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Zeke’s handlers reflect on nearly 20 years with the Wonder Dog By Nick Lundberg nlundberg@statenews.com Zeke the Wonder Dog has a long history. The original Zeke made his first appearance in 1977 at a football game catching frisbees at halftime. Since then, there have been four Zekes to appear at games, with the fourth iteration making his first outing in 2016. Jim and Terri Foley have been involved with Zeke for the past 20 years and it all started with a tryout. “There was a tryout and Zeke won it, it was amazing,” Jim Foley said. Even though Zeke I stopped performing in 1984, the Foleys continued to handle the next dogs in line. Eighteen years after the original Zeke stopped performing, the athletic department revived the tradition, and Jim and Terri Foley stepped up. Even with this opportunity, it was a stressful time for them

as they only had two days to prepare for their first game. For Terri Foley, being a part of Zeke’s life has been very special because of her previous connections to MSU. “I did my graduate work at Michigan State and at that time, the original Zeke had stopped performing,” Terri Foley said. “Everyone that had gone there for undergrad made sure to tell me all about the Zeke tradition. If anyone had told me that I would be the next owner of Zeke the Wonder Dog, I would have told them that they were crazy.” Zeke is known for his appearances at football games, but he also goes out into the community often. “We do parades, we are at schools, we do a lot of local events and we just truly see ourselves as having an honorable opportunity to spread goodwill,” Terri Foley said. Zeke does have a lot of bright moments, but there are times when they all can’t hang their

“Everyone that had gone (to MSU) for undergrad made sure to tell me all about the Zeke tradition. If anyone had told me that I would be the next owner of Zeke the Wonder Dog, I would have told them that they were crazy.” Terri Foley

Zeke’s Trainer and Owner

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Michigan State’s Zeke the Wonder Dog retrieves a frisbee at the Michigan State versus University of Nebraska football game. Sept. 25. Photo by Rahmya Trewern

heads on a disappointing performance and they have to look forward to the next one. “When he does fabulous you are all excited, but when it does not quite go as you had thought, then you kind of say, ‘There is always next time,’” Terri Foley said. Even though the position of being Zeke’s caretaker comes with a lot of prominence, Jim Foley stays grounded. “I enjoy being humble about the whole thing, really,” Jim Foley said. “I am honest with everybody about what we do with that dog and I am just very humbled by it.” Terri Foley also clarified that Zeke is not just their dog. “Zeke is the students’ dog,” Terri Foley said. Along with staying humble, the Foleys work hard to make sure that every Spartan gets the opportunity to meet Zeke. “One of the things that people have said on your bucket list is one of the top 100 things to do at Michigan State University is to get a picture with Zeke, so we work hard to allow Zeke to meet as many fans and students and people that want to meet him,” Terri Foley said. Jim Foley is a dog trainer

by profession, so when he was asked what his favorite part about the job was, his response didn’t come as much of a surprise. “My favorite part is practice,” Jim Foley said. “Playing with him. ... I love training dogs and I love training Zeke. I love challenging him, working with him and finding his strengths ... and teaching him things. I live for it, it is a passion of mine.” He added that being with the students and the football team is also one of his favorite

things about the job. “It has just been a wonderful experience,” Jim Foley said. “It has changed my life for the better with all of the positive input.” The one thing that he wants from all of this is the tradition to go on when they can no longer continue. “I want this tradition to go on forever,” Jim Foley said. “This is my legacy, and I want it to continue beyond my days. Hopefully, someone will pick it up someday and keep it going.”

Zeke the Wonder Dog in full action at the homecoming game against Western Kentucky. Oct. 2. Photo by Chandra Fleming

Open your MSUFCU Totally Green Checking account, use your debit card 10 times, and you’ll receive $100. It’s that easy. msufcu.org/students Offer of $100 valid 5/1/21 to 10/31/21 for members who qualify under the MSU student SEG. MSUFCU Visa Debit Card must be activated by 10/31/21 and 10 debit card purchases must post within 30 days of card activation to qualify. The $100 will be deposited into member’s checking account within 4 to 6 weeks of the 10th purchase. Not valid for existing members with an MSUFCU checking account. May not be combined with any other deposit offers. If new member is referred to the Credit Union, member referral offer will not apply. Federally insured by NCUA.

