Building a University

[breslin] As students, walking quickly through campus every day, trying to be on time for this class or that appointment, it\’s often too easy to ignore the names on many of the buildings we pass. But a lot of these names, mounted in bold letters on brick, carry the memory of an individual\’s accomplishments. In its history of more than 150 years, MSU has been graced with a number of influential people, who once walked the streets of East Lansing like so many of us have, both as students and leaders. We know these names based on their corresponding buildings, categorized by cross-street or labeled clearly on a map, or from extensive media coverage. These men – Jack Breslin, Jud Heathcote and John A. Hannah – are a select group of Spartans who have shaped MSU and its sports program into what it is today.
Breslin
MSU is nationally known for its rich basketball tradition. From the days of Earvin \”Magic\” Johnson to Mateen Cleaves, hoops has often been the focus of MSU athletics. With this spotlight comes the necessity for superior facilities, including the Jack Breslin Student Events Center. As an MSU student, Jack Breslin juggled academics with his uncommon and challenging role in the athletics realm as a three-sport athlete. Breslin earned letters in football, basketball and baseball, and also served as a captain of both the football and baseball team. Breslin had a distinguished 38-year administrative career at MSU, and he was one of the first to suggest the creation of a multi-purpose student facility; this facility was completed in the summer of 1986 and given his name. The arena can sit more than 16,000 people and features the Izzone, arguably one of the loudest student sections of the college basketball scene.
\”You get a indescribable feeling when you walk into the Breslin Center and see so many students going crazy for their basketball team,\” psychology sophomore Ashley Herbst said. \”The arena that Mr. Breslin created is like a home to an entire MSU community who comes to cheer with you through the good and the bad. I don\’t think there is a better feeling in the world than when I walk into the Breslin Center for a basketball game.\”
[jud]The Breslin Center has also played host to a series of great basketball teams, led by equally revered coaches. While head coach Tom Izzo has been running the ranks for the past 12 years, he learned some of his techniques and approaches to the game from one of the most successful coaches in college basketball history, Jud Heathcote.
Heathcote
Heathcote was a head coach for 24 seasons, including five at the University of Montana. Heathcote is most well-recognized for coaching the 1979 national championship Spartan team, led by Magic Johnson. After that, MSU was officially on the college basketball map; it has remained that way today because of the precedent set by Heathcote. His track record at MSU consists of 340 wins – he is the school\’s all-time leader in number of victories. Heathcote was voted Big Ten Coach of the Year twice, has won three Big Ten championships and one national championship. However, these statistics do not completely give credit to Heathcote as an influential Spartan; they simply add fuel to the idea that he has shaped the program into what it stands for today.
\”Jud pretty much symbolizes MSU basketball and everything that started our program out on the right path is because of him,\” human resources junior John Merrill said. \”Izzo is the man, but it\’s because of Jud that MSU was and currently is a college basketball powerhouse. Because of him, we have a program that all of us students can be proud of and brag about to our friends at other schools.\”
Hannah
[john]There are a select few MSU alumni who can say they have a building named after them at their former university. However, there are even fewer who claim a building and a previous term as university president. As the 12th person in this role, John A. Hannah served as MSU\’s president for 28 years and played a huge role in the expansion – which is still going – of MSU\’s student body. During his tenure as president, the university grew from just more than 6,000 students to a population of nearly 40,000. The academic curriculum was updated, and a number of programs were added to the course offerings, including a medical and international program. Hannah is also responsible for the creation of the Spartan Roundtable, a place where students could express their feelings and concerns about their school. Hannah would listen to student and faculty complaints and concerns and do what he could to address them in a direct manner.
The letters \”MSC\” are written on a giant smoke stack that overlooks Spartan Stadium. Those letters stand for \”Michigan State College,\” which is all MSU was before the arrival of Hannah – a college. Hannah fought hard during his reign as president to convince the Big Ten Conference to recognize Michigan State College as a member, and in 1955, \”MSC\” transformed to MSU. The Hannah Administration building was built and named in honor of Hannah\’s hard work and dedication to the university.
\”He\’s the guy that really got this university to what it is today,\” MSU historian Michael Unsworth said. \”The man specialized in poultry and yet because of him, Michigan State grew rapidly during his presidency.\”
[hannah]Hannah also was responsible for the growth of big-time intercollegiate athletics at MSU. He was appointed to MSU\’s Board of Agriculture in 1935, and he helped plan the construction and expansion of many athletic facilities. The football stadium was enlarged to 29,000 seats, a baseball practice field was created and Jenison Field House was constructed. According to Unsworth, Hannah was responsible for the establishment of athletic scholarships at MSU. The money for these scholarships was provided in honor of the great Fred Jenison and covered tuition, books and room and board. Athletes were required to maintain a \’C\’ average in classes in order to keep their scholarship offer. This idea brought a number of highly talented athletes to MSU, knowing they could play top-level athletics and have their education paid for.
\”It\’s fascinating to know that one person was single-handedly responsible for so many great places and sports here at MSU,\” international relations junior Brien Baumgartner said. \”I can appreciate places like Jenison Field House a lot more now that I know its history and who was responsible for creating such a renowned building.\”
[smoke] Under the ranks of Hannah, MSU established itself as a university with the rapid growth of the student body. However, he was not alone in shaping MSU. Without Breslin\’s contributions, and perseverance, he would not have earned the nickname \”Mr. MSU,\” and the eye-catching basketball facility would not exist in Breslin\’s name. The reason so many MSU students fill these seats is because of MSU\’s basketball tradition, which started with Heathcote\’s coaching practices. Heathcote brought a winning style of basketball to East Lansing, which has carried today. Take pride in the campus – you can bet anything these three men did.

