White Country

[people2]Social relations junior Ryan C. Smith hasn\’t had to grow up thinking about his race – he\’s white, like most of the people around him. But college has provided an opportunity for Smith to consider what it means to be white in America and the privileges that come along with it.
Smith, along with four other students, discussed the notion of white privilege during a panel at the Race in 21st Century America conference held on campus in early April. During the discussion, Smith said he noticed that in his job as a caddy, when he mumbled or spoke quietly, golfers didn\’t pay much attention to it, but when caddies of color mumbled, it was seen as a weakness of their race.
\”Privilege is really about access to resources, power and influence given systemically at the expense of others, done on the basis of that person\’s membership in a group,\” said Frances Kendall, a consultant based in California who specializes in issues of social justice and institutional change, with a focus on diversity and white privilege. \”It\’s conferred power granted without regard to how someone is as an individual.\”
For example, people of color are more likely to be followed in stores or pulled over while driving, less likely to receive housing loans, and often learn a history of white people unless it is a specialized Chicano literature or African history course.
\”You need to start looking at the things you see everyday,\” said Betty Sanford, a specialist-advisor in the Supportive Services Program, during the discussion. \”It\’s not just whether you call me the n-word – it\’s why do you think the majority of students are one color? Why do you think the majority of faculty are one color?\” Sanford said it\’s about looking at the people in positions of power.
Social relations and advertising sophomore Kristian Grant said white privilege is about both the everyday occurrences and the larger institutional problems: \”the extra thank you or polite service [white people] receive when they\’re out, the benefit of the doubt the police officer will extend, the idea that \’white is right\’ … they are all a part of white privilege,\” Grant said.
For people of color, race is something that can be frequently, even constantly, on the mind. \”I unfortunately am aware of race almost constantly, but especially when I\’m outside of my home or \’comfort zone,\’\” said Grant, who is black. \”Whenever I am in the company of whites, I recognize the difference between us or the one that is implied. There doesn\’t have to be a specific thing to make me think of race – I\’m always thinking of it; it\’s always there.\”
Grant said coming to MSU made her realize her minority status, especially as a student in the James Madison College. She said she is often the only black student in her classes and becomes frustrated when she is asked to become the spokesperson for all black people. \”You wouldn\’t ask white people, \’What do white people think about that?\’ But people will look at me and say, \’for the whole black race, what do black people think?\’\”
According to the MSU website, 8.4 percent of students are African-American, 5.7 percent are Asian/Pacific Islander, 3.2 percent are Chicano/Other Hispanic, and 0.7 percent are Native American. But that only adds up to 18 percent. What about the other 82 percent?
In her book Understanding White Privilege: Creating Ways to Authentic Relationships Across Race, Kendall says whiteness is often assumed, and that is part of white privilege. In this case, it is assumed the remaining 82 percent of students are white. Unlike people of color, white people often see themselves as race-less, because \”it continues to confer power to white people as individuals and identifies \’the other\’ as less important, less valuable, less everything,\” Kendall said.
[quote]Even the categories provided in surveys and census reports are not consistent and often force people to choose a category that does not accurately identify their race or ethnicity. For example, another panel member at the workshop, international relations and psychology freshman Nada Zohdy, has often felt frustrated with the racial classification categories. Zohdy identifies as an Egyptian-American, but is rarely given the option of choosing \”Middle Eastern.\” She usually has to choose between \”Caucasian\” and the all-encompassing \”Other.\”
But for students who simply check off the \”Caucasian\” box without second thought, the idea of white privilege might come as a surprise. \”A lot of my white, middle or upper class peers dismiss the privilege they possess,\” Smith said. \”Many of them have never encountered the idea that racism is still prevalent today or that it has evolved into something more subversive.\”
International relations and social relations junior Ashley Newby said white privilege is easy to miss if you\’re not actively looking for it. \”A lot of people would argue there is no racism only because they don\’t have to deal with it and don\’t have to notice it,\” Newby, who is black, said during the panel discussion. \”If you don\’t have to notice it, why would you?\”
One student who dismisses the idea of white privilege is Kyle Bristow, an international relations/political theory and constitutional democracy sophomore and president of the MSU chapter of the Young Americans for Freedom. \”I don\’t believe that white privilege is really in America, because racism isn\’t institutionalized like it once was,\” said Bristow, who is white. \”There is no giant white conspiracy to suppress people of other races.\”
But some disagree, arguing that institutionalized racism is very much alive in the 21st century. \”When I think of white privilege, I think of institutions, especially education,\” Newby said. During the panel discussion, she talked about the ways in which predominately black schools are often times ill-prepared for standardized testing and higher education. \”Looking at affirmative action being reversed, things that were meant to level the playing field have now been taken away,\” Newby said.
Kendall, who is white, said the passage of Proposal 2 \”sent a very clear message to black and brown people that they are not really wanted in Michigan schools.\” She said the proposal also sent the message that \”you can discriminate in favor of white people, but cannot discriminate against white people.\” According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Michigan is the most segregated state in the nation. Five of the 25 most racially segregated metropolitan regions in the U.S. – Detroit, Saginaw, Flint, Benton Harbor, and Muskegon – are in Michigan.
YAF chapters across the state played an important role in building support for Proposal 2 last November. Bristow said YAF \”pretty much ran the [Proposal 2] campaign.\” YAF members were integral in designing the proposal website, making television commercials, and gathering petition signatures.
MSU-YAF\’s recent conflicts with other student groups at YAF-sponsored anti-immigration events have left Bristow doubtful that students on campus will ever get along completely. Students from both YAF and MEXA (Movimiento Estudiantil Xicano de Aztlan) have called each other racists and each has labeled the other as a hate group. \”I am Latina, but I personally do not believe in blaming all the problems in my life and of my people on \’white privilege,\’ however when racism is staring me dead in the face how else should I react than to stare back and call it what it is?\” said Crystal Cuevas, a physiology junior and member of MEXA who was present at the controversial April 19 YAF event, where Minuteman co-founder Chris Simcox spoke on campus. Five protesters, all people of color, were arrested at the event.
\”The kind of relationship that exists between [YAF and MEXA] is not stable; there is a lot of tension, passion, anger, and hate,\” Cuevas said. \”The \’minorities\’ feel as if they are unwanted [at MSU], which should be a big red flag for administrators of an institution set on being very diverse to do something to lessen that tension.\”
So, what can we do about it? During the panel discussion, James Madison associate professor Louise Jezierski said there needs to be more dialogue on campus about issues involving race. \”More discussion needs to be created,\” Jezierski said. \”Faculty and students both need to create these discussions on white privilege.\”
Kendall also encourages people to have conversations about white privilege anywhere and everywhere. \”The more you think and talk about it, the more it spreads the process,\” she said.
And as a white man, Smith hopes to do just that – one person at a time.

