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SA speaker resigns midterm.

Kanola band performs New Orleans jazz.

Baseball season begins with luncheon.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Vol. 52 No. 18


Saginaw Valley State University’s student newspaper

I Heart SV Week kicks off Abby Lawson Vanguard Reporter

President Don Bachand gives his State of the University address and discusses campus renovations, university challenges, marketing and student success. Vanguard Photo | Brooke Elward

Bachand addresses student success Kaitlyn Farley Vanguard Editor-in-Chief


resident Don Bachand highlighted the importance of student success and community outreach during SVSU’s Feb. 6 State of the University Address. To a nearly full crowd, Bachand reviewed SVSU’s accomplishments so far for the current academic year. Highlights included making The Chronicle’s Great Colleges to Work for, Military Times’s Best for Vets and ranking fourth nationally for Niche.com’s best dorms. “The foundation of SVSU remains very strong,” Bachand said. “We have outstanding academic programs and facilities. ... We have a carefully crafted financial executive plan.” Renovations Bachand said such awards “only skim the surface of the work done in the last year” at SVSU. Another major upcoming point of pride will be the opening of the new downtown Saginaw location. He said the location will focus on service learning and community outreach. “We expect the downtown location to be very active,” Bachand said. “Our social work program will be the anchor, but it will also be a center for community engagement.” A grand opening date will be announced shortly, he said. Another upcoming opening will be the official dedication of the newly modeled and expanded Carmona College of Business, slated for Monday, Feb. 24. Bachand thanked the 340 private donors who donated a combined $15.5 million to the building’s construction. “The space and the project have exceeded all expectations,” he said. “It’s outstanding. It will provide

state-of-the-art facilities to students and faculty.” Brown Hall will be the next major renovation, he said. Project planning is underway to make Brown Hall the “type of high-impact learning environment we see in the Zahnow and College of Business,” Bachand said. Project planning has begun, and updates will be announced soon. Updates to SVSU’s “unseen infrastructure,” or cyber security, are also underway. “We are undergoing significant cyber security projects,” Bachand said. “The threat of stolen data and ransomware attacks have serious financial and security consequences on our university.” Bachand said multifactor authentication will soon be fully implemented, and other security updates will come in the near future. “Serious challenges” Bachand shared the “predictable set of pretty serious challenges” SVSU has faced this year. Those challenges include fewer students graduating from high school, retention, decreasing state funding for higher education and increasing worries about student debt. “Tuition and fees represent nearly 72 percent of our revenue to operate this university,” Bachand said. “Two years ago, we saw a significant increase in freshmen.” Bachand said the increase meant SVSU was able to fill dorms to capacity, increase credit hours offered and hire more staff. However, freshmen enrollment again decreased this year, and upcoming new student applications are down 5 percent as of Feb. 7, he said. “The consequences of enrollment decline are obvious,” Bachand said. “Although several universities are trending in a similar fashion, ... I

work here – I care about what’s happening here.” Marketing Bachand said SVSU has “taken serious steps to increase recruitment.” Steps included beginning to work with marketing firm Carnegie Dartlet three to four years ago to create prospective and current student personas. They help SVSU create marketing materials for different types of students. “This research drove our marketing campaign and still influences are marketing campaign,” Bachand said. “They work with us to develop more effective communication practices, marketing and financial aid.” The Carnegie Dartlet research led to the #we campaign, an increase in admission recruiters and more financial resources dedicated to student aid. “Carnegie Dartlet is helping us with the development of new strategies to leverage our finances as successfully as possible,” Bachand said. Student success Bachand said student success will be an overarching goal across SVSU’s campus. “The most common measure around student success is retention and graduation numbers,” he said. “Student success is more than maintaining retention and graduation numbers. It involves engagement on and off the campus, goal attainment and, ultimately, employability.” Bachand said student success already is happening through student employees being recognized for their reliability and role in making SVSU great. “Student success is already hap-


Forever Red is gearing up for its sixth annual I Heart SV Week, beginning Feb. 10, with the goal to raise money for student scholarships and celebrate Red Pride. Sabrina Mirabile, the vice president of the RSO’s enhance pillar, said I Heart SV Week is a great time to share love for SVSU. “I Heart SV Week is a week-long fundraising event where Forever Red raises money for (its) scholarships as well as puts on events to share our love for SVSU,” she said. “Students should look forward to sharing their love for SVSU by attending our awesome events.” The money raised contributes to student scholarships, and students can apply for one of five Forever Red scholarships until Feb. 20, Mirabile said. She added that Forever Red will be holding table sits throughout the week to sell SVSU memorabilia. “We will be selling stickers for $1, old I Heart SV long-sleeve shirts and other Forever Red swag,” she said. “Table sits will be Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside the library and the Marketplace.”

Other events during the week include a Family Feud game night, the 5 Under 5 Alumni panel, Coop’s Birthday and Advising After Dark. Mirabile said the 5 Under 5 Alumni panel was the most important event of the week. “5 Under 5 [is] where five alumni, one from each academic college, who have graduated in the past five years come back to tell his or her SVSU story, network and answer questions,” she said. “We really want this to be the largest event because we are inviting alumni to come back and give us their precious time.” This year’s panelists are Cody Alberts from the College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences, Samantha Bedore from the College of Business and Management, Cameron Belavek from the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Rosalie Brege from the College of Education and Chelsea Brown from the College of Health and Human Services. The event is slated for Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. in C223 and will offer free pizza, pop and raffles. Mirabile recommended students interested in Forever Red email svsufr@svsu.edu and be on the look out for the week’s featured events, sales and posters.