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Zeke’s handlers, Jim and Terri Foley, with the wonder dog at the University Activity Board’s Zeke and Greet event on Wednesday, Sept. 29. Photo by Chloe Trofatter


Vol. 112 | No. 5

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2021 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF CULTURE EDITOR Karly Graham Dina Kaur

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MANAGING EDITOR Jayna Bardahl COPY CHIEF SaMya Overall CAMPUS EDITOR Wendy Guzman

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CITY EDITOR Griffin Wiles LEFT: Michigan State women’s basketball head coach Suzy Merchant speaks to the media at Big Ten media day at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. on Oct. 8. Merchant spoke on the inequities between the men’s and women’s basketball during the 2021 NCAA tournament, NIL deals for women’s sports and her 2021-2022 Spartan roster. BELOW: Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo laughs during an interview with the Big Ten Network at Big Ten media day at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. on Oct. 8. Photos by Devin Anderson-Torrez

NEWSROOM/CORRECTIONS (517) 295-5149 feedback@statenews.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 every other Tuesday 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 © 2021 State News Inc., East Lansing, Michigan

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Long distance friendsh cope living away from By Maddy Warren mwarren@statenews.com

When electrical engineering freshman Norah Daley moved to East Lansing to attend Michigan State, she left her three dogs at home. Daley left a Chihuahua named Coconut, a mutt named Winter, a Shiba Inu named Mika, and a Calico cat named Melly. Daley got Coconut and Winter when she was in kindergarten and grew up with them. “It’s weird because every single day, I had a pet to be with, to have a reciprocated relationship with,” Daley said. “You get to see them and play with them. It’s like a stress reliever and it gives you serotonin.” Daley recently adopted her cat Melly and said she misses Melly’s strong personality. “It’s a different kind of feeling than missing a friend or a family member because (pets) don’t know where you went,” Daley said. “You can’t tell them where you went ... you’re just gone.” Zoology freshman Grace Leduc has two Boston terriers named Diesel and Jack, a Vizsla named Ruby and a mutt named Daisy. Leduc said her daily routine consisted of caring for her dogs, which isn’t the case anymore now that she is at MSU. “This has kind of been weird too because I grew up learning how to take care of them, and it was always kind of a daily routine so everything has changed now,” Leduc said. “I don’t even have that one thing to do.” Although all four dogs belong to her family, Ruby is Leduc’s dog. “I got her when she was a puppy, and I’ve raised her since she was a puppy so we’ve, for nine years, been around each other,” Leduc said. As an out-of-state student, Leduc looked into bringing Ruby with her to college, but couldn’t due to MSU’s two-year on-campus housing requirement. “It’s definitely hard,” Leduc said. “It’s not even like I can really visit my family or pets over the weekend, so I definitely tried to see if there was possibilities to bring my dog because she just brings me a lot of comfort and security.” Since Ruby’s birthday is Oct. 12, Leduc said it is the first year she won’t be home to celebrate it with her. “I’ve always celebrated her birthday and got presents,” Leduc said. “I put treats in the presents so that way she opens them herself. So, it’s kind of sad I won’t be able to continue that tradition.” Nursing sophomore Lian Colbry has two dogs: a Bernese Mountain Dog named Maeli and a Boston terrier named Hazel. Colbry lives about an hour-and-a-half from MSU without a car, so she doesn’t get to go home and visit often. Since Colbry’s first year at MSU was fully online due to COVID-19, she lived at home and spent every day with her dogs. Colbry said it was nice to get a break from them when she moved away to college, but she still misses them. Colbry said that because her mom and brother spent so much time out of the house, she was left taking care of the dogs.

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Nursing sophomore Lian Colbry and her two dogs — a Bernese Mountain Dog named Maeli and a Boston terrier named Hazel. Shot on Sept. 29. Photo by Chloe Trofatter

“It was exhausting taking care of them all the time... but I do miss their company, I do miss them.” Lian Colbry Nursing sophomore “It was exhausting taking care of them all the time … but I do miss their company,” Colbry said. “I do miss them.” Social relations and policy third year Justin Fernando has a poodle/Shih Tzu/Yorkie mix named Juno.