Posted in State SideComments (0)

Where to Be

East Lansing Art Fair
Saturday, May 20, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 21, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The ELAF features over 200 juried artist exhibitors from all over the U.S. and Canada encompassing works in fine arts and fine craft. Enjoy continuous free performances on two stages, an international food court and free arts and avtivities for all ages.
A Conversation With Legendary Motown Founder Berry Gordy
Thursday, May 4, from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in the Pasant Theatre, Wharton Center for Performing Arts
Rodney Whitaker, associate professor of music, will join Gordy in discussion of the social, cultural and musical impacts of Motown. Michael Mazzeo, associate dean of the Eli Broad College of Business, will be on hand to talk about the business aspects of Gordy’s achievements. The evening will begin with a special performance of Motown music by the MSU Professors of Jazz, led by Whitaker. A question-and-answer session will follow the conversation. The event is free and open to the public. Free parking available at Wharton Center.
Securing a Future: Globalization and the North American Auto Industry
Friday, May 12, from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Kellogg Center.
International experts will explore how Canada, the United States and Mexico can collaborate through industry, government, universities, and research institutes to secure a healthy North American auto industry in an ever-evolving global economy.
Summer classes begin
Monday, May 15
Memorial Day
Monday, May 29

Posted in State SideComments (0)

Bombarded

It’s Thursday. I have two classes finished, one to go- and then I’m free for the weekend. I can’t wait because it’s been a stressful week.
I exit Bessey hall, walking towards Wells. As I cross the bridge, I see three men passing out pamphlets.
Great. This isn’t an unusual sight at Wells, where Evangelicals often come to preach as students — interested, apathetic or annoyed– pass by. But on this particular Thursday morning, the three men are each standing behind a huge poster board of a graphic picture of an aborted fetus.
The first one I see says “God bless America?” and the photo is of a fetus that was probably aborted during the second trimester. It is completely repulsive. A knot forms in my stomach and I can feel myself getting upset. I don’t want to have to pass by this on my way to class.
As I near one of the men, he tries to hand me a pamphlet. He says something along the lines of, “Will you take this?” and I reply with “Absolutely not.”
I don’t make eye contact and I just keep on walking. I feel my heart pumping and I know there’s going to be a backlash for my remark.
“What? Are you for this? One of those baby killers?” I can hear him yelling at me as I walk further away, and I look at the woman walking near me.
“I am so pissed,” she says. “I don’t want to see that. But its freedom of speech, right, so they can get away with it.”
Oh, the First Amendment. Right now it feels like more of a curse than a blessing. How can they show these graphic images on campus? Where does free speech cross the line into offensive territory?
I am adamantly pro-choice, but I’m not out there displaying graphic pictures of abandoned, abused, or murdered children; photos of women using clothes hangers to terminate their pregnancy; or pictures of men hitting women in their stomachs with baseball bats, all because they can’t access or afford to get an abortion.
Not only are the photos graphically offensive, but it is upsetting to me that they were middle-aged men trying to preach to me on the moral grounds of abortion. First of all, get a uterus, and then we’ll talk.
Secondly, these photos are not going to change my stance on abortion. They just make me more angry at the tactics often used by the pro-life movement.
Show some respect, people!

What do you think? Send your comments and letters to letters@thebiggreen.net.

