Photo Essay: MSU Bridges

[bogue1] Cars pass over the Red Cedar River on the Bogue Street bridge.

[wharton] The pedestrian bridge leading to the Wharton Center provides a scenic walkway for patrons.

[grafitti1] A staple on campus, the underside of the Farm Lane bridge is covered in grafitti art.

[grafitti2] A view of the Farm Lane bridge from nearby Erickson Hall.

[admin]Students walk over the bridge that connects Wells Hall and the south side of campus to the Administration Building and northern campus.

[lib] The underside of the bridge leading to the library.

[sparty] This bridge, near the Sparty Statue, boasts scenic views of the Red Cedar River.

[kell] A bridge leading to the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.

[kellogg] Another bridge connecting the Kellogg Center to campus.

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Where to Be

Lansing’s Diversity Day 2008
Saturday, May 3, from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
This free event at Eastern High School’s Don Johnson Field House will celebrate Lansing’s rich cultural heritage. The event will include exhibits, performances, prizes and food.

MSU Spring Arts and Craft Shows
Saturday and Sunday, May 17 and 18
The 44th Annual MSU Spring Arts and Crafts Show will take place at the MSU Union all day on Saturday and Sunday. There will be 329 booths of unique, hand-made items from artists and crafters around the country. The event is free.

Lansing Memorial Day Parade
Saturday, May 24, at 10 a.m.
Meet at the corner of Michigan and Capital in downtown Lansing for a Memorial Day parade. The event is sponsored by the City of Lansing and is free.

Be a Tourist in Your Own Town
Saturday, May 31, from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Purchase a ‘passport’ for $1 during the month of May and spend Saturday, May 31, exploring more than 35 area attractions throughout downtown Lansing and the campus of Michigan State University. This year’s focus is a “greener Lansing.”

Old Town Art Market
Saturday, May 31, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Meet at Grand River Avenue in Old Town for the 4th Annual Old Town Art Market. The streets on Old Town will be lined with artists displaying and selling their work. The Old Town Art Market runs in conjunction with the Be A Tourist in Your Own Town event.

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Photo Essay: One Week in Africa

[boys] A group of boys getting ready for a soccer game at Meskel (Millenium) Square in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Because the country uses the old biblical calendar, they are just now in the year 2000.

[dance] Dancers at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant in Addis Ababa. The dancers performed several different dances, each representing a region of the country.

[injera] A traditional Ethiopian meal: injera topped with several types of meat and served family-style in a basket.

[monkey] Many species of monkeys roam free at the Sodera Hot Springs.

[waterfall] The Blue Nile Falls are fed by Lake Tana in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. We had to climb up a mountain side to reach the secluded falls.

[man] A man taking his wares to the Saturday market in Bahir Dar. The villagers take these papyrus boats across Lake Tana to reach the market.

[sunset] The sunset over Lake Tana.

[girl] A young girl from the peninsula off Lake Tana. Young children are often in charge of carrying water from the lake to the village in order to be boiled.

[hut] A traditional home in the village of Lalibela, Ethiopia.

[kids] Young children in Lalibela.

[me] Enjoying the scenery surrounding Lalibela.

[church] One of the many rock-hewn churches in Lalibela. These churches were carved in the 11th century out of a single piece of rock.

