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Monday, April 16, 2018

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SVSU’s theatre department performs “Stick Fly.”

Baseball team drops three games to Purdue Northwest.

Vol. 50 No. 26

Saginaw Valley State University’s student newspaper since 1967

Former biology professor dies By Connor Doyle Vanguard Editor-in-Chief

Longtime biology professor Richard Trdan died unexpectedly on Friday, April 6, at the age of 71. University spokesperson J.J. Boehm said Trdan taught up until last academic year but retired prior to the current academic year. Born in Minnesota, Trdan went on to teach at SVSU for 40 years. Surviving him are his wife Kathleen, son and two daughters, three Richard Trdan grandchildren, several siblings and many nieces and nephews. The funeral service was held on Thursday, April 12, at the Snow Funeral Home. Trdan earned the nickname “Clam Man of Michigan” and was an avid outdoorsman and protector of the environment. He

See TRDAN, page A2

SA unanimously elects new Speaker By Connor Doyle Vanguard Editor-in-Chief

The Student Association on Monday, April 9, unanimously elected Nolan Twardy to be its next Speaker of the House. Twardy, a supply chain management sophomore from Warren, joined SA immediately upon arriving on campus as a freshman in 2016 and has served as Allocations Director for the past year. “I am very excited to work with Nolan,” president-elect Caitlin Coulter said. “We joined the association at Nolan Twardy the same time, our first week on campus. It will be fantastic to work together and serve our students.” During last Monday’s special meeting, Representative Libby Bihary nominated Twardy, who accepted. No further nominations for the speaker position were made. Twardy then gave a presentation to the association on his candidacy. He began with

See SPEAKER, page A6

BATS projects to benefit local causes By Kaitlyn Farley Vanguard A&E Editor

Students and faculty will present SVSU’s fourth Business, Art, Theatre and Sociology (BATS) project on Thursday, April 19. The biannual BATS project is completed by the Vitito Fellowship Program as well as professors and students from each of the different departments in BATS. Joseph Ofori-Dankwa represents the business department, Michael Mosher the art department, David Rzeszutek the theatre department and Dawn Hinton the sociology department. The professors have participated in each previous BATS project. “The BATS project began in 2012 because the business professor, Ofori-Dankwa, said he wished his business students were as creative as art students,” Mosher said. “Our ultimate goal was to create an art and theatre space for our students in downtown Saginaw. So we would let the students from the different departments put a project together

See BATS, page A2

Vanguard Photo | Kyle Will

Team 3357, the Comets from Forest Hills, unload their robot in preparation for a match in the Ryder Center’s O’Neill Arena.

Thousands flock to campus for FIRST Robotics By Brian Fox


Vanguard News Editor

VSU played host to the FIRST Robotics state championship for the second year in a row, from Wednesday, April 11, until Saturday, April 14. Over 5,000 high school students from 160 teams competed in the robotics competition. Factoring in parents, mentors and spectators, SVSU saw an estimated 8,000 people visit campus each day of the competition. FIRST Robotics is a competitive robotics tournament that draws high school students from all over the world. Teams build robots that compete against each other in several rounds of games. Qualifying teams will go on to compete at the world championship, which this year is split between Houston and Detroit. Each two-minute round of the tournament involved three teams competing against each other with either autonomous or remote-controlled robots. Alliances had to work together to move yellow “power cubes” into the goal area faster than the opposing alliance, and could also climb a structure in the arenas to earn extra points. “There are four competition fields sponsored by different organizations, and the student teams are divided up into those competition fields,” said Adrianne Cole, the director of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math at SVSU. “The teams don’t compete as individuals, but actually form alliances with other teams.” Competitive events occurred in the O’Neill Arena, where family and friends filled the bleachers. Wednesday saw a flurry of activity at the

Ryder Center as teams arrived for inspection and registration. Each team was assigned space in the fieldhouse, where they set up their robot maintenance pit. Most teams used these spaces not only as their repair shops, but also to display promotional materials about their robotics program and to interact with visitors. The robot pits were open to the public for the length of the competition. All visitors were required to wear eye protection in the pits as teams got their robots into fighting shape and made last-minute repairs with power tools. Qualifying rounds were held all day Thursday and Friday, and playoffs occurred Saturday. On Saturday evening, the winning alliance of team 3098, The Captains from Waterford, team 2586, The Copper Bots from Calumet, and captained by team 4003, the TriSonics out of Allendale, was crowned the champion of the competition. “Michigan is an amazing place for robotics with 506 great teams, some of whom are legendary in the FIRST Robotics Competition, so we feel pretty humble to be the captains of the winning alliance at the Michigan State Championship,” said David Austin, one of the TriSonics’ mentors. Austin noted the fierce competition and high level of skill shown by their competitors resulted in all five of their playoff series going to tiebreaker rounds. “Our students always stayed positive, worked through a lot of problems, and worked really well with their partners,” Austin said. “We’re thankful to all the other Michigan teams that have helped us and inspired us over the years. We also have the support of great sponsors, and our parents always keep us going. We really appreciate

SVSU for hosting such a wonderful event.” Gov. Rick Snyder continued his tradition of visiting the Michigan FIRST state competition on Saturday. Snyder toured the facilities before talking to the crowd from the arena floor. Snyder has been a vocal supporter of programs like FIRST Robotics, which he views as important for Michigan’s future competitiveness. “FIRST Robotics brings science, technology, engineering and math to life,” Snyder said in 2017. “Team members learn skills they can use for the rest of their lives to solve challenging problems and follow a pathway to good-paying and rewarding careers.” The robotics teams that compete in FIRST give high school students a chance to learn hard engineering skills, as well as how to work in teams and exhibit leadership. “I’ve seen kids come in super shy, who don’t even know an Allen wrench from a socket wrench, and by the time they leave they’re getting scholarships for engineering from Michigan Tech or from SVSU,” said Sean Murray, coach of team 2619 of H.H. Dow High School in Midland. First-year electrical engineering student Waluil Matin found his calling through robotics and competing in FIRST at SVSU last year. As an exchange student at Royal Oak High School planning to major in business, Matin was convinced by his host brother to give robotics a try. “The first day I got there, they told me to take nails out of a plank of wood, and I’m like, ‘How do I do that?,’” Matin said. “I had zero knowledge about any mechanical or technical skills. But over the course of the

See FIRST, page A2

South Asian Student Association to host Holi festival By Kaleigh Kuhns Vanguard Reporter

