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Monday, April 8, 2019

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Drag show features queens from across Michigan.

Senior art students showcase work in Counter Culture exhibit.

Track and field excels at Spartan Invitational.

Vol. 51 No. 23

Saginaw Valley State University’s student newspaper since 1967

Event raises sexual assault awareness Shelby Mott Vanguard Reporter


n Monday, April 1, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge, the “What Were You Wearing” exhibit debuted. Four organizations from the Saginaw area provided information at the event: the Bay Area Women’s Center, the Underground Railroad, Child and Family Services and Shelterhouse. All these organizations aid victims of sexual assault. Shawn Schutt, the prevention education coordinator from Underground Railroad, talked about the importance of ending victim blaming, and how this event helps do that. “By asking them the question ‘what were you wearing,’ you’re taking the blame off of their perpetrator and then placing it on them,” Schutt said. “It’s never their fault.” After Schutt finished speaking, attendees were able to look closely at the exhibit, which showcased clothes and descriptions. “When you actually see (the clothes), you can understand it more from (the victim’s) perspective, rather than just hearing about it,” said Sarah Sarantis, a social work junior. Each clothing display had a card on it with a quote from the survivor, answering the question “what were you wearing?” Some of the clothing displays were inspired by university students. “My favorite yellow shirt, but I don’t know what pants I was wearing,” read one display card. “I remember being so confused and just wanting to leave my brother’s room and go back to watching cartoons.” Some of the displays brought attention to the difference in how survivors are treated based on gender.

Hunter Koch elected SA president Kaitlyn Farley Vanguard Editor-in-Chief

The “What Were You Wearing” exhibit debuted on April 1, and showcased various articles of clothing survivors of sexual assault were wearing when they were assaulted.. Vanguard Photos | Nicole Vogelpohl

“A university t-shirt and cargos,” read one display card. “It’s funny; no one has ever asked me that before. They ask me if being raped means I’m gay or if I fought back or how I could let this happen to me, but never about my clothes.” According to Sarantis, the event raised awareness about sexual assault and events similar should

happen more often. “There should always be more sexual assault awareness events on campus, for all colleges,” she said. Jenna Mahar, a social work junior, appreciated people taking the time to come to the event. “It made me feel good that there was a big turnout,” Mahar said. “It showed that a lot of peo-

ple care or at least they’re talking about it in their classes.” Talking about sexual assault can be a taboo subject, but Mahar hopes that one day it won’t be. “(I was reminded) how taboo it still really is,” Mahar said. “When you’re working in the social work field, we talk about it a lot, and I forget how taboo a lot of people still think it is to talk about it.”

SVSU students voted Hunter Koch as their 2019-2020 Student Association (SA) president. Polls closed on Thursday, April 4, at 4:30 p.m., and the winner was announced in the SA office in Doan 103 shortly afterward. This year, 795 students voted. Koch received 452 votes. Denver Milam received 66 votes, and Ryan Silvestri received 277 votes. “I felt good coming into this,” Koch said. “(My campaign team) never stopped campaigning. Literally, we had people canvassing until 4:30. I’m happy with how it turned out.” Current SA President Caitlin Coulter was happy with this year’s election season. “I was glad to see a contested election,” she said. “I ran unopposed unfortunately, so it’s nice to see student involvement. I think it went really well, and I think all participants had a lot of great things going for them, and I’m glad that (Koch) will be moving forward.” She was particularly happy with the voter turnout. “I’m hoping we get the same interest going into next year,” she said. “We’ve got some big things coming up, like hopefully continuing a fundraising tournament. So, I’m hoping students will stay interested and stay active.” Koch said one of his first tasks as president-elect will be to create adhoc committees. “One of the powers the president has is being able to create ad-hoc committees, and we’re going to start to get those formed so that over the summer these committees can really do the legwork [to accomplish their


40 students volunteer for Cesar Chavez Day of Service Hannah Beach Vanguard A&E Editor

Various campus groups recently teamed up to host the Cesar Chavez Day of Service on Friday and Saturday, April 5 and 6. The groups included the Center for Community Engagement, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Student Life, Community Engagement Council and the Office of International and Advanced Studies. The Community Engagement Council, comprised of students from service-based RSOs, reached out to several local organizations in need of help. “We always try to serve with a diverse group of partners who are affecting different issues that the community is facing,” said Riley Hupfer, the assistant director of the Center for Community Engagement. Students who volunteered for Saturday’s service day worked at the Underground Railroad’s resale shop, helped with Mustard Seed’s new building and assisted at Habitat for Humanity. Hupfer noted that SVSU has partnered with these organizations before. “(Mustard Seed’s) new building was funded in part by SVSU’s

Students volunteered for the Cesar Chavez Day of Service on Friday and Saturday,April 5 and 6.Volunteers worked at the Underground Railroad, Habitat for Humanity and Mustard Seed. Vanguard Photo | Jolie Wyse

Battle of the Valleys fundraiser in 2017,” he said. Roberto Garcia, the director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, hoped that students would

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take the opportunity to serve their community and learn about Cesar Chavez’s legacy. “I hope they understand the importance of volunteering,”

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Garcia said. “It’s important to know how to get involved.” Kathy Perez, a student coordinator in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, expressed similar

hopes for student volunteers. She also mentioned that the service day was intended to be a follow-up for the MLK Day service projects. “We wanted another big service day when the weather was nicer,” said Ashely Frank, a member of the Community Engagement Council. “We wanted this to be bigger because a lot of people are passionate about service but don’t know where to serve or what to do.” Nearly 40 volunteers attended presentations and team-building exercises Friday night from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The presentations sought to teach students about Chavez and his many contributions. Saturday was then spent engaging in service projects around the Saginaw and Bay City area from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The service day ended with dinner and time for students to reflect on the impact of their work. “My hope is always for students to learn about our community and the importance of active citizenship through service,” Hupfer said. “As we are also celebrating Cesar Chavez and his legacy, we look forward to an opportunity to learn about an iconic civil rights activist.”

