But I Wanna Play Outside

The sky is blue and it’s the first time East Lansing has seen the sun in what seems like decades… and you have to go to class. And write a paper. And study for finals. Who can concentrate with the birds chirping in your ear and the smell of flowers drifting into your nose? It’s as though the sudden appearance of sunshine has zapped all your motivational energy, at least what little was left. Your inner procrastinator has come out in full force, along with the daffodils.
Emily Cannon knows exactly what it feels like to succumb to the lure of the great outdoors. “I feel like as soon as it gets nice out, everybody comes out of the woodwork,” the social work junior said. “There’s been numerous occasions when I’ve been sitting in my room and I hear everyone playing outside, and I have to go, too. So school just kind of takes the back burner in the spring.” I know very well the strong temptation of outdoor beer pong, but it doesn’t exactly help you pass classes. Here are some tips to build your spring fever resistance skills:
• Take time to get active before hitting the books. Go for a run, rollerblade or take a walk to go get ice cream. The activity will motivate you to be productive – well, maybe. It might make you want to stay outside all day, but at least it’s worth a shot.
• Study outside. It’s a great way to absorb the atmosphere and focus on that psychology homework you’ve been putting off. Katie D’Avanzo, human biology junior, likes to read outside by the Union. “I like to sit in the fresh air,” she said. “The sun makes me feel happier and makes me want to be active.” Some advice: don’t sit too close to easy distractions (i.e., the basketball court where the guys (or girls) are playing a pick-up game).
• If you can’t stand being reminded of the gorgeous weather, shut yourself in a dark, windowless place to concentrate. A gloomy environment might remind you of a more winter-like time, when you actually picked up a book once in a while, and eliminate diversions.
• If worse comes to worse, have a little fun. Enjoy the nice weather with your friends. Soon everyone will scatter, whether to different homes for the summer, or to different places after graduation, so make the most of the precious little time you have left together. Besides, this is Michigan – we all know the weather won’t last very long and you can write your 15-page paper when it rains, or, like we saw last weekend, when the ground is blanketed in mid-spring snow.

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Hopeful Laps

I arrived at Munn Ice Arena at midnight to find students giving up their Saturday night in the name of charity. From 11 a.m. April 9 to 11 a.m. April 10, students walked around the arena to raise money for cancer research.
[relay1] Teams, usually of 8-10 people, collected donations for the American Cancer Society (ACS). During the 24-hour walk-a-thon that culminates Relay for Life, someone from each team must be walking at all times. “The idea is, since cancer never sleeps, we take one day out of the year to honor those who have battled the disease,” Kate Follett, the community development director for the ACS, said. Follett is the staff partner for MSU’s Relay for Life, but the event is completely student-run.
Teams are sponsored by organizations such as the MSU Curling Club, Golden Key International Honor Society, dormitories or anyone else who wants to participate. Steve Black is the captain for a group called Team Underpants. “I knew people that wanted to do it, but I knew that no one would take initiative and lead it,” Black said about why he formed the team. Team Underpants raised $1,300 by midnight. Most of the money was from donations, but teams also fundraise at the event. Of the $1,300, about $42 came from cupcake sales at Munn. Other team fundraisers included selling pop, chili dogs, massages, cancer awareness ribbons, plants, renting games and playing Dance Dance Revolution.
[relay2] But Relay is about more than making money, it’s also about raising cancer awareness, Follett said. Signs around the ice rink promote healthy lifestyles and provide facts about cancer. Follett said cancer used to be thought of as an old person’s disease, but it now affects the lives of many students. Kendra Viglianti, education junior, agrees. “It’s important because so many people are affected,” she said. “I wanted to help people and donate my time.”
Relay for Life also has personal ties for some students, such as social relations senior Sarah Blitz. “My mom is a cancer survivor of 11 years, and with her help I was able to do well,” said Blitz, who raised $945 in donations. Blitz raised the fourth-highest amount among the weekend’s Relay for Life participants. She sent out personalized letters and e-mails to family and friends, as well as passing the message along by word of mouth to raise the money. “I believe that people that donated overall donated because they saw the hope that ACS represents,” Blitz said.
Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society are about bringing hope to the fight against cancer. The Relay sells luminaries for people to decorate to honor their loved ones who have battled cancer. There is a luminary-lighting ceremony where all of the bags are lit, as well as bags spelling out the word “hope.” A lap is reserved for cancer survivors, and a silent lap is walked in memory of those who have lost the battle with cancer.
[relaypq] The opportunity to honor people while helping a good cause is a driving force for student participation, especially since most students know someone who has faced the disease. “My life has been touched personally by cancer, and I’m here to support the cause,” nursing junior Pamela Tokarski said.
Jenna Delaney, the president of Campus Civitan, appreciates students working together. Campus Civitan is a community service organization and Relay for Life is their final event of the year. “Relay for Life is important because it brings many different young people together for a good cause,” Delaney said.
Students hunkered down for the long haul as I left Munn at 2 a.m. Piles of blankets, pillows and mattresses made up the team stations as students talked; played cards, broomball and Nintendo; did homework or made vain attempts at sleeping. After participants made it through the night, they could leave Sunday morning knowing they spent a Saturday night doing something worthwhile that can potentially help cancer patients enjoy many more weekends to come.

