Tag Archive | "students"

The Roial Players’ spring season

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The Roial Players’ spring season


“Count them in 3, 2, 1 … *clap*,” the scene leader announces to the crowd as a few actors take the stage to perform their improvisation, from which much of the context is compiled from the audience’s ideas.

The Roial Players is a studentled theatre group at Michigan State University. It was started in 2005 by various Arts and Humanities students and dedicated to the art of theatre without requiring the students to commit to a theatre major.

Lives of Saints performance. Photo by Elsa Finch.

Lives of Saints performance. Photo by Elsa Finch.

The spelling of Roial was originally an acronym for a College of Arts & Letters program (Residential Option in Arts and Letters). After the program was disbanded, a few students continued it as a group and joined together with the Residential College of Arts and Humanities (RCAH). It was only three or four years ago that they dropped the acronym and changed the name to the Roial Players.

The Roial’s Treasurer Marcus Fields said, “Working on productions with Roial is so much fun, because students get to handle every aspect of the production including writing, booking rehearsal space, casting, rehearsing, set design and construction, developing marketing strategies, costume and makeup design, filming promotional videos, etc.

“There’s always an opportunity to learn a new skill alongside someone else and have fun at the same time. Every show is unique, having been developed from the collaborative efforts of many creative individuals fulfilling all of the roles necessary to produce a theater production.”

Since it began, it has become a more comprehensive performing arts group with many different components, which includes their monthly improv shows, as well as four full length performances per year.

The group’s full length performances consist of compilations of one acts and a Creative Showcase talent show. The improv shows occur once a month, including one that will be performed on Feb. 27 at 9:00 p.m. at the RCAH Theater, located in the basement of Snyder-Phillips Hall. The theme of this production is “Roial Rumble,” in which Notre Dame’s Humor Artists will be joining them on stage. The improv performances are very audiencebased and work straight from words or ideas that are either shouted out or written down.

Along with their live performances, the group has their own film division, writers club, and a makeup, hair and stage management team.

“We’re proud of the fact that we are able to offer so many opportunities to so many different types of people, especially just as students,” said Lauren Gaynor, executive director of Roial Players.

A few weeks ago, the group produced a show called Dog Sees God, a parody of the Peanuts comics. The show followed the characters throughout high school. The performance was aimed more toward the mature audiences, but it was “fun and extremely quirky,” according to Gaynor.

Roial Players is open to any Michigan State University registered student. There are many meetings throughout the year.

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New Immersive Studio for Communication Arts and Sciences students


According to the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, summer construction will bring students an immersive studio, a glass-walled newsroom and huge opportunity.

The College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University.

The College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University.

The space, opening for classes in January 2017, will be named The Center for Immersive Media Education. Its goal is to provide students with a chance to participate in creating and delivering news, animation, advertising and game design. The rooms will give students access to the newest technology: motion capture, holograms and virtual reality broadcasts.

Students in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences will have the chance to be involved in coverage of the presidential election in their classes once the center opens.

Students will have access to share stories through different platforms including text, audio, video, photography, information graphics and animation. Students and professors will also be able to produce virtual reality broadcasts with the new technology, which opens many doors for integrative learning. The construction is meant to keep Michigan State University competitive in global journalism and media arts.

Communication Arts and Sciences students regard the new construction as a new beginning for their college.

Freshman Pete Hulett has recently procured an interest in broadcast journalism and says the construction will bring a state of the art facility to the college and university.

“I think this sets Michigan State apart from other universities,” he said, “It is an innovative step that will propel this university into one of the top tier schools of communication arts and sciences, and specifically journalism. I believe it will increase the employment rate of Communication Arts and Sciences students after graduation.”

Freshman journalism major Shelby Burnett also anticipates what the construction will add to the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

She said, “The construction will bring a lot more opportunities for students to get involved with broadcasting and news. I think it will bring internships within the college. More importantly, I believe the university will receive a lot of great publicity and a reputation of legitimacy that other schools don’t have.”

As summer approaches, students and faculty will hear more about the space and what it will have to offer. Click here for more information.

