Tag Archive | "michigan state university"

OutCasting radio program gives voice to LGBTQ youth at MSU

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OutCasting radio program gives voice to LGBTQ youth at MSU

OutCasters at the main studio in Westchester County, New York. Courtesy of Marc Sophos.

OutCasters at the main studio in Westchester County, New York. Courtesy of Marc Sophos.

The voices of LGBTQ Spartans and straight allies can be heard on public radio stations across the country via Michigan State University’s bureau of OutCasting, a LGBTQ youth radio program created by MSU Telecommunications alumnus Marc Sophos.

In 2006, while working at WDFH, his radio station in Westchester County, New York, Sophos came up with the idea of starting OutCasting after a foundation approached him about funding a program for underrepresented constituencies.

“In public radio, there are youth programs and there is a LGBTQ program, but there is no LGBTQ youth program,” Sophos said.

The inspiration to create this kind of program was encouraged in part by Sophos’ own experience as a gay man. He wanted to offer a platform for younger people to embrace their voices and express themselves.

“I know what it was like to be closeted and not be able to express anything, not be able to talk about it,” said Sophos. “It’s a different time now than it was when I was growing up because of the Internet but still there’s a need for people to be able to speak out and to do journalism on these issues and in some cases talk about their own experiences.”

The young contributors – high school and college age – produce six to eight programs a year for public broadcast. In addition to that they also record shorter, more frequent segments online called OutCasting OffAir, which has recently covered topics like gender norms and what it means to come out today.

After organizing and leading the program at two locations in New York, Sophos got the idea to bring the program to his alma mater after a visit to campus with his husband, Doug, a couple of years ago. They were in the Student Union where Sophos remembered the LBGT Resource Center had once been located on the fourth floor. They discovered that the location had changed, but he continued his search and eventually met with the director of the Center, DeAnna Hurlbert, a big fan of public radio, according to Sophos.

“We sort of just started batting around the idea for opening an MSU bureau,” said Sophos. “From November of 2014 through last September, a lot of the groundwork was laid and we had an informational meeting in September, a year ago, and that’s when Kayl and four other people got involved.”

Kayl Black, a sophomore member of OutCasting, said that the group is in the process of reaching out to different LGBTQ organizations around campus and students to expand their reach and spread the word about what it means to be an “OutCaster.” 

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New Media Center at ComArtSci brings creative opportunities to students

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New Media Center at ComArtSci brings creative opportunities to students

rianna2A new media center to drive students’ ingenuity and inspire collaborative work is under construction in the Communication Arts and Sciences building at Michigan State University. According to ComArtSci Weekly, the college’s weekly newsletter for students, this new space will include a newsroom, motion capture lab and a game design studio.

The space was temporarily up and running on Nov. 8 to cover the 2016 Presidential Election. MSU has famously covered elections at the College of Communication Arts and Sciences in the past, including the 2012 election.

Prabu David, dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, shared the story behind the creation of the space.

“The inspiration came for (the media center) when I was in Los Angeles,” David said. “One of our alums runs a major ad agency. When I walked into this building, it was beautiful. You could see all kinds of young people working on creative projects. There was a certain buzz. The very moment I stepped in, I thought, ‘We should capture this.’”

Lucinda Davenport, director of the School of Journalism, said that a typical day in the newsroom will be full of activity because the student-produced TV news programs will be shot there, students will be doing photo shoots, making videos, creating voiceovers for radio and activities of all different types.

“There is a space in this room for almost every process of the story to happen to completion,” Davenport said.Troy Hale, a film and broadcast news professor at MSU, supported the idea of creating the media center’s newsroom. His vision for the space stemmed from the excitement and energy of 200 students and faculty working together four years ago during the previous “MI First Election.”

“I said to (Lucinda Davenport), ‘We need to have this everyday,’” Hale said.

Hale said that other than covering the November election, the newsroom will be used by classes to develop a daily news cast that will incorporate all mediums: print, online, broadcast and radio by January 2017.

According to David, a student will be able to sit in front of an anchor desk, turn the probiotic camera and lights on and stream live.

According to Hale, anchor, teleprompter and performance training will be necessary to get students ready for the newsroom.

“Students and professors will step up what they’re doing,” Hale said. “If you work in a new environment, you will work up to that level.” 

Stacey Fox, transdisciplinary artist in residence, was the force behind the addition of a motion-capture studio in the media center.

