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Sexuality addressed | 2/3/14 | @thesnews Michigan State University’s independent voice

MSU Vagina Monologues performances provide insight

Editorial: Police response unsettling

Big Ten upset Women’s basketball team beats Purdue 89-73 Erin Hampton/The State News

opinion, pG. 6

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Head Coach Suzy Merchant

one dead, one injured


Friday night apartment shooting leaves community with unanswered questions

State News File Photo

Then-Sen. Barack Obama holds an "Obama 08" Michigan State jersey given to him at the Barack Obama rally in Adams Field on Oct. 2, 2008.


photos by Danyelle Morrow/The State News

Political science senior Chris McClain, right, holds a candle during a moment of silence at a candlelight vigil held for hospitality business sophomore Dominique Nolff Sunday on Waters Edge Drive. Nolff died following a shooting Friday.

By Staff reports THE STATE NEWS nn

It was the shot that no one heard. At 8:48 p.m. Friday evening, police responded to the report of a shooting on the 200 block of Cedar Street. They arrived to find two students in their apartment: one had suffered a single gunshot wound, and the other had several, although police will not say how many. The gunman was gone, vanished into the night. He has yet to be found. One student was released from Sparrow Hospital early Saturday morning. The other never left. At 9:23 a.m. Saturday, hospitality business sophomore Dominique “D.J.” Nolff was pronounced dead, after remaining in critical condition throughout the night. He was 20 years old. The circumstances surrounding Nolff’s death remain largely unknown, including the biggest two questions — who killed him and why. The aftermath In the days since the shooting, students and officials alike still are trying to make sense of what happened. For many, the occurrence left them feeling unsafe in the area. Theatre sophomore Kendall Kotcher said the situation made her realize how much students often take their own safety both on and off campus for granted.

East Lansing police officers stand in front of apartment complexes on the 200 block of Cedar Street on Friday after the shooting of hospitality business sophomore Dominique Nolff.

“I was stunned,” Kotcher said. “I’ve always felt safe, on and even around campus. “You tend to think these things wont happen to you, but when the proximity is so close, it really shakes you up.” Several neighbors, both in the Cedar Street apartment itself and other buildings surrounding it, said they did not hear a gunshot or see anything suspicious. Ma ny were completely unaware of the situation until they received a university alert a more than two hours later. Economics junior Raunak Nav-

alakha, who lives across the hall from the apartment where the shooting occurred, said he was asleep and did not hear anything at the time. He said he did not wake up until after shots were fired. One neighbor, who declined to give his name because the suspect still is at large, said he often overheard disagreements from within the apartment where the shooting took place. East Lansing police said they do not believe the incident was random. For now, all other details are secret or unknown.

In memory To celebrate Nolff’s memory, MSU’s Black Student Alliance gathered Sunday afternoon for a candlelight vigil. About 20 students and friends of Nolff formed a circle on Waters Edge Drive and lit candles to remember and commemorate Nolff’s life. Some spoke on behalf of Nolff’s memory, while others who did not know him shared their condolences with his loved ones. See SHOOTING on page 2 u

W hen President Barack Obama last visited East Lansing in 2008, it was a month before he was first elected president. On Friday, he’ll return as a president with one term under his belt who is looking to secure his legacy as he enters his final three years in the Oval Office. Obama is coming to East Lansing for an event about the economy on Friday, according to multiple media outlets citing an unnamed White House official. Little else is known about the event. Both MSU and East Lansing officials said they had not received any information about the president’s visit during the weekend. White House officials told several media outlets more details on the scheduled visit would be announced early this week. East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett said he was excited to find out about the scheduled visit from the nation’s leader. “Obviously we’re honored and ecstatic to be hosting the president in East Lansing,” Triplett said. “I think it’s only fitting that he chose Michigan for an address focusing on the economy given how much the state benefitted from the economic policies.” Obama last visited Michigan during a trip to the Detroit Diesel plant in Redford Township in 2012, where he met with hundreds of factory employees. In 2012, MSU College Democrats registered more than 5,000 students to vote in their effort to re-elect Obama, said Rawley Van Fossen, the organization’s president. Van Fossen said he hopes Obama will speak about investment in higher education during his East Lansing visit. “We need a skilled workforce

for the United States to move forward,” Van Fossen said. “I think that investing in higher education, especially higher public education, proves to be a genuine investment for the tax-paying citizens of this country.” Van Fossen said he thinks MSU’s planned Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, also known as FRIB, might be what’s bringing Obama to East Lansing.

FRIB and Michigan’s improved economy could be reasons for visit, according to student political leaders The project, which would add to the university’s research in nuclear science, is set to receive $55 million in funding for its 2014 operations, and the U.S. Department of Energy approved $635.5 million in federal funding in Aug. 2013. The project is set to be completed in 2022. MSU College Republicans Vice Chair Tori Whiting said the president’s decision to hold an event in East Lansing was “a privilege and a wonderful thing” for the MSU and East Lansing community. Whiting said the visit should be recognition of Michigan’s significant economic improvements made during Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration. “I really hope that he shows a lot of support for what the Snyder administration is doing right now in Michigan,” Whiting said. The economy was the cornerstone of Obama’s State of the Union address last week. The speech examined a broad range of issues, including an initiative to bring the federal minimum wage to $10.10, gender-based pay inequality and extending long-term relief to the unemployed. But the president also took See OBAMA on page 2 u

Friends remember Dominique Nolff as selfless By Geoff Preston THE STATE NEWS nn

One word continues to come up in conjunction with hospitality business sophomore Dominique, or “D. J.,” Nolff as his friends remember the type of person he was. Selfless. “He’d give you the clothes Nolff off his back if you were in need,” friend and neuroscience sophomore Herve Nonga said. Nolff died early Saturday morning in Sparrow Hospital in Lansing from several gun-

shot wounds he sustained Friday night. He was shot in his apartment in the 200 block of Cedar Street around 8:45 p.m. The incident is still under investigation by the East Lansing Police Department, and the killer still is at large. Another student, a 20-year-old male from Grand Haven, was shot and sustained injuries in the incident as well.

