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It’s Tradition: The Rock

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It’s Tradition: The Rock

The Rock after it was painted in honor of Lacey Holsworth. Photo via Flickr.

The Rock after it was painted in honor of Lacey Holsworth. Photo via Flickr.

On an average week its color often varies and its message changes regularly, but its presence at Michigan State University is one thing that seemingly remains the same. As a key location for activism, promotion and memorialization – the Rock has become a Spartan tradition almost as solid as the structure itself.

According to research gathered by the MSU Archives, the Rock was donated by the Class of 1873. The archives’ research states, “For the next sixty to seventy years, the Rock remained as it was, untouched, but during the 1940s and 1950s, the Rock would be known as the ‘Engagement Rock.’” If a Spartan wanted to propose, the Rock was a special place to do it.

It was also during that time that the Rock “became a political platform and billboard for various groups.” Students began painting it and the surrounding trees and sidewalks in the area. Therefore, to preserve the natural environment, the Rock was moved from its location near where the Beaumont Tower now stands to its current location in front of the Auditorium in 1985 and the painting has continued for over 30 years.

The Rock’s purpose has evolved during its history at the university, but it seems that painting it continues to be the biggest appeal today.

International relations senior Monica Watt painted the Rock in order to celebrate and promote her student organization, the United Nations Association, last fall. She estimated that the Rock has accumulated more than 10,000 layers of paint over the years.

The rock means a tradition for MSU students, it’s a way to express our voice like on a billboard without worrying about rules and regulations,” said Watt. “It gets attention and the tradition to guard the rock also allows students to gather and bond over various things.

“It’s become a symbol because it’s a something that can’t be removed easily. And people are willing to guard (it) and paint it so it still is a tradition.”

The university does not regulate a schedule for individuals to paint the Rock. There is no way to sign up for a time or date to paint it, a.k.a. “you snooze, you lose.”

“The unwritten rule about painting the Rock is that whoever is there first at night to paint it can do so, but it’s best to stay with the Rock until first light. If the painters decide not to stay and guard the Rock, any other group can come and repaint it,” according to the MSU Archives’ research.

A recent memorable moment for the Rock was following the Paris attacks on Nov.13 of last year. MSU students banded together to “stand with Paris” and show their support.

Perhaps one of the most well-known paint jobs that the Rock has received was in honor of Lacey Holsworth, otherwise known as “Princess Lacey,” the 8-year-old who was a source of inspiration for the Michigan State Men’s Basketball team in 2014.

After losing her battle with cancer, the community celebrated her life and the impact that she had on the school by painting the Rock for her.

While the Rock has been the basis of many different traditions in MSU history, one thing is certain to never change – the layers and layers of students’ names, logos and missions of diverse organizations and symbols of hope will forever be a part of the structure.  

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Get a good taste of MSU: Top 3 best cafeterias on campus

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Get a good taste of MSU: Top 3 best cafeterias on campus

#3. South Pointe at Case Hall and The Edge at Akers Hall

cafeteriaAmong the top three most popular cafeterias, South Pointe at Case Hall and The Edge at Akers Hall both have gained public praise in South and East Neighborhoods.

They offer a wide variety of meats on their menu, which is reportedly the reason for their popularity. Their large seating places and sofas also make Case and Akers Dining Halls suitable and comfortable places to enjoy a meal.

The cozy facilities and tasty food in Case Hall are praised by students. Because it’s widely known as the biggest cafeteria in South Neighborhood, Case Hall attracts students who live or have class near South.

“Case Dining Hall is pleasant and the food in there is delicious … and they also have sofas in the dining hall. My friend and I always meet there and do some homework,” said freshman Thomas Jones.

“The Case Dining Hall is the biggest and nearest cafeteria to me,” said engineering sophomore Ben Noble. “They always have fresh sushi, fries, chicken and pork. The sauce for the meat is so good that I want to go back to Case even though I have class so far away from my dorm.”

Akers Dining Hall has the same status as Case in East Neighborhood. Their meat menu is generally recognized as the best in the neighborhood. Student Ulises Martinez stated Akers has the most delicious daily meat at MSU including chicken, beef and BBQ.

#2. The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips Hall

The Gallery at Snyder/Philips Hall at MSU.

The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips Hall at MSU.

