East Lansing, MSU Prepare for 'Celebrations'

By: Tony Tagliavia
By: Tony Tagliavia

Like most in mid-Michigan, the city of East Lansing and Michigan State University have been making plans for the NCAA tournament -- plans to prevent a repeat of the disturbances in years past.

Those who helped assemble the plan say with the Celebrations Plan in place, East Lansing can avoid another disturbance.

MSU sophomore Jordan Marshall says he'll thinks the Spartans will fair well in this year's tournament.

"Not Final Four, but Sweet 16," he said.

No matter how well they do -- Marshall says East Lansing could see a repeat of last year's disturbance.

That's a scenario Dennis Martell says will be prevented this year.

Martell co-chairs the joint "Celebrations" committee between the university and East Lansing. The group produced a plan to prevent more problems.

"Avoid large crowds, keep moving, know that law enforcement can declare unlawful assembly any time. If that happens, you need to get out," Martell said.

The rules are aimed at what Martell says is a small group -- he says most fans aren't the type to hit the streets when their time wins or loses.

"Ninety percent of them are actually going to celebrate in home or in their apartments," Martell said.

MSU student Lisa Guenther says she plans to be among that 90 percent.

"I think we'll be out at the bars having a good time either way," she said.

Guenther says she hasn't heard about the new plan -- but Martell says she and other students who haven't heard about the rules are about to be hit with the committee's message.

"We're using everything from facebook, the president penned a letter, a website, high schools, LCC. Everyone's going to get these messages," Martell said.

Some view the messages and the plan as too accomodating to lawbreakers. Martell disagrees.

"I don't think it's touchy-feely. If they do incite a riot or break the law, they'll be arrested," he said.

The Celebrations Plan also includes a way for students to file complaints if they feel their rights have been violated.

-- in East Lansing, Tony Tagliavia, News 10.


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