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You Can Find Me in St. Louie

I’ll be honest with you. I didn’t foresee MSU going far when I made my bracket. So I was incredibly excited when we beat Kentucky to get to the most coveted place in college basketball: the Final Four. When I found out Izzone members could get tickets to the games in St. Louis, two of my roommates and I decided to try for the opportunity to see the action in person. “It’s the chance of a lifetime,” Kim, one of my roommates, said. After stocking up on snacks and buying new MSU T-shirts for the occasion, we were on our way to Missouri.
FRIDAY
[wball1] 10:42 a.m.: We pull out of our Cedar Street driveway, blasting Nelly’s “St. Louie,” which will quickly become the theme song of the trip. Only 42 minutes later than our planned departure time, we’re not doing too bad.
11:36 a.m.: While driving west on I-496, Emily decides we should have painted the car to show our Spartan pride. Since we’re already on the road, she makes a sign to flash at fellow drivers: “Honk for MSU Spartans Final 4!”
3:22 p.m.: Gas stop in Illinois; we’re not in Spartan Country anymore and our green-and-white apparel is starting to draw attention. “Going to the Final Four?” the gas station attendant asks me. “Oh yeah,” I say. “You guys will beat UNC,” he says, “But the Illini are another story.”
5:55 p.m. (Central Time): We arrive at the Motel 6, with Nelly in the background for the fiftieth time. The rooms are a little sketchy, but at $60 a night, we can’t be too picky.
6:45 p.m.: Time to pick up our tickets at the players’ hotel. I’ve never seen so much green and white outside of East Lansing. I can’t believe I’m actually going to the Final Four, until the laminated tickets are in my hand. “Be careful,” the ticket distributor warns us. “Scalpers are everywhere, don’t let anybody know you have tickets.”
11:15 p.m.: After a quick survey of the town, we head back to our motel. MSU students are yelling from the balconies. “Friends till Monday,” one guy yells at the Illinois fan walking into his room. It quickly becomes the optimistic motto of the Big Ten supporters. The place seems to be crawling with Spartans, but maybe we’re just the only ones being rowdy.
SATURDAY
[wball2b] 12:04 p.m.: We head into the city to see some sights before the game. First stop: the famous Gateway Arch. Kim gets teary-eyed when she sees it; she’s never been west of the Mississippi River. It doesn’t get much better than sitting underneath the Arch, overlooking the Mississippi on a beautiful Missouri day, especially when I really should be in East Lansing doing my homework.
2:33 p.m.: “Got tickets?” is the question of the day. Everywhere we go people are offering to buy our tickets, even though scalping is supposedly illegal in Missouri. We ran into some fellow MSU students who told us they were offered $10,000 for their three tickets for the Saturday and Monday games, but they wouldn’t sell.
3:11 p.m.: The city is filled with Final Four fans. Everyone is wearing shirts to support their respective schools: the red Louisville Cardinals, orange and blue for the Illinois fans, the North Carolina Tarheels baby blue and of course the Spartan green and white. I’m surprised how many Spartan fans made the eight-hour journey. It’s like we’re long-lost friends anytime we run into someone from MSU. We end up in an area of bars and restaurants called the Landing. Fans are milling around drinking beer on the cobblestone streets; evidently open intox isn’t an issue on Final Four weekend. It reminds me of spring break for adults — a chance to get wasted with your closest friends in a socially accepting environment.
5:10 p.m.: We’re in the Edward Jones Dome for the tip-off of the Illinois-Louisville game. The air is electric with excitement. We cheer for Illinois, but are anxious for the MSU game to begin.
[wball4] 8:22 p.m.: The first half of MSU-UNC is the best game of my life. The MSU fans are energized and dominate the UNC crowd. The Illinois section joins in our “Go green, go white” cheer that fills the dome. But after halftime, the Spartans come out flat and UNC builds a quick lead. It all goes downhill from there, and I can see the hope fading from the eyes of the MSU crowd. North Carolina chants grow louder as their team comes closer to a national championship berth. An enterprising man from Illinois offers to buy our lower bowl tickets before the game is even over. The game finally ends and we file out of the arena with the other dejected Spartan fans.
12:07 a.m.: I decide I hate UNC fans and refuse to sell my ticket to any of them. We had concluded that Monday’s national championship game won’t be as cool since State isn’t in it, so we’re fielding ticket offers. We’re still proudly wearing our Spartan gear, and practically every person asks if we’re selling. Kim bargains with some die-hard Illinois fans, and we sell all three of our seats for $400 a piece, which pays for our trip down here and more (we paid $180 each for the tickets). We head back to the Landing amid the celebratory Illinois and Carolina fans. “You guys played good, I was cheering for you,” one drunk Illinois guy yells as we walk by. “Don’t look so sad,” another says, “It was a good run!”
SUNDAY
1:18 p.m.: We decide to stick around St. Louis for the day, since we were planning on staying until Monday anyway, and now we have an extra $400 in our pockets. It’s a great city, very clean (at least the area we were in) and with plenty to do, especially this weekend.
3:05 p.m.: We’re still sporting our green-and-white T-shirts and are still getting ticket offers — one guy told us he would have paid $500. We go back toward the dome to buy my mom a magnet at one of the many Final Four merchandise stands and catch a free Gavin DeGraw performance at the Dasani Fest. Even though it’s sunny and 70 degrees, we decide not to stick around for Kelly Clarkson and instead hit the road.
[wball3c] 8:22 p.m.: In an attempt to bypass Chicago traffic, we head back to East Lansing via Indianapolis. We stop in Indy, the site of the women’s Final Four, to eat and watch the MSU women play on TV. “Are you girls here for the game?” the parking attendant asks as we get out of the car. “No, we’re on our way back from the men’s game in St. Louis and are stopping for food,” Emily explains. “The MSU game just started, you should try to get tickets,” he says. “They’re still selling them on the street for real cheap because the first game’s already over. But make sure you haggle with ‘em over the price.” Emily and I convince Kim, who’s ready to go home, that two Final Fours would be a great story. I offer to buy her a piece of pizza, so we buy women’s tickets for $30 off a guy on the street.
9:41 p.m.: We’re in the nosebleed section, surrounded by Tennessee fans. The Spartan women are losing at halftime, but then make a comeback from a 16-point deficit. Emily and I are going crazy, and try to lead the neutral fans behind us in the Spartan fight song. Kim pretends she doesn’t know who we are. The women pull out a 68-64 victory over the favored Lady Vols. It was a great game. “I’m glad the girls won,” Emily says, “I don’t think I could have taken two losses.”
4:15 a.m.: After some slight navigational errors in Indiana, we finally pull back into our driveway. I don’t think I’m going to make it to my 10:20 tomorrow morning.
The men’s game might not have ended up like I hoped, but the experience was well worth it. A free trip to two Final Fours? I’ll take it every time… Gotta love the Madness.

