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Michigan State’s Independent Voice

FIND YOUR PLACE FALL 2021 HOUSING GUIDE

Ranking your pick-me-up: The State News’ review of iced coffees in EL

Spartans with food allergies learn to navigate MSU dining halls

Addicted to coffee? So are we. We tried seven coffee shops to declare the best iced coffee in town.

Students discuss how Michigan State accommodates their allergies and places where improvements can be made.

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Co-op residents share their housing experience Many credit their urge to be a part of a community and to meet new people as a pro for co-op housing, as the pandemic slowly creeps to a foreseeable end. PAGE 18


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Vol. 112 | No. 6

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2021 EDITOR-INCHIEF Karly Graham

CULTURE EDITOR Dina Kaur

MANAGING EDITOR Jayna Bardahl

SPORTS EDITOR Eli McKown

COPY CHIEF SaMya Overall CAMPUS EDITOR Wendy Guzman

MULTIMEDIA EDITORS Lauren DeMay, Chandra Fleming DESIGN Maddie Monroe

CITY EDITOR Griffin Wiles This week’s cover was designed by Madison Echlin

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NEWSROOM/CORRECTIONS (517) 295-5149 feedback@statenews.com GENERAL MANAGER Christopher Richert ADVERTISING M-F, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The State News is published by the students of Michigan State University every other Tuesday during the academic year. News is updated seven days a week at statenews.com. State News Inc. is a private, nonprofit corporation. Its current 990 tax form is available for review upon request at 435 E. Grand River Ave. during business hours. One copy of this newspaper is available free of charge to any member of the MSU community. Additional copies $0.75 at the business office only.

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H O US I NG G UI D E An espresso shot at Foster Coffee Company in East Lansing on Sept. 30. Photo by Lauren DeMay

RANKING YOUR PICK-ME-UP:

STATE NEWS STAFFERS REVIEW THE ICED COFFEES OF EAST LANSING Staff Reports feedback@statenews.com

On a gloomy day in October, four State News staff members decided to taste a college student’s holy grail to surviving classes, homework and exams: iced coffee. The State News had coffees from seven local and chain shops around Michigan State’s campus. We kept it simple — iced with whole milk and sugar — and let

the coffee do the talking. We took into account overall taste, milk-to-coffee ratio and price. As a disclaimer, Brueggers and Biggby did not offer whole milk, so we had to use two creams for each. Starbucks didn’t have sugar, so instead we had simple syrup. As a staff, we preferred sweet coffee to acidic

coffee, which is a main reason why the rankings fell the way they did. We also acknowledge that many of these restaurants have better specialty drinks, and encourage everyone to try each of these shops before making a judgement. From sour acidic tastes to sweet smooth flavor, here’s what the staff thought of the drinks.

THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL

NOT THE BEST, BUT NOT THE WORST

THE TOP TWO

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(TIE) — BLUE OWL AND BRUEGGERS

Blue Owl’s coffee was the biggest letdown. With only three locations, this local coffee shop is typically bustling with students. The decor and vibes of the place definitely make up for the poor-tasting iced coffee. The coffee had an acidic taste which left a bad flavor in our mouths. The milk-to-coffee ratio was less than any other coffee we tasted. More sugar could’ve assisted the flavor profile. If you do end up going to Blue Owl, we recommend a specialty drink — lattes, mochas, etc. — for better luck. Bruegger's is known for its deli bagels, egg sandwiches and breakfast treats. What they, fortunately, aren’t known for is their coffee. Bruegger's coffee was plain. That’s it. They didn’t offer milk which also may have hindered the taste, but the coffee itself was overly acidic and stuck to the back of your throat long after the first sip. Certainly a great place if you like your coffee hearty, but for our staff, it was too bold. Price: $2.02 for Blue Owls, $2.69 for Brueggers Final Rating: 1.75/10

FOSTER COFFEE COMPANY

Foster Coffee Company is perfect for college students with plenty of areas for studying right on Albert Street. However, their coffee didn’t live up to the hype. Foster wasn’t bad per se. The coffee was just the right amount of bold, and it had the best color from the whole milk and sugar. However, the coffee was … bland. It lacked the flavor that the four coffees below seem to hold. Foster was obviously a step ahead of our bottom two, but paled in comparison to our top four. Price: $2.39 Final Ranking: 2.25/10 T HE STAT E NEWS

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CAMPBELL’S MARKET

We had high hopes for Campbell’s — from their cute houseplant display to their convenient sandwich bar, their market often serves as an escape from the hustle and bustle of East Lansing’s downtown area. But their iced coffee just didn’t live up to our expectations. Somewhat bland and fairly acidic, this certainly wasn’t the worst of the local picks — but it’s likely not something that we would actively seek out unless we were already on that side of Division Street or were looking to save some money compared to the nearby Starbucks. However, this somewhat poor coffee showing won’t stop us from frequenting the kombucha-carrying corner store for their other offerings. Price: $2.64 Final Rating: 2.75/10