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How to avoid the Freshman 15

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How to avoid the Freshman 15


The Freshman 15 haunts every student attending his or her first year of college. Although this does not apply to everyone, some students experience weight gain during the first year, or any year of college.

One in four college freshmen gain 10 pounds within the first semester, according to a report by WebMD. So, what are the reasons that college freshmen tend to gain weight? Why are students aware of the potential 15 pounds, yet so many experience it?

It could be the cafeterias all-access policy, a change in schedule, minimal aid in meal planning or too many nights out. Whatever the reason, The Big Green has eight tips to help you avoid the Freshman 15.

1. Walk to class

Riding the CATA bus is tempting for some people, particularly throughout winter, and especially when you paid for a semester pass. Walking to class instead is a great way to sustain energy throughout the school year. Plus, by walking the campus, you will be able to experience the beautiful nature that Michigan State University has to offer.

2. Take advantage of the free group exercise classes at MSU

Provided by Live On, MSU offers free group exercise classes in each neighborhood on campus throughout the week. Check out when yoga, cardiokickboxing or zumba will be in your neighborhood here.

3. Go to the gym at least three times a week

Take a study break and go to the gym. MSU has full-year and one-semester gym memberships that are available for purchase at any time.

You don’t have to buy a membership to have the opportunity to work out at a gym, however. Some halls have gym equipment located within the building. This is a free alternative! The only requirement is you have to be a resident. See if there is a gym provided in your building here. Another tip is to get a gym buddy! Meeting a friend, and pushing each other through a workout makes going to the gym simple.

4. Eat in moderation

Try some healthy alternative meals to avoid the Freshman 15. Photo via Creative Commons.

Try some healthy alternative meals to avoid the Freshman 15. Photo via Creative Commons.

It might be hard to turn down the cafeteria, especially if you have one in your building. The best advice to avoid eating too much in the cafeteria is to eat in moderation or practice portion control. MSU provides a portion size chart to help students eat the right amounts of foods, take a look at it here.

5. Avoid late night meals

It is tempting to indulge in Conrad’s, Menna’s Joint, Taco Bell or delivery after a night out with friends. Try to avoid eating after 9 p.m. If the cravings persist, choose a healthier snack before bed to tame the hunger.

6. Don’t drink your calories

Pop and alcohol have empty calories that can simply be avoided if you drink them in moderation or cut them out of your diet completely. As a substitution, try drinking water more. Water fused with lemons or berries can taste more appetizing.

7. Take a class

MSU offers Kinesiology courses at many different levels. Most fitness based KIN courses follow a pass/fail criteria.To earn credit for the class, you have to get up and be active!

8. NetNutrition

The cafeteria is possibly the only source of food you have on campus. Eat at State provides a campus cafeteria calorie counter, NetNutrition. This format allows you to select items from MSU menus, build a meal, then quantify the nutrition. You can also insert in your allergies to know which foods to avoid. Check it out!

A little bit of weight gain is okay! It happens to the best of us. By following these tips, you can bust the Freshman 15 standard and have a little more control on how it affects your body.

 

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Taiwan, China or Taiwan and China?

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Taiwan, China or Taiwan and China?


The presidential elections were held in Taiwan on Jan. 16. After Tsai Ing-wen, the first female president of Taiwan, won the election, sharp political debate has accelerated and broken out about the future relationship between mainland China and Taiwan. So, what is really going on?

For general concepts, you need to know about the extremely complicated history of Taiwan. Here is the Taiwan profile – Timeline” published on Jan. 20 by BBC news. The history around 1949 has given Taiwan a controversial status.

The conflicts between Taiwan and China don’t only exist in history, but also in daily life, whether noticeable or not. The conflicts even happen around Michigan State University.

Recently, Holden Hall at MSU posted a board displaying the “Home Countries.” As the picture shows, the Live On office put Hong Kong, Taiwan and China’s flags separately. Some students voiced their anger about the display and one Chinese student sent an email to the MSU Live On office claiming the incorrectness of this composition. The student expressed his issues with Taiwan and Hong Kong being referred to as home countries on the board.

The "Holden Home Countries" board in Holden Hall.