Posted in LettersComments (0)

Where to Be

The Changing Face of Campus: A Gallery of Maps
Thursday, April 28, through Saturday, April 30, at the Main Library.
Last days to view this free exhibit documenting the evolution of the MSU campus through a selection of historical maps.
Advanced Screening: House of Wax
Thursday, April 28, in B108 Wells at 8 p.m.
Free tickets available in 322 Union with MSU ID. Starring Paris Hilton, Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray and Brian Van Holt. Car troubles lead a group of college students to wander into a museum overseen by a sadistic curator.
Wells Hall Movies
Hide and Seek at 7:30 and 9:40 p.m.
Rory O’Shea Was Here at 7:15 and 9:20 p.m.
The Aviator at 8:30 p.m. at Wells Hall; *Special showing at 8 p.m. Friday in Conrad Auditorium
Postmen in the Mountains (ELFS) at 7 and 9:15 p.m.
There are no Campus Center Cinemas show times on Sunday of this week.
Films are free to undergraduate residence hall students with MSU ID, $2 others. ELFS films are $3 students, $6 public.
Dizzee Rascal Live in Concert
Friday, April 29, in the Union Ballroom at 9 p.m. Doors open at 8:30 p.m.
Student tickets are $7, available in 322 Union. Public tickets are $10, available at CD Warehouse and Flat, Black and Circular. In partnership with POP entertainment and ASMSU.
A Taste of the Town
Saturday, April 30, in the Wharton Center’s Grand Tier Lounge from 6 – 7:30 p.m.
This annual event features 29 restaurants and caterers providing food samples. Cost is $20, proceeds benefit the Faculty Folk Club Endowed Scholarship Fund.
Suze Orman
Tuesday, May 3, at the Wharton Center. Sponsored by the Capital Area District Library at 7 p.m.
The national financial expert and best-selling author speaks. Tickets $10, $15 and $20.
Undergraduate Commencement Schedule
Friday, May 6, at 1:00 p.m. at Breslin Center: Undergraduate Convocation
Friday, May 6, at 3:30 p.m. at Breslin Center: Communication Arts and Sciences
Friday, May 6, at 4:00 p.m. at the Auditorium: Arts and Letters
Friday, May 6, at 7:00 p.m. at Veterinary Medical Ctr, E-100: Veterinary Technology
Saturday, May 7, at 9:00 a.m. at Breslin Center: Social Science
Saturday, May 7, at 9:00 a.m. at Wharton Center: Nursing
Saturday, May 7, at 9:30 a.m. at the Auditorium: Education
Saturday, May 7, at 12:30 p.m. at Breslin Center: Natural Science
Saturday, May 7, at 1:30 p.m. at the Auditorium: Human Ecology
Saturday, May 7, at 3:00 p.m. at Wharton Center: James Madison
Saturday, May 7, at 4:00 p.m. at Breslin Center: Business
Saturday, May 7, at 7:30 p.m. at Breslin Center: Agriculture and Natural Resources
Sunday, May 8, at 1:30 p.m. at Breslin Center: Engineering

Posted in State SideComments (0)

