundamental play on both sides of the ball. “It’s one thing we can fix,” McQuaid said in accordance to focus. “But when we bring it to a game we have to keep reminding, we have to focus on defense first then offense.” Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb.

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