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If Every Team Could Fail Like This

[sunset]Disappointment: that\’s quite a heavy word to describe a sports team. But this kind of basketball team might not warrant the harsh label. We\’re talking about a team that consisted of 10 scholarship players, not one of which was a senior. A team that only returned one starter and saw three players from last year\’s squad move onto the NBA. A team that set a goal at the beginning of the season just to qualify for the NCAA tournament, \”the Big Dance,\” and made it there, as a No. 9 seed.
Despite an 8-8 record in Big Ten conference play, MSU\’s men\’s basketball team exceeded expectations on the court. The team had a great run until the season came to an end, with a loss to North Carolina in the second round of the NCAA tournament. As is true every year, some people will complain the Spartans failed to measure up to high standards. Because MSU is known for its rich basketball tradition, many consider this season to be a disappointment. But I\’m taking another approach.
If this team was ranked in the top 10 in the preseason polls and did not qualify for the NCAA tournament, then such criticism would be understandable. If this team had players who flunked out of school, got in trouble with the law or got suspended for fighting, then \”disappointment\” would be an appropriate label. But the Spartans came into this season unranked for the first time in nine years, and off the court, the team represented MSU in a positive and respectful manner. Perhaps this team didn\’t live up to the high expectations set every year for MSU basketball. But maybe those high expectations were the problem.
\”Overall, I think not being ranked high in the preseason can help a team,\” history sophomore Jeff Pinkston said. \”If MSU were ranked high at any point this season, then being a No. 9 seed in the tournament would probably be viewed as being a disappointment by most and could negatively affect their mindset heading into the tournament.\”
According to MSU Sports Information director Matt Larson, the last time the men\’s basketball team started a season unranked was the 1997-98 season – that year, the team also ended their season with a loss to UNC in the NCAA tournament. \”Since then, the last time I can think of that we weren\’t predicted to finish that high was the 2002 season,\” Larson said. \”However, we were still ranked in the preseason polls because people figured, \’Hey, it\’s Michigan State, they have to be good.\’\” That motto has stuck with the MSU basketball program to this day and probably will for years to come.
[hooping] During the 2006-07 season, the Spartans had a number of huge wins. One of the biggest victories of the season was the Nov. 16 match-up with Texas, who touted arguably one of the best players in the country, freshman Kevin Durant. In that game, junior Drew Neitzel hit the winning shot as time expired, and MSU was on the national radar.
In the two weeks after that big win, MSU lost two crucial games to Maryland and Boston College. After that, MSU dropped out of the college basketball national rankings and the word \”disappointment\” was heard across campus. The team had their chance to establish themselves amongst the top of college basketball\’s elite and they \”couldn\’t get it done.\”
Nearing the end of Big Ten play, the team played one of their most inspired games of the season, beating the No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers at the Breslin Center. After the win, the MSU faithful rushed the court in one of the most memorable moments since the 2000 championship run. The Spartans were again back on the good side of fans, but it wouldn\’t last for long. A week later, the Spartans fell to their arch rivals, U-M, and the word disappointment filled the air yet again. A loss to Wisconsin capped off the regular season, and the Spartans were given a No. 9 seed in the NCAA tournament – a seeding many fans were not accustomed to seeing.
\”It was a goal of ours to make the tournament at the beginning of the year,\” said head coach Tom Izzo during a press conference following the tournament selection show. \”It was kind of a long-range goal at the time, and through the adversity of the injuries and the illness, and then the strength of that schedule, I think this team probably accomplished as much to get in as some have accomplished to get to the Final Four [one of the highest rounds of the tournament].\” Those are some big words from a man who certainly knows a little something about winning. During his reign as head coach, the Spartans have won a national championship and qualified for four Final Fours. Izzo might be referring to the team\’s play on the court, but it is what has been accomplished in other aspects that add to this team\’s significance.
[hoop]Although athletic performance and grades are not typically associated, one must look beyond this team\’s performance on the hardwood into the classroom. Izzo\’s team earned a high collective grade point average, especially when compared to past athletic teams at this university. \”If the 2007 NCAA men\’s basketball tournament were based on the graduation rates of the 65 participants, MSU would make it to the championship game, losing to Holy Cross,\” University Relations spokesman Terry Denbow said.
In past years, MSU has lost a number of players to the thrill and promise of an NBA career. Names like Marcus Taylor and Erzam Lorbek bring a foul taste to the mouths of many MSU faithful. While Taylor and Lorbek now struggle to find a place in the career of basketball, the players of this year\’s team have vowed to come back next year and reach the goals that MSU fans have been waiting for since the 2000 season.
\”The ultimate goal is always to win a national championship,\” human resource management junior Brad Jaffe said. \”People will always set high standards for this university because of our successful past.\”
So this off-season, as some Spartan fans grieve over the season that could have been, think more about the season that was. This season, the team entered the year unranked, beat the No. 1 team in the nation and a squad with one of the premier players in the nation. Remember the team that fought adversity and battled its way into the NCAA tournament, almost upsetting No. 1 seed UNC. Most importantly, remember the team who made staying out of trouble and getting good grades a top priority.
Good kids, good students and the hardest of workers: these words more aptly describe the men\’s basketball team than \”disappointment.\” Their dedication both on and off the court speaks volumes to the present team members and future of this program. Before tagging the D-word on this year\’s basketball team, think about it for a minute. It might be more fair to remember this team not for how they fell, but for how they rose.