The “Holden Home Countries” board in Holden Hall. Photo via Kaiyue Zhang.

“The word shown in the picture are seriously disrespectful and insulting, especially for Chinese students,” Li, a math freshman who asked not to use his full name, wrote in an email. The Live On office gave a response very quickly.

“She replied (to) me in a few seconds and showed the willingness of discussing the future boards with me after I sent (an) email to her. She is pretty nice,” said Li.

According to investigation, the responsible officer from MSU Live On used the home country data from the sheets students completed when they signed in.

The environment Chinese people and Taiwanese lived in has influenced their consideration of their identity.

“The government system is different, I’ve grown up in democracy, I’ve grown up speaking the way Taiwanese speak, I’ve grown up writing how Taiwanese would write, so I consider myself as Taiwanese,” said Austin Shiau, a freshman who was born in Australia and grew up in Taiwan.

Undeniable, the culture difference is a big part of the reason why people from Taiwan consider themselves as Taiwanese instead of Chinese; however, the government education also influenced people’s perspective.

Beijing and Taiwan both hold that “There is only one China.” “The One-China Policy” states that countries seeking diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China must break official relations with Republic of China and vice versa.

What’s interesting and the real cause of ambivalence is very likely because of the different textbooks and education about sovereignty in Taiwan and mainland China.

According to the Anti-Secession Law of People’s Republic of China: “There is only one China in the world. Both the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China. China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is the common obligation of all Chinese people, the Taiwan compatriots included. Taiwan is part of China…”

However, at the same time, the 7th Additional Article of the Constitution of Republic Of China states: “The territory of the Republic of China, defined by its existing national boundaries, shall not be altered unless initiated upon the proposal of one-fourth of the total members of the Legislative Yuan…” This has been effective since 2005.

There is an important basic cognitive bias in psychology called the Availability Cascade, which refers to a self-reinforcing process in which a collective belief gains more and more plausibility through its increasing repetition in public resource (or “repeat something long enough and it will become true”).

Whatever the governments are doing, the conflicts between mainland China and Taiwan have been planted deeply in everyone’s mind.  

The president Tsai Ing-Wen said when interviewed by CNN: “Only through strength, can we gain more respect and protect our people and our democratic way of life.” CNN reporter Kristie Lu Stout also mentioned the decreasing support of “One-China” in Taiwan: “According to Taiwan’s national research center,  a growing number of young people on the island are identifying themselves as Taiwanese rather than Chinese, choosing to identify with their birthplace as opposed to the homeland of many of their ancestors.”

On Jan. 20, after Tsai Ing-wen won the election, some people from mainland China jumped out from the Great Firewall and started a furious attack to the people who insist the independence of Taiwan on Facebook. The main sponsor of this attack was Diba, one of the largest Chinese message boards on the Internet, which has 20.54 million followers while the population of Taiwan is 23.43 million.

The question about sovereignty of Taiwan has been asked by people for a long time. Some questions in Quora (a question-and-answer website) and Zhihu (Chinese version of Quora) also clearly represent the totally different opinion between mainland and Taiwanese people. While “Why do educated Chinese people still believe Taiwan is part of People’s Republic of China, if the PRC has never actually controlled Taiwan?” gained 100+ answers with rational evidences, the question, “Why people from Taiwan do not regard themselves as Chinese?” attracted around 100 informative answers before the question was closed by the Zhihu official account.

The conflicts seem to never end. Recently, the words “Taiwan is an island country in the Pacific Ocean with a democratic government” and a series of information about Taiwan was posted in the same board as “Holden Home Countries” posted before. Under the map and flag of Taiwan, a small sentence, “Information from: Taiwanese Student Association” heaves in our sight. Even though it’s just a small board in one of many universities in America, people from mainland China and Taiwan still care and fight for their sovereignty standpoint; and those people are just normal students. It’s even harder to imagine how the conflicts distribute in all other corners over the world.

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The Stonewall Society seeks change for LGBTQ students

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The Stonewall Society seeks change for LGBTQ students


The Stonewall Society is a new LGBTQ advocacy group within the James Madison College at Michigan State University. The new student organization aims to encourage change to curriculum and promote discussion within the college and across campus about LGBTQ issues.