Nolff was one of two students shot during an altercation on Cedar Street — ­ the suspect is still at large He was treated for his injuries at the hospital and was lat-

“Dom was a very good person. ... He was always happy. I would never wish death on anybody. I wish it didn’t have to be him.” Calvon Sheridan, friend of Dominique Nolff

er released. He declined comment when contacted by The State News. Nolff valued his family immensely, friends say. He had a large one that included a younger brother who looked up to him as a role model. When it came to his circle of friends, Nolff made each person feel like family as well. “He was like a brother to me,” said Nonga, who lived with him in Butterfield Hall last year. “We had a bond that I felt like couldn’t be broken.

“I thought we were going to take this friendship into the future. You always expect him to be there.” Nolff ’s family members were not immediately available for comment after several requests from The State News for interviews. Friends remember him as someone who had clear goals and worked hard to achieve them. “He was really hardworking,” friend and finance sophomore Adam Boudjemai said. “He never let anything get in the way of

his goals.” Boudjemai, who lived a few doors down from Nolff in Butterfield Hall during their freshman year, fondly remembered the times he spent hanging out with him. He said Nolff enjoyed basketball, recalling that the two often watched games together. “What saddens me the most is that my time with him is over,” he said. “We were both really into basketball, and I’ll never get to watch another basketball game with him.” Boudjemai said Nolff’s overall positive attitude about life is what stood out to him. “Nothing could get him mad,” Boudjemai said. “He was always optimistic about things. He had a way of lightening everyone’s

spirits.” Reactions to Nolff’s death have come from all corners of the MSU community on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Others took to the streets to show their solidarity and support for Nolff’s family and friends as they grieved. On Sunday afternoon, members of the Black Student Alliance held a candlelight vigil to celebrate Nolff’s life and to attempt to create a feeling of peace and closure in the area where he was shot. Education freshman Calvon Sheridan, a friend of Nolff’s who attended the vigil, said he never imagined something so See NOLFF on page 2 u

2 | T he Stat e N e ws | m on day, fe bruary 3 , 2 01 4 | staten


News brief City warns residents to stay safe on road After the Lansing area received about five inches of snow this weekend, East Lansing city officials have warned local residents to navigate the roads carefully. The East Lansing Department of Public Works spent Sunday attempting to clear the roads and make way for residents to drive safely. Residents are encouraged not to park their cars on the street in the meantime. According to reports from the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids, this won’t be the last of the snow. There likely will be additional snowfall of about three to five inches on Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning, according to a statement from the Lansing Office of Emergency Management. KATIE ABDILLA acade m ics an d a d m i n i s t r at i o n blog

Faculty to discuss data security Faculty from various colleges will be participating in a conversation about data security breaches, on Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. in MSU Union. The forum will attempt to tackle an issue that recently affected Target. Olivia Dimmer

Three-day forecast

Monday Sunny High: 23° Low: 5°

Tuesday Cloudy High: 27° Low: 18°

Wednesday Cloudy High: 23° Low: 1°

editorial staff


Obama first came to MSU in 2008, joining a host of other presidents who have visited East Lansing from page one

Danyelle Morrow/The State News

Journalism and sociology senior Kenya Abbott Jr. shields a candle from the wind during a vigil held for hospitality business sophomore Dominique Nolff Sunday on Waters Edge Drive.


Many students felt vulnerable after news of the shooting hit and wondered why they weren’t notified sooner from page one

Black Student Alliance president and journalism senior Tyler Clifford, who organized the vigil, said he thought it was important to have the ceremony near the place where the shooting occurred to help restore peace in the area. “It was all very impromptu,” he said. “I just figured that something needed to be done. I just knew there had to be some type of positive enforcement going on.” Although she did not personally know Nolff, criminal justice sophomore Sherronia Dorseywalker said she thought it was important to show her support for his friends and loved ones. “Even though he’s not my friend or a family member … I can still help out as in bringing condolences to (his) family,” Dorseywalker said. The last to know Following the incident, many students felt uneasy about the delayed reaction in the form of a university-wide alert, which went out to students at about 11 p.m., nearly two hours after the shooting took place. Kotcher was in her room in Snyder Hall when the alert

was sent out. She said seeing rumors about what had happened on social media before receiving the alert left her feeling vulnerable. “There was no warning or lockdown or anything,” Kotcher said. “I didn’t even know it happened until I saw a news link on Facebook a couple hours later.” Kotcher said she thought there should have been some kind of warning prior to the alert so she and other students could take caution. “A shooting happened across the street from me, and a lot of neighbors didn’t even know until the next morning,” she said. MSU police, the party responsible for dispersing MSU alerts, said in a statement that the department held off on the alert for so long because the incident had to be confirmed with East Lansing police. Urban planning junior Nick Tafelsky said the delay was unnecessary and could ultimately hurt students in the long run. “The lack of communication between the East Lansing police and the MSU police is embarrassing,” Tafelsky said. “With all of the school shootings as of late, it’s frustrating and terrifying that it took two hours to get this information out to students.” Still at large East Lansing police have not yet made any arrests or public-

ly named any suspects in their investigation. Police described the suspect as a black male between the age of 20-25 with an average height and build. He was last seen wearing tan pants, a black coat and black shoes. University officials have expressed their support for East Lansing police as the investigation progresses. “MSU stands by to assist the East Lansing Police Department, who is leading the investigation and have said the incident is not a random act,” MSU spokesman Kent Cassella said in a statement. “For those in the campus community who may be personally affected by this tragedy, resources are available at the MSU Counseling Center.” East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett said police will continue working to locate a suspect and bring closure to those affected by the shooting. “It’s a terrible and senseless tragedy for our community and for Michigan State University, and my thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims and those who were impacted by this act of gun violence,” Triplett said. A nyone w it h i n for mation regarding the incident is encouraged to contact East Lansing police at 517-319-6897. Staff writers Geoff Preston, Kary Askew Garcia, Olivia Dimmer and Katie Abdilla contributed to this report.

time in his speech to address higher education. Obama said his administration had “worked with lenders to reform student loans,” and given “millions” of students the option to prevent their student loan payments from exceeding 10 percent of their income. “I want to work with Congress to see how we can help even more Americans who feel trapped by student loan debt,” Obama said. Under the Obama administration, federal student loan interest rates have declined for undergraduate students from 6 percent to 3.86 percent.