STARBUCKS

Starbucks’ coffee itself was very average. With the cost of an iced coffee being as expensive as it is, it definitely is not worth the price; Our top two are a better and cheaper option. The wait was also longer than any other shop due to staffing shortages. Nothing too shocking about the coffee. It had a good ratio of milk, sugar and coffee. The coffee wasn’t bitter or sweet but instead neutral. You can finish this coffee, no problem, but you may not go out of your way to buy it again. Price: $3.45 Final Rating: 5.5/10

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BIGGBY

Biggby coffee has long been a comfort pick for students. With great pastries and specialty drinks for any season, we had high hopes for their basic iced coffee — and our expectations were pretty much met. As fans of sweeter, less bitter coffee, we were more than happy with the simplicity of this order — and at that price, it’s tough to beat. It’s important to note that Biggby lost to our top coffee by only .25 points, so this chain shop is truly reliable for coffee needs. Price: $2.22 Final Rating: 7.75/10

DUNKIN

We hate that a chain coffee shop won. We acknowledge that our top three are all chain coffee shops, and we deliberated for a while to make sure this was how we felt. But Dunkin’s coffee outranked all other coffees we tasted. Dunkin’s coffee was less on the bold side, with a sweeter, smoother taste that was light on the tongue. The milk-to-coffee ratio was perfect, the price was reasonable for the amount of coffee we received and Dunkin’s coffee was refreshing. Dunkin had everything we wanted in a coffee: reliable, cost-efficient and perfect for that midterm pick-me-up. Price: $2.50 Final Rating: 8/10


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WHAT IS GENDER INCLUSIVE HOUSING? By Abeeha Zaidi azaidi@statenews.com As students look for housing at Michigan State University, many student minority groups can feel left in the shadows. One of those is the LGBTQ+ community. To provide more suitable accommodations for the LGBTQ+ community, initiatives such as Gender Inclusive Housing, or GIH, were formed. GIH is a housing option where two or more students agree to share a multiple-occupancy living unit regardless of the other students’ gender identity, according to MSU Live On. Gender-inclusive housing is now becoming a more viable option for students. “It’s brand new in the sense that it’s actually being utilized this year,” mathematics junior David Leen, who is the resident assistant for the gender-inclusive wing on the third floor of McDonel Hall, said. Business-preference freshman Sam Fratkin recalled their experience after being unable to navigate and understand what accommodations they were given regarding housing. “I actually had a pretty difficult time because the first roommate that I had was kind of homophobic,” Fratkin said. “But, I did end up working with the Gender Inclusive Housing department specifically, and they were able to help me find housing. So, I’m here now.” Fratkins’ story is one of a few that serve as an example of success for LGBTQ+ students and housing accommodations. Others have not been as fortunate.

“I think it is the responsibility of everyone who goes to this university and works for this university to live up to this standard we seem to try and set for ourselves.” Elizabeth Brooks Arts and humanities sophomore

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“I purposely moved off campus so that I didn’t have to deal with it,” arts and humanities sophomore Elizabeth Brooks said. Brooks, who is the president and founder of MSU’S Honesty, Opulence, Uniqueness and Strength organization, or HOUS, said students had issues with having to provide legal records to prove pronoun identification in order for them to receive appropriate accommodations. “It’s just this whole mess for trans students,” Brooks said. “We have to live in a dorm that match whatever gender identifier is on the record and for a lot of people, it hasn’t been changed … because that is expensive to do.” Leen said there needs to be more space for gender-inclusive housing. ”An improvement on the GIH floor is to have more floors across campus,” Leen said. “What I’d like to see is that there would be at least a floor building per dorm hall, or at least one floor per neighborhood.” Brooks said clustering LGBTQ+ residents in one focused area may allow for more danger and harassment directed toward those students. “You’re putting a group of people in a space where they’re going to be outed no matter what, which can be really dangerous because then it’s really easy for people who want to then target those spaces if you group us up all into one place,” Brooks said. Gender-inclusive housing does not only address living space for the LGBTQ+ community but also includes the availability and ease of access for necessities in these spaces such

as restrooms. “I had to go searching to find an accessible bathroom that I can use because there’s not a lot of information about where they are ... if a building has them,” Brooks said. “They’re in a basement somewhere in some corner.” GIH is beginning to create a sense of security and home for the LGBTQ+ community here at MSU. However, many students still feel the need for improvement and further action. Brooks said there needs to be more awareness about the gender-inclusive housing option for incoming and current students. “I think it is the responsibility of everyone who goes to this university and works for this university to live up to this standard we seem to try and set for ourselves,” Brooks said. “We have the slogan, ‘Hate has no home here,’ but then constantly have issues of discrimination on campus.”


