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City Council may require electric car chargers at new developments BY S.F. MCGLONE
East Lansing may require all new developments to include electric car charging stations. At the Nov. 20 city council meeting, an ordinance to require this was introduced in an effort to improve green transportation in the city. Specifically, the ordinance would “establish requirements to provide for charging stations for electric vehicles ... will require installation of electric vehicle charging stations for new and modified commercial, multi-family, and mixeduse development projects,” according to the Nov. 20 meeting agenda. “Our environmental commission has been looking at this as part of bigger discussions, a bigger look at green building standards and how to weave some of our sustainability goals into our building codes,” Councilmember Shanna Draheim said. Although developments were previously required to include charging stations through special-use permits, the council wanted to make the requirement more comprehensive, Draheim said. This ordinance, if passed, would not affect developments currently under construction, like Center City or the Hub. Draheim said a draft of the ordinance has been written, but it’s doesn’t have all the specifics yet.
A car charges at the station outside the East Lansing Public Library Dec. 5. PHOTO BY MATT SCHMUCKER.
“We’re discussing how that would be (done). The draft has something in there about the number required based on how big the parking (in the development) is,” she said. As to whether the use of these charging stations will be open to the public, Draheim says it depends.
“If it is residential parking and it isn’t public parking then it could be just for that. If it’s for a commercial development it would, by nature, be more available for customers,” she said. “We didn’t specify, at least thus far, in the draft whether these have to be public charging stations.” There are some electric charging stations already in East Lansing, including the parking lot outside of City Hall, but Draheim says that isn’t enough for residents. These charging stations also give those moving into the new developments a reason to purchase
electric vehicles, knowing they’ll have a place to charge them, which will in turn help the environment, Draheim said. Planning and Zoning Director David Haywood said installation of the charging stations would come at no additional cost to the city, as it would be paid for by developers and property owners. Additionally, Haywood said there was no logistical issue to adding charging stations in regards to the city’s zoning laws. “It’s just one more thing to check off our reviews of developments,” Haywood said. Haywood said he looked forward to hearing more from the public and getting the project off the ground. Lacie Hudson, an East Lansing resident and Michigan State University student, said she’s a little skeptical about developers being required to install what she views as a niche item. “I feel 50-50. I don’t think we need a lot of those tools all around the city,” Hudson said. “If you have a car that needs to be charged, charge it at home. I feel there are some parking structures that already have something like that. I don’t think making it a point to go all across the city and having a station and a station here is necessary.” Draheim said if all goes well with the public hearing — and if the ordinance is eventually passed — it would go into effect quickly. “I think this is an important step in our city continuing to be more sustainable and meeting the needs of our residents, as they are trying to do that in their own decisions with their automobile purchases,” she said.
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A car charging station is pictured outside the East Lansing Public Library Dec. 5. PHOTO BY MATT SCHMUCKER.
VOL . 109 | NO. 13 THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2018
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Marie Weidmayer
CONTACT THE STATE NEWS (517) 295-1680
MANAGING EDITOR Riley Murdock
NEWSROOM/CORRECTIONS (517) 295-5149 email@example.com
CAMPUS EDITOR Kaitlyn Kelley CITY EDITOR Maxwell Evans SPORTS EDITOR Michael Duke FEATURES EDITOR Claire Moore PHOTO EDITOR Matt Schmucker COPY CHIEF Alan Hettinger
Freshman guard Tory Ozment (1) dives to block the ball during the game against Texas Southern University at the Breslin Center on Dec. 2, 2018. The Spartans defeated the Tigers, 91-45. PHOTO BY ANNTANINNA BIONDO.
This week’s cover is by Lauren Gewirtz.
IN TODAY’S PAPER
State News general manager retires Martha Sturgeon is leaving The State News after 25 years
DESIGN Daena Faustino Lauren Gewirtz Shelby Zeigler
ASMSU looks back on Fall 2018
The student government focused on MSU’s presidential search
The ballad of the Bullough boys Max, Riley and Byron have each suited up for MSU football
The cover features photos by Matt Schmucker, Anntaninna Biondo, Sylvia Jarrus, Annie Barker and CJ Weiss.
GENERAL MANAGER Christopher Richert ADVERTISING M-F, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING Mia Wallace COLOPHON The State News design features Acta, a newspaper type system created by DSType Foundry. The State News is published by the students of Michigan State University on Thursdays during the academic year. News is constantly updated seven days a week at statenews.com. One copy of this newspaper is available free of charge to any member of the MSU community. Additional copies $0.75 at the business office only. 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 © 2018 State News Inc., East Lansing, Michigan
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Legislature guts minimum wage, paid sick time initiatives BY ANDREW ROTH AROTH@STATENEWS.COM
Members of the Michigan Legislature voted Dec. 4 to overhaul paid sick time and minimum wage ballot initiatives they passed earlier this year. Under the original ballot initiatives, Michigan residents would have seen the minimum wage increase to $12 an hour by 2022 and would have received one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 72 hours of sick time per year. A separate tipped wage would have also been eliminated under the original law. With the amendments approved by the Legislature, Michigan’s minimum wage would instead rise to $12.05 an hour by 2030; the tipped wage would rise to $4.58 an hour by 2030; and workers would receive one hour of paid sick time for every 35 hours worked, up to 40 hours of sick time per year. Businesses employing fewer than 50 employees would be exempt from the paid sick time law, which could leave more than 1 million workers across the state without opportunities to accrue paid sick time. New changes to the amendments were made after Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhoff, R-West Olive, and House Speaker Tom Leonard, R-Dewitt, met with outgoing Gov. Rick Snyder Dec. 4. The new changes are more in line with the original initiatives than amendments passed by the Senate earlier this week. Those would have caused the minimum wage rise to $12 an hour by 2030; tipped wages to rise to $4 an hour by 2030; and workers to receive an hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked, up to 30 hours a year.
Members of the House voted 60-48 on the updated amendments, and the Senate concurred with 26-12 votes. The amendments now go to Snyder for approval. A spokesman for Snyder said the governor’s meeting with top legislators shouldn’t be classified as negotiations, and the governor has not yet made a final decision about signing the amendments. Legal action has previously been threatened by Mark Brewer, an attorney for the campaigns behind the two ballot initiatives. At the center of the debate is a 1964 opinion issued by then-Attorney General Frank Kelley, which said the Legislature could amend ballot initiatives in a legislative session following the one in which they were passed. But a new opinion issued Dec. 4 by Attorney General Bill Schuette says nothing in the state Constitution prohibits the Legislature from amending citizen-initiated legislation as they would any other law. Schuette said his opinion supersedes the one issued by Kelley more than 50 years ago. Brewer, a former chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, reacted to the opinion on Twitter, saying “even a banana republic dictator would blush at these tactics” while calling Schuette a “partisan hack.” Brewer said legal action is still on the table. MI Time to Care, the group behind the paid sick time initiative, has filed paperwork indicating they will launch another ballot drive in 2020. If successful, the language of the proposal would be identical to the one passed by the Legislature this year.
