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Michigan State’s Independent Voice

‘HIT THE SHOT IN FRONT OF YOU AND ENJOY THE REST’ Inside Michigan State men’s golf’s unprecedented rise -PAGES 4-5




The story of the Collegiate Recovery Community: MSU’s substance abuse recovery center

MSU Museum welcomes Tracked and Traced Exhibit

Fake People @ MSU: Inside the viral TikTok trend that could feature you next




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The story of the Collegiate Recovery Community: MSU’s substance abuse recovery center By Jared Ramsey

The road to recovery from substance abuse is personal to Community Health Associate for MSU’s Student Health Center Dawn Kepler. When she was a student at Michigan State, Kepler said she tried to begin her own recovery but did not know where to start. Her road to recovery started after college and brought her back to MSU, working in the Health Promotion Department where she got the opportunity to give students the administrative backing she never had. Five years ago, three students approached the Health Promotion Department asking the university to develop a program to help students who are struggling with substance abuse to recover and have a support group to help them

get through college sober, Kepler said. It was originally a student-led group called Spartans’ Organization for All Recovery, or SOAR. The program was designed to create a “fun, inviting, social environment for students in recovery from substance abuse,” according to the Collegiate Recovery Community, or CRC, website. SOAR was successful in its first year and led to the university developing CRC its own institutionalized program with Kepler as the group’s coordinator. “I myself am an individual in long-term recovery,” Kepler said. “I was a student at MSU who was new to recovery at the time, and I was searching for my own recovery support and I really struggled to find them. I know I never quite did as a student because when I was at MSU, they didn’t exist in the same way that they do

now. This is something that is definitely a passion for me. I love seeing our students being able to connect with other students around the recovery lifestyle.” The CRC started in 2017 to help students in the MSU community seeking recovery from alcohol or substance abuse issues and provide a space on campus where students can participate in a student community that is free of substances. It is one of around 150 collegiate student recovery programs in the country, Kepler said. “It is something that can create a lot of shame in people because of that (stigma),” Kepler said. “It’s also something that people don’t automatically identify as being an issue, particularly on a college campus where substance use is so much more visual than in maybe the broader community.”

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The CRC is designed to help students in recovery fight against the stigmatization of a substance abuse disorder by using peer support and a trained staff to give them a fun and sustainable lifestyle without the presence of their vices. “It really is a student-driven, student-focused program on what the students’ needs are and following best practices in the field as well to try to be as effective as possible in supporting students in recovery,” Kepler said. The CRC uses student feedback to develop different programs to best serve students seeking to begin their recovery process. The goal is to ensure that every student involved in the program has the support they need. The CRC’s services include student recovery housing on North campus, weekly student support meetings, a full-time staff to talk with students, a lounge that is available during the week and weekly sober social events. Students can be as involved as they want. Kepler said some students are all in while others just attend the peer support meetings or social events. The most well-attended event is the weekly peer meetings. Student recovery housing started in 2018 after the success of the program in the first year.. It has six double rooms — three for men and three for women — for students who are actively in recovery and are still seeking an authentic college experience. “It tends to be students who are newer to recovery and really want those extra supports available and the extra accountability that comes with having the live-in recovery housing support specialist,” Kepler said. The support specialist this year is a graduate student in MSU’s School of Social Work. They live in the house along with the students to ensure the students have the assistance they need, whether that means holding students accountable or just being there for them so they are not isolated. Housing for the support specialist is paid for through scholarships from the Jamie Daniels Foundation and The Children’s Foundation. The CRC received a $50,000 grant from the two organizations to cover the living expenses of the support specialist and provide students in CRC with financial aid. This is the thirdstraight year the foundations

