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OutCasting radio program gives voice to LGBTQ youth at MSU

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OutCasting radio program gives voice to LGBTQ youth at MSU


OutCasters at the main studio in Westchester County, New York. Courtesy of Marc Sophos.

OutCasters at the main studio in Westchester County, New York. Courtesy of Marc Sophos.

The voices of LGBTQ Spartans and straight allies can be heard on public radio stations across the country via Michigan State University’s bureau of OutCasting, a LGBTQ youth radio program created by MSU Telecommunications alumnus Marc Sophos.

In 2006, while working at WDFH, his radio station in Westchester County, New York, Sophos came up with the idea of starting OutCasting after a foundation approached him about funding a program for underrepresented constituencies.

“In public radio, there are youth programs and there is a LGBTQ program, but there is no LGBTQ youth program,” Sophos said.

The inspiration to create this kind of program was encouraged in part by Sophos’ own experience as a gay man. He wanted to offer a platform for younger people to embrace their voices and express themselves.

“I know what it was like to be closeted and not be able to express anything, not be able to talk about it,” said Sophos. “It’s a different time now than it was when I was growing up because of the Internet but still there’s a need for people to be able to speak out and to do journalism on these issues and in some cases talk about their own experiences.”

The young contributors – high school and college age – produce six to eight programs a year for public broadcast. In addition to that they also record shorter, more frequent segments online called OutCasting OffAir, which has recently covered topics like gender norms and what it means to come out today.

After organizing and leading the program at two locations in New York, Sophos got the idea to bring the program to his alma mater after a visit to campus with his husband, Doug, a couple of years ago. They were in the Student Union where Sophos remembered the LBGT Resource Center had once been located on the fourth floor. They discovered that the location had changed, but he continued his search and eventually met with the director of the Center, DeAnna Hurlbert, a big fan of public radio, according to Sophos.

“We sort of just started batting around the idea for opening an MSU bureau,” said Sophos. “From November of 2014 through last September, a lot of the groundwork was laid and we had an informational meeting in September, a year ago, and that’s when Kayl and four other people got involved.”

Kayl Black, a sophomore member of OutCasting, said that the group is in the process of reaching out to different LGBTQ organizations around campus and students to expand their reach and spread the word about what it means to be an “OutCaster.” 

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New Media Center at ComArtSci brings creative opportunities to students

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New Media Center at ComArtSci brings creative opportunities to students


rianna2A new media center to drive students’ ingenuity and inspire collaborative work is under construction in the Communication Arts and Sciences building at Michigan State University. According to ComArtSci Weekly, the college’s weekly newsletter for students, this new space will include a newsroom, motion capture lab and a game design studio.

The space was temporarily up and running on Nov. 8 to cover the 2016 Presidential Election. MSU has famously covered elections at the College of Communication Arts and Sciences in the past, including the 2012 election.

Prabu David, dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, shared the story behind the creation of the space.

“The inspiration came for (the media center) when I was in Los Angeles,” David said. “One of our alums runs a major ad agency. When I walked into this building, it was beautiful. You could see all kinds of young people working on creative projects. There was a certain buzz. The very moment I stepped in, I thought, ‘We should capture this.’”

Lucinda Davenport, director of the School of Journalism, said that a typical day in the newsroom will be full of activity because the student-produced TV news programs will be shot there, students will be doing photo shoots, making videos, creating voiceovers for radio and activities of all different types.

“There is a space in this room for almost every process of the story to happen to completion,” Davenport said.Troy Hale, a film and broadcast news professor at MSU, supported the idea of creating the media center’s newsroom. His vision for the space stemmed from the excitement and energy of 200 students and faculty working together four years ago during the previous “MI First Election.”

“I said to (Lucinda Davenport), ‘We need to have this everyday,’” Hale said.

Hale said that other than covering the November election, the newsroom will be used by classes to develop a daily news cast that will incorporate all mediums: print, online, broadcast and radio by January 2017.

