As a student activist at Yale University, I was tremendously disturbed to read Jeremy W. Steeles article about police infiltration of the MSU affiliate of United Students Against Sweatshops (Activist group exposes undercover officer, SN 4/3). While police infiltration of student and other dissident groups has a long history in the United States, that infiltration has often ended in tragedy.
The undercover investigation of a student activist group by university police was unethical and hurt student-police relations. MSU police Officer Jamie Gonzales posed as elementary education junior Samantha Volare and participated in meetings and activities with Students for Economic Justice, an officially registered campus group.
This past weekend, after what many believe was the worst loss of the season for the MSU mens basketball team, the reaction and behavior of the students truly did exhibit the motto, Spartans act with class. This year, being the two-year anniversary of the March 27-28, 1999, riot, many speculated a loss might cause problems in the streets of East Lansing following the game.
I don’t think anyone will argue with me when I say alcohol is a key part of college culture. It seems sometimes the entirety of college students’ social world is built on a foundation of alcohol.I’m not going to condemn that; for the most part, I don’t have a problem with it.
While the defeat of the mens basketball team by Arizona on Saturday was disappointing, MSU has a lot to be proud of. MSU lost to the Wildcats 80-61 in the Spartans third-straight appearance in the Final Four, ending hopes for a repeat of last years NCAA Championship. More than 2,000 people filled the streets surrounding Cedar Village after the game in a generally peaceful gathering.
I would like to thank Brian Emerson Jones for recognizing the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered community in his column Pride Week celebrations are important to all (SN 3/28). Pride Week is an important time not only to celebrate diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, but to push the acceptance wall back a little bit, and if at all possible, abolish some ignorance here and there. I, too, have endured harassing comments written on my residence hall door and various verbal harassment during the years simply because of the fact that I happen to be gay.
As the MSU basketball team prepares to play Arizona on Saturday in its third consecutive NCAA Final Four appearance, students should congratulate the team and themselves for a great season. With the memories of the March 27-28, 1999, riot after MSUs loss to Duke still haunting the university, students should think about how circumstances have improved in the two years since. In the March 27-28, 1999, riot, 132 people were arrested, although only 71 were MSU students.