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Page A2 | Monday, April 8, 2019 | | The Valley Vanguard

POLICE APTW conference showcases student projects BRIEFS

changes made to the PTW program and an alumni panel where attendees could ask Vanguard Reporter questions. Bradley Herzog, a professor of rhetoric and professional writing, said the n Friday, April 5, in various rooms changes were long overdue. in Curtiss Hall, the Association “We’ve been kind of stuck at a plateau of Professional and Technical for 10 years because the program hasn’t Writers (APTW) hosted their 11th annual changed,” Herzog said. “We really needmini-conference. ed to change it and This year’s adapt to keep up theme was Techwith what’s going nical Writers as on in the workProblem Solvers. place, with what’s The event was going on in the broken into four profession.” different sessions Herzog believes and consisted of the changes will a speech from the be beneficial to the keynote speaker, current and future Trevor Baranek an PTW students, but SVSU alumni. The they may be initialfirst and second ly difficult. sessions were the “I’m excited professional and about the changtechnical writing es,” Herzog said. (PTW) students “The challenge giving presentawill be the transitions on projects tion because everythey’d been workthing was impleing on. mented so quickly One presentathat everybody’s tion given during Scott Kowalski, an RPW professor, spoke at the Association of Professional and Technical kind of struggling the second session Writing mini-conference about future changes to the RPW major. Vanguard Photo | Kyle Will to come to terms was from Matthew with it right now, but I think it’s good that some ideas about how they can approach Hintz, who spoke on the importance of we’re starting early because then we can similar projects in the future,” Tetu said. making a contract in freelance work as well adapt.” According to Tetu, attendees got a as promoting yourself as a professional. Herzog was proud of how the event chance to see what some PTW alumni did “We’re not just students, we’re profeswent, and he even learned new things himafter graduation. sionals,” Hintz said. “And the faster we self. “This year, we had a mix of both indusstart thinking of ourselves that way, the “I’ve learned a lot (Friday),” Herzog try professionals and graduate students,” faster we start carrying ourselves that said. “It’s been fun to hear about people Tetu said. “So, people got to hear from way.” celebrating their projects and what they’re both sides, their different journeys, their Hintz also gave advice to those going learning and what they’re reflecting on. So, experiences.” into freelance work. I’m hoping that we’ll have many more conThe final two sessions of the event were “As a freelancer, you’re going to hear a ferences in the future.” a faculty panel talking about the recent lot that you’re getting paid in exposure,”

Shelby Mott

Police briefs are written according to reports from University Police. They indicate preliminary descriptions of events and not necessarily actual incidents.

Fire Alarm At 3:05 p.m. on March 28, an unknown suspect pulled a fire alarm in Curtiss Hall. This incident was still under investigation.

Suspicious Situation At 3 p.m. on March 29, a 20-year-old female student reported that she entered Merry Jo Brandimore House and a female followed her into the building. The female followed her to the third floor and stood behind her when she got to her friend’s door. The other female is a student and the situation was still under investigation.

Threats At 8 p.m. on April 1, a 20-yearold male student reported that he became friends with an unknown female on Facebook. He was having conversations with her on Facebook and she was trying to blackmail him out of money. She sent him photos and threatened to send them to his family and friends. He was told to block her and have no further contact with the female.


Hintz said. “That is a lie. It’s a tactic they use because they don’t value our work as professionals.” Imari Tetu, a PTW senior and the president of the APTW, hopes that attendees would be inspired by the projects. “I’m hoping the takeaway is a better perspective on our specific projects and also

Koch was greeted by an excited group in the SA office on Thursday, April 4, when it was announced that he was elected as the 2019- 2020 SA president. Vanguard Photo | Kyle Will

PRESIDENT, continued from A1

This year’s charity drag show showcased drag queens from across Michigan who performed to raise money for Sacred Heart Rehab Center. Vanguard Photos | Kyle Will

Charity drag show fundraises for Sacred Heart Rehab Center Hannah Beach Vanguard A&E Editor

The Pride Center and Rainbow Advocacy hosted its 12th annual charity drag show on Saturday, April 6, at 7 p.m. in the TSAR. The event, titled “Scream Queens,” raised money for Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center out of Saginaw and Bay City. Though the show’s obvious intent was fundraising for Sacred Heart, Pride Center affiliates noted that it was still a campus event, directed at students and the community. “(The event) is meant to create community engagement and a way to reach out,” said Teresa Casanova, a Pride Center intern. “Of course, we want to raise as much money as possible, but we also want to create awareness.” Trevor Phelps, another Pride Center staff member, added that he hoped the event