The CRC Student Lounge is located in the basement of the Student Services Building on East Circle Drive. Shot on Aug. 27. Photo by Chloe Trofatter

have given the grant to the CRC. Kepler said the foundations want to support the CRC and expand its efforts through Michigan. “They have been amazing in helping to support that live-in student position, that recovery housing support specialist and allowing us to pay for room and board for that student who is that frontline there every day, checking in, supporting our students living in recovery housing,” Kepler said. The grant money is also used to pay for school and living expenses to ease some of the financial burdens of being a student who has to pay for rehab services, like counseling. The CRC plans to return to in-person operations throughout the school year while following the university’s health and safety protocols after a year of operating online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CRC will maintain some hybrid options for students after the success of their online

endeavor. “They were really feeling disconnected through the pandemic,” Kepler said. “Because of the guidelines around physical distancing and just the nature of the pandemic, it’s been an isolating experience. Isolation is the biggest risk factor that our students in recovery report.” The group started having in-person and hybrid meetings this summer after Ingham County lifted the restrictions on outdoor gatherings. The meetings were just the beginning of the return of CRC. “I’m really looking forward to more opportunities to have those in-person opportunities because it’s just for our students,” Kepler said. “It’s something that they’ve identified that they want. Some of our students have really taken to the online virtual connection pieces, and some of our students haven’t. We’re trying to adapt and provide both as much as possible.” Read the full article at

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T U ES DAY, S E PT E M B ER 28 , 202 1




‘Hit the shot in front of you Michigan State men’s golf’s By Sean Reider

It’s a gloomy September afternoon at Lasch Family Golf Center. Across the street, dark clouds hover ominously over Forest Akers East Golf Course, gusts of wind ruffle trees and pins alike and it seems as if the sky could open up and drench the fairways at any second. Players chip, putt and socialize around the practice green in between being fitted for clubs. It’s the only golf they’ll get in for the day, with downpours starting an hour later. Sitting on the patio, fifth-year senior James Piot is cheerful despite the weather. He’s hunched forward in his seat and holding an iron across his lap. He looks up and down, absentmindedly studying the contours and angles of the club, while discussing life following his thrilling U.S. Amateur victory in August. The glamourous and lackluster aspects alike. “I was in the Chick-fil-A line the other day, and some dude made some comment about like, ‘If I didn’t work out, I’d look like that’ and pointed to me,” Piot said, laughing. “And I was like, alright, there’s a dose of reality.” But Piot’s the U.S. Amateur champion? Forget being the first player from MSU to win it — he’s the first person from Michigan to win in the tournament’s 126 years of existence. That’s not worth a rebuttal? “Am I gonna say that to the dude?” Piot said. “I was like ‘Good one man, you got me.’ I just want my four-piece meal and I’m getting out of here.” Call it self-deprecation, humility or even plain meekness, but around the Lasch Family Golf Center, it’s better tied to one of Michigan State Head Coach Casey Lubahn’s favorite words: perspective. Piot’s win at Oakmont brought an unforeseen level of publicity and expectations to Michigan State men’s golf, but that was then and this is now. This is a new era for Lubahn and his 10 golfers as they look to take the next step as a program while keeping the same perspective that got them there. Where did this all come from, though? Michigan State golf was hardly a slouching program before Piot and Lubahn, with Big Ten championships in 1966 and 2005.But, ever since the University of North Carolina’s Austin Greaser missed a 10-foot birdie putt on 17 and the Havemeyer Trophy signed a year-long lease in East Lansing, the Spartans have come out hot with a win and a top three finish through two tournaments and are on their way to being ranked 19th in the country by Golfweek. In his 11th year at MSU, Lubahn laughed when asked about the start of the program’s recent explosion. Step one is simple: get talent and get the cycle going. “When you’re building a program, you’re putting the structure in place … that helps you attract good players and they come in, they develop over time,” Lubahn said. “Now you’re looking at a team that has five great players in five different classes which should mean, going forward, as one rolls out, another comes in. That’s how you build long-term success.” 4