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Dear Lou Anna

I was all set to apply for post-graduation jobs this past winter break. Or so I thought. My Internet browser was set to a job-search Web site, my cover letter was adjusted to each individual company and my resume was printed on crisp white paper – complete with my educational background, internship experience and extra-curricular activities. What I wasn’t prepared for was a mini-panic attack. As I glanced at potential full-time jobs on my computer, my heart sank. Had four years at MSU already passed? Am I really about to graduate? And most importantly, am I ready for the “real world”? While I still have a couple more months left to ponder these questions, L.A., I am not alone in my apprehensions – I am sure the majority of my peers are asking themselves the same thing. [grad11]
But there is still one more question to ask. How well has MSU prepared us for the world after graduation? Whether it’s graduate school, a traditional 9-to-5 job or service-oriented work, in this dire economy, the stakes are higher than ever and a student’s undergraduate experience is crucial. With this in mind, I set out to sort through the university’s various initiatives and programs aimed at preparing students for the “real world” – whatever that may be. I also surveyed a variety of graduating seniors on how well they felt the university has prepared them for their future.
I think you’ll be surprised to learn, L.A., that the majority of students seem to have little to complain about.
Graduate School
For many students, a bachelor’s degree is not the end of their educational route – in fact, nearly 30 percent of MSU students decide to continue their education with graduate school, according to the university’s 2006 Destination Survey. It should come as no surprise, L.A., that finding a graduate school, and being accepted, is no easy feat. Hours of filling out applications, building up the resume with extra-curricular activities and taking standardized tests are often reminiscent of applying to a four-year college during junior and senior years of high school – only more difficult. So how exactly does the university work to prepare students for this future?
Chris Foley, a field career consultant for James Madison College, is one of many advisers within MSU’s Career Services and Placement network who works closely with students applying to graduate schools. According to Foley, in 2006, nearly 40 percent of James Madison students went on to grad school, with a large number attending law school. With higher-degree programs being such a popular option, L.A., Foley makes assisting students a top priority. “James Madison is small enough that I am able to meet one-on-one with a lot of students,” he said. “Our faculty are really knowledgeable about the application process, so they are also working with students to get things done, too. I refer students to outside help as well, such as an admission representative, standardized testing prep and Web resources. The advising piece for me is to get them started, encourage them and point them to [the] right resources.”
Advisers through Career Services and Placement are not the only people who actively assist students, however. While MSU’s graduate school caters most of its efforts towards current graduate students, they are also present at many undergraduate events, according to the school’s dean, Karen Klomparens. “We are always willing to help undergraduates prepare for a higher-degree program through lectures and special presentations,” she said.
So L.A., how exactly are these efforts resonating with students?
English senior Brittany West has completed her grad school applications and is planning to attend either the University of Chicago or Boston College in the fall. Overall, she was pleased with the application process, and thought MSU and her English professors adequately prepared her. “I think the application process went pretty well,” she said. “My professors helped me edit my cover letters and essays. The college also set up planning workshops and offered tips on how to get into grad school.”
[gradschool] However, L.A., that is not to say West didn’t find the process to be challenging at times. “To apply for an English graduate program you have to take the GRE subject test and it is really hard,” she said. “In class we don’t read all the authors that we need to get a good score.” According to West, the college also does not prepare students for the long papers that are required for grad school applications. “The longest paper I have had to write for school was about 15 pages, but grad schools want a 20-25 page writing sample. A lot of times people will have to write a whole new paper just to apply. I will say as far as theory goes, however, I have taken good classes here that will help you think they way you need to in order to get into grad school.”
Political science senior Justin Withrow agrees. “All of the preparation classes that my advisers recommended were critical in my success on the LSAT and acceptance to law school.”
However, Withrow, who is undecided on which law school he will attend this fall, wishes the university would hold more workshops and LSAT study sessions. L.A., because most study courses are done through outside vendors, and can cost up to $2,000, it makes sense students would like the university to offer a cheaper, more convenient alternative to standardized test preparation.
The Traditional 9 to 5
While grad school is a popular option for students, the majority use their diploma to land a full-time position, with many settling into the traditional 9-to-5 job after graduation. But in the current job market, L.A., getting a “real job” is harder than it looks. Students need more than a degree to stand out against other applicants.
According to the university’s Career Services and Placement Web site (a site that most seniors are familiar with), MSU provides students with academic advising, job and internship postings, resume workshops, mock interviews, recruiting events, career workshops and special lectures to help them gain a competitive edge in their job search.
“I think an internship is the most beneficial thing a student can do to get their foot in the door and prepare for a full-time job,” said Kerry Monroe, a communication senior specializing in public relations. “An internship is the experience that will put you over when you are applying for a real job, not necessarily your course work. With that said, I think the university and all the organizations on campus prepare you more for an internship than a real job. They prepared me for that first step.” [job]
Beyond help with finding an internship, Monroe also utilized the university’s other resources, including memberships with pre-professional organizations, academic advisers and career fairs. In fact, Monroe found her future position with Kohl’s Corporate Headquarters while attending MSU’s Career Gallery in October.
“I researched companies before [the career fair] and prepared to meet the companies that I was really interested in and wanted to talk to,” she said. “After talking with Kohl’s I went home and applied on MySpartanCareer.com. A lot of people don’t like career fairs, but I thought it was great. They put all the information out there for students, but it is up to students to take the initiative. Students have the resources, it just depends how serious they are about getting a job.”