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Social relations and policy senior Justin Fernando and Juno, his 15-month-old poodle, Shih Tzu and Yorkie mix. Shot on Oct. 1. Photo by Chloe Trofatter


hip: How MSU students m their furry friends

WHAT STUDENTS CAN DO TO HANDLE BEING SEPARATED FROM THEIR PETS


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‘I’m not here without him’: Farai Mutatu’s relationship with religion and Spartan soccer By Sara Tidwell stidwell@statenews.com Michigan State soccer senior forward Farai Mutatu’s life has been far from the cookie-cutter, white-picket-fence version. When Mutatu was about 6 years old, his father was offered the opportunity to pursue a chemistry degree at MSU. This meant Mutatu had to move away from his home, from what he knew and was comfortable with and brace himself for the unforeseen. In 2006, the Mutatus made their way from Zimbabwe to Haslett, Michigan. Being a family with four young children, this was difficult. “When we got here ... the community was super welcoming,” Mutatu said. “We made a lot of good friends and connections that we still hold today. The community is also kind of how and why I started playing soccer. We became locals fast.” Eight years later in 2014, things changed again. This

time, Mutatu’s parents were forced to return to Zimbabwe for reasons out of their control. Mutatu has not seen them since. Now in the states, he only has his two older brothers — who are married with families of their own — and his younger sister who is studying mechanical engineering at Notre Dame. Much like the apostle Peter, who trusted Jesus Christ enough to walk on water in the Gospel of Matthew, Mutatu has put his trust in Jesus Christ enough to stay in the states on his own and living out the opportunities his parents had originally intended for him. “It was difficult, because I felt like I needed to grow up really fast at that age,” Mutatu said. “I’m thankful that I had soccer because, in a way, it kept me distracted ... and gave me something to pursue and work hard towards. I was motivated ... and there’s obviously pros and cons to that mentally. As you get older, you look back (at different traumas) and ...

“We made a lot of good friends and connections that we still hold today. The community is also kind of how and why I started playing soccer. We became locals fast.” Farai Mutatu MSU soccer senior forward

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Senior forward Farai Mutatu points to the sky during his pre-game ritual. Sept. 21. Photo by Devin Anderson-Torrez

you’re like, ‘OK, how did this affect me?’” Mutatu’s faith is the biggest part of his life. Growing up in a Christian household, Mutatu said he was taught from the getgo to “love the Lord and all he does for his life on this Earth.” Faith has kept him grounded, and he made it something of his own since coming to college, using it to deal with missing his parents or losing a highly anticipated soccer game. Before every game, Mutatu takes a minute to close his eyes and point up to the Heavens. To him, it serves as a reminder of who he is and how good God is to him. “I’m not here without him,” Mutatu said. “Everything that I could have ever have, want and need has been given to me. I play out of gratefulness for what Jesus has already done for me.” “I’ve learned this principle through action and people that have disciplined and mentored me, it’s a concept of an audience of one,” Mutatu said. “So, when I step out on the field, I’m not playing for anything or

anyone besides God. That gives me freedom and confidence. It gives me my drive and motivation to play. It’s really a symbol to say, ‘Hey, this is for God.’” Religion is more important to most of the Spartan soccer team than some might realize. Although Michigan State Head Coach Damon Rensing makes it a point that religion is an individual choice and it’s great that guys like Mutatu have that under their belt to motivate them, Mutatu said they often attend pregame chapel to pray as a group.

“I play out of gratefulness for what Jesus has already done for me.”

Longtime best friend of Mutatu, senior midfielder Jack Beck, said the journey of growing with Mutatu in the name of the Lord has been a blessing. He also appreciates how the team has grown in their faith. “Iron sharpens iron,” Beck said. “He’s very outgoing about his faith, and it’s something we’ve gone through together. There’s been times where I’ve fallen, and he’s picked me back up and vice versa. Faith is the most important thing in both of our lives. We play and we fight for something bigger. It’s not our performance that determines who we are, but it’s something God tells us we are.” Mutatu said he thinks religion is about who you are and what you want to build your life around as a whole. This fact alone reflects as a common theme for a lot of the guys on the team, connecting them deeper, physically, mentally and emotionally. “It’s changed our lives,” Beck said. “It’s bigger than just soccer,” Mutatu said.

