Izzone in the Hizzouse

Imagine 4,000 students in white, taunting and screaming your name, as you attempt to sink a free throw. The shrieks and boos grow with intensity, 4,000 voices blending to create one massive wall of sound blasting in your ear, as you focus on the net in front of you. You throw. You miss. They cheer even louder.[breslin]
The Izzone has always been known for its spirit and enthusiasm, but now, with its growth from 953 elite members to a few thousand, this group of rowdy cheerleaders in the stands has the power to throw its opponents off their game, making the Breslin Center a significant powerhouse with the rowdiest fans in college basketball. “We’ve combined the section to encompass all student seats,” said Frankie Orlando, a political science sophomore and co-director of the Izzone. He said the expansion was mainly a decision by Coach Izzo who felt the section had been slipping. “He is counting on us to make the Breslin Center a venue that is conducive to Spartan victories.”
In order to fulfill the almighty Izzo’s dream, more than just the number of seats has changed. A new voucher system is also being introduced. Each student will receive a “hard seat,” a specific section and seat number, upon entering the Breslin, either in upper or lower bowl. The lower bowl is seated by seniority, the humber of years the student has been a member of the Izzone. The students in the upper bowl do not have priority seating; it is first come first serve.
Not all students are pleased with the changes. “I must admit I was not happy when I first heard of the switch to vouchers,” said current Izzone member Kelsey Kernohan, a secondary education and family and consumer science junior. “However, I have eased up my dislike of them. It seems fair to reward Izzone members who arrive early to the games to have better seating priority.”
But with every change comes controversy. When members arrive at a game, their MSU student ID will be scanned along with their ticket, keeping track of how often the member comes to the games and at what time. This will determine whether or not the student will earn lower bowl tickets for the following season. If a student misses more than two games, with or without a signed sheet from a professor, this student will not receive lower bowl tickets the next season. Instead, the student will be given upper bowl tickets. “People will get to the games a lot earlier. With these new changes, it will encourage great fan support,” Orlando said.
Overall, the feedback from the student members in the Izzone about the new modifications has been positive. Even with mixed views regarding the voucher system, students will still come to support their Spartans with incredible enthusiasm and the usual rowdiness. Nick Reale, a pre-med sophomore and current Izzone member said, “Although I feel that the expansion and voucher system still has a few kinks to iron out, it will be beneficial in the long run.”

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Not Just a Bad Day

It’s not easy being a college student. Despite what others might think, most college kids don’t spend all their time sleeping, eating, and drinking. There’s plenty to do and worry about between classes, work, friends, and extracurricular activities. Not to mention the frequent reminder that soon we will be facing “the real world.” All these daily commitments and stresses add up leaving many students experiencing depression or anxiety.
[david]Depression is a disorder that affects a person’s body, mood, and thoughts. People suffering from depression are not just moody or having “the blues” for a few days. A depressed person will experience long periods of sadness and may lose interest in his or her social or daily activities.
“Depression is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away,” said licensed professional counselor and professor of psychology David Novicki. “People with a depressive illness cannot merely ‘pull themselves together’ and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, and years.”
Some symptoms of depression include miserable or irritable mood almost every day; loss of interest or pleasure in activities such as work, friends, sex, or hobbies; a sudden change in appetite or weight, inability to sleep; agitation or restlessness; constant fatigue; frequent feelings of guilt and worthlessness; and difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
“If a person experiences most of these symptoms over a two-week time span, it is necessary for that person to reach out to a friend, family member, physician, or counselor at school to properly diagnose them,” Olin Health Center psychiatrist Leigh White said. “Depression is an extraordinarily treatable illness. Over 80 percent of patients can be cured with the proper treatment.”
It is estimated that 19 million Americans suffer from depression every year and that an average of four million Americans suffer from general anxiety disorder (GAD). The good news is that, with the proper treatment from doctors, family, and friends, four out of five patients will improve.
Separate from depression, GAD is when a person suffers from persistent worry and tension that is much worse than the anxiety that most people experience from time to time. A person cannot seem to forget or “snap out” of the mood, despite engaging in an activity meant to distract them from anxious thoughts. GAD does not happen suddenly; it develops over time. To be diagnosed with GAD, one must have anxiety for the majority of days in a six-month time span. The main symptom of GAD is an exaggerated or unfounded state of worry and anxiety caused by problems of health, money, family, or work. Other symptoms of GAD include restlessness, feeling on edge, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and difficulty falling or staying asleep. If you experience more than three of the symptoms listed, you should contact a counselor, psychiatrist, or physician.
Many students find they feel depressed or anxious at times but may not be in need of medication or clinical help. During these times, there are things they can do to distract themselves.
“When I feel overwhelmed or anxious, I talk to my sister and my best friend from high school,” international studies junior Crystal Collins said. “I try to distract myself by playing my guitar, writing poetry, jogging, and spending time with friends.”
Another student, no preference sophomore Daryl McElmurry, said: “When I am experiencing mild sadness or loneliness, I react by playing solitaire, talking to people online, talking to my boyfriend, or maybe staying at the Union so I can be surrounded by people.”
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression or GAD, contact someone that you feel comfortable with whether that may be a counselor, friend, family member, professor, or doctor. Olin Health Center and the Counseling Center are both excellent resources located on campus that can help students who aren’t just suffering from a bad day.

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State Gets Wired

[admin] As of July 26, 2004, MSU finally decided to move out of the Dark Ages and into the 21st century and change their means of tuition payment to the “hassle-free” system of electronic billing. This means that paper bills will no longer be mailed to parents through the U.S. Postal Service.
The electronic billing and payment service allows a student to view billing and payment history online and to pay using an electronic check or credit card with a small minimum fee. The bill can also be printed off and sent with payment to MSU via U.S. mail. Students can authorize guests, usually parents or guardians, to receive an e-mail when a bill is ready to view on the website.
One of the reasons why MSU decided to require electronic billing is because many other services, applications and processes at the university are already using this “paperless” form of payment. Some of these processes include grade reporting, applying for admission, applying and accepting financial aid and processing student refunds through direct deposit.
“MSU mainly decided to convert to the new online billing for budget and economic reasons to save the university money and eliminate mailing costs to the students,” said Associate Controller of Student Services Susan Wallersborf.
“This is a very convenient and helpful way for both students and parents to view the bill online, since there is the option for guest authorization,” said Wallersborf.
[face] Despite some obvious advantages to the new system, there are mixed reviews amongst the students of MSU. Some believe the university took too long in its switch to electronic billing, while others do not feel that online billing should be the only way to make a payment. Many students see the “mail-in” way of sending in a bill as the easier method for their parents.
“Students and parents should have the option of both, whichever they prefer, because this university is a business. They are customers, and should have the ability to pay whichever way they like,” said senior Andy Hickner, a political theory senior.
Jennifer Spurr, an education senior, also has doubts about electronic billing. “I understand the cost advantages, but those advantages are only as good as the people using the system,” Spurr said. “Many people do feel comfortable e-billing, while others do not- especially parents.”
Wallersborf does admit that when this new system went into effect, there were glitches, but only minor ones. When problems did arise, MSU staff fixed them and answered phone calls from both concerned parents and students, Wallersborf said.
New technology can take time to be perfected and also take awhile for its users to become familiarized with the different system. Hopefully, the electronic world will prove to be an easier way for students and parents to pay and view their bills.

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