President of The Stonewall Society Ben Schroff is a junior studying social relations and policy and comparative cultures and politics within the James Madison College. He is also pursuing minors in women’s and gender studies as well as LGBTQ and sexuality studies.

The Stonewall Society of MSU. Photo via Ben Schroff.

The Stonewall Society of MSU. Photo via Ben Schroff.

With two and a half years as a student in the James Madison College completed, Schroff is well-versed in the workings of the programs and courses offered to students. This year, he wants to challenge them and make a difference within the college for the LGBTQ community by founding The Stonewall Society.

Schroff explained that the inspiration to start the organization came from a fellow James Madison group: the W.E.B. DuBois Society, a black advocacy group. The W.E.B. DuBois Society has established their presence this semester as they continue to address issues surrounding racial climate within the James Madison College.

He said that he was “inspired by them to bring up these (LGBTQ) issues as well. Within student culture, nothing is really talked about within the academic setting … it’s sort of just like an erased experience, so I wanted to bring it up and present it to the Madison community.”

In three words, Schroff described The Stonewall Society’s mission: advocacy, action and awareness.

As an organization within the James Madison College, the group would like to “get LGBTQ issues more into the Madison classroom,” said Schroff. The intention is that by initially addressing issues within the college, they can later start a broader campuswide movement.   

The Stonewall Society Vice President Olivia Brenner, a sophomore studying social relations and policy and women’s studies with a specialization in LGBTQ and sexuality studies, said that their approach will enable them to succeed on a smaller scale before advancing to larger problems.

“Every good activist group knows that you have to start on a microlevel, because if you start with these big overarching world changing type of things, you’re never going to be able to actually get those done,” said Brenner. “But if you do a lot of little changes, that can actually have an effect on the people that you’re dealing with.”  

Maxwell Olivero, a field experience coordinator for the James Madison College, is The Stonewall Society’s faculty advisor. He believes that “it’s important to have all groups and all voices kind of represented in just about every discussion” and The Stonewall Society has the potential to achieve that for the LGBTQ community.

“I think they’ll serve a very useful role as just being a voice for inclusion, of course, with a focus on LGBTQ people, but also a focus on inclusion across the spectrum,” said Olivero.

Olivero added that according to the group’s mission statement, The Stonewall Society will likely address issues such as gender neutral housing, the preferred name policy and more. He said, “Those are issues that don’t get a whole lot of attention, particularly now in this type of climate with same-sex marriage recently being legalized … a lot of the other issues that affect LGBTQ people, in some ways are kind of being put on the back burner as marriage equality has been won already … so I think another objective of Ben and of The Stonewall Society is to kind of bring those issues back into focus and make sure they’re part of the discussion when we move forward when discussing community inclusiveness and diversity.”

The Stonewall Society will hold their first meeting in the upcoming spring semester.

“Anybody can join. We are not limiting it to anybody,” said Schroff. “We created it as a Madison-specific, but not a Madison-exclusive group. While we are focusing a lot on James Madison and taking care of stuff in Madison, we are also going to try to do stuff around campus as well, so anybody is really allowed to join. Whether you’re LGBTQ or an ally, you’re welcome.”

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MSU Students and Faculty Respond to Kim Davis

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MSU Students and Faculty Respond to Kim Davis


Kim Davis, county clerk for the state of Kentucky, recently found herself in the spotlight for her refusal to sign same-sex marriage licenses.

Davis was taken to jail for violating the federal law that guarantees same-sex couples the right to marriage across the nation. She claimed that her moral conscience and Christian faith would not allow her to sign the marriage licenses.

Kim Davis was arrested on Sept. 3 after refusing to issue marriage licenses.

Kim Davis was arrested on Sept. 3 after refusing to issue marriage licenses.

Davis was arrested after her refusal and spent six days in jail. On the day of her release, Davis was escorted to a crowd of her supporters. Davis returned to work, claiming that she would not interfere with the licenses for risk of returning to jail, but she restated her opposition to same-sex marriage. The marriage licenses will not include Davis’ name, an accommodation she felt was necessary to keep her religious views intact.