PHE registers donors Morgan Couchman Vanguard Reporter

SVSU’s Peer Health Educators are spending February educating fellow students about the importance of organ donation. PHE said it hopes to increase the number of donors this month because Feb. 14 is National Donor Day. Tatum Morrow, a criminal justice junior, said she wants to help people get the organs they need. “We’re just trying to get people to sign up to be donors who aren’t already,” she said. “There’s so many people on the organ donation list who unfortunately don’t get the organs they need. We’re just trying to get more people on the list so that one day more people can get help.” Gracie Lefler, an occupational therapy junior, squashed some of the misconceptions regarding organ donation. “There’s a lot of false myths about organ donations,” Lefler said. “We had somebody walk past [our table] that thought they couldn’t donate. They thought that if there was an accident, a doctor would rather take their organs than try to save them. That’s not true. Doctors don’t know you’re an organ donor until after you’re gone.” Lefler said she wants her peers to

understand that organ donation is not all about giving up your heart and kidneys after you die. “It’s important because there’s so many people who get sick,” she said. “Even while you’re alive, you can still help them. [Some of] your organs regrow. Some of them you can live without parts of, and those parts can actually save people.” Lefler said the human body can be very important, even after death. “Organ transplants aren’t just the typical kidneys and heart transplants that you think of when you hear about organ donation,” she said. “It’s tissue, it’s cartilage, it’s the eye cornea and skin grafts. It’s so much more than you realize.” Marrow said being a donor is incredibly important to her. “It just means that if something were to happen to me, like if I were in an accident, just knowing that other people are getting the most out of my body, just knowing that I’m giving the most out of my body, is nice,” she said. “I’m not going to use my organs after I’m gone. It’s about doing a good thing.” PHE will be doing table sits all throughout the month of February. Students interested in signing up to be a donor should bring a valid state-issued I.D. to Doan 105 to join the registry.

Families flock to campus for Kids and Sibs weekend Melissa Vennix Vanguard Reporter

Students participated in fun activities with their siblings or children during Kids and Sibs weekend Feb. 7 and 8. Holly Isler, the event coordinator for Residence Housing Association, said a fair amount of people checked in Friday evening for the weekend’s activities. “I would say every event had a decent amount of people the whole time,” Isler said. “A big hit was the cupcake decorating and the coloring.” Activities included coloring, laser

tag, bingo and a movie. Attendees were also welcome to hang out in the Student Life Center or on the courts at the Campus Recreation Center. Alexa Aldridge, a communication junior, said Cake Club’s cupcake decorating station was fun. “We did cupcake decorating and coloring,” Aldridge said. “We had more kids than we expected, so I’m glad the kids came to get sugared up.” On Saturday morning, students and their families were treated to a pancake breakfast hosted by the National Residence Hall Honorary in the Marketplace.

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After breakfast, the combined efforts of several RSOs were shown by the 16 events offered. SA helped with a few of the events, as well. Member Lauren Johnson said it was great to see everyone together and participating. “The kids (looked) excited,” Johnson said. The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum hosted an art activity from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Pine Grove hosted tie-dying, and University Village West helped students make shrinky dinks. The weekend closed with an ice cream social hosted by Living Cen- SVSU families participate in bingo, games and other activities at Kids and Sibs weekend. Vanguard Photo | Audrey Bergey ter Southwest.

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POLICE BRIEFS Police briefs are written based on reports from University Police. They indicate preliminary descriptions of events and not necessarily actual incidents.

Announcement University Police would like to remind students that social media sites, the government and other entities do not send emails or texts requesting personal information, nor do they accept payment by Amazon or other debit cards. Please do not give out any personal information online or make any payments to places you do not know. If you’re unsure, log onto the website on your own and verify the information. You can also contact University Police for direction.

Fraud At 9:57 p.m. Jan. 29, an 18-yearold female reported she had received a suspicious email. The sender advised her that her account had been hacked, and she needed to transfer money to a bitcoin address provided. She was advised that this was a scam and not to respond. The email was sent to IT services. At 10:30 p.m. Jan. 31, an 18-yearold student reported that she received a text message from Snapchat saying there was suspicious activity on her account and that it was locked. The message indicated that she needed to send her email back with a 4-digit PIN. She did so. She was then told she needed to send $200 or the sender would release all of her compromised pictures to her friends. She did. The sender then requested more money, so she closed out her account and called University Police.

Student Association speaker resigns midterm Kaitlyn Farley Vanguard Editor-in-Chief

Student Association Speaker Nora Lipetzky resigned effective immediately Wednesday, Feb. 5, citing a lack of time to commit to the role. Lipetzky joined SA three years ago and quickly worked her way up into leadership positions. Last year, she served as the allocations chairwoman before being nominated for speaker this year. She accepted the role in May 2019. “(The resignation) was a long time coming,” she said. “I started thinking about it right after Battle of the Valley. November was particularly a rough month for me mentally and personally. … I was still feeling off in January. I wanted to put a lot of the blame on just being anxious, but it wasn’t going away.” Lipetzky said she found it difficult to work a 40-hour job while also dedicating 10 to 20 hours weekly to SA. “That’s 70-hour work weeks on top of being a full-time graduate student, having a boyfriend and friends, having family over five hours away,” she said. “It was starting to take a toll on different parts of my life. ... I wanted to leave on my own terms and remember the good that I had there rather than drawing it out and resenting it every day.” Lipetzky said she enjoyed the creative side of the position and working with administrators and students on different projects. However, her personal and professional life “became a gray blur” as she began having to work for SA at “odd hours” to keep up with corresponding with students and faculty.