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WHAT STUDENTS CAN DO TO TRY EATING HEALTHIER

Produce being sold at the Farmers Market at the Capitol in Lansing on Sept. 30. Photo by Jillian Felton By Dan Netter dnetter@statenews.com Cooking can be a challenge for many students who just moved off-campus, but eating healthy is a whole new ballpark. On top of it being the first time many students are in charge of their cooking, they are also in charge of diets and making sure they are eating nutritiously. MSU instructor and registered dietician Christine Henries-Zerbe said one of the most important things students can do in order to eat nutritiously is to budget out their food and plan their meals every week. “Buying fresh is not always the best route to go,” Henries-Zerbe said. There are cheaper alternatives to buying fresh meat and produce. She suggests buying frozen vegetables, and she thinks legumes are a good source of protein. “(Fresh) is more perishable, it goes bad faster,” Henries-Zerbe said. “If they don’t have time to cook, they may lose it and end up having to dispose of it.” She emphasized that while frozen vegetables are healthy, packaged meals are not. Taking time to make the food from scratch is important for nutritional benefit. MSU academic specialist and registered dietician Deanne Kelleher warns students against engaging in counting calories — a way of figuring out how many calories someone burns versus how much they eat. “Counting calories puts us into diet culture, and diet culture can lead us into a lifelong yo-yo of weight,” Kelleher said. “Diet culture says that we have to be a certain weight, we have to eat a certain way and counting calories is part of that. I 8

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“I think it’s important that we understand our hunger and our fullness, and we also understand that all foods do fit in and that eating is more than just calories.” Deanne Kelleher MSU academic specialist and registered dietician think it’s important that we understand our hunger and our fullness, and we also understand that all foods do fit in and that eating is more than just calories.” Kelleher also recommends students stay away from “fad diets” like the ketogenic diet because students should not be removing a whole food group from their consumption. This is unsustainable for long periods of time, Kelleher said. “You’ve taken out a bunch of nutrients, fibers and other micronutrients that your body needs for your brain so you can have good test scores, everything like that,” Kelleher said. “When we take out some groups, we’re taking out a lot of nutrition and that’s a strong concern with the ketogenic diet.” Vegetarian and vegan diets

are great ways to incorporate more plants into a student’s diet, Kelleher said. Comparative culture and politics senior Sara Siddiqui went vegan in June 2020 because she wanted to see if she could do it and to reduce her carbon footprint. If a student wanted to experiment with veganism, Siddiqui said they would need to understand how to still get all the nutrients they need while cutting out all animal products. “I think it’s really important when you start out to make sure that you understand nutrition at least a little bit,” Siddiqui said. “Because it is very easy for vegans to end up being deficient in a bunch of nutrients that you need.” Some of the foods Siddiqui has made are chickpea pasta, Vietnamese summer rolls and cauliflower gnocchi. She makes a lot of pasta because she finds that it is simple, easy and affordable. “Nobody wants to come home after a long day and be in the kitchen for three hours,” Siddiqui said. “So finding things that are simple and easy to make, as well as not hard to access because a lot of the time, being vegan is not a choice for a lot of people, it’s a privilege. Finding ways to do it that’s affordable and also something you can continuously make is really important for me.” Regardless of which diet you pursue it’s important to make sure you’re eating nutritious, well-balanced meals. MSU offers the help of a dietitian to ensure you can meet your dietary needs. The app “MSUtrition” let’s you plan and track meals and the university also has a six week nutrition and physical activity program for adults called “Eat Healthy, Be Active.”


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MSU’s freshman class will be the first held to the two-year live-on requirement By Madison Rose mrose@statenews.com For the first time since the 1980s, this year’s entering fall class will be required to live on-campus for two years instead of one at Michigan State. MSU cited an on-campus study which showed a 2.5% increase in graduation rates in students who lived on-campus in comparison to their off-campus counterparts as the motivation behind the second-year live-on reinstatement. Despite the promised benefits, some students are less than enthusiastic about the live-on requirement. “I don’t think you should be coerced to do a second year,” economics sophomore Jacob Starner said. “If it was a really good experience, they should let market forces determine whether people want to dorm. If it is good service and people enjoy living in the dorm, you will see that reflected in how many people sign up willingly next year, rather than being coerced to do it.” According to MSU, the requirement will help students overcome the “sophomore slump,” a phenomenon associated with feelings of dissatisfaction and uncertainty that can be attributed to fewer support services and programs. The university believes by living on campus, sophomores will be provided with greater access to resources and activities that increase their academic success. MSU will be pairing the requirement with increased support for students through Spartan Compass and Spartan Navigator. Student success programs designed by the university will focus on academic engagement, major and career exploration, knowledge around diversity and inclusion, wellness and serving in larger community settings. In addition to increasing student success, MSU said the reinstatement will alleviate the stress of freshmen having to arrange off-campus living within their first weeks on campus. Despite having a fair dorm experience, Starner doesn’t think the requirement is necessary. “I don’t think dorms are necessarily bad institutions,” Starner said. “If they’re regulated properly, they can be good. I think one year is fine. ... One-year requirement is fine. No one is arguing that. But, two seems like a cash grab and probably is a cash grab.” While some students have strong opinions about the dorm living, others are more indifferent. “I enjoy my dorm experience being in close proximity to people, dining options and the suite-style living,” computer science freshman Bruno Budelmann said. “I don’t really have a strong opinion about the two-year live-on requirement, since I don’t dislike dorm living, but I am excited to live off-campus when I am able to.” Dorm life has certainly looked different this year. MSU is operating through a severe staffing shortage, as well as other various COVID-19 limitations. The limited dining options seem to have the most impact on students this semester. “The limited dining has affected me since I usually eat at Case,” Budelmann said. “Since a lot of the other dining halls have been closed, Case becomes very busy, especially around dinner time.” Senior Communications Director Bethany Balks reassured students concerned about the extensive staffing shortages, and consequential limited dining facilities. She said MSU is 10

