T U ES DAY, JULY 21, 2020
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T HE STAT E N EWS
TU ESDAY, JU LY 21, 2020
Vol. 111 | No. 1
TUESDAY, JULY 21, 2020
Our place in the void
By Evan Jones and SaMya Overall email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org We want to go back to normal just like you, but there’s no normal in sight. The first steps of adulthood are daunting even without a global pandemic, economic crisis and civil rights movement happening in tandem during a
presidential election year. That was a terrifying sentence to write, but it’s the reality we face. If we haven’t met, welcome to The State News. We are a student-run news organization independent from the university. Our mission is to keep you informed and hold people in positions of power accountable. People with power — presidents, politicians and community leaders — are held accountable when they work for the people they serve rather than themselves. If you made it this far, we want to personally thank you.
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The State News is operated by students for students, so we have a bias for student concerns. In our decisions about what to cover, we prioritize timeliness, community relevance and above all, the things that impact you, the students of Michigan State University. Since 1909, our newsroom has brought MSU an independent student voice. This isn’t our first crisis. This isn’t even our first pandemic. We have a responsibility to document history with fairness and a responsibility to serve our community. Some may think we must portray every side of a story equally at all times in order to produce reliable journalism, but no newspaper can be entirely objective and no newspaper should be. Let’s be clear about our values: •Accuracy, context and clarity, because we aim to be a
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publication you can trust and understand. •Systemic equity, because we realize that not all members of our community are treated equally in a system that punishes them for factors they cannot control, such as the color of their skin. •Public health and safety, because the risk of COVID-19, as well as many other physical and mental health concerns, cannot be overstated. •Political engagement, because as young adults, it is our responsibility to help you actively participate in the democratic process. •Cultural diversity, because our reporting must reflect the community we serve. We made this paper a survival guide because we want to bring solutions to help you navigate a difficult transition at a time when very few have
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clear answers. While the future is uncertain, The State News will be a constant source of information. We’re in this together. We want to make everything feel less overwhelming. We attend the same university, and we've experienced similar joy, disappointment, anger and confusion during our time at MSU. Those perspectives and experiences are what drive us to report on issues that matter. We want The State News to be a household name, and we want you to be involved, whether as a source, a survey respondent or just a reader.
Thank you, again. Evan Jones, Editor-in-Chief SaMya Overall, Managing Editor
T U ES DAY, JULY 2 1 , 2020
CONTACT THE STATE NEWS (517) 295-1680
NEWSROOM/CORRECTIONS (517) 295-5149 email@example.com GENERAL MANAGER Christopher Richert ADVERTISING M-F, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The State News is published by the students of Michigan State University on Tuesdays during the academic year. News is updated seven days a week at statenews.com. State News Inc. is a private, nonprofit corporation. Its current 990 tax form is available for review upon request at 435 E. Grand River Ave. during business hours. Copyright © 2020 State News Inc., East Lansing, Michigan Cover design by Daena Faustino
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OP I N I O N
Find your place in the community By The State News Editorial Board firstname.lastname@example.org Our timelines have been turbulent for the past few months. For a while, all we saw were updates on the coronavirus, and for the past few weeks timelines have been flooded with the Black Lives Matter movement. Many have been resharing Black artists’ work to their timelines, naming Black-owned businesses to support, and sharing petitions. But more recently, there has been a decline. News fatigue has set in, and we get it. Seeing the same thing over and over again might be repetitive and hard to come to terms with. But it’s important to not let this fight end. It can be mentally taxing to see the same big, emotional topics dominate your feed. Taking a break, logging off social media and watching some TV for escapism purposes are all necessary, but it’s important that after we reset — we come back and fight. The fight isn’t over. For our Black students, faculty and staff at Michigan State, the fight has gone on their entire lives. The Black Lives Matter movement isn’t temporary, and the momentum needs to pick back up. White allies should stand in solidarity, but maintaining momentum requires more than
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just pressing the retweet button and sharing something to your Instagram story. The fight for racial justice goes beyond the digital world. Social media allows for people to have difficult conversations, but more times than not while you’re sharing to your wall, your message is falling onto deaf ears. Hardly any productive discourse exists in the realm of 280-character limits. We need to have real conversations to enact change. Sometimes it’s easier to ignore the comments and let them slide, but that mindset needs to stop. It takes education for actual change to occur. A society of equity won’t occur overnight, rather it takes everyone doing their small, individual part to contribute to the greater good. Reach out to your family members and peers who might be uninformed. Have those tough conversations. Recognize your privilege, and help them recognize theirs. Imagine getting a paper cut. It takes time to heal, and if you continue to cut the same area, it’ll never heal. It takes more than one conversation to fully educate someone. It takes longer to make systematic changes in a society that aims to protect those that are in power. It isn’t just about police brutality. It isn’t just about the racist events that happened on
TU ESDAY, JU LY 2 1, 2020
Chalk in front of the capitol at the Black Lives Matter “Community Call to Action” on June 20. Photo by Annie Barker
campus last fall. This isn’t just about George Floyd. It’s about the everyday occurrences. Microaggressions. Snide comments. Job equity. Access to healthcare. It shouldn’t take horrific events to fuel these conversations, so we need to prevent more incidents from happening. This issue affects more than just the Black community, it affects everyone. The question that would quietly, or loudly, ring through the air during the beginning stages of the COVID-19 pandemic was “when will we get back to normal?” It’s time we throw that away.
Our old normal wasn’t working. In our old normal, people weren’t being held accountable for their actions. People like Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Elijah McClain, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and countless others still haven’t received their justice. The conversation has begun, but we can’t let it end. We get that having conversations about change can be scary and uncomfortable. But we can’t let that stop us. At MSU, we’re told that “Hate has no home here.” It’s hung up on posters in our dorms and printed on stickers to be passed out at events. If hate has no home here, what do we do when it resides? Don’t let snide comments be pushed under the rug. Call your friends out when they say something hateful. Call out your teachers, your peers, and your family. Take care of yourself, and take care of others too. The State News Editorial Board is composed of Editor-in-Chief Evan Jones, Managing Editor SaMya Overall, Copy Chief Mark Ostermeyer, Photo Editor Annie Barker, Audience Engagement Editor Karly Graham, Diversity and Inclusion Representative Devin Anderson-Torrez, and Staff Representative Wendy Guzman.