Consider Piot. The longstanding story is that Associate Head Coach Dan Ellis scouted him during a round he called a fluke, the only 80-plus score of his high school or college career. Piot said he didn’t really care if they saw his performance that day. After all, he didn’t even want to go to MSU. “When he came out that day, I was like ‘Michigan State’s watching me, no big deal’ because I was a Michigan fan,” Piot said. “I don’t even want these guys anyways.” After a couple of visits, Piot changed his tone and found Michigan State wasn’t so bad. It didn’t hurt that they sent now-professional golfers Matt Harmon and Ryan Brehm to the tour as well. He signed, developed, and five years later, set the bar in a big way to accelerate the cycle. Because competitive golf alienates people as much as it brings them together, Lubahn said the only time his team really feels like a team is the two minutes after each round when they add up the scorecard. However, there’s a camaraderie that comes with competition and the chase to be the best on the team, especially when the standard is as high as it is now. Step two in building a winning golf program: foster ambition and intense competition. “(Piot’s) shown the guys around him the power of dreaming big,” Lubahn said. “And now they’re dreaming big and they’re trying to beat him everyday ... (If) you want to be

“Right now, this year is probably the best team I’ve been on in my five years here as far as the guys who just want to grind and beat the crap out of each other. That’s what makes a good team, everybody is pushing each other.” James Piot Fifth-year senior golfer the number one player around here, you got a tall mountain to climb.” Tall might be an understatement. Besides Piot, senior Troy Taylor II and junior Bradley Smithson have two top 10 finishes in two tournaments, including Taylor’s breakthrough win at September’s Island Resort Intercollegiate. Sophomore August Meekhof hasn’t placed worse than 16th and freshman Ashton McCulloch cracked the top 10 in only his second tournament for MSU. So far, the reviews have been exceptional. “Right now, this year is probably the best team I’ve been on in my five years here as far as the guys who just want to grind and TU ESDAY, SEPTEMBE R 28 , 202 1

Fifth-year senior James Piot putts at Lasch Family Golf Center on Sept. 21. Photo by Rahmya Trewern

beat the crap out of each other,” Piot said. “That’s what makes a good team, everybody is pushing each other ... It’s definitely been a part of the Michigan State culture, but this year especially, I think we got a special team.” When it gets that competitive and the expectations are higher than they’ve ever been before, even good results can seem lackluster. Lubahn said perspective is key in making sure the constant grind presented by the game and trying to get better is only a part of the deal and not the whole thing. “The golf thing can be so consuming,” Lu-

bahn said. “Sports can be consuming; they judge their day by whether they shot a good score or not. The quicker we can get away from that and get back to ‘Are they continuing to develop? Are we having fun together? Are we pushing each other?’ the more fun it’ll be.” It’s fitting Lubahn places a premium on perspective within the program. A native of Sand Lake, Michigan, he attended Miami University until they cut their golf program and transferred to Michigan State as an undergraduate with an intention to study and