According to David, a student will be able to sit in front of an anchor desk, turn the probiotic camera and lights on and stream live.

According to Hale, anchor, teleprompter and performance training will be necessary to get students ready for the newsroom.

“Students and professors will step up what they’re doing,” Hale said. “If you work in a new environment, you will work up to that level.” 

Stacey Fox, transdisciplinary artist in residence, was the force behind the addition of a motion-capture studio in the media center.

Fox said the College of Communication Arts and Sciences will be offering a motion capture class, open to all MSU students in Spring 2017, that would be great for actors, dancers, athletes, animators and others. Motion capture is proving to have an increasing presence at the college and the space will allow for versatile opportunities to learn.  

rianna1According to Fox, the motion capture studio coming to ComArtSci is unique. Unlike other systems, the equipment will be markerless, meaning that students won’t need to put on special suits or white markers on their joints to help the camera capture their movements. The system can also capture students exactly the way they look in 3D or take their movements and put that on any character. The equipment can also motion capture a student and put them into any environment.

Fox believes motion capture technology has a vital role in journalism because students can be motion captured in the studio and then put on the lawn of the White House, the United Nations Convention or the scene of a hurricane.

“We can – in real time, live – motion capture you and put you into any virtual reality environment. For news, let’s say we have the virtual reality environment of a storm scene. We can capture a student journalist and put them in that scene like they’re there in real time,” Fox said.

Students can also recreate moments in history through virtual reality. If Barack Obama came to the studio, for example, students could archive his voice and motion. Years later, another student can put on goggles and have a conversation with Obama as if they had been there with him. Fox said this is the concept of immersive journalism, where immersive environments are created and viewed by the public.

Fox believes that the media center will provide students with access to state of the art technology and the opportunity to experience what the professional industry workflow of a newsroom is like before they go out into the real world.

David spoke about how journalism is in dire need of new models and the millennials of this college generation are going to find them with their familiarity of multimedia.

The dean believes students can gain skills in the new space including journalism, television, radio, social media, interactive design, animation and game design.

“We do so much good work in our classrooms but it’s all hidden behind brick walls. We’re tearing down the walls and creating this beautiful environment,” said David. “You see the great work being done in the classrooms, the technology that students have access to, the innovative ideas of the future.”

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Review: ‘Jessica Jones’

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Review: ‘Jessica Jones’


Photo via Creative Commons.

Photo via Creative Commons.

Since the superhero movie came into prominence with films such as “The Dark Knight” and “Iron Man” there has been a push to make the heroes that were once godly, more human. Give them flaws, and make the movies more gritty and realistic. Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy did that, and Marvel for the most part still made their superhero movies light-hearted, at least when compared to the Batman movies.

As more movies were made, especially by Marvel, they started to combine genres. “The Winter Soldier” was part superhero and part political thriller, but it was still family friendly. Then, Netflix teamed up with Marvel and made “Daredevil.”

Similar to the comics about the character, the “Daredevil” show was dark, gritty and met with very high praise. However, “Daredevil” was the start of something bigger: a street level hero project similar to The Avengers. The second show was released one week before Thanksgiving, called “Jessica Jones.”

“Jessica Jones,” like “Daredevil,” is very dark. However, unlike “Daredevil,” it is even more adult. This tone is because the show is about a former superhero who decides to quit the hero business because of her dark and broken past.

Jones becomes a private investigator so that she can still help people. The fact that she is a private investigator lends the series (13 episodes in all) to being part superhero and part noir. Just like the private investigators in classic film noir stories, and even some modern ones. Jones is a hard-drinking loner, who makes wise-cracks at inappropriate moments. The story begins with her taking a case that soon begins to involve the person that broke her in the past. Jones not only hides a dark past from those around her, but also suffers from PTSD, a result of her traumatic past. This plays an important role in her journey to find answers.