OPI N I ON
White people, it’s time to listen and act How we separate “It’s time for white people — including students of all ages and backgrounds — to listen and to act in order to help end racism.” Algeria K. Wilson
By Algeria K. Wilson Guest Writer The COVID-19 pandemic is sweeping through communities of color like a thief in the night, stealing parents, grandparents, children, siblings and leaving behind grief, trauma, economic and educational instability. We continue to not only see but feel and relive time and time again, Black death and violence at the hands of white racists. We now have to add to the list of names we honor — Ahmaud Aubrey, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Every day, we have to worry about our physical safety, not only from a deadly virus but from white people all around us. We wonder if we are safe in our homes, on a jog, at the park or even while delivering a baby. Yet, of the many ways to kill the Black body, the most successful has been systemic. COVID-19 exposed how our systems disproportionately impact African Americans and continue to keep us oppressed. African Americans have been blamed for their death, their chronic illnesses and even for protesting. But African Americans aren’t dying because they’re poor. They’re dying because they’re Black. African Americans have been saying for centuries what we need — to stop being murdered, to be treated and seen as our whole selves and for our voices to be heard even as we scream for our last breath. But we continued to be seen as three-fifths, silenced or diluted. It cuts deeply that Black people still “need” our white counterparts to be able to share their power and examine their privilege in order to effect systemic change. We can rise up and rebel, but we still are locked out of various forms of power. When we turn to the traditional systems of listening — social workers, therapists, doctors, — we encounter a system not built for us. We experience a healthcare system rooted in
Director of Public Policy National Association of Social Workers Michigan State University alumna
providing us less care, and we stare at white faces. It falls upon those within the systems of oppression to help change the system, all while not becoming a part of it — including my primarily white counterparts in social work and healthcare, white academics, white students — to learn from their past and effect change. To examine their own implicit bias and its implications and to ensure the Black people hurting and fighting have access to mental health services and see themselves represented in the people providing care. The time for the mental health system to listen, learn and most importantly, act is now. Whether dying at the hands of racist white people or due to systems constructed and upheld by white supremacy and patriarchy, Black death is something America has normalized. When seeking mental health care services — on campus or elsewhere — finding someone of color who shares our collective experiences feels like an impossible search. Fighting racism comes in many forms. We experience sentencing disparities, selective enforcement of drug laws and constant surveillance of our communities, all keeping us entangled in the criminallegal system. The lack of equity, justice, representation and the perpetuation of historical trends toward Black lives leads to continuous rage and a quest to be heard. Some call the acts of outrage riots, others an uprising for the freedom that we have desired for so long. Representation and mental health care from people who can truly understand is just as important as every other fight against injustice. The ways in which we divest from our communities of color — not fully funding systems to support transportation, health, mental health, substance
abuse, reproductive health and so many more systems — creates a daily struggle for survival for African American lives. It’s simple — the systems created and upheld by white supremacy in the form of inequitable policies simply kill us. What Black people have learned is not to place our survivorship in the hands of others. Far too often, especially in the field of social work, we have seen the historical trends driven predominantly by white women to treat those of different ethnic backgrounds and lower socioeconomic status as if they must be saved from themselves, swooping into a community or a life for a brief time, playing white savior, and then leaving just as quickly. Little of this results in meaningful, lasting change. As a result, African Americans push our mourning to the side, work twice as hard, don’t rest and focus on getting the job done, doing what we have to do to get by, all while continuing the quest for universal freedom. It’s time for white people — including students of all ages and backgrounds — to listen and to act in order to help end racism. We don’t need white saviors. It’s time for students to consider and explore career paths and daily actions that will allow them to make change. We need people who will listen to the requests that have come from Black people for so long in the search for Black liberation and act based on what we say we need. Not to act in an interest that puts the focus back on white people, or to act in a manner that changes the outcome to one that perpetuates oppression. To act in a manner that is long term and systemic, not brief and for optics. The weight of this collective deliverance takes a toll. Far too often I walk into powerful rooms seeking to carve out a space of equity and justice
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for my community within the world of social work and healthcare only to be faced with the fact that I am the only person of color in the room. In those spaces I no longer have the privilege of speaking just for myself or my membership; I must use every identity lens I have and speak from a collective voice all while code-switching and making sure to balance an assertive tone with one that could be perceived as aggressive. I am aware of the level of responsibility that comes with working in social work. As a Black woman and mother it means I have even more of a responsibility. In order to care for my people, and for myself, I have had to learn how to speak up, to not be afraid to voice my opinion and to ask for clarity on policies within complex systems, including the healthcare and mental health spaces, to be able to properly advocate. Being the lone voice in a room of powerful and wellintentioned white leaders focusing on issues affecting my community is an even greater responsibility. I need more allies in the room with me. I need you — students — to make your way to the table. Because it’s exhausting. But it makes me work harder. Now it’s time for white social workers, caregivers, doctors, nurses and the entire health care system to work harder. Yes, it’s exhausting and you are already exhausted. I, of all people, understand the bone weary exhaustion of simply surviving each day. But there is more work to do, and it’s time for you to do it, no matter how difficult. Listen. Learn. Mute. Lament. Examine. Study. Stop. Speak. Think. Analyze. Accept. You will never understand, and that is OK. But you must — you must — act. Thousands of experts around this country are telling you how. It’s overwhelming. It’s daunting. It seems too big to tackle. These feelings are life in my Black skin every day in this country. It is time for you to share the burden of exhaustion and work harder to dismantle our systems from within. It is time to act. Algeria K. Wilson is the Director of Public Policy at National Association of Social Workers Michigan Chapter. She is also a Michigan State University alumna.
Not everything we publish at The State News is a reported news story. Each opinion article is fact-checked like a reported story would and will be labeled as follows:
EDITORIAL Our editorial board is composed of the editorin-chief, the managing editor, our desk editors and a staff and diversity representative who are elected internally at the start of each semester. Articles that are published as editorials represent the institutional voice of The State News at the time it was written.
COLUMN Occasionally, staffers at The State News will write opinion columns about a variety of topics and represent the perspective of the person who wrote it, not necessarily the perspective of our organization as a whole.
GUEST COLUMN Sometimes members of the community submit commentary of any length on current events that are subject to editorial standards, which can include placing hyperlinks or other supplementary information for context. Submit a guest column at email@example.com
LETTER Letters to the editor are typically 250 words or less and not subject to editorial standards. These are typically in response to a reported news story but don't have to be. Submit a letter to the editor at statenews.com/page/submit-letter
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CAMP U S
‘We need to start normalizing standing up for each other’: Women of color at MSU share experiences of racism By Kaishi Chhabra firstname.lastname@example.org A recent MSU graduate, Zaria Phillips said she used to straighten her hair all the time. She would make sure to stay out of the sun so she could preserve some lightness in her skin and didn’t indulge in Black culture. It wasn’t until she was older that she realized she will always be Black and people are never going to see her as anything but that. As national protests calling for the end of police brutality following the death of George Floyd continue, women of color from Michigan State shared examples of racism they experienced. “I remember being a young girl, and I did not want to be Black at all,” Phillips said. “I was not happy about it. I was very much trying to suppress everything Black in my life trying to assimilate to whiteness as close as I could because I can see already — even at eight years old — that there was nothing great about being a Black person. You don’t get anything in this world.” For Phillips, there were times she couldn’t tell if she was being treated in a certain way because she was a woman or because she was Black. She reflects back to the instances when she would pitch story ideas to her journalism professors, and they were unable to see the importance of it, so she had to over-explain it to them. “Especially most of the time being the only Black woman in my classes, I felt like I would take on that burden,” Phillips said. “I had to make sure that we’re going to do justice to my community as we choose what stories to cover. But a lot of times it was a large burden because ... I had to do all the persuasive work to ensure that they understood that this is important. ... It was stressful.” Phillips points out that the phrase Black Lives Matter must include all Black lives, including members of the LGBTQ community and Black women, both of which she feels are left out of their conversation when it comes to police brutality and racism. She was 12 years old when Phillips was called the n-word to her face. That was when she began standing up for Black people and through the process started to appreciate her Black culture more. “There’s a lot of work that went into trying to figure out what it means to be a Black person,” Phillips said. “Because my dad was from the Caribbean, we weren’t like the Black that people expect to be from Detroit.” As an African American coming to study at a predominantly white institution, the recent journalism graduate said she felt her confidence drop when she started at MSU. “It wasn’t the work being challenging, as much as I felt like a lot of times I was not being heard and listened to in the way that I was accustomed to going to mostly Black schools,” Phillips 6
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Illustration by Daena Faustino
said. “So, a lot of times I would feel invisible in the classes I was in, not just by the students but also by the instructors.” While everyone’s experiences are unique, almost all women of color experience some form of racism. Coming from a diverse background, human biology senior Jessica Zhang grew up with many Asian Americans and American Indians in her community. However, in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zhang felt extremely self-conscious stepping outside her home to go exercising. The Asian American student had seen online videos of how people were treating Asian Americans in the nation, and was worried for herself. “There was a lot of blame being put on the Asians for spreading of the coronavirus worldwide,” Zhang said. “It’s a time where I felt if I wasn’t an Asian, I wouldn’t be so self-conscious at the way that people look at me.” Growing up, she experienced microaggressions but didn’t realize what they were until she was older. “I remember as a kid, there was some other kid that used to ... tease me about our different eye shapes,” Zhang said. “I didn’t realize how offensive it was, but it definitely irritated me more the (more) I grew up.” In elementary school, Zhang would buy lunch every single day from the school cafeteria as she was not comfortable bringing her Chinese homemade food because her classmates stared at her and commented on the smell. “Throughout the years I definitely feel like I’ve embraced my Chinese TU ESDAY, JU LY 21, 2020
culture more and more as I grew up. I learned more about China,” she said. Growing up, American Indian education senior Neha Chellury was always aware she was different and people would like to point that out. However, both Chellury and Zhang recall similar racial instances. Kids at Chellury’s school would also make fun of her homemade food. They would tease her for wearing her hair differently, calling it “greasy” and comment on her choice of clothing which was mostly Indian-style. Chellury said, “of course this is all back when (we) were kids — kids say stuff, that’s just how they are. But I feel like that was just a lack of education on the teachers’ part.” Being an American Indian who grew up in America, Chellury also faced the struggle of fitting in her own Indian community as she was conscious of how cultured she may or may not be compared to students who come from India. “Ever since I’ve been in MSU, I don’t think that I’ve experienced anything really bad,” Chellury said. “I really loved the college environment. (It) is so much more mature than high school.” While working at a department store, Chellury also noticed she was treated differently than her white co-workers by the customers. Being a woman of color, she felt there was a lot of microaggressions aimed at her as well. From her experience, Middle Eastern Muslim alumna Fatima Alsaif tried to purposely find work at places that she knew had an inclusive and welcoming staff to people of color. However, Alsaif
“... I’m not only going to stand up for you and your community when you’re around. I’m going to stand up even when you’re never around.” Alondra Alvarez Communications junior realizes she might work with clients who are sexist or racist, and therefore, she tries to create boundaries. Alsaif said she felt lucky to meet welcoming, open-minded and well-educated individuals who made her transition very easy. Working as a video production intern at Message Makers in Lansing, Michigan, her experience outside of campus is somewhat different. “There were occasions where I was walking in some neighborhoods in Lansing, and I did not feel safe,” Alsaif said. “Considering me wearing a hijab or being a woman of color, I was afraid that people will see me as a threat.” Being the only person of color or only female student in small class groups, Alsaif used to feel self-conscious about her background, but her overall experience at MSU was very positive. Growing up in a diverse community, Latin American communication junior Alondra Alvarez was prepared for a
culture shock coming to MSU. She didn’t experience it in her first year but more during her second year when she became a residential assistant (RA) in a dorm with predominantly white residents. “(There were) a lot of difficult conversations through RA training,” Alvarez said. “It was the fact that a lot of people who are in the process to become an RA have never actually spoken a word to people right outside of their same ethnic or racial group. ... It was devastating.” Alvarez feels she is able to blend in more easily because her mother is also a Mexican American. There have been times where some would not even recognize her as a Mexican American. Because of this, her friends in high school weren’t very supportive of her Mexican heritage. “That (was) irritating,” Alvarez said. “Just because I’m Mexican American doesn’t mean like I’m more American than a Mexican or more Mexican than American.” According to Alvarez, women experience stereotypes, and when put into multiple categories, such as being both Mexican and a woman, they can be sexualized or fetishized, which makes it harder for them. “We need to start normalizing standing up for each other,” Alvarez said. “I feel like the word ‘ally’ is used a lot but an ally ... is someone who stands up for each other no matter who’s in the room. ... I’m not only going to stand up for you and your community when you’re around. I’m going to stand up even when you’re never around. And that’s something that I feel like we all need to start doing.”