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would “create a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community” and let students have fun. The show featured local drag queens, all of whom donated their time and tips to the cause. The event also had a silent auction with gift baskets donated by numerous local partners, such as Modern Craft Winery, Rock Your Locks Salon and Painterly Pottery. In addition to music provided by Cardinal Radio, there was also a photo booth and snacks available for purchase. Money raised by the silent auction also went to benefit Sacred Heart. Many students were in attendance and had a great time both watching and interacting with the performers. “It was a lot of fun,” said Lydia Goodale, an education sophomore. “I’m definitely going to come back next year with more of my friends.”

goals],” he said. Another priority will be deciding who the new SA chairs will be. “A lot of the president’s role from now until the school year gets out … is to focus on who our chairs are going to be, who is going to lead this association forward for the upcoming year and finding the best people to make those decisions and making sure everyone has something they’re passionate about going into the next year,” he said. A major goal Koch has for next year is energizing SA. “I think the biggest thing to me is being able to energize our association to play more active roles on our campus,” he said. Koch also wants to focus on motivating students. “I know that a lot of our students feel that SVSU is a great place, and a lot of them know it is a great place,” he said. “But to show those students and to show freshmen next year that SVSU can be a greater place, that SVSU can be an elite institution in our country – that’s what it’s all about.” Koch wants to make himself accessible to students next year. “I’m looking at larger scale speaking engagements,” he said. “Obviously, the president is at Fresh Start, but I’m even open to talking to Cardinal Radio and others to expand whom the SA president talks to. Going to RSO meet-

ings, just being there and being able to have an upfront and open conversation about what’s happening on our campus.” Koch said he hopes to include the ideas of Milam and Silvestri in SA next year. “I definitely would look to their input and what road they feel like going down in the future,” he said. “I haven’t had a discussion with any of them yet, but I’d be interested in seeing where they’re at and how they can still potentially make a very valid impact.” Koch said Milam’s passion for transparency especially stood out to him during the election season. “That’s something that earlier on in my first year with the Association I was passionate about too,” he said. “I think he has some great ideas about that.” Milam said he looks forward to hearing more of Koch’s ideas next year. “Koch ran a great campaign,” he said. “He has a lot of ideas and the heart to follow through on them. I look forward to what he and the Association as a whole can do over the next year.” Silvestri said he had fun campaigning. “I was too busy having a good time and forgot I had to get votes,” he said. Koch said he was thankful to everyone who helped him with the campaign. “I’m thankful for my campaign team,” he said. “I’m thankful for all the people who have gotten me to this point, our faculty here and just everyone at our university.”

News Editor Taylor Stockton | E-mail | Office (989) 964-4482 | Twitter @VVanguardNews


The Valley Vanguard | | Monday, April 8, 2019 | Page A3

Attendees of SAGSA’s LGBTQ&A panel were able to ask questions of several panelists who identify as being on the LGBT spectrum. Vanguard Photo | Jolie Wyse

LGBTQ&A panel, forum asks challenging questions Micali Gadola


Vanguard Reporter

n Thursday, April 4, the SVSU’s Sexuality and Gender Spectrum Alliance (SAGSA) hosted its first “LGBTQ&A” panel in the Alumni Lounge in Curtiss Hall. The panel, which took place at 8 p.m., was

organized primarily by biology senior Mia Berlanga, with help from the other officers of SAGSA’s executive board. “The goal of this event was to provide a space for students to ask questions of members of the LGBT community that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to ask for fear of sounding ignorant or offensive,” Berlanga said.

According to Berlanga, SAGSA’s executive board has been working hard on planning the panel since last year. The group decided that it would be a beneficial event for college students, whether they are on the LGBTQ+ spectrum themselves, or if they aren’t and just want to learn more about the community. The panel itself was led by the president of SAGSA, Megan Flattery, as the moderator and Sam Miller as the host. The panel consisted of SAGSA members. Each of the members featured at the event proudly identified as somewhere on the LGBT spectrum. They willingly offered up information about their experiences. After brief introductions and an explanation of some important vocabulary, discussions started covering a wide array of topics. Some of these topics included pronoun usage, gender identity and expression, the benefits and drawbacks of using labels, and coming out stories. In addition to the pre-written questions and speaking topics the panelists came prepared with, student attendees were given various opportunities and methods for asking questions.

“We took questions and comments from the people who attended,” Berlanga said. “There was also an option for paper submissions before we started, and we used a website as a way for attendees to submit questions anonymously in real time.” SAGSA’s members included the opportunity to submit questions anonymously because they wanted everyone in the room to feel comfortable enough to ask the question they wanted to ask without having the pressure of everyone else knowing that they asked it. “We thought it would be beneficial to have the main method for asking questions be something we could filter through before presenting the questions to the audience,” Berlanga said. Berlanga thought the panel created an environment in which everyone in the room felt comfortable enough to speak their mind and share their stories. “This event was a chance for us to share the stories of members of the LGBTQ+ community and to demonstrate that every person has their own unique experience and that they have resources and people who will support them along the way,” Berlanga said.