The South Asian Student Association (SASA) is once again hosting the Holi Festival of Colors, which will take place in the Ryder Center on Saturday, April 21, at 11 a.m. The festival involves cultural performances from a diverse group of students and faculty, authentic South Asian cuisine and a color throw. “Holi has been and will be my favorite festival of all,” said Jayanti Singh, who serves as the cultural secretary of SASA. “In India, it is a common belief that on the day of Holi, one is supposed to give up on all sorts of animosity and enmity and embrace happiness and togetherness. … One of the main reasons we smear color on each other’s faces as part of the custom is to hope for a vivid and vibrant

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life for the other person.” SASA expects the turnout for this year’s celebration to be even better than last year. They are expecting 800 or more people to attend the event, so they have decided to move the celebration from the Hamilton Gym to the O’Neill Arena in the Ryder Center. “All of us at SASA are putting in a lot of hard work and sincerely hope that the event is a huge success like every year,” Singh said. Holi is an ancient Hindu festival celebrating the onset of spring and the end of the winter seasons. Although it began as a religious event originating in India, it has become a cultural tradition celebrated all throughout South Asia in countries like Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. “I personally love Holi because it brings everyone closer,” said Mohammad Hossain,

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the community relations officer for SASA. “Even though this event originated in South Asia, everyone celebrates this event as a Cardinal here. Events like Holi provide a diverse experience to the SVSU students and the community.” The use of varied colors in Holi signifies the abundant natural colors that the season of spring brings. To many Hindus, Holi stands for an occasion to reset and renew ruptured relationships, end conflicts and rid themselves of accumulated emotional impurities from the past. On the day of Holi, friends and relatives visit each other and spend the rest of the day together. SASA will be selling tickets all around campus this week. Tickets are $10 for students, $15 for others, $5 for color throw only and free for children under 6. A&E ...................A4 Sports ............... A5


Page A2 | Monday, April 16, 2018 | | The Valley Vanguard

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

Marijuana At 8:44 p.m. on April 5, a 20-year-old male student was stopped by officers for a headlight being out. When they approached the vehicle, they could smell an odor of marijuana. They recovered a small amount from the vehicle, and the situation was turned over to Student Conduct Programs for resolution. Intimidation/Threats At 6 p.m. on April 5, a 19-yearold female student reported that she was no longer friends with her two roommates and that she could hear them in the room next to her talking badly about her. They also made a comment that they were going to have someone come to SVSU to fight her. When officers went to make contact with the roommates, they were not there. The situation was turned over to Residential Life Staff for resolution. At 1 p.m. on April 9, a 22-yearold female student reported she has been tutoring a 21-year-old male student who is married. On April 9, the male student’s wife showed up to the tutoring session accusing the female student of having an affair with her husband and was threatening her. The wife of the male student was given a trespass letter and was told to have no contact with the female student. Road Rage Incident At 9 a.m. on April 11, a 20-yearold male non-student was in his vehicle in E-Lot dropping his girlfriend off for class when he was almost hit by another male student’s vehicle. He became upset and had words with the other driver. Officers separated the two males, and the nonstudent was asked to leave campus.

FIRST, continued from A1 whole (FIRST Robotics) season, I had built almost 30 percent of the robot.” Matin is now studying at SVSU through a FIRST Robotics scholarship, which is given to FIRST participants who matriculate into SVSU. As an international student coming from a family of modest means, the FIRST scholarship was critical to Matin’s ability to enroll. “I can confidently say, if it weren’t for FIRST, I would not be in this country right now,” Matin said. “They helped out so much.” Members of team 5517 from Madison Academy Charter School in Burton were happy to be in attendance, having qualified but barely raising enough funds in time to travel to SVSU. “This is an amazing opportunity, and anyone who has a chance to should definitely try it,” said Jesse Estes, a competing student from team 5517. Michigan is known as one of the toughest robotics states to compete in. With more robotics teams registered with FIRST than any other state, Michigan forms its own division within FIRST Robotics. “It makes it more exciting; all the competition makes it feel like when you win, you’ve accomplished something tangible,” said Emily McCuaig, also of team 5517. “It’s really hard to make it out of over 500 teams into the top 160.” Murray also noted the high level of competition in Michigan. “Michigan teams are very tough,” Murray said. “Texas and Oklahoma are known for their football, Michigan is known for its robotics. We have more world champions, more multiple-time world champions and more Hall of Fame teams than any other area in the world.” To better accommodate both robot and pedestrian traffic in the Ryder Center, Campus Facilities widened some of the doorways leading between the arena and the fieldhouse. “Last year, there was only one-way traffic into the arena from the fieldhouse where the pits are,” Cole said. “So this year, we were able to make another doorway to enter the arena for two-way robot traffic. So we have robots going one way, and people still have to go around if they’re not part of that robot team.” The shuttle system used to move participants and spectators from the free parking and RV lots to the Ryder Center also worked well to manage traffic and parking on campus. Last year, FIRST brought a measurable spike in local economic activity, estimated to have been over $1 million by the Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau. Organizers expect a similar impact this year. Thousands of STEM students on campus also provided SVSU with a recruitment opportunity. “We received many positive comments from students and parents last year, including from a significant number who had no prior exposure to SVSU,” said SVSU spokesperson J.J. Boehm. “As more and more high schools restrict or eliminate visits in the schools by college admissions representatives, outreach opportunities such as hosting FIRST Robotics are increasingly important to our overall recruitment strategy.” Boehm also noted that SVSU currently has 16 incoming freshmen who, before competing in FIRST Robotics on campus last year, had no experience with the university. While there is no contract or announced plan to continue holding FIRST Robotics’ state championship at SVSU, Cole hopes the competition will return next year. “It’s on a year-to-year kind of basis, but I think making that additional space for robots to move in and out really did tell FIRST Robotics we’re serious about hosting the competition here,” Cole said. The campus community was again heavily involved this year, with more than 300 students, alumni, faculty and staff members volunteering

their time in and around the competition area. “A huge thank you goes out to all the volunteers,” Cole said. “Whether it’s been a couple hours at a time, or four hours, or all day, we take them for when we can get them. We’re really appreciative for the whole campus community coming together, because it takes a village to do this, for sure.” Cole also thanked the rest of the campus community for their patience during FIRST Robotics. “Even if they’re not volunteering, a huge thank you to campus,” Cole said. “I know it’s frustrating sometimes to have all these additional people on campus, but I think it’s really helpful in the long run to bring more students on campus.”