The validity of the marriage licenses without her name, job title and county has come into question. Her deputies filed several licenses during her time spent in jail. A petition for Davis to reissue the licenses with the appropriate authority has been requested in court.

The reaction surrounding Kim Davis’ accommodation is split into those supporting her religious stance and those against her disobeying federal law and refusing to do her job.

Michigan State University faculty and students offered their opinions regarding the issue.

Professor Gary Hoppenstand, film instructor, said that Davis was profoundly wrong for refusing to sign the licenses.

“It is the law of the land and she was elected as a public servant to facilitate and obey the law,” Hoppenstand said. “If she finds that offensive she has the option of leave her position. I understand and fully support religious views, but when they conflict with the law there should be a separation of church and state.

“No one is forcing her to work in this position; if it offends her, she should leave and find a position where her religious convictions are not offended. I know a lot of LGBT folk and they’re people. I have family members in that community. We as a country need to get out of this condemnation where certain segments of our society are targeted for whatever reason: gender, sexual preference, race, etc. If America stands for fairness then we have to be fair. I believe in the separation of church and state in order for there to be fairness so that no groups are targeted.”

Preveterinary freshman Jessie Kendziorski said Davis was out of line.

“I understand and respect her religious beliefs, but I think it’s wrong to push that on other people,” said Kendziorski. “I think there are a lot of rules in religion and you shouldn’t apply all of your rules to other people.”

Packaging sophomore Taylor Johnson also finds fault with Davis’ convictions.

“You’re basically showing that you don’t care about your job,” said Johnson. “You have to have a built-in indifference, that this is what you get paid to do. Two of my closest friends are gay and I see how in love they are. If they had to experience something like that, even if they could still get married, they would feel hurt and unimportant.”

Kim Davis is currently attempting to keep her office from issuing marriage licenses all together. Davis refuses to resign claiming that she is good at her job and she loves it. She believes that if she resigns, she will lose her powerful voice against same-sex marriage. Davis has claimed that she is willing to return to jail in her fight against same-sex marriage if need be. She continues to fight for her religious rights in court in an attempt to infringe the rights of the same-sex couples who are eligible to get married.

 

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ASMSU tax provides students with more services than they may realize

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ASMSU tax provides students with more services than they may realize


Without even realizing it, many Michigan State University undergraduate students are being provided with free services every day.

The Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU), MSU’s undergraduate student government, is constantly creating programs such as free I-clicker rentals, free laundry, free newspapers and many more programs that are intended to make the life of Michigan State students easier and cheaper.

ASMSU’s website, asmsu.msu.edu

Michael Mozina, Vice President for Finance & Operations of ASMSU, is in charge of maintaining and creating all of the services that ASMSU offers.

“All of the services ASMSU provides that are paid through our yearly fiscal budget is funded through an $18 tax that is assessed to each undergraduate student at the beginning of the semester,” Mozina said.

Junior fine arts major Chris Ulrich said he supports the ASMSU tax.

“I think the tax is a good thing, because without realizing it students would be spending more than $18 over the course of a semester if they had to pay for the individual services,” he said.

Ulrich said “It is the students fault if they don’t take advantage of it.”

Brett Brothers, a sophomore food science major, said he agreed with Ulrich.

“Eighteen dollars is not very much money considering what is being offered,” he said. “Students should use the services because they are meant to be very beneficial to them.”

ASMSU President Kiran Samra is in charge of managing and coordinating with all of the department heads that ASMSU has, including overseeing all of the free services that are created

The services that are created by ASMSU are available for all tax-paying undergraduate students, said Samra.

“ASMSU has so many free services for undergraduate students on campus. From free legal services and blue books to our campus wide readership program, ASMSU offers students a wide variety of services—there’s something for everyone,” she said via email.

Sophomore physics major Jake Evasic said free laundry is his favorite service offered by ASMSU.

“It was like the university was sucking the money out of me by making me pay for laundry,” he said. “It excited me when I heard laundry was going to be free this year.”

Lucas Robbins, a sophomore packaging major, said he enjoys the I-clicker rental service.

