The will of one Spartan is sometimes all it takes to make a positive change. Katie Feirer knows that all too well. In the fall of 2013, she was excited to attend her first MSU football game only to find that she was unable to join her peers in the student section. Feirer uses a wheelchair, and while Spartan Stadium did have accessible seating available, it was located in the visitor's section.
"It wasn't fun during the Michigan game!", recalled Feirer.
As an advertising student with a concentration in media management and social media, Feirer turned to Facebook to start a conversation around accessible student seating for football fans.
"I created a Facebook page and shared it with my friends. Eventually it got the attention of the President's Advisory Committee on Disability Issues (PACDI)," said Feirer.
The PACDI's main goal is to bring issues like Feirer's to President Simon. Once introduced, Feirer began to attend meetings with MSU decision makers to devise a plan to make the student section accessible.
"There was a lot of quiet time where I heard absolutely nothing," said Feirer. "But, then I received a meeting request from Paulette Granberry Russell (director of inclusion and senior advisor to the president) and Greg Ianni (deputy athletic director) with news that an accessible platform would be constructed in the student section in time for the 2015 season!"
Feirer enjoyed her final football season with 15 other students on the new viewing platform and said, "I was super excited to hear that I had an impact. It felt great to watch and cheer with my fellow Spartans all in one section".
A great example of how one student was able to make a difference for her peers in just two years, Feirer won't soon be forgotten. There is now a plaque with her name on it in the student section.