u and enjoy the rest’: Inside s unprecedented rise work in politics. However, the desire to compete remained. Lubahn said he tried out for the team three different times and get cut twice before being brought on by former Michigan State Head Coach and current Mizzou Co-Head Coach Mark Hankins. Upon graduation, Lubahn joined the staff as an assistant coach, became the head coach at Miami and returned to MSU for good in 2010. “I love this game and I had passion for it,” Lubahn said. “Went from a college student who tried to walk-on and kept getting cut to being the head coach, my dream job or as our new AD (Alan Haller) calls it, my dream responsibility ... I’m not looking for the next golf job, not trying to parlay our success into being the coach at school XYZ. I just want to make Michigan State great. That makes you treat it differently.” Step three: always maintain perspective, no matter what’s going on. Lubahn’s approach has paid dividends for his players, creating what they called a family environment. It’s allowed them to closely lean on teammates and coaches alike through the good times and the bad. And as of late, mainly the good times. With his U.S. Amateur win, Piot qualified for the 2022 U.S. Open, the Open Championship in St. Andrews, Scotland, and the Masters Tournament at Augusta National. He said he’s already received phone calls from Augusta National Golf Club to start making arrangements but is determined to not look too far ahead. “I try to put it in the back of my head and not even think about it,” Piot said. “It’s going to be a life-changing experience just stepping foot on Augusta in the spring. But right now, I’ve got to focus on the finance classes and the real life here.” Piot and Taylor both share the dream of making the PGA Tour. Even as Taylor’s playing the best golf of his life, he’s staying the course to maintain perspective. “I’ve just been kind of trying to take it one step at a time,” Taylor said. “(It’s) just the beginning, hopefully for this team and me.” As for the rest, the aspirations are already there: Win a Big Ten championship, make a deep run in NCAAs and show the rest of the country what they’re made of. Lubahn said all those goals are important but stressed appreciating the situation at hand is just as crucial. “Now we have some freedom and we get to do what we love,” Lubahn said. “I want them to have a little more time in the moment to enjoy what they get to do because their careers are over like this and I’m already in my 11th year.” Even with PGA aspirations, phone calls from Augusta, the grind of the season ahead and the never-ending search for perspective, Lubahn’s number-one goal for the team still hadn’t changed. His voice had been low and gentle all afternoon but he raised it for one final declaration. Step four in building and maintaining a winning golf program: “Hit the shot in front of you and enjoy the rest.”

Head Coach Casey Lubahn directs fifth-year senior James Piot at Lasch Family Golf Center on Sept. 21. Photo by Rahmya Trewern

“I’ve just been kind of trying to take it one step at a time. (It’s) just the beginning, hopefully for this team and me.” Troy Taylor Senior golfer Senior Troy Taylor interviews with State News’ Sean Reider at Lasch Family Golf Center on Sept. 21. Photo by Rahmya Trewern

T U ES DAY, S E PT E MBE R 28 , 202 1




‘More than meets the eyes’: MSU Museum welcomes Tracked and Traced Exhibit

By Elaine Mallon At the top of the MSU Museum’s second-floor steps, there is more than what meets the eye. As visitors walk through The Science Gallery Network’s “Tracked and Traced” exhibition, they may notice the cluster of eyes propped on poles simulating the illusion of watching

their every move. Those eyes serve as a symbol for the exhibition’s goal: to explore the societal impacts of surveillance. “Surveillance goes way beyond just visual surveillance,” College of Music professor Mark Sullivan said. “It goes back to sentinels in the Roman Empire where they were to watch the population. The term surveil-

lance comes from the French Revolution. During the Reign of Terror, (Maximilien) Robespierre and others in the Central Committee in Paris got citizens to spy on each other. That’s where we got the contemporary meaning of surveillance.” For the past nine months, Sullivan, along with a team of five curators, sifted through hundreds of submissions from

as far as Europe. By July 1, the team selected 15 proposals that would best encompass the four themes of the exhibition. In the theme of surveillance capitalism, the curator team included exhibits that express the modern struggle for individuals to protect their data and privacy in the face of big tech companies like Google and Amazon. Department of Art, Art History and Design assistant professor Abhishek Narula said he recognized how some of our most intimate moments are now occurring on the phone in our back pockets. From sharing photos of one’s newborn to text conversations between loved ones, Narula’s exhibit highlights how easy it is for our personal information to be transmitted. Titled “Promiscuous Routers”, a tongue-in-cheek tech joke, Narula’s exhibit shows a dozen internet routers hanging from a string. Whenever anyone’s phone comes into proximity, the routers will begin to dance. This signals the router has picked up the phone’s data even if the phone didn’t try to connect to it. “Wifi routers are everywhere,” Narula said. “We don’t actually notice them when we’re walking around ... I was interested to see how others reacted when they looked at the data being transmitted from their smartphones.” The government and tech companies will sometimes reward individuals by sharing