TRDAN, continued from A1 enjoyed spending time with his family and friends by the lake in Minnesota. One such friend Trdan met through his passion for the outdoors was Spanish professor Ricardo Pastor. The two met during Pastor’s first year at Saginaw Valley College, the previous name of SVSU, in 1977. The two quickly realized they had a lot in common, like an interest in hunting and fishing. Pastor recalled the two hunting together. “Deer hunting in the cold snowy days, sometimes with snow up to our knees, walking into the woods at 5 a.m. in the dark,” he said. “We enjoyed it tremendously. We were very cold, but at the sight of the first deer we were sweating. We were rewarded with the pleasure of being in the outdoors, and sometimes with our hunt.” In addition to deer hunting, the two also spent time duck hunting in the Shiawassee marsh. It was there that Pastor says Trdan’s passion as a biologist really came out. “It was in the marsh that I became a student of Dr. Trdan,” Pastor said. “I would ask him about plants around us, and he would give me detailed and very interesting explanations. One time I asked him about the corn silk, and he gave me a complete lecture on the reproduction of the plant. It was fascinating.” Pastor said Trdan was a patient person whose integrity and honesty were second to none. “What I will remember most about him is his noble friendship,” Pastor said. “I’ll miss my friend of 41 years, I’ll miss my hunting buddy. Hunting and fishing will not ever be the same anymore to me.”

BATS, continued from A1 and see what happened.” Each year, the professors had a specific goal to complete. The professors have met several times to discuss this year’s BATS project. “This year’s project was something special,” Mosher said. “We had an urban needs summit in February to discuss the needs of the Saginaw community.” Ofori-Dankwa has been working with the business students through the Vitito Fellows class to create focus groups based off the summit that occurred on Feb. 9. “The broad theme of the BATS project is helping Saginaw and the Great Lakes Bay Region to develop and revitalize” Ofori-Dankwa said. “Specifically, for this year, our students did a community needs assessment.” During the panel, business students learned about the Saginaw community’s needs. “We brought six experts in five different areas from the community in the areas of education, health, religion, business and finance and then government,” Ofori-Dankwa said. “With each of these experts, we created a panel, and the business students undertook a focus group with the idea of identifying four or five of the most important community needs that SVSU could subsequently work on.” While the professors did much of the work to get the BATS projects started, the students are expected to lead the projects themselves. “The students have to organize themselves and get together with students from other departments,” Mosher said. “Art students are usually better at meeting deadlines, since they’re used to having physical art that needs to be completed and sent to print. But they are also very individualistic, so it is hard for them to compromise; they like to work in their own space.” Bachelor of Fine Arts senior Anna Slavin has been working to make a digital mural for the project. “I took over the health branch,” Slavin said. “Working on the health imagery has been my biggest contribution to the BATS project.” Business junior Carly D’Alessandro worked as the business leader for the religion area of the project. She also found the project stimulating. “(It was rewarding) to be pushed way out of our comfort zone and faced with a difficult challenge, but we were able to overcome it, and, hopefully, our hard work will help better the Saginaw community,” D’Alessandro said.

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The Valley Vanguard | | Monday, April 16, 2018 | Page A3

Pet peeves pertaining to public common courtesy By Aran Singh Vanguard Columnist

Well, looks like my tenure as a Vanguard columnist has come to an end. Perhaps you’re thinking, “And they rejoiced, yeah!” or, “Good riddance!” Fair enough. In true self-aggrandizing fashion, though, I wanted to end with the same topic as the very first column I ever wrote: common courtesy. The following is a sequence, a list of observations, behaviors and situations that I’ve either personally experienced or been subjected to, and I don’t have a good segue here. Have you ever been out somewhere with someone and they have their faces planted in their phones, endlessly scrolling, as you’re trying to talk to them? And as you keep talking they say, “uh-huh,” or “huh” or “I’m listening?” That’s so discourteous. I usually try to say something off-kilter like, “A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous, got me?” or, “The Phantom Menace is by far the best ‘Star Wars’ movie,” and then trail off. The other person eventually realizes and apologizes, which is a very courteous thing to do.

Another place rife with discourtesy: spoilers. Spoiling a movie that recently came out, such as “The Quiet Place,” would be lame. The obligations of daily living - school, work, etc. - get in the way of finding time to make it out to the theater. That’s understandable. I think if it’s beyond a year and a half, if you really wanted to check something out, you probably would’ve. Right? If you had any interest in seeing “Get Out,” I think you would’ve already seen it by now. It’s been over two years. For TV, it’s a bit different. It takes time to complete a show. With discussing shows that recently ended or that are still airing new episodes, it’s courteous to ask, whether in person or in a group chat or wherever, if people have seen that particular show. Though, with that said, for someone like me who is an avid TV watcher, I still haven’t seen the original “Twin Peaks,” but if it were spoiled for me somehow, while still discourteous, I’d be less mad about it because I’ve had a lot of time to try and watch it and I never did. You still shouldn’t ruin “Breaking Bad,” though. In a situation where someone orders a pizza and somebody else says they’re not hungry but then eats a slice or two anyway and doesn’t chip in, you get to ask them a question:

If you weren’t hungry, why are you eating the pizza? Explain yourself. C’mon! Ideally, while it’s not really courteous to fart in public, if you absolutely have to release gas in class, at least own up to it. If you supplied it, don’t deny it. If somebody else smelt it, of course that doesn’t necessarily mean they dealt it. Maybe they didn’t, you know? The implications of the “whoever smelt it, dealt it” line of reasoning suggests that the culprit is so devious and nefarious that in the ensuing investigation into who dealt it, they’d try to throw people off the scent, so to speak. Don’t try to topsy-turvy the situation like that. I’ve been in a situation where I’ve had to hold one in, continuously, for the duration of a three-hour class period (the little SOB was nothing if not persistent). Every time I held it at bay, just when I thought I had vanquished the enemy, it came back somehow stronger and more determined, like the Jason Voorhees of farts. Somehow, I prevailed and managed to prevent a gas leak. But should it have occurred, and the people in the surrounding vicinity turned to me and said, “It was you, wasn’t it?” I would’ve replied with, “Yes, t’was I.” And I would’ve apologized. I’d much rather go through that experience then have those same people saying

things behind my back. That’s admittedly a dangerous place to be, anyway. While it makes sense to keep quiet during gas leaks, I think owning up to it, and for others to be less judgmental about it, fosters a greater sense of fellowship and understanding. It happens. It could happen to you. Tomorrow or the next day, you’re just a bad meal away. But I say, if you must detonate, then explicate. Lastly, while we’re on the topic of bodily functions, please, for the love of everything holy, step up your bathroom game, folks! I’ll never be able to get over people’s lack of bathroom hygiene. Toilets and urinals should be flushed. Actually wash your hands with soap and water. That’s how these things work. These are just some things that I think people could do to better enhance day-to-day interpersonal interactions. I just want say, it’s been my privilege. Thank you to the editors for putting up with me (and shout-out to Ky for hiring me). And, of course, thank you to the readers. There wouldn’t be a paper without readers. Reading is probably the most courteous thing someone could do for a newspaper. Aran Singh is a creative writing major. Reach him at apsingh@svsu. edu.