The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips Hall is equipped with six food sections: Bliss, Brimstone Grille, Ciao, Latitude, New Traditions and The Berg. The menu for the last three sections changes every day.

Snyder/Phillips Hall is located near Auditorium Road and Grand River Avenue, which attracts a larger group of customers. The large number of tables and the general cleanliness of the cafeteria also makes people feel more comfortable and increases their willingness to come over.

“Snyder has so many choices of food,” said business freshman Austin Lee. “My favorite thing about Snyder Hall is that they have a long table for salad and sushi … and also they have couple meat section. There are a lot of tables in Snyder for students and others to enjoy their meal or study.”

Austin is not the only one who is impressed by the huge size of The Gallery. When some students first come to this dining hall, they are shocked by the huge spaces.

Pre-med sophomore Eric Williams said, “When talking about Snyder, the first thing comes into my mind is big. And it’s also busy; there always are a lot of people, but it also means Snyder is so delicious.”

#1. Brody Square in Brody Neighborhood

Brody Neighborhood, as all students know, has the biggest cafeteria at MSU. A lot of freshmen are attracted to Brody Square because of its reputation as a scenic spot. It has almost every kind of food and the homemade MSU Dairy Store ice cream is undoubtedly the bright spot in Brody.

As the only cafeteria in Brody Neighborhood, Brody Square is the best choice for students who have classes nearby or who live in one of the four Brody residence halls. Students state that sometimes they come over to Brody from South Neighborhood and even East Neighborhood just to have a taste of the “best” cafeteria at MSU.

Cafeterias with something special

Wilson Hall

For students who demand late night food, there are four cafeterias that offer late night food until midnight. Besides Brody, Snyder/Phillips and Akers Dining Halls mentioned before, Wilson in South Neighborhood is also highly-acclaimed by students because of the plentiful late night menu. The fried and Buffalo chicken wings are the most popular option. When Wilson offers chicken wings, customers have to queue for ages to get served.cafeteria3

Hubbard and Holden Halls

As the dining halls with the shortest open times at MSU, Hubbard and Holden Halls have their own specialty meals for attracting students. The fried rice and dumplings in Holden Dining Hall is widely acclaimed by international students, while some special offers like noodles and daily soup in Hubbard Dining Hall are loved by them, too.

Food is the best friend of any human being. Plan your next MSU eating trip and greet everyday with love and food.  

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MSU workshops offer a variety of learning opportunities for students

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MSU workshops offer a variety of learning opportunities for students

As first-year undergraduate students who have already spent almost two months in new college life, many have questions or problems that they have never handled before. People at Michigan State University, with a passion to help students to pull through this time of transition, have volunteered to create many kinds of workshops.

One of the biggest programs is the Spartan Success Scholars Program, which was created to help students to handle transition difficulties.

“It helps me get more involved in college, building communications skills,” said Arlette Segoviano, a nursing freshman. “My RA (resident assistant) and UUD (Undergraduate University Division) advisor suggested me to go there and I think it made me think a lot. It’s really helpful, especially for freshmen.”

Courtesy of Erica Fiasky.

Courtesy of Erica Fiasky.

The Spartan Success Scholars Program’s workshops include “Time Management,” “Study Skills and Test Taking Strategies,” “Sleep 101,” “Stress Management for Success” and more. They also summarized “Ten Habits of Successful Students”, which students can see on MSU’s main website.

“After attending the workshop and talking about homesick, I think something changed on me, even though I know there still is a long way for me to go (to handle homesickness),” said freshman business student Yuyan Li. “I started treat this (homesickness) in a positive way instead of just crying alone in the bed.”

While some students say that the workshops helped them, some said that the workshop is a trigger, they felt worse or more aware of their stress after attending the meeting.

“I went to a workshop that is for homesick (without knowing the theme before), but I think it made me depressed because (the homesickness) didn’t bother me before. After they discussed homesick, I felt worse,” said Christopher Barnes, a MSU freshman.

However, communication senior Jing Liu said that she thinks the workshops are a good way for students to talk to someone about stress or any other issues they are experiencing.

“A lot of my friends won’t ask for help when they feel depressed or stressful because they regard (stress and depression) as a normal thing happened to students,” said Liu. “I feel a lot of them suffered from these issues and some of them even started out of normal life.”