“I tried to do things between regular business hours, but it got to the point where I was getting messages at all hours of the day,” she said. “I was getting random messages from students. It was wonderful students were reaching out, but I guess that shows fault, too, that we’re not promoting enough.” She said SA members “aren’t doing enough outreach so that other students are recognizing more members of the organization.” “Being that one person, the go-to person for a lot of things could be draining and frustrating at times,” she said. SA President Hunter Koch said Lipetzky “did some really good things” in the often-difficult role as speaker. “The speaker is a particularly difficult role,” he said. “Working with representatives and leadership all the time can be exhausting, especially when you care about the organization as much as Nora did.” SA will have nominations during its regularly scheduled 10:15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, meeting in the Alumni Lounge. The speaker must be a current SA member because the role involves being familiar with SA procedures and policies. “Once we get someone who gets three-quarters of the vote, that person will be elected speaker,” Koch said. “Sometimes, it’s very easy to get that. But even with a single candidate, it can take some time to get through the process because it’s the biggest personnel decision that is made in the House. There can be half an hour or longer discussion about not just if the person is qualified but what the position needs to be coming up.”

Koch said he anticipates voting in a new speaker during the meeting. Lipetzky said she wishes the next speaker and the rest of SA well and offered parting advice to her replacement. “I have my idea of a couple different people I think would be ideal for the role, but my opinion doesn’t necessarily matter at this point,” she said. “Take it seriously. Don’t get complacent. Complacency is a problem that can happen in positions of power, especially superficial constructs of power that are created by our comNora Lipetzky munity.” She stressed these issues are not unique to SA, but, after talking to other SA representatives who had left, she said changes do need to happen within the organization. “With all the good that is in SA, there is always negativity that is there,” she said. “It’s bound to be there, and I saw a lot go on with the time commitment. I saw a lot of our representatives depart in the fall semester. We faced a hard time with retention especially. Structural things do need to change.” Koch said he does not anticipate any interruptions to SA’s scheduled events or activities as a result of the personnel changeover. “It’s a difficult situation to be in, no doubt,” he said. “We made sure that nothing is going to be influenced by it. Cardinal Ball is going on as planned. … Right now, we’re picking up the pieces and moving forward.”

Faculty members receive grants for research Alyssa McMillan Vanguard Reporter

Two SVSU professors received the Ruth and Ted Braun Fellowship last December. Each was awarded a grant of $37,500 to be used for their respective research projects. Ross Singer, an associate professor of communications, intends to use the money to support teachers who fill in for him while he conducts his research on environmental activists, particularly the role of gender in environmental work. “I will be using in-depth interviews to examine how environmental activists affiliated with nonprofit organizations negotiate their environmental identities with their gender and make sense of the broader relationship between environmentalism and feminism,” Singer said. Olivier Heubo-Kwegna, a professor of mathematics, will use the money to support

his research project on the multiplicative ideal theory open problem. “The problem consists of the possibility of defining a special operation called star operation in a projective way on a ring obtained by gluing several rings together,” Heubo-Kwegna said. “Another side project is to develop undergraduate math projects for SVSU students.” Heubo-Kwegna said he picked this topic because it is related to a past topic he worked on with an Italian colleague. This grant gives him the chance to expand on past discoveries. Singer said the process of applying for the grant itself was long and required a lot of support. “When I was working on my application, it consumed me for several weeks,” Singer said. “I consulted with our terrific staff at the Office of Sponsored Programs. I was fortunate to have a colleague at another Michigan university who advised me on key parts of the appli-

cation. These people, as well as my wife, made this process easier.” Heubo-Kwegna also found the application process difficult, but for different reasons. “[It was] a bit challenging for me, as my research area is theoretical with a vocabulary that is not common,” Heubo-Kwegna said. “I had to find ways to present my rather abstract project so that it would be accessible to a wider audience other than the mathematics community.” Singer said that even though he has already done some research in his chosen area, he hopes to use the grant to figure out a way to put his theory into practice. “While my primary goal is to build knowledge in the field, I am optimistic about generating insight for direct, practical use by nonprofit organizations and individual activists,” Singer said. “My findings could help build effective communication strategies for overcoming gender stereotypes in environmental campaigns.”

Study abroad fair clears up student misconceptions Connor Rousseau Vanguard Reporter

SVSU’s Feb. 4 Study Abroad Fair attracted students from all majors and backgrounds. Aileen Ash, the study abroad coordinator, helped put on the event to let students explore the studying abroad options. “Studying abroad enables students to explore a new part of the world, learn about other cultures, master a foreign language and create life-long friendships across the globe,” she said. “(It) allows students to gain confidence and grow both personally and professionally, all while stretching their boundaries and increasing their personal comfort zones.” Ash said experiences abroad help students learn not only about other countries and cultures, but also about themselves. “Spending time outside of their normal routine forces students to learn about themselves and what they are capable of,” she said. “With only 10 percent of the entire U.S. student population going abroad, this type of experience on a resume helps students gain a significant competitive edge in the job market that awaits after graduation.” One reason students do not consider studying abroad is cost, but there are many scholar-

ADDRESS, continued from A1 pening in all kinds of way on this campus, but we need more of it,” Bachand said. “Motivating students to be successful should be the goal of everyone on this campus.” He said student success includes offering resources so that the pass rates of upper-level courses are higher, providing high-quality courses the marketing is demanding and providing students access to courses when they need them so they can graduate on time.

ships available, as well as other options, Ash said. “We have really affordable programs with our partners in Asia,” she said. “Students can study at Ming Chuan University in Taiwan for a semester for just $500, which includes airfare, tuition, housing and their student visa.” General safety is another concern for people considering studying abroad, Ash said. The Study Abroad Office and affiliate programs take safety very seriously, and students are not sent anywhere that is considered dangerous. “The health and safety of SVSU students is our priority, so we do not send students to countries that are unsafe or under a travel warning,” she said. “All of the study abroad programs we work with have been thoroughly checked to ensure student safety.” Ash also said that students are educated on safety before exploring foreign countries. “Students go through a pre-departure orientation before they leave to provide guidance on staying safe while abroad, and then they do an additional on-site orientation to cover the specifics of their host city,” she said. Sarah Brege, an early childhood education freshman, attended the fair to explore her options for studying abroad. Brege said she believes studying abroad will go hand-in-hand

with her major. “Education is different everywhere in the world,” Brege said. “If I were to go to Italy, I could see how things are done there, and then I could bring that into my classroom in the future.” Mary Rembisz, a pre-nursing freshman, said she wants to travel to a country in Asia. “Asian countries are more focused on herbal remedies,” she said. “They have very different

SVSU will begin offering Student Success Forums so faculty and students can discuss how to better serve students. The first forum is 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11.