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Beyond Acapulco

Only one more day of midterms, papers and the hell (I swear) professors enjoy inflicting on students, and then it’s a week of glorious and splendid freedom! Well, sort of. Depending on spring break plans, the week could hold more exciting possibilities for some than for others.
Contrary to what many may think, there can be more to spring break than drinking too many Coronas on a Mexican beach – although that can be nice. If that’s not exactly your vacation of choice, there are other options. Wendy Stahl, branch manager of STA Travel on Grand River Avenue, said more and more students in recent years are choosing Europe as their spring break destination. “People are realizing that Europe has seasonal prices, so it’s a lot cheaper to go during spring break than in the summer months when prices are three times more,” Stahl said. Hitting up two to three cities backpacker-style could cost you under $500, including airfare and lodging.
MSU also offers a great way to volunteer over the break. The Alternative Spring Break program sends students to perform necessary services in communities in need. Karen Pickard, co-chair of ASB and human biology senior, explained the program is not your typical college spring break because you’re providing a week of service alongside new people in a different environment, away from the usual tourist spots and without your best friends. This year’s locations range from helping out in a soup kitchen in Washington, D.C., and saving the rainforest in El Yunque, Puerto Rico, to working with senior citizens in Quebec. “You are doing things that you wouldn’t normally be doing,” said Pickard, who went to Queretaro, Mexico last year and is going to San Francisco next week. “You are putting yourself in an awkward position, but it usually ends up being one of the best weeks of your life.”
For some, spring break will be even less exotic. Many students will be staying in East Lansing, working or going home to save money. “I’m looking forward to relaxing at home and not focusing on school, even though it’s for a short period of time,” Gale Sullwold, education senior, said. And Kim Tomlinson’s bank account anchors her to East Lansing for the week. “I went to Florida last year,” the history junior said. “So I’m staying here and working so maybe I can go on spring break next year.” If you are sticking around campus or are short on cash, here are some ways to spice up your break:
-Go on a stellar road trip. Get spontaneous and jump in the car and see where life takes you. Chicago and Toronto are both less than five hours away and hold tons of attractions. Make it a day trip or splurge on a motel or hostel for the night. Either way, don’t forget the all-important road trip jams.
-Since we live in snowy, cold Michigan, you might as well take advantage of the frigid temperatures. A weekend ski trip provides a great getaway and sometimes resorts offer mid-week specials. Crystal Mountain, located in Thompsonville, offers a mid-week lift and lodging package for $69. Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls offers overnight accommodations and next-day lift tickets starting at $80. If you’re not looking to spend the night, Mt. Brighton is just 45 minutes away and offers a 9-5 all-area lift ticket for $27.
[ear] -Get a new piercing or tattoo. If you really can’t leave the area, you can at least pretend you’re in a crazy spring break environment and show something off to your friends. Splash of Color is only a short walk away down Grand River.
-If the thought of looking pasty compared to your very tanned and Acapulco-bound roommate depresses you, consider fake baking. Tan at your own risk in a number of East Lansing tanning salons, but remember not to overdo it. B-Tan is located on Grand River, Clearwater Spa on Linden Street and Tanning & Company on Albert Street. If you’re not going anywhere, you can at least look like you have seen the sun sometime during the week.
Whatever your spring break plans, try to relax a little from the daily grind. The long haul until May 6 can seem like an eternity.