Of course, L.A., there is no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to getting a job after graduation. A successful job hunt often depends on the individual student’s resume and major, and most importantly, the economy and job market.
“The economy is drastically hurting my job search,” interior design senior Katherine Brummel said. “When I came in as freshman, interior design jobs were more easily obtained and the bad economic times has hurt that. The fact of the matter is that companies are not growing, especially not jobs for entry-level designers. Ninety-five percent of the jobs I find on the Internet are asking for a minimum of three to five years experience.”
Despite the poor job market, however, Brummel also believes the university could do more to help students prepare for, and find, a job. “I know career fairs are huge for other majors, and I would definitely utilize it, but our major doesn’t have one. Also, internships are not required for interior design majors, so the college doesn’t do much to help us find an internship. Most of the help I have received has been from my professors, because they have edited my resume and portfolio. But other than that, I have done the majority of the researching and editing on my own.”
However, Brummel was extremly pleased with her study abroad experience in the United Kingdom two summers ago, and feels it is a great experience to have on her resume. “The employers I have talked to say they weigh study abroad just as heavily as an internship, and it makes a person’s resume stand out. I think that MSU has done a good job making that available.”
Service-Oriented Work
Increasingly, students are opting to choose an alternative route after graduation, L.A., with many taking part in service-oriented work. Service organizations such as Teach for America and the Peace Corps offer students what they see as a transition after graduation, and a chance to make a positive mark on the world. “I think service-oriented work is a growing trend and in general, students want less to start their real lives at 22,” said Betsy Mott, a journalism and international relations senior. “There are a lot of different ways to become an adult without getting a ‘real job’ right away, so think people are starting to move away from that and are instead going into more service-type work.”
With students drawn to service-oriented work, L.A., it is important for the university to continue preparing students through international exposure, cultural awareness and volunteer opportunities.
Accordingly to Foley, however, there is not one single way to prepare students for service-oriented work. “To say to a student, ‘This is the one way to get in,’ would be a disservice, because there really isn’t only one way,” he said. Instead, the university works to provide undergrads with a wide array of cultural and service-oriented initiatives, including study abroad, alternative spring break and volunteer opportunities through the Center for Service-Learning as well as individual colleges. In February of each year, Career Services and Placement also hosts the Government and Non-Profit Career Fair (formally the Call to Serve Fair).
“The Government and Non-Profit Career Fair attracts organizations that a student looking for service work would find interesting,” Foley said. “We develop personal relationships with these recruiters and allow students to get in touch with them firsthand. Most service organizations are looking for a student who brings a unique set of skills and demonstrates leadership and excellence.”
Many students utilize these various programs, L.A., and for the most part, they appreciate the university affords them the opportunity to prepare for a future in service-oriented work.
According to Pete Richards, a recruiter with the MSU Peace Corps office, MSU has been very successful in both promoting service-oriented work and preparing students for a career in it. There are a growing number of MSU students going into the Peace Corps – and similar organizations – which Richards believes to be a direct reflection of the university’s efforts. In fact, L.A., MSU is fifth among universities for the number of actively serving Peace Corps volunteers, with 80.
While MSU’s relationship with every organization is different, L.A., the university and the Peace Corps work closely together to offer guidance to those students interested in entering the Peace Corps. “Our recruiting office is jointly funded by both the Peace Corps and our sponsoring organization with the university, MSU’s International Studies Program,” Richards said. “We concentrate on recruitment and awareness, along with aiding students in the application process. I think the university does a great job of preparing students and it shows in the number of volunteers they produce.”
Mott is one such student who is looking to join the organization after graduation. She found her passion for helping women and children in developing countries while doing her James Madison field experience and hopes to continue the work through the Peace Corps. “James Madison requires students to do field experience to get them out of the classroom and gain real-world experience,” she said. “The good thing is that you can gear it towards whatever you want, and I did my field experience at a home for teenage mothers in Lesotho. While I didn’t learn about the opportunity through MSU, and it wasn’t directly related to the university, it was a James Madison requirement that lead me to do it.”
[la] Mott feels prepared for her potential work in part because of her time at MSU, and certainly through her field experience. “All of the advisers I talked to were really helpful and supportive, but didn’t necessarily know enough [about the work I wanted to do in Lesotho] to point me in a useful direction. I had to find the opportunity mostly on my own…However, I don’t think the university should ever be expected to make everyone involved. There are a lot of opportunities available for those who want to be involved in service-type work.”
From Spartan World to Real World
We both know, L.A., students are known to complain – sometimes with warrant – about various university issues. When it comes to being prepared for graduation, however, it seems the majority of students are pleased with MSU’s initiatives and feel the university does its part to provide them with adequate resources and opportunities. In fact, I could not find someone that was outright displeased with their undergraduate experience. Most students understand that while the university can offer guidance, it is ultimately up to them to prepare for their own futures.
Perhaps West sums it up best – “MSU is a huge university and there are a ton of resources and opportunities on campus. I think that getting involved is the student’s responsibility. If you did not look and you aren’t prepared, then it is not the university’s fault.”
And while I agree with West – and feel confident with my journalism degree from MSU – L.A., I am still very unsure as to what the future holds. I am sure we all are.