There are also some workshops focused specifically on female or male groups. For example, the Mujer a Mujer workshop. “Mujer” means “woman” in Spanish. The organization, which is based on a mission to empower undergraduate women and to help them develop professionally through inspirational role models, was started in 2014. It’s sponsored by Migrant Student Services, Neighborhood Student Success Collaborative and the College of Natural Science.

“We want to empower female undergraduate students and address various challenges (they) may face as female undergraduate students from high school to college,” said Erica Fiasky, one of the creators of the Mujer a Mujer workshop.  “Through this workshop, we want to help them know more about transition challenges and organization of school.”

Apart from the workshops above, Michigan State University also has a program that focuses on educating students about sexual assault and relationship violence. “The Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Prevention Program (SARV) began in 2007 when Kelly Schweda hired as Program Coordinator. First SARV workshops run in 2008,” according to their website.

The Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Prevention Program, which attendance is required of all first-year undergraduate students, focuses on exploring the definitions of sexual assault, rape and relationship violence. It aims to inform people about how to prevent sexual violence from others. Also, an LBGTQ SARV workshop was added in 2012, it includes a neutral gender and special introductions to LBGTQ students. Furthermore, since 2015, international workshops are available for students to register for special concerns and strange culture shock.
There are innumerous workshops available in every corner of MSU. It can be held by the writing center, career services or even a peer who wants to share experiences with you. Look for the workshops around you and explore your options!

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It’s Tradition: Get the scoop on the MSU Dairy Store

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It’s Tradition: Get the scoop on the MSU Dairy Store

Customers enjoy their Dairy Store treats at the Anthony Hall Dairy Store location on Oct. 20.

Customers enjoy their treats at the Anthony Hall Dairy Store location.

On the campus of Michigan State University, there’s one place that students and visitors can always count on for a tasty treat: the Dairy Store.

The central location, and reportedly the most popular, is in Anthony Hall located next to the Dairy Plant. A second, and smaller, store can also be found in the MSU Union.

The store sells everything from coffee to cheese, but is widely known for its famous ice cream flavors. Back when the store first opened, the only flavors were vanilla, chocolate and black cherry, according to employee Tyler Hanlon.

Hanlon, a MSU packaging senior, has worked at the store for almost two and a half years. He claims that, nowadays, the “Sesquicentennial Swirl” is one of the store’s best sellers.

“It’s a very good flavor,” said Hanlon. “It’s hard to get good cake batter ice cream, but the fact that it’s green and white is half of the reason it sells as good as it does.”

In honor of the upcoming festivities, the store currently has a variety of Halloween-themed ice cream flavors. They include “Creepy Crawly Coconut,” “Chocolate Chip Spooky Dough” and “Pralines and Bad Dreams.”

Store Manager Brooke Pugh said that the creativity of the flavors and their artistic display on the glass of the dip cabinet adds to customer enjoyment. However, she said that the homegrown quality of the ice cream is what makes the Dairy Store such an appreciated feature of MSU.

Hanlon said that the Dairy Store’s reputation as a tradition comes as a result of several factors: price, location and quality.

MSU Dairy Store employee Tyler Hanlon packs up a customer's order.

MSU Dairy Store employee Tyler Hanlon packs up a customer’s order.

“For one, the ice cream is really good and it’s also very cheap for how good it is,” said Hanlon. “With it being right in the center of campus, it’s perfect for students to stop by and then you throw in having a good, easy lunch of a grilled cheese, it’s just kind of a center for students.”

A single scoop of ice cream costs $2.25; a double costs $3; and a triple costs $3.75.

“When people leave, it’s hard for them to get really good ice cream again, so it’s the place to be when you come back,” said Hanlon.

Zoology junior Naomi Fleischman said she enjoys the convenience of the Dairy Store’s Anthony Hall location, “I think a lot of college kids like ice cream, so the fact that it’s right in a building where a lot of the classes are in makes it very popular and then it just grew from there.”

So what’s the store’s busiest day of the week? Both Hanlon and Pugh agreed that Mondays have consistent heavy traffic.

The reason: grilled cheese sandwiches and soup. On Mondays at the Dairy Store, customers who purchase a grilled cheese sandwich also receive a free cup of soup all for the price of $2.50. For an extra dollar, Pugh said, a drink can be added to the order.

“We go through bread like crazy on Mondays,” said Pugh.