Fox said the College of Communication Arts and Sciences will be offering a motion capture class, open to all MSU students in Spring 2017, that would be great for actors, dancers, athletes, animators and others. Motion capture is proving to have an increasing presence at the college and the space will allow for versatile opportunities to learn.  

rianna1According to Fox, the motion capture studio coming to ComArtSci is unique. Unlike other systems, the equipment will be markerless, meaning that students won’t need to put on special suits or white markers on their joints to help the camera capture their movements. The system can also capture students exactly the way they look in 3D or take their movements and put that on any character. The equipment can also motion capture a student and put them into any environment.

Fox believes motion capture technology has a vital role in journalism because students can be motion captured in the studio and then put on the lawn of the White House, the United Nations Convention or the scene of a hurricane.

“We can – in real time, live – motion capture you and put you into any virtual reality environment. For news, let’s say we have the virtual reality environment of a storm scene. We can capture a student journalist and put them in that scene like they’re there in real time,” Fox said.

Students can also recreate moments in history through virtual reality. If Barack Obama came to the studio, for example, students could archive his voice and motion. Years later, another student can put on goggles and have a conversation with Obama as if they had been there with him. Fox said this is the concept of immersive journalism, where immersive environments are created and viewed by the public.

Fox believes that the media center will provide students with access to state of the art technology and the opportunity to experience what the professional industry workflow of a newsroom is like before they go out into the real world.

David spoke about how journalism is in dire need of new models and the millennials of this college generation are going to find them with their familiarity of multimedia.

The dean believes students can gain skills in the new space including journalism, television, radio, social media, interactive design, animation and game design.

“We do so much good work in our classrooms but it’s all hidden behind brick walls. We’re tearing down the walls and creating this beautiful environment,” said David. “You see the great work being done in the classrooms, the technology that students have access to, the innovative ideas of the future.”

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MSU student will spend summer in Rwanda ‘empowering’ women

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MSU student will spend summer in Rwanda ‘empowering’ women

Espoir Tuyisenge, nicknamed Esp (pronounced Es · pee), is a soft spoken, kind and intuitive 22-year-old from Rwanda who loves coffee. Esp came to the United States in 2013 to double major in food industry management and agriculture business management at Michigan State University. This summer, Esp will be in Rwanda conducting a project focusing on the production of coffee and its inclusion of women. 

Espoir Tuyisenge is a sophomore at Michigan State University. He is a double major in food industry management and agriculture business management.

Espoir Tuyisenge is a sophomore at Michigan State University. He is a double major in food industry management and agriculture business management. Photo: Ben Muir.

“Rwanda depends on agriculture as the main source of income,” Esp said.And coffee is the big industry that fuels the economy.”

Coffee in Rwanda differs from coffee in the United States, however. In the U.S., coffee is predominantly a consumption-based entity, and many drinkers have become alienated from the product. Whereas in Rwanda, coffee is a competitive business. Farmers in Rwanda produce the beans that will later be exported to other countries for sale. But the actual drink is not popular among the people, Esp said.

“I’m pretty sure 90 percent of people back in Rwanda don’t even drink coffee. It’s because Rwanda doesn’t process the coffee itself, but rather it produces green beans. Then the beans are sent to American outlets like Starbucks to produce the finest coffee,” Esp said. “And people in Rwanda can’t afford it. They just sell their beans.”

Women in Rwanda are at the forefront of coffee farming. Esp said women do the majority of the work involved with producing the beans, but when it comes to finances, men are the sole proprietors of coffee revenue.

Esp said the mixture of Rwanda’s culture and lack of education and organization in women has formed a negative mantra, creating a significant gender inequality within the nation. Subsequently conditioning women to believe that they are second to men in business enterprises.

This has made women unaware of the international coffee market size, Esp said. It is massive capitalism with billions of dollars allocated to people all over the world, and many Rwandan women pay little attention to what’s happening outside of Rwanda’s borders because they are accustomed to acting selfless.

Most of them are in rural areas, so if we don’t talk to them, they will have no idea what’s going on, Esp said. “All they do is farm and feed their children.”

Esp will be on a team that will work with 5,000 Rwandan women. The team will begin by interviewing women one-on-one to gauge their thought process on why many are negated.

Along with his studies, Esp works part-time at the MSU Union.

Along with his studies, Esp works part-time at the MSU Union. Photo: Ben Muir.

The goal of the interviews is to determine the barriers women face that are hindering them of being more of an integral part of coffee distribution management. The hypothesis is that women will be reluctant at first.

Esp’s concern is that women have become too immersed in mediocrity, and Rwanda’s culture is responsible for making women content with a low-class lifestyle.