No Excuse

[saam1] Several weeks ago, I was walking alone in downtown East Lansing at about 10 p.m. As a female college student, I have heard all the rules regarding my personal safety again and again – especially from my mother, who I\’m pretty sure would tell me not to walk alone at night every day if she could get away with it.
On this particular night, I was clearly breaking the golden rule, but I wasn’t traveling far and I was walking in a well-lit, populated area. I felt fine.
That is, until a stranger – a middle-aged man in business attire – reminded me of my blunder as I stood behind him waiting to cross the street.
“You know, you really should be walking with a friend out here,” he said, turning to me.
“I know. But I like to think this is a pretty safe city,” I responded.
“Well, we’d all like to think that,” he said.
I was so bothered by the comment, I hurried ahead of him and crossed the street with a thousand thoughts running through my mind: Was that a warning – is he going to attack me? Should I really never walk alone?
More than anything, I was outraged. I want to be able to walk the streets at night without fear, with no one warning me that being a woman alone on the streets is unthinkable.
Within a few days, I found out Take Back the Night was coming up as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). I was really excited. After my encounter on the street, this was the perfect opportunity for me to protest with other women who were sick and tired of feeling unsafe on campus, in dorms, on the streets – anywhere. Take Back the Night is an international tradition started in 1973 as an opportunity to speak out against sexual assault and violence against women. It is meant to empower women while raising awareness in the community.
The march was to start at 8 p.m. on April 20. I got out of work early, hurried like crazy to make it on time and arrived at Beaumont Tower just as the clock chimed eight times.
[saam4] But I didn’t see the expected crowd chanting and waving signs.
“Hi, I’m here for the march – did they already start walking?” I asked the first woman I saw, who was loading boxes into her car.
“No, this is it,” she said, and as she did, I turned to see one other student standing there on Beaumont Field.
To say I was shocked would be an understatement. All day I had imagined dozens, even hundreds, of women taking to the streets for the cause. Where were they? Isn’t this the university where thousands filled the streets after a championship basketball game?
Why are we not marching against sexual assault?
The two of us waited around. No one showed up for 10, 15, 20 minutes. The other student, education sophomore Jennifer Weston, and I exchanged disappointed glances and words of disbelief.
“It just shows where our school’s priorities are,” Weston said. “It’s really discouraging.”
The Listening Ear Crisis Intervention Center was sponsoring the event, as it has for over 20 years. The Listening Ear provides free and confidential service for telephone and walk-in clients in crisis. We didn’t see anyone from The Listening Ear, until finally they arrived at about 8:20 and told us they were canceling the march and the rally that was supposed to take place at M.A.C. and Albert.
Other campus coverage played the event off like a success, even if it mentioned the small crowd. With so many sexual assaults on campus, Take Back the Night was hardly what it should have been, and was no success.
Someone blamed it on the weather – it was one of those first chilly nights, but I found that hard to believe. It was nothing a jacket, hat and mittens couldn’t fix.
“A lot of people didn’t know about it,” said Alicia Kon, a psychology and studio art sophomore and sexual assault counselor at The Listening Ear. The event-organizing committee had sent out press releases and written messages in chalk on campus sidewalks.
[saam2] “But it means a lot to us that you came out,” said Taylor Krugman, a journalism freshman and sexual assault counselor at The Listening Ear. She promised it would be better next year. Could it get any worse?
Someone decided we should “march” to the steps of the library and take turns saying a demand into the microphone. By then there were 11 of us and it felt silly to be chanting as we marched.” When it was my turn to speak into the microphone, I demanded support from the community.
Earlier that day, The Clothesline Project had filled Beaumont Field to celebrate women who have survived acts of violence or sexual abuse and to provide testimonial to those who did not survive. This particular effort by the Mid-Michigan Clothesline Project included almost 200 shirts that have been displayed throughout Michigan and Ohio. The clothesline symbolizes the lifeline that can be created when survivors join together to support each other. Clotheslines are usually linked to the woman’s traditional role of washing, and here it is used as a symbol of empowerment.
“It’s been interesting to watch people – one T-shirt in particular will catch their eye,” said Angela Rogers, a family community services senior and staff coordinator for The Listening Ear. Students who took the time to read through the shirts were confronted with powerful messages.
Others would walk right by the clothesline without making any eye contact, Rogers said. “They don’t want to admit it’s happening in our world,” said Drew Sheldon, a telecommunication senior, crisis counselor and in-service training coordinator at The Listening Ear. “Most likely it’s happened to you or someone you know. It doesn’t discriminate – it affects all different types of people.\”
[saam5] And it’s also likely the perpetrator was an acquaintance. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), 70 percent of female rape survivors knew the assailant and four out of 10 sexual assaults occur in the victim’s own home. So, if most perpetrators aren’t hiding out in bushes, why can’t women feel confident walking alone at night?
“We need to stop perpetrating the myths,” Rogers said. “The more education, the more it can be stopped.” Awareness and prevention programs can be something as simple as an e-mail distributed to all MSU students clarifying the myths, such as the bogeyman waiting to attack. Sheldon agreed everyone should be more educated about sexual assault. “And don’t be afraid to educate others,” he said.
Hillary Justin, a psychology and studio art senior and sexual assault counselor for The Listening Ear, expressed the need for women to dispel the myths by doing things like walking alone at night. “I’m not letting the idea of what rape is keep me from having a life,” she said. Living in paranoia is bad enough, but then if a sexual assault does occur, the woman is often considered somehow at fault. She may be blamed for dressing too sexy or being too flirtatious, among other accusations.
Most sexual assaults on campus go unreported, Ingham County Prosecuting Attorney Stuart Dunnings, III, said. Statistically, one in four women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. MSU has over 24,000 undergraduate women, but only 13 sexual assaults have been reported to DPPS this academic year, and two were later recanted. The majority of survivors never tell close friends or loved ones, let alone the police.