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Star Athletes

Starting for the Spartans, a 6’4” forward from Cody, WY: Jacob Hannon!
[bball]This is a phrase that Spartan fans might not have the opportunity to hear before Hannon’s graduation in May. Hannon joined the MSU men’s basketball team during his junior year as a walk-on player – he is not receiving an athletic scholarship to play sports. However, Hannon, a human biology major, is considered to be a scholarship student at MSU: in academics, not athletics. Like many other collegiate athletes, he plans to pursue a career outside of the sport that has consumed so much of his college experience. When Hannon is not on the basketball court, he is hitting the books and working toward a future career in optometry.
A massive amount of pressure is put on college athletes in today’s sports world; perhaps the most pressure is placed on an athlete’s ability to live up to expectation. With high expectations comes the influence of media attention as well. College athletes are hailed for their talent, but as soon as a slump hits, the negative attention begins. Athletes are expected to hold it together on the field and in the classroom, and this attention is magnified when an athlete has professional potential. But what about those players who do not receive constant media attention? What about those players who aren’t bombarded by reporters asking when they are entering the pros or what shoe company they plan to endorse? According to Hannon, the lack of media attention has never bothered him because his mind has been made up since the start of college he was not going to pursue a professional basketball career.
“I thought I was going to play basketball after college until I got an academic scholarship offer from Michigan State,” Hannon said. “When that happened, I decided to forego my thoughts of playing basketball after college, and making the team at MSU became more of a personal goal to me.”
[running]According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, there are more than 380,000 college student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities around the U.S. The slogan from the NCAA commercials, about “going pro in something other than sports,” certainly rings true, because it would be almost impossible for this number of athletes to enter the pros every year. College athletics can often be used as a tool to develop skills that can be utilized in career fields outside of sports. While some athletes are focused on showing off their skills on the court or field, others are more concerned with showing off their skills in the classroom: Hannon is on schedule to graduate from MSU with honors. However, Hannon is not the only Spartan senior athlete who is hanging up the shoes and moving on to a career path outside of sports.
The oval track and the hilly terrain are both very familiar to Sarah McCormack, a senior runner for the track and cross country teams at MSU. She completed her biochemistry degree last spring and hopes to complete her zoology major by December 2007. McCormack has intentions to travel outside the country after college graduation, and she hopes to pursue a master’s degree and Ph.D. Despite these plans, McCormack made a personal vow to never forget the training and conditioning she learned from collegiate running. “Regardless on what I do for a career after college, I want to keep running for the rest of my life,” McCormack said. “I have learned a lot about running from being on the team, so I know what it takes if I want to stay in shape down the road.”
Partaking in a broader sport, like track or cross country, allows for more opportunities after college than a focused sport, like basketball. Previous collegiate or even high school level runners will often participate in city marathons and other running events. McCormack found a new love for running after being a member of the teams at MSU, which was a surprise to her. “I always knew I’d keep running, but I kind of shocked myself by trying out for the team at MSU in the first place,” McCormack said. “Being a part of the track and cross country teams taught me a lot and will help with whatever I do in life as far as a career path goes.”