Youth Development, even though Grand Valley State University dropped out of the charity fundraiser. In December 2019, the nursing program’s simulation labs became nationally accredited. Bachand also highlighted the recent successes of Moot Court, the design awards won by theatre students at the Kennedy Center over the semester break and 90 student-athletes being named to All-American teams during the Fall 2019 semester.

Points of pride Bachand closed the address by highlighting points of pride so far this year. Those include Student Association raising $20,000 in November 2019 for Midland’s The ROCK Center for

approaches that are not always focused on how we use western medicine, as they would call it.” She added that having a well-rounded perspective of the nursing profession would help her become a better nurse. “I feel like it would give me a different view on how there are different ways to approach different situations in the medical field,” she said.

Students explore their study abroad options at the fair held on Tuesday, Feb. 4. Vanguard Photo | Brandon Hull

Feb. 2-3, SVSU raised $75,000 thanks to 1,100 donors during the university’s annual 2/2 fundraising campaign, Bachand said. The proceeds will go toward athletics and scholarships. “These are all positive things, and now it’s time for us to ramp up our efforts,” he said. “We are trying to maintain and move ahead. … Doing nothing is not going to improve anything. It’s not an option. ... In 2021, we should see an SVSU that is stronger than it is today.”

The Valley Vanguard News Editor Hannah Beach | E-mail hnbeach@svsu.edu | Office 989-964-4482 | Instagram @TheValleyVanguard 110A Curtiss Hall

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Person-first language causes more discrimination Maria Ranger Columnist Creative Writing mcranger@svsu.edu

At The Valley Vanguard, we’ve been doing some workshops on AP style and common mistakes we make. One of these was the use of “person-first language.” This means instead of saying that someone is disabled, they are a “person with a disability.” Using person-first language would mean referring to myself as a “person with type 1 diabetes” instead of just a type 1 diabetic.

I personally dislike person-first language for many reasons. The first is that it feels condescending and like meaningless pandering. Most peoples’ reasoning for using person-first language is that they believe it puts the person before their disability. I have a problem with this. First off, it feels like a euphemism. It implies that outright saying their disability or health condition is something to be ashamed of and thus leads to more stigma. This is also why I dislike the term “differently abled.” It’s also just clunky language and unnecessarily wordy. There are only a few circumstances where person-first language has flowed as naturally as identity first.

You can say someone is epileptic instead of saying they are a person with epilepsy, but there isn’t an identity first word for some conditions, like endometriosis, for example. No amount of calling someone a “person with a disability” will change discrimination against them or exploitation by the health care system. People are going to make assumptions and potentially discriminate against me no matter how hard I try to hide my health issues or conform to the standards someone with functioning organs has, so I might as well be upfront and blunt with my needs. It’s kind of liberating to become an advocate for myself and refuse to let people treat my chronic illness as something taboo

or something that makes me lesser. Most people also prefer identity first language, but no one cares enough to listen to what disabled people say to know that. Instead, people will talk over them and insist they know what’s best regarding something they don’t understand. If so-called “activists” and “allies” would read the blogs, editorials and social media accounts of disabled people, they would have a better understanding. If you want to truly be a good disability activist and ally, listen to what disabled people prefer. Do more things to fight discrimination besides just pat yourself on the back for using “woke” or “politically correct” language.

Students shouldn’t risk failing because of a family death Connor Rousseau Elementary Education csrousse@svsu.edu

Those of us who have grieved the death of a family member know the distressing effects it has on our health triangle. Our health triangle consists of mental, physical and social well-being. Each one influences the other two. You don’t need a degree in health sciences to understand the incredibly painful toll the death of a loved one has on people. When you lose a loved one, you become a raisin drying up in the sun. The least of your concerns are school or work. It’s hard enough for our brains to remain robust and to be full of energy when we are going about our everyday lives, so adding the burden of a recently deceased family member or loved one is a weight few have the urge to fight. Imagine walking up to your professor and being told that you can’t make up the exam you missed, even in the extreme case

of a relative’s funeral that was held the same day. Not all professors are like this, but their diverse opinions on the issue are reflected in their syllabi. People should feel comfortable in expressing emotional reactions to the loss of a loved one and miss a day of class without being frowned upon by their instructors. We live in a world where so many emotions are suppressed, and we are supposed to pretend everything is OK when it most certainly is not. It’s healthy for humans to let their emotions run in a safe and appropriate manner. It’s not unreasonable to expect professors at the very least to help work around your situation. Professors must realize that in such situations, their exam is not exactly the priority for the student, nor should it be. Some professors ask their student why they didn’t tell them a month ago that the funeral would be on exam day. Well, to be frank, the person wasn’t dead yet. A close friend shared with me a situation where her professor acted as if her grandpa’s sudden death was nothing more than an inconvenience to his exam.

