Tag Archive | "Michigan State"

10 New Year’s resolutions MSU students should consider

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10 New Year’s resolutions MSU students should consider

It’s that time of year, folks! 2015 is upon us and with it comes the tradition of making a New Year’s resolution. For those of you who haven’t decided on one yet, check out some of the following ideas:

1. Get involved

Michigan State University offers endless opportunities for students – clubs, organizations, and groups galore. Browse the university’s website and explore social media to check out what’s coming up on the calendar. Ask your friends, friends of friends, even post on Facebook that you’re interested in putting yourself out there.

2. Apply for a part-time job

I think by now we all understand that college is expensive. Not only can a part-time job help ease the debt, but it can also influence you to better manage your time. The knowledge of having to go to work may keep you from wasting any spare time you have and rather utilize it to finish class assignments. MSU’s location near Grand River Avenue provides numerous potential employment possibilities. In addition, there are on-campus options like Culinary Services, Student Ambassadors, Neighborhood Facilities and more.

3. Be a smarter spender

If you currently have a job or are looking to apply for one, make it a goal to balance the use of your paycheck in the New Year. For students who hold accounts with the MSU Federal Credit Union, call or walk in to discuss creating a savings account to deposit the money you make that isn’t needed to pay for housing or rent, food, and maybe the occasional shopping spree or movie night. There’s an MSUFCU located on campus in the Student Union building.

4. Decide your major

It’s time! If you haven’t already, try a meeting with your academic advisor. These professionals are available specifically to guide students in discovering where they fit. Career Services also offers a test that evaluates students based on their interests and skill set. Or maybe you just need to find out what you’re good at, so try new things. Your future profession could be something you haven’t even experienced yet.

5. Find inspiration

Sometimes, all someone needs to find is an idea that inspires them to move forward. Inspiration can push you toward a goal, whether it’s a career, a relationship, or personal growth. A dream board can be a perfect way to formulate this vision. Grab your favorite family photos, newspaper/magazine clippings, Instagram printouts, whatever it may be that inspires you. Throw it all together on a poster or bulletin board and put it somewhere you’ll see it every day.

6. Kick your caffeine habit

School is important, yes, but so is your health. Don’t depend on caffeine to keep you awake during those late night study sessions. Manage your homework schedule so you can get a good amount of sleep at night and lessen the need for an unnatural boost. In addition, try substituting that second or third cup of coffee with a tall glass of water.

7. Find your “spot” on campus

For some of us, it’s impossible to study or accomplish anything inside the walls of our own rooms. Luckily, MSU’s large campus offers a variety of buildings to escape to – 6 libraries, 2 Starbucks, the Student Union, and more. Your “spot” may not even be a place specifically established for study purposes. It could be a bench in the MSU Botanical Garden where a light breeze carries away the worry, a quiet classroom on the third floor of Case Hall, or even an empty table in the laundry room where the delicate hum of the dryers can really help you focus.

8. Create a bucket list or accomplish something on your bucket list

Everyone has one or two things that they want to see or do in their lives. Whether it may be to travel to Paris, France and take a picture with the Eiffel Tower or to get a tattoo, try and make it happen this year! From the musical words of Rent: “No day, but today”.

9. Take the bus less, walk more

This idea coincides with the “get healthy” resolution that many people attempt to accomplish in the New Year. However, during the first couple of weeks following January 1st, fitness centers across campus fill up more quickly as “resolutioners” show up to get fit. The simple action of choosing not to take the bus to Anthony Hall, or wherever it is you’re going, allows the opportunity to burn some extra calories with minimal effort.

10. Be happier

College can get the best of all of us. You’re not alone in feeling discouraged at times. Is your GPA getting you down? Not adjusting well to campus life? Having trouble branching out? Use this year to stand up and make a change. Don’t worry. Be happy.

These are just a few resolutions that you can try this year. If you have an idea that’s more personal to you or a goal you want to reach, go for it!

From all of us at The Big Green, have a happy New Year and make 2015 your best year yet.