She added, “We even have faculty come in and say ‘This is such a great deal,’ and they can sit and have lunch with their co-workers and they don’t have to spend a ton of money and they can have a decent meal.”

The store is also open during Spartan football games, which are equally as hectic, according to Pugh.

“If the game is earlier, like at 9 a.m. or 12 p.m., we open early so we can kind of catch some of the tailgaters,” she said. “If the game is a 12 p.m. game, we are slammed when the game gets out. As soon as the stadium starts emptying, they all come here.

“We’ve had a line wrapped all the way around the building and down the street. People wait for the ice cream.”

Hanlon said that it’s not just the customers who enjoy the Dairy Store, the employees appreciate the work that they do and being able to contribute to its legacy at Michigan State University.

“The general population that comes in is usually happy and then on top of that, they’re getting ice cream that’s making them more happy,” said Hanlon. “Overall, it’s just a happy environment. We have fun working together. We have a great staff. We enjoy what we’re doing and we enjoy the response that everyone else has from it.”

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Halloween-themed events for MSU students

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Halloween-themed events for MSU students


What seems to be every college student’s favorite holiday is quickly approaching as October comes to an end. Halloween-themed events will be happening all around campus and in the Greater Lansing area to get students in the spirit of the candy-centered and spooky celebration.

The Michigan State University Activities Board will be hosting Paint-A-Pumpkin on Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 7-9 p.m. MSU students are allowed to bring one guest. The event will be held at the Union. Mark Velez, University Activities Board director, said “this event has been extremely successful in the past and yields higher attendance rates than most craft nights.”

The Michigan State University Theatre Department will put on their seventh annual Haunted Aud: “The Underworld.” The event will take place in the auditorium building on the corner of Auditorium Road and Farm Lane on Thursday, Oct. 29; Friday, Oct. 30; and Saturday, Oct. 31 from 8 p.m. to midnight. All proceeds benefit student organizations. Tickets are $15 per person and you can buy them at the door.

The University Activities Board will also host a “Spooktacular” movie event in the B-wing of Wells Hall from 8-11:45 p.m. on Oct. 30. A costume contest will be held for those dressed in their costumes. There will be games, apple cider, donuts, cookies and candies from all over the world. They will be showing “The Shining” at 9 p.m. in room B115 and “Halloweentown” will play at 9 p.m. in room B117. MSU students get in free and are allowed to bring one guest.

For more classic Halloween movies, check out Campus Center Cinemas on Oct. 31. They will be showing “Sleepy Hollow” at 7 p.m. and “Frankenstein” at 7:15 p.m. in the B-wing of Wells Hall.

Outside of campus, several other events are happening to get you geared up for Halloween.

The Greek community will have their annual Safe Halloween event on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 6-7 p.m. Safe Halloween is a street carnival event that includes costume contests, trick-or-treating and games for free between Burcham and Elizabeth Street. A DJ will be playing music and local businesses will be at the event presenting free candy and food.

A Halloween bake sale and greeting card sale will be held in order to raise money for scholarships given to students participating in global medical outreach at 10 a.m. on Oct. 30. The sales will be held in East Lansing outside KRC Association Management and Mid-Michigan Orthopaedic Institute (DMC) lobby. The event is sponsored by the International Osteopathic Medicine Organization. For more information, click here.

According to Lansing City Pulse’s website, Bestmaze is hosting a 20-acre corn maze and a separate “Trail of Terror”, complete with fog, strobe lights, monsters and more from now until Nov. 1. It’s seven to ten dollars per person with group rates available at 3770 Noble Road in Williamston from Friday through Sunday.

The Boy Scout Troop 63 will put on a Haunted Firehouse on Oct. 29; Oct. 30; and Oct. 31 on 627 E. Grand River Ave. in Williamston. The admission is three dollars and all proceeds will benefit the troop.

The City of East Lansing’s annual Great Pumpkin Walk will be on Oct. 29 from 5-7 p.m. More than 50 merchants in the downtown area will be passing out candy. Goers are encouraged to show up in full costume.

The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum is hosting the ArachnoBROADia in conjunction with the Great Pumpkin Walk. See their newest exhibits, make crafts, eat snacks and play games. The MSU Bug House is also showcasing a learning session about their creepy crawlers.

Happy Halloween!