Four OT students create person-first language project Alyssa McMillan Vanguard Reporter

Alyssa McMillan Vanguard Reporter

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Four SVSU occupational therapy (OT) students created a person-first language project to advocate for patients. Occupational therapy is a health profession that helps individuals complete tasks they need in their everyday life. The OT group believes person-first language is incredibly important for the patients. They need to be seen as a person. An example of this is saying ‘a child who has autism’ instead of saying ‘an autistic child.’ It focuses on the person themselves and puts the disease or illness second. One requirement to graduate from the OT program is to create an advocacy involvement project. OT sophomore Miranda Oswald believed April was the perfect time to educate people on the importance of person-first language since it’s OT Month. “People are unaware of the way that they refer to individuals who have a disability,” Oswald said. “Oftentimes, individuals and healthcare workers are not educated or aware about the use of first-person language and why it’s so important.” The group’s goal is to spread awareness and educate others on the use of person-first language. They want to facilitate focusing

on the positive aspects of the person. They want to make sure people acknowledge them as a person first and not just their diagnosis. “The use of person-first language gives others the chance to recognize that the child is a person first, not their disability,” Oswald said. “It has a lasting positive impact in ensuring that we as a society are accepting and recognizing that those who have a disability are most importantly a person.” OT sophomore Amber Brown believes OT can help change people’s lives. She decided to go into the profession after realizing how important simple tasks were to her. “I know how much it means to me to be able to do the things I love,” Brown said. “When I realized OT is all about finding different ways to help people do what they love, it was an easy decision for me.” Master of OT student Kasey Flintoft hopes the one thing people will take away from this project is that their words and what they say has an impact. “Our hope is that people will begin to recognize the impact of their words and will choose to utilize person-first language,” Flintoft said. “I hope they will tell others about it and what they have learned so that more of the world may recognize its impact and utilized its power.”

News Editor Taylor Stockton | E-mail | Office (989) 964-4482 | Twitter @VVanguardNews


Page A4 | Monday, April 8, 2019 | | The Valley Vanguard

Some things are basic human rights, not debate topics Maria Ranger Reporter Creative Writing

I find it alarming how easily people will debate things that, at their core, are human rights violations. While there’s nothing wrong with a debate, it’s disgusting to see people play “devil’s advocate” on things like if a certain group of people deserves equality or not. Last week, I saw a screenshot of a tweet regarding a debate on BBC titled “Should people with learning disabilities be allowed to work for less than minimum wage?” I was half-angry and half-heartbroken that anyone would even think that’s a reasonable topic to debate. Nobody should be allowed to work for less than minimum wage. It was created to be the minimum amount of money someone can get by on. (Aside from that, for most places in America, the minimum wage doesn’t even meet that standard, though that’s another topic.)

What makes the “should mentally disabled people be allowed to work for under minimum wage” question worse is that it takes advantage of already vulnerable people. People who have learning disabilities have fewer job or career options already. They may rely more on family for support, and they may also have expensive bills for things like medications or therapy that most other people don’t have to worry about. It’s alarming that anyone would think it’s OK to pay less than minimum wage, and it’s even worse to think that disabled people deserve to be paid less. It’s dehumanizing. So-called debates like this aren’t uncommon. For example, the U.S. has a history of forced sterilization. Clearly, this is bad because it’s eugenics, and it’s taking away someone’s right to reproduce. However, forced sterilization is still a problem, just in different ways. Even today, many prisoners are given incentives to undergo sterilization. This is wrong because they are a vulnerable population. I am doing undergrad research in one of

my classes, and prisoners are a protected group who need extra precautions to work with. Since they are not free, they can’t consent to a scientific study in the same way anyone else can. It seems wrong they can be rewarded for a decision they might not otherwise make, given the circumstances. Transgender people face the same issues. In a number of countries and U.S. states, they must undergo sterilization as part of the gender reassignment surgery in order to have their gender recognized on their birth certificate, driver’s license, etc. For many people, surgery is too expensive, and others may not want it because they want to have children. It’s wrong that they should be held to this standard. The only person whose business your genitals are, besides yourself, is your doctor, not the government. There are even people trying to justify children being separated from their families and thrown in jail at the border just because their families came here illegally. It’s honestly heartless that anyone can justify that. Children need their families, children shouldn’t be in jail and children

can’t be held accountable for the actions of their parents. Aside from that, people who just want to improve their lives should be helped, not treated like criminals. It’s wrong how we treat undocumented immigrants here. Anyone without a history of violent crime should be granted amnesty. Everyone deserves the right to food, water, shelter, healthcare, bodily autonomy, safety and justice. However, so many people still think these things are up for debate when they’re framed in a different way. It seems like so many people have an almost sociopathic attitude where they don’t care about how others can be hurt by certain policies, and it’s disheartening. There are certain things that just simply shouldn’t be up for debate, that shouldn’t be a political issue, because people’s lives and wellbeing are at stake. Everyone should have compassion for other people, and everyone should be doing their job to make sure that vulnerable or oppressed groups are not being taken advantage of or otherwise treated as inferior.

Movies don’t intend to offend with disability portrayals Abby Welsh Reporter Professional and Technical Writing Ever since Jordan Peele’s movie “Us” has hit theaters, it’s been buzzing. Viewers have gone to see it twice just to pick up on things they did not catch the first time around. Others are going to criticize. The lead actress Lupita Nyong’o is getting backlash today for her “voice disability” portrayal in the movie. If you have seen the movie, you know what I am talking about. If you have not, basically, the character’s whose voice she portrays has been strangled and also hasn’t really talked for years, so her voice is very strained and raspy when speaking. Nyong’o apparently got the inspiration for the voice from larynx disorder,

