ASMSU discusses esports, active shooter situations
The most recent ASMSU general assembly meeting featured speakers on issues ranging from technological developments on campus to community service.
This week's set of speakers included Chief Information Officer of MSU's IT department Rob McCurdy, Captain Kelly Roudebush of the MSU Police, and Program Advisor with the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement K.C. Keyton.
MSU alumnus McCurdy spoke on the possibility of expanding access to esports on campus, including "League of Legends."
“We have some things that are kind of on the horizon ... one is our esports," McCurdy said. "So, we’ve been looking at the marketplace, looking at some other schools. How many of you are familiar with E-sports? More and more people are interested not only in gaming, but watching others game. It’s a serious pastime now, and also, it’s also a serious professional– people make professional livings off of this, and we have a club team which does great and attracts a lot of interest, but we haven’t supported them to the level that we think we might be able to. So, we’re looking at how we can better support that.”
This was met with positive feedback from members of the general assembly, including Vice President for Student Allocations Stephen Brown.
“When you talk about supporting esports, I really love that idea," Brown said. "I don’t play. I don’t watch, but I love that you’re already thinking how we can engage more students in their interests. I love that.”
Roudebush proceeded McCurdy and gave a brief presentation on "Run. Hide. Fight." This is an initiative to teach people how to respond to active-shooter and other violent emergency situations. Roudebush told students that mental health can play a role in violent situations such as those described.
“The way that I talk about how to notice someone’s behavior is, so, we all have our own level of weird," Roudebush said. "Like, I’m weird here. Now, if all the sudden I’m really weird here in a short amount of time, that’s a big shift. And so these shifts are what we ask people to pay attention to, and honestly in your age group we’ve found that between 18 and 25 a lot of serious mental illnesses start to manifest in this age range. That does not mean mental illness equals violence, but there are some qualities of mental illnesses where it can be part of it."
Roudebush continued and alerted students that they need to pay attention to the people around them at all times.
"So, we want you to be aware of your roommate’s behavior, be aware of your classmates, be aware of your teachers, your instructors and whatnot," Roudebush said. "And just be able to feel empowered to be able to make that next step and let somebody know about it."
Keyton appeared before the assembly to discuss service opportunities for students, including larger scale events like Spartans WILL. POWER. Global Day of Service. He said that community service can be rewarding for students.
“My speech is, while you’re here on campus, this is your community," Keyton said. "Greater Lansing is your community. So, we always say the most change happens at the local level. Anyway, so why not go out in the local level, see what’s out there. You’d be surprised some of the stories I’ve had from students saying, ‘I had never even been off-campus.’ Then they go to a community center in Lansing, and they say, ‘Wow, this is awesome. I want to go back.’”
Before the assembly turned its focus to the bills on the agenda, President Lorenzo Santavicca commented on the significance of the shoelace found that resembled a noose earlier in the week, which led to fears on campus over racial intolerance.
“What I’m really concerned about is that there is a culture on our campus that we have to talk about," Santavicca said. "And that it’s not – it doesn’t matter whatever the object is at this point. There is a culture right now that we have to address, and that it starts with us as Spartans to lead that effort to a better community for everybody. Clearly, noting that they were shoelaces, somebody felt that it was important to report that at that moment because we have a climate. ... That clearly indicates that someone feels that that in itself was worthy enough to report, and that indicates to me that we have a culture on this campus that is not supportive of every student on this campus, and that’s what worries me.”
The meeting also saw the passage of two bills: 54-06, which created the Hughey Fund to help provide financial support for sexual assault victims, and 54-07, which allows ASMSU to recognize "It's On Us Week" to combat campus sexual assault. At the next general assembly meeting, which will be held on October 19, Jessica Norris will speak on Title IX.