“We want to ask ‘What is your aspiration?’” Esp said. “Do you want to just stay in the realm of feeding your family?”

Following the interviews, the training stage of the project will begin. The team will work alongside Rwandan women to encourage them to speak out, and conjunctively understand the culture that has developed this one-sided business mindset.

It should be noted that Esp is not going to Rwanda to act as a savior to its people. By using ethnography and objective observations, Esp and his team will draw conclusions that will further Michigan State’s research in the agricultural field.

“The goal at the end is to empower women in corporate farming,” Esp said. “To make them feel they are able to compete at the same level as men, and they are able to move from base-farming to international production of their own premier coffee.”

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It’s Tradition: MSU students share their favorites

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It’s Tradition: MSU students share their favorites

Traditions at Michigan State University come in all shapes and sizes. The campus is decorated with statues of respected figures from the school’s history and monuments donated by alumni. But not all traditions can be seen with the eye. The invisible experiences, like the “Midnight Scream” and the “Go Green, Go White” chant can be just as important.

As the current academic year comes to a close, many students are reminded of the things that they’ve achieved, including memories made.

For freshman Madison O’Connor, the end of the year marks the completion of her first year at MSU. Meanwhile, we are brought even closer to the return of football season. As most Spartan football fans are well aware, these games are notorious for the chanting of one special song.

O’Connor said that the fight song, “Victory for MSU,” is the school tradition that she enjoys most.

“I like it because I feel like it brings all the students together … We’re all there cheering together for the same people,” O’Connor said.

In the fall of 2015, the changing of the well-known melody’s name was big news for the MSU community. To celebrate 100 years since it was written, the song was renamed “Victory for MSU.”

Still on O’Connor’s to-do list is a selfie with the school mascot “Sparty.”

“I feel like that’s something everyone should do at least once,” she said.

Freshman Fallon Reagan, who ranks her school spirit as a 9 or a 10 on a 10-point scale, said she, too, holds football season close to her heart. She said that she enjoys “the student section, the comradery and you feel like you’re a part of something bigger and just all the cheers. It makes you feel like, there’s 50,000 of us, but it makes you feel more like you’re a part of something.”

As a member of the French club and other student organizations, Reagan said she hopes to have the opportunity to paint The Rock during her time at MSU.

Sophomore Serenity Tyll would also like to test her artistic skill on the famous structure.

“All the time, I hear students come back from it and they stay out all night and make a huge deal about it,” Tyll said. “They come back and they’re like so closer just because of the weird things that happened with sleep-deprived college students at night.”

Tyll, like many others at MSU, realizes that The Rock is more than just a rock, “I think it symbolizes that (students are) a part of something because a lot of times they do it as a group or a club. It feels like that call-to-action that they’re doing something, like either spreading the word about their club or a significant cause that they’re passionate about.”

These are only a few of the things shared between Spartans at Michigan State University, but an evident theme amongst them is the idea of being included in something that means so much to so many people. There’s a sense of pride in saying, “Yeah, I did that,” or “I was there when that happened.”

Whether it’s something that has been around for years or a moment that is once in a lifetime, Spartan traditions are remembered by many.

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Fall of the Spartans: How Middle Tennessee upset Michigan State

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Fall of the Spartans: How Middle Tennessee upset Michigan State

For Michigan State fans around the country, March 18, 2016 is a day that won’t soon be forgotten.

The Spartans entered their first day of NCAA’s March Madness as a two-seed that people across the nation felt was snubbed of a one-seed. According to ESPN, the Spartans were favored in 91 percent of brackets to advance to the next round and 22 percent to win the tournament, but neither of these predictions would happen.

Michigan State was upset 90-81 by 15-seed Middle Tennessee, handing the Spartans arguably their worst loss in school history and head coach Tom Izzo’s first one-and-done tourney trip in his first 18 trips per Detriot Free Press. How did a small Conference-USA team take down one of college basketball’s perennial juggernauts?

Michigan State’s struggles began almost right out of the gate. Middle Tennessee’s offense caught fire early and never slowed down, only missing a handful of shots within the first 10 minutes. To make matters worse, Michigan State’s offense was sluggish from the get-go and didn’t wake up until the end of the first half. By then Middle Tennessee had the lead and momentum.

While the Spartan offense picked up after halftime, in large part due to senior Matt Costello’s dominance in the paint, the team was never able to close the gap that Middle Tennessee created and maintained throughout the game.