Nolff, who was from Middleville, Mich., was remembered by many friends as a person who loved his family and enjoyed basketball from page one

tragic could happen to Nolff, who he said was a relatively positive person. “Dom was a very good person,” Sheridan said. “He was always happy. I would never wish death on anybody.

Although it has not yet been released whether Obama’s event will take place on or off campus, MSU has played host to presidents in the past. According to MSU University Archives and Historical Collections, several former presidents came to campus while they were in office. President Theodore Roosevelt gave the commencement address to the class of 1907. A debate between thenPresident George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot at Wharton Center in 1992 garnered international attention. Clinton visited MSU three times while in office — once to give a commencement address in 1995, once during his campaign for re-election in 1996 and then a third time to congratulate MSU’s 2000 NCAA Championship basketball team as he conducted his last days in office. Other notable presidential visits include John F. Kennedy, who came to campus and spoke in front of the Union during his presidential campaign in 1963.

“I wish it didn’t have to be him.” For many of Nolff’s friends, his legacy will live on in the pictures and words he left behind. But his life also will be a guiding path for how those who knew Nolff live their lives going forward. “If people didn’t know D.J., I would say to use his life as a lesson,” Boudjemai said. “Keep your head up, and don’t let the little things worry you.” Nolff, who was from Middleville, Mich., graduated from Thornapple Kellogg High School in 2012. Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized, according to friends.


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F e s t i va l s

MSU student on his way to become his own captain, one taxi at a time By Sara Konkel THE STATE NEWS nn

Within hours of posting about his new taxi company on an MSU Facebook page, mathematics sophomore Daniel Dunwoody was driving his 2002 Ford Explorer with his first customer in the back seat. Dunwoody Dunwoody started his taxi service, Black Daddy Taxi, on Jan. 23 with two of his friends: economics sophomore Ian Brigmann and chemistry junior Ryan Lloyd. Although Dunwoody is the primary driver, he calls Brigmann and Lloyd in when he is too busy to take all the calls he receives. The first weekend in business was a success, Dunwoody said. He said Facebook was a useful tool in spreading the word about his new venture. “Last weekend, we were busy — beyond busy,” he said. Multitasking was one of the big

issues he faced in his first weekend on the job. He quickly learned that it is not as easy as it seems to drive, take calls and navigate all at the same time. “The hardest part is when you get a lot of calls at once,” Dunwoody said. “It can overwhelm you.” Dunwoody even set his classes up to support his business plans by choosing online or non attendance-based classes. Instead of charging per person, Black Daddy Taxi charges by the carload. The company has a $5 rate, no matter how many people are in the car or the distance, as long as it is within an eight-mile radius of MSU’s campus. MSU students were pleased with not only Black Daddy’s prices but with his response times, too. “It’s less expensive than everywhere else, just because it’s $5 for whoever you bring with you,” fisheries and wildlife junior Alex Hondzinski said. Because Dunwoody does not have a chauffeur’s license, he is limited in his efforts to advertise for his new business. Unlike licensed taxi companies, Dunwoody said he cannot solicit rides

or put his logo or taxi medallion on his car. Royal Express Taxi owner Vartan Muradov described the steps to starting up a taxi business as “not a hard process to start in East Lansing.” “You basically have to get a vehicle, get the commercial license, commercial insurance and then after that you can get licensed from the Michigan Department of Transportation,” Muradov said. “I know East Lansing’s been pretty strict with having a license with them if you want to operate in the city.” Black Daddy anticipates future issues with other cab companies. “I do think there will be a taxi mafia war over me,” Dunwoody said, jokingly. Dunwoody plans to continue his taxi service until he is out of college. From there he wants to become a pirate — he even has a ship to purchase in mind. But for now, he is just enjoying making some extra cash and meeting new people. For him, running his own business is both fun and rewarding. “I like to be my own boss,” he said. “I’m a captain at heart.”

E n t e r ta i n m e n t

Students escape cold through water polo By Juliana Moxley THE STATE NEWS nn

In an attempt to beat the cold weather and get in the spring break mind set, MSU students came out to IM Sports-Circle on Friday evening to participate in the University Activities Board’s swimming and inner tube water polo tournament. The inspiration for the water polo tournament came from the dive-in movie event the UAB hosted last year, where students were able to watch “Identity Thief” on a large-screen TV while they swam. UAB Event Director and communications senior Jenna Virant said last year’s event was very successful, bringing in a crowd of about 400 people. “We wanted to do another pool event and we found out about inner tube water polo through IM Sports,” Virant said. Inner tube water polo is just like water polo, except each team member floats on an inner tube and only the team with the most points will move on to the next round. Human resource management sophomore Heather Rosenbaum is a member of the UAB and was volunteering at the snack table during the open-swim. Rosenbaum said she planned on participating in the water polo

Erin Hampton/The State News

Students participate in a water polo tournament Friday, at a UAB event at IM Circle. The event had Maui Wowi smoothies, a raffle, free snapbacks and candy.

tournament in a team formed by UAB members. There were nine teams for the water polo tournament made up of seven to 10 people. Not everyone who attended Friday’s event planned on participating in the tournament, though. Zoology senior Josh Tolinski said he came out to the event because there was free food and a heated pool. “I try to take advantage of the free things to do on campus,” Tolinski said. Political science freshman Drew Morton said he came out for the competitive factor and because

he used to swim in high school. Morton formed his own group, coming in with about 10 friends, half of which used to swim as well. “I just hope everyone has a good time, that’s really what we hope for every event,” UAB Marketing Director and human resource management junior Marc Reed said. “This is a good opportunity for people to get a taste of summer and warm up and have fun,” Reed said. He said it’s a good way for students to get involved in the MSU community and meet other students.

