MLK Week 2022: Walking in the CommUNITY Peace March

As part of Central Michigan University's week of events commemorating the life and legacy of Martin Luther king Jr., dozens of students, faculty and community members marched from the Bovee University Center to the center of downtown Mount Pleasant. 

Many carried decorative signs calling for equality, justice and peace on campus and across the nation.

GALLERY: Students model a world for the future

Throughout November, one Central Michigan Life photographer, Layla Blahnik-Thoune documented Central Michigan University Model United Nations students on their path to the American Model United Nations Conference (AMUN) at the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk Hotel in Chicago.

About one thousand college students, including nine CMU students, attended the three-day conference that began on Nov. 20. Representing Palestine, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, they tackled issues such as sustainability, anti-racism, discrimination, xenophobia and the poverty-environment nexus. 

Earlier that month, on Nov. 12, the MUN class held the annual ChipMUN conference for high school students from Forest Hills Central High School, Mount Pleasant High School and Lowell High School. The registration proceeds are used to support the Fall and Spring conferences the MUN class attends each year.

Palestine delegates of the UN Environmental Assembly, Hope-Marie Delgado and Josh Moody won Best Representation of a Delegation. Along with Wyatt Heppner, they also won their case in the International Court of Justice. 

The MUN class, PSC 354, plans to attend a conference in New York in the Spring, and encourages anyone interested to sign up as they are currently low on students. Registration closes at 4 p.m. Dec. 17. Prerequisites are waived. Email Kay Purtill at or Jennifer Clemens at for more information about the class next semester.

GALLERY: Crowd cheers on CMU against Kent State

The crowd was small on Wednesday evening compared to typical football games. Nonetheless,  the audience remained loud, proud and of course, fired up, while cheering on the Chippewas. CMU defeated Kent State 50-34.

PHOTOS: After COVID-19 took away the crowd, alumna returns to lead the Marching Chips at homecoming

Central Michigan University Alumna Gabbie Bass took back what COVID-19 stole from her in 2020 - the opportunity to lead the CMU Marching Band onto the field at a homecoming game.

Saturday was the first time that CMU has ever invited an alum back to lead the band. Director of the CMU Marching Band James Batcheller said he hopes it's the last time given the circumstances of COVID-19.

“​​2020 was Gabbie’s one year as head drum major, and she did spectacular work to lead the band,” Batcheller said. “During everything we went through in 2020, with limited rehearsal, limited performance, we tried to create value in everything we did - without knowing whether we'd ever actually perform in public." 

"(Bass) kept the Chippewa spirit alive, as is our tradition.”

Despite the unexpected disappointments and obstacles of the pandemic, Bass pushed through. Leading up to homecoming, Bass practiced with the band in the Jack Saunders Marching Band Field. When game day finally arrived she helped lead the band as they marched through Mount Pleasant in the annual parade. She led the pre-game show performance later that afternoon.

“When I found out that they canceled the football season, I was like, ‘well, there goes that.'" Bass said. "It sucked so much, but I knew I had to step up and lead the rest of the band through the unknown. My character and maturity definitely developed a lot with the marching band. I discovered who I am while making life-long friends.”

GALLERY: In the stands at the 2021 Homecoming game

Fans filled the stands for CMU’s 2021 Homecoming game against the Toledo Rockets. Students, staff parents, and alumni were decked out in maroon and gold to show their spirit as the Chippewas gained another victory on the field.

GALLERY: Homecoming Game Action

Check out the best moments of CMU's homecoming football game on Sat. Oct. 16, 2021 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. The Chippewas overcame the Toledo Rockets in overtime.

GALLERY: Walking with the 2021 Homecoming Parade

The 2021 Homecoming Parade made its way through campus and downtown Mount Pleasant on Oct. 16. The parade included floats by local businesses, community and campus organizations with rallying performances by the Marching Chips. Spectators lined the streets to watch the crowd go by.

The Art of Running: Following CMU's cross country teams through 2021 season

The sun barely shines over Mount Pleasant, and already Adam Rzentkowski has had breakfast twice. Lacing up his distance running shoes, he prepares for the race to come.

That was back in September. After a season of hard work, Rzentkowski is still training where he can.

The CMU men’s and women’s cross country teams have finished their season. The men’s team finished 19th of 30 at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional and the women finished 21st of 31. Both teams were comparably competitive this season. 

“Most of us are walk-on status, but we’re really enjoying ourselves and have put together a competitive team,” said Shepherd junior Owen Howard.

Negaunee freshman Emily Paupore and Waterloo, Ind. junior Lauren Beckmann lead the charge for the women. The men are led by Rosholt, Wisc. sophomore Adam Rzentkowski and Dearborn junior Riad Rababeh. 

Looking back on the season, they all agree cross country requires both physical and mental durability. It's early mornings, harsh conditions and sometimes disappointing results.

Due to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, the teams couldn't compete in the 2020 season. This year has allowed for a return to normalcy (in some regards). Some runners had to wear masks while racing, vaccines were mandated per university protocol.

Beckmann said the disheartening 2020 helped the teams come back with more drive than ever before.

“It was hard not being able to race, but it made us appreciate being with one another more,” said Beckmann.

The goal this year was simple - compete and have fun. As last year has shown, nothing is guaranteed. While remaining competitive and ranking training and team bonding high on the priority list, the teams made the comeback they had hoped for.

“We’re a glass-half-full kinda team,” said Beckmann. “When we were quarantined, we couldn’t help but feel alone. But that was last year.”

GALLERY: University Theatre performs Goodnight, Tyler

Central Michigan University students performed Goodnight, Tyler on Sat. Oct. 9 in Bush Theatre. The play is the story of Tyler Evans, who is portrayed by Detroit senior Trell Isaac, a 26-year-old Black man. In the first half of the show, Tyler comes back to his apartment as a “ghost version” to tell his friends that he was killed by the police. In the second half, the audience watches and learns who Tyler was while he was alive.

PHOTOS: On the field at Chippewa's triumph over Florida International University

In its second home game of the 2021 season, Central Michigan welcomed Florida International to Kelly/Shorts Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 25 for the first-ever meeting between the two schools. The Panther led 27-10, but the Chippewas scored 21 unanswered points to win 31-27 and earn their first win against a school from Florida. 

PHOTOS: In the stands, with the band at Kelly/Shorts Stadium

For the first time since Nov. 29, 2019, fans were allowed to watch the Central Michigan Chippewas play in Kelly/Shorts Stadium. What's more, the Chippewa Marching Band once again were able to perform for the CMU community. The combination created a raucous environment not felt at all during the pandemic-shortened six-game 2020 season

A Night on Main Street 2021

Young people, mostly Central Michigan University students, celebrated their return to Mount Pleasant during the annual Welcome Weekend. Parties could be found in off-campus houses and apartments as people enjoyed each other's company, playing games, drinking beer, and more. Let the Fall semester commence!

Wayside Re-Opening Night 2021 Highlights

After an 18-month hiatus, rebrand, and remodel, Wayside Nightclub opened to the public on the night of Aug. 27. Club goers filled the neon lit club the weekend before the start of the Fall 2021 semester.

Summer Photo Highlights

As we gear up for a new semester, we're taking a look back at work done by our photographers Drew Travis, Nate Pappas, Addy Wachter, Layla Blahnik-Thoune, and photo editor Aurora Rae, over the summer. They kept busy during the off months; while most other students were enjoying the summer sun, they were shooting everything from fairs to friends (furry and human) to Mother Earth. We are so thrilled for the upcoming semester and are looking forward to telling, and showing your stories.