Social media encourages limited viewpoints By Dylan Powell Vanguard Sports Editor

It’s no secret that information is more accessible and available than it ever has been in human history. With the advent of the Internet and the technological revolution we have been witnessing the past several years, people are able to find the answer to most lingering questions they have without even having to commit that question to text (shout out to the Siris and Alexas of the world.) We are in a very interesting time in which the flow of information is quick, copious and, most importantly for this column, constant. This is exemplified by social media. These fun little time-wasters have been heralded as unique tools to use to become connected with other people across the world and to have, in some cases, direct access to significant people, brands and companies that we may have never been able to interact with. Through these people and pages, we can broaden our perspectives, learn new things and gain a larger amount of understanding in ways that were not possible before the existence of the Internet. As we have accu-

mulated all of these friends and followers, the stream of information falling into our feeds begins to settle until it gets to a comfortable point. Most of us have had social media apps for so long that we have everything personalized almost to a disturbing level. We’ve got all of the people we like hearing from still there. We’ve got all of the annoying people, but not so annoying that we want to show disrespect by removing them completely, blocked and avoided. We’ve got our news organizations that we like to see in our feeds with everything from personalized politics to personalized sports teams to your personal favorite picture of Jeff Goldblum every day (look it up, that’s a real Facebook page.) Every time we click on something, Zuckerberg’s algorithm kicks in, and Facebook makes an attempt to remove content that it deems not worth our time

due to our interests and instead shows us articles and headlines that more nicely fit our current beliefs – beliefs, mind you, that

everything that is popular will end up trying to sell you something. Additionally, it is nearly impossible under this system to passively gain adequate information to partake in any kind of civil discourse. I believe that this is one of the reasons why our country is becoming further divided underneath the presidency of Donald Trump. People have been passively feeding Facebook information for so long now that their pages have Vanguard Graphic | Jolie Wyse become nothing but narrowed were assumed based on clicks. viewpoints and ads tailor-made When it is described like that, for each individual. As our feeds does social media really probecome more and more narrow vide the perspective broadening to better “fit” what we want to platform that would have been see, the opposing side of our expected? beliefs begins to become harder Part of the reasoning for this, and harder to understand. which will shock literally no one, Democracy doesn’t really take is the creepy business practice of too kindly to a system like this. targeted advertising. If there is Democracy is all about choice. anything I’ve learned from my Knowing that we are free to dig various courses as a communicaas much or as little as we want to tion major, it is that ads run the find out what ideals and beliefs world. As a capitalistic society, make us the most comfortable is

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part of the reason why a country like America is so tantalizing. However, the new, vast amount of information available has only made us want to shelter ourselves from that light even further. Very few people will make an effort to do research before, for example, voting. Some people will do this, but others will justify their lack of preparedness as not being unprepared at all, citing X, Y and Z articles that so-and-so shared from a sponsored post on Facebook that describe exactly why anyone who voted for Donald Trump is a racist. Don’t continue the trend of kind but lazy people letting the evil but motivated people walk all over us and sculpt us into believing what they want. Try to learn as much as you can from as many different (and I stress the word “different”) sources before automatically going with what your social media feed tells you. Ask yourself questions, and don’t sell yourself short. Social media has been so entrenched in our society over the last decade that it will have you believe that it is now a necessary function in our everyday lives. It’s not. Don’t let your beliefs be dictated by an algorithm.

Dylan Powell is a communication major. Reach him at dipowell@svsu. edu.

American society lacks empathy for the suffering of others By Maria Ranger Vanguard Reporter

I believe that the society we live in causes us to lack empathy and kindness. I see it everywhere, whether it’s in the news, on social media or in real life. So many people are so wrapped up in themselves that they don’t even think to consider others. Perhaps this has always been the case, but I do not believe that society must continue being so

apathetic. I see people constantly bullying others for trivial things like their looks. Why should it matter what someone looks like? It doesn’t change their moral character. Someone being overweight, having tattoos, bright hair or dressing differently doesn’t make them a bad person, and it doesn’t mean they should be made fun of. It’s just unnecessary bitterness. It does not take any extra effort to just be polite and mind your business. Recently, I have even found disturbing social media posts that make fun of the teens who

survived the Parkland shooting for protesting. I really don’t know how you can stoop so low as to laugh at something like that. If you want to have a debate about school shootings or gun control policies, then talk like a civilized adult instead of sharing childish memes or name calling. Sometimes, I see men with signs against sexual violence that say things like “She’s someone’s sister/daughter/ mother/girlfriend.” While it’s great they’re trying to take a stand, shouldn’t we care simply because she’s a person? Shouldn’t we be upset

about sexual violence even if it happens to women that aren’t related to us? Similarly, there are people in our country right now that are dying because they can’t afford medical treatment, and it’s just seen as normal. Even if it is not ourselves or our loved ones who cannot afford medical treatment, we should still care that others are suffering. As Americans, we tend to turn a blind eye to the suffering of others, and we only wake up to it once it affects us. We judge other people for no reason simply because we were taught to. This behavior is cruel and

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unnecessary. We should try to be more caring. Try to catch yourself every time you make an unneeded negative remark. Engage in real debates and double check if what you’re saying or posting is actually productive. Educate yourself on issues so you can find ways to fix them. If we want to live in a better world, we have to create it ourselves, and I’m urging you to join me in trying. Maria Ranger is a creative writing major. Reach her at mcranger@

A&E Page A4 | Monday, April 16, 2018 | | The Valley Vanguard

Theatre department’s ‘Stick Fly’ portrays race, realism By Taylor Stockton


Vanguard Reporter

VSU’s theatre department performed “Stick Fly” from Wednesday, April 11, to Sunday, April 15. “Stick Fly” follows the lives of the LeVays, a well-off African-American family. When the two LeVay brothers bring their significant others on a vacation to the family’s lavish home, tensions boil over, secrets are revealed and relationships are put to the test. Music junior Indigo Dudley played Taylor. “Taylor is an entomologist, so she studies bugs, and she is the fiancée of Kent LeVay,” Dudley said. “She is kind of like me in some of her beliefs and values, so it wasn’t that difficult to be Taylor.” “Stick Fly” was Dudley’s first SVSU play. “This is my first actual role in a play since the ninth grade,” Dudley said. “I’m used to singing on stage with a choir, but there is a different method to impersonating a character and trying to capture the audience. You’re trying to relay your emotion in a different way.” For Director Thomas Wedge, working with the fresh talent of the cast proved both challenging and rewarding. “It’s a six-person play, and, for three of the actors, this is their first or second time on stage,” Wedge said. “There’s a tremendous amount of talent on the stage, but the talent

is raw. As we work, we have taken the energy and art that they already have and focused it with craft that they’re learning.” Theatre and communication senior Joshua Lloyd played the father, Joe LeVay. “One of the challenges I had was portraying an older character,” Lloyd said. “It’s very easy when playing someone who is of older age to be stereotypical with a hunched back, frail shaky voice and movement. Instead, I strived to make my character a real, living, breathing person.” Lloyd has been in numerous SVSU productions, but “Stick Fly” was challenging for the actor. “This one was a bit more difficult than others,” Lloyd said. “The only way to make our actions read authentic on stage is if we ourselves are not afraid to become vulnerable around one another.” The play contained profane language, which added to the realism. “At the beginning, we were talking about what the recommended age level would be for the play, but I feel like you can’t really put an age limit on it,” Dudley said. The play also addressed the theme of race. “Race is an integral part of this play,” Wedge said. “There are five black characters and one Caucasian character, and there is tension that comes from that dynamic and also learning and realizations with it, too.” Dudley hopes that attendees appreciated