Middle Tennessee’s ability to shoot and make the three also played a huge role in their victory. All but one of Middle Tennessee’s starters made at least one three-pointer, including the team’s power forward/center Darnell Harris. This created a matchup nightmare for the Spartans as Costello, Davis and Schilling had to leave the paint to attempt to guard the three-point line. Something that none of them are particularly strong at.

The mismatch clearly showed. In the first half alone, Middle Tennessee shot 61 percent from beyond the arch and finished the game shooting 57 percent. Michigan State just couldn’t keep the pace, shooting 45 percent overall from beyond the arch.

On the seemingly rare occasion that Middle Tennessee missed they were always there fighting for a rebound and more often than not Middle Tennessee got it. Though the stat sheet showed that Michigan State won the rebound battle, it didn’t show during the game as MT grabbed almost every crucial rebound this game had. Perhaps the reason behind this stems from the fact that Michigan State’s big players were all spread out away from the paint allowing for MT guards Jaqawn Raymond and Giddy Potts to combine for nine rebounds.  

Free throws and fouls also played a large part in this game. 35 fouls were called over the course of the game – with a 10 foul difference between the two teams – most of them being “tic-tack” or “touch fouls.” This kind of officiating environment caused the Spartans problems all year because of how aggressive the Spartans’ defense is.

Denzel Valentine, Gavin Schilling and Matt Costello were all in foul trouble during the latter portion of this game, which further restricted the already struggling Spartan defense. When it came down to free throws, Middle Tennessee, one of the worst free throw shooting teams, shot 61 percent from the line. The Spartans shot 66 percent, but much like their rebounding total, it didn’t show during the game. There were far too many times where Michigan State went one of two or zero of two from the line, while Middle Tennessee players made both free throws on their attempts.

Ultimately when trying to analyze Michigan State’s loss, Tom Izzo put it best, “They outplayed us.” Middle Tennessee did everything right, it shot lights out from the field, slowed the Spartan offense to a near standstill and played like a team possessed. Michigan State was flat out beaten and that isn’t an indictment against the Spartans, but rather praise to Middle Tennessee. It is for that reason that Michigan State shouldn’t hang its head on this loss for too long. Would it have been nice to see Michigan State seniors Matt Costello, Bryn Forbes, Colby Wallenman and Denzel Valentine end their collegiate careers on a better note? Yes. However, this loss doesn’t take away from the excellent season Michigan State had or how great this senior class of players was.

Tom Izzo has done a great job of creating a top tier basketball program at Michigan State and top tier programs bounce back from these types of losses. In fact, Duke, the team that won the National Championship last year, did so one year after being upset by Mercer, a 14-seed.

Tom Izzo and the Spartans will learn from this, grow from it and come back next year hungrier than ever for a deep postseason run; hopefully ending in a championship.

Stats courtesy of ESPN, Detroit Free Press & The Washington Post



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Spartans on Spotify: Campus Commute Groove

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Spartans on Spotify: Campus Commute Groove

Running out of songs to listen to on your daily campus commute? Whether you walk, ride your bike or take the bus, here’s a list of some jams to listen to during your trek across Michigan State University’s beautiful campus. Follow us on Spotify at TheBigGreenMSU to stay up to date with our latest playlists!

Photo courtesy of Ursula O'Connor.

Photo courtesy of Ursula O’Connor.

1. “Here Comes the Sun” – The Beatles

What better song to walk to your 8 a.m. than this one?

2. “I’m Doin’ My Thing” – Gramatik

Keep doin’ your thing.

3. “Where Is The Love?” – The Black Eyed Peas

Thoughts that cross your mind when you see how angry everyone looks on their way to class.

4. “Billionaire” – Travie McCoy & Bruno Mars

The reminder of why you shouldn’t skip “CEM 141” today.

5. “Clint Eastwood” – Gorillaz

You can’t help bobbing your head to this one, even if it looks weird to those people across from you on the CATA bus.

6. “Day ‘N’ Night” – Kid Cudi

The relaxing vibes from this song will keep you (somewhat) calm when you just left Akers at 10:15 a.m., you missed the bus and your 10:20 a.m. is at Berkey.

7. “When I Come Around” – Green Day

Try and tell me that you don’t feel like you’re in a 90s punk music video when this song comes on.

8. “Shut Up and Dance” – WALK THE MOON

And now this song is stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

9. “Like Toy Soldiers” – Eminem

“Left right left we all fall down…” on the couch once we get home from a long day on campus.

10. “Ain’t It Fun” – Paramore

No, Hayley Williams, it’s not fun walking around campus all day. But, it could always be worse; you could live in Ann Arbor.