Krysten Ritter plays Jones. She not only excels at showing Jones’ witty, hard-drinking side, but her broken side as well. As Jones deals with the case, and the reemergence of her enemy, her past comes back to haunt her and she is forced to deal with more than she can handle. Through it all, Ritter manages to balance the tough exterior that Jones has created to hide the very broken individual.

The supporting cast of the show is not as strong as it was with “Daredevil,” but the cast is still very great. Besides Ritter, the standout performance definitely comes from “Doctor Who” alumni David Tennant.

Tennant plays Kilgrave, the villain for the season who has ties to Jones’ past. Unlike his counterpart in the comics, known as “Purple Man” who is a complete sociopath with no redeeming qualities, Tennant’s character Kilgrave is not played as someone who is completely irredeemable and fleshed out more than he is in the Alias comic series that the show is loosely based on.

The other supporting characters are portrayed with varying degrees of success. Mike Colter’s performance as Luke Cage, the next hero of Hell’s Kitchen to get a show and an important person in the life of Jones, was a disappointment, especially when he was in a scene with Ritter.

All of these things considered, Marvel hit this one out of the park. The show is full of emotion, mystery and style. With more focus on the characters and the effects that tragic events can have on a person’s life, Marvel has created a superhero show that even people who don’t like superheroes can enjoy. People who do like superheroes will enjoy the unique tone that is offered by the show.

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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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What to watch on Netflix: Winter Break

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What to watch on Netflix: Winter Break


netflix

What has no stress, three weeks of free time and relaxation? Winter break. ‘Tis the season for the end of the semester. A perfect idea to enjoy your time off is to watch Netflix! Here is a list of worthy movies and television shows to watch.

Action and Adventure

“Top Gun” – 4 stars, PG

  • Watch Tom Cruise balance his love life and the weight of being one of the top pilots in the military pilot jet crew.

“Django Unchained” – 5 stars, R

  • This excellent movie stars Jamie Foxx. He plays a free slave who travels across America to save his wife. Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson also star in this film.

“Kill Bill” – 4 stars, R  

  • Watch an assassin, played by Uma Thurman, place vengence on members of her assassination circle.

Romantic Comedies

“Hitch” – 4 stars, PG-13

  • Will Smith plays a character that helps people have successful first dates. See how he gets a taste of his own medicine in this movie.

“Clueless” – 4 stars, PG-13

  • Never seen or heard of “Clueless”? Ugh, as if! Watch this classic romantic comedy from the ‘90s.

“Moonrise Kingdom” – 4 stars, PG-13

  • Enjoy this cute movie about two 12-year-olds who runaway in love together.

Classics

“Rocky” – 4 stars, PG

  • If you have never seen this underdog classic, take the time to watch it. Keep count of how many famous references you notice!

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” – 4 stars, PG

  • Audrey Hepburn stars in this witty and classical movie from the ‘60s.

Comedies

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” – 4 stars, PG-13

  • See all the activities that Ferris Bueller can get into in just one day of skipping school in this classic ‘80s movie.

“Coyote Ugly” – 4 stars, PG-13

  • Get a glimpse of what it’s like to make it work in a bar in New York City.

Dramas

“Silver Linings Playbook” – 4.5 stars, R

  • This Academy Award nominated movie stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.  

“Pulp Fiction” – 4 stars, R

  • This film directed by Quentin Tarantino stars John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman.

Documentary

“Blackfish” – 5 stars, PG-13

  • Warning: if you love Sea World, do not watch this documentary film.

Romantic Dramas

“Beyond the Lights” – 4.5 stars, PG-13

  • Watch this movie about a star who is under the pressure of fame. Can someone save her from this pressure?

“The Best of Me” – 4.5 stars, PG-13

  • This movie is a tearjerker, so make sure to have tissues and ice cream by your side while watching.

Thriller

“The Loft” – 3 stars, R  

  • Try to solve the mystery between five friends and their love affairs in this movie.

Holiday Favorites

“Christmas with the Kranks” – 3 stars, PG

  • Watch this movie about a family who tries to skip out on Christmas. That is, if their neighbors and friends let them!