Vanguard Photo | Kyle Will

Various cast members rehearse for SVSU’s production of “Stick Fly” on Tuesday, April 10. the multi-faceted characters. “When I was reading over the play, I noticed that everyone wasn’t necessarily right or wrong,” Dudley said. “It was kind of unsettling because I couldn’t get behind any one person. Each character has bright sides and dark sides, and I think that’s the coolest part of the play.” Elementary education freshman Kaydee Swafford enjoyed the play’s realism.

“I thought it was going to be like the last play, ‘Death by Design,’ which was a lot more formal,” Swafford said. “This play was definitely a lot funnier, laid back and realistic.” Exercise science freshman Jacob Bailey enjoyed the drama of the characters. “I liked the show,” Bailey said. “It was cool to see the secrets come out and how everyone kind of came together in the end.”

Award-winning jazz vocalist performs with SVSU jazz band By Kaleigh Kuhns Vanguard Reporter

Kathy Kosins, an award-winning jazz vocalist from Detroit, performed with the SVSU jazz ensemble at the Rhea Miller Recital Hall on Thursday, April 12. Kosins has won the ASCAP songwriting award, was voted Jazz Composer of the Year by the Michigan Council for the Arts and has performed in countries like Spain, France, and Switzerland. Kosins began her career singing and arranging vocals for producer Don Was. She has five solo albums and has collaborated with fellow jazz musicians Terrell Stafford, Randy Brecker and Michael Henderson. Her most recent album, “Uncovered Soul,” is inspired by ‘60s and ‘70s Motown music. “I grew up in Detroit,” Kosins said. “I listened to Motown records. I listened to Isley Brothers, I listened to Curtis Mayfield. I’m influenced by the grit and grime of the city, and I’ve always been a jazz artist.”

Kosins practiced with the SVSU jazz ensemble, directed by Seth Ebersole, the week before the concert. Together, they performed jazz classics such as “Ain’t Misbehavin’” by Andy Razaf and Thomas “Fats” Weller, “These Boots Were Made for Walking” by Doug Stone and “Do Nothing ‘Till You Hear From Me” by Bob Russell and Duke Ellington. Kosins is known for her intersectionality of art and music. She creates interpretive paintings of songs by giants of the jazz world such as Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis. While the jazz ensemble played a composition by Monk, Kosins painted an original piece on stage inspired by the music. The painting was auctioned off to a member of the audience for $90. Annie Weir, a history education freshman and jazz ensemble member, learned a lot from performing with Kosins. “I learned that art and music can be tied together, and that music is a great way of expressing emotions,” Weir said. “Kathy

Vanguard Photo | Ali Alobaidan

The SVSU jazz ensemble plays with vocalist Kathy Kosins on Thursday, April 12. Kosins’ voice is so deep and smooth. We’ve been practicing for a long time without her, and so when she came, it was cool to hear the missing parts. Her vocals tied everything together.” Katie Fassone, a music senior and choral director for the nonprofit Major Chords for

Minors, appreciated the concert. “I personally enjoy jazz a lot,” Fassone said. “We studied jazz in music history this semester, so it was very cool to hear Duke Ellington, who we studied. I am also a vocalist, so hearing Kathy Kosins perform was inspiring as well.”

Vanguard staff’s top five ways to procrastinate for finals By Maria Ranger

By Dylan Powell

By Brian Fox

By Aran Singh

Vanguard Reporter

Vanguard Reporter

Vanguard News Editor

Vanguard Reporter

Recently, one of my favorite ways to procrastinate has been watching random educational videos. I’ll just go on YouTube and find interesting topics to learn about, or I will watch an analysis of movies, TV or music. To me, it feels productive still, since it’s educating myself, although not in the way that I’m paying for at college. I still feel engaged if I’m watching something like this that’s either factual or uses critical thinking skills, which makes me feel less guilty than watching “The Office.”

I’ve been a general procrastinator my entire life, and during that time, only one thing has remained constant: I can’t pull myself away long enough from a TV screen sometimes to even begin to think about the responsibilities in my life, especially when I’m playing video games. Whether I’m doing it to unwind, to take a break from something or quite literally to avoid doing things I am supposed to, video games have always had a unique stranglehold on my attention-span. From multi-player games to single-player games to mobile games to arcade games, I love ‘em all. There are so many different types of video games out there, all of which are built to stimulate the mind and entertain for hours on end. There are thousands of games of varying art styles, difficulties and game mechanics, but only a small amount of responsibilities for myself to tend to. Why would I decide to spend my time actually progressing myself further into adulthood when “Bloodborne” has been sitting on my shelf unbeaten for years? Who’s going to kill The Cleric Beast if I’m too busy puttering around with homework, dishes and errands, fair readers? Who?

Sometimes, you just have to unwind and let yourself decompress after a long and especially stressful day of classes. It’s perfectly healthy to take a night to yourself when the pressure builds, especially this late in the semester. If you’re like me, however, a little stress can become a big excuse to waste time and blow off other responsibilities. Bad test? Better take a pint of ice cream straight to the dome and play video games all night. Group project going badly? Let’s just marathon some Star Trek with the cats and some popcorn while ignoring the group chat – that should help. Should have started that paper yesterday? Cleaning the entire apartment first can’t hurt. Self-care is good and necessary if one wants to avoid burnout and breakdowns, but don’t let it become just another excuse to kick back and skate by. One of the best habits of highly-organized people – one I’d love to pick up some day – is being able to properly manage time. That means time for studying and work as well as time for relaxation and fun.