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Surviving a Career Fair 101

The season for job searching is upon us again. Most students need summer plans, whether it’s an internship or a job, and a career fair offers the perfect opportunity to survey the possibilities. But it can be a bit overwhelming.
Imagine walking into one such fair, armed with your resumé and ready to wow any potential employers. But you’re surrounded by loads of other students dressed in suits, fighting for the same positions. Everyone is dolled up, vying to make the best impression to land a coveted internship or job. Lines of students snake through the room to the various tables or booths manned by individuals who could make or break your future (OK, so I’m exaggerating a little, but you get the point).
[suit1]How can you be unique? What can you do to leave an impression? Just relax and read on for tips on how to not only escape a career fair alive, but also on how to gain experience in the process.
You don’t go to a career fair to land an interview, Courtney Chapin, a field career consultant with the College of Arts and Letters, explained to me at the Communication Conference and Career Fair last week. It’s more about getting your resumé into the right hands and making contacts. “It’s good to build relationships and have connections,” Chapin said.
But how do you know giving your resumé to a potential employer is going to do any good, especially when it’s mixed in with the credentials of so many others? In reality, employers get just as many resumés online as they do at career fairs, Chapin said. The benefit of a fair is that you get a chance to make an impression and see the competition.
Now that we’ve covered why you should go to career fairs, here’s how to knock ‘em dead:
Do Some Homework.
You want to show employers you know about their organization. Knowledge demonstrates enthusiasm and interest, both things recruiters are looking for in a future employee.
“It’s really a lot like dating,” Chapin said. It makes no sense to go up to a stranger and say, “I want to be your boyfriend/girlfriend because I’m single,” she said. It is the same with employers. It makes no sense to approach them and want a job just because they are hiring. As with your prospective significant other, there needs to be some degree of compatibility between you and a company. Look them up, do some research and get to know the people behind the business.
Dress appropriately, usually business casual.
You want to make a good first impression. When in doubt, the Career Services and Placement Center advises dressing more professionally.
Be confident.
The CSP website advises creating an introduction for yourself that is similar to a commercial. What three qualities set you apart from the pack? What skills can you bring to the company? A short introducation can express enthusiasm and knowledge, while showing how you can be valuable to the organization.
Gary Reid, general manager of WDBM, the campus radio station The Impact, spoke on the “Everything You Wanted to Know about Internships” panel. He advised the audience to ask meaningful questions but also to talk about you. Students have been asking questions all day, so set yourself apart from everyone else by emphasizing your experience or qualities.
Be sincere and polite.
Don’t go over the top, but companies like when students show initiative.
Send a follow-up note.
Chapin says this is a key to getting your resumé noticed and something most students fail to do. The follow-up shows good manners and ensures that the employer pulls your resumé from the stack to attach the note, thereby placing you at the top of the heap.
Keep your eyes and ears open to what other students are doing.
Take mental notes of particularly good strategies.
[career] Take advantage of the resources and workshops CSP offers.
Visit their website, www.csp.msu.edu , for more information.
Students at all levels of the job search process attend career fairs. From seniors in need of concrete post-graduation plans, to underclassmen seeking real world experience via internships, to motivated freshmen getting their name out; a career fair produces a veritable army of occupation-minded students.
Erin Ceithaml, a communication senior, is graduating in May and is in the midst of her job search. “I came to the career fair to look for potential employers in the communication industry,” Ceithaml said. “I think it’s an excellent opportunity to network.”
Eileen Lee, a junior, just changed her major from journalism to advertising. She braved the career fair, “hopefully to get an internship in advertising and learn about the opportunities in the field.”
Just because you aren’t graduating for another three years and don’t need an internship yet doesn’t mean you can’t profit from a career fair.
“The best advice I can give is to go to a career fair before you have to,” Chapin said. That way, you can get a preview and will be prepared for when you do need to land a job or internship. It might not hurt to whip out that button-down shirt and your dusty portfolio to brave the masses at the next career feeding frenzy…I mean, fair.