“Surveillance goes way beyond just visual surveillance.” Mark Sullivan College of Music professor their data. People might share information as personal as their health for the right price. In an exhibit, there is a simulation that looks to see what price — such as free television, cash, etc. — would a person accept to share their health data. Sullivan notes that in the age of COVID-19, this exhibit is particularly relevant. The youngest curator on the team, 2021 MSU alumna Allyssa Harris, wanted “Tracked and Traced” to feature a submission she knew would resonate with her peers. In the corner of the exhibition, there’s a closet-sized room that resembles a college girl’s room with pillows and a duvet cover on the bed. Lingerie hangs on a clothes rack videos of a girl in a lacey bra and underwear are projected on the wall. It is a piece commenting on OnlyFans, a website used mainly to sell explicit photos. It’s an exhibit normally not found on a college campus, but Harris said she felt it was

important to highlight surveillance sex workers face. “It was one of the ones I really advocated for because I feel like the idea of censorship and especially related to sex work is really important to talk about, especially as a young woman,” Harris said. “The piece really resonated with me.” The exhibition also focuses on inequalities and marginalization that occurs within surveillance. Sullivan shared one exhibit which showed artificial intelligence identifying black women, such as former First Lady Michelle Obama, as apes. Despite the strong focus on the dystopian side of surveillance, the curators included exhibits calling people to reclaim their privacy and take protective measures. Harris said it is up to her generation to make a change. “MSU students are growing into the next designers and scientists and writers and medical people,” Harris said. “We’re going to be the ones who essentially get to shape what the future of these technologies look like. Science Gallery does a good job of talking about the social justice aspects of these technologies and the issue of surveillance.” The Tracked and Traced exhibit opened to the public Sept. 10 and will remain open through Dec. 11. The exhibit is located at the Art-Science-Creativity Gallery on 409 W. Circle Drive. TOP: Rolls of paper from the ‘Mom I’m Safe’ exhibit on the wall at the Tracked and Traced gallery in the MSU Museum on Sept. 9. Photo by Devin Anderson-Torrez LEFT: A man walks past following eyes at the Tracked and Traced gallery on Sept. 9. Photo by Devin Anderson-Torrez



TU ESDAY, SEPTEM BE R 28 , 202 1


Fake People @ MSU: Inside the viral Tik Tok trend that could feature you next By Mariam Hanna With more than 28,000 followers and 493,000 likes, a TikTok page run by an anonymous MSU student has gone viral. This account is called Fake People @ Michigan State. The posts are videos, usually taken from a high angle, of random individuals walking around campus or East Lansing with overlaid text telling a humorous, fake but relatively realistic story of what that character, so to speak, is doing. “All of my time of being at MSU, I’ve kind of gathered a bunch of inside jokes on campus,” the account head said. “So like frat boys talking about a fantasy football draft — I really don’t relate much to that crowd, but I knew that that would be something people could be like ‘That’s funny.’ From there, it kinda just started building steam.” One morning, zoology senior Bailey Walker said she was scrolling through this page because it was shared on Snapchat. What she did not expect was to see herself featured. “I thought it was kinda weird at first that someone was just going around filming random people and making up a story for them, but then I saw that it was a trend, so I was like ‘Okay, it’s a little cool,’” Walker said. This trend has spread. Many other universities have similar accounts but Walker was unaware of the MSU one prior to getting featured on it. Others are in the opposite boat—they follow closely, hoping to find themselves on the page. “I know in my instance, I’m checking it at least once a day just on the off chance that I’m on it or my friends are on it,” law student Garrett Conway said. “I find that on days when the weather is a little cooler, I’m more inclined to walk to class on the off-chance (that I’ll be featured).” The account head doesn’t know who wants to be featured and who is apathetic about it. “I’m never trying to take these videos in an egregious way of like ‘Oh, they look stupid,’” the account head said. “Someone literally just happens to be walking around