vocal cord hemorrhages and personal experience with vocal injuries. She allegedly offended those with larynx disorder by giving an evil character their sound. To me, it’s hard to see what the big deal is. It is a fictional story. Movies have to create a whole new world with new people, each with their own quirks. If they happen to have a minor disability, such as a voice issue, it isn’t meant to attack anyone, especially because Nyong’o’s character in “Us” actually has had problems with her throat and voice. It was nowhere mentioned in the movie that her character had larynx disorder. Her voice was merely inspired by it. This leads to portraying disabilities on the big screen. Some people are against it, and some people are for it. I personally do not see

a problem with accurately portraying disabilities in a movie, even if it’s done by a person who may not have those disabilities. Some of these stories need to be shown, or these disabilities need to be exposed to those who aren’t aware of them. Some brilliant movies have come from portraying disabilities: “Rain Man,” “Forrest Gump,” “I Am Sam,” to name a few. Sure, they are not as prevalent in horror movies as much as genres, but that doesn’t mean they’re trying to bash that group of people. It just happened to fit better for the story. Those who criticized Nyong’o also said that Hollywood tends to make the character with disability evil or an object of pity, which, again, I don’t find to always be true. Maybe the movies I mentioned previously are emotional, but they aren’t

meant to pity the characters. They’re meant to empathize with them and help the world realize they’re just like us. In a horror movie, it could be a little hard to get around, but in the case of “Us,” it was played out really well. For example, there’s another horror movie called “Hush” where the victim is a deaf woman. She defies all odds and lives through the whole thing. Disabilities in movies are most times meant to empower a character or really have them stand out. It would make sense for a group of people to be angry if they were outright attacking their disability, but in the case of “Us,” I really don’t think they were, or even meant to. If anything, it just piqued interest on why her voice was like that. Plus, Nyong’o’s character may even be seen by some as the good guy, not the evil one. Watch “Us” and judge for yourself.

Genetics do not define who your family members are Sierra Masson Reporter Secondary Education

If someone were to ask me who my family is, I would probably start by listing those with the “most life experience” and work my way down. I currently have two great-grandmothers who are still living their best lives, followed by my two grandfathers, my grandmother, my parents, a sea of aunts, uncles, and cousins and my little brother, all of which I share blood relations with. However, I wouldn’t stop with just my genetics. I extend those I call “family” to my Grandma Noreen. Technically, she is considered my step-grandmother, who I don’t have blood ties to, but this amazing woman has been in my family since before I was born. In my eyes, my Grandma Noreen is just my Grandma Noreen. That’s it. No strings attached. I’m so truly blessed to have her in my life for all the love, support, time and memories she has given me. When I was younger, I had a hard time keeping all of my grandmas and greatgrandmas straight.



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Kaitlyn Farley: editor-in-chief Taylor Stockton: news editor Dylan Powell: sports editor Hannah Beach: opinion, a&e editor Kyle Will: photography, design editor Kylie Braun: business manager Courtney Perrou: Advertising Manager

While I wasn’t sure how I was related to them all as a child, I also didn’t worry too much about it because each one loved me. I would also stretch my family to include my Aunt Nancy and my cousins Lindsey and Chelsea as well. My mom and my Aunt Nancy have been friends for over 30 years. My mom helped my aunt deliver her daughter and held her even before Nancy did. While my Aunt Nancy’s daughters are a few years older than I am, we were still close enough in age to grow up together. One summer, I remember Chelsea playing soccer with my brother and me in the backyard for hours while listening to the Imagine Dragons on loop. Together, we would have at least one family game day every few months that consisted of pajamas, finger-foods and an assortment of games. It’s because of this that I consider them family for more than just the fact that we have known each other since I came into the picture 19 years ago. The amount of love, support, patience, fond memories and yearly traditions we have really keep us close as a family. I also classify myself as having two sisters who I had the privilege of meeting during my high school years. Carson and Haley made my awkward





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freshman, sophomore and junior years so much more enjoyable. We struggled through marching band together, and I still rely on them to help me through my rough days. My point is, just because you don’t share genetics with people in your life, it doesn’t mean that they are not your family. Good memories are sometimes the only thing that connect me to some of my closest family members. This theory works in reverse too. Blood relations don’t get a reserved seat in my family. I may share a genetic connection with many people, but it’s beyond ridiculous to be forced to consider some of them as my family. I’ve been in situations with family members who treat me and my family like a second thought, and we are told just to suck it up. We’re told we aren’t allowed to get mad because they are “family.” My opinions, feelings, mental health, time and energy have been put on the back burner not only because I was just a teenager, but also because all the things I felt were deemed invalid when dealing with members of my blood family. On the other hand, I have people in my life who I have no genetic connection to, yet are more involved in my life, care about me, accept me for who I am and have never once made me feel less than human.

Publishing The Vanguard is published by the students of Saginaw Valley State University weekly in the fall and winter semesters, with one issue published in the summer. Our office is located in Curtiss 110A on the campus of SVSU, at 7400 Bay Road, University Center, MI, 48710.

These select few not only validate everything about me, they also don’t make me feel like I need to work to earn their validation. Reminding myself that blood does not define family has helped me work through many times where I felt I was used as a pawn in petty family issues. While I fully respect working through family issues, and I understand that life is not smooth and easy, healing is a two-way process. I can only give so much without the other side putting effort in. I’ve learned that I need to cut off those who are toxic in my life and find comfort in my real family. I feel like I’ve reached an age where everyone around me tells me that I need to figure out who I am, what I want and how I want others to treat me. My real family, while they can put me in my place, also want me to make mistakes as I figure out who I am. They don’t hold me to some unrealistic standard, get mad and look poorly upon me. They want me to learn on my own. They trust that I will grow into a good person because I want to and not because I was expected to. Family is what you make it. Just as when someone makes a house their home, I make my family, and blood is far from what defines it.