Sometimes, you just gotta drink. After a long day at the “office” (a loosely applied term), you just need to decompress. Drinking can be a good way to temporarily relieve the stress of completing an assignment. Take advantage of a happy hour situation at one of the hundreds of chain restaurants populating this metropolis we call the Tri-City area (or the “Great Lakes Bay Region,” if you’re a sociopath). Applebee’s, Harvey’s and TGIF’s all have decent Happy Hours. Believe it or not, a drink or two to take the edge off is actually good for one’s health. I read that in a study somewhere. Yeah, that’s the ticket. I’ve never really gotten carried away with the drinking. Except that one time at Olive Garden. I demanded more breadsticks and booze, and they cut me off on both counts. I was dragged out of there yelling, “…But I thought when you’re here, you’re family” over and over. Since it was only 1:45 p.m., I still had the rest of the day ahead of me. Thank God for my Uber chariot.

By Mariah Turner Vanguard Reporter

What is one of the best ways to procrastinate in college? Netflix. We all know the infamous question: Are you still watching? Yes, I’m still watching my 87th consecutive episode of “Gilmore Girls.” Hands down, the best way to procrastinate is to cozy up with wine and watch Netflix, usually with the intention to watch just one episode. The downside to this is suddenly you are three seasons deep and you #cantstopwontstop. Then, you realize that a 30-page essay, five discussion posts, two online quizzes and a group project are all due at midnight. And you then continue to watch Netflix, but stressfully.

The Valley Vanguard 110A Curtiss Hall

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


The Valley Vanguard | | Monday, April 16, 2018 | Page A5

Softball falls to GVSU in only games of week Flood Watch: Top nostalgic T sports games By Marq Williams Vanguard Reporter

he SVSU softball team squared off against the Grand Valley State Lakers at home on Tuesday, April 10, in what turned out to be its only contests of the week. The rest of SVSU’s scheduled games were postponed due to inclement weather. In the first game, Grand Valley, which came in undefeated in conference play, got started early, scoring the game’s only two runs in the top of the second inning on a double to take the lead. SVSU had an opportunity to take the game in the home half of the fifth inning, as the Cardinals had a scoring threat with the bases loaded. Nothing would come of the opportunity, however, and the Lady Cards left three on base. “We played great defensively,” senior first basemen Evy Lobdell said. “Having a week and a half off from live at-bat situations hurt us going into the games. Hopefully we can get our bats rolling again next week.” The first run of the second game was scored on an RBI double by Grand Valley, and the Lakers showed no sign of stopping after that. They went on to hold the Cardinals scoreless and only gave up six hits as they took the second game 5-0. Head coach Todd Buckingham has been

By Jeremy Flood

Vanguard Reporter

Vanguard Photo | Jolie Wyse

Senior outfielder Danielle Hamilton hits the ball against Grand Valley State on Tuesday, April 10. The Cardinals dropped both of their games against the Lakers, who remain undefeated in conference play. taking it one game at a time and looks at the team’s next game against Tiffin to get the ball rolling once again. “Tiffin has a solid program with veterans on the mound and a good coach,” he said. “They don’t appear to have big bats on paper. If our offense can produce when needed and our pitchers can hit their spots,

we should be fine.” The Cardinals continue their conference play at home against Tiffin on Tuesday, April 17, and Davenport on Friday, April 20. Games begin at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. both days. The Cardinals then hit the road at Ferris State on Saturday, April 21, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Cheer, dance teams perform in National Championships By Steven Bryant Vanguard Reporter

The SVSU cheer and dance teams both traveled to Daytona Beach, Florida, for the 2018 National Cheerleaders Association and National Dance Association College National Championships from April 5 to April 7. This is the cheer team’s fourth appearance at Nationals and the dance team’s second consecutive appearance. The cheer team scored a 89.72 in the preliminary round, their best score to date at Nationals. They finished in 10th place, .73 points short of making it to the finals. Not making the finals pushed the team to compete in the Challenge Cup, where they placed seventh among all competitors. The dance team finished in fifth place in both D-II jazz and hip-hop competition. “This is a great achievement for our team, because it takes hard work and great dedication from the entire team to obtain a bid to compete at Nationals,” cheer cocaptain Kelsey Garner said. “Our team has been getting better results at Nationals each year we attend. We have put in a great amount of work to be successful and will continue to do so.” The cheer team spent most of its season preparing for Nationals. Garner, a junior in the finance program, said practice includes attempting new stunts, tumbling, conditioning and sideline routines. Dance team captain Chelsea Gillett also praised her team’s performance. “This success has meant that all of

Courtesy Photo | Tara Wieland

The SVSU cheer team competed in the National Cheerleaders Association National Championships from April 5 to April 7 in Daytona Beach, Florida. our hard work during the year was absolutely worth it,” said Gillett, a senior in the management program. “Despite the difficulties and challenges that we had faced throughout the year, I have never seen our team work so closely together to reach the same goal. I witnessed our team come together as a family and support each other in ways that we dreamt of all season. Our goal was to make top five, and we did exactly that.” Both teams did various fundraisers to make the trek down to Florida. The cheer team participated in selling pizza kits, candles, wreaths and other seasonal items, which netted $1,500.

The dance team made most of its money from an event called “20 for $20,” where each team member sent out 20 letters asking for $20 from a person or a business. The team also did clothing sales with the team’s name embroidered on the front. “We couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out, and we are just so excited that we are starting to make SVSU and SVDT more known,” Gillett said. “One of our other goals was to make a good name for Saginaw Valley State University, and I think we did just that.” Following two top-five finishes, the dance team will look to reload their roster, as they are hosting tryouts on April 21 at 9:30 a.m.

Baseball continues to struggle in weekend series By Connor Doyle Vanguard Editor-in-Chief

The SVSU baseball team has lost nine of its last 11 games following weekend defeats against Purdue Northwest. The team now sits at 19-17 overall and 4-11 in GLIAC play. In the first of the team’s four games against the Pride, the Cardinal offense was quiet until the final two innings, and they were unable to complete a comeback against PNW. The Cardinals were held scoreless until the fourth inning, when a fielding error plated catcher Griffin Green and an Andrew Burke RBI groundout scored centerfielder Adam Fitzgibbon, putting the Cardinals up 2-1. The Pride then added six runs in the next two innings off starting pitcher Mason Schwellenbach and reliever Brian Feinauer, making it 7-2 in favor of PNW. SVSU was able to muster a rally in the sixth and seventh innings but ultimately came up short. After two quick outs in the bottom of the sixth, three straight singles from Fitzgibbon, Craig Wilson and Andrew Burke notched a run for the Cardinals, making it 7-3. In the bottom of the seventh, backto-back singles and a walk loaded the bases for SVSU with no outs. Green then plated Gerrit Eding on a fielder’s choice, The Valley Vanguard 110A Curtiss Hall

