Category Archives: Mo Hnatiuk

Getting Ready For Graduation

EAST LANSING- Looking for a reason to give your mind, body and spirit a makeover? GRADUATION is the perfect excuse!

For many MSU students, Douglas J on Grand River is the place to hit before the big day. You’re going to be in the spotlight crossing a stage to get your diploma in front of a thousand plus people; why not look your best?

Typically, Douglas J gets 75-80 appointments on an average day, but when the month of May starts looming and the smell of graduation is in the air, they get upwards of 120 appointments per day.

Students come from all parts of campus and East Lansing to get their hair cut, colored, curled or styled. They also come for massages, manicures and pedicures.

Yes, they get very busy, but everyone at Douglas J wants you to come and have a great time relaxing after finals!

Douglas J student and stylist Kristi Skinner enjoys the busy work schedules. “We get a chance to do updos, make-up, nails- the whole package. It’s stuff that we don’t usually get to do all at once, so it is kind of a vacation from just cutting and coloring hair everyday,” Skinner said.

Think salons are just for the ladies? According to Brandon Fitzgerald, Douglas J key holder, men come in just as frequent-if not more- than women, especially when graduation is approaching.

Why not get yourself looking good before you put on those robes and take the next big leap as a Spartan?

Getting Ready for Graduation


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Syndicate: a local band with a lot to say

The Hometown Rock Crown was held at The Loft in Lansing on Feb. 12. Six bands competed for $1,000, studio time and airplay with 97.5 FM. The battle was intense, but only one could walk away with the crown. Unfortunately that was not Syndicate. The local band from Davison took third place, leaving with an extra $200 in their pockets.

Sure, the Hometown Rock Crown would have been a nice addition to their list of accomplishments, but an interview with the band following the concert proved they weren’t simply in it to win; they were there about the music. Their passion and love for a crowded hall was made quite clear to this journalist.

The band includes Eric Quimby, lead singer and guitar; Pat Jenkinson, lead guitar and backup vocal; Chris Keller, bass guitar and rap artist; Brandon Mansell, keyboardist; and Jake Rathbun, drums.

Syndicate formed in Davison, Michigan, just 45 minutes outside of Flint. While they are relatively knew and have been performing for a few months they have a large group of followers from their hometown and then some. With 1,500 Facebook friends and counting, the band is spreading their sound from the small suburban town.

They’ve been performing all over the state, most recently the Machine Shop in the 810.

Though the Hometown Rock Crown was a loss for them, the interviews afterward may prove to be beneficial. Read this journalist’s interview with a band dubbed as “third place” who can easily take first place when trying to win your hearts.

Read on for the full interview with the guys.

Mo Hnatiuk: “So tell me, why the name ‘Syndicate’?

Keller: “595.”

MH: “Huh?”

Quimby: “Let the music speak for itself. Everyone will say they have the best music out there. What Syndicate has is something relatable. We’re not afraid to be mainstream and we’re not aftraid to try different things, too.”

Quimby: “Chris, be quiet. Syndicate. We wanted something identifiable. It had a good connotation to us. Dictionary-wise it can be taken two ways, but for us, syndicate means the act of coming together for a common goal. It is the idea of what a band is. It’s important that we show that with every performance.” 

MH: “That’s really cool, but what’s with ‘595?'”

Keller: (laughs) It’s what the name was supposed to be!

MH: I have to hear this.

Keller: “Five dollars and ninety-five cents. That’s the price you pay for the buffet at Empire Wok- the best Chinese place ever.”

Mansell: “Syndicate is what Eric wanted, and Chris really wanted 595. So, we all went bowling and if Chris got a higher score the name was his choice and if Eric won then he got it. Chris won, but it still became Syndicate.” 

MH: “That’s definitely a story. How did you guys form?”

Keller: “We met by fate.” (the group laughs) Really though, Eric had just come back from California, and one day he, Mansell, and I started jamming in his basement and decided that we definitely had a good thing in our midst.”

Quimby: “Jake told me once in high school that if I ever needed a drummer he was my guy, so I took him up on that offer. Pat came with Jake, which was the best two for one deal we’ve ever gotten.”

MH: “Right on. So, I hate to do this, but who do you guys sound like?”

Keller, Mansell, Rathbun, Jenkinson: “Matchbox 20!”

Rathbun: “Eric loves Matchbox 20.”

Quimby: “I can’t deny it, but we have different sounds, too! Maroon 5. John Mayer. We’ve even been told we sound like The Fray-sans piano.”

Mansell: All of our songs sound pretty different. “The Breakdown” has a sort of Creedance Clearwater Revival-ish twang to it. “Hypnotize” is kind of a funky, 70s rock vibe- only more updated.”

