MSU seeks GVSU’s help for safe Final Four weekend

Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon has requested Grand Valley State University president Thomas Haas’ help in minimizing the number of disturbances and arrests during the coming NCAA Final Four weekend. After MSU clinched a semi-final spot in the men’s basketball tournament, MSU administrative and safety officials have been gearing up for student parties and celebrations this weekend.

Surrounding universities will be notified by MSU if a student of theirs has been arrested so the student’s university can pursue further disciplinary or legal action, if necessary. Last year, 78 percent of individuals arrested in East Lansing on the Saturday of the MSU Final Four game were not affiliated with MSU.

“In East Lansing, it will be an exciting time for young people, many of them students from other Michigan universities,” Simon said in the letter. “The energy of the competitions and the spirit of the games are contagious and create an atmosphere of celebration. Your help in communicating with students and young alumni at Grand Valley State University is helpful and welcome.”

MSU has issued a series of guidelines for all students visiting campus to celebrate the Final Four game. Attendees are not allowed to throw objects, start fires, block streets or sidewalks, wear masks obscuring their identity or deploy fireworks, among other offenses. Students are advised to avoid large groups or crowds and leave immediately if police declare their group to be an unlawful assembly. MSU police also warned that Final Four celebrations are documented in photos and videos by both police and celebrants, so it is possible for violators to be identified even after festivities have ended.