She attempted to reach out to him promptly about it, and, days later, his response informed her that it would be in her best interest to take the exam with the class, during her grandfather’s funeral service. Let’s not forget that missing an exam and having a professor tell you that you can’t make it up could be the difference between passing and failing. No professor should watch a student fail because their exam conflicts with a loved one’s death. I understand that professors want to be fair with all students and consistent with their rules. Why should one student receive special favors because they missed a class? However, in this case, it’s not fair. Professors don’t make these rules to be strict - they make these rules to be fair. They make these rules to prevent students from asking for special favors and receiving preferential treatment. They make these rules with good intentions, but it is not reflected that way. There are exceptions to these rules that some professors fail to recognize, respect and appreciate. A reasonable concern, however, is a situation in which a student intentionally

cheats the system, such as lying about the death or exaggerating their relationship with that person. A parallel can be drawn to high school students asking to use the bathroom. Sure, they could be going there just to take a break from class and play on their phone in a bathroom stall, but this is none of the teacher’s concern. Like using the bathroom at a high school, there is an honor system involved with missing your exam for a family death. The professors have no business questioning someone’s reason for attending a funeral of a family member. Yes, it is their class and their exam, but it is presumptuous of them to assume they can dictate a student’s personal affairs in a time of grief and despair with the consequence of a zero for the exam if not in attendance. We students must advocate for ourselves in these situations. We work hard and pay thousands of dollars for our education, and if missing an exam because of our family member’s funeral is seen by some professors as inexcusable, then stand up and call out the injustice.

Students should be able to leave their housing contracts Abby Lawson Elementary Education amlawso3@svsu.edu

Think back to your freshman year. Whatever your feelings were about it, if you lived on campus, I am certain you have some sort of roommate story. For most of us, these stories aren’t pleasant. I remember being thrilled to befriend my roommates, in college and start my career. Unfortunately, I entered SVSU blind and had an absolutely horrible first-year roommate experience. It was so negative, in fact, that four of the six roommates I originally had left. Then two of the replacements left. This year, I planned to room with all of my

friends, but sadly, in July, we were all split up. So, I was again faced with less than amazing roommates. At each of these points, I asked myself, “Why can’t I just leave? I am an adult.” I was confronted with the reality that I had signed a binding housing contract and was unable to leave housing to live off campus. I could’ve opted to give up my individual room and live in a double efficiency or again move blindly into another space, but I chose to stick it out. Each time, my mental health suffered. I don’t claim to have horrible mental health, but I know many of us struggle on a day-today basis to cope with college, let alone cope when our living environments are hostile. Our RAs are wonderful and trained very well. However, the reality is that as much as they mediate and assist, they don’t live with you and can’t change people’s behavior

patterns. My past roommates have not all been horrible people, but they have done things to make it hard to live in the same space as them. You might be thinking that these problems were purely me and my doing; even if they were, do I not have the right to walk away when I am upset? Should we as young adults not have the right to leave if we are uncomfortable? I should not have to drop out of SVSU, pay fines or provide documentation when I am simply unwell because of my living space. I love SVSU, and I love living on campus, but I do not love feeling trapped. If I had had the opportunity to leave my housing contract after my fall 2018 semester here, I would have and thus also would have drastically improved my grades, my involvements and so much more.

Instead, I had to stay and learn “grit,” “resilience” “good communication skills” and the ability to “deal.” Couldn’t I have learned those things without crying every night because my roommates blared music until 3 a.m., dirtied everything I owned, screamed in my face and had strange men over? I learned nothing from dealing other than to hide, to not be so particular about cleanliness and that not all people wanted to be my friends. If SVSU considered allowing us to choose to leave our housing contracts, I am certain we would save so many people from telling their horror stories, but rather sharing why SVSU was the best experience of their lives. I understand sometimes people will scheme the system, but as someone who knows humans do better with trust, we should be granted that sincerity.

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Kanola band brings the music of New Orleans to SVSU Melissa Vennix


Vanguard Reporter

he Kanola Band had attendees clapping and singing along to New Orleans–style jazz in the Rhea Miller on Feb. 5. The Kanola Band is made up of five members based out of Kalamazoo. The name of the band signifies their origins, the KA, for Kalamazoo, and for the style of music they play, the NOLA, for New Orleans. Several members teach music at universities or institutes. Seth Ebersole, the SVSU jazz artist in residence, plays woodwind instruments for the band. Benje Daneman, a trumpet player, engaged the audience by encouraging singing, telling jokes and introducing the other members. He got pianist Matthew Fries to show off some dance moves as well. Other members of the band were Jeff Moehle on drums and Chance Trottman-Huiet on tuba. One of the songs the band played included “You Are My Sunshine,” which the whole audience could sing along to. Nearly everyone in the audience was clapping along to several of the songs the band played. There were three songs that people were encouraged to participate in. Daneman got the audience warmed up and comfortable interacting with some light–hearted vocal warmups. Felicia Snyder, a music freshman, said she

Kanola band performs New Orleans style jazz and encourages audience participation. Vanguard Photo | Adam Stepanski enjoyed the concert. “I thought it was great that they involved the audience in what they were doing on stage,” Snyder said. “It made the concert more enjoyable for me knowing that they wanted all of us to interact with the music.” Vincent Frank, a music senior, said the concert was fun because he likes to sing along. “We got to sing–along and, you know, I’m a voice maker, so it’s always nice,” Frank said.