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Where to Be

MSU’s Greek Week
Friday, March 28 – Saturday, April 5
The first week of April is Greek Week, in which MSU’s Greek Life organizations compete in events to benefit a number of charitable organizations. A few of the major Greek Week events include an MTV Night dance competition, a Battle of the Bands and the Songfest lip-sync competition. MTV Night and the Battle of the Bands will both take place in the Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1 and Wednesday, April 2, respectively. The Songfest competition will be held on Saturday, April 5 at 3 p.m. in the Auditorium. All events are open to the public. The admission charges go directly to charity.

UAB’s Dice and Ice
Friday, April 4, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Come to the Munn Ice Arena to play casino games, including Black Jack, Poker, Slots, Craps and Roulette, and a chance to win various prizes. The ice arena will also be open for skating.

UAB’s Photo Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, April 5, at 7 p.m.
Sign up with a group of three to five friends to compete in a photo scavenger hunt across campus. Each team must have their own digital camera. Groups will receive a list of people and/or places to take pictures of, along with the number of points that can receive per photo. The top ten teams will win prizes.

Comedy Soup
Saturday, April 12, at 9 p.m.
Come to the International Center to enjoy a “Ladle of Laughs” comedy show. Tickets are available in room 322 of the MSU Union. There is a limit of two tickets per MSU ID.

TBG Launch Party
Saturday, April 26, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Come help TBG celebrate the past year with our 2nd Annual Launch Party and receive a free copy of the print issue. The print issue is a “Year in Review” special edition and will feature articles from the 2007-2008 year. The event will be hosted at the Green River Café, located at 211 M.A.C. Special performance by Sh! The Octopus.