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Several workers survey the area during the demolition of the blighted building on Oct. 7, 2017, at the corner of Grand River and Abbot. “One of the reasons I ran for city council four years ago was to knock this building down,” Councilmember Ruth Beier said. PHOTO BY ANNTANINNA BIONDO.
Park District gets tax credit, moves forward BY S.F. MCGLONE SFMCGLONE@STATENEWS.COM
The Park District redevelopment project is of f icially mov ing for ward, af ter t he developers received a crucial state tax credit last week. Plans for the lots at the intersection of Grand River Avenue and Abbot Road have been in the works for about 20 years, but none have come together until now, East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows said. “We bought that property ... to try and generate development over there,” Meadows said. “We had proposal after proposal. So we’ve been waiting that long to actually get something going there. We approved many projects, but they never got off the ground.” Park District’s developers were approved for the Michigan Tax Credit and Brownfield Tax Increment Financing, which make the project “financially viable,” according to Community and Economic Development Administrator Tom Fehrenbach. The Michigan Business Tax Credit is now defunct; however, the Park District project was grandfathered in, Fehrenbach said. Getting the credit was essential to keeping the developer attached to the project. “It wouldn’t have happened without the state-level incentives,” Fehrenbach said. “ T he ta x i nc rement f i na nci ng a l lowed them to finance the major infrastructure improvements that are part of the project.” Plans for the space include a hotel building and a separate mixed-use complex with retail and apartment space. The site plan was approved by city council in August, leaving state approval as the last step before starting construction. Site mobilization, or pre-construction, is scheduled for Dec. 9, though Meadows joked he wanted it to begin sooner. Construction is expected to begin by late December. Fehrenbach said the next step in the process is building permit approval. A clearer timeline C I T Y @ STAT E NE WS .COM
will be released in the next month. Pa rk Dist r ic t const r uc t ion w i l l mea n the realignment of A lbert Avenue, with s t r e e t s c ap e a nd ot he r i n f r a s t r uc t u r e improvements, according to a press release. Mayor Pro Tem Erik Altmann outlined how the new development will financially help the city. “We’re going to earn revenue from the income tax, which will apply to everybody who helps build the building and works there afterwards,” Altmann said. “There will be direct benefits to the city’s general fund from that, and there will also be lots of indirect benefits from having the hotel there.” The site was formerly occupied by a vacant building that was demolished last year. In other construction news, Center City’s exterior construction is projected to finish by the end of the year, while crews at the Hub are working steadily on pouring concrete for its upper floors. “The buildings are starting to take shape,” Fehrenbach said. “(Center City) is near the topping-off, which is planned for the end of the year. We’re starting to really see the shape of the buildings and how they’re really transforming the streetscape downtown.”
“We had proposal after proposal. So we’ve been waiting that long to actually get something going there. We approved many projects, but they never got off the ground.” Mark Meadows East Lansing Mayor
Engler to discontinue Nassar fund despite expert advice, source says BY MILA MURRAY MMURRAY@STATENEWS.COM
The Healing and Assistance Fund will be discontinued, an email obtained by The State News said. Instead of paying survivors of ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse from the fund, all future payments will come from the $500 million settlement. Interim President John Engler went forward with this decision, despite being advised not to by a sexual misconduct expert advisory workgroup he created. The State News obtained a memo written by the MSU Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct, or RVSM, Expert Advisor y Workgroup from someone close to the Engler Administration. The workgroup was established at the end of February and is in charge of recommending improvements, protocols and policies involving student safety to Engler. The memo summarized the workgroup’s research on trauma and treatment for sexual assault survivors, and went into detail about how discontinuing the Healing and Assistance Fund could negatively affect survivors. The workgroup is made up of leaders within MSU who have “significant expertise relevant to relationship violence and sexual misconduct,” according to the Office of the President website. The fund was established in December 2017 to provide Nassar survivors with resources needed for counseling and mental health services. In July, MSU spokesperson Emily Guerrant said the university decided to suspend further payments to the Healing Assistance Fund in light of an investigation into fraudulent claims. In October MSU Police determined Nassar survivors have not made fraudulent claims to the $10 million fund, but it remains suspended.
were dedicated funds available to cover the cost of therapy, and then learn that they are no longer eligible for those funds, they are likely to feel that such changes are a gross violation of trust,” the memo said. “This betrayal will likely cause significant distress that will compound trauma symptoms they are already experiencing.” Campbell said since the advisory workgroup was formed in February, they’ve sent multiple recommendations to Engler and have been in regular communication with him. MSU Spokesperson Emily Guerrant said via email there are many areas the workgroup and Engler have agreed on in working together. “The president has supported most of the recommendations the workgroup has put forth to him including the creation of Sexual Assault Prevention, Outreach and Education within the Title IX office,” Guerrant said in an email. Campbell agreed that their recommendations are generally listened to and implemented. “Not this one though,” Campbell said. The RVSM workgroup has yet to receive a response to their memo, Campbell said. E ng le r a nd ot he r me mb e r s of t he administration were forwarded the memo on Dec. 3, the source said.
