2010 Year in Review
What happened in 2010 and why it made headlines
Each January Central Michigan Life issues a special Year in Review section to recap the previous year’s top news. On Jan. 10, CM Life outlined the top 20 biggest and most influential news stories pertaining to CMU or the Mount Pleasant community. The following the first 10 with links to stories from throughout the year 2010. For the rest of CM Life’s Year in Review, pick up Jan. 10′s edition of the paper!
No. 1 — Summer tragedy at The Cabin shocks residents, students
A wave of disbelief swept over the community when a former CMU student was shot to death in The Cabin Bar July 13.
Sheperd resident Justin Joel Luckhardt walked into The Cabin, 930 W.Broomfield St., and fatally shot Kim “Kemp” Lerene Luchie, 25, of Grand Rapids in what was speculated as a case of mistaken identity. A police chase with Luckhardt ensued sometime after the incident, and he took his own life.
Luchie, a former CMU football player, was seated at a table with several others, one of whom was Luckhardt’s sister-in-law.
Anthony Gomez-Mesquita, Mount Pleasant director of Public Safety, said when Luckhardt entered the bar before the shooting, there was interaction between the four people at the table.
“(Luckhardt) left, he returned a short time later and once again left the bar, then came in,” Gomez-Mesquita said. “When he came in the third time he walked directly to the table and opened fire on the victim.”
Luchie was remembered by hundreds with a candlelight vigil in front of The Cabin July 14.
“He was one of the only people I knew who could walk without a care in the world ever,” said Luchie’s cousin Mike Inge, a Grand Rapids junior. “I’m going to miss him forever.”
No. 2 — Completion of Events Center begins new era for campus
The future of sports and entertainment at CMU changed in 2010 when the new Events Center was opened.
An addition/renovation of Rose Arena, the $22.5-million facility will fill a much needed void for the CMU and Mount Pleasant Community. Stan Shingles, assistant vice president of University Recreation, said last year the Events Center will fill the regional void for a major venue that can provide opportunities to the community.
“We know there are some limitations,” he said, “but we see the sky as the limit as it relates to possibilities of what we can do.”
The first major events held at the Events Center were the commencement ceremonies for students graduating in December of 2010. But the first major entertainment event to happen in the new venue will be a concert by hip-hop star Ke$ha on Feb. 25.
Program Board Director Damon Brown said he expected the show to sell out, but was surprised how fast it did.
No. 3 — Snyder defeats Bernero for governor
In a landslide victory, Ann Arbor businessman Rick Snyder was elected governor of Michigan over Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.
Running on his “re-invent Michigan” campaign, the GOP candidate beat out Bernero with 58 percent of the vote. In his victory speech after the Nov. 2 election, Snyder said he was elected to talk about the solution to the state’s problems, not to place blame.
He added it is integral for the state to change the way it operates.
“It is time for bureaucracy to go away, it’s time for a new government,” Snyder said.
The shift from Democratic dominance in the political scene happened in a similar fashion across the state and nation.
In the race for Michigan’s 99th district, Republican Kevin Cotter was elected state representative over Democrat Toni Sessoms. Cotter hopes to eliminate the Michigan Business Tax, lessen regulations and has opposed reinstating the Michigan Promise Scholarship.
Michigan voters also voted overwhelmingly not to approve proposal one, which would have called for a constitutional convention.
No. 4 — College of Medicine makes strides with addition, affiliation
Real progress of a developing College of Medicine became more evident in 2010 with the groundbreaking of a campus facility and a new educational partnership.
CMU trustees attended the groundbreaking of the 60,000-square-foot addition to the Health Professions Building, which is slated to be completed by 2012 — in time for the college to receive its inaugural class.
The college’s official partnership with Synergy Medical Education Alliance, effective Dec. 14, advanced the college further in
accreditation processes with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.
The university created a 501(c)3 corporation with Synergy, a Saginaw-based organization which coordinates medical education efforts in the area. The partnership, CMU Medical Education Partners, will be an east campus for the College of Medicine.
The board of trustees also approved the Doctor of Medicine program at its Dec. 2 meeting. Early this year, the curriculum must be presented to the President’s Council, where all new academic programs must be approved, said Provost Gary Shapiro.
The President’s Council is made up of presidents from all 15 of Michigan’s public universities. The decision will be made Jan. 21.
The board’s approval of the Doctor of Medicine followed an Academic Senate approval of the degree’s coursework Nov. 16. Further details will be filled in when the college’s faculty have been chosen.
No. 5 — Smoking in businesses, e-cigs in campus buildings banned
Businesses across Mount Pleasant felt a change in the air when the statewide smoking ban came into effect May 1.
The ban, adopted in December 2009, prohibited smoking in all bars, restaurants and workplaces, excluding Detroit casinos, cigar bars and tobacco specialty stores.
Lisa Cross, a health educator at the Central Michigan District Health Department, said the law is complaint-driven. The department would go to the business and investigate if one is made.
As the ban was enacted, popularity of a smoking alternative — electronic cigarettes — grew, however they were also banned in campus buildings.