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LEFT: Michigan State’s senior forward Farai Mutatu (9) chases the ball in the tied game versus Michigan. Oct. 5. Photo by Rahmya Trewern RIGHT: Senior forward Farai Mutatu leaps to establish position on the ball during the Spartans’ 1-0 loss to the Hoosiers. Sept. 26. Photo by Devin Anderson-Torrez 6

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A build-your-own taco bar at Orion House, a house that operates within the Spartan Housing Cooperative, or SHC, on Tuesday, Sept. 28. Photo by Jillian Felton

OFF-CAMPUS STUDENTS TRY THEIR HAND AT COOKING By Dan Netter dnetter@statenews.com Computer science engineering sophomore Jenn Lypka was making soup one night in her apartment kitchen when she smelled something bad. It was too late when she realized the burning smell was her grilled cheese sandwich that she was cooking for dinner. “I turned around and I looked — it was completely black and the smoke was going everywhere,” Lypka said. Lypka and her roommates tried to get the smoke out of the room by waving towels, but the smoke alarm still went off. Eventually, Lypka just took the battery out of the smoke alarm. All because of a grilled cheese sandwich. Cooking is one of the most daunting parts for students moving out of dorms and into off-campus housing. Some are unfamiliar with the process of cooking and are usually forced to learn once they get to school. Some students cook with ease, while others find it a struggle. Computer science sophomore Dan Charette said

Lypka and her roommates tried to get the smoke out of the room by waving towels, but the smoke alarm still went off. Eventually, Lypka just took the battery out of the smoke alarm. that he cooked a bit growing up, but now that he moved off-campus this year, he cooks five-to-six days a week with his roommates. “When I first got here, it was not that consistent, it was different having to get groceries at first, and we were kind of

lazy so we started eating out a lot,” Charette said. “But now that we’ve got into the swing of things, we tend to cook most days of the week.” Charette said he and his roommates have made fried rice, pretzel chicken and crunch wraps. One time, he and his roommates made a mistake and did not chop up a clove of garlic before putting it into their food. “We had a chunk of it in our food and it was, you know, kind of gross,” he said. “But it was fine. It’s just been a learning process. It hasn’t necessarily been bad. We haven’t cooked anything that was atrocious by any means.” Elementary education sophomore Riley Szara lived in the dorms last year and said she has never been in charge of making her own dinner before. Now since getting to school, she cooks for herself a couple of times a week, usually making pasta, frozen chicken or quesadillas. The other nights she does not cook; instead she eats her leftovers since she is busy with classes. “Sometimes my schedule is off because I have class until 7, so I’ll be eating later,” Szara said. “I’ll make a quick meal

Cooking is one of the most daunting parts for students moving out of the dorms and into off-campus housing. Some are unfamiliar with the process of cooking and are usually forced to learn once they get to school.

instead of an actual family sitdown meal.” Lypka often searches through Pinterest for ideas. She said she picks out two or three meals, makes a grocery shopping list and goes from there. On the other hand, Szara came to school with a selfmade cookbook with recipes from a website that she likes. The cookbook is customized with ratings from her family: they would make the recipe, and then everyone would rate the meal and leave notes. Some of the recipes Szara uses are lemon chicken tenders, broccoli casserole and some soups. “We rate it out of 10,” Szara said. “We say if we liked it or not, and if we should make it again. Or what to change, like add more seasoning or don’t add the sauce. It’s very helpful.”

Keeping notes is a habit that Lypka has started doing too because it helps her keep track of what’s working. For example, she said she tracks how long it takes for the meat to cook or what pans to use with dishes. “That’s getting a lot easier for me, and I feel like it’s becoming a more natural process,” Lypka said. For people who are nervous about cooking, Charette recommends cooking with your friends. “Whether you’re more experienced or they’re more experienced, just to have that learning ability with your friends,” Charette said. “And it does grow relationships, I think. Even if it’s just to provide nourishment for the day, you can use it to help grow and have a lot of fun experiences. ... It allows you to just be more creative.”

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A build-your-own taco bar at Orion House, a house that operates within the Spartan Housing Cooperative, or SHC. Tues. Sept. 28. Photo by Jillian Felton

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Tuesday 10/12/21  

The State News is published by the students of Michigan State University every other Tuesday during fall, spring and select days during summ...

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The State News is published by the students of Michigan State University every other Tuesday during fall, spring and select days during summ...

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