Erin Hampton/ The State News

Lansing resident and creator of “I’m a Beer Hound” Paul Starr drinks one of the 22 featured Right Brain Brewery beers at his table of merchandise Saturday, at Art & Craft BeerFest at REO Town, 1133 S. Washington, in Lansing.

Lansing festival offers unique atmosphere for art, beer lovers By Michael Kransz THE STATE NEWS nn

More than 300 people celebrated the 2nd Annual Art and Craft Beerfest by experiencing a variety of arts and a variety of peculiar beers. The event took place on Friday and Saturday at AA Creative Corridor, a venue space in Lansing’s REO Town. Huddled among the keg operators, coat racks, musicians and caterers, festival-goers enjoyed music, photography, sculptures, barbecue and beer. The event attracted many from the Lansing area and beyond. Those who attended shared a drink with old friends and some new ones because of the small space and large crowd, co-organizer Paul Starr said.

Art and Craft Beerfest attracted many from the Lansing area to sample a selection of 22 creative beers

“We chose Right Brain Brewery because their beer is creative. They have beers that they throw whole pies into.” Paul Starr, event co-organizer

are a little out there.” From the “art in your cup,” to the photos on the wall, the festival is all about promoting creativity, he said. This year the profit was donated to the AA Creative Corridor. Warren, Mich. resident Chris Weirauch said the event symbolizes a resurgence in community. “It’s a great culture mix,” Weirauch said. “You’ve got beer, music and art. Lansing is a good hub for this. Communities are starting to come back together.” Lansing resident Joe Prevo Sr. celebrated the event with his son, and he said events such as this allow the trial of many beers for a low price. Prevo Sr. said he came to the

event to experience beers he generally wouldn’t experience. MSU alumna and Detroit resident Stephanie Cady tried a variety of beers, including the “oddly enjoyable” asparagus beer, which she said tasted like a liquid form of the vegetable. Cady said she enjoyed the personable crowd, along with the humorous confusions that sometimes took place. “It’s nice — good beer, friendly people,” she said. “Someone thought I looked like a celebrity, so it’s going well.”

More online … To watch a video of the event visit multimedia.

Check out The State News online:

“It’s not a super big space, so people are meeting new people, because it’s a little elbow-to-elbow,” Starr said. A selection of 22 beers from Right Brain Brewery were available at the event, Starr said. Among the selection were beers brewed with asparagus, beets, entire pies and much more. “We chose Right Brain Brewery because their beer is creative,” Starr said. “They have beers that they throw whole pies into. If you’re doing a festival about art, you’ve got to have beers that (517) 353-8920 P R O G R A M I N F O R M AT I O N M E E T I N G S

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Reporting in the British Isles Summer 2014 3:00 pm - 382 Communication Arts and Sciences

Development and NGOs: Internships in Malawi Summer 2014 2:30 pm - 204 International Center


Wild Borneo: Exploring the Biodiversity of S.E. Asia Summer 2014 3:30 pm - 302 International Center

BELGIUM, FRANCE The European Union, Globalization and Social Change in France and Belgium Summer 2014 4:00 pm - 105A Berkey Hall

FRANCE, GERMANY, NETHERLANDS, LUXEMBOURG, BELGIUM The United States and WWII Europe: Memory and Memorials Summer 2014 5:00 pm - 314 Bessey Hall

GERMANY, SWEDEN Renewable Biobased Energy Systems Summer 2014 5:30 pm - 103 Farrall Hall

Reporting in the British Isles Summer 2014 3:30 pm - 382 Communication Arts and Sciences

CROATIA, SERBIA, BOSNIA-HERCEGOVINA, MACEDONIA Collaborative Governance Challenges in Forests and Protected Areas in Southeast Europe Summer 2014 4:00 pm - 216 Natural Resources Building

PERU Community Engagement in the Peruvian Andes Summer 2014 5:30 pm - 320 Natural Resources Building

PANAMA Tropical Biodiversity and Conservation Summer 2014 7:00 pm - 107 South Kedzie

Friday, February 7

Wednesday, February 5

BELGIUM, FRANCE The European Union, Globalization and Social Change in France and Belgium Summer 2014 12:00 pm - 112B Berkey Hall

UK University of Cambridge International Summer School Summer 2014 11:00 am - 204 International Center Benjamin A. Gilman Study Abroad Scholarship 3:00 pm - B122 Wells Hall

Explore upcoming study abroad programs






4 Spring Break Guide | Th e State Ne ws | monday, Feb r ua ry 3, 2014 | state n e



SPRING BREAK DESTINATIONS With the semester already a quarter of the way complete and warm weather still nowhere in sight, it’s safe to say Spartans are itching for spring break. Spring break is an important rite of passage for college students,. A sunkissed getaway is exactly what some students have in mind. Considering that most students are simultaneously paying for their education, they don’t have a lot of cash to splurge on a fun-filled spring break vacation. This creates a need for an inexpensive trip, but that doesn’t mean it has to be

Here are a few spring break destinations under $1,000: Live Aqua Cancun in Cancun, Mexico An all-inclusive, three-night stay at this beautiful resort that will leave your senses reeling with exotic drinks, music, energizing nights, infinity pools and barefoot luxury costs $554.