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SPOT L IG H T
Packing, bus tips for incoming freshmen By Sara Tidwell email@example.com The transition from high school to university can be scary, but it doesn't have to be. With my help, you'll feel right at home, almost like you've been here for ages. While your first semester experience is going to be different from mine, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it's important to remember you're not alone. All of the student body is missing out on something, whether it be first experiences or last. Regardless, make the most of your time. You'll be graduating before you know it. Over my first two years, having lived in both East Neighborhood and River Trail Neighborhood, I learned the ins and outs of Michigan State's campus. Now, as an incoming junior, I've finally decided it's time to venture out into apartment lifestyle, making for a bittersweet farewell but very anticipated change. Residence halls, to me, are like a condensed version of home. You have your bedroom and a bathroom, along with the other amenities, like a dining hall and floor assistants. When I first got to school, I remember feeling like I was at scout camp, and the reality of the environment didn't set in until the first day of class.
PACKING FOR CAMPUS
It doesn't matter what style room you live in, the packing list will almost always be the same. Your room comes with a loftable, twin-size bed, a desk with a chair, a dresser, a closet, blinds on your window and an overhead light. This year, the beds will be positioned six feet apart for social distancing guidelines.
•Medications, vitamins, first-aid supplies •Your clothes with hangers, shoes •Laundry basket •Laundry soap and dryer sheets •Something to hold your room key on, whether that's a lanyard or a bracelet — lost keys cost $45 to replace •Charging cables
There are also some items you want to coordinate Extra, mandatory items you will need include: with your roommates and suitemates on. These •Personal identification and student ID card include: •Twin, extra-long bed set — sheets, blankets or •Rugs a comforter and as many pillows as you desire, •Trash cans with pillowcases •Hand soap and Febreze •Cleaning supplies and a plunger For those who can't afford to bring their •Mini fridge and a microwave own, each traditional residence hall provides a •Fans linen package upon request at the front-desk, or service center. It includes a twin, extralong set of white sheets, one white pillowcase and two white towels and can be exchanged weekly for a clean set at no additional cost. You also have the choice to deloft your bed. Just contact maintenance for assistance.
Other personal essentials include: •Bath and hand towels, washcloths •Personal hygiene items — shower care, dental care, skin care, hair care, feminine care, etc.
The dorms have tile or wooden flooring. Adding a rug both spices up the area and allows for a more comfortable, homey feeling. Sizes may vary depending on what residence hall you're in. Live On's Residence Education and Housing Services (REHS) recommends purchasing a rug that has a banded, finished edge to prevent tripping — carpet tape is not allowed. Rug orders can also be made through the University Activities Board (UAB). Those
ordered in advance will be rolled and placed into your room upon your move-in date. You may also want rugs for your bathroom floor. Personally, I had one outside the shower and one in front of the sink. Vacuums and brooms can be checked out at the front desk. Similarly, per request, they have unlimited availability of trash bags and one-ply toilet paper. There is no air conditioning in the residence halls unless requested due to a confirmed medical need or disability. Students who receive university physician or Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) approval will be charged $150 to their student account. The request can be made through My Housing. Personally, I had a box fan to sit on my window sill and a clip-on fan for my bed rail that I found on Amazon.
Other, optional items you might want to include: •Water filter •Extension cords, surge protectors, power strips •Television with stand •Futon that folds down into a bed •Air purifier While the water is tested each year, many upperclassmen can tell you that it's still not the best to consume straight from the tap, or even shower in. Your safest bet is to purchase a filter that attaches to your faucet. Also, there are very few outlets in dorms. Having extension cords and power strips will open up your space a lot more than you'd expect. Remember that the dorms are old. During my freshman year, my friends and I endured infections and illnesses we'd never had before in our lives. Personally, it broke down my immune system drastically. Mono, strep throat and influenza are some examples of what goes around, especially in the winter. However, now, we also have to worry about COVID-19. It's important to note that you only get three free visits to Olin Health Center.
Other last minute additions include: •Twin-size mattress pad •A bed tray attachment •Silverware, cups, microwave-safe plates and bowls •Full-length mirror •Shower curtain •Cart for the bathroom to hold personal hygiene items •Storage cubes •Decorations — pictures, lights, flags or tapestries
Illustration by Genna Barner 8
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TU ESDAY, JU LY 21, 2020
You are not allowed to nail things into the wall. I recommend command hooks and doublesided tape. Avoid sticky tack — the 8-month span of weather changes will dry it up and make it difficult to scrape off on move-out day. You are also not allowed to stick things on the outside of your door or bring candles, wireless routers, weapons of any kind, toaster ovens, indoor grills, hotplates, panini presses and halogen lamps. You can, and probably will, be charged for any damage you inflict upon your dorm. Be mindful. Some of the best stores to buy dorm room furniture are Target, IKEA, Bed Bath and Beyond, Dormify, Amazon and Wayfair. You can also check out MSU's partner, College Products, who offers a small selection of appliance purchases and rentals.
S POT L I G H T
BUSING AROUND CAMPUS
During spring semester, there were six weekday and three weekend buses that would get you around campus with a depot near the center of MSU. All rides are free and cater to university apartments, residence halls, commuter lots and main campus facilities.
Weekday buses run from 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Monday to Friday unless noted. They are: •Route 30 South, East, River Trail Neighborhoods •Route 31 Brody, East, River Trail Neighborhoods •Route 32 Commuter Lot, Snyder Hall, Clinical Center (service ends at 7 p.m.) •Route 33 North and South Neighborhoods (service ends at 10:30 p.m.) •Route 38 Spartan Village (service ends at 10:45 p.m.) •Route 39 University Village Routes 38 and 39 do not stop directly at, but around, the CATA depot. Route 31 can technically take you to North Neighborhood via Grand River Avenue. The stop by Division Street is right outside of Berkey Hall and the closest to the east side of North campus, which includes Snyder, Phillips, Mason and Abbot Halls. The stop by M.A.C. Avenue is right outside of the MSU Union and the closest to the west side of North campus, which includes Landon, Yakeley, Mayo, Gilchrist, Williams and Campbell Halls.
Weekend buses run from 9 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, though it's likely each time one comes around to your dorm is every 30 to 45 minutes. They are: •Route 34 Brody Neighborhood to University Village •Route 35 South Neighborhood to Spartan Village •Route 36 East Neighborhood Now, these are a little trickier to master. For example, when you catch Route 36 at East or River Trail Neighborhoods and you arrive at the CATA depot, if you are trying to get somewhere like Grand River Avenue, North or Brody Neighborhoods, stay on that bus. I cannot stress this enough. Route 36 turns into Route 34 and will continue to follow the same stops as Route 31 typically would, plus a little extra. But, if you are trying to get somewhere like South Neighborhood, get off that bus. The Route 35 is a separate vehicle that will arrive at the CATA depot either shortly after or shortly before Route 36. All you have to do is wait. Fair warning, I haven't mastered this one as well as I have the others. It takes practice and is a common mistake among students of any
grade. Don't feel discouraged if you don't get it right away. Other bus routes will also be seen on or around campus, such as the 1, 15, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26. Anything that is not numbered 30 or above, you must have a CATA pre-paid pass to ride or cash for the student discount rate: 60 cents if you show your MSU ID. Transit is an app that helped me tremendously in figuring out the bus system. You can favorite your consistent routes (for me it was 30, 31 and 33), and mark prominent locations that you need to get to, such as home, work, etc. When you click on a specific bus route, the times it will be circulating your closest stop pop up on a list, as well as every stop it has to run through, and interactive bus icons will move across the colored line on the screen, showing their physical distance from you. Another thing the app does is, if you manually enter a location or slide the purple icon around, it will show you when to leave to catch the bus, your walking distance from the closest bus stop, which bus number to take, as well as options outside of busing, like walking, biking or Lyft.