Many women aren’t immediately ready to deal with the fact that they’ve been sexually assaulted. “Some deny it and say it was consensual,” Dunnings said. Even if a woman isn’t sure she wants to prosecute, she should still file a report. “We usually sit with a plausible case if it was not consensual,” he said.
Justin is frustrated that sexual assault is often dealt with in a reactionary manner, not a preventative one. “No one is talking about how men shouldn’t rape,” Justin said. To get men on campus talking about sexual assault, a men’s forum was held in the Union on April 20. Travis Reed, a biochemistry and microbiology senior and president of the MSU Men Active Against Sexual Assault (MAASA), said men should be empathetic and supportive of survivors.
“Tell them you believe them and that it wasn’t their fault,” he said. The forum had 14 people attend (more than any previous year), and discussed some of the “gray areas” related to sexual assault, such as what happens when both individuals are drinking. They also discussed the various myths about sexual assault.
There are several programs on campus serving to educate the public on sexual assault. The Sexual Assault Crisis and Safety Education Program at MSU is run through the Counseling Center and provides education programs to the community. The prevention education programming consists of sexual violence awareness presentations and multi-session workshops. Topics covered are rape 101, myths and facts, consent, rape culture, drug-facilitated sexual assault and risk reduction. These programs are designed specifically for the classroom, residence halls and the Greek community.
The program also provides immediate crisis intervention and advocacy services to women and men who have been impacted by rape or sexual assault, according to Carmen Lane, advocacy coordinator for the program. Services available include a 24-hour hotline, medical advocacy and legal advocacy. These services are available to survivors of sexual assault and their non-offending significant others. The Counseling Center also offers follow-up counseling services for MSU students.
Lane said the more we speak out against women-targeted violence, the safer our communities will be and the more perpetrators will be held accountable for their behavior.
Michigan law defines sexual assault according to criminal sexual conduct codes (CSC). For example, CSC I is a felony and involves both force and penetration of any type (vaginal, anal, oral, with penis, finger or object). In contrast, CSC IV is a misdemeanor and involves unwanted sexual touching.
Olin Health Center houses the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, which encourages students to make healthy decisions, Olin Health Educator Nicolle Stec said. She said students should watch out for their friends. “Just make sure you’re being safe – there are a lot of people on campus.\”
If someone who has been assaulted comes to Olin, health officials will take them through the necessary steps, such as an exam with a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) and/or STD testing. The survivor is then referred to the Counseling Center, where they are provided with further information.
Sgt. Florene McGlothian-Taylor of DPPS said there are different divisions around campus to help survivors of sexual assault, each with expertise in its own field. DPPS is centered on the criminal aspect, Taylor said. The department starts the legal process by filing a police report, which is then turned over to the Ingham County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Knowing where to go after a sexual assault can be overwhelming. Bethany Andorfer, a social relations junior, decided to make this process a little easier. She created a Web site called the MSU Help Source (www.MSUHelpSource.com) after a friend was sexually assaulted and found the information about the different resources on campus to be scattered.
“I wanted to make a centralized website,” Andorfer said. She eventually hopes to make magnets, T-shirts, pens and other promotional items to get the website’s name out on campus. “I want to get students more aware about what services there are,” she said.
Andorfer was one of two student representatives on a committee formed to discuss sexual assault on campus after heightened media coverage over the sexual assaults on campus.
The first committee met in November to talk about the issue and included about 10 people, including representatives from the Women’s Resource Center, the Counseling Center, MSU Safe Place and the MSU faculty, Andorfer said. A larger committee of about 50 people formed in January and included even more organizations and students, from groups like LBGTA, Black Caucus and the Greek community. The committee put together a report that will be reviewed in early May by Lee June, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Services.
“It’s supposed to be a comprehensive effort to look at all aspects of the community,” she said. “It’s more than adding green lights on campus and telling people to lock their doors. It’s an effort to really change things on campus.” Andorfer said she wasn’t sure what was going to happen once June reviewed the report.
Jayne Schuiteman, acting director of the Women, Gender and Social Justice program, was one of the people responsible for the committee. “In essence, we are recommending a campus-wide, comprehensive educational effort,” Schuiteman said. The goal is to increase awareness, dispel myths, provide for a better understanding of the dynamics of assault and relationship violence – including the role of alcohol – and hopefully change attitudes among both women and men. “We are also recommending the need to better coordinate existing services,” she said.
While individually each service is doing well, Schuiteman said better coordination among them would enhance the services provided to the campus community. Faculty and staff need to be better educated, in part because they are not immune from victimization, but also because they may be who students turn to after a sexual assault. “They need to know the resources available to best assist students,” Schuiteman said.
“Continued attention should be given to the physical nature of the campus (lighting, sidewalks, parking areas, etc.) as they increase safety regarding stranger assault and increase a sense of well-being,” she said. Finally, the educational and coordination efforts must be evaluated for effectiveness and subsequent change within the campus community as we strive for zero tolerance of assault and relationship violence.
Hopefully, the administration will take the report into account. “We just hope they respond to something,” Rogers said. “Acknowledge that something is happening.”
Having a mandatory sexual assault education and prevention course for freshmen has been brought up on campus this year.
It is my hope that eventually we won\’t need a month like Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Every day of every month should be pro-survivor and pro-woman. For now, we can show our support at events like Take Back the Night.
So mark your calendar. Because next year, we have no excuse.