“We see a lot of activity between now and when spring break begins. We see a lot from MSU students.”

ning as well. Another fun part of spring break is the opportunity to update wardrobes with bright colors and summer-style clothing. Pitaya sales associate and communication junior Lilly Olson said she hasn’t seen much of an increase in spring break shoppers yet, but she does recall seeing more spring break shoppers last year after Valentine’s Day. Olson said Pitaya, 213 E. Grand River Ave., just started getting shipments of spring break clothes, mostly consisting of floral prints and spring colors. She said the type of clothing that spring break shoppers usually purchase is beach wear.

BUSINESSES PREPARE FOR SPRING BREAK Tanning salons, gyms, clothing stores and more ready for students looking to soak up sun

Panama City Beach, Panama A common destination for spring breakers, Panama City Beach will not disappoint. From party-goers to beachstrollers, the city’s 27 miles of beautiful oceanfront has something for everyone. Stay at the Holiday Inn Resort for just $239 per night and enjoy the city and all it’s vibrant nightlife. Sierra Lay

By Juliana Moxley

son at the gym begins in midDecember and usually continues for about four months. She said the athletic club has been doing well in sales and membership retention. “During the spring break time we see more revenue earned overall,” Brillantes said. Memberships at the athletic club are all-inclusive and include more than 160 group classes, such as yoga, Zumba and spinning. Brillantes said personal trainers also are more in demand during this time because people want one-on-one involvement and they want to maximize their workouts. Tanning salons also see an increase in the amount of people who come in to use their services before spring break. J2 Tanning, 4790 S. Hagadorn Road, co-owner Jason Hadley said he sees more than double the THE STATE NEWS nn

With spring break a month away, many students are preparing for their week-long getaway, and businesses are noticing a growing demand for their services. The first step in preparing for a beach-ready physique is to get into a solid workout routine. Nicole Brillantes, the membership services director at Sparrow Michigan Athletic Club, 2900 Hannah Blvd., said the club sees an increase in the amount of gym memberships that are bought right before spring break. “We see a lot of activity between now and when spring break begins,” Brillantes said. “We see a lot from MSU students and even just families that are getting in shape.” Brillantes said the busy sea-

Nicole Brilliantes, membership services director at Sparrow Michigan Athletic Club

amount of people who come in to tan before they head off on their spring break destinations. Hadley said the most common tanning package purchased during this time is a month-long tanning package, as opposed to purchasing just a couple visits, because people want to get a base tan. He said people also do spray tans before they go on

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6 | T he State N e ws | m o n day, February 3 , 201 4 | staten e


Featured blog Labor union for college athletes unreasonable

Ou r v o i c e | E d i t o r i a l

msu should have alerted campus of shooting sooner EDITORIAL BOARD Ian Kullgren editor in chief Rebecca Ryan opinion editor Matt Sheehan staff representative


wo hours and 20 minutes. That’s roughly the amount of time it took for news of a shooting less than a mile from campus to be reported to students by the university. On Friday night, we lost one of our classmates in a tragic act of violence. Three days later, we still do not know why. East Lansing police responded to the incident, but have not arrested a suspect. Although it was determined that the incident was not random, it still is concerning to have a dangerous suspect so close to where many MSU students live. It also is concerning that it took MSU so long to warn us. Two hours and 20 minutes. That is roughly the time it takes to walk from Hubbard Hall to Brody Complex. Twice. The official text read: “Shooting occurred at 845 pm in 200 block of Cedar St., in East

“Why do college athletes need a union when some of them already are getting a free ride?” — Kary Askew Garcia, State News reporter

gerous Lansing. Suspect is black male averpeople. age height & build. Call ELPD at While 517-319-6897 with information.” East LanIt was delivered to us sing police around 11 p.m. MSU’s response were investitime was unnerving. gating the inciWhen a potential shooting inciWhile East dent, it wouldn’t dent was reported at UniversiLansing have hurt for MSU to ty of Oklahoma’s campus on Jan. 22, the university’s official Twitpolice were send out a quick alert even a tweet within a ter account had something posted investigating or half hour of the incident, informinforming students within an hour. ing students of the shooting. Students were told to stay inside what On a Friday night in a social area while the incident was investigated. happened, of East Lansing where students live Although it turned out there was no shooter, the universiit wouldn’t or often go to visit friends or attend parties, many students might have ty took precautions and respondhave hurt walked close to the 200 block of ed in a more timely manner than Cedar Street or through the Cedar MSU. Fortunately for Universifor MSU to Village Apartments area. With an ty of Oklahoma, police were able send out a unidentified shooter not in custoto determine there was no shootdy after shooting two students, we er. But in East Lansing, police still quick alert have been notified sooner. do not have the suspect in cuswithin a half should In addition, the description of tody, and it took more than two hours for students to be informed. hour of the the suspect was problematic. Police were acting in good In that time, students could have incident.” faith by sharing as much inforbeen walking through the neighmation as they had at the time borhood, and on a social campus about the suspect. But to describe such as MSU with many events hapthe person as a “black male average pening in or around campus buildings, it height & build” doesn’t tell us much. is important students are informed of dan-

Comments from readers

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Simply describing the suspect as a black male could make students suspicious — or worse, afraid — of any average looking black male. It is good that a release from the city later identified the suspect’s clothing, but the initial description could lead to stereotyping We understand city police probably were busy searching for the suspect and investigating the incident, but what was the university doing at this time? As students, we should trust the university is putting our safety first. It isn’t reassuring to find out it took the university more than two hours to inform students that a shooting incident occurred within a mile of campus. Editor’s note: Minority representative Omari Sankofa II did not contribute to this editorial because he knew one of the victims.

