Spartans rally for 7-6 comeback win over Niagara

Fresh off of a 9-0 victory on Friday evening, the Michigan State baseball team looked to win their second game in as many days to clinch the series against 18-8 Niagara. Going into Saturday, the 13-14 Spartans won three straight games and netted their first shutout in over two years in the series opener with the Purple Eagles.

Being Sparty: Spartan Alumni share their experiences playing the MSU mascot

Sparty is the beloved student mascot at Michigan State University and has only grown in national prominence since his conception and initial appearance in 1955. According to the Lansing State Journal, the legend of Sparty began when three Theta Xi fraternity brothers, Donald Pais, Kenneth Bauers, and Don Bauer created a papier-mache Spartan head for a pep rally, which was over six feet tall and weighed nearly 60 pounds. The mascot made subsequent appearances at Michigan State sports games and other university-related events, as his popularity rose rapidly over the years. A large aspect of the intrigue behind one of the country’s most beloved mascots is the mystery of who is wearing the costume. According to Michigan State, those who dress up as Sparty will wear Sparty’s boots to graduation and will usually announce their masquerade as Sparty on social media, to the shock of their friends and family.

Dr. Estrella Torrez is the new East Lansing School Board Member

During the Monday, Oct 9 board meeting, superintendent Dori Leyko and the seven members of the East Lansing school board spent the majority of the meeting interviewing six new candidates to fill the vacant trustee position on the board, after the resignation of Monica Fink.  In these interviews, Dr.  Estrella Torrez was ultimately chosen for the vacant trustee position. 

According to East Lansing Info, this is the third (of three) East Lansing trustee position filled in 2023, with Gary Holbrook selected during an Aug 14 meeting following Amanda Cormier’s resignation, and Chris Martin selected following Debbie Walton’s resignation in February. 

The six candidates interviewed for Fink’s old position, which was later given to Torrez, include Robert (Bob) Cukier, Rebecca Dean, Dr Scott D Farver, Michael Feldpausch, Tiffany Matthews, and Dr. Torrez. All six of these candidates spoke with the board and seemed like potential fits, but in the end only one could be chosen as the newest trustee. 

One interesting fact regarding these candidates is that three of them have ties to the greater East Lansing area, more specifically the academics, with Cukier, Farver, and Torrez all current faculty members at Michigan State University, with Cukier having taught at MSU for many years and Feldpausch having earned his bachelor’s degree from the university. 

Unfortunately for Farver, he felt his lack of diversifying experiences were holding him back from a selection as the newest trustee, and a higher level of contribution to the board. “I don’t know if you need my voice on this board. I am a white cis male who brings limited perspectives from those identity to the seats here”

However, in the eyes of the board, two candidates stood out from the pack; Matthews and Torrez, with Torrez ultimately being selected for the vacant position. 

In the case of Tiffany Matthews, her motive behind running for the school board was interesting. At the prior school board meeting, a parent spoke and mentioned that she did not have any representation on East Lansing’s school board, prompting Matthews, as a school of choice parent, to express her interest and throw her hat in the ring for the open seat.

East Lansing Community Divided Regarding Street Parking Removal

The newest project discussed by the East Lansing City Council wants to turn the 530 Albert Ave property into affordable, low-income housing, which would rid East Lansing of extra parking. 

During the Tuesday, Oct 3 city council meeting, the East Lansing city council voted to delay any potential vote regarding the potential transformation of 530 Albert Ave to the Tuesday, Oct 17 city council meeting. Many residents from all over East Lansing, Lansing, and even some of the surrounding towns showed up to the city council meeting, as a public hearing was held so the people could state their cases and share their personal experiences to either defend or oppose the removal of the Bailey Street parking lot behind Grand River Avenue to make room for low-income housing.  Despite people supporting the potential addition of low-income housing to the East Lansing community, the community was relatively divided on their agreement with the plan to destroy the parking lot to pave the way for low-income housing. The low-income housing complex is supposed to have a two-year building period, so in the event the proposal is approved, people would not be able to live in this property until late 2025 or early 2026 at the earliest, raising concern among the people of East Lansing.  

According to East Lansing Info (ELi), Albert Ave proposal for low-income housing would add a five-story, 122-unit apartment complex in downtown East Lansing. However, the people’s cause for concern is the potential removal of the Bailey Street parking lot in the process.

Survivors of domestic violence push for gun reform laws in Michigan 

Around 36% of women and 25.8% of men in Michigan have experienced physical, sexual, or stalking abuse from an intimate partner at some point, according to the non-governmental organization Every year, about 70 people are killed by gunfire in domestic violence incidents in Michigan, according to this same organization. Survivors are fighting to end this reality by honoring the victim’s memory and pushing for legislation changes to make people feel safer in their communities. Supporters for further restricted access to firearms across Michigan gathered and rallied in a vigil at the Lansing State Capitol Building on Sept. 14, 2023, to remember those affected by domestic violence incidents.  During the event, 70 pairs of shoes were placed on the Capitol’s steps to symbolize and honor the victims of domestic or gun-related violence each year.