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It’s Tradition: The Spartan Statue

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It’s Tradition: The Spartan Statue

Fans gather to take pictures with “Sparty” before the MSU vs. Oregon football matchup on Sept.12.

Fans take pictures with “Sparty” before the MSU vs. Oregon football matchup on Sept.12.

Have you ever stopped to take a selfie with the Spartan statue? Did you ever wonder why?

The Spartan statue, more commonly known as “Sparty,” was unveiled in 1945 and since then it has been a symbol of Michigan State University.

For 70 years, “Sparty” has greeted all who enter campus and posed graciously for those who stop by to see him. But did you know the statue that currently stands at the end of Demonstration Hall Field is actually a bronze replica of the original terra cotta statue?

The original is now on display inside the atrium of the Spartan Stadium tower, where it has been since 2005.

The Spartan statue was designed and created in the ‘40s by Leonard Jungwirth, an assistant art professor at Michigan State University (which was called Michigan State College in those days).

The Michigan native took two years to build the famous sculpture, completing it without extra pay from the university and often using his own tools and materials.

James Lawton, a professor of studio art at the university for over 40 years, said that Jungwirth created a sculpture “that utilized a lot of imagery associated with ‘Sparty’ and also the history of how ‘Sparty’ was presented at Michigan State University.

“If you look around, many universities have picked up on images that they want to portray as their spirit and I think Jungwirth was able to capture that in ‘Sparty.’”

In former university President John Hannah’s speech from the dedication ceremony for the original statue in 1945, he said, “In the years ahead, this Spartan Warrior in this beautiful and proper setting will become one of the distinguishing marks of this campus that all students and visitors will associate with this college…”

It has been decades since Hannah spoke these words, but the Spartan statue remains a tradition to this day for all who bleed green.

“I feel like it kind of conjures up some Spartan pride. It makes you proud,” said secondary education freshman Zak Hill. “To non-State students, it’s very iconic. Even for State students, it’s cool to show off, like, this is in my backyard.”

Current students, alumni and Spartan fans realize the impact that “Sparty” has on those who travel to the university.

Senior Jeffery Burnette brought his family to take a picture with the statue before the football game against the University of Oregon on Sept. 12.

“It’s just something you have to do when you come to campus,” said Burnette. “It’s tradition, if you come on campus you have to get a picture taken.”

While “Sparty” has become such a long-standing tradition at Michigan State, he has also become the target of long-standing rivalries.

According to Adam Lawver, assistant manager of Landscape Services with Infrastructure Planning and Facilities at Michigan State University, the statue is vandalized three to five times per year.

Lawver said in an email that “every occurrence of vandalism is a challenge” and that it usually takes two to three hours to clean up. Infrastructure Planning and Facilities does all that they can to combat the effects of potential future damage.

“We apply an anti-graffiti coating to the statue and base annually and touch up as needed,” Lawver said. “The cleaning method consists of power washing with soap.”

Due to the reputation that the Spartan statue has at Michigan State University, Lawver said that it is important to him and fellow co-workers to keep the statue preserved in order to keep the tradition alive.

“The Spartan statue is a symbol of pride and tradition for this great institution,” said Lawver. “The Spartan holds a historical significance and representation of many wonderful events in the University’s history.”

Information on the statue is available at the MSU Archives

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Three Jackets to Wear This Fall

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Three Jackets to Wear This Fall

Fall has arrived! The first day of autumn was Sept. 23. It is now socially acceptable to be excited about fall holidays and activities. Halloween, hayrides, pumpkin patches and cider mills, but most importantly, fall fashion can make its way back into your wardrobe.

As the temperature drops, wearing a light jacket can keep you both fashionable and warm. There are a variety of fall jacket trends for this year. Recently, students have been wearing classic fall jackets, but with a twist.

Leather Jackets 

Leather jackets are a necessity when it comes to fall fashion. The classic, sleek black look will always be a go-to. Black goes with anything, so it is easy to wear a leather jacket with anything such as a pair of pants, jeans, dresses or skirts.

The twist: Colored leather jackets have become a trend for Fall 2015. Some popular colors for the jackets include burgundy and gray. The colored leather jackets are fun for fall, simply because you can style them like a normal leather jacket, just with a little more color. 