Just so you know JUST SO YOU KNOW


“MSU, city officials reflect on student death in Friday’s shooting”

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None 74%

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Today’s state news poll 58%

I think the police should be reflecting on what a terrible job they did at alerting the student population that this happened. While it was likely an isolated incident, how did they know that right away? Would it have benefitted students to know two hours later if it wasn’t an isolated incident? You didn’t lock Snyder Phillips down which was right across the road? Completely showing a lack of care regarding student safety. “This didn’t happen on campus” isn’t a good enough excuse. It is essentially on campus.







Do you think MSU did a good job of informing students of Friday’s shooting incident? To vote, visit

Yes, but only on special occasions Yes, but not often No Total votes: 86 as of 5 p.m. Sunday

Cambria, Feb. 1 editorial cartoonist

I do not think that it was necessary for the whole campus to be shut down because they said the shooting was no random act. If it was a mass murder and the shooter just opened fire on everyone, that would be different. Also, I do not know what is an efficient way to notify 50k students in a reasonable manner at 8:45 at night when everyone if off work for the day and at home. People expect too much from the police they are people just like us, it is only so much they can do

Michael Holloway mholloway@

(in reply to Cambria) d, Feb. 2

To share your thoughts on this story or any other stories, visit

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

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

opinion column

Make more of an effort to look out for Spartans


live on the 200 block of River Street, which is just several hundred feet away from the Cedar Village Apartments, so this shooting literally is as close to home as it gets for me. Friday marked very trying times for the residents of East Lansing, especially for students currently attending MSU. According to the Fox News website, “Officers were called about 8:50 p.m. Friday about a report of a shooting at the Cedar Village apartment complex, which is located less than a mile from the Michigan State campus.” Although Fox News describes this incident as “less than a mile” away from MSU, Cedar Village Apartments actually are a mere tenth of a mile from the nearest MSU building. This would mean that this terrible crime being deemed an “off-campus” incident is a sheer technicality. The shooting and eventual death of MSU student Dominique Nolff, as well as the shots fired on one other student, hits extremely close to home the Spartan community. It is absolutely horrifying to wit-

However, it should be known ness such a tragedy happen to a perthat this shooting incident is son so young, and it terrifies me to not the first reported crime in think that this altercation occurred the area this year for MSU. so close to where almost 50,000 stuAccording to the MSU police webdents attend classes five days a week. site, “Police said they have had mulI was very disturbed to receive tiple strong-arm robberthe university’s text message alert last Friday eve- guest columnist ies that have occurred on the east side of camning from MSU police. pus this semester. In each I was hanging out at of these cases, the suspects my girlfriend’s house and have approached the vicwe looked up where the tims by asking for directions shooting allegedly hapor about a cell phone before pened. When I realized attempting to rob them of the that the shooting had phone or another item.” occurred just a street In light of recent seriover from mine, I became Nathan Belyk ous crimes in the commuvery upset. I had no idea nity, it absolutely is critat the time who exactical for students to take ly was involved in the these facts into consideration and be incident and was frightened that exceptionally cautious when headperhaps somebody who lived ing anywhere to or from campus. close to me had gotten shot. As with any tragedy, I have found I am devastated to observe such an that there always is a fleeting opporact of violence occur essentially ontunity for something beautiful to be campus and right down the street born out of unfortunate situations. from where I am currently living. In the case of this shooting and I am positive that all of our with the loss of one of our felSpartan family is crushed to lose low Spartans, it will be of utmost our fellow classmate and brothimportance for the MSU commuer, for this event truly affects nity to band together and take all of us in a serious way.

a few steps forward to increase awareness of one another and of our surrounding environment. Keep an eye out for your friends and neighbors. It is not by chance that we all find ourselves at MSU. It is a very special and miraculous privilege. The police cannot be everywhere at once, so we as students need to step up now more than ever. We are one big Spartan family here at MSU; we all are sharing this amazing college experience. However, with all good things, there will always be some bad things that come along the way. In lieu of recent events, it will be vital for us to start taking on a deeper sense of responsibility and view it as our civic duty to keep one another as safe as possible. May many blessings and prayers find the families of the two shooting victims, and I truly hope to see a deepened sense of community as well as a strengthened sense of responsibility from all East Lansing citizens and MSU students in the coming weeks. Nathan Belyk is a communication senior. Reach him at

7 | Th e Stat e N e ws | M o nday, February 3 , 201 4

state ne


Features editor Anya Rath, Phone (517) 432-3070 Fax (517) 432-3075



Vagina Monologues address sexuality By April Jones THE STATE NEWS nn

Vaginas. A topic so rarely talked about in our society was the height of discussion this weekend at the Wharton Center performance of Eve Ensler’s award-winning play, “The Vagina Monologues.” Three sold out performances gave students and local residents insightful information on the female genitalia through humorous and emotional stories. The introduction was designed to familiarize the audience to the word “vagina,” paving the path for the primary theme of the show, said theatre sophomore Briana Bougard, who was a part of the opening. “We talk about the use of the word vagina and how it’s sometimes considered taboo and we let the audience know that it doesn’t need to be,” Bougard said. Once the audience was comfortable with the word, the 21-member cast then began to unravel each of the monologues. Throughout the two-hour production, tears were shed and jokes were laughed at. The inspiring performance made the audience

laugh, cry and wince but ultimately spread important information on women empowerment. International relations senior Taylor VanTol, who attended the Saturday night performance, said her favorite part of the show was the segment “My Angry Vagina.” “My Angry Vagina,” detailed some of the torturous things women have to deal with — from tampons to gynecological exams and ridiculous “douching” routines. Although it was humorous, the monologue gave insight on the differences between what men and women endure on a daily basis. Other parts of the show were more serious, talking about genital mutilation and rape. “It is so refreshing to see a show that caters specifically to that discussion and that opens up about the many levels of female biology and sexuality,” VanTol said. Psychology sophomore Rachel Davis said she was most impressed by the monologue “Wear and Say.” “Wear and Say” offers a look at what women say their vaginas would wear or say. “There’s a lot of sexual innuendos which made the whole show more enjoyable for me, but (it) might be uncomfortable for