and Quincy Jones singled to score Dean Marais, bringing the Cardinals within two. However, the rally ended there, and the Pride walked away with a 7-5 victory. Schwellenbach took the loss on the mound, going five innings, allowing six hits and four earned runs. Marais and Fitzgibbon each had two hits for SVSU and Burke had two RBIs. In the weekend’s second game, SVSU was held scoreless, spoiling a quality start from pitcher Alex Millhisler, and PNW won 3-0. Millhisler went six innings, allowing eight hits and three runs while striking out six and only walking one. “I felt really confident on the mound,” he said. “Three of my four pitches were working well, and I felt I was throwing harder than usual, so I had a lot to work with. Unfortunately, we couldn’t string together enough hits to get any runs on the board.” The Cardinals’ best chance to score came in the fifth inning, when Green led off with a double that was followed by a Fitzgibbon single, advancing Green to third. After two consecutive outs, Derrek Clyde was hit by a pitch to load the bases. However, Jordan Swiss grounded out in the next at-bat to end the threat. The teams returned to the diamond on Saturday, April 14, for the series’ third game, a slugfest that ended in a 10-8 PNW

win. The SVSU offense came to life late, but four defensive errors led to three unearned runs for PNW. The SVSU pitching staff also walked seven Purdue Northwest batters. The game was scoreless until the top of the fourth, when PNW got two runs off SVSU starter Amani Godfrey. In the bottom half of the frame, Winters’ sacrifice fly scored Clyde, making it 2-1. PNW then rattled off four straight runs to make it 6-1 going into the bottom of the seventh. From there, SVSU’s offense showed signs of life, scoring one in the seventh, two in the eighth and four in the ninth. However, the Pride kept their foot on the gas pedal in the game’s late innings and added four more runs in the contest’s final two innings, enough for a 10-8 win. Godfrey took the loss for SVSU, his first defeat of the season, going five innings and allowing five runs (four earned), striking out five but walking six. Clyde was 2-5 with an RBI and scored three runs, while Swiss was 2-5 with two RBIs, two runs and a stolen base. Eding was also 2-4 with a run. The series finale was canceled due to inclement weather. SVSU will look to get back on track next weekend as it hosts Wayne State. The teams will play one game on Friday, April 20, two on Saturday, April 21, and one on Sunday, April 22.

You’re 7 years old. "Recess" and "Kim Possible" are both on TV. You break out in a nervous tantrum because you can’t decide which one to watch, and it seems like they’re both on commercial at the same time. You decide to cope by pouring Hershey’s chocolate syrup directly into your mouth. Ah, the good old days. As for nostalgia, it didn’t stop with us '90s kids’ favorite cartoons. The late '90s and 2000s were filled with some of the best sports video games to date. In the spirit of reminiscing, let’s take a look at my top throwback video games. Starting off, we have "NASCAR Thunder 2002." Featuring NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon’s flaming number 24 car on the cover, "NASCAR Thunder 2002" was a real efficient time-waster. The game featured a "create-a-car" mode in which you could customize your car’s paintjob a million different ways, or so it seemed. Once on the track, you could compete in NASCAR’s craziest tracks or you could do my favorite in-game activity: drive backwards and cause destruction. Play with a friend to see who can leave their car in flames. Next up, we have "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004." This game featured various popular golfers of the '90s, not to mention some extra characters like Cedric the Entertainer, "Big Mo," and my personal favorite, 90+ year-old Pops Masterson. The game also allowed you to play on fantasy courses like Penguin Falls. Nothing like watching an old man smash a 300-yard drive over a waterfall of rainbows. Up next, we have "NBA Street Vol. 2." This game had funk oozing out of it, featuring clothes and styles from the '70s. This game was filled with insane combo moves that the Harlem Globetrotters could only dream of. Choosing between NBA teams and players from the day, mixed with legends of the game, allowed you to represent the upcoming Detroit Pistons championship team, or throwback to any Jordan era. Racking up style points on the streets of Philly or Oakland gave the game a true street ball feel. Moving to the gridiron, we have "NFL Fever 2002." Madden’s cousin, this was Microsoft’s first football game. Perhaps the best part of this game was experimenting with the 2001 St. Louis Rams, filled with superstars like Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce and Marshall Faulk. The flea-flicker play was madly popular in the game, along with deep passing, making the game exciting on both ends of the ball. Fever’s well-organized dynasty mode also provided a great gameplay mode for building and managing a team, something that would prove to be center pieces for football games to come. The bronze medal goes to one of my alltime favorites, "Need for Speed: Carbon." The best racing game ever created, in my opinion, this 2006 release has so many different dynamics that make it so easy to play over and over again. The tiered class system offers tons of really cool cars to drive, buy and customize. Hop in a tricked-out Corvette, find a highway and do 224 miles per hour or get the cops to chase you and see what kind of devastation you can cause to the game’s Five-O. The runner-up spot goes to a game that induces more pure fun than just about any other video game I’ve encountered: "Mario Super Strikers." This Nintendo-based soccer game is one saucy title. An indoor, no out-of-bounds soccer game, Super Strikers is very fast-paced. Choose a classic Mario character, get on the pitch and rough up your opponents with moves to battle them mid-game, and don’t forget to throw some power-ups or special attacks their way, too. If you’re looking for a game that allows you to be an animated turtle that can do a rainbow trick over the goalie, then this is game for you. I don’t think the champion of our list is going to surprise anyone, as the number one throwback sports video game is the entire "Backyard Sports" series. Nothing will ever beat drafting the latest roster for the Humongous Melonheads and bringing some hardware back to the treehouse. Whether you’re hitting dingers with Pablo Sanchez while Pete Wheeler is taunting you, or if you’re winning the Indoor-Off-The-Wall Soccer Tournament with midfielder Kenny Kawaguchi, the Backyard Sports series will always hold a special place in many childhood memories.

Sports Editor Dylan Powell | E-mail | Office (989) 964-4482 | Twitter @VVanguardSports


Page A6 | Monday, April 16, 2018 | | The Valley Vanguard SPEAKER, continued from A1

Vanguard Photo | Ali Alobaidan

SVSU English professor James Sullivan speaks to attendees at the 21st annual Writing Awards Reception on Thursday, April 12, in the Emeriti Room after winning the Innovative Writing in Teaching Award.