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Get Up and Do Something

With balancing family, friends, school and work, it’s easy to get wrapped up in our own lives. I do it all the time.
For example, what did you do this Monday? I wasn’t planning on doing anything to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, until I was assigned to cover the MLK Student Leadership Conference and Resource Fair, called “Hear Our Voice: MSU Student Activism Expressing Dr. King’s Legacy.”
[chan]I’ve always been a fan of King and understand the huge impact he had on our nation and humanity. But I was just too lazy to participate in any of the multiple events MSU offered to commemorate King and his ideology. This particular leadership conference gave students a chance to learn more about the activism that King so greatly encouraged and left me feeling inspired.
The goal of the conference was to allow an outlet for discussion about the nature of King’s dream and how to continue to make his vision a reality.
Bethanie Akins, a merchandising management junior, came to the conference to be active. “I’m part of the new multicultural sorority on campus, and we wanted to do something that supported the ideals that we have,” Akins said.
Participants like Akins attended workshops about various aspects of social justice and activism, as well as a resource fair featuring clubs and organizations available at MSU. Workshop topics ranged anywhere from economic justice to the state of diversity.
Tim O’Malley, a conference volunteer, said he thinks that the conference is important because students can see the volunteer opportunities available, and the event provides an outlet for activism on campus.
One workshop highlighted a panel of student leaders on campus. These students donate their free time and energy to pursue causes that they are passionate about to change the injustices of the world. Each did it in their own way, from joining Habitat for Humanity, to devoting two years to Teach for America, to participating in cultural organizations, but they all utilized their resources and skills to help others.
“What we do is try to eliminate poverty housing in the United States,” Jeanne Chan, a supply chain management senior, said of Habitat for Humanity.
As I sat in the audience and listened to these students describe their contributions to the world, I suddenly felt very inadequate. What have I been doing with my life? It certainly hasn’t been founding Change for Change, an organization that collects loose change from college students and donates it to local charities. Or starting a multicultural fraternity to educate people and celebrate Latino and Chicano culture.
The audience and panel shared stories of what Dr. King means to them and how you are never too young to make a contribution to society. Some may feel like anything we do won’t count in the long run, but the people in the room all agreed that every little bit helps.
Your actions can still have an impact and be worthwhile because a lot of people making little changes makes a big difference, Chan said.
These amazing acts of selflessness inspired me. I’ve been too wrapped up in the drama of my own life to do anything for the good of overall humanity! But maybe I don’t have to go out and start an organization to be an activist. All I have to do is find some time to help out my fellow man and woman, which shouldn’t be too hard because of all of the volunteer opportunities here on campus. Maybe it’s time for me to stop complaining about society’s problems and actually do something about it.
Wanna help?

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Got (Homogenized) Milk?