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“I don’t think dorms are necessarily bad institutions. If they’re regulated properly, they can be good.”

People checking into their dorms at Shaw Hall on move-in day on Aug. 27. Photo by Lauren Snyder

Jacob Starner

Economics sophomore working as quickly as possible to return to normal operations. “When the two-year live-on requirement was reinstated, there wasn’t the anticipation that we would have some of those things with having dining halls not fully open, having not all of our service centers open, and that is something we’re certainly looking to get back to a new normal as quickly as possible,” Balks said. Students also expressed concern about how the university will house the 1,300 additional on-campus students the requirement will bring. They also question the safety of keeping so many students in such close quarters. WEDNESDAY, O CTOBE R 20, 202 1

A residential hallway of West Holmes Hall photographed on Jan. 29. Photo by Rahmya Trewern

Deputy spokesperson Dan Olsen said MSU saw the largest incoming class in history this fall. The class of 2025 consists of more students than ever before, and with the requirement, a large majority of these students will be living on campus again. There are exceptions to the live-on requirement — married students, students with dependents, veterans with one or more years of active service, students who will be 20 years old by the first day of fall semester classes, students living with a parent or guardian within 40 miles of campus, students in Greek housing and local students who are taking six

or fewer semester credits. MSU assures that they have the necessary space to house the increased volume of students – MSU’s occupancy capacity is 18,203 and MSU estimates that around 16,000 firstand second-year students will be living on campus. MSU will be more intentional in building first- and second-year communities in the 2022-23 academic school year as it will be the first year housing will be required for first and second-year students. More information about the housing will become public by the end of the fall semester.


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SPARTANS WITH FOOD ALLERGIES LEARN By Mariam Hanna mhanna@statenews.com When civil engineering freshman Max Meyers was considering which university to attend, a large factor was how accommodating dining halls were to food allergies. Meyers is allergic to eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and soy. Michigan State’s dining options at Owen Hall stood out to him. The River Trail neighborhood location does not use any of the top eight food allergens — milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, crustacean shellfish, wheat and soy — in its dishes. “Thrive at Owen is just really good because it’s free of the top eight allergens and I love that,” Meyers said. “I didn’t see that in any other college that I visited, so that was just really, really nice.” In terms of finding allergen-free food at other dining halls, MSU’s app, “Munch,” can provide aid. On it, students can find the menu for each dining hall every day. “A lot of times, especially having Celiac, I almost always check my phone for what the menu is for the different dining halls for the day and see what my best bet is,” James Madison freshman Isabella Iafrate said. Something else that students with food allergies cite as helpful in dining halls are the sheets placed at the beginning of each station indicating which allergen is in each food option. “I usually get scared when I’m going out to eat places because I’m like ‘Can I eat there?’”

“I don’t expect the people serving the food…to know everything about what’s in the food, but sometimes it’s difficult because I’ll ask something and they straight up tell me, ‘I don’t know.’ It’s like, ‘Well, I kind of have to know.’” Isabella Iafrate James Madison freshman games and interactive media freshman Sam Voigt, who is allergic to tree nuts, said. “Here, I really don’t have to be like, ‘Oh, I’m not sure,’ because it tells me what’s in each thing.” History education freshman Brooke Donovan, who is severely allergic to tree nuts, also utilizes this. “If even one of the things they’re making in that place has nuts, I usually don’t go there just because of the cross-contamination,” Donovan said.