It is obvious college athletics takes an extreme amount of dedication. Many students struggle with keeping up their grades in the classroom, and adding cross-country travel for sporting events to that task creates a difficult mix for student-athletes. Any student who chooses to take on that job must really love their sport, so how are athletes able to give it up to pursue a career unrelated to sports?
“I’m sure I will continue to play basketball for fun after I’m done playing in college,” Hannon said. “I have played with guys who are in the NBA now, and those are the select few who are good enough and deserve the attention at the next level.”
[athletic]Former MSU women’s basketball coach Karen Langeland had the opportunity to coach a player who was good enough to play on that next level. Kristen Rasmussen was a women’s basketball player for MSU from 1996-2000 before she was drafted into the WNBA; she is currently playing for the Connecticut Sun. According to Langeland, her former star did receive a good amount of media attention but it did not seem to affect the rest of the team. Local media was responsible for the majority of the attention because Rasmussen attended Okemos High School before coming to MSU.
“It was hard to tell if Kristen received the majority of her media attention because she was really good or because she was just a local athlete,” Langeland said. “The team didn’t seem to have any problems with the attention Kristen received because they knew she was a good player.”
This additional attention rests on the few athletes who go on to the professional level and often overlooks the accomplishments of student-athletes who will not continue in the big leagues. Victoria Iakounia is a microbiology and molecular genetics senior and member of the gymnastics team. Iakounia is in the process of applying to medical schools and hopes to pursue a medical degree. Unlike Hannon and McCormack, Iakounia does not have any teammates who plan to continue playing their sport at the professional level. Just being able to compete at the collegiate level was a goal of Iakounia\’s from a young age. “In high school, I always trained hard with the goal of competing in college,” Iakounia said. “Collegiate athletics is a strong commitment and a lot of work, but a very rewarding experience.”
Iakounia speaks the same words so many collegiate athletes will admit while playing sports: it was a very “rewarding experience.” The majority of college athletes do not play sports in order to show off skills to professional scouts in hopes of being selected by a professional team. Like Iakounia, the majority of collegiate athletes play their sport for the experience: the experience of meeting new people, competing against other universities and, just like the student body, learning lessons for when they enter the real world.
Although numerous MSU athletes will not be playing their respected sport after this year, many admit they would not trade the experience of college athletics for anything. “I chose Michigan State because I wanted to experience new things,” said Hannon. Over the course of his time with the team, it can certainly be said Hannon has experienced his fair share of incredible athletic moments. He has been a member of an NCAA Tournament qualifying team, played with current and future NBA players and, just last month, beaten No. 1 ranked Wisconsin at the Breslin Center and witnessed the crowd storm the court.
So this year, athletes like Hannon, McCormack and Iakonia will continue to work hard in their respected sports and at some time in the next three months, each of their college chapters will come to an end. They will be sporting their green and white uniforms and competing for MSU for the last time. Whether it is taking a final shot, landing a final routine or crossing the finish line for the last time, the collegiate careers of these athletes will come to an end. But the end of their athletic careers will be the beginning of something much bigger.