some,” Davis said. A show dominated by a female audience still had space for the males who wanted to attend. Zain Shamoon, a human development and family studies doctoral student, said even though the show made him uncomfortable at times, he was satisfied with the production. “Men always need to be interested in challenging their own privileges by witnessing women,” he said. “Of course (the show) intimidates us, but in a way that should heal us from our own misogynist egos.” Over the course of three shows, roughly $7,000 to $8,000 were raised, said Kimberly Kaiser, a co-director of the performance. All of the proceeds raised will go toward Sparrow Hospital’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Unit. The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Unit provides medical care and forensic evidence collection for hundreds of victims of sexual violence each year and is a key leader of the Capital Area Sexual Assault Response Team. E n t e r ta i n m e n t b l o g

puppies tackle their own bowl

This Sunday wasn’t only about beer and football. A much calmer game was played by fluffy four-legged animals. The Puppy Bowl. The game is an annual event that brings in millions of animal-loving viewers to watch puppies — yes, puppies — play football. All of the puppies involved come from shelters, making the game a worthy promotion.

This year, the 10th annual Puppy Bowl introduced 36 puppies ranging from 12-21 weeks old. The puppies played inside of a model stadium while announcers gave play-by-play. The Puppy Bowl is filmed inside of a miniature 19-by10 feet stadium where the pups carelessly jump on each other to get the football. When the pup crossed into the end zone, a touchdown was scored. Penguin cheerleaders celebrated the victories. According to CNN, there were 5.58 million viewers

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who watched the puppies take on football during the first Puppy Bowl in 2005. Each year, the Puppy Bowl gains more viewers. Last year, there were a whopping 12.4 million who watched Puppy Bowl IX. The two-hour show aired on Animal Planet and started at 3 p.m. and continued with hourly repeats after. The Puppy Bowl featured the Internetfamous Keyboard Cat, who was joined by kitten back-up dancers. april jones

Singing festival draws hundreds By Erik Sargent THE STATE NEWS nn

The rooms of the Hannah Community Center were filled with people singing, stomping and clapping as they reveled in the sounds of the Mid-Winter Singing Festival this past weekend. The Mid-Winter Singing Festival spanned Friday and Saturday and was held in the Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road. Various sounds of guitars, banjos, ukuleles, trumpets and percussion instruments accompanied the attendees as they sang lyrics to songs from different genres with each other. The festival served as a place for people to join various song leaders and sing together as an audience. The songs took on a relaxed vibe and the attendees constantly clapped to the mellow beat. “Singers take over the Hannah Center,” said Sally Potter, the founder of the Mid-Winter Singing Festival. “We have two

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Lansing musicians Jim Hall and Cindy Morgan lead a “Songs of Pete Seeger” workshop during the Mid-Winter Singing Festival at the Hannah Community Center on Saturday. Workshops were hosted throughout the day as a part of the Ten Pound Fiddle Concert Series.


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huge community sings on Friday and Saturday that fill up with the place with about 400 to 500 people.” The festival also featured singing workshops, which were held on Saturday afternoon. The workshops were held in various rooms and each room offered a different genre of music to sing along with. The singing workshops were headlined by singer Ysaye Barnwell, a renowned singer who hosts singing workshops throughout the country. Barnwell led a room of over 100 people in traditional African-American songs for four hours on Saturday after performing on Friday night as well. The festival attracted people from across the state who love to sing. “It’s fun singing, it’s kind of become a tradition for my lady friend and myself,” said Steve Mason, an Ann Arbor resident. “I like singing because I’m a terrible singer, but with a whole bunch of people, I can sing as loud as I want because

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nobody can hear me.” The event had a mixture of people who have been going since the festival started in addition to newcomers, but everyone there had the same shared interest in singing. “I’ve come to this every year since it started 12 years ago and I love it,” said Margaret Kingsbury, a Lansing resident. “One of the most uplifting things I’ve ever done (is) to sing with a group of people.” Potter said the event has grown ever y year since it started, with word of the festival and its purpose spreading throughout the community. According to Potter, the chance to sing is what brings people back every year. “They come because it’s really fun to sing,” Potter said. “The sound is pretty overwhelming once you get everybody singing.”

More online … To watch a video of the singing festival, go to

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state n e | The State N ews | monday, fe brua ry 3, 2014 |





MSU better than Georgetown loss As I was watching the MSU men’s basketball team take on Georgetown Saturday afternoon, it finally occurred to me. Why does this game, or the rest of the regular season, really matter? News flash — it doesn’t. After the No. 7 Spartans lost 64-60 to the Hoyas, my Twitter timeline was filled with quips like “Stupid to even schedule this game during the conference season.” and “This is disgraceful. Bad loss. Bad bad loss.” Both are fair statements, but those fans were still watching, rooting and losing their minds as MSU seemed inept on the defensive end or were extra slow on the glass. It’s normal for fans to freak out after a loss and be critical about why the coach chose to run that play or why that one player took a certain shot. It’s what we all love about sports. One rival celebrates a win and acts out at opposing fans, while the loser’s hatred seethes as they look forward to another meeting. See MSU vs. Michigan in both football and basketball. Fortunately for those that are extra critical, I have a solution: change the channel. I know that’s a knock

Casey Hull/The State News

Senior heavyweight wrestler Mike McClure competes against Penn State junior Nick Ruggear on Friday at Jenison Field House. McClure won the match 5-1.

much action as it should have. “He didn’t engage a lot. (Ruggear) was trying to catch Mike in a mistake,” Minkel said. The crowd watching screamed and yelled when McClure, who said he outweighed Ruggear by “at least 20 pounds,” came out victorious 5-1 with two takedowns. “It must be the mullet. They seem to like it so I gotta give it to them,” he said, laughing. Another Spartan, who did not win his match but came back

strong, scaring his opponent, was sophomore Nick Trimble. Trimble wrestled against junior Andrew Alton in the 149-pound category and although he lost 9-5, he had a strong comeback in the second and third periods. “My conditioning and endurance are strong and I know I can keep up with anyone,” Trimble said. “He got pretty tired in the end.” Minkel said Trimble is a “bright, hardworking and smart

kid” and that his “progress is extraordinary.” “Nick has made as much progress in one year as any other kid I coached,” he said. The team is improving everyday and will continue to work to get better, Trimble said. “Even though they are the No. 1 team, anything could happen and anyone can beat anyone,” Trimble said. The Spartans’ next matchup will be at No. 12 Ohio State.