Vegan and vegetarian options are prepared at “Veg Out” at Case Dining Hall on Sept. 4, 2018. State News file photo

Cross-contamination is a major concern for students as they can never fully know what has come in contact with the food they are planning to consume. What can ease this concern is the allergen-specific microwaves and spaces that can be found in the dining halls. “I actually had a chef come up to me the other day when I was using the microwave and make sure that I was using the gluten-free products so it wouldn’t get cross-contaminat-

ed,” Iafrate said. Echoing Iafrate’s thoughts, Donovan provided more examples of ways dining halls attempt to avoid cross-contamination. “I like that in the dining halls, I’ve seen small fridges that say ‘allergen-friendly,’” Donovan said. “They have separate cereal boxes over there too because most of the cereal is right next to each other and touching, so people who might be allergic to something in those have a separate cereal box to go to.”

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TO NAVIGATE ON-CAMPUS DINING HALLS

A variety of different foods assembled on a cutting board in a kitchen on Sunday, Oct. 17. Photo by Jillian Felton

Although there are always foods students with allergies can consume, human biology freshman Lauren Lewis said these options can be limited or become repetitive. “Sometimes, I feel like I tend to not eat as much because I feel like I’m limited to not as many options as others,” Lewis, who is allergic to gluten, said. “I have a lot of more snacks and stuff in my dorm, so rather than eating in the dining hall, I’ve bought more groceries.” Owen, being safe from the top-eight food

allergens, is an option that is sure to provide more choices and less repetition to students with food allergies. However, its hours have recently changed as a result of the university’s staffing shortages. “It’s definitely a lot more difficult, especially for people with nut allergies and stuff, that’s their only safe option,” Iafrate said. “I think it closing early really disadvantages lots of people (whereas) South Pointe (at Case) dining hall doesn’t close till 9.”

Additionally, proper employee education on food allergens and the significance of avoiding cross-contamination is critical to the safety of Spartans who live with these allergies. “If you go to Brimstone (in Brody), the cheeseburgers are always in the exact same spot, the chicken patties are always in the exact same spot, everything is put onto your bun with a different utensil,” Meyers said. Sometimes, however, it can feel as though staff members need more training on

food allergies. “I don’t expect the people serving the food… to know everything about what’s in the food, but sometimes it’s difficult because I’ll ask something and they straight up tell me, ‘I don’t know,’” Iafrate said. “It’s like, ‘Well, I kind of have to know.’” Similarly, students say that a better job can be done when it comes to allergens in desserts. “Specifically for the dessert parts of the dining hall, I feel like if something does have one of the more severe allergens like tree nuts, I feel like they should have it more separated than other things,” Donovan said. “In (Snyder-Phillips), they have them right next to each other. They should have them on the side or have another section.” Accommodating food allergies at a large university can present challenges, but Meyers said he appreciates the ease he has found navigating his allergies in MSU’s dining halls, as well as this being at the forefront of their mission. “I feel like (MSU) gets that when people have food allergies, it’s a big part of their life,” Meyers said. “It’s something you gotta watch out for. ... I’ve had people say, ‘If you eat this, why don’t you just take an epi-pen after it?’ It’s something you’ll never fully understand unless you have it, so I feel like they just really understand it by giving us the option of having a completely allergy-free dining hall. I can go there with the complete peace of mind that I’ll be perfectly fine.”

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AFFORDABILITY, DEMOCRACY AND COMMUNITY: CO-OP RESIDENTS SHARE THEIR HOUSING EXPERIENCE

By Noah Edgar nedgar@statenews.com College is a time to experiment, explore and get out of one’s comfort zone. For those seeking a unique living experience based in the community, cooperative housing is a viable option. Finding a community at school can be hard, and finding roommates you actually enjoy can be even harder. With the always-popular option of Greek life, co-op housing — while offering similar qualities — can often be overlooked. Michigan State’s Student Housing Cooperative, or SHC, offers 17 houses to choose from, and with five to 29 members per house, co-op housing can serve as a unique alternative for those looking for something different. Many credit their urge to be a part of a community and to meet new people as a pro for co-op housing, especially as the pandemic slowly creeps to a foreseeable end. Packaging senior Claire Hibbard is the Vice President of Membership at SHC, as well as a resident of Orion. She has lived in co-op housing for nearly three years. “There’s no one single owner of our community,” Hibbard said. “We really try to encourage member ownership and member empowerment and try to encourage all of our co-oper’s that you’re responsible for the home that you live in.” Chemistry junior Brian York is a resident of Vesta, one of the many co-op houses that sits on M.A.C. Avenue. “The community aspect was really attractive to me,” York said. “I’ve always heard great things about them, and after the pandemic, I wanted to go out and try some more things instead of living in an apartment. You’re only in college one time, so I figured it’d be a good time to be living in an experience like this.” Physics senior and fellow Vesta resident Josh Music said he joined a co-op because of the pandemic. “It was pretty much just me and my girlfriend for the whole year, so it was kind of lonely and I wanted to meet as many people as possible,” Music said. Environmental studies and sustainability senior Cragen Davies said that she wanted to “get to know different kinds of people and experience living with a large number of people.” According to all three residents, members of their houses get along well and it’s helpful that they’re all there for the same reason: to meet 18