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Grand Shopping

[gr]Holiday shopping can be enjoyable or disastrous, a time to get out of the house and admire the gifts you\’d like for yourself, or a time of aggravating long lines and unwanted stress. Whatever it may be, the closer the holiday season is, the more hectic stores become. Retail stores traditionally experience a gift rush, stemming from the day-after-Thanksgiving sales and stretching right up until 10 minutes before the holiday family party. But do the shops on the Grand River strip experience the same crowds of holiday shoppers? With the majority of clientele falling in the category of students, final exams and packing up to trek home for the holidays might be a greater concern than picking up a sweater for Dad and an iPod case for Sister.
[moose]At MSU, not all students have a car to drive to the closest mall to do their holiday shopping. Therefore, the owners of local shops in the East Lansing area do whatever they can to get the business of students, as well as locals, during the holidays. Welcome Week is the busiest time of the year for these stores along Grand River; students are just coming back from vacation, ready to spend their summer savings or at least make a dent in their book list. But after the first week of school, business gradually dies down for these shops, that is, until the holiday season.
According to Mark Heinrich, assistant manager at Moosejaw, business really picks up again in November and stays busy until students go home for winter break in mid-December. “Sales get really popular here during the winter and Christmas time, especially because we sell a lot of winter clothes and jackets,” Heinrich said. “The students crowd in here until they go home for break and lots of parents continue to shop right up until Christmas day. Even people from the western side of the state shop here during the holidays: they’re all after the highly-coveted Moosejaw shirts we sell.” [bookstore]
English and education sophomore Melissa Benoit has scoured Grand River shops for holiday gifts, in an effort to buy presents with an East Lansing feel. Like many other MSU students, Benoit often is swayed by different holiday promotions. “Most of my family are U-M fans, so I try to get them to switch it up by buying them MSU stuff for gifts,” Benoit said.
The holiday shopping money of students doesn’t just fall into the hands of local store owners: they have to work to get the attention of shoppers and motivate them to come out in the cold to their shops. Melissa Mina has held the manager position at Campus Corner, at Division Street and Grand River, for four years. The store is known for custom embroidering on T-shirts and sweatshirts. According to Mina, most of the store’s business comes during the start of football season and during Christmas time. To encourage students to spend their cash during the holidays, the store puts on special sales and promotions. “After Welcome Week, our store becomes pretty dead until we start our ‘two-for’ deals during the holidays,” Mina said. While Campus Corner does see more students around the holidays, Mina said many students are too busy preparing for winter break to shop.
[poster]Instead of creating sales with existing merchandise, some East Lansing shops, including Beyond the Wall, bring in new merchandise and set huge discounts on all of their old products in hopes of getting rid of them. Assistant manager Neil Iskra said the reason his store survives is its location, at M.A.C. and Grand River. The holidays are one of the busiest times of the year, and the staff works to promote reasonably priced items. “Business is higher now than it has been since school started,” Iskra said. “We are in the process of cleaning up for all of our holiday merchandise, and we put on some amazing sales on what we have left around the store. We’re on a strip with so many popular stores, so a lot of students and local residents stop in to check out what we have on sale.”
[wish]Once stores attract students, many students adapt thrifty techniques to keep spending to a minimum. The holiday promotions make shopping easy for those students who want to be finished with the whole process before going home. “I usually have a set price range for each person I am shopping for, so if any of the stores have great deals going on and there is something that catches my eye, I’ll get it,” Benoit said.
Some students will use their cash obtained from selling back textbooks as part of their holiday budgets, including journalism junior Andrew Mouranie. “I go to the bookstore and sell all my books back, and then use that cash to do a good amount of my holiday shopping,” Mouranie said. “That way I get most of it out of the way, plus stores like Moosejaw and Steve & Barry’s are really popular stores and have some great sales right before break starts.”
Some young shoppers take advantage of the local sales and the absence of their peers in the shopping arena. Instead of rushing around hometown malls with the rest of the population a few days before the start of the holiday season, all searching for that elusive perfect gift, smart buyers work to finish shopping before packing up and heading home. [sale]“I try to pick out the best deals possible right before I go home so I can be stress-free for the holidays,” Mouranie said. “One thing is for sure: the stores on Grand [River] sure beat any deal you will ever find shopping at the mall. That’s a guarantee.”
On the other hand, many college students are best known for their procrastination abilities, and mid-December may be too early for students to think about starting the daunting shopping task. With the end of the semester approaching, some students do not have time to morph into holiday-shopper mode. Business junior Eric Sweidan is focused on his finals before the semester break and opts to do his shopping at a later time and away from East Lansing. “Before break, I’m generally studying for finals and don’t really think about going shopping until a few days before Christmas,” Sweidan said. “I like the mall at home better and generally find some good gifts there, so I stick with that system.”
It seems like the holidays start earlier every year, and with the gaudy tinsel decorations and gargantuan Christmas trees at the malls comes sales and promotions at stores eager for business from the annual gift rush. Even with limited incomes and possible procrastination tendencies, stores are after the money of students and depend on the camaraderie from the college town to pull in profits. Although some students choose to head home for holiday shopping, others opt for the offerings of the Grand River strip. Now, where are those newspaper advertisements?