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Hooked on hooking up: the damages of hookup culture

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Hooked on hooking up: the damages of hookup culture

Red solo cups litter the ground as young hormonal-infused 20-year-olds shuffle into a house with strobe lights filling every dark corner of the bigger rooms. Students attempt to avoid the spills of sticky unknown substances as they make their way past groups of party goers.

Hazy conversations and nameless interactions fill the air from the front door to the bathroom line, where dozens of kids look to relieve themselves for the third time of the night. But none of this late night conversing compares to the kind of physical foreplay going on in the basement.

A man dressed in a flannel and khakis, eager for the night to go somewhere exciting, spots a girl wearing high wasted shorts and a crop top. She is alone and clearly not dancing with anyone… this is his opportunity. He inches behind her and slowly moves his hips with hers. It takes just one ambitious sway from the man against his female counterpart’s waist before they are in sync, linked together for the next couple of songs.

“Casual hookups are such a big part of the social part of college,” said sophomore Will Reider.

Well known to incoming freshmen, hookup culture holds heavy weight in the social pressures that accompany students enrolled at universities.

“It’s an inevitable part of college as well as our generation,” Rieder said. “People go out, knowing they aren’t going to find a boyfriend or girlfriend, just have some fun.”

The concept of dating changes from high school to college—suddenly relationships are stressful, taking up time and keeping people from the “college experience.” Hooking up can provide an opportunity to fill the void for physical pleasure while rooting out the issue of emotional commitment.

“There is a lot more dishonesty when it comes to hooking up,” Rieder said. “People will say or do anything to get with someone. If you want to go out with someone, you need to be honest and some people don’t want that.”

So why does the mentality of sexual freedom change so much when welcome week rolls around? Stephanie Amada, a faculty member in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures at Michigan State University, has conducted extensive research on hookup culture and its enablers and consequences.

“Alcohol is the obvious one, [hookup culture] wouldn’t exist without it,” Amada said. “I believe a vast majority of hooking up takes place when it’s present.”

This liquid courage is a common trend among late-teen and early 20 year olds.

Amada said she believes alcohol provides people with the bravery to approach someone they think is cute.

“Some drink it intentionally so when they find themselves in the process, it’s okay,” said Amada. “They feel less inhibited and use it as an excuse.”

In addition to alcohol, Amada believes there to be a much bigger less obvious influence surrounding the lives of sexually active students.

“The media is the biggest one,” said Amada. “A lot of TV shows give the message that [hookup culture] is the norm and expected kind of behavior.”

Amada also finds the availability of tools such as plan B and condoms seem to be emphasizing what the media and alcohol already say is okay. Universities may not want to promote the culture, but they still retain a responsibility to reiterate practicing safe sex. It’s almost like posting on every dorm room: “Don’t do it, but if you do, use these.”

“They’re everywhere, ever-present,” said Amada. “They are being given the message it’s okay because of how readily available.”

A common theme that trails many random sexual crusades students embark upon is the promise of anonymity. When two kids meet up on the dance floor, this is very likely a spontaneous meeting between two unknown parties.

“Remaining anonymous is important for people hooking up,” said sophomore Alicia Geniac. “No one has to know. People can get drunk at parties, hook up then go home without ever knowing the person.”

Geniac also noted a darker side to a students attempt to remain unknown in their endeavors.

“Risk is created with people meeting on Tinder,” she said.

The smartphone application has been a contributing factor for anonymous hookups. After making an account featuring only their first name and five of their favorite self-flattering photos, users can swipe right or left on profiles of the preferred gender they are interested in meeting.

There aren’t many assumptions that can be drawn from ones profile besides their looks and the short bio they have the option of writing. If two people both show a mutual interest in one another, they can become “matched” and a message thread opens where they can get to know each other further.

“A barrier is created that I don’t think people mind having,” said Geniac. “It makes it easier and there are fewer pressures for it to go anywhere. But it’s still very dangerous.”

This barrier has led to ample opportunity for anyone seeking out an exclusively physical relationship. For some, the consequences are minor after a hook up.