“12 Dates of Christmas” – 3 stars, TV-PG

  • Wouldn’t you love the chance to retry anything until you get it right? Watch how a character in this movie gets that opportunity.

“The Mistle-Tones” – 3 stars, TV-PG

  • This Christmas movie is a musical. Be sure to warm up your vocal chords before watching!

“Bad Santa” – 2.5 stars, R

  • Santa is on the naughty list in this movie.

“A Christmas Carol” – 4.5 stars, G

  • This movie is a classic Christmas film that is perfect to watch during the holiday season.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” – 4 stars, PG

  • This is a movie that can be watched twice a year during two holidays. Is it meant for Christmas or Halloween? The more, the merrier!

“The Legend of Frosty the Snowman” – 2.5 stars, TV-G

  • This movie is always a childhood favorite. Watch this to bring back those cherished memories.

“Love Actually” – 4 stars, R

  • This romantic Christmas movie features multiple different love stories.

TV Shows

“Friends” – 5 stars, TV-14

  • Kick back and watch this smash hit sitcom with some friends for a great time.

“New Girl” – almost 5 stars, TV-14

  • If you need a good laugh, “New Girl” is the show for you to watch. The dorky character Jess is played by Zooey Deschanel.

“The Walking Dead” – 5 stars, TV-MA

  • Watch this TV show based off of comic books about survivors in a zombie apocalypse.

“Orange is the New Black” – 5 stars, TV-MA

  • This Netflix original series gives a look into life in prison. Interestingly enough, it is based on true events.

“Dexter” – 5 stars, TV-MA

  • This show follows a serial killer who only aims to kill other murderers.

 

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How the College Football Playoff can be improved

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How the College Football Playoff can be improved


Another regular season of college football has finished and the College Football Playoff committee has selected the four teams that have a chance to compete for a national title.

In its second season, the CFP didn’t see nearly the same level of controversy as it did in its inaugural season when they selected Ohio State over a representative of the Big 12. This year, analysts and fans appear to be in general agreement that the four best college football teams in the country – Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State, and Oklahoma – made the playoffs. However, many football fans and analysts would argue that there were a few other teams deserving of a chance at the national title.

Photo via Creative Commons.

Photo via Creative Commons.

So how can the CFP be improved? Many people agree that the right direction for the CFP to go in involves expansion. However, each person had a different opinion on how the playoff should be expanded.

“The top teams from every conference (in the Football Bowl Subdivision or FBS) should be allowed into the playoff to increase competition for the national title. Also, minimize the amount of bowl games to improve their meaning,” said Luis Enrique Agosto, freshman at Michigan State University.

This is an interesting idea; every single conference would be represented in the playoffs, similar to what professional football has. Certainly this would have the potential to push the lower conferences to produce better football teams in order to to compete with the “Power Five” teams. Also, it would increase the likelihood of upsets and increase the overall excitement of games. There are a few problems with this idea. For one, the new approach would essentially get rid of the ranking system that has dominated college sports for decades, which many traditional fans may reject. Secondly, this proposal excludes non-conference teams like Notre Dame until they pick a conference, which, of course, Fighting Irish fans and administration wouldn’t endorse at all.

“The playoff should be expanded to 10 teams and bowl games outside of the playoffs should minimized,” said MSU freshman Jade Harris.

With this idea, the playoff selection itself wouldn’t change, but the number of teams let in would. The ranking system would remain intact and competition would increase as more teams would be in the running for the national title. The problem with this idea is whether or not there’s enough time in the college football season for 10 teams to get through a playoff. Right now, the playoffs take three weeks: one week of games, a bye week and then the championship game. Under this proposal that would need to be expanded drastically to fit in all of those games.

Freshman Anna Stankewitz suggested that the committee should “Gradually increase the number of teams allowed into playoff until you reach the ideal amount. Also, make a distinction between bowl games and playoff games. Furthermore, top tier teams should receive some sort of home field advantage for at least one playoff game.”