Chair of the RVSM workgroup, psychology professor Rebecca Campbell, said they received an email asking for the workgroup’s insight regarding the fund. Specifically, the email asked how the advisory workgroup felt about putting an end date on the fund and excluding survivors who are a part of the settlement from access to the fund. From these questions and from the RVSM workgroup’s own conversations with senior officials, they assumed Engler’s administration was only contemplating making changes to the fund, Campbell said. In a Nov. 30 interview with The State News Editorial Board, Engler said he is unsure if the fund will payout to survivors. “I think not, perhaps, because at that point we’ve paid out $500 million to the same individuals the fund is set up to carry them over through that period of time,” Engler said. “The idea that it would be closed was a shock to us when we saw The State News article,” Campbell said. “That is completely i ncon si stent w it h a ny t h i ng we have discussed or recommended to any member of Engler’s administration.” The RVSM workgroup wrote back and said they assumed changes were being discussed in regards to who is eligible for the fund and how long the fund would be open, Campbell said. To help inform conversation, Campbell said they sent back the memo. It had implications for the Healing and Assistance Fund as well as research on trauma that was backed up by scientific research. Also in the response, Campbell said they noted “there are significant health risks for survivors if treatment is delayed or interrupted.” “If sexual assault survivors have entered into treatment based on the understanding that there
email back that said because of the ability to pay out the $500 million settlement earlier than expected, the remaining $8.6 million in the fund will go towards the settlement. MSU announced Dec. 4 it will begin paying out its $500 million settlement. Engler’s email said it was “consistent with the board’s position that the healing fund would be used as a bridge transition to a global settlement.” All future payments will come from the $500 million dollar settlement, instead of the Healing and Assistance Fund. The fund was originally designed to provide survivors money to access the support they needed before the settlement money was distributed, Engler said in the Nov. 30 interview with The State News. At the last Board of Trustees meeting, Trustee Brian Mosallam said the university is developing a request for proposals for a new fund administrator, and the current administrator, Commonwealth Mediation and Conciliation Inc., has been involved in this process. In the email Engler sent Dec. 3, he said the earlier than expected settlement resolution also removed the “need to hire a new fund administrator to run a new temporary fund.” It also said they will resolve any reimbursement claims made before the university publicly suspended the fund in July. In the email, Engler wrote any monetary recovery from the fraud and recovery from the insurers will be used to pay the settlement. The email also elaborated on how campus mental health services have been expanded and provided a couple links to articles that discuss these changes. Many Nassar survivors have taken to social media to express their frustration with the discontinuing of the fund last week.
Interim President John Engler speaks to the audience during the official groundbreaking ceremony for the new STEM Teaching and Learning Facility Aug. 31. PHOTO BY SYLVIA JARRUS.
“The idea that it would be closed was a shock to us when we saw The State News article.” Rebecca Campbell Chair of RVSM workgroup
ENGLER’S RESPONSE RECOMMENDATION FROM EXPERT In response to the memo advising against discontinuing the healing fund, Engler sent an ADVISORY WORKGROUP
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End of an era: State News general manager retires after 25 years BY MAISY NIELSEN MNEILSEN@STATENEWS.COM
State News General Manager Martha Sturgeon works on her computer Dec. 4. PHOTO BY ANNIE BARKER.
As the semester comes to a close, so will an era for The State News, as it says goodbye to General Manager Martha Sturgeon. Sturgeon graduated from Indiana University with a business degree. She then started at Indiana State University as an advertising advisor. In 1994, she moved to Michigan. “I was just looking for a job,” Sturgeon said, in regards to the beginning of her 25-year employment at The State News. “I’d been there maybe a few months and thought ‘I really like this. I think this is something that maybe I could do.’” Sturgeon has served as The State News general manager for the past 18 years. “I have been responsible for making sure that The State News is financially stable,” Sturgeon said. “Making sure that reporters have the money to do the reporting (they) should be able to do.” She recalled her first day at The State News. “My first day as GM was Election Day 2000,” she said. “I went to bed that night thinking Gore was President. I got a phone call from our printer saying, ‘Do you want to change the front page?’ and
I thought ‘What? What do you mean?’ “And he said, ‘Well, your front page says ‘Bush barely’’ and I thought ‘Bush? But Gore was president when I went to bed.’” She was also in the newsroom in 2001 during another historical moment. “One of my most memorable moments was probably 9/11,” she said. “Watching that day unfold, watching how every single student here stepped up and did their job — did beyond their job.” Although Sturgeon feels she did very little on that day, she said she made it her personal duty to ensure everyone in the newsroom had someone to talk to. She said newsroom staff also stepped up to ensure reporters were able to function on that fateful day. “Many of them drove reporters around,” she said. “They helped us get food in so basically everyone could keep working until midnight, one o’clock.” Over the past 25 years, Sturgeon has witnessed numerous occasions in which her appreciation for student press has grown. “I don’t think when I started working here I truly appreciated the value of a
student press,” she said. She understood only after “watching the sacrifices that young journalists and our other staff members who work here.” Sturgeon said one of the things she enjoys the most is watching students grow over the years. “Ultimately, just watching you guys come in here as very novice young adults and watching your confidence grow as you’re here” is a joy, Sturgeon said. Sturgeon hopes her future includes volunteer work. “I’m hoping to work on elections because I love to vote. I love the voting process, so I’m hoping to work in that,” she said. “Hopefully, I’ll get into some disaster relief work, maybe through the Red Cross or something like that.” Staff at The State News said they are thankful for what she has done for the student-run newspaper. “For the four years I’ve been here, she’s been a constant presence,” State News Managing Editor Riley Murdock said. “She’s always made sure that everything is the way it should be.” Chris Richert joined The State News in August to become general manager.
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FROM THE COVER
FALL SEMESTER MAISY NIELSEN MNIELSEN@STATENEWS.COM
It has been a yea r of c ha l lenges for Michigan State Universit y. Wit h f inals week approaching, here are some of the top headlines from this semester.
The NCA A cleared MSU of wrongdoing in investigations into the university’s handling of ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar and alleged misconduct by MSU student athletes in the men’s basketball and football programs. After the Nassar case rocked the university this past spring, Michigan State welcomed its largest and most diverse class in the university’s 163-year history this fall. Provost June Youatt said during the Aug. 31 Board of Trustees meeting the class consists of 8,400 students, 26.3 percent being students of color. The median GPA of these students is 3.77, making it the “best prepared” class in MSU’s history, Youatt said. Former MSU gymnastic coach Kathie Klages was arraigned Aug. 30 on two charges of lying to a peace officer during the Attorney General’s investigation into Nassar.
On Sept. 27, Klages’ case went onto the trial
It was announced Nov. 28 that the rest of the search will be closed to the public. A new president w i l l be a n nounced in June 2019. The Universit y Interfraternit y Council (IFC) voted unanimously Oct. 10 to liquor with 15 percent or more alcohol by volume, at fraternity events. IFC represents over 25 fraternities on campus. In a press release, t he counci l sa id eliminating hard alcohol from fraternity events marks a step in a new direction for MSU’s Greek Life. “We look forward to a bright future in which both our members and guests foster a safer environment for everyone,” the release said. The MSU Healing Assistance Fund, set up to help survivors of the Nassar scandal with resources and counseling, was suspended in July and was still under investigation in October. The fund was suspended because of an investigation into fraudulent claims, the university said. A n email released by the MSU Police Department said the investigation would continue for a “lengthy period of time” because of the complex nature of the fraud. “The fraudulent financial claims are in relation to reimbursement by the fund and payouts for those claims,” a statement from
stage of legal proceedings. The decision to send the case to Ingham Count y Circuit Cour t came af ter 5 4-A Dist r ic t Cou r t Judge L ou ise A lder son reviewed testimony from three witnesses and a transcript of an interview with Klages conducted by the Attorney General’s office. Klages faces one misdemeanor charge and one felony charge. The misdemeanor carries up to two years of imprisonment or a fine of up to $5,000. The felony entails up to four years in prison or a fine of up to $5,000.