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The Valley Vanguard | | Monday, April 8, 2019 | Page A5

Students display art at Counter Culture show Shelby Mott


Vanguard Reporter

ine arts students put on a showcase of their artwork at Saginaw’s Counter Culture on Thursday, April 4, from 3 p.m. to 5 pm. The event was planned fully by the students. Shelby Thurston, a fine arts senior and graphic design major, said the event allowed them to learn practical skills in their field of study. “We are learning how to present ourselves as artists once we graduate, and learning how to arrange exhibitions is a valuable skill to know,” Thurston said. Thurston showed two photographs in the exhibit. “Although it is not my main focus, photography has always been a passion of mine,” she said. “My photos are from a trip I took in October to Mackinac Island – a misty spiderweb from Fort Mackinac and a goliath beetle from a butterfly house.” Thurston said she hoped her work brought attention to environmental issues. “I care about keeping the planet clean and advocating for nature and ecological issues,” she said. “It’s little moments in life that I like to capture and celebrate with my photography and art. Things that people might overlook are sometimes the most beautiful.” Taylor Stone, another fine arts senior and graphic design major,

was also showcasing two of her photographs. Her photos were inspired by a trip she took to Europe. “The gorgeous scenery that I was surrounded by in Europe inspired me,” Stone said. “I felt like I really was in a completely different zone from anywhere in the United States. I wanted to be able to capture that beauty and share it with people who don’t have the chance to see it for themselves.” Stone hoped that attendees would be inspired by her photos. “I really hope it sparks something in their mind, whether it be a story to go along with the photo, or just take away how to set up a composition,” she said. “I hope that my photos inspire whoever looks at them in some proactive way.” Stone said her favorite part of photography is seeing people’s reactions to her pictures. “I love that moment when they almost look breathless, then want to know more about the image,” she said. The event was important to Stone because it showed that there is more to art than just drawing and painting. “When someone thinks of art, they think painting or drawing, and that’s not really the case,” Stone said. “This exhibition will show that there are many different forms of art and demonstrate how we can translate them to express ourselves.”

Student art pieces were on display at Saginaw’s Counter Culture. Students were able to explain their work and interact with people who attended the exhibition on Thursday. Vanguard Photos | Jolie Wyse

Faculty performance series highlights concert guitar Melissa Vennix Vanguard Reporter

Brad DeRoche performs on concert guitar in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall. Vanguard Photo | Jolie Wyse

Adjunct professor Brad DeRoche performed in the faculty recital on Thursday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall. DeRoche teaches guitar, guitar ensemble, music history and music theory courses. As a guitarist, DeRoche has performed as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral soloist in both North and South America. He has also appeared on public radio and television programs. For the concert series at SVSU, DeRoche chose to begin with Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Sonata II for Violin, BWV 1003.” He played four movements from this piece. He also played pieces from Francisco Tarrega and Isaac Albeniz. The pieces he picked showcased

a variety of his talents. Audience members thought he did an excellent job playing the more difficult pieces. Music students were quick to praise his performance. “Dr. DeRoche’s concert was great,” said Jacob Vennix, a music education sophomore. “I especially enjoyed the Tarrega pieces that he chose. He made a lot of difficult pieces look easy.” Between each piece, DeRoche gave a short introduction to the history of each composer. He shared with the audience lesser known facts about each composer and used historical context to bring each piece to life. The music department’s next concert will be on Monday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall. The concert will feature the SVSU Concert Choir and the Cardinal Singers.

Museum exhibition features local artist, educator Marq Williams Vanguard Reporter

SVSU held an art exhibition for Brian Elder on Thursday, April 4, at 4 p.m. in the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum. Elder is an artist and educator from the Mount Pleasant area. He also taught art at Central Michigan University. Elder was inspired to create his Nantes series after he visited a friend in Nantes, France. Tisch Lewis, the coordinator of the university art gallery and a former mentee of Elder’s, spoke about the intentions behind the exhibit. “We put this exhibition on mainly for the students,” Lewis said. “Our students need to see what they could potentially accomplish with their own work.” To open the exhibition, Elder held a lecture so students could take a peek into his thought process when it came to creating the Nantes series. All of his paintings were on display during the lecture, and participating students had the opportunity to ask questions The Valley Vanguard 110A Curtiss Hall

about details he put into his paintings. Elder dove into different concepts with the students, including his work exploring location and how people place themselves in their surroundings. He said he loved that so many people came out to see his art series. His exhibition featured many mixed-media paintings. He combined styles of collage and acrylic on archival paint to make fantastic works of art. Elder touched on how his creative process evolved while he was in France. “In developing this project, the theme of memory became most important,” Elder said. “I had no predetermined plan for how it would look or what would be left for the viewer to recognize from earlier states.” Students filed in and out of the art gallery to witness the paintings. Many of them took pictures of their own or took selfies next to the paintings. Lewis loved the turnout for the event and couldn’t contain her excitement. “I couldn’t wait for this day to

Brian Elder gives a lecture about his paintings and the inspiration behind them. Students had the opportunity to examine his work and ask questions about his processes. Vanguard Photo | Kyle Will come,” Lewis said. “Both our art students and students from all around the campus came to see

great pieces of work and were inspired by them in their own ways. Brian was able to walk

A&E Editor Hannah Beach | E-mail | Office (989) 964-4482 | Twitter @VVanguardA_E

around and talk to the students, as well. It was a great event, overall.”