“One of my frat brothers had been with a girl the night before when we saw him walking around the house,” said Rieder. “He looked like he had been attacked by a vampire just be looking at the purple bruise on the side of his neck.”

Facing the uglier side of this culture, there are plenty of chances for these kinds of engagements to make a student regret everything they had done in the recent past.

“There was a first year student who got pregnant by the first two weeks of college,” said Amada. “She had been with three different guys and therefore didn’t know who the father was.”

In truth, many don’t consider a potential pregnancy or colorful hickey being the result of the night. Students in the heat of passion, wrapped up in each other with alcohol buzzing in their brains and promiscuous thoughts traveling their minds, there isn’t much else teenagers are going to consider.

“We have become a more openly sexualized generation,” said Geniac. “Now people are more shy about asking people on dates, less about physical activity. It’s coming first, the physical activity is more common, less get to knowing.”

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African Student Gala celebrates culture and heritage

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African Student Gala celebrates culture and heritage

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Hundreds braved the unwarranted snowstorm to gather at the Wharton Center on Saturday, November 15 for the 29th annual African Student Gala, hosted by the African Student Union (ASU).

The 2014 African Student Gala, “Afroexposure: The Awakening of African Culture,” was “a wedding of westernization and African culture,” said this year’s emcee, Dulo.

Students, faculty and culture lovers from all walks of life were welcomed to celebrate the diversities of African heritage. Weston McJames, a junior from Okemos, Mich., learned of the event from his professor.

“I’m a political science major with an African studies specialization. My Swahili professor mentioned [the gala] and I thought it would be fun to attend,” he said.

“I really enjoyed the dancing,” said junior Lindsay Strong.

From 5-7:30 p.m., spectators watched as actors performed a romantic play, models flaunted traditional African garb and musicians and dancers shined on stage.

Although the African Student Union is housed at MSU, the gala is a national and global collaboration.

“Two years ago we invited T-Boy, an African comedian from England. This year we brought dancers from Wayne State and flew Dulo in from Baltimore,” said ASU’s former Vice President, Ekenamolisa Ofili.

In years past, students attended the gala from other universities in Michigan and across the Midwest.

“The gala is a big deal,” Ofili continued, “It’s definitely the biggest event we host. We spend a lot of time organizing and planning who we want to invite.”

When ASU isn’t hosting events, it is the ultimate resource for an African student’s transition to Michigan State.

“I’ll never forget Brooke Cutler. She was an amazing lady in charge of bringing international students to MSU. She literally picked us up as soon as we arrived, took us out to dinner and told us about ASU,” Ofili said.

For more information about the African Student Union or upcoming events, visit ASU’s website at https://www.msu.edu/~asu/.

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An untapped resource: MSU Union’s Student Media Center

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An untapped resource: MSU Union’s Student Media Center

Often overlooked as another building on Michigan State’s campus, the student union hides many unknown resources just behind its beige brick walls.

The Student Media Center, found at the northern end of the ground level of the Union, presents people in every corner of the community several resources that only few have used to their advantage.

Mac computers updated with the latest in video and photo editing software are available for all student and faculty use.

Mac computers updated with the latest in video and photo editing software are available for all student and faculty use.

To Nick Noel, the center’s manager, this place provides a wealth of more than just material goods.

“I’d like to think the Student Media Center fills a tri-role,” said Noel. “We provide event support, services for academics, and opportunities for personal projects.”

On paper, the Student Media Center provides services spanning from copying and faxing to button making and balloon tying. They can print banners for Greek life, UAB events or assist students in need of graphic design assistance. For students who don’t have the money to invest in professional grade video equipment, video cameras and tripods are available for renting as well as green room reservations.

Students looking to complete class projects or pursue their own creative hobbies can access an abundance of tools here. The desktop computers located in the room come loaded with the most updated software including Adobe Creative Cloud and Final Cut Pro.

This kind of opportunity is invaluable to a student like Jesus Vega, a senior international relations and economics major.