Michigan State’s search for a new president began with input sessions conducted from Sept. 17 until Oct. 11. In a statement from Trustees Dianne Byrum and Melanie Foster, the co-chairs of the presidential search committee, the year-long process is referred to as “the next chapter in our history.” The first phase, a month-long process of listening to the community at input sessions, is over — but there are eight months left of work to do before the search ends. A tot a l of 19 p e ople m a ke up t he presidential search committee, including one undergraduate student, one graduate student and half of the Board of Trustees.
Trustee George Perles speaks during the Board of Trustees meeting Feb. 16, 2018 at the Hannah Administration Building. PHOTO BY NIC ANTAYA
Clarkston resident Emily Duthinh reacts during Michigan Congressional candidate Elissa Slotkin’s watch party on Nov. 6, 2018 at the Deer Lake Athletic Club in Clarkston. PHOTO BY SYLVIA JARRUS
SEPT. 17 MSU begins presidential search with community input sessions.
AUG. 28 MSU welcomes largest, most diverse freshman class.
AUG. 30 Former MSU Gymnastics coach Kathie Klages is arraigned.
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MSUPD Chief Jim Dunlap said. Dunlap said the fraudulent claims were not made by Nassar survivors who filed civil or criminal complaints, but they were still unable to receive counseling and mental health services from the fund. “We wanted to draw attention to the fact that the university isn’t paying attention to survivors and they’ve stopped the Healing Assistance Fund,” said Anna Pegler-Gordon, a James Madison professor and a member of Reclaim MSU. “They haven’t really explained fully why they’ve done that or why it is taking months and months and months to investigate these claims.” During the Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 26, sheets with messages of protest were held up, including phrases like “Believe Survivors” and “Restart the Fund.” Pegler-Gordon was among the peaceful protesters against the decision to suspend the fund. “There’s lots of kinds of issues with insurance fraud and they can get settled very quickly,” Pegler-Gordon said. “But the university doesn’t seem to be making this a priority.” MSU Spokesperson Emily Guerrant released a statement saying, “MSU apologizes for any delay the suspension of the fund may cause survivors in getting support and help.”
OCT. 10 The University Interfraternity Council bans ‘hard’ liquor at fraternity events.
SEPT. 27 Kathie Klages case goes to trial.
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OCT. 26 Peaceful protests occur at Board of Trustees meeting about suspending the MSU Healing Assistance Fund.
OCT. 11 MSU concludes community input sessions as part of presidential search.
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NOV. 6 Whitmer, Slotkin, Scott, Stabenow and Tebay are elected.
FROM THE COVER
IN REVIEW NOVEMBER
The Nov. 6 midterm election was the first major election in which many MSU students could participate. This election included the Michigan gubernatorial race, an open U.S. Senate seat and more than 140 open seats in Michigan’s House of Representatives. Social work Sophomore Sue Nguyen was one of many MSU students to fill out an absentee ballot. Her classes conflicted with plans to commute back to her hometown of Grand Rapids in order to cast an in-person ballot. “It ’s a way for college students to use their voices,” Nguyen said. “Usually college students, they’re really low on the voting scale, it’s a good way for us to get up there.” With polling locations located around campus, students registered in East Lansing were able to vote between classes. Democrat Gretchen Whitmer was elected the 49th Governor of Michigan, defeating Republican Bill Schuette with 53.1 percent of the vote. “At a time where we see too many people who want to divide us through building walls, I think we in Michigan need to get back to building bridges,” Whitmer said during a victory speech at her watch party at the Motor City Casino in Detroit. Incumbent U.S. Democratic Sen. Debbie
St ab e now won r e - e le c t ion , de feat i ng Republican challenger John James with 52 percent of the vote. Stabenow will serve a fourth consecutive term as a senator. T he 8t h Cong ressional Dist r ict, a traditionally red district, was flipped with Democrat Elissa Slotkin’s defeat of incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop. Slotkin received 66.61 percent of Ingham County’s vote. Brianna Scott and Kelly Tebay were elected the MSU Board of Trustees. Scott received 24 percent of the vote while Tebay received 23.5 percent. For mer MSU footba l l player Auston Robertson pleaded guilty to one count of third degree criminal sexual conduct on Nov. 7. On Nov. 7, a motion to dismiss criminal c ha rges aga i nst for mer MSU Dea n of Osteopathic Medicine William Strampel was denied. Strampel’s charges include a count of felony misconduct in office, a count of fourth-degree sexual assault and two counts of willful neglect of duty. Judge Joyce Draga nc hu k den ied t he motion to dismiss the case because she determined there was enough evidence to name him as a probable cause of the crimes he allegedly committed. On Nov. 20, former MSU president Lou Anna
Senior wide receiver Felton Davis III (18) celebrates a reception for a two-point conversion during the game against Utah State on Aug. 31 at Spartan Stadium. The Spartans defeated the Aggies, 38-31. PHOTO BY MATT SCHMUCKER
DEC. 3 Lyman Briggs Associate Dean Rob LaDuca is confirmed to be Rankin’s alleged harasser. NOV. 26 Simon is arraigned.
NOV. 20 Lou Anna K. Simon charged with lying to peace officers.
Former MSU assistant professor, Joy Lisi Rankin, published an essay Nov. 28, alleging both sexual and online harassment from a Lyman Briggs associate dean.
On Dec. 3, Rob LaDuca, associate dean of Ly man Briggs, was confirmed to be the unnamed harasser Rankin describes in her essay. LaDuca was cleared by an Of f ice of Institutional Equity investigation in summer 2017 and is still employed by the university. On Dec. 3, ASMSU President Katherine Rifiotis announced she would take a leave of absence for the rest of the semester. ASMSU has not disclosed the details of her return. On Dec. 4, Interim President John Engler announced that the Healing and Assistance Fund would be discontinued. Nassar survivors will not receive payments from the fund and all future payments will come from the $500 million settlement. On Dec. 5, Robertson was sentenced to 43 to 120 months in jail for one count of assault with intent to commit criminal sexual penetration. He must also register as a sex offender.
Former Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon during her arraignment at the Eaton County Courthouse on Nov. 26, 2018. She is being charged with four counts of lying to a Peace Officer about the Nassar investigation. PHOTO BY ANNTANINA BIONDO
NOV. 7 Auston Robertson pleads guilty. Motion to dismiss case against William Strampel is denied.