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Photo Essay: MSU To Do List

This May, thousands of MSU students – myself included – will walk down the aisle, clad in their caps and gowns, and receive their college diplomas. Many of them will exchange their backpacks for briefcases and leave the campus of MSU far behind. They’ll move out of their cramped college apartments and move into a tiny cubicle. But before the sentimental – and often dreaded – jump to the “real world,” most seniors will relish their last few months at MSU. Personally, I know I will spend these next few months making the most of my dwindling college experiences. This photo essay chronicles the top ten things all MSU students should do before they graduate.

[ducks] 1) Feed the ducks along the Red Cedar River
As the weather begins to warm, sitting on a bench along the river and feeding the ducks is a great, relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

[play] 2) See a show at the Wharton Center
The Wharton Center for the Performing Arts has a variety of plays and musical performances throughout the year. On this particular day, finance sophomore Allison Matthews and journalism sophomore Joe Vaillancourt walk to their performance with the MSU Campus Band.
[munn] 3) Ice Skate at the Munn Ice Arena
The MSU Hockey Team is not the only group allowed on the ice at Munn. In fact, the arena offers public open-skate nights periodically throughout the year. The schedule can be found at munnicearena.com.

[garden]4) Walk through the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden
Each spring, flowers can be seen in full bloom at the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden, making a peaceful setting for a walk or rest under a tree. Surrounded by trees and shrubbery, the garden offers a quaint escape from the bustle of campus.

[court] 5) Tailgate at the tennis courts
A group of friends gather for a tailgate picture. Although the change in tailgating rules that occurred several years ago keeps many students away from the tennis courts on game days, it is still a great place to tailgate for the 21 and up crowd.

[bridge] 6) Check out the “graffiti bridge”
Known for its diverse art, the graffiti bridge is a must-see on the MSU campus. On winter days, ice often makes the bridge inaccessible, but the graffiti can still be seen.

[gym] 7) Go to a sporting event
While most MSU students can say they have been to a football, basketball or hockey game, many other sporting events on campus serve as exciting spectator sports. Women’s gymnastics is just one of the many sports that competes at Jenison Field House during the winter and spring.

[kiss] 8) Kiss at the Bell Tower
Considered by many one of the most romantic spots on campus, the Bell Tower is a famous spot to kiss – or even get engaged!

[band] 9) Listen to the band practice at Demonstration Field
Best saved for a warm fall day, laying in the grass at Demonstration Field and listening to the band practice is a good way to rev up your Spartan pride.

[sparty] 10) Get a picture with Sparty
Finally, your time as a Spartan is not complete until you get your picture taken with Sparty. Marketing senior Nikhil Gehani and journalism senior Stephanie Moran are decked out in their Spartan gear for a photo shoot with their favorite mascot.

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Where to Be

East Lansing High School Annual International Dinner
Saturday, March 1, at 6 p.m.
Come to East Lansing High School to enjoy a night of international activities, put on by the school’s Cultural Awareness Club. Activities include a fashion show and world performances. Tickets are $12 at the door and proceeds will go to Malaria No More.

UAB Open Mic Night
Wednesday, March 12, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Like to sing? Have a band? Enjoy reciting poetry? Come and showcase your talent or listen to fellow MSU students at the MSU Union Main Lounge.

6th Annual MSU Battle of the Bands
Friday, March 14, at 9 p.m.
Come to the International Center to watch the 10 best MSU bands compete for more than $3,000 in Marshall Music Gift Certificates. Participating bands include The Black Hand, Jasmine, Corporate America, The Robbie Cook Band, After We Fall, The Jettisons, Paragon, The Dastardlies, Black Jack Persia and The Grey Level.

UAB Muggle Madness
Saturday, March 15, from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.
The International Center will be featuring a night full of Harry Potter. Activities include two jeopardy-style trivia games at 9:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., with a costume contest between games. Also watch the newest movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and get free butterbeer and make your own chocolate wands.