Homogenized milk. Over 240 varieties of grains, fruits and vegetables. The most prescribed anti-cancer drugs in the U.S., Cisplatin and Carboplatin. What do these things have in common? All of these products are the agricultural invention of Michigan State University.
With more than just graduates emerging from the university, MSU has come a long way since it first opened.
In 1849, talk circulated around Michigan about starting a school to educate the children of farmers and laborers in the arts of agriculture. After six years of deliberation, Gov. Kinsley S. Bingham finally signed a bill to create an agricultural college. Thus, MSU, then known as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, became the first land grant college. It would become the “mother” of the 74 land grant universities created in the United States through the Morrill Act, which was inspired by the creation and concept of MSU.[pres]
When MSU first opened its doors in 1857, the mere 81 students actually received free tuition. Only eight faculty members were employed at the college, which provided 16 courses of study with an annual budget of $20,000. Even though the emphasis was on agriculture, other liberal arts coursework was required as well. According to The Spirit of Michigan State, a comprehensive history of MSU, it was believed that students could solve common agricultural problems with a science education, but a liberal arts education was also necessary for students to become effective and articulate citizens.
The nation’s economic depression began to hit the college in 1895 and a crisis of faculty loss and public complaint ensued. A special committee was formed in the same year to examine problems within the college. The committee discovered that attendance was low because interest in agricultural education was not growing. Farmers were pushing their children into other professions in response to the depression’s negative affect on farming life. More and more people were moving to cities and interest in mechanics and engineering increased.
As a result of the committee’s findings, program options expanded, a women’s curriculum was developed and advertising for the college increased. Between 1901 and 1911, the college expanded to 30 departments, instead of the original four to six. These departments included one of the nation’s first forestry programs and schools of hotel administration, veterinary science, education, business administration and police administration. In 1909, Michigan Agricultural College (MAC) became the official name of the institution. 1911 was the first year that more than 100 students graduated.
MAC was on the map as a regional college in the state of Michigan and competing with the state’s other academic institutions for attendance. The end of World War II spurred Michigan State (which had become the Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science in 1925) into a major institute of higher education. The returning war veterans were entitled to a college scholarship from the government via the GI Bill. Many chose to take advantage of the educational opportunity. Enrollment soared to two and a half times what it had been the previous year and 1946 saw 13,282 students attend MSC.
Academic programs and buildings grew to accommodate the swelling number of students. MSC, which officially became Michigan State University in 1955, became a prominent academic institution. In 1969, 40,000 plus people enrolled for the first time, an attendance trend that has continued since then in all but one year.
Now, MSU students are offered 278 different majors in 15 colleges. We have grown from a small agricultural college to an internationally respected university. According to The Spirit of Michigan State, one of every 131 college graduates in the U.S. graduated from MSU.
Our agricultural roots are still evident, especially through MSU’s contributions to the nation’s agricultural development throughout the years. MSU is responsible for developing the first hybrid corn, creating the Michigan sugar beet industry, making Michigan the top producer of blueberries and increasing wheat production by 50 percent with the introduction of two new varieties. MSU research has also yielded the invention of homogenized milk, and many disease eradication and crop protection methods, like the 2 4-d herbicide that kills weeds but not grass.
J. Bruce McCristal, the author of The Spirit of Michigan State, said that MSU was key in democratizing higher education because it opened its doors to everyone. MSU was the first college in Michigan to admit women in 1870, and the first major university in the country to elect an African-American president. Despite its major growth and expansion, McCristal said that MSU is still known for its outreach and research principles highlighted at the founding of the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan in 1855.
“Every man who acquires the information attainable in a college like ours should become a perpetual teacher and example in his vicinity,” Joseph Willams, the first president of the college once said. Williams also said that “the institution should be good enough for the proudest, and cheap enough for the poorest.” And so MSU today shares its research and findings to help the rest of the world, and attempts to make higher education available to as many as possible.
McCristal, a 1954 graduate, has his own ideas about why MSU has thrived for 150 years. “I would say it is the culture of acceptance and friendship on this campus by faculty, students and staff. We are an elite institution that is non-elitist,” he said. “It’s our people that make it great.”