“Usually concerts you can just sit there and watch and listen, this was different. It was good.” SVSU has a variety of concerts each semester for the community and students to attend. Music majors are required to attend a lot of them. Frank said the concert was different and less serious than some of the classical concerts. “They do a good job of having a good diverse concert series, but this was a little bit

Hateful Things lecture showcases racist artifacts Kamryn Brady Vanguard Reporter

David Pilgrim, the founder and director of the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University, brought racist artifacts to the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum. Pilgrim spoke about the pieces during the Hateful Things lecture on Feb. 5 in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall. Pilgrim collected his first piece of racist memorabilia when he was barely a teenager at a flea market. In the mid–1990s, he donated over 3,000 artifacts to Ferris State University, where the Jim Crow museum resides today. Most of the museum pieces are from the Jim Crow period, from 1870s to 1960. However, Pilgrim said the museum also displays items that were created in recent years, which surprises people when they visit the museum. “Young visitors to the museum ask me, ‘What was it like to live during the civil

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SVSU concert choir singers performed a “once in a lifetime” concert with the National Arab Orchestra’s Takht Ensemble. The Feb. 7 concert was part of the ensemble’s educational performance series. Sterling Heights native Michael Ibrahim founded the nonprofit orchestra in 2009 to demonstrate to audiences the fundamental elements of Arabic music. While most of the pieces were quartet-only arrangements by Ibrahim, the concert choir did join in during “Lamma Bada.” Audrey Johnson, a music education sophomore in both concert choir and Cardinal Singers, said the performance was a “once in

Melissa Vennix

The Hateful Things Exhibit features about 40 items. Vanguard Photo | Brandon Hull rights struggle?’ I gently tell them that we are living during the civil rights struggle,” Pilgrim said. He also pointed out that these items aren’t what people usually think of as propaganda – they are everyday objects. Some of these everyday items included license plates, playing cards and postcards.

a lifetime” opportunity. She soloed during the arrangement, which was an Arabic love story with themes and variations on the same melodies and verses. Johnson said the singers were not able to perform with the quartet before the recital, but Ibrahim was able to join them during their Feb. 5 rehearsal. “He worked with us on diction because he is from the Arab culture,” she said. “He said, ‘You guys did great preparing the song, but you’re saying it kind of all wrong.’ We had no idea. There was no offense taken anywhere.” Johnson said Ibrahim gave the singers the “educational points” of the arrangement that they normally do not receive during class. “He talked a lot about not necessarily about the differences in music but the cultures

The National Arab Orchestra performs Arabic-based music. Vanguard Photo | Brooke Elward

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Profs discuss social justice in online gaming Vanguard Reporter

He said that he noticed the art around Ferris State lacked diversity. Pilgrim said there is a simple question to ask if one is trying to figure out if their college campus is truly inclusive. “Do the people believe the campus belongs to them as much as everyone else?” he asked.

Soloist reflects on singing with national orchestra Kaitlyn Farley

more light-hearted than some other, more classical serious type stuff, which is good too, but it’s nice to have a mix,” Frank said. The band mingled with some of the students afterward who had questions or wanted to talk to members they knew. Many people stuck around chatting about how much they enjoyed the concert. “I just had a great time,” Frank said. “I wasn’t expecting to have such a great time.”

themselves, too, and how that effects the music and how the songs are sung,” she said. As a soloist, Johnson said she was fortunate enough to receive a one-on-one lesson with Ibrahim after concert choir’s rehearsal Wednesday night. “It felt like, ‘You are a really big name, and I get a coaching from you,’” she said. “I remember saying that it’s almost like you’re taking everything you’re trained to do here as a classical singer and throwing it out the window for a moment. You have to adapt to that culture and how they sing.” Johnson said the singers wanted to “get the message out” that they are trying new things and stepping out of their comfort zone. “Even with going back to our mental health concert last year, there’s a very big sense of fear when it comes to doing something new,” she said. “Are we going to offend anyone? How is this going to come across to the public?” Johnson said the risks to both the mental health concert and the Arabic-only singing during Friday’s concert were worth it. “When we first found out we were singing it Arabic, we were scared,” she said. “French, Italian and Old English are pretty standard for classic singing, but Arabic isn’t. I think we all learned a little something from it.” Johnson said more choirs should take risks and take “the bigger step instead of doing the norm” for more concerts. “You’re educating your audience,” she said. “If you said Arabic music, the audience would probably have some sense of what that is, but if you said Arabic chorale music, they probably wouldn’t have a clue what you’re talking about.” She said most audience members think of “Aladdin” when they hear mention of “Arabic music.” Johnson said the Friday concert helped challenge that misconception. “(The concert was) really important for us and the audience,” she said. “ We learned from Michael and the orchestra, and we got to educate the audience about chorale music and what it’s like in the Arabic world.”

SVSU faculty members want games to explore social justice, not encourage crime. Melissa Hobart, Sheruni Ratnabalasuriar and Tim Rowlands contributed to the book “Woke Gaming” with a chapter about changing gameplay to explore the issues that are portrayed in games like Grand Theft Auto (GTA) Online. “There was a really interesting article by Gonzalo Frasca, who was asking us to think about how to sort of turn games on their heads,” Rowlands said. “Could you take the rationale, the goal orientation of games, and make it somehow about social justice?” Hobart, Ratnabalasuriar and Rowlands made new missions in GTA Online to do just that. GTA Online lets players use the mechanics of the game to create unique missions. Rowlands said they focused on how this would change the gameplay and cause people to think about the justice dimensions of it since all media contains reflections of our society. “We take video games as sort of this playful realm of myth where we get to actually engage with it and create it and co-create together,” Rowlands said. “When we’re doing it with all this violence and all this crime and instrumental rationality, it certainly reflects our society as a whole.” The group’s main interest is reworking the game and seeing what that would look like. They created missions that paid attention to social justice, but instead of committing crime, the goal was the opposite. “It was a just an exploration of what can you do with existing technology,” he said. “As you do that, it gets you to rethink what’s possible and also what the key assumptions that are just embedded in the games we all play.” Ratnabalasuriar said game developers are trying to get players to be more mindful as they play. “It’s interesting that in some of those games, the developers are like ‘No, confront some of the stuff that you’re actually doing here,’” Ratnabalasuriar said. “That seems so casual. You should feel viscerally disturbed. … This should be something that you’re concerned by.” Hobart said that violence and misogyny are just two topics that are at the forefront of the game, but there are also aspects of more covert messaging. “There’s a lot of stereotypical representation where anybody who does not have white skin is usually the bad guy or the criminal or, you know, living in the slums in the game rather than in the nicer area,” Hobart said. Though the chapter written by Hobart, Ratnabalasuriar and Rowlands focuses on just one game and one way to analyze themes of a game, the book focuses in general on being mindful in gaming. “Just be a little bit more mindful in your play,” Ratnabalasuriar said. “Be aware of the different kinds of messages that are being given to you rather than just unproblematically consuming them.”