“If I had to buy an I-clicker for $80 it would have been very inconvenient, and a drain on my already insignificant resources,” he said.

Mozine said the free services offered by ASMSU are generally well received among students.

“Normally from the students that utilize our services the written feedback we get from surveys we distribute are largely positive,” she said via email.

While many students take advantage of and enjoy the free services that are offered by ASMSU, they may not be aware that ASMSU is the one providing them.

“We’re confident we reach students, we just need to make sure they understand what we are and how we are of value to them,” Samra said via email.

ASMSU promotes itself using events like Sparticipation as well as using social media promotions through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Mozina said via email. They also take out ads in the State News occasionally.

Robbins said that he heard about ASMSU just from word of mouth, and that he only looks at the events for the University Activities Board (UAB), because they advertise more in the residence halls with table tents in the cafeterias and posters in the halls.

Evasic said that he uses the free laundry all the time, but when asked what organization created the free laundry program he said he thought it was the UAB.

“Being realistic I think 70-plus percent of students have at least seen or utilized one of our services, most likely picking up a free newspaper, but as far as how many students are aware of all of our services and know they are offered through ASMSU, I would say the number is a lot lower, closer to 15-20 percent,” Mozina said.

Mozina said with recognition being a problem for ASMSU, he believes that as ASMSU creates new programs that catch students’ attention, more and more students will be introduced to ASMSU, as well as the rest of the services they offer.

Samra said there is a plan to make ASMSU’s services better known on campus through more grassroots marketing. She said an example of this is ASMSU might look to hold public forum meetings for students when it gets close to ASMSU election time to raise student awareness about it.

Blair Pitcairn, a senior majoring in hospitality business said he believes this initiative would be very important for ASMSU.

“It would help going to residence halls, and to have events for the residents that inform them about the services, and the organization,” he said.

“I think that ASMSU should give out free tee-shirts, lanyards, and other informational items during Academic Orientation Programs, so that freshman can learn about ASMSU and all the services they offer at the start of college in order to take full advantage of them,” said Robbins.

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NEXT shows off Lansing’s young artists

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NEXT shows off Lansing’s young artists


Throughout February, the MICA Gallery in Old Town will be filled with youthful art of all shapes and sizes.

MSU advertising professor Henry Brimmer is curating NEXT, an exhibition of projects from high school and college students that are shared in hopes of instilling youthful energy in Lansing. These projects include any type of art, with everything from photography and painting to live performances being featured.

In its opening week, NEXT featured paintings, live music, live fashion models, slam poetry, and stand up comedy. A new group of talented students are sharing their work at the gallery each week until the end of February.

NEXT Exhibit openings occur at 7 p.m. on Saturday nights at the MICA gallery located at 1210 Turner Street in Old Town.

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More students suffer because of tuition increases

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More students suffer because of tuition increases


Michigan State University’s tuition increased by 1,650 percentage points in 34 years and will increase another 2.974 percentage points next year, according to the Office of Controller Student Account Website.

From 1979 until 2013, tuition at MSU went from $24.50 to $428.75 per credit hour, according to the Office of Controller Website. The Transparency Reporting stated that tuition will increase an additional $12.75 per credit hour for resident undergraduates, $40.50 for none resident undergraduates, and and approximate 4 percent increase out of the $428.75 – or $17.15 – for most other students for the 2014-2015 school year.

This additional increase will generate $839.2 million in total tuition revenue, according to the budget development overview in the reporting.

Students said this increase in tuition is hurting them now and will continue to hurt them consequentially and Assistant Director of the Budget Planning and Analysis Richard Geiersbach said MSU takes into consideration how the increase may affect its students.

“While tuition adjustments are required to preserve quality and to compensate for declining state appropriations support, MSU consistently seeks alternatives to adjustments first and pairs tuition with equal or greater increases in financial aid,” Geiersbach said over email, quoting the MSU Budget Information Website.

Geiersbach said over email that the Office of Budget Planning and Analysis would not be able to do an interview or provide any “qualitative or subjective responses.”