When riding a bus, or planning to ride a bus, always remember: •Arrive to the stop early to avoid missing your bus or pick an earlier bus time to catch. Buses are almost always jam packed, especially in the winter, and will drive right by you if they're at capacity. It's happened to me many times, and I found myself walking a lot last year from McDonel Hall to the Communication Arts and Sciences and Kedzie buildings in a fluster because of it. With the COVID-19 pandemic, there's a possibility that even less people will be allowed on one bus at a time. •Always move to the back of the bus if there is no sitting room and you are left standing. The driver has to fit as many people on the bus as possible, so don't be selfish. •Pull the yellow rope before your stop. The bus announces each stop before it arrives there. If you don't pull the yellow rope and hear the ding, the driver will not stop or open the doors for you. Don't forget to thank the driver! Bus information is based on spring semseter. CATA did not have fall plans finalized as of publication. Stay with The State News for updates on CATA.
Top left: The view through the front door of a CATA bus on Jan. 29. Top right: A CATA bus pulls into the CATA Transportation Center. Bottom right: A student walks to find a seat on a CATA bus. All photos by Alyte Katilius T U ES DAY, J U LY 2 1 , 2020
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An out-of-state student translates common Michigander phrases By Jayna Bardahl firstname.lastname@example.org If you’re anything like me, attending an out-of-state school was a dream. Forcing myself out of my comfort zone by moving to a new state with essentially nobody I knew was scary, yet so attractive when applying to schools. After two years at Michigan State, I promise that culture change lived up to every expectation; however, I’ve also picked up on several Michigander quirks that I think every non-native should prepare for. So, without further ado, here’s how to survive a year at MSU as a nonMichigander from a fellow out-of-state student. Your first several days at MSU — and first few weeks-worth of interactions with Michiganders — will all go fairly similarly. You’ll go up to someone and start with the classic first-day-ofcollege icebreaker question: “Where are you from?” The Michigander will answer, probably saying a small town you have never heard of, but they will think you know and assume you are a Michigander yourself. Sometimes
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you’ll come across people who will point on their hand — a figure that eerily resembles the shape of Michigan — where they’re from, but I’ve found this trick to be less common amongst Michiganders and more typical for out-of-staters to understand the state’s geography. Back to the point: the Michigander will likely say a town you don’t know, and you won’t have much time to tell them you have no idea where they are talking about before they follow up with the same question back to you. At this point, you’ll smile and nod at their response and continue to recite where you are from. If you’re from a big city, like Chicago in my case, the Michigander will likely respond with an “ooohh,” “aaaahh” or even a “wow.” I found most Michiganders to be pretty intrigued by my out-of-state status, which played a large part in why being from Chicago has now become one of my main personality traits. After you assure them that you’re just like them, only from a different state, you can now reasonably say you do not know which town they are from. They’ll explain where it is, which
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will likely be on the east side of the state, and you can now add that one to the long list of Michigan towns you will learn throughout the year. Flash forward a week or two, and it will be the first long weekend of the semester: Labor Day. As you sit in your dorm or apartment and discuss plans for the extra Monday off that college kids like to take advantage of like it’s another spring break, you’ll find many of your friends announcing they are going “Up North.” A very broad term indeed, but in the Michigander language, it generally means the same thing. “Up North” is like going on a beach vacation, one of their favorite and most relaxing things to do. The area it refers to is in the northern part of the state or the Upper Peninsula. Most people will go to a lake house or cottage with family and friends. That’s really all it is, but I guarantee by the end of the year you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. So, now it’s football or basketball season and maybe your out-of-state parents are coming up for a game. As a freshman, you may not normally have your car, but with your parents — and their car — in town, you’re introduced
to an entirely new East Lansing obstacle: campus driving. Scratch that, campus driving isn’t the obstacle. It’s Michigan driving as a whole and more specifically these things called “Michigan Lefts.” Now I wish I could go into more depth here but to be frank, I don’t even know the rules. Honestly, the only advice I can give you here is to drive with a Michigander in the car to tell you how to do it. You can basically turn left on a red light, kind of. I don’t really know, maybe for legal purposes forget I said that. Just remember it’s confusing, and you might want to take the long way home some days to avoid as many left turns as possible. Time
Illustration by Daena Faustino
consuming? Yes. Worth it? For sure. But as the year goes on, you’ll learn that the best thing about the Michiganders is that they love where they live, and they’re happy you’re there. They’re genuine and sincere, and you’ll find comfort in how willing they are to take you to their hometown for a long weekend when it’s too much effort to tread your way back across state lines to your own home. And no matter where you come from, you’ll leave East Lansing feeling a bit like a Michigander too.
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Deaf, hard of hearing community shares concerns, experiences with mask mandate By Sara Tidwell email@example.com For some, the act of wearing a mask in public spaces infuriates them. For others, the act holds the same weight as wearing other items of clothing — you could go so far as to say the well-known phrase on storefronts has become “no shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service.” However, for those who are part of the deaf and hard of hearing population, the act is stressful, and for good reason — with the mask obstructing the view of their peer’s mouth, they are unable to communicate fluidly and to their fullest extent.
COMMUNITY MEMBERS SHARE THEIR CONCERNS, EXPERIENCES
Lorelei Becktel, an upcoming senior at East Lansing High School (ELHS), is fully deaf. Although she has bilateral cochlear implants, her abilities are still limited — She only has speech recognition and access on her right side. As far as her mother Tia Becktel is aware, her daughter is the only deaf student at ELHS and the only student that needs a sign language interpreter. During the school year, Lorelei takes advanced placement courses, and the school maintains open communication and support for her needs.
Typically, she has special accommodations aside from her interpreter, such as large print font and increased testing time. She also utilizes AVA, an app which transcribes spoken word to written text and helps for clarification after lectures have been completed. When school went online, she utilized more visual accommodations because the small screens with many people and many backgrounds made it harder for her to keep up. When going out in public, both women follow Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s mask mandate. Lorelei said it’s not the most convenient and makes understanding people a lot harder than normal, but she would rather wear a mask and not be able to lip read than see her loved ones get sick and suffer. Her mother goes with her everywhere as a mediating third party to cue, sign or respond. “As a parent, I am always aware of ‘How does this work for my child,’” Tia said. Valerie Goglin is a supply chain material handler at Peckham. She is profoundly deaf but has grown up in both hearing and deaf cultures. While she too supports Whitmer and believes that even the most minimal protection is important in a country-wide recovery, the struggle has taken a toll on her and made her feel like a bother to others. Whether in drive thrus, at restaurants, stores or work,
people are hesitant to remove their masks for communication purposes, ultimately failing at understanding her needs. “I’m asking for patience. I’m asking for understanding, empathy,” Goglin said. “It’s not worth having to argue and make it hard for everyone else. (I want them to learn) the real issue, (which is that) we rely on lip reading, not our hearing aids or cochlear implants. ... I want them to learn to handle this (on their own) — talk to me without the mask or have paper and pen ready at hand.” Janine LaVoy is a kitting coordinator team leader at Peckham who’s completely deaf. While she doesn’t necessarily like Whitmer’s orders, she doesn’t go against them because she knows it’s to protect all Michigan residents, including her. LaVoy reiterated Goglin’s point on how frustrating it is when someone doesn’t take her needs into consideration. “I’ve had a couple occasions where I was at stores, employees would attempt to talk to me, I’d let them know I’m deaf, and they would refuse to remove their mask and kept on talking with their masks on,” she said. “I would have to end up walking away and ignoring them. I don’t like doing that because I’m not a rude person in nature. But I will have to, if they’re being ignorant.”
Communicator masks made by Janice McCubbin of Grand Ledge, Michigan, that enable lipreading for those in the deaf, hard of hearing communities. Photo courtesy of Janice McCubbin.