“I can rely on co-ops as a way for me to find like-minded people who can get behind the same social and moral values and find that sense of community.” Claire Hibbard Packaging senior and Vice President of Membership at SHC

Vesta Cooperative House in East Lansing on Oct. 15 Photo by Lauren Snyder

new people and live among a community. “I’ve lived (in Vesta) not much longer than a month, and some of the people here are some of my more closer friends now,” York said. The social aspect is a romantic and enticing quality, especially since co-ops house anyone regardless of gender. Despite the social environment, many co-ops enforce privacy for its members. At Bowie, Davies said the house implements quiet hours at 11 p.m. Music said Vesta runs similar quiet hours. On top of that, Bowie has all single rooms — an extra layer of privacy and alone time in a seemingly crowded space, Davies said. Since there are no landlords or housing managers, co-op houses are run solely by the residents, and with the capacity to house upwards of 20 residents, this may seem like a recipe for disaster. However, biweekly meetings — where chores and other responsibilities are delegated — bring the houses a sense of structure and professionalism. “You get to decide what you want to do with the house with the people living there and decide how you want your house norms to be, based on who’s living there,” York said. “You decide a lot of things democratically.” York said Vesta holds house meetings every other Sunday to facilitate a comfortable envi-

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ronment among the residents. “We’ll bring up discussions we want to talk about, and if it comes down to it, we’ll vote as a house on what we want to do about certain things,” York said. “We have disagreements and what not, but everyone has an equal voice.” Music seconds this. “There’s definitely an aspect of professionalism and just making sure everyone’s on the same page, which is definitely unique to this kind of housing,” Music said. Similar to Vesta residents, Davies said Bowie has meetings biweekly. “We have house meetings every other week, and we vote on pretty much everything, and everyone has a house job that they do each week,” Davies said. Co-ops often hold parties at their houses, but those that don’t wish to partake don’t necessarily have to help with the morning-after clean-up. “The first party (Vesta) had, there were two people who were not interested, so we compromised,” Music said. “If you didn’t want to come to the party, you didn’t have to do any cleaning that week and you can just stay in your room or go hangout with your friends. We just try to be respectful of that.” A universally attractive feature of co-op housing is affordability. Co-ops are historically a cheaper option to renting a house, and according to the

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“There is an affordability aspect because it’s a lot cheaper than a lot of apartments on campus.” Cragen Davies Environmental studies and sustainability senior National Association of Housing Cooperatives, or NAHC, in terms of overall price, a co-op is often cheaper than renting a condo. “There is an affordability aspect because it’s a lot cheaper than a lot of apartments on campus,” Davies said. She said her monthly payment, which includes utilities, WiFi and food, totals to less than most off-campus apartments in the area. “For a double room, it’s only like $420 a month, and my old place was probably just as far away from campus and I was paying like $800, not including utilities,” York said. “You don’t have to pay $800, $900 a month for a single little bedroom just like everyone else is,” Hibbard said. A never-ending social life, an affordable place to live and

Beal Cooperative House in East Lansing on Oct. 15. Photo by Lauren Snyder

a democracy — many co-op housing residents expressed satisfaction in their experience. “It kind of makes a brand new place feel a little more like home,” Hibbard said. “I can rely on co-ops as a way for me to find like-minded people who can get behind the same social

and moral values and find that sense of community.” “If you’re looking into it ... go for it,” York said. “It’s a really unique experience, and you get to meet a lot of cool people in your house, as well as other houses. I definitely recommend people give it a try.”


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MSUPD proposes campus safety app SafeMSU to ASMSU By Ashley Zhou azhou@statenews.com On Thursday night, the Associated Student of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, reviewed a proposed app by Michigan State University Police Department, or MSUPD, called SafeMSU. MSU Police Public Information Officer Chris Rozman and Deputy Director of the Management Services Bureau John Prush presented SafeMSU with the return of students this fall along with the ongoing issue of campus safety. “We have listened to our community during

different listening sessions as we engage with students and faculty and staff, and we identified that this was a need on campus,” Rozman said. The third-party company, AppArmor, which creates and runs SafeMSU, has created safety apps for other Big Ten universities and large public universities in the nation as well. Rozman and Prush presented a mock-up homepage to the ASMSU with nine customizable main buttons. The sample homepage that they showed may be altered along with the colors, button layout and the content behind each button.

