What you read: Five of the most popular stories with the Collegian audience in 2020

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(File Photo by Bailey Britton | Collegian Media Group)

The year 2020 brought a lot of news through the feeds this year. Between the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the continued push for justice against police brutality on the national scale, here are some of the most read stories from the Kansas State Collegian this year.

1. Faculty member has first local positive case of COVID-19

JMC faculty member Andrew Smith speaks in a campus classroom. In March, Smith was one of the first confirmed COVID-19 patients in the state of Kansas and spent some time in intensive care due to complications. (Archive Photo by Melanie White | Collegian Media Group)
JMC faculty member Andrew Smith speaks in a campus classroom. In March, Smith was one of the first confirmed COVID-19 patients in the state of Kansas and spent some time in intensive care due to complications. (Archive Photo by Melanie White | Collegian Media Group)

March 21, 2020

Professor of practice in journalism and mass communications Andrew Smith was one of the first individuals to test positive for COVID-19 locally after returning from a spring break study abroad trip to London.

Smith spent several days in the intensive care unit for complications he suffered from the illness, including bilateral pneumonia. He documented his stay at Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan on Facebook with a series of videos.

“We are not talking beating and winning and victory really,” Smith said when he left the hospital in March. “We’re trying to get an even play field and maybe mount a little bit of a lead.”

Smith said he’s grateful — both for the health care professionals and the people who have publicly and privately showed their support for him.

2. K-State plans for a tentative in-person fall semester with limitations

Anderson Hall, pictured here, is the administration building of Kansas State. It is home to the Office of the President, the Office of Student Life and other administrative offices. The building is one of the oldest on campus as one of the three original buildings. (Archive Photo by Rowan Jones | Collegian Media Group)
Anderson Hall, pictured here, is the administration building of Kansas State. It is home to the Office of the President, the Office of Student Life and other administrative offices. The building is one of the oldest on campus as one of the three original buildings. (Archive Photo by Rowan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

May 2, 2020

Before the spring 2020 semester came to a close, administration at K-State was laying the groundwork for the possibility of in-person classes on campus in the fall. At the time, too many variables were uncertain to hammer out specifics, but there was optimism.

“We anticipate based on what we’ve already seen … if we continue to do the right things in this state and in this county, that we will be able to have face-to-face classes on campus,” President Richard Myers said at the time.

What was certain — and what became reality — was that some changes to normal operations would be necessary. K-State leaned on hybrid models of learning and more distance delivery than ever before. For the few classes that were offered on campus, social distancing, face coverings and sanitation regiments were required.

“Some of this we have control of, some we have no control of it, and we have to be very flexible,” Myers said.

3. Football players halt program, demand change following student’s controversial tweet

Bill Snyder Stadium, previously KSU Stadium, is the home to the Wildcat football team. (Archive Photo by Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)
Bill Snyder Stadium, previously KSU Stadium, is the home to the Wildcat football team. (Archive Photo by Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

June 27, 2020

Following social media controversy related to the death of George Floyd started by a K-State student that made national headlines, football players announced they would boycott team activities until their demands were met.

In a statement posted by several players on social media, they asked the university to establish a policy that allows for tangible consequences against students and others who make racist statements or use racist rhetoric.

Several Black student athletes from other sports also indicated they would not play in their respective seasons unless action was taken by the university.

Ultimately, team activities restarted without all of the demands being met. In the fall, several teams held a weekend demonstration supporting Black Lives Matter and taking a stand against police brutality.

“I love to feel like I’m more than just an athlete,” women’s basketball junior guard Christianna Carr said during the protest. “When I step on the court, I’m more than just somebody that plays for K-State, I’m more than just a person behind a number, I’m more than just a black student athlete.”

4. Some Manhattan locals hope to honor K-State ‘icon’ Robert Lipson in a special way

Alumni from K-State were behind a movement to get Wildcat superfan Robert Lipson a legacy seat in Bill Snyder Family Stadium. (File Photo by Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)
Alumni from K-State were behind a movement to get Wildcat superfan Robert Lipson a legacy seat in Bill Snyder Family Stadium. (File Photo by Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)

Jan. 22, 2020

Since 1972, Robert Lipson has been an avid supporter of K-State Athletics. In fact, you are just as likely to see Lipson as you are to see Willie the Wildcat at a sporting event. To honor that unyielding support, a group of alumni sought to have a legacy seat named for him in Bill Snyder Family Stadium and Bramlage Coliseum.

Inspired by the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat in Kauffman Stadium and the new Lamar Hunt Legacy Seat in Arrowhead Stadium, Karl Kunz, a K-State alumni, said they wanted to honor Lipson’s dedication to the K-State family by introducing a legacy seat named after him in both of K-State Athletics’ major sporting complexes.

“For us to not try to do something now while he’s alive here I think would be ignorant of us, to not recognize the commitment, the dedication and the loyalty,” Brad Drewek, a Manhattan local, said. “I think us as fans, to give credit to Robert for the sacrifices that he’s [made], I think it would just be a great token and a great class act by us as a community.”

5. Student living in alleged unsafe situation breaks lease, calls for universal code inspections

Audrey Wilson, senior in animal science, stood in her bathroom next to a vent she saw bats in. Wilson moved out of the apartment. (File Photo by Bailey Britton | Collegian Media Group)
Audrey Wilson, senior in animal science, stood in her bathroom next to a vent she saw bats in. Wilson moved out of the apartment. (File Photo by Bailey Britton | Collegian Media Group)

Oct. 14, 2020

The basement apartment Audrey Wilson, senior in animal science, previously rented through Frontier Property Management was home to more than just her and her pets. Another tenant that didn’t pay rent flew around the apartment at night, leaving a mess everywhere.

Wilson’s apartment had bats — a hazardous roommate — Wilson said. Before moving out, she worried about her and her pets getting bitten and needing treatment for rabies. Wilson said she didn’t sleep well for weeks.

“It’s literally three months that I’ve had this apartment and it’s just too much, it’s affected my mental health,” Wilson said.

Besides the bat issue, Wilson had Manhattan code inspectors look at her apartment. They discovered fire separation issues in her utility closet. If her apartment caught fire, there is no separation to stop the apartment above her from catching fire as well.

“The fire would keep going to other units,” Wilson said.

Because of the bats and other code violations, Wilson served Frontier with a 1430 form in early October. She left her apartment on Oct. 12.

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