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Bernie Sanders packs Breslin at MSU

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Bernie Sanders packs Breslin at MSU

Over 10,000 people came out to see Sen. Bernie Sanders speak at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center Wednesday evening. Lines to get into the building wrapped around the Breslin Center, braving the bitter cold several hours before Sanders took to the podium at 7 p.m.

The crowd was composed mostly of young adults. A few hundred attendees stood on the floor, roughly 10,000 filled the surrounding lower-bowl seats and some even caught the speech from the upper level.

Michigan’s primary election is Tuesday March 8. Sanders concluded his speech by asking all those in attendance to march to the polls next Tuesday.

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Trilingual, Bilingual and American

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Trilingual, Bilingual and American

LanguageLandon cafeteria is where I met Amin, a North African native who shared his booth with me as the cafeteria quickly became over capacitated.

Amin, without a prompt, dove into how many languages – three, to be exact — he is fluent in. I lifted my head from my lunch to see why a stranger was gloating about his multi-lingual traits. He proceeded to ask me, like we had been friends forever, three questions.

Amin: What does trilingual mean?

Me: Fluent in three languages.

Amin: Yes, what does bilingual mean?

Me: Fluent in two languages.

Amin: Yes, what does unilingual mean?

Me: Fluent in a single language.

Amin: No, it means American.

Naturally, I reacted with a joyful laugh, and said something like ‘so true.’

But then I had a moment to reflect on his humor, or lack thereof, while back in line for seconds.

Was that the perception of Americans? Was speaking one language, even in rhetoric manner, really that shameful?

After that encounter with Amin, whom has remained a close friend, I was inspired to discover if learning an alternate language was profitable to one’s future.

Clearly, adding any language to your arsenal will prove viable, but is it necessary to spend thousands of dollars, let alone put in the time? Two years ago, I ultimately decided against the extra workload.  

My plan was to get a journalism degree as swiftly as possible, then begin my career. Signing up for a French, German or Spanish class sounded like unwarranted stress, effort.

Now, I’m kicking myself for making those excuses. A second language is critical for any area of study, and would turn heads in all job interviews.  

Derek Wallbank is the First Word breaking news team leader at Bloomberg News, one of the largest, most prolific media organizations in the world. Wallbank says potential applicants who are bilingual are not only a higher priority, but filling into positions faster and getting paid sooner, also. Wallbank went on to list just a few languages that are an asset in business situations.

“Arabic, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, and German are all extremely helpful,” Wallbank said. “If it’s something you really want to do, there is no harm in starting whenever. Dual languages are huge for us.”  

Opting out of a second language will not render a student jobless, however. Jeffery Hogan, the editor at The County Press in Lapeer Michigan speaks English only, and has progressed substantially. Hogan did say that, if he had done anything differently, it would have been to study Spanish. But he did further say that sticking to your native language will not be the death of your career.

An additional language can come in handy not just for the future, but while attending college as well.

Any student with aspirations to study abroad should consider taking courses on the predominant language spoken in the country of choice. Getting a cultural leg-up prior to an international trip will surely make the experience more dynamic. Preparations include, but are not limited to, taking classes, studying online, utilizing a tutor, or listening to a podcast.

By the time the student returns from an international voyage, along with the preceding education, he or she will be practically fluent.   

If learning a new language doesn’t suit you, then I advise you to become mindful of the scores of extracurricular opportunities Michigan State offers.  

As you’re walking to class, take five minutes to recognize the fliers on the walls eliciting volunteers, hiring interns or promoting school clubs. Those seemingly trivial opportunities will be advantageous to building a resume. Not to mention make the Spartan experience more fulfilling.

Michigan State has a driven faculty that want to help all students become involved. The earlier a student takes advantage of after school opportunities, the quicker he or she will be primed for life after MSU.




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It’s Tradition: The Rock

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It’s Tradition: The Rock

The Rock after it was painted in honor of Lacey Holsworth. Photo via Flickr.

The Rock after it was painted in honor of Lacey Holsworth. Photo via Flickr.

On an average week its color often varies and its message changes regularly, but its presence at Michigan State University is one thing that seemingly remains the same. As a key location for activism, promotion and memorialization – the Rock has become a Spartan tradition almost as solid as the structure itself.

According to research gathered by the MSU Archives, the Rock was donated by the Class of 1873. The archives’ research states, “For the next sixty to seventy years, the Rock remained as it was, untouched, but during the 1940s and 1950s, the Rock would be known as the ‘Engagement Rock.’” If a Spartan wanted to propose, the Rock was a special place to do it.

