Sunday, March 26, 2023

Spring 2022: Semester in review

April 27, 2022
<p>Berkey Hall, on Michigan State University&#x27;s North Campus, photographed on Jan. 29, 2022.</p>

Berkey Hall, on Michigan State University's North Campus, photographed on Jan. 29, 2022.

Photo by Olivia Hans | The State News

The spring 2022 semester at Michigan State University was marked by progress, achievements and innovations, but also tragedy, loss and setbacks. 

Here are the biggest news headlines of the semester:

COVID-19 protocols relaxed 

The beginning of the spring 2022 semester was clouded in uncertainty after the Omicron surge put classes online for the first three weeks. However, classes returned in person as scheduled on Jan. 31, and as the semester progressed, COVID-19 safety measures decreased.

On Feb. 19, Ingham County rescinded the emergency order requiring masks in educational settings, citing a 78% decrease in COVID-19 cases in the county. MSU continued to require masks on campus until March 6, when the mask mandate was lifted in most indoor settings. MSU is set to rescind the mask mandate completely on May 16, following a semester-long downtrend of cases.


Missing student Brendan Santo’s body found in Red Cedar

On Oct. 29, 2021, 18-year-old Grand Valley State University student Brendan Santo went missing while traveling from Yakeley Hall to Brody neighborhood. For almost three months, extensive searches were conducted across campus and along the Red Cedar River. 

On Jan. 21, 2022, a body, believed to be Santo’s, was recovered from the Red Cedar River approximately 1.5 miles downriver from where Santo was last seen. One day later, inspector Chris Rozman of MSUPD confirmed that dental records showed the body belonged to Santo.

Originally, it was widely believed that MSUPD had discovered the body, but the finding was later attributed to private investigator Ryan Robison. Robison followed the case closely and 15 days after volunteering his services to the Santo family, was able to locate Santo.

The disappearance of Santo led to multiple safety reformations on campus including the installation of 300 new cameras and temporary fencing along parts of the river.

Positive meningitis case confirmed in East Lansing

Around 250 students were asked to immediately start an antibiotic treatment after a meningococcal meningitis case was identified in East Lansing.

The infected individual was a University of Michigan student who attended a Sigma Beta Rho event at Club Rush on Jan. 22. Any individual who attended the event or who may have been in contact was advised to immediately begin antibiotics. 

No other cases were reported.

Season 2 of “Euphoria” premieres 

The start of the spring 2022 semester coincided with the highly-anticipated season 2 release of HBO’s “Euphoria.”

For eight weeks, many Spartans designated Sunday nights as “Euphoria night,” gathering with friends and roommates to watch the newest episode. 

Whether a somber episode on Rue’s battle with addiction or a highly dramatized one with fights between former best friends Maddy and Cassie, season 2 of “Euphoria” captivated hundreds across campus.


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Lake Lansing Starbucks workers file for union election

On Feb. 4, workers at the Starbucks at Lake Lansing Street and Kerry Street filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board, becoming one of 55 Starbucks across the nation to do so.

The 32 out of 42 workers in favor of the Lansing Starbucks unionization cited staffing issues, length of breaks, reduced food and drink benefits, cost of healthcare and accommodations for a deaf coworker as reasons for the motion.

This was the first Starbucks in Lansing to file for an election; the Grand River and Stoddard Starbucks followed in its footsteps a little over a month later.

McLaren-MSU health campus opens

On Feb. 28, the Karmanos Cancer Institute outpatient care center officially opened.

The outpatient center is part of a larger new healthcare campus created through a partnership between MSU and McLaren Greater Lansing.


The new campus consists of a seven-floor facility with 40 hospital beds, a Level III trauma center, a certified primary stroke center, 17 operating rooms and a new cancer treatment center run by the Detroit-based Karmanos Cancer Institute. 

MSU community responds to invasion of Ukraine

The end of February marked the beginning of the devastating Russian invasion of Ukraine.

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin told media outlets the invasion serves to “de-Nazify and demilitarize” Ukraine, but has resulted in the destruction of cities, displacement of millions and deaths of thousands.

In March, dozens of demonstrators met at Demonstration Hall Field to show support for Ukraine at the “Spartans Stand With Ukraine” rally, organized by the MSU Ukrainian Students Organization.

Michigan residents and others gathered at the Michigan Capitol lawn in support of Ukraine on March 20.

Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed to the Supreme Court

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson made history when she was confirmed to the Supreme Court this year.

She broke the glass ceiling by being the first Black woman to serve on the court in its 233-year history. 

MSU men's basketball falls to Duke in second round in NCAA Tournament

MSU men’s basketball was eliminated in the second round of the 2022 NCAA tournament, after blowing a five-point lead in the final 4:55 to second-seeded Duke, 85-76.

The Spartans defeated Davidson, and former MSU junior point guard Foster Loyer, in the first round of the tournament.

Nia Clouden selected as the No. 12 pick in 2022 WNBA Draft

MSU women’s basketball senior guard Nia Clouden was selected as the No. 12 overall pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft. 

Following the announcement, Clouden set off to training camp with the Connecticut Sun.

She is the fifth Spartan in school history to be drafted to the WNBA.


Danton Cole leaves MSU hockey

After five seasons as Michigan State hockey head coach, Danton Cole stepped down from his position in what was described as a mutual decision with the university. 

Cole left the program with a 58-101-12 record. 

During Cole’s time, MSU did not win any games in the Big Ten Tournament, never finished in the top half of the Big Ten standings and failed to make the NCAA tournament.

Spartans look ahead to life after the semester

As the spring 2022 semester comes to an end, many students will pursue new internships or jobs this summer. 

According to MSU’s Career Services Network, 75% of undergraduate students will complete internships before graduation. Several programs at MSU require completion of an internship, or ‘field experience,’ in order to graduate.  


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