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Dear Lou Anna

Dear Lou Anna,
[fence]This fall at MSU, the temperature and the color of the leaves aren’t the only things changing. Although the new school year is well underway and students are all settled into their living situations, the construction on the Snyder/Phillips dormitory is far from complete. The university has commissioned outside workers and indirectly asked for the patience of students and faculty during the renovations of the dilapidated dorms. With the growth of MSU’s campus comes a need to update the university due to extensive student use and abuse, and the resulting large chain link fences, orange signs and a soundtrack of crashes and clangs accompanying this construction are hard to miss.
In the northeastern part of campus, the familiar cluster of dormitories has been uprooted, and Snyder/Phillips hall will stay closed for the remainder of this academic year. The current renovations include making room for an innovative dining service venue. A three-story dining structure will be built: it will include a main floor dining area opening to a second floor gallery and four other conference rooms with room for up to 25 students each. Renovations of the dormitories, including the dining service, began in May and are projected to be completed and ready for occupants in August 2007. This new dining setup should serve as a model for the other dormitories; it will encourage more students to purchase meal tickets, which will then bring in money for the university. Dorm food has a traditionally bad reputation, and this new dining area will entice eaters to come try it. Although the same basic foods will be served, this is a clever ploy that just might work.
For this project, the MSU Board of Trustees appointed Christman Co. as the main construction manager for the renovation project. Christman Co. is working along with Superior Electric of Lansing, T.H. Eifert Plumbing and Heating and others to ensure the quality of the project. To give these companies necessary work space, pedestrians and rushed drivers have to divert their routes around the large project, leading to increased traffic on other campus paths. And, L.A., even you know that the traffic on campus is one thing that shouldn’t become more congested. Despite these inconveniences on the roads and newly-paved bike paths, the finished project will bring a duo of dorms that are necessarily updated and ready for residents next fall.
[blocker]Business sophomore Julie Moss has to put up with the construction on a daily basis as a resident of Cedar Village apartments. The complex, located off Bogue Street, is directly across the street from the origin of the pounding and hammering that comes with a construction site. Students who live close by are often wakened by the noise or have to take unfamiliar routes to class to accommodate the work. However, many realize it is all for a good and worthy cause.
“The noise occasionally wakes me up, but I think that’s really because I am a light sleeper,” Moss said. “I have to take some weird routes to class, but when I walk by and see all that construction going on, I would think it would be a lot louder then it really is. I’m sure the new stuff being put in will look great and it’s all worth it.”
Christman and the co-companies are rising with the sun and staying until mid-evening to make sure the project is completed on time, with most staying 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. That might sound like a lot of hours, but these dorms need improvements quickly to make sure MSU provides its students with the best living situations possible.
“I can tell you that we are averaging approximately 140 trades people on each site day, and they are working hard six days a week,” said Pete Kramer, vice president of Christman Co. “The project is scheduled to be completed in two huge phases and we’re more then excited for these renovations to be completed.”
[other] Snyder/Phillips will be the third residence hall at MSU to be renovated within the past 10 years. The Mason/Abbot complex was modernized in August 1997 and Shaw Hall in August 2002. The residence hall maintenance needs were identified through a complete facility assessment that was done for all University housing. With the many, many campus buildings, a procedure like this is necessary to ensure roofs don’t cave in during a chemistry lab or pipes don’t burst while an economics professor is mumbling about free trade. In addition to the updated dining area, the Snyder/Phillips project includes upgrading the community restrooms, replacing windows and fire alarms, adding an emergency generator and an indoor sprinkler system and upgrading the electrical and building ventilation system.
“We try to improve accessibility and overall life safety,” said Sharri Margraves, manager of the MSU Housing and Food Services Construction, Maintenance & Interior Design division. “We did an assessment on all of the residence halls and it was determined that this one was next on the list.”
Although this project requires a large amount of money from the university, it is money well-spent, L.A., as it will provide safety for the large amount of future residents. The construction project is estimated to cost $18 million, which is expected to be financed through a tax-exempt bond, with additional funding from the Division of Housing and Food Services. [bubble]
With the renovation of Snyder/Phillips, the university must find a way to make up for all that lost living space. Approximately 630 students occupied the Snyder/Phillips dorms before the project began. We’ve all heard the horror stories of three students packed into a room just big enough for two: the microwave doubles as a mini-desk and storage space for stolen cafeteria cups, and someone’s bed lies on the middle of the floor. Fortunately, a system was developed to make sure these students were fairly accommodated, according to Margraves.
“We reduced the number of available single rooms in the entire system in order to accommodate students who wanted to live on campus,” said Margraves. “We made sure that these students had top priority as far as selecting a hall of their choice.”
While many students anticipate the arrival of the newly remodeled dorms and brand new dining gallery next year, a large number of students experienced shifts in their living situations this year to deal with the displaced students. History junior Jeff Pinkston was ready to reserve a single dorm room this year but learned that would not be possible because of the current renovations. Pinkston lived in an apartment last year and he was ready for the perks of dorm life.
“Living in the dorms is so much better as far as location and food availability goes,” Pinkston said. “I was planning on living in a single so I could have more space to myself and get more stuff done, but I guess that other students needed places to live, so it makes sense in the long run.” [light] He now lives in another dorm with a roommate he previously didn\’t know.
The Snyder/Phillips renovation may be an inconvenience to some, but it is a necessary step to preserve the safety of the student body. Yes, the roads are blocked and an alternative route might be necessary. Yes, the noise is loud and might wake students up in the morning. However, the final product will make people forget about those distractions and appreciate improved dorms for many years to come – especially dorms with working fire alarms.