“I can’t afford a lot of the things offered here for free,” said Vega. “The computers are my favorite part of the center. Final Cut Pro is a great application for what I’m doing.”

The studio room comes equipped with professional grade equipment such as video cameras, tripods, light fixtures and a green background.

The studio room comes equipped with professional grade equipment such as video cameras, tripods, light fixtures and a green background.

Vega discovered the media center during the first week of school. Since then, he has been checking out video equipment and using it for his own personal use.

Despite the plethora of resources available for use, many MSU faculty, staff and students have not taken advantage of the opportunities available.

Even with such a recent unveiling of the Union’s newest department, Noel said he noticed an increase in usage of the center since it’s opening.

“With anything new, it takes time,” said Noel. “We just became fully operational this January.”

Just into October, Noel has noted a rising use of the center.

“We keep a tally of people who come in to the center,” said Noel. “I’ve noted a 50 percent increase since last semester.”

Supply chain management junior Lisa Nye is a student and student supervisor under Noel. Nye said she sees the importance in the student media center.

“Even students not in a video or graphic design major can come in,” said Nye. “They can still work on their own thing and learn new hobbies.”

Students and campus residents may begin to notice increased advertising. Dining hall standees may showcase the student media center as well as YouTube videos that show the available tools.

As the school year pushes further into winter, Noel said he remains eager for more students to take advantage of the student media center.

“Students can come here to learn on their own time at their own pace,” Noel said. “They can experience near infinite freedom in their creative endeavors.”

A quick description of the complex is on the MSU Union website on the services tab.

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What TBG loves about November

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What TBG loves about November


10. Beginning of the holidays

Halloween is just finished and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are right around the corner. The holidays are one of the most joyous times of year—fun, friends, family and food are abundant. Worth checking out is Lansing’s annual Silver Bells in the City Festival will kick off the holiday season in mid-Michigan on Nov. 21 from 5 pm to 9 pm.
9. Stress relief

Midterms are done (for the most part) and there’s still a month until finals. For most MSU students, there is usually a bit of an academic breather come the month of November.
8. Colors on campus

November is the last time to enjoy the beautiful reds, oranges and yellows that grace the trees on campus before the trees turn barren for the winter.
7. Warm drinks

Let’s be honest: hot chocolate, tea and coffee go perfect with November weather.
6. Black Friday
Even if you don’t go shopping on the actual date, the beginning of holiday sales at your favorite stores is worth a celebration. If you do go shopping on Black Friday, TBG honors your bravery.
5. Michigan State Football

MSU Football kicks into high gear in November as the team pushes closer to a trip to the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis. A night game against Ohio State on the Nov. 8 and a trip to Maryland on Nov. 15 are highlights of the Spartans’ schedule.
4. Michigan State Basketball

November means the return of Spartan basketball. The Spartans kick off the 2014-15 season with two exhibition games against The Master’s College on Nov. 3 and St. Cloud State on Nov. 7. The first regular season game will be against in Annapolis, Md. against Navy on Nov. 14, just one day before the football team faces off against the Terps in College Park, Md.
3. Fall Fashion

For girls, it likely means leggings, warm scarves and boots. For guys, it likely means hoodies and flannels. Either way, there’s no arguing that fall is easily the most chic and comfortable fashion season of the year.
2. Thanksgiving break

Four days off of school and time to spend back home with family and friends. Enough said.
1. Thanksgiving food

The best meal of the year.

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Mono — What is it and how to identify it

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Mono — What is it and how to identify it


Mononucleosis is commonly nicknamed the “kissing disease” on college campuses. As it turns out, the name isn’t that far from the truth.

“I always hear about people who say they got mono in college,” said human development and family studies freshman Claire Lynch.

The seemingly elusive illness is transmitted through the exchanging of saliva – which includes sharing drinks, eating utensils, lipstick or lip gloss—and yes, even kissing. Its symptoms vary in commonality from person-to-person, making it difficult to identify.

“Typical symptoms of infectious Mononucleosis include fever, sore throat, swollen lymph glands in neck and fatigue,” said Dr. Suman Kashyap, Associate Director of Clinical Affairs from Olin Health Center at Michigan State University.