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‘It’s just different’ MSU professors prepare classes for partially online fall semester By Wendy Guzman firstname.lastname@example.org Practically overnight, professors at Michigan State and across the country had to shift their classes entirely online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the fall 2020 semester approaches, MSU will continue some online instruction, but this time professors have had more time to prepare. “We kind of were rushed to put everything online,” integrative studies in arts and humanities, or IAH, professor Nicola Imbracsio said. “Now it's far more intentional and really trying to help faculty figure out how best to translate whatever courses they have to an actual online class, as opposed to just now I have to teach, you know, I'm just forced to finish it out online.” President Samuel L. Stanley Jr.’s announcement to open campus in the fall comes with some regulations in the classroom. Faculty were asked to move 75% of their classes at least partially online. Within that percentage, 50% of courses will be online and a quarter will be hybrids. When deciding which of their labs should remain in-person, assistant professor in the department of physics and astronomy Saul Beceiro Novo had to consider the groups of students he was teaching. In an integrative studies physical, or ISP, course, the students aren’t STEM majors, and they are less likely to build on the material learned in the class later in their college career. “That decision came because we only have so much space, and so we had to take 50% of the labs online,” Beceiro Novo said. “Now what was taught in one classroom has to be taught in two different classrooms, right? So we decided the non majors can do it online so that the majors can come to the classroom and actually use the equipment that they're going to need in their future.” Beceiro Novo’s typically large ISP lectures are going to be held on Zoom, and his course content has already been made more accessible on D2L. With online labs, Beceiro Novo is taking three different approaches: videos, equipment at home, and online simulations. “I record videos with the equipment in the lab, and I share those with the students and then I have the students get the data from the video,” he said. “So, I just take the measurements, and they can read every single thing that's happening, right? I don't tell them what's happening. They just see someone doing it, and then they work in groups.” MSU provided Beceiro Novo with two assistants to help him record labs and demonstrations during the summer that he can share with his students. He also is going to encourage students to use items at home for some of the topics they cover. Additionally, he has been able to find online simulation software that his students can use when they can’t recreate them at home. Computer science professor Richard Enbody teaches the entry programming course CSE 231, which can be taken online, or as a hybrid with online instruction and a weekly lab with a teaching assistant. The sudden switch to online was simple for Enbody’s programming course. While the majority of the material was already online in the spring, he also had to figure out ways to help
students without their scheduled lab or help rooms on campus. He often met with students struggling in the class and caught a new glimpse into their lives. Imbracsio created a survey for faculty to get a better idea of how they are responding to the transition to more online classes and received over 750 responses. “Around 80% of faculty so far have said that the thing that works best for now or the thing that was new for them was being able to connect with students in a way they haven't had in the past,” Imbracsio said. Some professors who typically have 200-300 students in their lectures are able to have a faceto-face connection with students they couldn’t have prior to the online shift. Enbody said in the fall his class will be entirely online, and students will still have labs with teaching assistants over Zoom. Beceiro Novo can also attest to Imbracsio’s survey as he said he had a great increase in students coming to his office hours once he began holding them virtually. According to an academic preparation letter for faculty, the Registrar's Office has given fall classes four codes, which are subject to change throughout the summer. •‘In person’ courses will be in person, likely in larger classrooms than normal to allow physical distancing. •‘Hybrid’ courses will have online lectures with in-person components for recitations or labs. •‘Online-synchronous’ courses will have students and professors partaking in the online course at a scheduled day and time, similar to how some classes were held in the spring. •‘Online-asynchronous’ courses do not require any attendance and allow students to do work for the class on their own time while meeting the deadlines. In order to help faculty prepare for the fall semester, MSU has created four-week virtual workshops for professors in each department. Imbracsio has been part of planning workshops on what it means to go back to teaching after the coronavirus and the country’s ongoing conversations around racism. She says a big part of some workshops are to help faculty with technology they will need to conduct their classes. “I can tell you that these soirees, these workshops, they've had to offer more because more and more faculty are asking," she said. “And it’s not something they’re compensated for, it’s voluntary.” When instruction “returns to normal” professors can make takeaways from the time they spent online. “When they moved online due to coronavirus, they had a realization that you know, ‘Hey, maybe I don't need to have super stringent deadlines,’” Imbracsio said. “So, I think going online will help some faculty also realize not only technological tools but also things with their own teaching that they can take with them into their face-to-face classes when we finally get there.” Beceiro Novo said his labs would return to in-person, but there could be the possibility of holding his larger lectures online in the future. As for Enbody, throughout the transition he was able to develop a more efficient method of taking computer programming exams, which include testing students’ proficiency in programming softwares. “Necessity is the mother of invention," Enbody
Photo by Matt Schmucker
said. "And we've actually come up with actually a better way of doing this. ... I'm never going back to pencil and paper exams because this is an improvement for the students.” Having to move her classes online has given Imbracsio an opportunity to look at her seemingly fine courses and make helpful changes that she would not have made otherwise. She thinks moving online is really encouraging a lot of faculty to think about their classes. She added that among the responses from some students who say they are not getting a quality education online, MSU is not raising tuition. Also, despite their financial losses, faculty and staff are getting pay cuts.
“Faculty are doing their best to deliver education to students under some pretty difficult circumstances — and we understand that students are also being put in sub-optimal situations,” Imbracsio said in an email. “But we’re all trying to do our best with what we have.” Imbracsio feels that students coming into the fall should have an open mind on approaching these classes and stay involved. “I can understand since perhaps hearing that, you know, it's not the same because ... it isn't the same delivery. It's not the same as a face-to-face class,” Imbracsio said. “But it doesn't necessarily mean it's better or worse. It's just different.”
statenews.com YOUR NEWS • YOUR VOICE • YOUR WAY
The State News
T U ES DAY, J U LY 2 1 , 2020
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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
A recap of the movements and events that shaped our community
By Annie Barker email@example.com
Since students left campus back in March, East Lansing and the surrounding area are still feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses are grappling with closings and openings and protesters have taken
to the capitol to express their disdain for the stay-at-home order. In June, residents marched to shout â&#x20AC;&#x153;Black Lives Matter.â&#x20AC;? As we draw closer to the fall, East Lansing continues to feel the heat of this summer of uncertainty.
A few protestors speak with a police officer in tactical gear as a crowd stands behind them at the protest against police brutality at the East Lansing Police Department May 31. Photo by Matt Schmucker
ABOVE: A police officer in riot gear stands in front of a burning car as a man films her in Lansing May 31 at the protest over the police killing of George Floyd. Photo by Matt Schmucker LEFT: Scenes from the Operation Gridlock protest on April 15 around the Michigan State Capitol Building. Photo by Annie Barker
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PHOTOS ABOVE: The line at Harperâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Restaurant and Brewpub on June 8 following Michiganâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reopening of bars and restaurants at 50% capacity and the crowd inside. Photos by Kaishi Chhabra
BELOW: Friends, coaches and teammates release balloons at the memorial for MSU long jumper Tony Martin at the Rock on Farm Lane July 20. Martin died in a shooting in his hometown of Saginaw the morning of July 19. Martin held the high school state record for the long jump, with a jump of 26 feet and six inches. Photo by Matt Schmucker A woman receives a free haircut on the steps of the capitol during Operation Haircut at the Michigan State Capitol on May 20. The area was crowded as multiple barbers offered their services. Photo by Annie Barker
Kelsey Estes, Meghan Provenzano and Abby Henzi (left to right) pose after painting the Rock on Farm Lane April 7. Photo by Matt Schmucker
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Students share the impact of online classes on their mental health By Griffin Wiles firstname.lastname@example.org Following Michigan State University’s March 11 announcement that all spring classes would move to online-only instruction in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, neuroscience senior Katya Karnoup knew she would not be alone in having problems with mental health. “When MSU went online last spring, I knew a lot of people were about to struggle, including myself,” Karnoup said in a text. While she had taken online courses prior to the pandemic, five of the six classes Karnoup is currently enrolled in for the upcoming fall semester have already ditched in-person lectures and switched to online instruction. one June 17, MSU announced that faculty were asked to move 75% of courses at least partially online for the fall 2020 semester. Having felt alone from the lack of in-person classroom, relationships Karnoup said she found the lack of connections to be a downfall of online courses. “Having other people to work with and socialize with would’ve been really helpful,” Karnoup said in a text. “Doing the online class by myself was more stressful than if I was in an in person class and made my mental health harder to take care of.”