The numbers on the Student Account Website showed that the tuition increase is not something new and has been coming from a long time ago, according to MSU Economics Professor, Policy Expert and State and Local Public Finance Expert Charles Ballard.

“The causes are mainly political. The revenue is constrained and decisions had to be made on what to spend on. But school has lost so much!” Ballard said.

What has won out have been prisons, which Michigan spent about $2.8 billion last year, according to Ballard.

“Did we have to cut higher education funding out? No. It was the choice our political leaders made. They could’ve put an emphasis on education instead of other things,” Ballard said.

Because of the constant increase, MSU has made it a priority to try to increase its funds for financial aid, MSU Associate Director of Financial Aid Val Meyers said.

“If the cost of tuition continues to go up for whatever reason, we will continue to try to raise the financial aid that is given to students,” Meyers said.

According to Meyers, students can find the application for financial aid on their website and students will be asked to provide information such as student and family income, their plan to pay for college and more monetary information necessary to decide if a student is eligible of receiving the aid.

From the $839.2 million in total tuition revenue, MSU will increase the financial aid budget by 4 percent from this year, spending $4.6 million. Another $3 million will go toward Framework programs – $2 million for academic competitiveness initiatives ad $1 million for ongoing EBS operations.

Ballard said he had to take out loans while in college and finished paying them on his 30s.

Grace Rozanski, an elementary education sophomore, said she pays for college from money she has saved during her whole life, student loans and also by receiving financial aid.

“I have to pay for college by myself, so those were the only options for me besides getting a scholarship,” Rozanski said.

By working since she was 16, she said she has saved an amount of money between $18,000 to $20,000. All of that money goes toward college expenses.

To help with the expenses, Rozanski said she receives $2,300 of financial aid per semester, but it is not enough to keep her from getting loans. She takes out around $7,000 to $10,000 a semester, while her total tuition cost is a little over $6,000 per semester – but counting room and board, her college expenses totals over $12,000 a semester.

“Higher tuition means more debt and more years of being in debt. It’s all bad news,” she said.

Rozanski said she will pay off her loans “slowly and steadily” by working her career and hopefully a night job.

“I see myself in debt for the majority of my life,” she said.

Creative advertising sophomore Melody Stokosa does not pay for college herself. Even though her parents pay for it, she said she does not want them to have to pay more than they already do.

She said her college expenses totaled $11,308.25 this semester – tuition being $6,431.25 or 56.9 percent of the total value.

She said she does not see why the tuition increase is necessary, because students are “already breaking our banks to fund our education.”

“I think it’s unfair that we have to pay more to get a decent degree. Obviously the tuition increase is going to hurt my parents, and in turn me, because I have to help support myself,” Stokosa said.

Since she started attending college, Stokosa said money has gotten tighter around her house, and if tuition keeps going up she will still attend MSU but have more long-term consequences.

“I might have to take out a student loan, or even work more hours to help my parents pay for it,” Stokosa said.

Ballard said that students have suffered from the tuition increase and sometimes they do not even give themselves the opportunity to have a college experience and get a degree because of it.

He said there are many other factors that are part of the decision of not attending college, like family situations, personal thoughts on college and more, therefore it becomes hard to collect data only on tuition increase.

“There is no exact data on how many students drop out or do not attend college due to an increase in tuition, because of the other factors that go into the decision-making process, so it’s hard to separate and find the exact percentage that dropped out only due to tuition,” Ballard said.

He said he once told a student who was doing poorly that he knew the student could do well. Ballard asked “what happened?” and the student replied by saying his brother a $50,000 debt due to student loans, and that the student himself was working over 40 hours a week at a convenience store and would fall asleep in class.

“Students don’t know how good they are and won’t even try, because they don’t have money. They won’t have the education they could’ve had,” Ballard said.

“College educated earn more than not college educated people and even though the income gap has always been there, it has greatly increased,” he said.

According to Ballard, the state of Michigan has been trying to keep students in Michigan once they graduate and want people to also move here after they graduate in other states.

“The policies anti-education aren’t helping people who want to raise families in the future want to come here; it’s difficult,” Ballard said.