A&E Editor Shelby Mott | E-mail smmott@svsu.edu | Office 989-964-4482 | Instagram @TheValleyVanguard

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Leadoff Luncheon kicks off baseball season Kaitlyn Farley


Vanguard Editor-in-Chief

ead coach Steve Jaksa and the baseball team celebrated the new season with roughly 150 community during their Feb. 8 Leadoff Luncheon. The luncheon helped the team excite fans for the upcoming season. An autograph and social kicked off the event, followed by a lunch and team introductions. Justin Garcia, a 2002 baseball alumnus and former team coach, spoke at the event. Garcia led the team to back-to-back GLIAC championships from 2001 to 2002. He coached infielders and hitters as an assistant coach from 2015 to 2018. SVSU baseball team card sets were available for $5. Attendees could also buy a baseball for the same price. Players were lined up at tables to autograph items. Jaksa said the luncheon was good exposure for the players. “That’s something different we added,” Jaksa said. “They get excited about that sort of stuff. We start in less than a week, and we’re ready to go. You can tell the guys have cabin fever, and they’re ready to start playing and have some fun.” Jaksa said the team is in good shape to start their new season. “They played a lot of hard-nosed, close games, so we feel good about coming back for this year,” he said. “We had a nice run at the end, so we hope to pick up where we left off.” He said the team will focus on situational hitting and pitching as they prepare for the new season. “You want to be able to hit a certain way depending on where the runners are,” he said. “It’s the same thing with pitching. It’s the ability to be able to command your pitches. If you were a two-pitch guy last year, maybe try

Freshman Matt Montroy, sophomore Thomas Loftus and freshman Derek Slocum sign autographs. Vanguard Photo | Audrey Bergey to add a third pitch this year.” Jaksa said the team has several good returning players for the upcoming season. “We had several guys who played really well last year, so we’re expecting them to play really well again this year,” he said. “We had John Riggs, who was a transfer from Alma last year. Andrew Burke played short-stop, so he’ll probably play second base. He’ll probably play both. He hadn’t played a lot until last year.” All returners are expected to play well this season, Jaksa said. “They’re battle tested – they’ve been through it,” he said. “If they play well, then the rest of the guys will fall in line.”

Thomas Loftus, a sophomore outfielder, said he looks forward to “getting back out there.” “We ended on a hot streak last year, so we’re ready to keep that going this season,” he said. “The biggest thing we need to work on is winning close games. We lost a lot of close games last year, so hopefully we can be the ones winning them this year.” Gerrit Eding, a senior catcher and infielder, said he plans on working on consistency for his last season with the team. “For me personally, I’m working on staying consistent with the bat,” he said. “Once I get on base, I can use my speed to score runs.” Eding said his teammates have become

his close friends, and he enjoyed seeing the program grow once Jaksa took over last season. “We’ve seen the program go up as the years go on, and we’re very grateful to have Coach Jaksa here,” he said. “He’s brought a very good perspective to our team and a lot of maturity. I’m just really happy to have him here, and I’m looking forward to the start of the year.” For Eding, the luncheon helped the players and the fans get ready for the new season. “It’s extremely important to grab as many people as we can to kick off our season,” he said. “We wear the Saginaw Valley name on our shirts, so it’s not just about the team. It’s about the university and the community.”

Hockey beats Davenport twice over the weekend Denver Milam Vanguard Sports Editor

A rowdy crowd filled the seats at the SaginawBay Ice Arena for SVSU’s Feb. 8 7-3 win against Davenport. Following the wins SVSU is now on a threegame winning streak. SVSU scored with 15:29 left in the first period. They scored often during the game, netting seven pucks in the game. Following the first goal by freshman defender Brendan Baker, the Cardinals were called for two penalties 20 seconds apart. First was a penalty by sophomore forward Aaron Shahin, followed by sophomore forward Troy McLaughlin. Davenport was unable to capitalize on the two power plays, and then a penalty of their own put the Cardinals on their first power play

of the game with 9:36 left in the first period. Junior forward and captain Steven Kukla was able to find the back of the net for a powerplay goal with 8:41 still on the clock, giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. Freshman defenseman Nick Brosky was called for a penalty with 8:12 left in the first, followed by a Davenport foul with 2:27 left. Neither opportunity led to a goal. In the second period, SVSU was called for four more penalties. They were able to score two goals to extend their lead. A penalty by freshman defenseman Kyle Kubiak came with 18:42 remaining in the second. SVSU was able to kill the power-play and then had an opportunity of their own after a Davenport penalty three minutes later. Shahin found the back of the net with 14:46 left in the period for the Cardinals’ second power-play goal of the game, which pushed