Kashyap said mono is most common in young adults starting at age fifteen. The illness can be erratic on a college campus where the average age group ranges from 17 to early twenties.

The earliest indicators include fever, nausea or loss of appetite and headaches. The appearance of these symptoms ranges from four to six weeks after initial exposure, according to a brochure from the American College Health Association, which is given to students at Olin Health Center following a diagnosis of mono.

Michigan State senior Lauren Starr has been experiencing symptoms of mono for about five weeks. She described the illness in one word—exhausting.

“My worst symptoms have been my extreme exhaustion and fatigue as well as the symptoms I experienced just after getting diagnosed, which included a persistent fever, sore throat, and swollen glands in my neck and spleen,” said Starr.

Starr said that mono has kept her from carrying out her normal routine. Her biggest battle—not being able to be physically active.

“I have not been able to work out which is something that I am used to doing every day,” Starr said. “There is potential for the spleen to rupture if it is hit or aggravated when someone has mono, which can be life threatening if it were to rupture.”

Dr. Kashyap reinforced Starr’s statement, saying it is a physician’s recommendation to wait at least four to six weeks after initial diagnosis before continuing with normal physical activity.

When it comes to a full recovery, not many medications are able to combat the illness—it takes more than a simple prescription to recover.

“Maintenance of adequate fluids and nutrition is important,” Dr. Kashyap said. “It is advised to get extra rest, but bed rest is unnecessary. Some medications may be required only if complications develop.”

Olin Health Center sees an average of 180 to 200 cases of mono in a year. It doesn’t occur more frequently in one season over another, so transmission of the illness can occur year-round.

According to the American College Health Association, if you have symptoms that are similar to those stated above, it might not mean you have mono, but it is encouraged to see a health care professional to be evaluated.

“Mono has affected every aspect of my life and I can’t wait until I am back to normal health,” said Starr.

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What to watch on Netflix: The Halloween Editon

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What to watch on Netflix: The Halloween Editon


It’s that time of the year again! No, not Christmas—All Hallow’s Eve is here. Whether you’re spending it partying in a costume that took you hours to put together, handing out candy, or spending it on your couch, Netflix has a perfect selection of TV shows and movies. It’ll get you in the spirit… and maybe scared out of your pants.

TV Shows:


The Supernatural series follows brothers Dean and Sam Winchester as they travel across the country hunting demons, vampires and spirits. After one episode, you’ll be binge-watching the all nine seasons.

American Horror Story

The writers of this show are by far some of the most creative (and disturbed) individuals on the planet. Season one, “Murder House”, centers around a family who moves from across the country into a mysterious home. Little do they know, the house is a host for several ghosts who cannot rest in peace. Season two, “Asylum”, takes a different path than murder house. It is set in the 1960s in an insane asylum that is operated by a church. It sheds light on how cruelly mental patients were treated in the past.

Bates Motel

The 1960s film Pyscho, known most for its infamous shower scene, quickly became a cult classic. “Bates Motel” is a prequel to the movie franchise, but is set in modern day, and follows the infamous Norman Bates as a teenager.


This series follows Dexter, who specializes in blood spatter at Miami Metro Homicide. By day he solves crime, but at night he’s the one committing them. He struggles with leading a normal life and goes to extremes to hide his true identity. When Dexter says that blood is his life, he isn’t kidding.



If you don’t want to invest in a TV show, Netflix has a variety of scary movies. Some people don’t know that there’s sub-genres to the Horror section on Netflix. A couple include Cult Horror, Teen Screams, Slashers and Serial Killers, Horror Comedy, and even Halloween Favorites.

Scream 1, 2, and 3

The 1996 slasher film Scream changed the horror movie industry. It gained a large following and is considered a cult classic. Netflix currently streams the first three movies of the series. The ghost face mask is terrifying—but I won’t go into too many details about it. Horror movies thrive on the element of surprise.