Donald Heller, Dean of the College of Education and tuition, costs and enrollment expert, said he predicts tuition will continue increasing in average or lower than average amounts.

Heller said that the search for methods to pay for college is crucial in the process of applying.

“A lot of it comes down to making wise and smart decisions on how to search and get the help a student needs to pay for college,” Heller said.

Heller said that the main focus of the Capital Campaign – a campaign to raise money for specific projects – is how to find money to support students.

“It is our number one priority and it will recognize students and parents that aren’t being able to afford [the cost of college],” Heller said.

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Students get a ready for a summer of music

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Students get a ready for a summer of music


Every year, college students flock to amphitheaters, concert halls and theaters for a round of annual summer concerts.  With the warm summer wind crawling through the air and the carefree relaxation of the season dominating, artists invade cities melting with summer heat annually, selling out summer tours and festivals such as Bonnaroo, Summer Camp, Lollapalooza and Faster Horses Festival.

While the Wharton has plenty of concerts to see this summer, students are going beyond Michigan to see their favorite acts. Photo credit: Julia Grippe

“Summer concerts appear to be special because you are not only paying to hear an artist you enjoy, but you’re paying for the atmosphere,” said Lindsay Shafer, an education sophomore.  “I believe outdoor summer concerts and festivals are becoming more popular because they offer more than just a show.”

Since one of the most famous summer music festivals in 1969, Woodstock, festivals such as Lollapalooza (established in 1991) and Bonnaroo (established in 2002) have toured the United States with a treasure trove of varying musical acts each year.  These acts include hip-hop, rock, pop and even comedy troupes.

“This summer I will be going to Summer Camp,” said Kevin Smith, a media arts and information and communications junior. Summer Camp is a music festival in Chillicothe, Illinois.

Summer Camp sets up shop every Memorial Day Weekend.  At the festival, a variety of activities are also held. There are centers for children called Kids Camp, which allow children to be attended to during the concerts, as well as a family-friendly area in which most adults and children participate.

Since 2001, Summer Camp has expanded to more than 15,000 attendees, while hosting more than 100 bands on their seven stages over a period of three days.  This year’s headliners include Moe., Umphrey’s McGee, and the Trey Anastasio Band.  For the full lineup, see http://summercampfestival.com/lineup/.

“At many festivals there are extra activities, campgrounds, chances to meet people and an opportunity to see more than one artist,” said Shafer.  “I also think it has become a lifestyle for many people our age.  Going from festival to festival with a group of friends makes for a very exciting summer.”

For many college students, music festivals are the time to let their hair down, not shower for a few days and live as if there is no future or past.  With a warm breeze and cold refreshment, summer festivals may seem like a type of paradise.

Another popular music festival is Faster Horses, being held July 19, 20 and 21 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  This country music festival headlines with some of country music’s most famous names, including Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan.

At Faster Horses, audiences are able to camp in the “rolling Irish hills” of Michigan while enjoying some of their favorite country musical acts.  This year, the show is being dubbed the “three-day hillbilly sleepover.”

Not only are music festivals popular during the summer season, but also regular music tours.

“So far I’m going to see Grizzly Bear and The XX at The Fillmore in Detroit on June 12, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at the Kalamazoo State Theatre on June 24,” said Amanda Heckenkamp, a sociology freshman.  “Any concert is special, regardless of the season, because there is absolutely nothing better than being able to support someone in what they love to do, and love the art that they are creating at the same time.”

Like Heckenkamp, Shafer expects to see some of her favorite bands in the warm and relaxed days of summer this season, including The Lumineers and Cold War Kids.

“Summer concerts are popular because it’s one of the few times of the year where you can fully enjoy them, meaning you don’t have to worry about classes,” said Smith.  “But more importantly, they create a distinct memory for that summer that will stand out from the rest.”

Heckenkamp agreed with Smith on this.

“Summer concerts are so popular because there is more time to be able to attend them and more time to have fun,” she said. “Summer concerts have a different vibe.  Regardless of the artist, the shows seem to be a little more upbeat and everybody’s feeling good and are more carefree.”

For a complete list of upcoming concert dates and ticket information in Michigan, check out: http://www.miconcerts.com.

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