Most likely this is how things would go if the playoff were to expand. The college football world (programs, committee, donors, etc.) would decide upon the number of teams it wants to expand to. For example, let’s say the committee chooses eight teams, instead of going directly from four playoff teams to eight in the span of a year, it might go from four to six in a year and then six to eight the following year. The home field advantage aspect of the idea certainly is intriguing as it would reward the upper tier teams and make wins and losses all the more special. Again, a problem with this proposal is whether or not there is enough time in the college football season to include up to eight or more teams. In addition, the idea of postseason home field advantage may not appeal to everyone.

“The CFP can’t be run like the NCAA March Madness tournament simply because the season is too short. Adding a wildcard may work; so might turning purely to computer rating system to determine the playoff contenders. Making it eight teams would do a better job at getting the best team in the nation. Separate the power bowls (Orange, Sugar, Rose, Cotton),” said MSU Sports Geography professor Dr. Arbogast.

The CFP might not have the time, but that doesn’t mean the level of excitement drawn from March Madness can’t be mirrored in college football. A wildcard(s) would certainly add excitement and increase competition within the playoffs, but the question there would be whether the committee would use rankings, record or team status as the method for selecting the team(s). An expansion to eight teams would carry many of these benefits, however, the question of time still remains an issue. Purely going to a computer rating for determining playoff contenders could also definitely cause a stir.

Another theme throughout these suggestions was the call for bowl game reform. Suggestions ranged from simply cutting some of the lesser bowls to completely separating bowl games from the CFP. Unlike playoff changes these will be extremely hard to reform and change up in a hurry. Why? The bowl system is a vital part of the college football tradition and it would be difficult to change that, even if that change would be for the better.

The CFP will change eventually and this improvement will most likely come in the form of an expansion. The powers that control college football may very well hear ideas similar to the ones stated in this article. However, even with modifications, not everyone will be happy. There will always be one team or fan base on the outside looking in. That cannot be changed. What can be changed is the product that the CFP delivers. 

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Conversion Therapy: Parental right or wrong?

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Conversion Therapy: Parental right or wrong?


Many LGBTQ people come from conservative families; those who come out to these families may face the highly criticized practice of conversion therapy. Conversion therapy is a psychological practice that attempts to change a person’s sexuality or gender identity back to its “natural” state, i.e. straight and born-gender or sex.

Opponents of conversion therapy, including the American Psychiatric Association, say that the practice is harmful to the patient. Many conservatives support conversion therapy as a way for parents to decide what is best for their child, while liberals tend to oppose it by claiming that it is damaging, due to the fact that there is no evidence that shows it works. President Obama made a statement about conversion therapy back in April of 2015.

Candles for Leelah Alcorn. Photo via Wikimedia.

Candles for Leelah Alcorn. Photo via Wikimedia.

The president called for a nationwide ban in response to the story of Leelah Alcorn, a 17-year-old transwoman from Ohio, who committed suicide after her parents refused to allow her to go through transition and instead put her in conversion therapy. This therapy causes awful side effects for the individual involved, such as depression, higher risks for STDs due to risky sexual behavior and self-hatred. In the case of Alcorn, the therapy caused depression and eventually suicide.

The White House’s official response to a petition on its website from Spokeswoman Valerie Jarrett said, “this Administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.” 

President Obama is specifically quoted:

“Tonight, somewhere in America, a young person, let’s say a young man, will struggle to fall to sleep, wrestling alone with a secret he’s held as long as he can remember. Soon, perhaps, he will decide it’s time to let that secret out. What happens next depends on him, his family, as well as his friends and his teachers and his community. But it also depends on us — on the kind of society we engender, the kind of future we build.”

Psychological studies tend to point toward the liberal side of the argument. The American Psychiatric Association opposes conversion therapy based off of these studies, which say it does not work and is harmful.