Page A6 | Monday, April 8, 2019 | | The Valley Vanguard

Left: Freshman catcher Anthony Kania takes a swing at the plate. Freshman pitcher Ian Jansenn delivers a pitch against Ashland over the weekend. Vanguard Photos | Kyle Will

Baseball drops weekend games to No. 15 Ashland Connor Doyle


Vanguard Reporter

he SVSU baseball team lost three games against No. 15 Ashland over the weekend, with the fourth game of the series concluding after The Valley Vanguard went to press. SVSU’s offense mustered just two hits in each of the first two games of the series, falling 4-1 and 4-2, respectively. Despite the struggles at the plate, each of the Cardinal starting pitchers turned in excellent performances. “We’re battling – we’re in the games. I thought we pitched the ball very well,” head coach Steve Jaksa said. “From an offensive standpoint, I felt we got out of our game plan a little bit.” In game one of the series on Friday, April 5, junior Amani Godfrey threw six-and-twothirds innings, allowing just three earned runs and striking out seven. “I felt pretty good throughout the game for the most part,” Godfrey said. “I felt like I hit my spots pretty well and made some really good pitches against a top-notch team that battled like crazy.” Ashland jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top

of the second inning, but SVSU tied it in the bottom of the fifth when sophomore Andrew Burke singled and scored freshman Logan Russo. AU took the lead back almost immediately in the top of the sixth on an RBI single from junior Jason Swope, making it 2-1. The Eagles added an insurance run in the top of the ninth and won the game 4-1. Burke and junior Austin Koin had the lone hits for SVSU. In the series’ second game, played on Saturday, April 6, it was junior Brandon Wise’s stellar start on the mound that kept SVSU in the game. Wise threw five-and-twothirds innings, allowing just five hits and two runs, striking out three. “The guys behind me played very well like usual, and we were right in the game at the end, and that’s all you can ask for,” Wise said. “Any good start you have, regardless of who you’re playing, can motivate you and help you moving forward.” Wise actually carried a scoreless game into the top of the sixth inning, but a two-run home run to right-center field by senior Matt Littrell with two outs put the Eagles up 2-0. The Cardinals got a run back in the bottom of the sixth, but two additional Eagle runs

in the top of the seventh gave the Eagles the insurance they needed. SVSU junior Joshua Riggs homered to center in the bottom of the seventh to make it 4-2, but it was too little, too late for SVSU. Freshman Anthony Kania added the Cardinals’ other hit in the contest. Saturday’s second game, the third in the series, saw the SVSU offense come to life with seven hits, but the result on the scoreboard remained about the same – a 3-1 Ashland win. “In the last game (Saturday), we did fight back a little bit better, but I think overall, we could even do better yet,” Jaksa said. Sophomore Camden Dice delivered the Cardinals’ third straight impressive start on the mound, going six strong innings and allowing three runs, only one earned. Dice said he didn’t feel like his usual self in warm-ups, but that all changed once the game began. “I just hit my spots really well,” he said. “Seth (Stratton) had a good game behind the plate as well. Ashland is just a really good team. They were very disciplined while hitting. … Pitching well against them definitely gives me some more confidence going forward.” In the scorebook, the Cardinals committed

four errors in the game, but Jaksa said mental mistakes also played a key role in the close defeat. “There’s a learning curve of the mental toughness, and I think we’re going to get better at it,” Jaksa said. “They want to do it, and my job is to teach them how to do it.” After falling behind 2-0, the result of an unearned run in both the third and fourth innings, the Cardinals got back within one when senior Craig Wilson hit an infield single that scored junior Collin Winters. However, the Cardinals wouldn’t cross home plate again for the remainder of the game. AU added an insurance run in the top of the sixth when Michael Rogers homered, putting the nail in the coffin on a 3-1 Ashland win. At the plate, SVSU was led by Wilson and senior Jordan Swiss, who each had two hits apiece. Senior Derrek Clyde, Winters and Stratton all had one hit. The Cardinals return to action on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week for single game sets against Hillsdale and Lawrence Tech. Over the weekend, the team travels to rival Northwood for a four-game weekend series followed by a single-game set at Dow Diamond in Midland on Tuesday, April 16.

The Lady Cards lost at home against Northwood this Saturday. They dropped to 5-7 for the season. Vanguard Photo | Jolie Wyse

Connor Doyle Vanguard Reporter

The Valley Vanguard Dylan Powell | E-mail | Office (989) 964-4482 | Twitter @VVanguardSports 110A Curtiss Hall Sports Editor


The Valley Vanguard | | Monday, April, 8, 2019 | Page A7

Softball splits against Davenport, GVSU Tennis concludes season with loss Dylan Powell