*factual information obtained from McCristal’s The Spirit of Michigan State

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Be a Part of History

Remember that paper you wrote for history class? You know, the one you worked your ass off writing and the hard work paid off with a good grade, but now the paper sits in a stack of old work in the bottom drawer of your desk. Well, you have the opportunity to see that work published in an academic journal strictly for undergraduates by entering the Michigan State University Undergraduate Historian.
The Historian is the brain-child of the History Association of Michigan State, better known as HAMS. The journal will be a collection of 10-15 student works to be published in early April 2005.
“The vast majority of history material published at universities of course comes from professionals,” said Nate Cummings, the editor-in-chief of the Historian. “And this journal is something that will give non-professionals a chance to get their work out there and read.”
Undergraduate history journals are not common at universities. “I can not stress the uniqueness of an undergraduate history journal,” HAMS president Jeff Kersten said. “[The rarity of it] makes this journal a trendsetter and thus unique and important. Potentially the MSU Undergraduate Historian could stimulate broadly increase interest in history, plus it could attract a larger pool of passionate students that will serve as tomorrow’s historians.”
The benefits to getting published as an undergraduate are huge. It looks great on all resumes, especially if you are applying to grad school. Interested students should submit their papers to 301 Morrill Hall by Dec. 10, 2004. There will also be a spring submission deadline on Feb. 10, 2005, but students are strongly recommended to submit early. Essays need to be double-spaced and in 12 point Times New Roman. A paper copy of the essay and a digital copy in disk form are necessary, in addition to a submission form which can be downloaded from the journal’s website, www.h-a-m-s.com/journal. There is no limit to the amount of papers you can submit; and the submission does not have to be an essay. A book review, an interview with a historian, or anything related to history is acceptable.
Once turned in, the papers will be reviewed by a group of peer editors and a board of editors. The board of editors, in addition to the editor-in-chief, will determine which quality papers will be published. Those papers will then be given to faculty members for review and then go back to the writer for revisions.
The cooperation between the students and faculty will continue to make MSU a better learning environment. The process of publication will bring faculty and students together as they work side-by-side. “We think it is something that will bring a greater sense of community to the history department,” Cummings said. “Like most other departments at MSU, there is often too great of a separation between professors and undergraduate students. This isn’t the fault of the professors or of the students either. But we think that by allowing students and professors to work together on a collective project, this journal will help bridge this small divide.”
I can speak from personal experience when I say that one of the defining things about this journal is the dedication of its members. As a member of the board of editors, I have seen how passionate these people are about making this work for the good of MSU and HAMS. All involved are committed to making this project work.
Vast amounts of hard work have already gone into the development portion of the journal. “A lot of hours have gone into researching how a journal is edited and put together,” Kersten said. Another task was establishing a staff to work on the project and develop the technical process. The staff organized and outlined the itinerary for the journal. The major challenge to overcome in order for the journal to succeed was funding, Cummings said. Fortunately, the History Department faculty has pledged full support to the project. The department is granting HAMS the money to publish the journal, which is a very generous donation. “Publishing is not a cheap business, and we were pretty worried that we wouldn’t have enough money to publish an appropriate number of journals,” he said. “But the journal staff is a great group of hard workers and deep thinkers, and we never gave up on the project.” Kersten said the next challenge the Historian faces is getting the word out. E-mails have been sent and presentations will be made to classes as the first deadline comes closer.
Hoping the word will get out and the journal will be a success, Cummings wants to see the Historian become a permanent yearly activity for HAMS and history students. “I want to give something back to an organization that’s been such an important part of my life here at MSU,” he said. “It is also important to me because, as a history major, I feel a desire to make some sort of contribution to the history department before I graduate.”
HAMS is a relatively young organization as it was created in 2002. Many of the students who founded it, like Cummings and Kersten, are still involved in the association and have a strong desire to see the journal become a success for HAMS. “This is important for HAMS because it leaves a wonderful legacy and tradition that HAMS members can be proud of, as well as lays the foundation for future HAMS endeavors,” Kersten said.
In addition to the Historian, HAMS also has a variety of other activities. The organization sponsors faculty member lectures, plans field trips, graduate school panels, round table discussions, and social activities. Upcoming events include a lecture from Dr. Rosentretter on Nov. 30 about Michigan History Magazine and a HAMS field trip to Meridian Historical Village on Nov. 20. You do not have to be a history major to participate in HAMS or the Historian.
Digging up that old history paper that you’re still proud of and submitting it to the Historian isn’t too bad an idea. You just might get published, and as an undergraduate student, that’s quite an honor. You could be a part of something that “will display the talent and hard work of many of its undergraduate students,” Cummings said. “MSU is known nationally for its great undergraduate programs, and this journal will contribute to that reputation by demonstrating the academic excellence of its student body.”

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Help Wanted

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question kids hear their whole lives, but the scary thing is that soon students at MSU will be “grown up,” then it’s on to the “real world,” which inevitably means having to get a real job.[it]
Your job can be your life’s passion, or some boring 9-5. To avoid the fate of Peter Gibbons (the cubicle slave from Office Space, in case you forgot), the key is determining what you really want to do with the rest of your life. Easier said than done, right? Luckily, MSU students are fortunate enough to be on a campus that contains a Career Services and Placement (CSP) program. In terms of career services, “MSU is about as well-equipped as any place in the country,” Executive Director Kelley Bishop said.
Career Services and Placement encompasses a vast amount of assistance, from career advising to help landing a job. The goal of the CSP is to aid students in making the best possible first step out of college, Bishop said. CSP will help you get directed to things you want to do, then do everything possible to help you achieve it. “We help students make sense of their educational experience and leverage that into something that is meaningful to them,” Bishop said.
If a student isn’t sure what to follow, the CSP can help in finding careers that relate to the student’s interests. There is career exploration available in several forms, including self-assessment tests to determine what type of job suits you, a career class, resources to research professions and assistance in finding career- related experience. “This is about deciding what you want to do and pursuing it,” Bishop said.
Lesley Galarneau was a no-preference student for her first two years at MSU. She didn’t know what she wanted to major in, much less what kind of job she wanted in the future. Now she is a hospitality business junior who wants to go into event planning – a decision, she said, CSP helped her reach
The services don’t stop there, although some may say setting concrete goals is the hardest, yet most important, step in the process. CSP also have the resources to help you prepare for your job search and secure a job. Staff can assist with resume writing, how to write a cover letter, mock interviews, salary negotiation advice and job search strategies, to name a few. In addition, skills workshops and employer panels are available to students.
CSP also promotes networking opportunities for students by bringing employers to campus in the form of career fairs and interviews. Services are on hand to find internships that will help students prepare for their chosen professions. Furthermore, CSP provides help to students seeking a grad school and tips on how to maximize applications and the chance of acceptance.
CSP is a service that you won’t find anywhere for free once you leave college and is something that many graduated students realize they need, Bishop said. The good thing is that you have access to CSP now and for one year after you graduate. For more information about the Career Services and Placement or to schedule an advising appointment, visit http://www.csp.msu.edu .