Sincerely,
Hammer A. Way

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A Different Path

[blue]The differences among MSU students are profuse, ranging from the trivial to the profound. Some wear jeans to class, while others prefer a comfortable pair of sweats. There are those who choose to walk everywhere and others who ride their bikes. Some students love to order pizza at 2 a.m., versus the mass who go with the dorm cafeteria food everyday. And some are fresh out of high school, while others are in their twenties, thirties – or older.
It is assumed that the majority of our campus’ average students lie between the 18 to 22-year- old age group, and are working on a degree in a four- or five-year program. (Nothing wrong with being a super senior!) However, various students do not fit the role of a traditional college student. A non-traditional student could be someone who is over 23, married or has a child. It might be someone who commutes to class on a daily basis or, in business junior Jamie Lullove’s case, someone who has transferred from another institution.
Lullove, 20, chose to transfer to MSU after spending her first two years of college at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. At culinary school, almost all of Lullove’s classes were food-related, consisting of product knowledge, baking and pastries. She came to MSU with expectations that she would fit in right away because she already had friends going here and she had not been out of high school for very long. “College here is just like high school, but better,” Lullove said. “Once I started my academic classes, the feeling of being in actual school came back to me pretty quick.”[jamiel]
According to the Association for Non-Traditional Students in Higher Education, non-traditional students make up 49 percent of the new and returning student residence nationwide. Lullove returned to school to pursue more in life and complete college with an undergraduate degree. Lullove found that she, like many transfer students, was placed in freshman-level classes. “When I first realized that most of my classes would consist of freshman students, I did feel a little out of place,” Lullove said. “However, I realized that neither of us has experienced actual college courses before and, in that sense, we were all kind of in the same boat.”
A sect of non-traditional students at MSU have switched institutions in the middle of their college career. MSU has transfer admission criteria based on academic standing and completion of courses, and admission consideration is stronger for those who obtain at least a 3.0 GPA and have completed 28 credits. Lullove is taking 19 credits this semester to catch up and graduate with a degree in hospitality business. While attending culinary school, she was still in classes that required her to study, but rather than the basic four (math, science, history and English), she took other courses more designed for the college. “I am the same student I have always been, just with a different focus,” Lullove said. “I still went to class just like everyone else for the past two years. It was just a little different.”
With the growing numbers of transfer students around the country, universities are setting up programs to accommodate these students’ needs. Like freshman and transfer students, non-traditional students can have difficulty adjusting to university life. Along with those adjusting to being a non-traditional students are those affected by them, mainly friends, significant others, and in this case, roommates.
Telecommunications senior Charlie Doren is living with a 28-year-old freshman, Joe Blackmore, a policial science and pre-law major. Blackmore was originally enrolled at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, but left to work full-time. Blackmore came back to MSU to get his undergraduate degree, and he plans to go to law school.
“It is definitely different at first,” Doren said about his living situation. “It was kind of weird because it was hard to think of things in common, but after a few days we found more and more things in common and it is just like living with a typical college student.”
Being a 28-year-old freshman, Blackmore is trying to adjust to life at a big university like MSU, and Doren is more than willing to help with this adjustment. “There is a lot more of trying to help my roommate out,” said Doren. “I often tell him where things are or about professors I have already taken or classes I have already taken.”
In addition to providing admission presentations for students like Blackmore, the university offers financial aid programs for non-traditional students who might need help paying for their education or supporting a family.
Lori Strom, coordinator of the Family Resource Center at MSU, works with students who are trying to manage time between being a student and a parent. The Resource Center recently proposed a childcare grant to student parents that helps reduce tuition expenses. “MSU understands these students have special needs,” Strom said. “We are doing our very best to help out.”
The resource center offers other programs so parents are not forced to put their kids in a development center. Strom is committed to helping these students because she realizes how hard it is to go to class, work and support a child all at the same time. “These students are used to working and going to school, and now some are just struggling to do the best they can,” Strom said. “I help them with that because it is obvious they can not work full time.”
Scholarship opportunities are also available for non-traditional students through the Women’s Resource Center on campus. The William and Phoebe Clark Scholarship, offered through the center, is designed for non-traditional students enrolled in a degree program at MSU and who demonstrate financial need. Single parents and applicants who have experienced life-changing circumstances are eligible. The Mildred B. Erickson scholarship is designed for students who have had to interrupt their degree studies for a significant amount of time, and can demonstrate financial need.
In addition to providing non-traditional students with monetary means, the university has a large parking lot at Mt. Hope Road for commuting students to park and then attend classes. Many students choose to commute rather than paying to live in pricey dorm rooms or off-campus housing. Hospitality business junior Daniel Stewart commutes from his home in Williamston to East Lansing to attend his classes four days a week. Although some students love the idea of getting away from home and experiencing living on their own for a change, Stewart still gets a full college experience.
“I have a place I can stay up at MSU when I want to, but it just makes more sense for me to live at home now,” said Stewart. “It’s a good 15-minute drive that I really don’t mind at all. I guess we are a little non-traditional. I’m shocked to hear the statistics, but maybe we are part of a new breed of students.”
College dynamics are clearly changing due to the rise of non-traditional students. MSU is attracting more and more students like these three – adults who desire to further their education and work for their degrees at various stages in life. The chance to earn a college education is no longer something that immediately follows the tossing of a graduation cap in high school, and it is not something that should be sniffed at because a student is 28, and not 18.