Insidious: Part 2

This movie is a sequel to the 2010 film, Insidious. Before deciding to watch this one on Netflix, it’s best to have watched the first movie. It features demonic spirits who possess people and crave only one thing: human life. These spirits will kill and destroy anyone and anything that gets in the way of them finally receiving a soul.


What’s Halloween without a Stephen King movie? Netflix streams two versions of the classic novel turned film. The recent adaptation of Carrie is more suitable for those who value the art of cinema. If you get queasy easily, Carrie is not the film for you, as both versions contain lots of blood.

Silence of the Lambs

This psychological thriller is a classic must-see. It features a charismatic cannibalistic doctor, Hannibal Lecter. The film explores the minds of psychopaths. It does play with the mind using suspense, but is gory in certain scenes. There’s something frightening about a genius like Dr. Lecter who’s capable of committing murder with his bare hands.

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Understanding the rush process

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Understanding the rush process

Fitting in at MSU often means knowing words like “Shy-Phi” and “D2L”.

But one word—“rush”—the process of joining a sorority or a fraternity, remains a mystery to many students.

“Rushing is when a potential member new member goes through the recruitment process in the hopes of receiving an invitation [bid] to a house,” said senior Alyssa Fritz, President of the Panhellenic Council and member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority.

For aspiring sorority members at Michigan State, rushing begins the first week of September. The process, which follows a system of days with a specific focus, kicks off with two spirit days where those rushing mingled with one another and wear t-shirts to represent the Greek life.

Philanthropy day gives girls the opportunity to learn about each sorority’s respective philanthropy and sometimes even participate. On values day, prospective and current sorority members get to know each other better by sharing their values and beliefs.

For potential Greek life members, it’s all about finding a chapter that fits their personality and hoping the members of that chapter think they fit in, too.

“Recruitment is based on mutual selection – not only must the chapter believe the potential new member (PNM) will be a good fit in their house but the PNM must also find the house conducive to her personality as well,” Fritz said. “Though all houses share similar core values like scholarship, philanthropy, good character, etc., each has a distinct personality that distinguishes them from one other. A PNM may stand out more to one house than she will to another because her personality better complements that of their organization.”

Values day is followed by preference day and bid day, where those rushing write down their top sorority picks and are ultimately chosen or denied by a sorority. Fraternity rushing begins the next week and follows a similar pattern.

Bid Day can be a stressful day for some, but for freshman Emily Walsh, the entire week was an exhilarating experience.

“The recruitment process is exciting because you get to meet so many people through the process,” Walsh said. “I now see so many familiar faces when I’m walking around campus. Although it is a long process, the moment when I opened my bid card and saw that I was member of Pi Beta Phi made it all worth it.

Fritz said she is proud of the work the Panhellenic community has put forth in recruiting new members.

“This was our most successful fall recruitment to date,” Fritz said. “Since 2009 we have had a 100% increase in women registering for fall recruitment while the number of female students enrolled at MSU has not increased that much.”

Fritz went on to say a record 1216 women signed up to participate in fall sorority recruitment, with about 700 accepting bids.

For many sororities and fraternities, the rushing process has come to an end.

“All sororities participate in Formal Recruitment in the fall, which is organized by Panhellenic Council in conjunction with each of the chapters,” Fritz said. “This recruitment is much more structured than that which occurs in the spring. The number of active members each house is permitted to have is regulated to ensure that all have about the same number of women and those numbers are systematically set following fall recruitment.

But for other sororities and fraternities, the process will begin again in the spring.

“After fall recruitment ends, if chapters have not reached campus total then they are eligible to hold COB—or continuous open bidding—events,” said senior Camaryn Self, Vice President of Recruitment Logistics on the Panhellenic Council said. “Similarly, if in the spring semester chapters have not reached campus total, then they can hold COB events as well.”

With Greek recruitment coming to an end, the process of integrating new members into their chapters, once called “pledging”, begins.

“Once recruitment is over and a woman receives a bid from a chapter, then she becomes a new member and begins her new member term,” Self said. “During this term, she attends weekly new member meetings where she learns about the history of the sorority and prepares for initiation of membership into that sorority.”