Denim Jackets

Denim jackets are another classic jacket that you will see around campus. In the ‘90s, people would wear over-sized jackets and pair them with denim jeans. The movie Dope featured many ‘90s styled outfits, including denim jackets. Movie-inspired outfits have been transitioning into fall fashion.

The twist: Taking style tips from the ‘90s, acid-washed denim jackets are making a comeback. Also, denim jackets with colorful patches sewn on are squeezing their way back into the style trend.

Trench Coats

When the weather is more chilly and rainy, trench coats come in handy. Just like leather jackets, they go great with any outfit, and come in a variety of colors.

The twist: The trench coat trend that is becoming fashionable this fall is the longer trench coat. This instantly adds a touch of class to any outfit.

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Stay safe while riding bikes around campus this winter

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Stay safe while riding bikes around campus this winter

Biking on campus can seem difficult at times, and seems even less appealing in the winter. But for some, biking is something they stick to year round.

When the notoriously cold Michigan weather hits Michigan State University’s campus, Tim Potter, manager of the MSU Bike Service Center, said that biking is his ideal mode of transportation.

MSU Bikes

Photo courtesy of MSU Bikes

“A common thing that I hear people say ‘it’s too cold to ride my bike,’” said Potter. “Well, I feel that it’s too cold to walk or too cold to stand at a bus stop, because in that fifteen minutes of waiting for a bus you could be at class.”

Even on the coldest days Potter said how much easier it is to generate heat by pedaling on a bike rather than walking or standing.

“I’d much rather make progress towards my destination and generate heat rather than wait for a bus,” said Potter. “I like to be in control of my circumstances, that’s what keeps me riding.”

Potter said there are many different ways to succeed as a winter bicyclist.

Potter said that visibility is vital year-round, but especially during the winter for bikers.

“Having good lights; good rear and headlights,” said Potter, “Is really important throughout the year and even during the day. Shadows and shade can make it almost impossible for motorists to see you.”

Potter said he had an experience last year where he was riding his bike and was almost hit by an elderly driving a car who didn’t see him come out of the shade.

“It’s good to use the strobe light so that motorists can see you,” Potter said. “Call it the ‘be seen light.’”
Usually, Potter said he rides (and recommends riding) on the roadway, but in the winter when there’s low visibility, he rides on the sidewalk.

“I’ll often be on the sidewalks to avoid accidents where motorists might lose control,” Potter said.
It’s definitely time to stay on the sidewalk when it’s dark, or when there’s an active storm with low visibility, Potter said.

The MSU Bikes blog said that bikers should always be careful and have the mindset that drivers cannot see them.

“Assuming that drivers don’t see you is a good attitude any time of the year no matter whether you ride in the road (with or without bike lanes) or on the sidewalks/paths.”

Potter said that the bike store, located at 434 Farm Lane, hopes further education on bike lanes with public service announcement ivdeos to encourage motorists and bicyclists to know how to share the road safely.
As for not slipping around while riding in the winter, Potter said that he has found that “studded tires” make winter conditions much easier to navigate through.

“A few years ago I crashed riding down Farm Lane, it was black ice conditions in November and I didn’t think I needed to take precautions,” said Potter, “I decided from that point on to use studded tires, which is little screws in the tires.”

Studded tires are very critical to winter riding safety and may cost $40-$50 to buy, Potter said, but cheaper than going to the hospital.

Potter also said that on the MSU Bikes blog there are videos on how to make your own studded tires at home with a set of screws, unless you just want to buy new tires.

“Make sure you have tires with good traction. I recommend a wider tire,” said Potter. “Also make sure brakes are operational because when it starts to get cold and wet out, even with two working brakes, it’s still hard to stop.”

When it comes to the Michigan winters, Potter said that bikers should be aware of their surroundings and be taking good care of their bikes.

“Keep bikes indoor at night. Keeping bikes outside all the time, everything tends to rust up; brakes start to cease, shifting gets bad,” said Potter. “I highly recommend to keep bikes indoors, they’ll operate a lot better during the day.”

Potter said that three-fourths of residence halls have bike rooms that are free to use and that there are MSU bike garages in the parking ramps on Trowbridge Road and Grand River Avenue.

“They’re covered, secure and well-lit with an ATM machine and video camera for security.” said Potter. “Both of the facilities have a do-it-yourself repair station that have air-pumps and tools for basic adjustments and repairs.”