Vanguard Sports Editor

he SVSU softball team split their doubleheader at Davenport on Saturday, April 6. The team stood at 11-11 after finding a couple of blowout victories at Parkside and another split doubleheader at home with No. 6-ranked Grand Valley earlier in the week. The team also faced off at Purdue Northwest on Sunday, April 7, which concluded after this edition of The Valley Vanguard went to press. In the first game against Davenport, the Cardinals couldn’t get much going. The Panthers took a 2-0 lead in the first, and SVSU was never able to respond due to some powerhouse pitching from Davenport’s Mallory Teunissen, who tallied up double digit strikeouts through her seven shutout innings, winning the game for the Panthers 3-0. Sophomore second baseman Meagan VerVaecke was the only Cardinal to perform well, going 2-3 from the plate. Game two saw the Cardinals rebound, showing a lot more life from the plate. Freshman first baseman Shelby Misiak started off things on the right note with a solohomer in the first. That was only the beginning of the Cardinals’ big scoring run, as the team came

Melissa Vennix Vanguard Reporter

Senior pitcher Hannah Atwell winds up a pitch during the softball team’s game against Grand Valley State University on Thursday, April 4. Vanguard Photo | Kyle Will out in the second with a hot hand. SVSU scored seven unanswered runs in the inning. Everyone had a piece of the action, as five different Cardinals batted in a runner during the long inning. Davenport’s pitching wavered more and more as the inning went on, putting the

Cardinals in a position of power with an 8-0 lead with five innings left to play. Davenport’s effort to launch a comeback was valiant, holding the Cards scoreless for the remainder of the game. However, they could only muster up five runs as the game finished with a Cardinal victory, 8-5.

The women’s tennis team lost 7-0 Saturday, April 7, to Hillsdale College to finalize a rough 2018-2019 season. SVSU started behind, missing players to fill the number five and six slots in the singles games. Junior Maddie Miller and sophomore Joanne Gao worked to keep up in their doubles match, only losing 6-4. Freshman Nicole Johnson and junior Taylor McLaughlin fell 6-1 in their doubles match. In singles, the team forfeited two games because they were low on players. Miller lost 6-4 and 6-3. Gao split the first two games, winning 6-7 and losing 6-1. She then went into a 10-point tiebreaker and lost with a close 11-9. McLaughlin also lost her match. She stuck close to her opponent, only losing 6-4 in the first game, then falling 6-3 in the second. Johnson worked hard as well, keeping up with her opponent and only falling 6-4 in the first game, then 7-5 in the second. The team should start again next season with the same roster and additional newcomers.

Track and field sees strong finishes at Spartan Invitational Connor Doyle Vanguard Reporter

The SVSU men’s and women’s track and field teams had their largest meet thus far in the outdoor season over the weekend at the Auto Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational. The teams turned in numerous impressive finishes and a handful of provisional qualifications. During Friday’s field events, freshman Ali Aldrich placed 20th in the hammer throw, which had nearly 50 competitors, with a throw of 39.96 meters. On the men’s side, Nick Endres placed seventh with a throw of 51.29 meters. In the men’s triple jump, freshman Brandon Keys placed sixth with a mark of 12.78 meters. On Saturday, the field events continued with sophomore Jacob Netschke placing fourth in the men’s high jump with a jump of 2.01 meters. Keys also added a fifth-place

finish in the men’s long jump. In the women’s discus, freshman Emily Droski turned in an eighth-place finish with a throw of 39.48 meters. Senior Ryan Kelly placed sixth on the men’s side with a throw of 50.48 meters. He also placed third in the shotput with a throw of 16.82 meters. Both of Kelly’s finishes were provisional qualifiers. “(Kelly) had a really good throw in the discus,” said Jason Hartmann, the associate head track and field coach. “Anytime you’re able to (provisionally qualify) is always a positive.” Aldrich added an eighth-place finish in the women’s shotput. In the women’s javelin, junior Lauren Huebner and Droski placed sixth and seventh, respectively. Saturday’s track events were highlighted by Huebner’s win in the women’s 400-meter hurdles, a personal-best finish of 59.66 and an

NCAA provisional mark. The women’s 4x100 relay team of Huebner, freshman Maegan Noble, senior Andriana Higgins and Alona Olshevska also placed third. “It is great to see success so early in the year, especially since we are still in the midst of heavy training,” Huebner said. “I can only wait to see the improvements we can all make once we get closer to championship time.” The men’s 4x100 team comprised of freshman Casey Williams, junior Travon Phillips, senior Keith Rodriguez and junior Carter Eckhardt placed second with a time of 42.35. In the women’s 1,500 meter, junior Sydney Kreger placed seventh with a time of 4:44.64. On the men’s side, freshman Brendan Nesbitt placed third with a time of 3:57.83. In the women’s 400 meter, freshman Kelsey Landra finished with a time of 1:01.20, good enough for 11th. In the men’s 400 meter,

Rodriguez turned in the best performance of his career, finishing in second place with a time of 49.67. “It’s tough to put in words, but to finally reach one of the goals I set when I first came to Saginaw Valley felt amazing,” Rodriguez said. “This past performance has really given me the confidence that everything I am doing is paying off.” In the men’s 400 meter hurdles, senior Cordell Richardson finished in 56.25, good enough for eighth place. In the women’s 200 meter, Higgins and Olshevska placed third and sixth, respectively. The teams compete again this coming weekend, as many of the athletes will head to Oakland University for the Golden Grizzlies Invite on Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13. The distance runners, however, will head to Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania to compete.

MELVIN J. ZAHNOW LIBRARY Your place to study for finals

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The Valley Vanguard Editor-in-Chier Kaitlyn Farley E-mail | Office (989) 964-4482 | Twitter @SVVanguardNews 110A Curtiss Hall

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