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A Different Path

[path]The differences among MSU students are profuse, ranging from the trivial to the profound. Some wear jeans to class, while others prefer a comfortable pair of sweats. There are those who choose to walk everywhere and others who ride their bikes. Some students love to order pizza at 2 a.m., versus the mass who go with the dorm cafeteria food everyday. And some are fresh out of high school, while others are in their twenties, thirties – or older.
It is assumed that the majority of our campus’ average students lie between the 18 to 22-year- old age group, and are working on a degree in a four- or five-year program. (Nothing wrong with being a super senior!) However, various students do not fit the role of a traditional college student. A non-traditional student could be someone who is over 23, married or has a child. It might be someone who commutes to class on a daily basis or, in business junior Jamie Lullove’s case, someone who has transferred from another institution.
Lullove, 20, chose to transfer to MSU after spending her first two years of college at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. At culinary school, almost all of Lullove’s classes were food-related, consisting of product knowledge, baking and pastries. She came to MSU with expectations that she would fit in right away because she already had friends going here and she had not been out of high school for very long. “College here is just like high school, but better,” Lullove said. “Once I started my academic classes, the feeling of being in actual school came back to me pretty quick.”[love]
According to the Association for Non-Traditional Students in Higher Education, non-traditional students make up 49 percent of the new and returning student residence nationwide. Lullove returned to school to pursue more in life and complete college with an undergraduate degree. Lullove found that she, like many transfer students, was placed in freshman-level classes. “When I first realized that most of my classes would consist of freshman students, I did feel a little out of place,” Lullove said. “However, I realized that neither of us has experienced actual college courses before and, in that sense, we were all kind of in the same boat.”
A sect of non-traditional students at MSU have switched institutions in the middle of their college career. MSU has transfer admission criteria based on academic standing and completion of courses, and admission consideration is stronger for those who obtain at least a 3.0 GPA and have completed 28 credits. Lullove is taking 19 credits this semester to catch up and graduate with a degree in hospitality business. While attending culinary school, she was still in classes that required her to study, but rather than the basic four (math, science, history and English), she took other courses more designed for the college. “I am the same student I have always been, just with a different focus,” Lullove said. “I still went to class just like everyone else for the past two years. It was just a little different.”
With the growing numbers of transfer students around the country, universities are setting up programs to accommodate these students’ needs. Like freshman and transfer students, non-traditional students can have difficulty adjusting to university life. Along with those adjusting to being a non-traditional students are those affected by them, mainly friends, significant others, and in this case, roommates.
Telecommunications senior Charlie Doren is living with a 28-year-old freshman, Joe Blackmore, a policial science and pre-law major. Blackmore was originally enrolled at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, but left to work full-time. Blackmore came back to MSU to get his undergraduate degree, and he plans to go to law school.
“It is definitely different at first,” Doren said about his living situation. “It was kind of weird because it was hard to think of things in common, but after a few days we found more and more things in common and it is just like living with a typical college student.”
Being a 28-year-old freshman, Blackmore is trying to adjust to life at a big university like MSU, and Doren is more than willing to help with this adjustment. “There is a lot more of trying to help my roommate out,” said Doren. “I often tell him where things are or about professors I have already taken or classes I have already taken.”
In addition to providing admission presentations for students like Blackmore, the university offers financial aid programs for non-traditional students who might need help paying for their education or supporting a family.
Lori Strom, coordinator of the Family Resource Center at MSU, works with students who are trying to manage time between being a student and a parent. The Resource Center recently proposed a childcare grant to student parents that helps reduce tuition expenses. “MSU understands these students have special needs,” Strom said. “We are doing our very best to help out.”
The resource center offers other programs so parents are not forced to put their kids in a development center. Strom is committed to helping these students because she realizes how hard it is to go to class, work and support a child all at the same time. “These students are used to working and going to school, and now some are just struggling to do the best they can,” Strom said. “I help them with that because it is obvious they can not work full time.”
Scholarship opportunities are also available for non-traditional students through the Women’s Resource Center on campus. The William and Phoebe Clark Scholarship, offered through the center, is designed for non-traditional students enrolled in a degree program at MSU and who demonstrate financial need. Single parents and applicants who have experienced life-changing circumstances are eligible. The Mildred B. Erickson scholarship is designed for students who have had to interrupt their degree studies for a significant amount of time, and can demonstrate financial need.
In addition to providing non-traditional students with monetary means, the university has a large parking lot at Mt. Hope Road for commuting students to park and then attend classes. Many students choose to commute rather than paying to live in pricey dorm rooms or off-campus housing. Hospitality business junior Daniel Stewart commutes from his home in Williamston to East Lansing to attend his classes four days a week. Although some students love the idea of getting away from home and experiencing living on their own for a change, Stewart still gets a full college experience.
“I have a place I can stay up at MSU when I want to, but it just makes more sense for me to live at home now,” said Stewart. “It’s a good 15-minute drive that I really don’t mind at all. I guess we are a little non-traditional. I’m shocked to hear the statistics, but maybe we are part of a new breed of students.”
College dynamics are clearly changing due to the rise of non-traditional students. MSU is attracting more and more students like these three – adults who desire to further their education and work for their degrees at various stages in life. The chance to earn a college education is no longer something that immediately follows the tossing of a graduation cap in high school, and it is not something that should be sniffed at because a student is 28, and not 18.

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