Posted in State SideComments (0)

A Breath of Fresh Air

If you find yourself gasping for air duing finals week, there may be a solution.
[oxy1] “Oxygen bars” are springing up all over the country, including making an appearance in East Lansing in early December at Bronze Bay Tanning. “Its purpose is to oxygenate your blood,” said Erin Devine, a part-time Bronze Bay Tanning employee and marketing junior. An oxygen bar at a tanning salon might seem like an odd combo, but Devine explained an increase in oxygen allows for a better tan by eliminating white spots on the skin.
Since the oxygen can also energize or relax users, Devine said most of the business’ customers are MSU students who come in to get rejuvenated before or after they drink alcohol at neighboring bars. But perhaps most importantly, she said using oxygen can eliminate the unpleasant feelings after a night of drinking. “It’s the next best thing to curing a hangover,” she said.
Devine explained that there is not a “high” involved, a common misconception about using oxygen (it’s not the “laughing gas” you might experience at the dentist). “You get energized, like when drinking a Red Bull,” she said. The cost of inhaling oxygen is a dollar a minute and sessions generally range from five to 20 minutes. Devine suggested using the oxygen for at least 10 minutes to feel an effect.
Dave Burnell, an interdisciplinary studies in human resources junior, tried an oxygen bar while vacationing several years ago in the Virgin Islands. “I wouldn’t necessarily say there is a ‘high’ like with other drugs, but there is a euphoria to it that is very pleasant,” Burnell said. “It is very relaxing.”
[oxypq] Communication junior Jennifer Saksa used oxygen at a club while on spring break in Cancun last March. “My nose tingled slightly – we had to put these tube things in our nose and I felt as if I could breathe better because of it,” Saksa said. “After we were done with our session we felt slightly buzzed and lightheaded, but it was a good high.”
Saksa, like many oxygen users, had been drinking alcohol beforehand. “My friend and I were both really tired so we weren’t drinking a ton,” she said. “The oxygen bar, however, did really wake us up. We were contemplating going home but ended up staying for three or so more hours because we were so awake.”
Many users report similar effects, but the medical community is a bit more skeptical. Actually, it seems many health officials are unaware oxygen bars even exist, let alone the effects inhaling oxygen in this form can have on the user. “There is no science to demonstrate this euphoria,” Dean Sienko, medical director of the Ingham County Health Department, said. “A dose of oxygen could be a placebo – it is certainly open to some debate.” Sienko said oxygen is needed for cells to function, but that human beings do not do well with higher levels.
The American Lung Association has released a statement saying there is no evidence the low-flow levels of oxygen used in bars can be dangerous to a normal person’s health. According to a report released by the Food and Drug Administration in 2002, most oxygen bars use either “aviators breathing oxygen” or oxygen extracted out of the air in the bar. Aviators breathing oxygen is a medical-grade oxygen intended for commercial or private aircraft use and is at least 99 percent pure.
The agency warned aviators breathing oxygen should not be used recreationally or for medical therapeutic treatment of humans or animals. Many oxygen bars that extract oxygen from air circulating inside the bar use a concentrator, which filters out the nitrogen and other gases. It then releases concentrated oxygen that is about 95 percent pure through the hose and up into the nostrils.
[oxy2] However, oxygen users at bars with concentrators continue to inhale the surrounding air, along with the oxygen pumped through the nose hose, which reduces the concentration. The purity is again decreased when oxygen is pumped through an aroma source. Sometimes the concentration can be as low as 50 percent oxygen, according to the FDA report. Devine said the oxygen bar in Bronze Bay Tanning, which uses a concentrator, produces 95 percent oxygen. “It’s only beneficial,” she said. “No one is allergic to oxygen.”
To make the oxygen experience even more appealing, users can choose from a variety of aromas, from traditional ones such as vanilla or strawberry to more exotic ones like eclipse or nirvana. “Watermelon was my personal favorite – it made me feel like it was summertime out and I was eating fresh watermelon,” Burnell said.
The aromas are produced by bubbling oxygen through bottles containing aromatic solutions. The vaporized scent is then pumped through the hose and inhaled by the user. Many bars, such as the one in Bronze Bay Tanning, use oil-free particles to produce them, but others may use aroma oils. The FDA reported inhaling oily substances can cause serious inflammation of the lungs, called lipoid pneumonia. If an oil-free medium is used, the purity or sterility of the aerosol that is generated is still not guaranteed.
According to the FDA, susceptible customers run the risk of inhaling allergens or irritants that could cause wheezing. If live contaminants such as bacteria or other pathogens are inhaled, an infection could form in the lungs. “A better way to get euphoric would be to do 20 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise,” Sienko said. “You’d get the same level of euphoria and it would be better for your health.”
Since the oxygen in bars is not compressed, or 100 percent oxygen, it is not considered medical and does not require a license to be dispensed. The bar in Bronze Bay Tanning is distriubted by Breathe Inc., and the company certifies that the device does not use medical oxygen, which is a prescription drug, and that the bars comply with federal regulations as defined by the U.S. Pharmacopeia.
Oxygen bars have popped up around the world since that late 1990s and so far are only growing in popularity. Both Saksa and Burnell said they would use oxygen again if the opportunity arose. “It’s something very new to try,” Burnell said. “College students are very adventurous and it’s something that you can enjoy with all your friends.” Devine described using oxygen as a “new wave” concept. “It’s appealing because it is in big metro areas – it’s trendy and sleek,” she said.
Using oxygen may be trendy, but if the medical community isn’t sure the oxygen actually relaxes or energizes (already a contradiction), it might not be worth it. But then again, these days a breath of fresh air and the possibility of some relaxation might be worth every penny.
Read the complete FDA report at http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2002/602_air.html.

Posted in State SideComments (0)

Where to Be

Noontimes Performance with Ben Chutz and the MSU Guitar Club
Thursday, April 21, in the Union.
Spring 2005 Visiting Chef Series: Lucia Watson
Thursday, April 21, at the Kellogg Center at 7 p.m.
$75 for dinner with Watson.
The Formation and Evolution of the Milky Way: A New Look at an Old Galaxy
Thursday, April 21, at Abrams Planetarium at 7:30 p.m.
Public lecture by professor Timothy Beers.
Cost is $5.
Open Mic Night
Thursday, April 21, in the Union main lounge at 9 p.m.
All performance styles welcome. Sign up on first come, first serve basis. Free coffee bar. Contact brewing1@msu.edu with any questions.
Salsa Night
Thursday, April 21, in the Union Ballroom from 7 – 11 p.m.
Free lessons 7 – 9 p.m., open dancing 9 – 11 p.m. In partnership with the Puerto Rican Students Association.
Chill on the Ice
Thursday, April 21, at Munn Ice Arena from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Free skating at Munn Ice Arena. Also, free craft – make your own picture frame, free Polaroid pictures on the ice, massages by Alternative Wellness and free lemon chills.
Chill at the International Center
Saturday, April 23, in the Campus Center of the International Center from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Relax before finals: Yoga lessons, Pilates, massages, make your own oils and lotions, stress management speakers and more.
Wells Hall Movies
Friday, April 22, through Sunday, April 24.
Sideways at 7:15 and 9:30 p.m.
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (ELFS) at 7 and 9:15 p.m.
Constantine at 7:30 and 9:40 p.m. *Special showing in Conrad Auditorium on Friday at 8 p.m.
The Take at 7 and 9:15 p.m. (in partnership with Students for Economic Justice)
Films are free to undergraduate residence hall students with MSU ID, $2 for others. ELFS movies are $3 for students and $6 for the public.
MTV U Presents Muse with Razorlight
Saturday, April 23, at the Breslin Center at 7 p.m.
Tickets $15.
Comedian Daniel Tosh
Sunday, April 24, at the Fairchild Theater in the Wharton Center at 7:30 p.m.
The cost is $15 to see this Comedy Central-featured stand-up comedian.