K. Simon was charged with two counts of lying to a peace officer about a federal crime and two counts of lying to a peace officer in a four-year or more federal crime investigation. Simon said she was unaware of “the nature of the complaint” against Nassar that sparked the 2014 Title IX investigation. She also implied that she did not know Nassar was the subject of the 2014 investigation by providing a misleading statement to investigators. “I was aware that in 2014 there was a sports medicine doc who was subject to a review,” Simon said, according to the charges. For each statement, Simon was charged with a felony, which carries a four year sentence, and a misdemeanor, which carries a two year sentence. Each charge carries the possibility of a $5,000 fine. Simon was arraigned Nov. 26. She was released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond and was required to hand over her passport. Her next court date will be at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 18. On Nov. 28, MSU announced Trustee George Perles’ resignation due to health issues. Perles was elected to the Board as a Democrat in 2007 and won re-election in 2014. According to the press release, Governor Rick Snyder will appoint a new member in the near future. He will not seek student input.
ASMSU President takes leave of absence for an unknown period of time.
NOV. 28 Trustee George Perles resigns. Joy Rankin publishes essay alleging harassment from MSU leader. F E E DB AC K@ STAT E NE WS .COM
DEC. 5 Auston Robertson sentenced to 43 to 120 months in jail for one count of assault with intent to commit criminal sexual penetration.
DEC. 4 Engler discontinues the Healing Assistance Fund.
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DEC. 18 Simon will be in court for a probable cause conference.
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Club offers free traditional Chinese folk dance classes to students
An international student from China came to the U.S. with years of dance experience under her belt. Now she’s hoping to share her country’s types of folk dancing with others at MSU. BY ZIMO WANG ZWANG@STATENEWS.COM
Members of MSU’s Mulan Dance club practice routines. The club offers free traditional Chinese folk dancing classes to international and domestic students. PHOTO COURTESY OF MULAN DANCE.
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When thinking of Chinese representation in film, “Mulan” comes to mind. That’s what members of an MSU Chinese folk dancing club said they think of when they meet each week. The group, MSU Mulan Dance, is an emerging club that offers free dance classes at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays in Holden Hall. Founded in September 2018, the club is open to everyone. China has 56 ethnic groups. Han Chinese are the largest population, while the other 55 groups are minorities. Mulan Dance incorporates styles from each group into a form of folk dancing. Classes are offered to both international and domestic students. Communications sophomore Shuang Li is the founder, president and an instructor of the club. She previously attended Minzu University of China, where she said she experienced diverse forms of dancing classes. After coming to the U.S., Li participated in MSU’s Orchesis Dance Club. It inspired her to later establish Mulan Dance. “There were a lot of chances for me to do solo dance, and every time I did the folk dance, all of the students in there, they loved that. They’ve never seen this kind of dance before, and they think it’s very beautiful, gorgeous,” Li said. “It is a dance form that’s very creative here, so I think if I can set up a club to do it, it will be a part of (the multicultural community at) MSU.” Another purpose for the club is simply for fun, Li said. She enjoys dancing, but talked about people who might find the traditional form of dance to be difficult. “I want more people to know that they can dance; they can dance well or they can dance just for fun,” Li said. “Dance is not for others to appreciate you.” Chemical engineering senior Caroline Cheng is Li’s friend. She initially had no experience in folk dancing, but desired to learn more about it. Cheng has been participating at the club since the first class was held. “I like the atmosphere here,” Cheng said. “Our teacher is really nice. She has a patience for us, even though I am a student who is learning things really slow and really behind the game.” Sophie Shi, an East Lansing resident and MSU alumna, has been attending the class from the first week. Shi took basic ballet, but said she was interested in other forms of dance, too. “Every class she teaches different minority dance and some basics,” Shi said. “She also
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sent some videos that we can practice at home.” “It’s fun,” she said. “You can learn something new. I have already graduated and want to get back to campus to (get) involved in something.” The classes have an average of 10 students in attendance, which sometimes includes one or two domestic students. Li’s goal is to involve more non-Chinese speakers in the class. But that’s difficult, Li said. “They may think it’s very creative, maybe they have no reason to do it,” she said. “We need to do more efforts to let them in.” Besides sending videos to students after class, Li shows students Chinese folk dance videos in class as well. That gives her the opportunity to share Chinese traditional cultures to the nonChinese students in the class. “I think that’s a really good way to add new elements to promote the Chinese culture in MSU, because that’s interaction between the Western culture and Eastern culture,” Cheng said. Cheng said she’s proud of Li’s effort to create a dance club that focuses specifically on explaining Chinese culture and traditions. “I really have a pride that we are already promoting the Chinese culture in the Western country,” she said. “It’s not only the core of time that we promote our traditional culture, it’s also exploring ourselves, like having the confidence to face ourselves to the foreigners.” Overall, Cheng said the boost of confidence gained through dancing is most beneficial. “That’s a good way to develop the confidence for individuals,” she said.
“I want more people to know that they can dance, they can dance well or they can dance just for fun. Dance is not for others to appreciate you.” Shuang Li MSU Mulan Dance President
ASMSU: SEMESTER IN REVIEW President takes leave, ASMSU holds input forums, discusses sexual harassment allegations BY CHASE MICHAELSON CMICHAELSON@STATENEWS.COM
The first semester of the 55th session of the Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, has been a transitional one. With new president Katherine “Cookie” Rifiotis taking over the helm, and the fallout from the university’s mishandling of reports of ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse still occuring, the focus of ASMSU this semester has been on how the university can move forward. Here are four important things that happened this semester with ASMSU.
ASMSU HOLDS PRESIDENTIAL SEARCH INPUT FORUMS
The organization held student forums, separated by colleges, in which students could provide their input on the presidential search. Though these may seem similar in appearance to the input sessions held by the search committee itself, ASMSU President Katherine “Cookie” Rifiotis said in a Sept. 27 interview with The State News they were meant to be more student-led and convenient for students rather than faculty. “A lot of the presidential search input sessions have been between 9-5 to make sure that faculty and staff are on campus so that they can attend,” Rifiotis said. “Unfortunately, if you’re gonna make something geared towards students, it has to be later in the day.” The sessions were held during the first two weeks of October, and Rifiotis said they were extremely important to her, as she is the only undergraduate on the presidential search committee.