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A student walks past the MSU Union on March 7. Photo by Jillian Felton Some of the features presented will not be implemented in the initial launch because the back-end features require a security operation center, which is something that SafeMSU currently does not have. One feature is Emergency Contacts: The ability to create a custom layout with any desired phone number as speed dial and an option to call MSUPD. There are also over 600 MSU GreenLight phones on MSU that are spread across campus near residence halls and sidewalks. Another button, Mobile Bluelight, is an MSU Green Light but at the click of a button on a phone. If used, the app would call a nearby operational security center and if opted to, would share the student’s location with the security operation center as well. “This is something we would like to do once we have that security operation center rolling, but it’s an example of a feature that the app can do,” Prush said. Friendwalk is a feature that is already widely used by other universities around the country. Before starting, the SafeMSU app confirms with the student that they will begin sharing their location. Students’ locations will never be shared with the police department unless the student has opted to do so and the location is only shared while Friendwalk is on. The student will then be brought to a map of their location and the app will once again let the student know that they will begin sharing their location. After the student chooses their beginning and end location, the app will produce a unique one-time URL link that can be shared with anybody via any communication app. The person on the receiving end does not have to use SafeMSU to view the map and their friend’s location. “As you’re walking, it’ll show a breadcrumb trail of where you started and where you’re at until you get to your location,” Prush said. There will also be an emergency or “panic” button to be pushed at any time when the student feels unsafe. The friend on the other side will instantaneously receive a pop-up that notifies them that the panic button was pushed and from the app, the student can then directly call emergency services. Once arriving at the designated destination, the URL link will be destroyed so no one can see where the student’s location is. An additional feature, Report A Tip, is designed to anonymously report a tip to MSUPD.

Rozman said this feature may not be used initially but is already built into the system. “It would allow you to either report the tip directly to the MSU Police and Public Safety within the app or it would give you a SMS tip link to text that tip as well,” Rozman said. The next button, the Safety Toolbox, contains quick links to various websites that MSUPD wants students to refer to. Currently, it has links to the MSU Police and Public Safety websiteor to start a chat with thepolice. “We put this up here just as an example that this Safety Toolbox, we plan to build out by listening to the concerns of our community and what students and faculty and staff want included in this app,” Rozman said. Campus Maps includes maps that can be utilized for students’ use including, but not limited to, a campus map, crime map, transit map and an evacuation map. Another feature is the Emergency Plan button that gives immediate instructions when experiencing a specific dangerous incident. Some incidents include an active shooter, bomb threats, fire safety, severe weather or suspicious package. “When we build this portion of the app out, we’ll include our emergency management division to make sure that these plans accurately reflect our plans here at Michigan State University,” Rozman said. To assist students who don’t have Internet access or data on campus, SafeMSU does not require Internet access to use the resources within the app, as long as they don’t need to reach out and contact anyone. SafeMSU will be free to use and is currently a prototype in no hurry to be finished because MSUPD ensures that every student on campus should have the opportunity to speak their opinion on each aspect of the app, Rozman and Prush said. Although MSUPD is managing the app behind the scenes, the overall goal is to encompass all public safety on campus and to not be branded as by MSUPD, Rozman said. “We would really build this out to kind of a one-stop reach to any type of resources that a student might find themselves in need of,”Rozman said. “We have unlimited capability here to be able to drill down and work with CAPS (Counseling and Psychiatric Services) to design, potentially, a one-button push to their crisis communication platforms, to allow immediate access for students to reach out and access those resources.”


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East Lansing ‘street ghosts’: How Paolo Cirio is fighting for social change with art By Noah Edgar nedgar@statenews.com With the everlasting war in the Middle East, the invasive age of social media and the rapid, dramatic climate change, people are aggressively being pushed into a more vulnerable state as our safety and privacy continues to be challenged. International artist and activist Paolo Cirio aims to broach these topics and generate a reaction through his artwork such as “Street Ghosts” in downtown East Lansing, where candid images of real people taken from Google Street View are plastered on the walls in the same physical location where they were taken. The internet has been a high-profile target of Cirio’s activism from a young age. “I’ve been working with the internet from a very early age,” Cirio said. “The end of the 90s, I was a teenager and I was in the first high-care communities in Europe and already back then we were discussing privacy, or at least our own privacy.” The 90’s was a time before powerhouses like social media and Google had even taken off, much less on many people’s radars, but Cirio had already been questioning our privacy with a group of activists due to browsers, search bars and the potentiality of communication intercepts. “Back then, it was very different,” Cirio said. “With the internet and the tools we had on the internet back then, the main concern was that cops could intercept our communication in knowing what we were going to do.” Cirio said the turning point came around 2005, when social media and companies like Google became powerful. Cirio said these internet-based services became “extremely invasive on our privacy.” In the same way Facebook allows you to organize groups and create events online, Cirio and his group of activists kept things organized on paper, off their phones and off the internet, so that he and other activists could not be intercepted or blocked from their work. “We weren’t just writing stuff on the internet,” Cirio said. “We were not doing calls, we would have just paper to be really careful that they couldn’t know our friends and what our contacts were.” Cirio said he was fearful that activists could not do their work privately, and that fear was made a reality with the rise of Facebook -- now that