Posted in State SideComments (0)

Struggling for Progress

[150hrs1] Recycle now. Join the WRC. End rape. Say no to the MCRI.
Phrases such as these could be seen written in chalk all over campus last week, giving students something to look at as they walked from class to class, and hopefully, something to think about. The chalk messages were just one form of activism for those involved in 150 Hours of Struggle, a demonstration in which student groups camped out in front of the Hannah Administration Building around the clock for 150 hours from Saturday, April 2, through Friday, April 8, to have their demands for the university heard.
The weeklong event was part of 150 Years of Struggle, a larger campaign that was started earlier this year and includes a coalition of organizations across campus with common goals for MSU. The project is meant to acknowledge student participation during the last 150 years at MSU, something often overlooked by the university, said English senior Erik Green, the 150 Years of Struggle coordinator and director of Racial, Ethnic and Progressive Affairs.
Each day of protest focused on one of the demands for the MSU administration. The week culminated on Friday, April 8, during the Board of Trustees meeting held at the Administration Building, at which all seven demands were presented to the board and to President Lou Anna K. Simon in the portion of the meeting open to public comment.
[150hrs2b] These demands included recognizing gender identity in anti-discrimination policies; increasing sustainability on campus through renewable energy and self-sufficient buildings; taking a proactive stance on ending racial inequities, for example, by opposing the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI), a law that would ban race and gender-based preferences in university admissions and government hiring and contracts; creating sexual assault prevention and education programs on campus; creating a freestanding multicultural center; joining the Worker’s Rights Consortium with a solid code of conduct and finally, increasing accessibility on campus to meet both state and federal guidelines.
“The administration seems very receptive,” said Green, who spoke to the board on behalf of 150 Hours of Struggle during the meeting. “We are setting realistic goals; we’re presenting something that the board can actually do.”
Some of the organizations involved in 150 Hours of Struggle were ASMSU, Council for Students with Disabilities, Students for Economic Justice (SEJ), Eco, PRISM, The Alliance, Multi-Racial Unity Living Experience (MRULE) and the Residence Halls Association (RHA).
Members of SEJ and Movimiento Estudiantil Xicano de Aztlan (MEXA) also addressed the board, although they were upset at being given only 15 minutes to speak – the time limit placed on all groups. They appeared in T-shirts supporting the Worker’s Rights Consortium (WRC) and with gags across their mouths to represent the silencing of students on campus.
[150hrspq] In early April, President Simon announced MSU would join the WRC, an organization that ensures university apparel is not made by companies violating human rights. The protesters want MSU to follow a code of conduct that addresses organizing rights and women’s rights, which so far the university has not committed to including. SEJ and MEXA requested the strong code of conduct be signed by May 1.
Green said it is important for the administration to listen to students, since there is often a divide between the students and the trustees. “It is powerful to see what can be accomplished when people work together,” he said.
Simon chose not to comment publicly following the students’ statements. “There was nothing on the list [of demands] that would take anyone by surprise,” Simon said. “The effort made by students is to be commended. They did their 150 hours, representing the student body and serving to educate others on their views.” Simon also said there would always be issues the university needs to work on, but they will “continue to try to make progress.”
But progress takes time. “We’re a major institution. It takes a little while for an institution to switch gears,” said Sue Carter, secretary of the Board of Trustees and executive assistant to the president. “Articulating [the demands] is the first step,” Carter said. “Building support is very important.”
[150hrs3] Green is pleased with the way 150 Hours of Struggle turned out. He said many students, as well as faculty members, have shown interest in the campaign. “It’s only been very positive experiences,” Green said.
The large “150” sign in front of the administration building was difficult to ignore. “I think it was good that they were demonstrating outside,” electrical engineering senior Paul Karatsinides said. “It got a lot of people noticing.”
Students may have seen the chalk messages or signs around campus, but many were unaware of the actual issues being presented. “I saw the chalk, but I didn’t really know what it was about,” pre-nursing freshman Stephanie Jones said.
Another student, Spanish senior Angel Salinas, said he decided to participate even though he wasn’t entirely familiar with the list of demands. “I didn’t really understand what was behind it, but I felt like it was a good cause,” Salinas said.
MSU’s 150th birthday provides a great opportunity to recognize students who pushed for change in university policies throughout its history. MSU started off as a small agricultural school with only white male students, and on the sesquicentennial, we have a female president leading a much more diverse student body.
However, the 150 Years of Struggle campaign serves as a reminder to both students and the administration that we must continue to pursue social improvements at our university. Every bit of activism helps, even camp-outs and sidewalk chalk.
For more information on 150 Years of Struggle or to join the campaign, visit http://rha.msu.edu/150YOS.