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Getting Beyond Race

The Multi-Racial Unity Living Experience (MRULE) program has changed Amy Yousif’s life. “It’s helped me realize who I am and who I want to be,” the education junior said.[family]
Yousif is a student leader in MRULE, a program designed to promote positive race relations by increasing knowledge and understanding among students. The idea behind MRULE is that students from all different backgrounds can come together through discussion and friendship to create multiracial unity.
“Our point in MRULE is for people to realize we are one race,” Yousif said. “There is a social construct of race, but we can all learn and work together because we are all human beings.”
Yousif said that people tend to hang out with people they know, and often they are of the same race. So, this is where MRULE comes in. One of the main aspects of the program is a weekly round table discussion held in South Complex, East Complex and the Brody Complex. Here, a variety of taboo topics are discussed from the perspective of students who come from different backgrounds in a non-judgmental setting, advertising senior Jenny Davis said. Issues include things that might not be discussed in classes, such as interracial dating, affirmative action and white privilege.
“The discussions we have are sometimes heated and calm or sometimes heated and passionate,” said Davis, a resident mentor in her first year with MRULE. “But it is always happening with an open mind from all participants to see how people are based on character, not on their skin color or background.”
Another important component of MRULE is the involvement in community service and community activism. One of the group’s goals is to help make the world a better place by being agents of social change. Ideas about change are talked about at the discussion forums, and then the members go out and put their ideas in action.
[race]Recently, the group raked leaves and volunteered for Into the Streets, a student community service organization. Although non-partisan, MRULE has also been involved with encouraging informed voter participation. The group held their own political debates to let students learn more about the issues and the importance of voting.
The final piece of MRULE is community building, and is what Yousif considers most important. This is where the members really come together as a unit. Social activities are vital to member bonding and include pizza parties, a bowling outing or weekend trips to Toronto, Canada, to follow the path of the Underground Railroad. “We build a family,” Yousif said. “It’s an intimate setting where you learn with these people and begin understanding them.”
MRULE began at MSU as part of the 1995 Multi-Racial Unity project developed by Dr. Jeanne Gazel and Dr. Richard Thomas. The purpose of the project was to create a more inclusive and diverse campus through various programs. The residence hall program was the most successful, current MRULE director Gazel said, because it could get students involved for four years, instead of just in one semester of class.
Thus, in 1996 MRULE began. Originally faculty members ran the program, but it has become increasingly student-directed as it has grown larger over the years. Gazel estimates that about 1,000 students have been involved in the program since its conception. Presently, eight student leaders, three of whom are live-in residence hall representatives, play a large role in the administration of MRULE. They run the weekly discussion forums, as well as meeting and planning extensively with Gazel in order to accurately inform their members.
It is important to challenge your beliefs during your formative college years, Gazel said, and MRULE provides the opportunity to do that through interaction with diverse groups about relevant social issues. “If you don’t do that, you sort of miss the greatest benefits of being on a university campus,” Gazel said.
No-preference sophomore Hassan Malouf joined MRULE as a freshman because he wanted to meet people and he believed in the idea of MRULE. Malouf thinks MRULE is essential because it helps people get to know each other and promotes understanding between those who may not have talked to each other under normal circumstances. “It destroys prejudice,” Malouf said, and it also “dispels a lot of ignorance.”
Yousif also believes in the importance of interaction between people. Her favorite part of MRULE is meeting new people and hearing their stories. “I’ve learned so much,” Yousif said. “It’s an inspiration to me to be around people who are making choices in their lives to better the world around them and themselves.”
MRULE is open to students of all ages, races and religions on campus. Round table discussions are held in the Wonders Kiva on Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m., C131 Hubbard on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. and in Brody’s Multi-Purpose Room C on Mondays at 7 p.m. For more information on MRULE, visit their website at http://www.msu.edu/~mrule.

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