Shaun Holtgreive, associate director of Residence Life said the devices, which are used to inhale nicotine-laced water vapor, “will be treated as regular cigarettes.”
Holtgreive cited FDA uncertainty and studies indicating the expelled vapor still contains noxious chemicals as affecting the decision.
No. 6 — Board gives Ross approval to negotiate hotel land lease
CMU made major progress last fall in establishing a hotel on campus since administrators first spoke of the idea more than two years ago.
The board of trustees gave University President George Ross authority to negotiate a land lease agreement with Lodgco Management LLC Dec. 2. Lodgco approached university officials during the summer with a proposal to build a hotel east of Kelly/Shorts Stadium to be completed in time for the 2012 football season.
Lodgco President Michael Smith said they will provide a modern-designed project which will blend into existing CMU architecture.
“We’re proposing a 150-room hotel with five or six stories,” Smith said.
Also included in the design package were six leasable stadium suites added onto the stadium and connected to the hotel by a glass atrium.
Smith’s estimated cost was $22 to $25 million. Because it is a private development, university funds will not be used.
Smith said the hotel will provide internship opportunities and hands-on experiences for students.
Athletics also will benefit, Smith said, from additional revenue generated through the stadium suite leases.
Dave Heeke, director of Athletics, said there is a waiting list for the suites.
If necessary, a special board meeting will take place to vote on the agreement Ross negotiates with Lodgco.
No. 7 — PrintQ saves paper, upsets students
Printers across CMU’s computer labs were unusually quiet last semester as the new PrintQ printing solution took full effect.
The new system, which allocated $10 worth of prints to undergraduate students and $15 to graduates with the option for paid expansions, was intended to save paper.
“We wanted to make sure the printing methods matched the needs of the students,” said Jeff McDowell, associate director of university services and support at the CMU Help Desk. “We based it on real data, and that was printing with no quota, no restrictions. If you add a quota to that, it lowers everyone’s printing.”
McDowell said more than 3 million pieces of paper were saved, which equals about 46 trees worth of paper in savings.
As of Dec. 3, more than 1,400 students exceeded their PrintQ allocation, less than 7 percent of the more than 21,300 students that at least attempted to print in an on-campus computer lab.
No. 8 — Thousands of students flood library for pre-finals rave
About one-tenth of CMU’s student body gathered Dec. 6 in Charles V. Park Library for a rave organized by students for students.
Many students heard of the “flash mob” to kick off finals week via a Facebook event page started by Francis Massa, a Washington D.C. freshman.
And it was all for a girl. Massa said he was attempting to win the affection of another student with the event.
“I like her a lot and that was the reason,” he said. “Our motivating factor was to reach out to more people and for me to reach out to one girl.”
In the end, it didn’t work with Massa saying the girl was disappointed by his attempt and terminated their Facebook friendship. But love-problems aside, the rave was one of the largest gatherings in recent memory with over 2,000 estimated in attendance.
However, its lack of music left many student attendees disappointed as well.
Gerald Edgar, manager of library business said, “You could probably guess about 2,500 people were involved in the rave, but it’s hard to tell.”
CMU Police Chief Bill Yeagley said he and library faculty did research on how to best contain the rave.
“I did a lot of research because I had not been involved with a rave or flash mob before,” he said.
No. 9 — Student injured in accident that sends another to prison
Tragedy fell on a family close to CMU in April when a drunk driving accident sent one CMU student to the hospital critically injured and another to prison.
Charles Joseph Scicluna, 21, a Chesterfield junior, was sentenced to no less than 18 months and no more than five years in prison for hitting 19-year-old Matthew Green and dragging him about 1,000 feet.
Scicluna pleaded no contest to felony charges last summer.
Green was pushing a car which was out of gas on Bellows Street near East Campus Drive with a relative when he was struck by the car.
Scicluna’s lawyer, James Veldhuis, described his client as a college student well-aware of the seriousness of the tragedy. Scicluna said he was “truly sorry” for the incident.
Green was paralyzed from the waist down and lost more than 40 percent of his skin along with muscles and bones from the accident, his mother Denise Green, CMU associate vice president of Diversity, said during Scicluna’s sentencing.
“When a doctor uses the term ‘nightmare’ to describe what has happened to your son,” she said, “you know you are experiencing a tragic situation.”
No. 10 — Four Loko, other alcoholic energy drinks banned
Four Loko and similar alcoholic energy drinks popular with college students went missing from store shelves after a state-wide ban last month.
The Michigan Liquor Control Commission referred to the drinks as a “blackout in a can.” The drinks, which are popular among college students, had a 12-percent alcohol content for every 24-ounce can — the equivalent of five or six beers, according to a MLCC press release.
“We were concerned about the popularity increasing with college kids and the increase of underage drinking through these beverages,” said MLCC spokeswoman Andrea Miller. “(The) Michigan Liquor Control Commission had to step in and make some changes.”
Lapeer junior Brittany Schaller said she expected students to be upset by the ban.
“Students all around Central’s campus will be freaking out,” Schaller said. “You can drink one Four Loko and feel good for the rest of the night for only a couple of dollars. College students are struggling with money so of course they are going to choose the cheapest beverage with the greatest effect.”