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According to counselors Jessica Oyoque and Courtney Brown at MSU’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services, or CAPS, feelings of isolation due to the lack of face-to-face interaction are just one of the many pitfalls of digital learning. “With online classes, students may experience challenges as it relates to increased screen time,” Oyoque and Brown said in an email. “(Students) may experience increased fatigue, headaches, lack of motivation, avoidance/procrastination, ineffective time management, feelings of isolation due to limited socialization in-person, minimized awareness and understanding of others created by in-person dialogues.” In the unprecedented age of COVID-19, anxiety onset by the unknown can disrupt online schooling. “The root of anxiety is the mind and body’s way of responding to distress, uneasiness, and unfamiliar situations,” Oyoque and Brown said in an email. “Anxiousness can be driven from a place of uncertainty and experiencing the unknown. COVID-19 has impacted our need to adjust and adapt at a rapid pace and it may be overwhelming. By COVID-19 and other institutional or systemic external stressors, online schoolwork may, for some, be an added unfamiliar, distressing experience.” However, not all aspects of online learning are detrimental. According to Oyoque and Brown,
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Stop Take a breath Observe Proceed Jessica Oyoque and Courtney Brown CAPS counselors some aspects may be beneficial to students and their mental health. Digital education will increase levels of safety, which may make students feel at ease and more willing to engage with learning materials from safe, comforting spaces. “Online classes may ease anxiousness or uneasiness feelings of COVID-19 transmissions by providing safe avenues to complete course requirements,” Oyoque and Brown said in the email. Anxieties concerning strict class schedules and in-person discussions may also be relieved
as a result of professors and the university switching to online, Oyoque and Brown said. Online instruction also helps students practice effective time management through the ‘work at your own pace’ model. When spring classes went online, psychology freshman Sydney Saichek said she found the ‘work at your own pace’ model helped to ease anxieties associated with in-person instruction. “I felt less stressed as I could learn at my own pace … (and) didn’t have to worry about making it to class on time along with balancing other normal school activities,” Saichek said. While all of Saichek’s classes in the fall will be online, only one is held at a synchronous, scheduled time, allowing her to approach her others with flexibility. According to Karnoup, the best thing about online classes is their flexible nature. “If you don’t feel well, you can care for yourself and do school later in the day or the next,” Karnoup said. “It’s flexible. Doing one thing a day that you enjoy has helped me a lot because it’s easy to get caught up in … the things we have to do and we never make time for ourselves. Time off is just as important as time on.” Oyoque and Brown emphasized the importance of taking breaks and time away from instruction. “We have entered a new phase of our reality
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“Transition and adjustments impact everyone differently and it is important to learn what works for you as we enter this new phase of life.” Jessica Oyoque and Courtney Brown CAPS counselors due to COVID-19, increased online schoolwork and the expectation to socialize virtually,” Oyoque and Brown said in the email. “Components of our lives that created a break from having an online presence has now been immersed with screen viewing multiple hours a day.” The establishment of a routine is also beneficial to navigating through education via online coursework. “Engage in a routine that includes being active, eating, and sleeping,” Oyoque and Brown said in the email. “A routine will create a sense of structure and foster the need to be present and control daily functions.” Karnoup said that it was important for her to keep in touch with friends while spring classes were online. She would hold weekly FaceTime
Illustration by Daena Faustino
review sessions with her friend that not only helped her to learn the material, but allowed her to see and interact with a person. “Usually when we’re physically away from our friends we don’t feel the need to reach out to them, but since we are all pretty isolated, intentionally reaching out to friends ... was really helpful,” Karnoup said. Students are advised to practice self-compassion, self-care and forgiveness in such unprece-
dented times to take care of the mind. “Transition and adjustments impact everyone differently and it is important to learn what works for you as we enter this new phase of life,” Oyoque and Brown said in the email. “Set healthy boundaries and recognize when it is okay to say ‘No.’” Keeping the acronym S.T.O.P. — stop, take a breath, observe and proceed — in mind can also be helpful in promoting mindfulness, Oyo-
que and Brown said. Other ideas for how to improve mental health and well-being while taking online courses include meditation, playing an instrument, running, cooking, kickboxing, staying organized and, if needed, seeking professional help, among others. If you are struggling with online classes and mental health, you can learn more about getting help at caps.msu.edu.
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What class will look like come fall semester By Devin Anderson-Torrez email@example.com
uman development and family studies sophomore Jill Brennecke woke up on March 11 like she would any normal day. With rising concerns of the novel coronavirus circulating through the country and college campuses, the Michigan State sophomore had conversations the night before about whether MSU would go online, but she didn’t think there was a chance. As schools across the country began to close, Brennecke prepared to brave the storm. Brennecke had a volunteer shift at McLaren Hospital that morning, but it was canceled due to the virus. It wasn’t going to be a normal day, in fact, Brennecke’s normal was about to change for a long time. The entire student body’s normal was about to change. “I thought there would be no way MSU would put classes online, as they are notorious for mustering through challenges; they only have a handful of snow days in the entire university’s history,” Brennecke said. “I woke up the next morning and checked my phone, I had no new emails,” she said. “I started getting ready for my volunteer shift at McLaren Hospital, and began walking out the door when I got an urgent email to not come in for volunteering today due to a rise in COVID-19 numbers. I got back into bed at about 9 a.m., and woke up again around 11 a.m. I had 30-plus texts from family members and friends, missed calls from my parents and an email from President Stanley: school was now online.” Soon after the March 11 email from President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. that put classes online, the campus was a ghost town and students were back home getting used to a new normal, learning to work with online classes. As much as students may try to get their pre-COVID-19 norms back, things in the fall won’t be the same. On May 27, Stanley announced his intentions to get students back in the fall but also confirmed that campus life and learning would not be the same. Professors were instructed to put 75% of their classes online and the few in-person classes left will be dominated by social distancing. With heaps of classes being moved online and in-person learning socially distanced, coming to campus in the fall may not be as easy, especially without knowing what to expect.
WELCOME TO ZOOM UNIVERSITY: THE ONLINE CLASS TAKEOVER When classes moved online in the spring, many professors turned toward Zoom, a service that lets you hold face-to-face meetings over the computer, like a classroom shoved into FaceTime. While online classes have their perks, it just depends on who you ask. Being able to take the classes when you want and semi-operate at your own pace each week is a better alternative to some. “My online classes weren’t hard at all to get adjusted to,” psychology sophomore Siena Fontanesi said. “I would just hop on Zoom when I had to and I was just taking all the quizzes and finals on D2L. All of my professors were pretty understanding of the difficulties changes that the students were facing so we had some extended deadlines and some assignments dropped which was nice.”
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After Fontanesi adjusted, she found that she enjoyed the structure of online school and thought Zoom was a good alternative to inperson instruction. Fontanesi is taking more online classes in the fall because she found them easier to manage. The upside for some students is the drawback for others; For online classes you have to get out of bed, get on your computer and make yourself do the work. There’s no set time or space holding you to it. “I don’t think I handled it particularly well,” supply chain management junior Sebastian Luna said. “Especially because I went back home and I could rarely ever bring myself to watch recorded lectures and I basically ended up just doing homework, taking quizzes, and taking exams with little to no preparation.”
6 FEET APART: THE REALITY OF FUTURE IN-PERSON CLASSES One of the hardest adjustments for many with classes being moved online in the spring was being away from campus. “I didn’t enjoy it because I genuinely like going to class and actually learning,” Luna said. “The classroom setting really gives me more motivation to work hard and actually learn the material I’m being taught and I didn’t have that at home. ... I missed my friends and the freedom I had on campus but more so I think I missed the energy on campus. I think the atmosphere MSU provides really motivates me to take classes seriously and I truly missed that while at home.” MSU students who want to take in-person classes will still have the option, but their experience will look different than the past. In Stanley’s email that announced the university’s plans to bring students back to campus, he stressed the importance of health and safety. The plans roll through campus life and into classrooms. “The fall 2020 semester will look different from any previous semester at MSU,” Stanley
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Illustrations by Daena Faustino
said in an email to the students, “The driving factor behind our decisions will continue to be the health, safety and well-being of students, faculty and staff.” Since Stanley announced his plans to open, the Board of Trustees have announced that masks on campus will be required and are taking other actions in testing and social distancing to monitor and sustain the health of those who return to campus. On June 26, Stanley sent out another update on how fall semester will look, confirming that social distancing will happen in classrooms and only about 25% of classes will be left completely in-person. “To support as safe a return to campus as possible this fall, faculty members are working to put about half of their classes online, shift about a quarter of their classes to a hybrid model of instruction and move the remaining in-person classes into larger rooms to allow for 6 feet of physical distancing,” Stanley said in the email.
“The fall 2020 semester will look different from any previous semester at MSU. The driving factor behind our decisions will continue to be the health, safety and well-being of students, faculty and staff.” Samuel L. Stanley Jr. MSU president
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STUDENT LIFE AND FALL WELCOME EVENT HIGHLIGHTS SPARTAN BASEMENT “KICK BACK” SPARTAN ENGAGE U EVENING ACTIVITIES Spartan Scavenger Hunt, Startacular Show, Spartan Bingo, and Spartan Jeopardy SPARTAN SPIRIT AFFILIATE DAY FILL THE BUS SERVICE PROJECT FALL CONVOCATION FALL WELCOME SPARTAN SPECTACULAR FEATURING:
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The fallout of events in ‘Athlete A’ continues to impact MSU By Sara Tidwell firstname.lastname@example.org Content warning: This article deals with sensitive subjects surrounding sexual assault Michigan State University’s four presidents in the span of two years, three criminal trials and two convictions in a stonewalled state investigation and a record $4.5 million fine from the U.S. Department of Education were all catalyzed by the subject of a recently-released Netflix documentary. “Athlete A” tells the story of the investigative reporters from The Indianapolis Star, the prosecutors, law enforcement officials and gymnasts who came forward to reveal former Olympic doctor, Michigan State physician and now-convicted sexual predator Larry Nassar’s decades of sexual abuse. Just this summer, Ex-President Lou Anna K. Simon had criminal charges dismissed and then appealed July 20, which center around her alleged knowledge about the substance and the nature of Nassar’s abuse spanning decades. Also this summer, Paulette Granberry Russell left her post as a senior diversity advisor after 25 years
at MSU, only to rescind her offer of employment at California Polytechnic because thousands signed a petition criticizing her role as MSU Title IX coordinator. In press notes received from P.J. Dantonello at Netflix, directors Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk said they were privileged to be entrusted with this opportunity. “Fact-finding is difficult, painstaking work,” Cohen and Shenk said in the notes. “Speaking out against your abuser is frightening and painful. ‘Athlete A’ is a marriage of these two worlds. ... In their sport, gymnasts show us what is possible by defying the laws of gravity. In their commitment and performances, our American Olympians serve as inspiring reminders of the incredible potential of human beings. But, along the path to winning medals, wooing sponsors and making money, something went awry in the Olympic movement.” The film focuses on Maggie Nichols, a gymnast on the road to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but was stopped dead in her tracks as punishment for being the first athlete to blow the whistle on Nassar. It also focuses on Marisa Kwiatkowski, Mark Alesia and Tim Evans from The Indianapolis Star, who had reported on predatory gymnastics
“We need to start teaching the men, the boys, that you can’t look at a girl and sexualize her because she’s wearing a leotard.”