It was also during that time that the Rock “became a political platform and billboard for various groups.” Students began painting it and the surrounding trees and sidewalks in the area. Therefore, to preserve the natural environment, the Rock was moved from its location near where the Beaumont Tower now stands to its current location in front of the Auditorium in 1985 and the painting has continued for over 30 years.

The Rock’s purpose has evolved during its history at the university, but it seems that painting it continues to be the biggest appeal today.

International relations senior Monica Watt painted the Rock in order to celebrate and promote her student organization, the United Nations Association, last fall. She estimated that the Rock has accumulated more than 10,000 layers of paint over the years.

The rock means a tradition for MSU students, it’s a way to express our voice like on a billboard without worrying about rules and regulations,” said Watt. “It gets attention and the tradition to guard the rock also allows students to gather and bond over various things.

“It’s become a symbol because it’s a something that can’t be removed easily. And people are willing to guard (it) and paint it so it still is a tradition.”

The university does not regulate a schedule for individuals to paint the Rock. There is no way to sign up for a time or date to paint it, a.k.a. “you snooze, you lose.”

“The unwritten rule about painting the Rock is that whoever is there first at night to paint it can do so, but it’s best to stay with the Rock until first light. If the painters decide not to stay and guard the Rock, any other group can come and repaint it,” according to the MSU Archives’ research.

A recent memorable moment for the Rock was following the Paris attacks on Nov.13 of last year. MSU students banded together to “stand with Paris” and show their support.

Perhaps one of the most well-known paint jobs that the Rock has received was in honor of Lacey Holsworth, otherwise known as “Princess Lacey,” the 8-year-old who was a source of inspiration for the Michigan State Men’s Basketball team in 2014.

After losing her battle with cancer, the community celebrated her life and the impact that she had on the school by painting the Rock for her.

While the Rock has been the basis of many different traditions in MSU history, one thing is certain to never change – the layers and layers of students’ names, logos and missions of diverse organizations and symbols of hope will forever be a part of the structure.  

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The Roial Players’ spring season

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The Roial Players’ spring season

“Count them in 3, 2, 1 … *clap*,” the scene leader announces to the crowd as a few actors take the stage to perform their improvisation, from which much of the context is compiled from the audience’s ideas.

The Roial Players is a studentled theatre group at Michigan State University. It was started in 2005 by various Arts and Humanities students and dedicated to the art of theatre without requiring the students to commit to a theatre major.

Lives of Saints performance. Photo by Elsa Finch.

Lives of Saints performance. Photo by Elsa Finch.

The spelling of Roial was originally an acronym for a College of Arts & Letters program (Residential Option in Arts and Letters). After the program was disbanded, a few students continued it as a group and joined together with the Residential College of Arts and Humanities (RCAH). It was only three or four years ago that they dropped the acronym and changed the name to the Roial Players.

The Roial’s Treasurer Marcus Fields said, “Working on productions with Roial is so much fun, because students get to handle every aspect of the production including writing, booking rehearsal space, casting, rehearsing, set design and construction, developing marketing strategies, costume and makeup design, filming promotional videos, etc.

“There’s always an opportunity to learn a new skill alongside someone else and have fun at the same time. Every show is unique, having been developed from the collaborative efforts of many creative individuals fulfilling all of the roles necessary to produce a theater production.”

Since it began, it has become a more comprehensive performing arts group with many different components, which includes their monthly improv shows, as well as four full length performances per year.

The group’s full length performances consist of compilations of one acts and a Creative Showcase talent show. The improv shows occur once a month, including one that will be performed on Feb. 27 at 9:00 p.m. at the RCAH Theater, located in the basement of Snyder-Phillips Hall. The theme of this production is “Roial Rumble,” in which Notre Dame’s Humor Artists will be joining them on stage. The improv performances are very audiencebased and work straight from words or ideas that are either shouted out or written down.

Along with their live performances, the group has their own film division, writers club, and a makeup, hair and stage management team.

“We’re proud of the fact that we are able to offer so many opportunities to so many different types of people, especially just as students,” said Lauren Gaynor, executive director of Roial Players.

A few weeks ago, the group produced a show called Dog Sees God, a parody of the Peanuts comics. The show followed the characters throughout high school. The performance was aimed more toward the mature audiences, but it was “fun and extremely quirky,” according to Gaynor.

Roial Players is open to any Michigan State University registered student. There are many meetings throughout the year.

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