ENGLER APPEARS AT GA MEETING FOR DISCUSSION
During the Nov. 1 meeting of the general assembly, Interim President John Engler appeared. For about 45 minutes, he answered a myriad of unscripted questions from students. Multiple students asked about changes to tuition structure beginning in the 2019-20 academic year. Block tuition will charge all full-time students not in the Business College or Engineering College the same rate, regardless of the number of credits they are taking – $7,230 for incoming freshmen taking between 12 and 18 credits for a semester. “As you know, there’s been a big effort underway on campus to try to encourage graduation in four years, thus reducing the cost of college and (allowing graduates to) get out there earning money,” Engler said. “We think it’s a very positive thing.” Ben Horne, the vice chairman of ASMSU’s policy committee and a representative of the Lyman Briggs College, was unhappy with the decision to switch to block tuition. He asked why ASMSU had not been consulted. “The transition period here we are woefully unprepared for,” Horne said. “There are about 200 university policies that need to go through academic governance, and they have not yet. (ASMSU) has not really been consulted throughout the entire process when it largely affects undergraduates.” Horne and Engler had a discussion about
whether block tuition should happen at the university, with Engler ending the discussion by saying, “The decision to go to block tuition has been made. You need to help on the implementation, and I hope you will.”
ASMSU DISCUSSES INCIDE NT INVOLVING PROFESSORS RANKIN AND LADUCA
During the Nov. 29 committee meetings, a resolution was introduced to stand with Professor Joy Rankin, who published a long essay on Medium detailing her alleged sexual harassment by Lyman Briggs College associate dean Rob LaDuca. The Office of Institutional Equity, or OIE, cleared LaDuca in 2017. The discussion was tabled after numerous issues with it were brought up. It will now go to the Office of Academic Affairs for rewriting and introduction at the next General Assembly meeting. The main likelihood is that the resolution will be divided into two parts. The first part is a bill that calls for the Office of Academic Affairs, headed by Dylan Westrin, to conduct an investigation into cases like Rankin’s, which he says will start with a call to OIE. The second part is a resolution concerning ASMSU’s stance on Rankin and survivors overall. A resolution is defined as a statement ASMSU makes to take stances on issues. A bill, by contrast, empowers an office within ASMSU — in this case, Academic Affairs — to begin using its resources to either investigate, advocate or otherwise affect things. “We want to look at the broad relationship between ... the worker and the boss,” Westrin said of the investigation, which he hopes the revised bill would allow to take place. “We’re specifically looking to explore the relationship between a tenure-tracked female professor and the administration in the colleges. “It’s the before, during and after of trying to get direct research ... of what the culture is. We always talk about ‘there’s a culture of sexual assault on campus;’ let’s add more to those numbers.”
RELIGIOUS DIRECTORY Stay up to date at: www.statenews.com/religious
All Saints Episcopal Church 800 Abbot Rd. (517) 351-7160 Sun. Worship: 8am, 10am, & 5pm Sunday School: 10am www.allsaints-el.org
Hillel Jewish Student Center 360 Charles St. (517) 332-1916 Services: Friday night 6pm, dinner @ 7, September–April www.msuhillel.org
Ascension Lutheran Church 2780 Haslett Rd. (517) 337 9703 Sun. Worship: 10:00am Sun. Bible Study: 8:45am Thur. Bible Study: 2pm www.ascensioneastlansing.org Email: email@example.com
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/
Chabad House of MSU 540 Elizabeth St. (517) 214-0525 Prayer Services: Friday night services followed by traditional Shabbat dinner @ Chabad. www.chabadmsu.com Eastminster Presbyterian Church UKirk at MSU Presbyterian Campus Ministry 1315 Abbot Rd. (517) 337-0893 Sun. Worship: 10am www.eastminster church.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
Martin Luther Chapel 444 Abbot Rd. (517) 332-0778 Sun: 9:30am & 7pm Wed: 9pm Mini-bus pick-up on campus (Fall/Spring) www.martinluther chapel.org Pentecostals of East Lansing 16262 Chandler Road (517) 337-7635 Service Times: Sundays: Prayer 10:30am, Service 11am Wednesdays: Prayer 6:30pm, Bible Study 7pm pentecostalEL.org Denomination: Pentecostal 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. The PeoplesChurch.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. John Catholic Church and Student Center 327 M.A.C Ave. (517) 337-9778 Sun: 8am, 10am, Noon, 5pm, 7pm M,W,F: 12:15pm T & Th: 9:15pm www.stjohnmsu.org University Luthern Church (ULC) Lutheran Campus Ministry at MSU 1020 S. Harrison (517) 332-2559 Sun. Worship: 8:30am & 10:45am (Sept–May) Summer Worship: 9:30am www.ulcel.org University United Methodist Church 1120 S. Harrison Rd (517) 351-7030 Main Service: Sun: 11am in the Sanctuary Additional Services: TGiT (Thank God its Thursday): Thur: 8pm in the Chapel of Apostles universitychurchhome.org firstname.lastname@example.org WELS Lutheran Campus Ministry 704 Abbot Rd. (517) 580-3744 Sat: 6:30pm msu.edu/~welsluth
PRESIDENT “COOKIE” RIFIOTIS TAKES LEAVE OF ABSENCE
An e-mail went out to all members of the General Assembly Dec. 3 announcing that ASMSU president Katherine “Cookie” Rifiotis will take a leave of absence for the rest of the fall semester, due to personal reasons. Senior chemistry major Caroline Colpoys, Rifiotis’ executive assistant, spoke to The State News by phone that night and confirmed the absence. In a text message the following day, she said Rifiotis would be back next semester. “All that we’re saying right now is she’s taking a personal leave of absence for the rest of the semester, so Dan (Iancio, vice president for finance and operations) takes over as president pro-tempore, and he and Makenzie (Bosworth, vice president for student allocations) will be co-chairing the meeting on (Dec. 6),” Colpoys said.
THUR S DAY, DECEMBER 6, 2018
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Byron Bullough poses for a photo with his mother, LeAnn, and father, Shane, on Senior Day Nov. 24. PHOTO BY REY DEL RIO/ MSU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS.