Jenkinson: ““Back to Yesterday” is the one that sounds most like John Mayer. Maybe John Mayer mixed with Coldplay. It’s anthemic rock, anthem rock, stadium rock, written for large audiences. Like U2!”

Mansell: “Slow It Down” is our rock, love song.

Keller: We have a pop rock song called “Crazy Tonight.” It’s a party song without saying party.”

Quimby: “Party and love are words we avoid.”

Keller: “And if you think all of our songs sound the same you are a liar. Eric changes the word to every song every time we perform.” (group laughs)

MH: “What makes you guys better than all of the other bands out there?”

Rathbun: “We have Eric.”

Mansell: “We don’t think we’re better. A lot of groups in music right now- when they get together it’s for different reasons. The money. We do it because we have fun.”

MH: “Honestly, no one wants it for the fame?”

Quimby: “Fame. It would be nice, right? But not just because everyone knows you or because you’re making lots of money. It’s because I would get to play music every single day for the rest of my life. It’s all I want. It’s all we want.”

MH: “How do you feel about the outcome of the Hometown Rock Crown?”

Mansell: “So what. We didn’t win, but it was the opportunity to play in front of a crowd.”

Quimby: “Those nights you realize how important your friends and your fans are. You’re only as good as your fan base.”

Jenkinson: “Our fans definitely won that first round for us.”

Quimby: “Our fans win everything for us.”

Keller: “Including our hearts.”

MH: “Tell me why everyone should listen to you.”

Rathbun: “Just listen!”

Jenkinson: ““We’re not like other bands where you sit down and wonder why they’re playing.”

Mansell: “We’re never the same. We switch up the ways we play songs. Our recordings sound different than how we play it.”

Keller: “We just jam. We’re all friends. We have a good time making some good sounds. It’s a genre, everyone likes. We’re identifiable.”

Quimby:  “Let the music speak for itself. Everyone will say they have the best music out there. We have something relatable. We’re not afraid to be mainstream and we’re not aftraid to try different things, too.”

Sound like your kind of band? You haven’t missed your chance, East Lansing! Syndicate is back at the Loft! The lineup includes Roll Over Radio, 10 to Impact, Syndicate, and The Outer Vibe(the Hometown Rock Crown winner of last year.) Tickets are only $5!

So if you are interested in an extremely talented group of guys that are genuine in intent (and not terrible looking either!)? Visit their web page, their Facebook page, and coming soon on Twitter!

Syndicate at The Loft

By Mo Hnatiuk

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Filed under Class blogs: General, Mo Hnatiuk, Story in Blog Form

Love in a Mix Tape

Love In a Mix Tape is a book by Rob Sheffield, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone. I found the book by chance at Urban Outfitters for $4. Personally, I would have paid a lot more for such a good read.

The story is his own with a twist. Throughout his life, Sheffield had made many mixtapes. They’ve guided him through the years each telling their own unique tale of the point in life that he is in. He begins each new chapter with a track list of a mixtape.

Personally, I found this to be the greatest, most unique trait of any book I have ever read. Mix making is a great hobby of mine. A good friend from back home gives me mix assignments occasionally and I will make a cd based on different emotions, or topics depdending on what he says. Currently I am working on my funeral mix. (I have been for a few years.)

The story is not as idealistic as the title may suggest. It follows his relationship with a woman named Renee. It follows the trials and tribulations that make up the soundtrack to their lives.

I recommend it for everyone.

By Mo Hnatiuk

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Pulitzer Prize Cartoonist

Mark Fiore is an editorial cartoonist who creates political cartoons from an undisclosed location in San Francisco. His work appears regularly in a wide variety of online news web sites. I felt like he efficiently utilizes his multimedia skills with every cartoon he illustrates. Not only are the editorial cartoons informative, but they are visually capitvating and interesting, which is what many web surfers are looking for.

Today is an age where even well-written articles are overlooked, simply because society looks for an easier way to get their news. They want videos that play with the click of a button.

Though, with an age so driven by visual entertainment on the internet, the content in these videos must also be easily grasped and understood. Mark Fiore does all of that–and then some.

Not only are the cartoons well-crafted artistically, but the scrfipts behind them are EXTREMELY well written. The voice overs are well fitting and the sound effects create the perfect scene. The animations tackle hard topics with a sense of humor and deliver your “NEWS in a NUTSHELL.”

As a side note, everyone should watch “Un-gay.” Hilarious!

By Mo Hnatiuk

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Weekly Blog Post Mo Hnatiuk

Just today I read an article that Zane had tweeted. It discussed Elián Gónzalez, who tried to escape Cuba on a raft that got him to Florida 10 years ago. As a six-year-old boy, he attempted to flee the communist nation with his mother. Now, as a teenager, he is a member of the Young Communist League in Cuba. Talk about irony.