Writing Award winners recognized at annual ceremony By Mariah Turner


Vanguard Reporter

he University Writing Committee hosted its annual Writing Awards on Thursday, April 12, in the Emeriti Room. The Braun Award for Writing Excellence rewards outstanding student writing. One of the Braun Award winners, Joshua Cianek, appreciated the recognition of his essay on John Locke. “Receiving the Braun Award is such an honor,” Cianek said. “It is very gratifying to be recognized for work that often goes unnoticed outside of the classroom. It also gives me, as a student, the ability to showcase my capacity as a writer as well as my take on the writing process.” Another of the Braun Award winners, Bradley Hunt, gave a talk about his paper on the use of molecular machines for peptide synthesis. “I’m really excited to accept this award and to read a little piece of my paper I wrote,” Hunt said. “Thank you to Ruth Braun for donating the money and giving this opportunity to all us students. I also wanted to thank the selection committee for selecting me for

this award.” The other Braun Award winners were Victoria Phelps for her nonfiction essay on George Eliot’s “Middlemarch;” Kellie Rankey for her paper on Slums in Mumbai; Brianna Dolney for her essay on feminism in Silicon Valley; Alissa Rhode and Lauren Lavelle for their paper on thermal heating agents; Carmen Randall for her paper on opioid addiction; and Emma Kirsch for her paper on the power of language. “I was humbled and honored to receive a Braun Award,” Kirsch said. “It felt great to be recognized for my work, but the best part was being able to represent the people who helped me along the way, including my professors, mentors, teachers and family.” Rankey won two other writing awards this year: the Tyner Prize for fiction and the Seitz Creative Writing Scholarship. The winner of the Tyner Prize for poetry was Zoey Cohen. Madeline Angel won the Diane Boehm Writing Award for e-Portfolios, given to students for creating electronic portfolios of both written works and multimedia projects. Ruth Braun, who set up the Braun Fellowship with her late husband Ted, attended the event and talked about the importance of

writing. “Words are important, and how we interpret them is even more important,” Braun said. English professor James Sullivan received the Innovative Writing in Teaching Award, which is a faculty-only award that recognizes professors who inspire their students to write in new and different ways. Sullivan earned the award for his influence in helping his students create guidebooks from their three-week trip to Rome. The event also included awards from SVSU’s sister school, Ming Chuan University in Taiwan. The awards are for students involved in the ELP program and for multilingual students who have completed papers or pieces of writing or poetry in their second language. Students who won the writing awards receive a cash prize as well as publication in the Writing at SVSU book.

some background information on himself and highlighted some of his roles in SA over the past two years, which include serving on both the Legislative and External Affairs and Allocations Committees in 2016-2017, while also serving as the Special Assistant to the President on Fraternities before taking on the Allocations Director position in Fall 2017. “One thing that really qualifies him is his experience with the association,” said Executive Assistant Raegan Schultz. “We’ve seen two very different associations and how they’ve been run and supported by the speaker, so having two very different examples qualifies him really well.” Twardy said his interest in the position sparked from his passion for Student Association. “I’ve always had a passion for Student Association,” he said. “Student Association is most effective when representatives have the correct resources that they need to succeed, and I feel that I was prepared to provide those resources for representatives.” Twardy said his main priorities as Speaker of the House will be practicing responsible spending, encouraging increased public attendance at House meetings, overhauling the constituency hours system and creating an inter office concerns system. He also said the speaker has a responsibility to make sure new representatives receive ample training and support to assimilate into the association, and, to that end, plans to create a uniform training and mentoring program for new representatives over the summer. For constituency hours, Twardy hopes to create teams of five to six representatives that focus on a variety of topics, such as student concerns, SA visibility, education on resources that SA provides and education on recent legislation passed. “I feel there’s a big apathy on campus with the legislation that we pass and how aware people are of it,” Twardy said. “We’ve seen a lack of direction in constituency hours over the last couple of years. I have a vision to create teams that focus on visibility, ensuring SA is going to on-campus events and making sure that people know that we are supporting their endeavors.” All 16 representatives present voted in favor of Twardy, officially electing him as Speaker of the House.

AIA to host cornhole tournament By Connor Doyle Vanguard Editor-in-Chief

SVSU’s Athletes in Action (AIA), a Christian athlete Bible study fellowship, will host an open invite cornhole tournament in the Hamilton Gymnasium on Sunday, April 22, at 7 p.m. After toying with the idea for several months, leadership team members decided to go through with the opportunity to increase awareness of their organization and create a chance for athletes to enjoy themselves as the stresses of exams approach. “I formed a plan during last semester and then kind of thought about it over this semester and talked about it with (other members of the leadership team), and now we’re putting it into action,” said Z Westley, a member of AIA’s leadership team. Westley said the idea originally came from a project in his public relations class, taught by Director of Career Services Mike Major. “I tried to think of something that was attainable for me here at SVSU,” he said. “That’s basically what the PR plan was, to form a plan for your organization through public relations. So, I thought, ‘What better way than to actually put something into motion in an organization that I’m in?’” Alexandra Davis, another member of AIA’s leadership team, said the group wanted to provide athletes with an opportunity to make more friends within the department. “We just wanted to do a little bit more for the athletes as a whole,” she said. “We wanted to provide something that not only got our organization as Athletes in Action out, but also provide something for all the athletes to take part in together.” Once the group committed to hosting the tournament, the leadership team began meeting an hour before AIA’s regularly scheduled meetings to begin planning. Much of the planning was completed before AIA finalized that they would be hosting the event. While AIA is a Christian group, the tournament will not include a Bible study comThe Valley Vanguard 110A Curtiss Hall

ponent, as the group simply wants students to participate and enjoy themselves regardless of their religious backgrounds. “It’s moreso just to get people to know that AIA is a thing,” Westley said. “That’s why there’s not going to be any Bible study. Athletes are busy, and we don’t have a lot of events like this, and I know cornhole is a lot of fun and competition is a lot of fun, so why not put them all into action and let people have some fun?” For this year’s event, most of the communication has been with student-athletes around campus. However, anyone is invited to participate in the tournament, and AIA plans to further open up the event in future years. To sign up for the tournament, players will need to find a partner for two-person teams and e-mail their first and last names by April 19. The number of teams that sign up will determine whether the tournament is conducted in a single- or double-elimination format. Further updates on tournament details will be given on the organization’s Twitter page, @AIASVSU. “I think it’s going to be a really cool way to get our name out there and also bring everyone together and let them know that even if they’re not of the same religious beliefs or background as our organization, it’s still a good way to have community and fellowship,” Davis said. There will be pizza, refreshments, music and a gift card for each player on the firstthrough third-place winning teams. “You’ll get there, and we’ll have a bunch of boards set up in the gym,” Westley said. “We’ll try and get it done pretty quickly; we know people don’t have a ton of time on their Sundays and exams will be coming up, so we’ll try and get you in and get you out but have some fun at the same time.” AIA hopes to continue to host events like this in the future, along with participating in more community service opportunities. The organization meets Sunday nights at 7 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge.

@VVanguardNews News Editor Brian Fox | E-mail | Office (989) 964-4482 | Twitter

The Valley Vanguard (Vol. 50, No. 26)  
The Valley Vanguard (Vol. 50, No. 26)