Although this year’s Greek recruitment process has come to an end, the process will begin anew next year, and the best thing for hopeful members to do turns out to be pretty simple.

“The best advice I have for anyone going through recruitment is to be themselves and have conversations about what they value and what truly matters to them,” Fritz said. “This is the best way for them to figure out which house will be the perfect fit for them.”

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Where does student’s money go?

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Where does student’s money go?

White all Spartans pay to attend Michigan State, few actually know where their money goes.

Civil engineering sophomore Tyler Frederick is one of many students who said he wishes he was more informed about what costs his tuition is actually covering.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics Website, Michigan State University reported the estimated cost for in-state tuition and fees for the 2012-13 academic year was $12,622.

Frederick said that he would like to be more informed about what is included in the fees portion of his educational costs

“I know we pay a lot for T.A.s and stuff that most of the time I don’t do anything with,” he said.

Some students, like interdisciplinary studies freshman Emilee Morse, have said they’ve heard rumors about what student tuition goes toward.

“I heard one (rumor) about how some of our tuition went towards the new museum of art that they built on North campus,” Morse said.

Jessica Kaczmarczyk, an employee at the Broad Art Museum, said the majority of funding for the museum came from Eli and Edythe Broad, and none of the funding came from student tuition.

Some undergraduate students who choose to have a meal plan often have heard rumors about how many meals they pay for in a week.

Frederick said he has heard from friends that students are paying for 70 meals a week.

According to MSU Eat at State Website, the cheapest, unlimited dining plan available to students is the Silver plan and it costs $2,585 per semester.

MSU Culinary Services Communications Manager Jenna Brown said Via email that the amount of meals per day allowed by meal plans has been discovered.

“A student did try to see if the dining plan would max out, however, and he found that the exact number is 99 per day,” she said.

Media and information sophomore Cameron Cummings had nothing to say but “Wow,” when he was told how many meals a week students with dining plans could eat.

Cummings said this concerns him because he eats less than three times a day.

Though students with dining plans have the option to eat 99 times per day, this does not mean students are paying for that much.

“The meal plan is about accessibility and flexibility, not quantity. It gives you the option of food service from seven a.m. to midnight, seven days a week, plus the Combo-x-Change five days all for one inclusive price,” MSU Residential Dining Associate Director Bruce Haskell said via email.

Haskell said if a student ate 28 meals per week and got their combo five days a week for a semester, the cost of per meal would be about $4.60.

Students have also expressed concerns regarding additional costs of attending Michigan State that are not included in tuition and fees.

Fees which elementary education junior Elizabeth Mendez said she is concerned about include parking costs and school supplies.

Mendez said the university should give students a list of fees not included in the cost of tuition before they come to school.

Some students like Cummings have experienced the campus-wide distaste for MSU parking issues such as receiving several tickets.

“I have three right now that I haven’t paid in a long time,” Cummings said.

MSU Parking Operations Manager Lynnette Forman said parking tickets result in a large amount of fees.

“The gross amount of parking tickets and fees in 2010 was about $2 million and the net amount in 2010 was about $180,000 to $200,000, ” she said.

Cummings said he originally thought only the parking department pocketed parking ticket money.

However, Forman said the money made from parking tickets goes toward parking, traffic, and pedestrian-related issues.

She said the money is used for things like speed bump and the monthly phone bill for the green light emergency telephones placed around campus.

Forman also said the money helps prevent accidents by funding the talking crosswalk signals in order to help the visually-impaired.

She also said the money has helped reduce the amount of accidents is by funding the removal and reconstruction of the many traffic circles, which were highly prone to accidents, into four-way stops.

Forman said the only money that goes straight to the department is the money made from parking passes and tuition is not used at all for maintenance.

Accounting freshman LaToya Smith said the cost of textbooks is her greatest monetary concern. She said for each of her semesters she spent about $500 on books alone.