Without spotlight, linebacker Byron Bullough continues MSU football family ‘legacy’ BY JONATHAN LEBLANC JLEBLANC@STATENEWS.COM
With 5:48 left in the second quarter of Michigan State’s Senior Day win against Rutgers Nov. 24, linebacker Joe Bachie suffered an injury. Running out to replace Bachie for one play was linebacker Byron Bullough, a fifth-year senior. As usual, Byron was ready. “I can hang my hat high on how I come in to work everyday, pursue my role and do the best I can,” Byron said. This isn’t surprising if you know Byron’s family history. Byron’s a third-generation Spartan. His older brothers, Max (who played at MSU from 2010-13) and Riley (2012-16), were AllBig Ten linebackers. Max was a third-team AllAmerican his senior year and recorded 299 total tackles at MSU. Riley — who’s now on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — made the All-Big Ten defense third team his junior year, and was voted to the second team the following season. Bryon’s dad, Shane (1983-86), is 17th in total tackles in MSU history with 311, and his uncle and current MSU defensive ends coach, Chuck (1988-91), is sixth. His grandpa, Hank (195254), played guard, and sister, Holly, runs track and field at MSU. On Byron’s mom LeeAnn’s side, his grandpa Jim Morse was a running back at Notre Dame (1954-56). His uncle, Bobby Morse, was an MSU running back (1983-86), and his uncle Jim Morse Jr., a
Notre Dame cornerback (1977-78). “I’ve kind of grown accustomed to it over the years,” Byron said. “But, it’s awesome.” Byron who only has 22 career total tackles in 41 games, starts on kickoffs, kick returns, punts and punt returns. “It’s an honor in my opinion to be able to be on the special teams unit as a senior,” said former linebacker Darien Harris who played with Byron from 2014-15. “He could very easily start for any team in the country. I truly believe that.” Byron has one game left in his career, the Redbox Bowl against Oregon on New Year’s Eve. It’s one last time to represent the Bullough name for the Spartans. “It means everything to me,” Bullough said after practice Nov. 20. “The Bullough name here at Michigan State is a delicacy. I think I’ve done a good job of carrying that on. It’s pretty crazy it’s coming to an end now.” Being a starter on all special teams isn’t the only place where Byron’s impact is felt. It goes beyond what everybody sees on Saturdays. “You watch how he works and how he comes here every day, how he handles himself, he’s a true leader of this team and everybody on this team understands that,” Bachie said. “He’s going to bring everything he’s got and give you everything he’s got. If a lot more people were like him in this world, this would be an amazing, hard-working world.”
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THE INFLUENCE OF OLDER BROTHERS
Out of all three brothers — Max, 26, Riley, 25 and Byron, 23 — Bryon was the most likely to commit and attend MSU. “I’ve always just been a fan of Spartan football and Spartan toughness, really,” Byron said. “I just think this is a special place. Always has been and always will be.” The three-star athlete from St. Francis High School in Traverse City had a five-word response when asked about his recruitment process: “Michigan State all the way.” He wanted to live up to the Bullough name. “I totally embraced it from the beginning,” he said. “I mean, there’s been great success here as a Bullough. But my main focus while I was here was being the best that I can be.” To be the best he could be, Byron leaned on his brothers who came before him for advice. “Having brothers play here before me, it was an incredible experience,” Byron said. “To able to talk about them, just the troubles, the ups, the downs, everything about being a Michigan State football player.” Max didn’t play with Byron at St. Francis or MSU, but sends him texts of encouragement, along with the rest of the family in a group message where they can vent. “It’s either throw in the towel (or you play) because that’s what you’ll be thinking for the
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rest of your life,” said Max. “He gets everyone to do that. I know it sounds simple and silly, but it’s little things like that get ’em going every week.” Riley had the opportunity to play with Max and specifically Byron at MSU from 2014-16. During Riley and Byron’s three years as Spartans, Byron said he learned how to be both a college football player and a man from Riley. “He’ll get in your face if you’re not doing what you’re supposed to and he just brings 100 percent every time,” Byron said. “That’s something I definitely pride myself on.” Since Riley and Max went through similar struggles allowed Byron to ask them questions about things they’d already gone through in their time at MSU, he said. “Coming into college, you’re surrounded by a lot of new things: School, football, socially,” Riley said. “Whenever he had questions, I’d be there to answer them and kind of guide him along, especially when he was a freshman.” Learning from his brothers, who he describes as “great leaders” and “intense guys,” is something Byron will always cherish. “I always know my brothers will be there for me, in times of success and times of failure,” Byron said. “Just throughout my college career they’ve always been there for me and really helped me out.”
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SPORTS ABOVE: Senior linebacker Max Bullough sticks a rose in his mouth following the Big Ten Championship game against Ohio State on Dec. 7, 2013, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. STATE NEWS FILE PHOTO. BELOW: Senior linebacker Riley Bullough attempts to block Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) as he throws a pass during the game against Ohio State on Nov. 19, 2016 at Spartan Stadium. STATE NEWS FILE PHOTO.
BEING THE BACKUP
After his first three seasons from 2014-16, Bryon was tuning up for the 2017 season after a great spring camp. Enter Bachie, who finished 2017 with a team-high 100 total tackles — 8.5 of them for a loss. That was second on the team, along with second best on the team with three interceptions. “You can see how special of a player he was on how he’s performed these last two years,” said Byron, Bachie’s backup at middle linebacker. “I always knew there was opportunity everywhere. You just gotta just keep working and hope for the best.” Even coach Mark Dantonio said Byron probably hasn’t gotten “as much (playing time) this year as he would have wanted to,” but gave him credit for his ability to still make an impact. “He’s done everything possibly he can to benefit this program, and he plays extremely hard,” Dantonio said. “He’s just behind a very, very good player right now, but he’s a good player in his own right and I would not hesitate to play him. He’s done an outstanding job.” Because of Bachie’s outstanding play, Byron knew he had to adjust. “The last couple years, I’ve taken upon myself to be a leader around here vocally and by example,” Byron said. “I’m obviously not on the field on defense all the time, so I try to do my best on the sidelines or special teams or any way that I can help the team win.” This leadership approach is also felt by Bachie. “He’s just a guy that pushes me, he really is,” Bachie said. “He’s had two great springs in a row. He makes me a better player, he really does.” Bachie and Byron are close — “like brothers,” according to safety Khari Willis. Byron said he pushes Bachie and others because at the end of the day, football is a team sport. “You’re trying to get the best record for your team,” Byron said. “I think I’ve done a great job of pushing other guys, pushing myself and now it’s coming to an end. I’m going to look back at everything, and I’ll be happy and proud of everything that I’ve done.” Bachie isn’t the only player Byron pushes on the team. Senior linebacker Andrew Dowell said since last year’s fall camp, Byron has been a “true Spartan”, pushing him and everybody else to be better players. “Byron watches film like he’s going to play 80 snaps,” Dowell said. “You really look up to Byron and what he’s done.” Harris noticed Byron’s improving leadership and playing ability when he was attending an Aug. 14 practice as part of BTN’s fall camp tour. Harris said he even texted Riley saying, “Hey man, your brother — I’ve never seen him like this.” “He was the most amped up and hyped up person on the field,” Harris said. “I think it’s just because he knew a) He didn’t want to have another season like 2016 again in his senior year, and b) he knew the expectations for this season were incredibly high with all the returning talent … He was going to take it on upon himself to be 14
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a driving force to make sure this team got to where it needed to be.” Willis said Byron did just that, becoming “an anchor” of leadership for the Spartans the last couple years. “He’s embraced his role and what he can do for our team and what he brings to the table,” Willis said. “He understands he’s valuable, super valuable leader for us. A voice for us, regardless of who’s playing and who’s not. He’s leading like a Bullough.”