No preference sophomore Alexandra Harris said that she doesn’t fear the wrath of Michigan winters and that she prefers her own physical transportation over a bus.

“Buses are expensive and they scare me. When the weather gets bad I’ll walk, and if the paths aren’t snow covered I’ll ride my bike,” said Harris.

Communication sophomore Emily Chapman feels the same way as Harris.

“Last year the bus was so packed and the driver didn’t see me trying to get off at my stop, so they took off before I had the chance,” Chapman said. “Which is why I ride my bike or walk to classes, no matter where they are.”

Potter said the MSU bike store is a unique aspect to the university.

“We’re one of just a handful of university-owned bike shops in the country, and fewer than five are full-service,” said Potter, “our main focus is helping transportation cyclists.”

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Road block: Construction is leading to new and improved campus features

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Road block: Construction is leading to new and improved campus features

Walking through campus you might have been noticing the bright orange cones, thick lines of tape and the melodious sounds of drilling and hammering. It’s construction season here at MSU, and it’s bee going on for awhile.

There are currently three large projects happening on campus. Reconstruction of the steam distribution in the West Circle Steam Loop, the Wells Hall Addition/ Morrill Hall replacement, and of course, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, which has become more commonly known on campus as “The Spaceship.”

West Circle Steam Loop

If you have classes around West Circle or along East Circle drive, you may have spotted the closed off sidewalks and construction workers carrying out the tough tasks of improving the steam distribution in the West Circle Steam Loop.

According to the MSU Physical Plant’s website, the steam tunnels are about 87 to 100 years old and have significantly deteriorated and require replacement or repair for a safer and more reliable operation. This will be a four-segment project, lasting from 2012 to 2015. During the construction the buildings in the construction area will be converted to a high-pressure steam and pressure-condensate return lines, which will improve energy efficiency.

So, if you are ever somewhere between Beal street and East Circle drive and happen to see a construction worker working out of a drain in the sidewalk, don’t be afraid to say hi and thank him or her for repairing our steam system!

Wells and Morrill Halls

On the north side of campus currently lies Morrill Hall, but not for long. Sadly, the over-100-year-old-building is reaching the end of its useful life, according to construction.msu.edu. It states that Morrill Hall has experienced irreparable deterioration, and because of this, will be taken down and replaced with an addition to Wells Hall.

The new Wells Hall addition will host the language department including English, Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages; Spanish and Portuguese; English Language Center; and French, Classics and Italian. Religious studies and African American studies will also relocate to Wells Hall. It is stated that the ultimate goal is to create a cohesive and vibrant community for students, faculty and staff.

Exciting additions to Wells hall also include a green roof on the one-story addition, a new and visible east-west entrance to Wells Hall, removal of on-street parking, creation of adjacent barrier-free parking and street realignment and widening.

Demolition to Morrill Hall, originally opened in 1900, will begin after the completion of the Wells Hall addition.

Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum

Last but not least, is ” The Spaceship”, or formally known as the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum. Located on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Farm Lane, the building will be constructed of steel and concrete with pleated metal and glass exterior. It will be adjoined by an outdoor sculpture garden to the east and plaza to the west. Also there will be unique gallery spaces, an education wing, museum shop, visitor shop and gathering space.

Photo credit: Cayden Royce

Not only is this a very popular museum on campus, but it has also drawn a lot of controversy from students and staff. Kat Krukowski, a freshman pre-med student described the building as “out of place.”

“Its a cool building and definitely something worth adding to our campus, but it is such a modern-style building and it’s placed on the older side by most of our historical buildings so it just doesn’t seem to fit,” said Krukowski.

We conducted a poll to see what Michigan State students thought about the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum. Of those that answered about 55% think that the museum is a great addition to our campus, while the other 44% think it is a waste of space.

A dedication ceremony has been set for Saturday, November 10. A live web cam is set to see the day-to-day construction via the construction website as well. With the opinions that have been expressed during construction of the museum,

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Zombie Culture

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Zombie Culture

By Emily Green

Zombies, although not literally, have been sweeping the nation, with movies like Zombieland and television shows like The Walking Dead. With the zombie fever heating up, a new game Humans v Zombies, or HvZ as the players call, has emerged across the world at over 650 colleges and universities.

