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.

Having an IMPACT

Incoming Grand Haven freshman, Ke’bah Wilson, chose to attend Central Michigan University after attending a North American indigenous summer camp.

That's where she met Director of Native American Programs Colleen Green and other native student leaders. She said they showed her she has a community at CMU that will support her throughout her college experience.

Choosing to attend IMPACT did something else. 

Geared toward welcoming students of color to campus, Wilson said the program helped her see herself as a future leader at CMU, and for her native community. 

The three-day, on-campus, program was held from Aug. 22-24. Events included bonding activities, dancing, guest speakers, games, and other resources to help students find their home away from home at CMU.

“IMPACT has been an amazing experience for learning more about leadership as an underrepresented student, gaining a better understanding of campus life, and how to get the most of my college experience,” Wilson said.

Students are divided up into groups of ten to twelve, headed by two IMPACT mentors. These upperclassmen help IMPACT students with their transition to college life by providing advice and resources.

Wilson said her IMPACT leaders provided much needed inspiration.

"I am hoping to also apply to become a part of the IMPACT program and help the next incoming freshman class,” she said. “Seeing mentors who were passionate about making the IMPACT program as memorable and insightful as it was for them, allowed me to understand the importance of continuing the cycle of leadership."

Cat colony at 402 N. Arnold St.

Central Michigan Life reporters Courtney Pedersen and Tess Ware went to the 402 N. Arnold St. on Tuesday, May 25 and found a small group of cats in the yard. The open windows and cats on the windowsill suggest more were inside.

Sweet, Sweet Blue and Gold

Sweet, Sweet Blue and Gold by Central Michigan Life editor-in-chief Isaac Ritchey won second place in the sports picture story category at the 2021 Michigan Press Photographer's Association Conference.  

All For Nothing?

All For Nothing by Central Michigan Life editor-in-chief Isaac Ritchey won third place in the sports picture story category at the 2021 Michigan Press Photographer's Association Conference. 


On Aug. 8, the Mid American Conference became the first to cancel its season amid the coronavirus pandemic. Still, members of the CMU football team trained and even held flag football games to stay ready for the season. 

His Lost Season

His Lost Season by Central Michigan Life editor-in-chief Isaac Ritchey won first place in the sports picture story category at the 2021 Michigan Press Photographer's Association Conference.


After basketball season, the former state champion runner planned to train for the upcoming track season. However, the day before the district championship, Michigan High School Athletic Association canceled the spring sports season amid the coronavirus pandemic. Aiden McLaughlin, who had already received a scholarship to attend the Air Force Academy, continued to train.

The Waiting Game

The Waiting Game by Central Michigan Life editor-in-chief Isaac Ritchey won an honorable mention at the 2021 Michigan Press Photographer's Association Conference.



It had been more than two weeks since Steve Wagester sprayed his kidney bean fields to be harvested, but consistent rain kept him from harvesting beans.

“You know I’m bored when I am helping gather rocks for rock gardens or splitting wood,” Wagester said. "I'd much rather be out in the field on the combine."

Wagester, a Remus resident, starts every day by sitting on a chair downstairs and lacing up his boots while dew still rests on the ground.

After graduating from Michigan State and working other jobs, Steve Wagester slowly began buying and inherited the farm from his father.

“My dad comes over every once in a while still to give me his two cents,” Steve said. “He can’t do much walking, so I think that it is his way of still being a part of things.”

Ever since he was young, Wagester has worked on a farm whether it was picking stones from tilled fields or milking cows. He even remembers a time that his parents thought he was lost in their cornfield and gathered a small search party to find him.

Wagester said that he spends his nights sometimes thinking about his planting schedule and what he’s going to farm next.

It is not only farming happening at the Wagester home though. Steve’s wife Kim and her mother, Ginger Vanderkelen, own a total of six horses. Kim rides in rodeos and attends horse shows on weekends, but because of COVID-19, has only been to a few rodeos in 2020.

The Wagesters are very much part of their respected communities. They cheer on the CMU’s Women's Basketball Team, provide living accommodations to students who may only have one semester left and maintain a working relationship with many area farms.

A Look into Jake's World

CHARGE syndrome impacts a person's ability to see, hear, communicate and interact with the world around them. CMU students are working with a local family to help offer their son a 'life like everyone else's.'

Vaccine clinic photo gallery


Cassie Mistrzak, a special education teacher at McGuire Elementary, received her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Feb. 17 in Finch Fieldhouse. Mistrzak said getting the vaccine was a very quick and easy process. She said she is happy to do her part if it means returning to a bit more normalcy. “If it’s doing this so we can all have a life without masks and worry and students can go to school safely and parents can feel safe sending their kids to school and going to visit their grandparents and being with their families then I’m happy to do it," she said.

Picturing Their Words

One of my goals as editor in chief at Central Michigan Life this year is expanding our coverage of  diversity and inclusion issues.  

This current print edition is the first step toward helping CM Life achieve that goal this semester. Black Voices Matter is about students who are pushing the university to be better and an invitation to minority students to share their stories with us. 

This portrait series, which was featured in the print edition, asked students to help portrait their words through images, which are meant to be pondered. Let them challenge your beliefs and preconceived notions of others people’s experiences. 

People who participated in the photo project expressed the need for their voices to be amplified. 

CM Life has always, and will continue to, shine a light on injustice students and staff experience at CMU. 

Whether you are a member of the LGBTQ community, an international student, a student of color or a student with disability, we want you to tell us the stories you know best. I believe minority students should have a heightened role in the decision-making processes at CMU and a greater voice in Student Media. 

We want you to know that there are reporters and photographers here at CM LIfe willing to go the extra mile to tell the stories of underrepresented students and Mount Pleasant residents. That's because we believe you should be heard. 

Let us share your experiences at Central Michigan University; the good and the bad. Let’s give praise to those at CMU sparking important conversations about inclusion and bring about change on campus together. 

I believe CM Life is the best platform to have conversations about the prejudice and injustices experienced by students because of your religion, interests or the color of your skin.  

I want CM Life to give students who feel overlooked and underrepresented a voice and a venue to express their opinions and concerns. There is nowhere else on campus to share your story like you can by working with student journalists. 

Change also has to start inward as well. I want our newsroom at CM Life to reflect campus and be a place where all students are getting the same opportunities as I am. I want to be helping progress the conversation on campus at CM Life, not taking away from it. 

If you’d like to contact us, email us at or send us a message on one of our social media platforms. 

I'm here and I'm ready to listen. 

(Photos by Isaac Ritchey and Aurora Abraham)