Posted in State SideComments (0)

Where to Be

Noontimes Performance Featuring Steve Ewing
Thursday, April 7, in the Union main lounge from noon – 1 p.m.
Free entertainment!
“Bollywood Bound: Finding Fame and Identity in India’s Filmmaking Capital”
Thursday, April 7, in 303 International Center at 4 p.m.
Directed by Nisha Pahuja (2002; 57min). Part of the Spring 2005 Lecture Series: Asia and Diaspora: Traditions and Trajectories.
Gallery Talk with Artist Mara Jevera Fulmer
Thursday, April 7, at Kresge Art Museum at noon.
Michigan Spring Dairy Show and Sale
Thursday, April 7, at the Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education.
Free.
African Studies Seminar: Coping Strategies in Food and Water Deficit Regions of Niger
Thursday, April 7, in 201 International Center at noon.
Presented by Rob Glew.
Q*News Potluck
Thursday, April 7, at Valley Court Park (behind the West Grand River Ave. Beaner’s) at 5:30 p.m.
Part of Pride Week 2005.
Development and Globalization: The Ethical Challenges
Friday, April 8, in 107 S. Kedzie Hall at 3 p.m.
Presentation by Nigel Dower, senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Free.
CIUS (Coalition of Indian Undergraduate Students) Satrang
Friday, April 8, in the Great Hall of the Wharton Center at 7 p.m.
For the 16th year, CIUS presents Satrang, a dance celebration about the diversity of Indian Culture. Free to all MSU students.
Laura Apol, Michigan Writers Series
Friday, April 8, in W449 of the Main Library at 7:30 p.m.
Laura Apol is an associate professor of education at MSU and has published three volumes of poetry. She is the winner of the 2004 Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry for her latest work, Crossing the Ladder of Sun, which explores the extraordinary aspects of ordinary people. For more information visit the web at www.lib.msu.edu/events/writers.htm. Free.
“Cabaret Neuvo” Drag Show
Friday, April 8, in the Campus Center of the International Center from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Come enjoy local drag talent and get a cabaret picture taken! In partnership with RING and Pride Week 2005. Free event.
Wells Hall Movies
Friday, April 8 through Sunday, April 10.
Spanglish at 7 and 9:15 p.m.
In Good Company at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. *Special showing in Conrad Auditorium (Rm. 102) on Friday at 8:00 p.m.
Hotel Rwanda at 7:10 and 9:20 p.m.
April Shower at 7:20 and 9:40 p.m. *In partnership with SPECTRUM and Pride Week 2005.
APA (Asian Pacific American) Women’s Conference
Saturday, April 9, in the Union at 10 a.m.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Breaking the Golden Rule.”
Multicultural Extravaganza
Saturday, April 9, in the Auditorium at 7 p.m.
A cultural event where MSU students show off their talents. For more information contact Dominga Martinez at marti581@msu.edu.
“In the Mood” Dance Night
Saturday, April 9, in the Union Ballroom from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.
East Coast Swing lessons at 9 p.m.; Open Dance from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m. Enjoy the live sounds of the Ambassador Big Band, a 17-piece orchestra. Free event with refreshments.
Pride Week Dance
Tentatively Saturday, April 9, in the Union Gold Room from 9 p.m. – midnight.
Poetry Night
Sunday, April 10, tentatively at Espresso Royale at 8 p.m.
Part of Pride Week 2005.
“A World in Miniature: Islamic Paintings from the R. M. Riefstahl Collection
Monday, April 11, at Kresge Art Museum at 12:10 p.m.
Gallery talk with Carol Fisher.
Asian American Inventive Identities: Rethinking Difference and Hybridity in the Sibling Case of Sui Sin Far and Onoto Watana
Monday, April 11, in 303 International Center at 4 p.m.
Presented by Shirley Lim (UC Santa Barbara). Part of the Spring 2005 Lecture Series: Asia and Diaspora: Traditions and Trajectories.
Brown Bag Discussion with Shirley Lim
Monday, April 11, in the Multicultural Center of the Union at noon.
International Conference & Workshops on Ethics “Capability Approach”
Monday, April 11 through Wednesday, April 13, in the Union.
Articulated by Nobel laureate Amartya K. Sen.
“Keeping the Hope: Activism in the Repressive Era” Panel Discussion with Emi Koyama
Monday, April 11, in the Multicultural Center at 3:30 p.m.
Evening Keynote: “The Intersex Movement in the Second Decade” in Union Parlor C at 7:30 p.m.
T-Party 3: Translating Our Identities
Tuesday, April 12, in 441 Union at 7 p.m.
Part of Pride Week 2005.
MSU Women’s Glee Club, Collegiate Choir and Chamber Choir Concert
Tuesday, April 12, at University Lutheran Church (1020 S. Harrison Rd.) at 7:30 p.m.
Free.
Asian Studies Center: Jazzy Japonisme
Tuesday, April 12, in 303 International Center at 4:30 p.m.
Fantasies of Japan in Jazz, presented by E. Taylor Atkins, Northern Illinois University.
National Day of Silence
Wednesday, April 13.
Demonstration from 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Rock and Wells Hall courtyard. A discussion will follow at 7:30 p.m. in the PRIDE Room in the basement of Landon Hall.
“Gandhi” Film Presentation
Wednesday, April 13, in A133 Life Sciences Building at 4p.m.
Sponsored by the Asian Studies Center.
Festival of Human Rights
Wednesday, April 13 through Friday, April 15.
Featuring documentary filmmaker Mandy Jacobson, Rwandan-born activist Louise Mushikiwabo and MSU faculty members. For more information or to register, call (517) 373- 8860 or visit the Web site at www.msu.edu/unit/phl/devconference/EthDev.htm.

Posted in State SideComments (0)

practice to see if quotes are still messed up

What are some examples of white privilege in everyday life? How might
white privilege be experienced on campus?

Why do you think it is important to talk about white privilege and get
it in people\’s consciousness?

Why do you think \”race\” is thought of in terms of people of color
(white folks are seen as race-less)?

What are some common arguments against white privilege?

What do you think the passing of Proposal 2 says about white privilige
in Michigan?

Posted in State SideComments (0)