“I think it’s really fun, like it’s just a goofy light-hearted thing. I think it can bring some joy to people on campus. It can be a fun thing to look forward to, and you and your friends can be walking and you can be like ‘Oh my goodness, is that the person?’” Helen Hamlin Lansing Community College freshman the corner, I take a video and then I build up a fake persona.” However, there is a bit of a formula as to how these fake personas are made. “I’ll pick random frat or sorority or something, then I’ll pick a bar, and that’s kinda how it’ll be made,” the account head said. “And then sometimes, I’m like ‘Do I want to do my own personal inside jokes like out into the public?’ and it just depends on the video itself.” Social relations and policy junior Samuel Schrodt was also featured on the page. His fake persona was Trent, a 21 year old who somehow got a Combo-X-Change even though he has not lived on campus for years. “I think that they come up with the personas based off of the eye test,” Schrodt said. “They’ll look at you, and they’ll watch you walk, and they’ll see what you’re wearing, what you’re doing, and then they’ll come up with a name based off their perception of you.”

Elementary education freshman at Lansing Community College Helen Hamlin said stereotypes play a large role in this account. “If they see a girl walking back with a dress, they’ll say she came from a sorority party or a frat party,” Hamlin said. “If they see a bunch of guys in jerseys, they’ll say they’re gonna go to Conrad’s and get beer and stuff.” The account head is remaining anonymous but does reveal information here and there about their identity. For example, they revealed which apartment building they live in and that they were wearing lavender pants one day. “I think it is someone who has a knowledge of the general perception of the generic college experience,” Conway said. “Someone who is very aware of trends, someone who has their finger on the pulse … It’s definitely someone who pays attention to the things happening around them.” Aside from trying to figure out who runs the account, some people are curious as to how the account is run. “It does make me wonder if there are multiple people running the account because a lot of the time, there are a bunch of different angles,” Conway said. “If it was just one person, I feel like that would take up a whole lot of time getting content.” This TikTok page is quite new, only having existed since Sept. 7. The account head’s personal time as a creator is also new as they had never made a TikTok prior to creating this account. “I was really stepping off into the deep end of not really knowing what I was doing,” the account head said. “That’s why the first few can kind of feel really random. There’s spelling mistakes and cropping and formatting and all that stuff.” Many people have commented on the page saying they are going to walk around where most of the videos are taken hoping to find themselves on the account soon. Hamlin tagged her friend and commented on one of the posts,“can we pls go find the cameraman at msu?” They did walk around parts of campus and Grand River Avenue but were unsuccessful in this mission.

“I think it’s really fun, like it’s just a goofy light-hearted thing,” Hamlin said. “I think it can bring some joy to people on campus. It can be a fun thing to look forward to, and you and your friends can be walking and you can be like ‘Oh my goodness, is that the person?’” Hamlin shared what her reaction would be if she one day woke up to herself on the account. “It would just be fun to be on the account because it’s not zoomed in on your face so you just see yourself walking by and then an obscure scenario about yourself, so it’s fun,” Hamlin said. Having been featured, Walker is unsure about what the major excitement of it really is. “I think that it’s a little silly just ‘cause it’s just a 5-second TikTok,” Walker said. “You’re not really going to get anything out of it. But I do think it’s kind of cool to be like ‘Oh, someone did this’ and send it to your friends.” Although this TikTok page was made as a joke following a trend, it can speak on a bigger picture of how others view college students or young adults in general.

Illustration by Daena Faustino

“I know in my instance, I’m checking it at least once a day just on the off chance that I’m on it or my friends are on it.” Garrett Conway MSU Law Student

“If you were to walk on campus and pick somebody out of a crowd, their experience relative to the things that the account is posting are going to be vastly different,” Conway said. “I think it is a reflection of how we look at ourselves, how we see others on campus and how we see ourselves fitting into that.” Fake People @ Michigan State follows a current trend, but the account head wants everyone to know that it can have a more significant impact on the Spartan community. “We’re a community, and I think that the last two years have really disconnected the people on campus and if this is something that can connect people, even if it’s a stupid little TikTok trend, I would love to maintain that.”

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