The APA made this position clear in its Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts, “The American Psychological Association encourages mental health professionals to avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts by promoting or promising change in sexual orientation when providing assistance to individuals distressed by their own or others’ sexual orientation.”  

The right given to parents that allows them to place their children into conversion therapy has been called into question for years and all of the evidence is pointing toward a ban. However, due to a conservative Congress in many states and at the national level, there is currently no headway on the petition to ban conversion therapy.

More information on conversion therapy can be found on the Human Rights Campaign website, including which states have banned the practice for minors only, such as California and Oregon. The state of Michigan has not banned the practice due to a conservative legislature. Both the House of Representatives and Senate of Michigan are controlled by the Republican Party, which does not make pro-LGBTQ issues part of their political agenda. Due to the Republican’s hold of a majority in the House and a supermajority (two-thirds of the seats) in the Senate, they can block any bill they don’t want passed. As a result, the issue of conversion therapy can be ignored.

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Spread holiday cheer with these Greater Lansing area charity events

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Spread holiday cheer with these Greater Lansing area charity events


charity

Photo via Creative Commons.

While most college students are preparing for final exams, there seems to be one thing getting them through the long hours of studying: the holidays. This time of year, we are reminded to give back.

According to eventful.com, this Saturday, Dec. 12, an abundance of charity events will be taking place in the Greater Lansing area.

At noon, CMU Sports Management is hosting a charity event for Cystic Fibrosis with a bowling fundraiser. Raffle prizes will be given out, including Red Wings apparel, Saginaw Spirit hockey tickets and bowling packages from City Limits. It costs $25 to bowl and $100 to book a lane. The event will take place at City Limits Bowling Alley in East Lansing.

At 5 p.m., Williamston High School will hold a road rally and silent auction. All proceeds will benefit the Annie’s Army Project of Many Hands. Visit the website for more information.

Outside the Greater Lansing area, the Local Grocer is hosting a preview of its restaurant and a meal in their new kitchen at 6 p.m. Build your noodle bowl and come out to support. There will be live music and a wine weekend. All proceeds will go towards supporting the kitchen’s start up costs. The Local Grocer is located on 601 Martin Luther King Ave. in Flint, Michigan.

At 7 p.m., Pump House Concerts will be putting on a Lost Voices fundraising concert. Michigan artists will be performing. The cost is a suggested $15 donation.

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‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Season 12 tour brings dancers to life


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The Top 10 dancers from Season 12 of “So You Think You Can Dance” performed at the Wharton Center on Nov. 22.

Dance and SYTYCD fans alike were not disappointed with the high level of energy that each dancer brought to the stage with back-to-back routines.

This season was different because there were more group dances choreographed. There was a perfect balance between “stage” type dances and “street” type dances, and the tour really reflected this year’s competition with footage from each team’s mentor.

The dancers have been on tour long enough and know the routines so well that people who have not followed the show might not have even guessed which team each dancer was on. Although there weren’t costume changes for each and every dance, the audience was impressed by the stamina of the dancers.

Longtime fan of the show, dancer and Michigan State University senior Ashley Day said, “They have to change costumes frequently and in a very small amount of time and yet still deliver amazing performances without showing how tired they are.”

One of the biggest challenges the tour has to overcome coming from the competition is connecting the dances and creating a cohesive performance as a whole. That’s what is also great about being a fan of the show and seeing the tour; you see your favorite dances and new routines that are created specially for the tour.

For some fans, watching the dancers come together to perform live is just the cherry on top of a great season.

“I also love that the audience picks their favorite dancer rather than the ‘best’ dancer because dance is not something that can be perfected,” Day said, “There’s always room to grow, which is what the dancers do on the show.”

Every single number was either mesmerizing and emotional or pumped up. The group hip-hop routines were upbeat and engaging while the group contemporary dances drew the audience in. Although each solo dance was short, we were able to catch a glimpse of each dancer’s dance roots. The only tap number was performed by none other than season winner Gaby Diaz and the only ballet routine was performed by Darion Flores.

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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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