Grace Ryan Nursing Junior
coaches being moved around gyms but never being charged with crime and revealed how USAG was breaking the law by covering for their staff and failing to report any allegations to authorities. They opened the door for many others to come forward, such as former competitive gymnast Rachael Denhollander, national rhythmic gymnastics champion Jessica Howard and Olympian Jamie Dantzcher. Soon, three turned into more than 500 survivors, including nine Olympians. However, the passage of time hasn’t done much to soothe their pain.
MSU’S INVOLVEMENT IN THE NASSAR CASE
Absent from the film is the fallout of these revelations in East Lansing. Three MSU officials faced criminal charges directly related to the fallout of Nassar’s sentencing. Simon resigned shortly after the events shown in the film after a
buildup of community pressure. She was later originally charged with two counts of lying to a peace officer in a violent crime investigation and two counts of lying to a peace officer in a four-year or more crime investigation. Simon officially resigned from her position as university president on Jan. 24, 2018, following Nassar’s sentencing and was officially charged in November 2018. After her preliminary hearing, Judge Julie Reincke ordered Simon’s case to trial in October 2019. Simon’s communication with Russell and Kristine Moore, the only two Title IX administrators in 2014, supports the evidence state prosecutors are using to prove Simon’s guilt. An Eaton County judge dismissed Simon’s case May 13 because of insufficient evidence Simon knew Nassar’s name in 2014 in addition to the “substance and nature” of the allegations against him. Ex-MSU Dean William Strampel was found guilty of misconduct in office
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TU ESDAY, JU LY 21, 2020
and two counts of willful neglect in his role of Nassar’s boss June 12, 2019. He was sentenced to one year in Ingham County Jail in August 2019, but was released on good behavior March 19, 2020. He was found not guilty of seconddegree criminal sexual conduct. The federal report in September 2019, which levied a $4.5 million fine against MSU found then-Provost June Youatt at fault for dismissing complaints against Strampel, which led her to resign in the same month. MSU has since hired a new provost, Teresa Woodruff after conducting a search and hosting interviews with three finalists. On Feb. 14, 2020, former MSU gymnastics coach Kathie Klages was found guilty of lying to the police. She was originally charged with two counts of lying to a peace officer, one of which is a felony and one a high court misdemeanor. Klages failed to report Nassar’s sexual assault after Larissa Boyce reported it to her in 1997, when Boyce was involved in the Spartan Youth Gymnastics program. Klages was scheduled to be sentenced on July 15, but it was delayed due to a water main break on the day of the sentencing, it has yet to be rescheduled.
S PORTS lot of corruption out there ... a lot of systemic momentum in the direction of corruption. It takes years and years to unwind that.”
IMPLICATIONS AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL
Nearly five years later, survivors still fight for justice at the national level. According to an article by The Orange County Register, they have called upon the Attorney General William Barr in a letter, demanding the documents involving Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation into the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) handling of the Nassar case be released. “(We are) investigating the allegations concerning the FBI’s handling of the Nassar investigation, and the victims and the public should (be) rest assured our findings will be made public at the end of our investigation,” Stephanie Logan, spokesperson for the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General, said in a comment. Over the year it took to make this film, Serin Marshall, another one of the producers, said their crew had interviewed prosecutor Angela Povilaitis and Detective Lt. Andrea Munford. “In the case of Nassar, hundreds of women were abused over multiple decades — it was one of the worst sexual assault cases in sports history — and yet it still took so many brave people, over so many years, plus a fair amount of luck and timing for them to actually be believed,” Marshall said. “It became painfully clear the challenges survivors can face when they come
GYMNAST REACTS TO “ATHLETE A”
Prayer flags hang during the Finding Our Voice: Sister Survivors Speak Exhibition Opening Ceremony at the MSU Museum on April 16, 2019. Photo by Annie Barker
forward — especially if they are the only one speaking out and the story involves a powerful individual in the community.” The #MeToo movement, as well as allegations on higher powers like Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh and former film producer Harvey Weinstein support that the climate is truly hostile. “One thing (Cohen) and I were always talking about was that it takes a fricking miracle to bring one bad dude down,” Shenk said. “It really should just take one crime for someone to go to jail. These guys get away with hundreds. What interested
us about this was what does it take, how many people have to work fulltime for how many years, to uncover this thing?” Shenk said sports are at the beginning of what needs to be a dramatic, systematic change. Thirty years ago, sexual assault wasn’t widely talked about because prosecution was almost impossible. Now, whether in the world of Hollywood, politics or sports, there’s a new expectation: You can get in trouble for this kind of behavior. “In general, the pendulum is swinging in the right direction,” Shenk said. “But, of course, there’s a
Nursing junior Grace Ryan is a former gymnast from Chicago. As someone who has at least 16 years of first-hand experience going through the cultural wringer of USAG, the Karolyi Ranch and competitive gymnastics, Ryan said that “Athlete A” was hard to watch, but she’s glad that the story has finally been exposed because the suffering of these athletes needs to end. Ryan also said she didn’t know much about the scandal involving MSU until around the time of Nassar’s court appearances, when it began to become public, and she is not a victim of Nassar’s abuse specifically. However, she does have memories of a fair amount of girls from her home gym, some friends and some not, driving up to see Nassar for treatment on weekends. “One thing we’re kind of taught in the gymnastics world is to train to be the best,” she said. “If Nassar is the (best doctor) and you’ve just suffered a career-threatening injury (while training) to be the best, you’re going to go see (him).” No one ever spoke on it, which is another issue Ryan mentioned — every day of their training is kept apart from their parents.
“You were told to keep what’s in the gym, in the gym, no matter what happens,” Ryan said. “If they did speak out, they weren’t listened to.” According to the Army of Survivors — a national organization created by survivors, for survivors — website, 7% of student athletes are victims of sexual assault, while elite athletes face higher rates. There are at least 3.75 million survivors in the country alone. “What (we) have been trying to do is really keep the conversation going about what has happened,” Danielle Moore, mental health advisor and board member for the organization, said. “If you’re talking about it, then you’re aware of it.” Ryan said that because gymnastics is such a lucrative sport, people saw it on the outside and didn’t understand what went through a gymnast’s dayto-day routine, which fostered a culture of abuse. “(Probably) every girl who’s ever been a gymnast can say they’ve met at least one coach, or one person, someone in their lifetime, who has touched them where they shouldn’t have or spotted them a little too aggressively, and I think that that is something we need to start changing,” she said. “We can’t keep teaching our little girls that they have to watch out, to be careful. We need to start teaching the men, the boys, that you can’t look at a girl and sexualize her because she’s wearing a leotard.”
