We can certainly toast to 2005. MSU surgeons performed the first robotic gastric bypass surgery. We finally joined the Worker’s Rights Consortium and participated in the Hurricane Katrina and tsunami relief efforts. The university opened a new animal center care clinic and welcomed new tailgating regulations. L.A., you made histoty by becoming MSU’s first female president.
But in the spirit of moving forward in 2006, I thought I’d give you a few of my very own recommendations for improving the university. Here\’s to MSU! Go ahead and sip bubbly over these New Year\’s resolutions for 2006:
Reduce parking fees and tickets
[ticket]As of right now, parking on campus is an expensive nightmare. If you don’t pay hundreds of dollars for a parking pass, you’ll undoubtedly find a little slip of paper along with a white envelope on your windshield – a present from one of those little green pickup trucks that drive around all day. Not cool.
Enhance CATA by making it free
Other universities offer free busing around campus. Fifty cents a ride can really add up when students live as far away from classes in Brody or Hubbard and can’t walk to class without freezing to death during these Michigan winters.
Shovel bike lanes and sidewalks
This should be a no-brainer on campus. When it’s too cold to walk and too expensive to ride the bus the only other option is to ride a bike, but that becomes nearly impossible when winter rolls around, not because of the wind blasting in your face but un-shoveled bike lanes. For the brave walkers, sidewalks need to be shoveled in order for students to get to class safely and in a timely fashion, and this is especially important for students with disabilities. Better still, walking around with those annoying white lines near the bottom of your pant legs just isn’t the “in” thing anymore. [sidewalk]
Olin Health Center open 24-hours-a-day
What good does a campus health clinic do if it’s only open during the day, Monday through Friday? Students may have to see a professional health care provider during the middle of the night or on the weekends and MSU can’t expect its 45,000 students to go to Sparrow Hospital for sprained ankles or nose congestion.
Longer online enrollment times
With the stress of trying to get into classes already a factor, the online enrollment system should be open longer than 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. It’s generally hard to get to a computer during the day to change classes. Since most of a college student’s work gets done during what normal people consider the dead of night, 8 p.m. just isn’t late enough. We’re way more productive at 2 a.m., L.A.
Union bowling and billiards free
The University Activities Board currently advertises free billiards and bowling every Thursday night in the cafeterias. But students could really use these fun activities as ways to de-stress during the week without having to dish out the big bucks. And it’s something for students to do that doesn’t involve alcohol, which is pretty necessary if you’ve ever been to an off campus Wine Wednesday party.
Tally campus squirrel numbers
How many of those fat nut-eating rodents are there living off of student trash and leftovers? Something really needs to be done about those pesky little creatures before they take over not just our bike paths, sidewalks and benches but our dorm rooms and cafeterias. Let’s be real, they’re just fluffy rats, so let’s send them to the neighboring parks before we fall victim to The Birds –like horror.
Install more wireless hubs around campus
The library is the only really well-known spot on campus that offers wireless. A long list of other buildings also provide the same feature but nobody knows about it and if MSU doesn’t plan on making wireless a campus-wide feature, at least let students known where it is available. [wireless]
Overbooked housing is a no-no
Three freshmen crammed into a double room is a little ridiculous especially when one person’s desk is really a box in the middle of the room. They may be new at MSU but they receive guaranteed housing and State should live up to its promises or we need to change the slogan from “Live On” to “Live On (Top of Each Other).”
New football team fit for the new stadium
The quality of the Spartan football team should reflect the expensive stadium newly renovated to add alumni seating and suites. A better team would really draw more people to the games to fill all those thousands of stadium seats. [football]
Return to regular football tickets
With no paper tickets, access to games is really very inconvenient with a wipe of a student I.D. Students can no longer resell their tickets to other students without having to part with their PID embedded I.D.s. And since those bits of plastic are so important when it comes to signing into classes and dorms after midnight, it’s a real hassle if yours gets lost because of a football game.
