Zeke the Wonderdog, known for his high-flying frisbee catches at Michigan State Football games, has left the Spartan Stadium crowd in awe and cheers with his performances during halftime and between plays at football games. It is a more than 45-year-long tradition and a staple hood of Michigan State football games in the fall. The tradition started in the 1970s when Gary Eisenberg, an MSU sophomore, competed with his yellow Labrador, Zeke, in several frisbee competitions. Zeke was just an ordinary dog at the time, but that would soon change.
“He was just Zeke, there was no Wonderdog there, he was just my dog,” said Eisenberg.
The two were noticed by Michigan State University when Gary and Zeke finished runner-up in the World Championship in Pasadena. After their impressive performance, they were asked to perform at an MSU home football game, and the tradition was born.
“The response was overwhelming, the students went wild they just went bananas, they would stomp the bleachers chanting Zeke Zeke Zeke,” said Eisenberg.
The original Zeke the Wonderdog performing at Spartan Stadium.
According to a report made in 2023 by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), the proportion of Latinos in the highest ranks of the U.S. journalism sector does not align with the demographic composition of Latinos in the overall U.S. population. “There is not a lot of support or resources for people like me in media and it makes me feel like I am behind,” said Sofia Mireles. Mireles is a Mexican-American MSU journalism student in her junior year. “At first, when doing interviews via phone call it was really hard to understand their English over the phone.
The East Lansing School Board on Oct. 9 discussed the continuation of equity issues in the district. Three years ago, ELPS announced a series of changes to improve its DEI efforts. The district proceeded to try and increase diversity in the faculty and staff and create programs to increase inclusion. In September at MacDonald Middle School, a teacher was suspended for the second time in four months for using racial slurs and inappropriate language.
At a recent East Lansing School Board meeting, parents discussed diversity, equity and inclusion efforts within the district. Three years ago, ELPS announced a series of changes to improve its DEI efforts. The district proceeded to try and increase diversity in the faculty and staff and create programs to increase inclusion. In September, a teacher at MacDonald Middle School was suspended for s second time in four months for using racial slurs and inappropriate language. Following these events Brandy Branson, representative for the East Lansing Parent Advocacy Team (ELPAT), proposed a question:
“Are the sessions being looked at from an equity lens?”
“I heard no definitely, everyone skirted around all of that, and I tried very hard on parent perspective,” Branson said.
The East Lansing Public School Board met on Oct. 9 for their first school board meeting of the month. Board members listened to the progress and plan for the professional development days on five Fridays during the 2023-24 school year – and addressed critics about the efficacy of these initiatives in promoting more equity in the school district.
Assistant Superintendent Glenn Mitcham of East Lansing Public Schools gave a presentation on the professional development days and the goals and plans that the district has set forth for the development days for the 2023-24 school year. The mission statement and goals that have been set forth for the ELPS for the 2023-24 school year include sessions for teachers at the elementary and secondary schools about nurturing each child, educating all students, and building world citizens.
The sessions include forty-nine 2.5-hour sessions that teachers can choose from throughout the five professional development days this year. During the professional development days, the elementary school teachers will be primarily focused on building the SEL and PBIS alignment, while the secondary school teachers are focused on building work groups.
While some people believe that the professional development days are good for the teachers to participate in and will help students to excel in the classroom, others believe that they won’t help with the equity problems that have plagued the school district recently.
Brandi Branson, a member of the East Lansing Parent Advocacy team and an East Lansing resident with three children attending school in the district believes that the professional development days are not being looked at through an equity lens.
East Lansing families gathered to take part in the Great Pumpkin Walk on Oct. 29. It was the first time this event has taken place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019. Families dressed up in their favorite costumes and trick-or-treated with local businesses down Grand River Avenue and Albert Street.
Michigan State University’s prolonged search for a new president has raised concerns among students, who feel their voices are not adequately represented in the process. Transparency issues have also sparked criticism within the university community.
East Lansing residents said off-campus student housing has taken a turn for the worst at Michigan State University. At The Villages of Chandler Crossing, an off-campus apartment complex far down Abbot Road, one mom couldn’t help but laugh at the condition of her son’s apartment as she moved him in.
Nicoline BradfordHaze from the Canadian wildfires hung over Brody neighborhood at MSU in July, 2023. This summer Michigan residents saw the real consequences of climate change. In early June and throughout July, Michiganders woke up to hazy days and air quality warnings. Robert Wahl, an environmental epidemiologist at Michigan State University, said the levels of air pollutants this summer are very unusual for Michigan. The Air Quality Index, AQI, is used to measure levels of air pollutants on a scale of “good” to “hazardous.” While AQI measures multiple pollutants, the most concerning is particle pollution smaller than 10 micrometers.This is called fine particulate matter and is a direct result of the wildfires raging through Canada.