their lead to 3-0. Davenport was able to score with 3:28 left in the period, but another penalty by the Panthers set up Kubiak’s power-play goal with 36 seconds left in the second period. SVSU carried a 4-1 lead into the third period, which was too much for Davenport to overcome. A penalty by sophomore defenseman Corey Churchill came less than two minutes into the period, but Shahin was able to score a shorthanded goal with 17:47 left on the clock. Fans could feel the tension rising in the game as penalties continued to rack up for both teams. Chants eventually began for junior forward Ernest Travick, who has been known as an instigator for the team this season. Moments after the first chant for Travick ended, he was ejected from the game with 12:41 left for yelling at the refs for a penalty

called on him. SVSU’s student section erupted in cheers since they enjoyed the show by Travick but were angered by the ejection. Shahin was called for a penalty shortly after, leading to the second goal for Davenport. Kukla scored less than a minute later for the Cardinals, pushing their lead to 6-2. After a penalty for each team with 3:00 left on the clock, SVSU’s fans began to chant, “We miss Ernie,” since the game had remained chippy even after his departure. Kukla was able to finish off a hat-trick as he scored his third goal with 22.9 seconds left in the game, giving the Cardinals a 7-3 win. SVSU’s next game is Feb. 14 against the Northwood Timberwolves at the Bay County Civic Arena. The team will finish their season the following night at the Midland Civic Arena.

Women’s basketball Men’s team moves wins weekend games into fifth in GLIAC Denver Milam Vanguard Sports Editor

SVSU’s women’s basketball team won both of their games over the weekend. They pushed their winning streak to three games after defeating GLIAC North leading Ferris State 82-68 and Lake Superior State 82-60. Head coach Jenny Pruett said she believes the team is hitting its stride. “I think we have our rhythm down and are playing great with each other,” she said. “One of our goals is to have high assist games and have fun playing with each other, and I’m excited that this team has taken that goal to heart.” SVSU’s 21 assists for the Feb. 6 game shows that the team is working to find the open player more often, which has led to an increase in their team shooting percentage. Sophomore guards Maddie Barrie and Maddie Maloney were able to combine for seven of the team’s assists. They also contributed a combined 26 points. Freshman guard Kaitlyn Zarycki was the catalyst for SVSU’s success Feb. 6, as she was able to score 25 points to go along with her six rebounds and four assists. Freshman forward Tori DePerry was also a big part of the victory. She was able to score 14 points and pull in nine rebounds, which was the most for either team. Zarycki and DePerry were also key players in SVSU’s win against Lake State on Feb. 8. They combined for 40 of the team’s 82 points along with 13 rebounds and four assists. Barrie and Maloney were able to add in

another 24 points against the Lakers. Sophomore center Kyndall Spires scored seven points and grabbed a rebound off the bench. Pruett said she was happy with the Cardinal practices this week and saw that carry over to success on the court. “We had very good practices leading up to this weekend,” Pruett said. “We were all on the same page, the energy in the gym was amazing all week and we were ready to get a sweep this weekend.” The three-game win streak for the Cardinals is their longest of the season, and it came right before the season turns to the GLIAC playoffs, which the top eight GLIAC teams qualify for. As the season has progressed, Pruett said she has seen her team go stronger from their earlier struggles. “The beginning of our season was tough, as we lost so many close games, but we learn through every loss,” Pruett said. “We are learning how to play with each other despite losses due to injury. I think we are in a good spot, and that it what every coach wants – to play your best basketball in February.” After this weekend’s wins, SVSU moved into third place in the GLIAC South with an overall record of 12-11 and a GLIAC record of 7-8, which puts them at sixth in the conference. The team sits two games above ninth seeded Northwood with five games remaining in the regular season. SVSU’s next game is at Grand Valley on Feb. 13 before they return home to face Davenport on Feb. 15.

Morgan Couchman Vanguard Reporter

SVSU men’s basketball fell Feb. 8 to Lake Superior State 66-82. SVSU led the game for most of the first half. Sophomore guard Myles Belyeu started off the game with a layup. The Cardinals had a five-point lead for most of the first half. In the last thirty seconds of the half, Lake Superior State made a three-point shot, stealing away SVSU’s lead, 36-38. LSSU led the rest of the game. The final score was 66-82, bringing SVSU to a 14-9 overall for the season. Head coach Randy Baruth said he was proud of the team for bouncing back after losing a few games in a row. “I’m happy that they bounce back,” he said. “You know, we lost a couple games, two or three in a row. I think they could have easily folded and said. ‘To heck with it,’ but they bounce back. Right now, we’re trying to push them from being happy and content with being in third to where they want to be. That’s the biggest challenge.” Senior forward Fred John Jr. said the team has improved most on how the respond to challenges during the game. Junior center Sebastiano Lamonato said the team is doing well so far. “I think we’re pretty happy with the situation right at the moment,” he says. “[We] pulled away down from a couple of bad games back to where we are. We’re in a good spot without having to get a lot

better.” Baruth said he is hoping to bring more consistency to the court. “I think that we see spurts,” he says. “Spurts of our team get a little tougher, a little grittier. And then there’s days where we just got some guys who are checked out. They don’t bring consistency. There’s some spurts, like Saturday, where we’re as gritty and as tough as a performance I’ve seen in eight years I’ve been here.” He said the team’s perimeters are always solid. “Our perimeters are pretty good, one through four,” he said. “Depending upon what we’re playing in those four positions, they’re pretty good, just about as good as anyone in the league.” Baruth said John Jr., Lamonato and freshman forward Jarno Pomstra are “getting better all of the time.” “They are who they are,” Baruth said. “They’re not monumental scorers, but they defend well, and they’re trying to rebound well and help the guards out as much as they can. So, our perimeters are pretty solid.” SVSU stands at No. 5 in the GLIAC, tied with Northern Michigan University and Northwood University. There are five games left until the GLIAC Tournament quarterfinals and SVSU currently sits one game ahead of Ashland and Lake State for the last playoff spot The team’s next game is Feb. 18 at Grand Valley State University.

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