The State – 02/22/23

Rachel Fulton

Today’s weather forecast is predicting some snow showers early which will give way to a mix of wintry precipitation in the afternoon and 3 to 5 inches of snow and ice is expected with a high of 31 degrees and a low of 27 degrees.

Thousands of students sit down at ‘Skip Class, Stand-Up’ protest

On Monday afternoon, the third protest in a week occurred at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing.

Thousands of students from Michigan State University gathered for the rally, called “Skip Class, Stand Up.” During the protest, attendees sat in a commonly taught formation used during lock-down drills in schools. Together, the students introduce themselves to each other and mourned together.

Across the lawn, people handed out bracelets which read, “Spartan Strong” while others allowed for students to pet their dog, some even having heartfelt conversations between strangers during it. Signs filled the spaces in the crowd and when the organizers called for the attendees to hug and talk to one another, they did.

March for Our Lives founder and Parkland survivor David Hogg came to the protest to talk to the students from an understanding point of view, but also to inspire them to want to create change by going out and voting, running for state legislature and addressing gun violence head on.

Hogg said as a generation, the students need to cut through religious and racial lines to come together and make progress. He also addressed those who use their constitutional rights as an excuse to not address gun control.

Vice President of Internal Administration for the Associated Students of Michigan State University, ASMSU, Carl Austin Miller Grondin talked to the student body about the story of his sister who was locked on campus throughout the events. He recited a play by play of the night with timestamps, depicting how long it seemed everything took to calm down last Monday night.

After speeches were over, the protest allowed for an open mic, which let attendees to address the crowd.

Many attendees left the Capitol, embracing one another in hugs of “I’ll See you soon,” signifying the spirit of the Spartans: standing with one another in a time of grief.

Non-tenured faculty looks for flexibility in return to classes

The MSU Union of Non-Tenured Track Faculty, or UNTF, has been in communication with the university administration students returning to campus this week. The UNTF, which is the union for faculty members who are not in the tenure system, is asking for flexibility when it comes to students returning back to learning and calls for the University to listen to the needs of faculty and students during this time.

Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures associate Professor and UNTF President Kate Birdsall said she feels “heartened” by the Office of Provost using the practice of trauma-informed teaching methods when making decisions about students returning to campus.

Birdsall said that while the Office of the Provost issued concrete guidance, it is not mandatory for faculty to follow. The message advised professors to not treat right now as normal and not to hand out major assignments and midterms.

“I cannot promise that all faculty are going to follow that,” Birdsall said. “I hope that they do. So, it’s really hard and this is nuanced and complicated at a place this size.”

When asked about plans for future pay negotiations with the university, Birdsall said in a text that there will be an official demand sent in the near future.

Birdsall said the union is asking for further communication from administration for faculty, as well as for students.

Hair stylist hopes to give MSU students ‘serenity’ by offering free services

Following the recent mass shooting on Michigan State University’s campus, Jordynn Greeson, a hair stylist at Capellini Salon in Okemos, stepped into comfort students the best way she knows how – by doing hair.

Since Monday, Feb. 13, Greeson has been providing a variety of free hair treatments to MSU students. This includes haircuts, blowouts, conditioning treatments and silk presses.

Going to the salon and getting her hair done is something that Greeson finds relaxing, so she wanted to provide a similar sense of peace to students impacted by Monday’s tragic events.

After their services are completed, Greeson leaves students with a bag that includes self care items, her personal phone number and the number for a therapist who is offering free tele-health appointments to anyone impacted by the shooting.

The therapist, who is Greeson’s personal therapist, is who first inspired her to offer these treatments.

When Greeson showed up to her therapy appointment, they worked through ways to help her cope with the tragedy. The shooting hit close to home, as her cousin is a junior at MSU and her son attends preschool across the street from campus.

Despite the tragedy, Greeson said these students deserve to feel special.

Greeson said that she is grateful that so many students have come in to see her and hopes that they continue to keep in touch with her.

Based on original reporting by Liz Nass, Jaden Beard and Hannah Holycross.