HvZ is essentially a game of tag. All of the players start the game as humans and one player is randomly chosen to be the original zombie. This original zombie then has to tag the human players and turn them into zombies. The game is won when either the zombies have turned all the human players into zombies or when the humans survive long enough for all the zombies to starve, which is when a zombie does not tag a human within forty-eight hours.

“There really isn’t anything more appealing then running around a beautiful campus like MSU’s, shooting NERF guns at other people. It just sounded like so much fun,” humanities pre-law sophomore Ben Burroughs said when speaking of why he decided to be a part of the HvZ game.

Photo credit: humansvszombies.org

A few of the basic things to know about HvZ are that humans must wear a bandana around their arm to identify themselves as humans in the game. When the players are turned into zombies, they must transfer the bandana to their heads.  Players are turned into zombies by getting tagged by an existing zombie in the game; after they are tagged they have now become an official member of the zombie team. The human players of the game are the ones who are waking around with the NERF guns.  They have these guns so they can stun the zombies for fifteen minutes by blasting them with the dart guns. This means that the zombies cannot interact in the game in anyway until those fifteen minutes are up.

With the undead roaming the streets of MSU’s campus, the humans are on the lookout, NERF guns held high in anticipation for a zombie attack. The HvZ game has really taken off and many students have joined in on the fun.

“I absolutely enjoy playing it, and I will most likely play until I graduate. It makes going to class and hanging out on campus a thousand times more fun,” said Burroughs.

HvZ has become very popular on campus. When the game is going on you can count on seeing a multitude of students running around campus wearing their bandanas with pride.

“My favorite part would have to be the thrill of walking to class, looking over your shoulder every few steps, feeling completely paranoid that a zombie could jump out at you any second, and then the rush when you survive an attack is amazing,” said Burroughs.

HvZ has made such a huge impact on the students and the culture at Michigan State that even the staff at MSU realizes how popular this zombie epidemic is by offering a zombie-themed class in the Social Work Department, entitled “Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse: Catastrophes & Human Behavior.” Along with classes about zombies there are many other activities and projects on campus that are incorporating zombies into them.

One of these projects would include the student film titled Apocalypse Theory, which is about the end of the world at MSU. This film was made by brothers and MSU students Brandon and Cameron Laventure. Together they decided to incorporate a scene with students playing HvZ into it.

“[HvZ] is a really interesting bit of culture we have at MSU. It gives campus its own unique life. Even if you are not a part of the game you are aware of the game and experience a part of it [just] by watching it,” said Brandon, who graduated from MSU in 2010.

The two brothers thought that including this scene in the film would bring a more personal feel to the film and be more relatable to the students, since this game is actually played here on our campus.

This craze has gone beyond being just for the students here at MSU; Troy Hale has recognized how popular zombies are in our culture and the entertainment industry right now and has decided to make a documentary film on the topic.

“Like anything, [zombies are] the current fad. A few years ago it was all about vampires, now its zombies.  Entertainment follows what people are currently interested in and vice-versa. Many shows are being made right now. The popularity and success of those shows create even more shows,” said Academic Specialist and Big Ten Network Coordinator Troy Hale.

Hale does not seem to think that this zombie mania will last long saying like everything, it has its life cycle. Something “new” will come along and interests will change. It will lose popularity and probably come back again in 50 years.

“It’s an interesting topic. People have a lot of interest in the topic so it’s the right time to make a documentary about it. Kevin Epling and I started to chat about all the interesting things going on around the topic of zombies. It’s an exciting thing to talk about so we started compiling interesting angles that we could cover in a documentary,” said Hale.

We see can see through the entertainment industry and the games that we play that zombies have truly taken over the world for the moment in a matter of speaking. Besides for HvZ being a part of the zombie craze right now, it is also a game of fun and excitement. It is a nice break for the students involved and even for those students who are just spectators between classes to take a small pause from constantly thinking about school work and focus on the game.

“Yes I would recommend the game to other students; it’s the novelty of embracing a childhood toy, combined with the fun and skills of being a college student. Not to mention the more people that play, the better,” said Burroughs.

With players as excited as this to share the game with as many students as possible makes it easier to see why this game is becoming so popular and many more students keep joining every year.

If you want to learn even more about HvZ, the official website is http://humansvszombies.org where you can find a more in-depth account of all the rules, as well as interesting facts and information about the game, including how the game was invented.


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