Looking back at the biggest stories from 2015
From MSU sports success to issues in administration, 2015 was another big year for Spartans. Here are the most memorable stories from The State News for the year.
MSU football won the Cotton Bowl over the Baylor Bears in an exciting comeback game.
MSU basketball had an underdog run in March Madness. The team made it to the Final Four after defeating favorite Louisville in the Elite Eight. The streets of Cedar Village lit up after MSU Basketball’s win over Louisville to advance to the Final Four in March.
Thirteen people were arrested and faced charges from disorderly conduct to being within 300 feet of an open flame. Bagels were thrown and fires were set during the celebrations. Police estimated nearly 750 people gathered on Waters Edge Drive to celebrate MSU’s Elite Eight victory.
The Board of Trustees voted to raise tuition by 2.7 percent making this the sixth consecutive year the board has raised tuition. The raise remained under the state cap. Other universities including Eastern Michigan University and Oakland University raised above the cap forfeiting state funding.
The board also voted in a campus-wide smoking ban that will take effect in fall 2016. All tobacco-related products are included in the ban.
The Office of Institutional Equity was created earlier this year to handle complaints of not just sexual assault, but relationship violence and other forms of discrimination.
Months later, The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, or OCR, announced the Title XI case findings that MSU had mishandled several sexual assault cases.
OCR found MSU did not resolve two separate sexual assault cases in accordance with OCR mandates. The OCR found that two of the three cases investigated were mishandled.
“This is a big problem and we need to be part of the solution,” President Lou Anna K. Simon said in a previous State News story.
The trustees approved a plan during their October meeting to install solar arrays on parking lots all over campus through the Energy Transition Plan.
The $2.5 million project will connect the MSU electrical grid to the electrical output of the solar powered panels. The western portion of Parking Lot 83 off Trowbridge Road closed on Oct. 9 to begin construction on the project.
Breslin Center is set to receive some updates to facilities and a brand new addition to the building. The Board of Trustees voted in November to allocate university funds to begin the renovation of Breslin Center and the creation of the Hall of History, a tribute to MSU basketball’s best for both women and men. The $50 million project will have $30 million provided by the university to go towards the facilities’ updates and MSU Athletics will raise $20 million to construct the new addition
Following the findings of OCR, four women filed a Title IX lawsuit against MSU, President Simon and Vice President for Student Affairs and Services Denise Maybank for mishandling of their sexual assault cases.
The women are currently seeking economic damages as a result of their botched cases.
Former President Bill Clinton visited campus in November to accept the Spartan Statesmanship Award for Distinguished Public Service at the Governor Jim Blanchard Public Service Forum at Kellogg Center.
Blanchard and his wife, Janet, established the forum in May following a $1 million donation to MSU.
Clinton accepted the award and served as the keynote speaker to an audience ranging from legislators to students. Prior to former President Bill Clinton’s speech, a group of protesters locked arms and blocked entrances to bring attention to campus racism and issues. The protest began in the Brody Neighborhood grotto at a “National Black Out Day” dialogue and then moved to Kellogg Center.
The protesters have since met with President Simon and held another forum to discuss campus racism.
After defeating Oregon, University of Michigan and Ohio State University, MSU went on to face and defeat the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Championship. Following a 16-13 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes, Cedar Village erupted with celebrations.
A giant teddy bear and dumpster were set on fire, among other things. Eight individuals were arrested for revelries in Cedar Village after Saturday night, East Lansing Police Department Lt. Scott Wrigglesworth said. At the end of the night, 13 fires had been set.
MSU football finished the regular season ranked No. 3 and will make their playoff debut on Dec. 31.
MSU Basketball is officially ranked No. 1 in the week 5 AP Poll ranking as of Dec. 7.