The article  says that following his forced return to Cuba “he was taken under the wing of Fidel Castro himself and his birthdays are publically celebrated as true revolutionary acts.” It’s honestly heartbreaking to see a child who’s mother died in an attempt to give him a life free of communist rule become a part of the communist nation who caused her demise.

Not only did I find this article an interesting read, but since this class began I have been finding myself reading a lot more because of Twitter. The links from different newspapers and people that I am following have provided myself with ample distractions from my school work- extremely bittersweet.

By Mo Hnatiuk

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Cedarfest 2010

Cedarfest is the annual celebration (whether the Spartans are victorious or not) that takes place at Cedar Village on the Michigan State University campus. People from all over– not just MSU students– come to chant “Go Green!”

While it is an event that unites the student body and serves as a fond memory for alumni, Cedarfest has become bittersweet in the last decade giving MSU a reputation for riots, tear gas, and run-ins with the police.

Previous celebrations have been captured on video and can be watched here:

Cedarfest 2009

Cedarfest 2008

Cedarfest 2005

Michigan State University has developed the 2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament Need-To-Know Messages to keep students safe during the upcoming Final Four weekend.

  • Do not block the street or sidewalks.
  • Immediately leave any gathering that has been declared an unlawful assembly – even just observing is participating.
  • If you are arrested and convicted of a criminal offense related to an unlawful assembly or riot, you may be subject to sanctions, including expulsion or suspension from your school.
  • Cooperate with police.
  • If you believe your rights have been violated by a police officer, obtain the officer’s badge number and consider filing a formal complaint at a later date.
  • Keep moving and avoid large crowds.
  • While Cedarfest has shown to get a bit more than “rowdy,” many MSU students still believe in the annual celebration.

    “I think Cedarfest is a pretty cool experience. I think it brings a lot of students together for support of our MSU team,” Sophomore Hanna Cook said. “However, sometimes it can be taken too far.”

    Sophomore Mike Celentino said “I think that Cedarfest is fine if we win ’cause nobody gets hurt, but if we lose it’s dangerous. Last year I missed Cedarfest ’cause I was fortunate enough to be at the game. I think a lot of times the cops get too involved and that’s what makes it a much bigger deal than it is.”

    “I think it’s pretty cool. Last year I went after we won our Final Four game to go to the championship; it just seemed like a big crowd of people to me. It didn’t seem like anything too crazy was going down, and the cops know that everyone is drunk and they don’t seem to mind as long as people aren’t being destructive or fighting or anything,” Sophomore Kelly Dakesian said.

    Sophomore Ben Marengo said “Cedarfest is something every student should attend. We all know older people who went here and it’s a unique experience that alumni and current students can relate to, as long as it’s not too rowdy.”

    “I think its awesome and I think police need to do their job to protect the peace… but not this weekend,” Sophomore Nick Grace laughed about the upcoming Cedarfest.

    Whether you choose to celebrate–or not; whether you choose to acknowledge the MSU campus “party”– or not, everyone agrees that being safe and supporting the Spartans is the best thing to do.

    Coach Tom Izzo sent out an email of guidance to the Spartan student body Thursday morning. He said “Spartans celebrate with class,” which is just what we will do.

    Dear MSU Student:

    As we head to Indy on the last stretch of the road to the Final Four, we take with us your pride, support, and enthusiasm. We are honored to represent a great University and all Michigan State students and alums. We strive to be the best because we represent the best – both on and off the court. We are part of a proud and noble Spartan tradition of winning with class.

    Representing the best of MSU on an international stage is a shared responsibility…and a shared opportunity. Let’s all once again show the world that Spartans celebrate our unity with class. It’s an honor to be a Spartan. Be very loud about it. Be very proud about it.

    Go Green,
    Tom Izzo

    In Izzo we trust. Go Green! Go White!

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    Weekly Blog Flight 253

    I think the blog on Flight 253 was an interesting twist on newswriting. Not only did Ron French simply cover the attempted terrorist attack over Detroit, Michigan, but he dove into the lives of the many individuals aboard the plane. It is easy to interview the main people involved in a story–the terrorist, the pilot, those that interveened– but those that are not in the limelight are just as important and have just as strong of an impact. How the passengers felt– the senses they remembered– all play a crucial role in adequately portraying what happened a mile high above the major city.

    I especially liked what French wrote about moving on. While some are still troubled by the horrific event they were involved in, others have seen it as blessing in disquise. Only during an 8-hour brush with death did they truly realize what is important in their lives, like their family and true passions.

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