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The battle to diversify wrestling, non-revenue college sports
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All Saints Episcopal Church 800 Abbot Rd. (517) 351-7160 Sun. Worship: 8am, 10am, & 5pm Sunday School: 10am www.allsaints-el.org Ascension Lutheran Church 2780 Haslett Road East Lansing (517) 337-9703 Sunday worship: 10:00am Sunday Bible study: 8:45am Thursday Bible study: 2:00pm www.ascensioneastlansing.org Crossway Multinational Church 4828 Hagadorn Rd. (Across from Fee Hall) (517) 917-0498 Sun: 10:00am crosswaymchurch.org Greater Lansing Church of Christ 310 N. Hagadorn Rd. (Meet @ University Christian Church) (517) 898-3600 Sun: 8:45am Worship, 10am Bible Class Wed: 1pm, Small group bible study www.greaterlansing coc.org Hillel Jewish Student Center 360 Charles St. (517) 332-1916 Shabbat – Services@ 6pm / dinner @ 7, September–April www.msuhillel.org instagram: @msuhillel
The Islamic Society of Greater Lansing 920 S. Harrison Rd. (517) 351-4309 Friday Services: 12:15-12:45pm & 1:45-2:15pm For prayer times visit www.lansingislam.com/ Martin Luther Chapel Lutheran Student Center 444 Abbot Rd. (517) 332-0778 Sun: 10:30am & 7pm Wed: 7pm Mini-bus pick-up on campus (Fall/Spring) www.martinluther chapel.org The People’s Church Multi-denominational 200 W Grand River Ave. (517)332-6074 Sun. Service: 10:30am with free lunch for students following worship ThePeoplesChurch.com Riverview Church- MSU Venue MSU Union Ballroom, 2nd Floor 49 Abbot Rd. (517) 694-3400 Sun. Worship: 11:30am-ish www.rivchurch.com St. Paul Lutheran Church (ELCA) Worship with us on Sundays at 10am 3383 E. Lake Lansing Rd 517-351-8541 www.stpaul-el.org officemanagerstpaul firstname.lastname@example.org
St. John Catholic Church and Student Center 327 M.A.C Ave. (517) 337-9778 Sun: 8am, 10am, Noon, 5pm, 7pm M,W: 5:30pm T & Th: 8:45pm F: 12:15pm www.stjohnmsu.org University Christian Church 310 N. Hagadorn Rd (517) 332-5193 Sun. Bible Study: 10am Sun. Worship: 11:15am www.universitychristianwired.com University Lutheran Church (ULC) “We’re open in every way” 1020 S. Harrison Rd (517) 351-7030 Sun. Worship: 8:30am & 10:45am Fridays@Five: Dinner, discussion & fun 5pm Mon. Bible Study: 6:30pm @Wells Hall Quad www.ulcel.org Facebook: ULC and Campus Ministry University United Methodist Church 1020 S. Harrison Rd (517) 351-7030 Main Service: Sun: 11am in the Sanctuary Additional Services: NEW contemporary service Sundays at 9am with band titled ‘REACH’ TGiT (Thank God its Thursday): Thur: 8pm in the Chapel of Apostles universitychurchhome.org email@example.com WELS Lutheran Campus Ministry 704 Abbot Rd. (517) 580-3744 Sat: 6:30pm msu.edu/~welsluth
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Then-MSU junior Alex Hrisopoulos wrestles Iowa’s Pat Lugo. Lugo defeated Hrisopoulos, 8-3, at Jenison Fieldhouse on Feb. 2. Photo by Matt Zubik
By Elijah McKown firstname.lastname@example.org In the United States, sports have served as a voice for change. Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest boxers of all time, refused to participate in the Vietnam War in 1966 because of his disagreements with the war. He is now known as one of the most influential people during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and 1970s. Flash forward to today when similar stands against racial inequality continue to happen as players like Colin Kaepernick, Megan Rapinoe, LeBron James and more have found their voice when battling social issues because those same issues of racial injustice still exist. Michigan State wrestling star Cameron Caffey is one of only 34 Black student-athletes — about 7% — who wrestles in the Big Ten, according to the NCAA’s demographic database. An overwhelmingly white sport throughout its history, it’s not always easy to speak out about these problems. “I have views on things but I don’t speak on my views a lot of times because one, I feel like I’m not necessarily very informed on things, and two other people have different views, which is fine,” Caffey said. “Most of these people are conservative. I feel like most of the wrestling crowd is conservative.” According to Michigan State wrestling coach Roger Chandler, fixing the lack of diversity in non-revenue sports begins internally. Sometimes those problems internally however, get covered up or hidden, and
the issues need to go public to make real change. For example, Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard called out his Head Coach Mike Gundy in June for wearing a One America News t-shirt, an organization that called the Black Lives Matter movement a farce. As a result of his demands for change, the program passed a variety of changes to improve the culture in the program. “I think it’s great,” Chandler said. “That’s what builds your culture, that’s what defines who you guys are as a program. As long as everybody is on board or has an understanding, I think it’s a great thing to build a tighter knit group of individuals as a cohesive unit.” However, those discussions can only help your team become more inclusive, not the entire sport or other sports altogether. Wrestling is not the only non-revenue college sport that has a lack of diversity in its collection of student-athletes. For men’s sports in 2019, baseball is over three-fourths white, men’s swimming is at 71%, men’s golf is at 70% and men’s cross country is at 68%. That same diversity problem is in women’s sports too, as cross country is at 70% white, field hockey is at 75%, softball at 68% and women’s soccer at 67%. Yannick Kluch, assistant professor for sports communication at Rowan University said that economic standing and representation are two of the biggest barriers for maintaining equity in a sport like wrestling. Fixing that however isn’t as simple as identifying it, but rather implementing solutions to attack the issue.
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“Sports like wrestling, baseball, swimming, etc. need to strategically implement efforts to increase diversity in the sport – whether that is through access, visibility of minoritized athletes, or other means,” Kluch said via email. “Another aspect is to train coaches and administrators in the sport on concepts like implicit bias and microaggressions, both of which can create environments that are not inviting for and inclusive of athletes of color.” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said the organization is starting to move the needle for change with the Big Ten’s new Anti-Hate and AntiRacism Coalition and voter registration initiative. In the United States, 18- to 29-year-olds are the demographic least likely to vote each year. In 2016’s presidential election, only 46% of that age group turned out to vote, according to the U.S. Census. Warren is aiming to change that by encouraging student-athletes to vote in 2020. “An election year provides the opportunity to educate our student-athletes in a nonpartisan fashion regarding the importance of exercising their civic right to clearly understand the political process, register to vote, cast a vote during the upcoming election, and provide adequate support to combat voter suppression.” Warren said in the release. “We are at an inflection point in our country. Empowering our studentathletes by encouraging them to use their voices illustrates how we can collectively work together to build a better future.”
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Will fall sports still happen? Q&A with Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren By Elijah McKown email@example.com The Big Ten became the first big domino to fall in making a change to the upcoming fall college sports schedule when the conference decided that they would be participating in a conference-only schedule for the fall. The one heading up that decision is Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, who was appointed to the position in June of last year. In an interview with The State News, Warren discussed the recent decision, the outlook for college sports returning in the fall, and what a conferenceonly season could look like.
Transitioning to football here, with this decision, three non-conference games will be lost for this season. Is there a plan in place yet to replace those three games or will those games be scrapped completely?
This is really where the work begins with the potential schedules that would be put together and all the operations, logistics, that data that need to be worked through. So we don’t have that answer at this point in time, and that is something that we’re focusing on over the next couple weeks.
You were blunt that there is a possibility that fall sports may not happen due to the pandemic, so at this point, what is your confidence level that fall sports will happen this fall?
That’s hard to answer from a conscious level standpoint. I’m always a very optimistic person and always will remain optimistic about life in general and have a belief in people. As far as a football season, fall sports, we just have to make sure we lean on the best advice of our medical experts. There’s a lot of sports going on around the country now that I always keep an eye on. But again,
our focus right now has to be what can we do from a health and safety standpoint for our Big Ten student-athletes. That has to be the focus for all of our fall sports. We have to just continually make the best decisions. It is really, really a fluid situation and it changes regularly, and so we’re doing the best thing we can to make the best decisions based upon the best information.
One of the things that has been floated has been the possibility of fall sports being pushed to the spring. Is that something that the Big Ten is considering at this point in time?
Right now our focus is what can we do to work through all of these medical issues to have a conference-only season for our fall sports. There have been a lot of scenarios that have been discussed and floated around that people across the country are talking about. But as of now, our focus is what
can we do to have our studentathletes healthy, safe and well, and then focus on how to play the season in a safe and responsible manner based on the best advice of our medical experts. And then also being prepared that we may not play if the medical advice and circumstances conclude that.
The pandemic has been a financial strain to not only sports, but every facet in our world. At this time, are you expecting any Big Ten school to make any cuts to their athletic program?
I haven’t I haven’t had any discussions about that. We just have been focused. There’s been so much going on in the last couple months with all the issues that we’re dealing with right now with COVID-19, all the social injustice issues, return to play, name, image and likeness, there a lot of things that are going on now. So, we’re continually just taking this one step at a time,
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren pictured in a headshot from the Big Ten Conference. Courtesy of the Big Ten Conference.
this is one step in the process. We’ll do the best that we can based upon the information that we have.
The Big Ten conference geographically is very large, sprawling from Nebraska to New Jersey. When you’re having to look at multiple states with multiple policies and multiple opinions on the coronavirus, how difficult is it to make those decisions while having to account for
so many different states?
We go across 11 states and go from Nebraska to New Jersey, and so all those different things are taken into account. We as people need to make sure we’re doing everything we possibly can to not spread the virus, stay as healthy as we can and then all of us make smart, adult decisions as far as following the advice of our medical experts. To view the full Q&A, visit statenews.com.
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