MSU 7th UN Decade Speaker Series
Tuesday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m.
Dr. Jeffrey Nielsen will present his speech, “Building Democratic Communities: Education for Political Literacy” at South Kedzie Hall. Nielson is a professor of philosophy, author of “The Myth of Leadership,” and founder and director of Democracy House Project, an effort to expand political leadership in communities.

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Where to Be

Lil Sibs Weekend
Friday and Saturday, Feb. 8-9
Invite your younger sibling to MSU for a weekend of fun. Activities include: live animal demonstration, talent show, campus-wide scavenger hunt, magician and crafts, just to name a few. Check out the Union Activities Board site for more information.

MSU Project Runway Auditions
Monday, Feb. 11, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Audition for MSU’s Project Runway will take place on the 2nd floor of the MSU Union. The top designers from the auditions will be selected to move on to the main event on Saturday, March 29, with special guest judge Nick Verreos (Season 2-Project Runway). Aspiring designers must bring a garment(s) of their own design, as well as a picture portfolio. Auditions are open to any MSU student, not just fashion design majors.

The Outrageously Odd Olympics of Ordinary Abilities
Friday, Feb. 15, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Want to be an MSU Odd Olympic Gold Medalist? Events include: rock, paper, scissors; Guitar Hero; thumb wrestling; arm wrestling; staring without blinking and more. The “Olympics” will take place at the International Center. Pre-register at 322 MSU Union, or show up at the door to compete.

UAB’s FREE Psychic Fair
Saturday, Feb. 16, from 8 p.m. to midnight
Come to the International Center to get free tarot card readings, palm readings and psychic consultations.

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Where to Be

How to Build a Planet
Every Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and every Sunday at 4 p.m.
Visit Abrams Planetarium throughout the month to explore the celestial and geologic forces that shaped the earth. The Planetarium is located on campus on Shaw Lane, between Farm Lane and Bogue Street. Price is $3 with a student I.D. Call (517) 355-4672 for more information.

2008 Commemorative Celebration of the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Varied events throughout January
MSU will be hosting a variety of events to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., including a community dinner and commemorative march, among others. Individual colleges will be hosting their own commemorative events as well. For details on dates, times and locations of specific events, please check out the Commemorative Celebration’s Web site.

UAB Open Mic Night
Wednesday, Jan. 16, from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m.
Like to sing? Have a band? Enjoy reciting poetry? Come and showcase your talent! Or just come to listen and relax. The event will take place at the MSU Union Main Lounge.

UAB Bingo Blowout
Friday, Jan. 18, from 9 p.m. until 12 a.m.
Event will take place at the International Center. Come out and enjoy a fun night with friends while playing bingo. Prizes include gift cards, DVDs, MSU gear and more. Must be an MSU student with I.D. to win prizes.

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Where to Be

44th Annual MSU Holiday Arts and Crafts Show
Saturday, Dec. 1, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
More than 200 booths full of hand-made arts and crafts will be sold. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season, and shop for one-of-a-kind items made by artists from across the nation. This event will take place at the MSU Union, filling all four floors.

East Lansing Winter Bowl
Sunday, Dec. 2, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.
Enjoy this wintertime celebration throughout the city of East Lansing. Activities include a soup and chili cook-off, live music, horse and carriage rides and a reindeer petting zoo, just to name a few. All activities are free unless otherwise noted. See the UAB Web site or the East Lansing city Web site for performance times and complete event schedule.

UAB Holiday Extravaganza
Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.
Come to the MSU Union Food Court to get into the holiday spirit. Celebrate with friends by making Christmas ornaments, Kwanzaa place mats, Hanukkah dreidels, cards and more. This event is free for all MSU students.

UAB and the MSU Union Present Free Massages
Monday, Dec. 10 through Friday, Dec.14, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Enjoy a free massage from The Ann Arbor Institute of Massage Therapy in the MSU Union. Melt away the stresses of exam week. No appointment necessary. Massages will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

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