For the 2012-13 academic year MSU reported to the National Center for Education Statistics the estimated expenses for books and supplies was $1,026, according to the NCES Website.

According to the MSU Office of Financial Aid Website, other fees undergraduate students each pay include a tax of $18 for the service of Associated Students of MSU, a tax of $5 for the State News and a tax for FM radio.

The ASMSU tax funds student programs and events; the State News tax funds the publication of the student-run newspaper and the FM radio tax funds two student-run stations.

With the amount of money students are paying to attend school, it is helpful to know where our money goes.

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International students come to experience culture, despite being far from home

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International students come to experience culture, despite being far from home

For some Michigan State University students, home is just a 15-minute drive away. For others, it is multiple hour-long flights back to a country on the other side of the world.

According to the Office of International Students and Scholars, 7,161 international students were enrolled at MSU for the Fall 2013 semester among the 49,343 total students. The number of international students at MSU is moving in an upward trend, but why do they choose to attend school here?

Senior advertising student Michael Wong from Hong Kong and freshman general management student Qi Zhang from China said they made the choice to come to MSU because of the programs available.

Wong said he attended Washington State for his freshman and sophomore years but transferred because MSU offers such a good advertising program.

As a freshman, coming to a new country may seem like a scary idea, but Zhang and finance major Xinyi Jiang from China said they were not nervous. Zhang said she knew she wanted to study abroad and Jiang had visited America before.

All 3 students said school back home in China is much different than MSU.

“The style of study is study is different because when we study in China, we just prepare for our biggest exam,” Zhang said. “We think the exam is very important but when we study in America, we think not just the exam. We also need to do lots of work.”

Zhang said when she compares school life with her friends back home, her friends are mostly focused on exams at the universities they attend.

Assistant Director for the Office of International Students and Scholars Brooke Stokdyk said one of the struggles she sees international students have is getting used to the American learning style.

“The participatory style, the level of engagement, the fact that a final test isn’t 100 percent of your grade those all things that are usually, most of our international students are experiencing for the first time,” Stokdyk said.

Jiang said school life in America is different because back home, she has help from friends in family, whereas in America she said, “I just have myself.”

She thinks she will grow up faster than if she were to study in China.

China is just one of the 131 countries represented at MSU and it is home to more than half of MSU’s international students. Other international students come from countries such as India, The Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan. The full list of countries represented can be found on the OISS webpage.

The OISS assists international students with support and their needs, serves as the liaison between international students and the U.S. government, and manages visa statuses, Stokdyk said.

Stokdyk said in order for any international student to attend school at MSU, he or she must obtain an I-20 or DS-2019, which are Visa documents.

Through those documents, the student is given either an F-1 or J-1 Visa. Most MSU students are on the F-1 Visa, according to Stokdyk.

Wong said he is required to renew his visa every four to five years. As a senior, he is given three months after graduation to find a job. He hopes to find one in America; Otherwise, he will go back home to Hong Kong.

Stokdyk said through engaging with international students, domestic students can learn about the greater world and how the world we live in is much bigger than some people may think.
“Very few Americans end up learning a foreign language, but even if you don’t, because a lot of people do speak English now, but you do have to have cultural knowledge in order to connect around the world and be successful in a career,” Stokdyk said.

However, building friendships with American students is another struggle international students face, Stokdyk said.

“There was a recent study that showed 40 percent of international students graduate without having made a real American friend which is really unfortunate,” Stokdyk said.

Just like domestic students can learn about different cultures from international students, Zhang said she has learned from some of her fellow classmates.

“The students from Michigan they also tell me where is the best place to have a trip in Michigan,” Zhang said.

Wong said working part time for MSU concessions has helped him and taught him a lot.

“In my opinion, it’s a good way to get better speaking and writing skills,” Wong said.

Before studying in America, Jiang said she had more in common with fellow students back home. Now, she said she has less because she has studied different cultures and interacted with different people in America, while her friends back home have not.

Though she is thousands of miles of home and feels the culture conflict that comes with interacting with different people, Jiang said she also feels the warmth from people around her and through making new friends.

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