In road trip, Spartans show improvement By Robert Bondy THE STATE NEWS nn

MSU hockey still is searching for its first road win of the season, but put up two solid showings this weekend at national powerhouse No. 1 Minnesota. MSU (8-13-4 overall, 2-5-33 Big Ten) earned two points on Friday night, a 2-2 tie followed by a shootout victory, and dropped the second game of the series on Saturday, 1-0. For a second time this season, MSU earned a tie with a shootout victory against topranked Minnesota (19-2-5, 8-0-2), with the first coming on Dec. 6 at Munn Ice Arena. MSU now is 3-0 in shootouts in Big Ten play. The Spartans finished the season series against Minnesota with two losses and two ties, but earned a shootout victory earlier in the season. MSU remains the only team in the conference to earn points in the standings against Minnesota. Head coac h Tom A nastos said following the hardfought one goal loss on Saturday that he was happy with the Spartans’ effort in the twogame series despite coming out winless.

“Our team is getting better every night, and we got to keep building on the things we are doing because we are going to keep ourselves in the mix of this thing in the Big Ten,” Anastos told Spartan Sports Network. “We know we can play with anybody in this league.” MSU scored two goals in the opening period of the series, but failed to find the back of the net during the rest of the weekend.

MSU was led by goaltender Jake Hildebrand, who had more than 60 saves on the weekend Sophomore forward Michael Ferrantino and freshman forward Villiam Haag had the two goals for MSU in the series. T he shootout went si x rounds on Friday, with junior forward Matt Berry and freshman forward J.T. Stenglein scoring for the Spartans. Sophomore goaltender Jake Hildebrand prevented five of the six Minnesota skaters from scoring in the shootout, giving MSU a 2-1 shootout victory. The Spartans not only were battling the Golden Gophers, but some spotty officiating as


sports editor Beau Hayhoe, Phone (517) 432-3070 Fax (517) 432-3075


No. 1 Penn State gave the wrestling team trouble on Friday, winning 42-3, but the Spartans came out victorious in the heavyweight category with a win by senior Mike McClure. The Nittany Lions competed with seven ranked wrestlers — the other three ranked starters were out for the meet — and came out with four pins over the MSU team in the 141, 165, 184 and 197-pound categories. “A match like this is very tough,” head coach Tom Minkel said. “They are three-time defending national champions and have credentials up and down.” Although Minkel said Penn State presented a tough challenge for the Spartans, he said the only thing they can do now is “improve and get better.” No. 7-ranked McClure was supposed to wrestle 12th-ranked junior Jimmy Lawson, but he was out this weekend. Instead of Lawson, junior Jon Gingrich would have wrestled, but also did not compete because he was sick, so McClure wrestled junior Nick Ruggear. “I got him out of balance with my fakes, then I got him. He got me in the face in the beginning,” McClure said. According to Minkel, both McClure and Ruggear were circling back and forth for a while and the match did not have as


well on Friday night. Minnesota’s second goal to tie the game appeared to come from an illegal kick, but the goal was upheld after reviewing the play. MSU also came up on the short end of the stick on what seemed to be a shootout goal by freshman forward Joe Cox. As the puck was crossing the goal line, Gopher sophomore goaltender Adam Wilcox knocked the net out of place. The play originally was ruled a goal, but it was overturned after review. The following night was a defensive battle, with the lone goal of the evening coming in the first period. Minnesota junior forward Kyle Rau scored what ultimately was the game-winning goal only four minutes after a Golden Gopher goal was overturned. Hildebrand made 37 saves on the night, giving him 63 in the series. With Friday’s goal, Ferrantino has points in seven of the Spartans’ 10 Big Ten games. He leads the team in scoring in conference games with five goals and three assists. MSU returns to the ice on Friday for a two-game home series against Ohio State (149-1, 4-5-1) at Munn Ice Arena.

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MSU earned two points with a shootout victory in the first two-game series at Ohio State in early January.

Number of saves made by sophomore goaltender Jake Hildebrand in two games this weekend. to “Spartan Pride,” but if all you’re going to do is hate on the team, then don’t even watch. Go on a Mad Men binge, or find something to like about a different sport, like basketball or hockey. In every other league, the regular season matters. The last game of the year can decide whether or not a team makes the playoffs, or what bowl game they’ll play in. Not basketball. It’s an excuse, but Izzo was using this game to get players ready that may need to step up in a big time situation in the NCAA Tournament. Plus Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson are out. With those two in the lineup, MSU would’ve rolled and none of this would’ve happened. I know my suggestion of turning the TV off when the Spartans take the floor isn’t something fans will do. Even if Gary Harris continues to have a superb year he’s having, there always will be that fan who says he’s overrated and not playing to his potential. Haters gonna hate. All I’m saying is don’t act like the Pope died every time Matt Costello can’t get a rebound against a non-conference opponent in early February. It’s sports — not life and death. Nine times out of 10, the teams that are in the rankings at the beginning of the season are the teams that make it to the Big Dance. The Spartans will be there, and they’ll probably be better than they are right now. Scratch that, I’m sure they’ll be better because they won’t be wearing those God-awful bronze jerseys anymore. Zach Smith is a State News reporter. He can be reached at


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