THE END OF AN ERA
When this year’s seniors had their annual Friday night dinner before MSU’s last regular-season game, defensive coordinator Mike Tressel said LeeAnn attended for Byron, like she did with Riley and Max. Tressel realized then that 2019 will be the first season in nine years without a Bullough at linebacker on the roster. “That’s going to be strange for me, but his impact, he’s a leader without a doubt,” Tressel said after MSU’s 14-10 win over Rutgers on Nov. 24. “He’s passionate whether he’s a starter or not.” Because of Byron’s perseverance, Max said he’s noticed the difference in Byron from when he entered MSU to now — when stats don’t matter. “I think he’s had to show it in a different way than maybe Riley and I did because we got to be the ones up front, leading the charge vocally and playing-wise,” Max said. “The way that he’s handled it and been able to still be a leader on the team, and to have that presence and to have guys listen to you and trust you and believe in you — that to me says almost more than anything.” Now, a trip to the Redbox Bowl awaits the Spartans. “Honestly, the Redbox Bowl wasn’t where we wanted to be at the beginning of the year, but this is what we ended up with,” Byron said. “We’ll have a great time and hopefully get a win against Oregon.” Max said he knows how much being a collegiate athlete will impact Byron for the rest of his life. “I’m happy for him,” Max said. “I’m really, extremely proud of him, because of what we already talked about, as well as figuring out his degree, as well as playing five years of football at Michigan State.” Byron is a four-time Academic All-Big Ten from 201518, and will graduate with a degree in finance next week after switching from a supply-chain management major his academic junior year. He’s searching for jobs in the financial field, just like any other graduating student. It’s clear his love for Michigan State started before he stepped on the campus as a freshman back in 2014. As Dantonio said, “He’s a Bullough, he bleeds green.” Byron said he’ll miss being around his teammates all the time — teammates who’ve become friends for life. Byron said he hopes he was a teammate who pushed people to be their best by being a leader in every aspect of football, and to see MSU football succeed, and live up to the family name. “A guy that did things right around here,” Byron said. “A guy that was a team player, and just came in here with a purpose everyday.”
Michigan State lacrosse team finds inspiration in 7-year-old boy BY PAOLO GIANNANDREA PGIANNANDREA@STATENEWS.COM
oming off its MCLA Division 1 National Championship win in May, Michigan State lacrosse made the jump from a marginal tournament team to a nationally-known program. On Dec. 1, as each player received their rings to commemorate the championship season, the Spartans celebrated something equally memorable. Prior to receiving their rings, the team signed Connor Willimeth to a National Letter of Intent, officially instituting him as a member of the program, as recognized by all 39 players. Willimeth, a 7-year-old Flushing, Michigan n at ive, wa s d iag nosed w it h St u r ge Weber Syndrome, a disorder affecting the development of certain blood vessels and causing abnormalities in the brain, skin and eyes from birth. With the coordination of Team Impact, a Boston-based nonprofit that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams, Willimeth was deemed a top 2018 recruit and able to sign with MSU. “(Becoming part of the team) means everything. It gives him an opportunity to feel like he’s included,” said Connor’s mother, Jill Willimeth. Sam Tuttle, a junior defensive midfielder for the Spartans and Impact Leadership Team Member, helped coordinate Willimeth’s signing. “Team Impact says that you need to officially sign them as part of your team just like national recruits do on signing day, and that was something that we’ve always wanted to do,” Tuttle said. “We thought ‘Why not do it here in front of all these people who care about him
and support him?’ and I figured this would have been the perfect event to sign him to our team.” He went on to say that along with Connor’s connection to the team as a whole, his relationship with Connor touches him on a personal level. “I’m very humbled that I get to hang out with Connor’s family often,” Tuttle said. “That’s something I really enjoy and I think that’s something our team really enjoys.” After former head coach Cam Holding stepped down following last season, former defensive coordinator D.J. Lubs took over. After he handed each player their ring during the ceremony, the first-year head coach expressed his desire to continue his team’s relationship with Connor. “It’s all about love in this community, and if we’re able to share that, in our experience with somebody and make their time better, then we should be doing that,” Lubs said. “So (we’re) extremely blessed to have Connor as part of this team and we’re really looking forward to him hanging around a lot more often.” The newfound relationship between Connor and the team is reciprocal. Lubs argues the team might even enjoy Connor’s presence just as much as Connor does the team’s. As MSU looks to defend its national title, it continues to use Connor as a source of inspiration. “He’s a special kid. He got handed some rough cards and he’s smiling the whole time, which really does just bring energy to our team,” Lubs said. “It’s a huge blessing. We rally behind him, he rallies behind us. It’s a give and take.”
Jill Willimeth helps her son Connor, 7, sign an official letter of intent during the MSU men’s lacrosse ring ceremony Dec. 1 at the Breslin Center. PHOTO BY SYLVIA JARRUS.
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Apts. For Rent
19-20. Downtown EL. Studio 2 BR Apts. 517-575-0008. hudginsrealty.com
1 BLOCK from downtown/ MSU. 519 Albert. 7 bed, 3 bth, A/C, porch, W/D, bsmt, hardwood, D/W, 517-351-0765, HRIRENTALS.com.
ACROSS FROM The HUB. 911 E. Grand River. 2 bed apts. A/C, balcony, on-site w/d, parking 517351-0765. HRIRENTALS.com
Jill Willimeth helps her son Connor, 7, put a signed jersey on during the MSU men’s lacrosse ring ceremony Dec. 1 at the Breslin Center. PHOTO BY SYLVIA JARRUS.
REFUNDS No cash refunds will be issued for cancellations. Credit will be applied to subsequent ads for one year.
NEW 2018. 128 Durand. 4 bed, 2 bth, A/C, W/D, D/W. Avail May. 517-351-0765. HRIRENTALS. com
S P ORTS @ STAT E NE WS .COM
10+ HOUSES & apartments avail for ‘19-20. Aug & May leases. HRIRENTALS.com 517-3510765.
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1ST BLOCK of Gunson. $580/ mth. 5 bed houses. W/D, D/W, hardwood, bsmt, 517-351-0765, HRIRENTALS.com. 2019-2020 HOUSES. Lic. 3. Excellent Locations. Top Conditions. Extensive Updates. Call or Text: 517-490-3082. SPACIOUS 4 BDRM Lic.4. d/w + w/d. security deposit + utilities 517 599 5731
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