Email spam control needed now
College students are always glad to get something in the mail, even an email from a friend is often the highlight of a boring day. Too bad my mailbox is all too often filled with emails from Nigeria claiming I’ve won a lottery I’ve never entered. Mail.msu.edu needs better protection against spam right away.
Clean up the Red Cedar River
An effort has already been made to lower the level of toxins but the amount of trash currently finding a home in the waters of the Red Cedar is outrageous. Police blockades, bags of trash, even port-a-potties can be seen beneath those murky waters.
Open up more Sparty’s convenience stores
Students often crave a little something to munch on or a little sip or two of something warm late at night. MSU would then do well to open up Sparty’s convenience stores or Barista Cafés in each dorm to better serve its students. [spartys]
Make the cafeterias more appetizing
It’s an age-old complaint but it’s still heard all over campus. The lack of nutrition and variety in the cafeterias drives students up the wall. Cafeterias should also be open until later in the evening and cater better to those with special eating habits like vegetarians, vegans and those with special allergies. The Spartan palate is yearning for some more excitement!
Mend race relations on campus. I know you can\’t do it alone, but the first step is not concentrating minority incoming freshmen in some dormitories and not others. Continuing to support groups like MRULE (Multi-Racial Unity Living Experience) is a must, too. Erecting a standing multicultural center will help the important task of highlighting diversity on campus.
Earn a basketball championship
It would just be too much for MSU students to handle another loss by the basketball team this year. Last year’s melee proved that nothing less than a highly-anticipated NCAA championship will appease MSU crowds.
Newly installed heated bus stops
[bus]Students waiting outside during nearly white-out conditions with temperatures well below zero calls for drastic measures on the part of the university. Frostbite and wind-chapped faces, needing a little warmth could really benefit from, not luxury, but necessary heated bus stops.
Do a better job of preventing rape on campus
Campus needs to be more well lit and dorm security must be raised to better ensure safety for women and all students. Rape needs to be taken more seriously in our school newspaper, too. Rape is a brutal crime whether or not alcohol is involved; so stop quoting the same female police officer that tends to place the burden of prevention on the woman.
ASMSU yearbooks more visible for pick up
MSU prides itself as the university that prints the largest number of yearbooks every year. It’s too bad many of its students don’t even know the Red Cedar Log exists. ASMSU and MSU need to do a better job promoting the book to students who may not cherish it now, but will in just a couple of years.
Trash the current no-recycling waste program
It’s been a little over a year since MSU has had a university sponsored recycling program. According to surveys done around campus, each student will throw away over 200 pounds of recyclable material each year because of this campus-wide waste. Just think how much MSU could help the environment if only we had a couple of green boxes set up in each dorm. [recycle]
International phone card sales
MSU prides itself for its large number of students from countries all around the world. These students, however, need a better way to stay in touch with their families and it would be extremely convenient if Sparty’s or other such places around campus carried cheap international phone cards.
Open the original Sparty statue to the public
Alumni who pay hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars to sit in the upper levels of the football stadium should not be the only ones allowed to see the original Sparty. Students who pay even more to attend the school should be able to see our mascot as well. That statue is a legend and the school should at least offer tours up to Sparty’s new home. [sparty]
No more finals at 10 p.m
Finals start at 7:45 in the morning and end at 10 p.m., late into the night. These 10 p.m. exams may start two hours before, a seemingly reasonable hour for college students, but they become a little ridiculous for those who need to get up just a few hours later for another exam the next morning. MSU’s final exam schedule should promote better, not worse, college sleeping habits.
Not only was 2005 our sesquicentennial celebration, but a year filled with noteworthy events and accomplishments. So why not tune in to what students want out of their university next year? After the champagne\’s gone and the confetti settles, we hope you\’ll take these recommendations to make 2006 even more toast-worthy.
Cheers,
Starting A. New

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