TOP, BOTTOM: People walk past one of artist Paolo Cirio’s “Street Ghost” on Sept. 30. “Street Ghosts” are scattered around East Lansing, depicting blurred images of people Cirio found on Google Maps, and is a part of the Michigan State University Museum’s Tracked and Traced exhibit. Photos by Devin AndersonTorrez

activist’s information, activities and contacts can be made public, the nature of activism is losing its meaning. However, in the wake of Edward Snowden, Cirio said “some apps allow activists to share information and contacts in a safe way.” “Between Facebook and Snowden, there was a gap of like 10 years where everyone was really sharing everything, and it was madness,” Cirio said. Privacy is not the only concern in the age of social media. “We have a media that’s very powerful and changing our way of seeing and perceiving reality and interaction with each other.” Cirio said. As social media has become an indispensable part of our everyday lives, more and more people become accustomed to casually scrolling through apps such as Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, making people more prone to social media addiction. Cirio said he believes that there is a problem with the way we are taught to utilize new technologies and medias, critiquing leaders who manipulate the younger generation into believing that we can’t get by without it. “I don’t think in school they really teach our kids how to be aware of what they are doing,” Cirio said. “They say you have to learn it because that’s the way you are going to get a job and get rich, and I think that’s the problem. Artists like me have this goal to deconstruct this technology, language and mechanics of this media and try to show ... what the problem is with all of this.”

Cirio said people are forced to use tools such as social media to move around the world. “I cannot really avoid using them,” Cirio said. “I am not using them for personal things ... but it’s my job and these are tools that we all have to use, unfortunately.” Cirio has always been between art and activism around a few subjects including economy, politics and his start in protest against the Afghanistan-Iraq war. In which he, according to Cirio, remained anonymous as part of a peace movement. With the rapidly increasing effects of climate change, Cirio has begun working on a new project that aims to generate a reaction surrounding these effects such as species and ecosystems at risk of extinction. “There’s much more information about climate change in terms of emissions and the companies that caused those emissions,” Cirio said. “Legally and economically, those companies have not been held accountable at all. I am publishing some information that these companies have kept secret.” Cirio said these dying species and ecosystems are equipped to sue these major oil and coal companies and claim financial compensation directly from these companies. While this is a very new project, Cirio believes this can generate a platform for people, as well. “The plan is to do the same for humans so that you have a platform where you could say how climate change affected your life,” Cirio said.

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Safe Ride returns, proven to reduce drunk drivers, assault-related cases By Ashley Zhou azhou@statenews.com After the suspension of the Safe Ride program in September 2020, the Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, announced that Safe Ride — the free late-night transportation service for MSU students — has begun on Oct. 4 for the fall semester. The program has returned with popular requests as it has proven to decrease the number of drunk drivers and assault-related cases, according to theASMSU website. Currently, there is a limited capacity of vehicles, but as the semester continues ASM-

SU hopes to continually add more vehicles. This semester Safe Ride will run every day starting from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. with an exception of U.S. holidays and MSU holiday breaks or campus closures. Sunday through Wednesday there will be one vehicle available and from Thursday to Saturday there will be two vehicles. The $3 Safe Ride student tax was removed in spring 2021, but this semester the ASMSU tax is back to $21. Only ASMSU tax-paying undergraduate MSU students are allowed to use Safe Ride with a two guest maximum. Young children are not allowed in the vehicles.

Students that are looking to book requests must book by 12:45 a.m. at the latest on the TransLoc app. Wait times depend on different factors, including the number of other students requesting rides, weather conditions, traffic and more. TransLoc will give updates to the user for wait times as well. Service may be denied if users ask for more than one ride per night, requesting a ride for themselves and more than two guests, requesting a ride to a commercial location or excessively high wait times. Students can request wheelchair-accessible vehicles on the app or over the phone if

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needed. No smoking, vaping, eating or consumption of alcoholic beverages is allowed in all Safe Ride vehicles. Safe Ride covers the majority of East Lansing with the following boundaries:

• North: East State Road • South: Mount Hope Road •East: Park Lake Road •West: U.S. 127 Different from previous years, Safe Ride will only be picking up from on-campus buildings and dorms, off-campus apartments and off-campus work locations in the East Lansing area. The transporta-

tion service will be dropping off only at on-campus dorms and off-campus apartments. When waiting to be picked up, students should watch out for a vehicle with a lit-up ASMSU Safe Ride Logo on top of the car and wait in a safe, well-lit area. The service is non judgemental: Minors will not be susceptible to a Minor in Possession charge. Safe Ride’s main goal is to simply help get students back home safely. Similar to the soft return of Safe Ride in spring 2021, the effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 remains the same. Seats will be disinfected after each ride and there will be full thorough disinfection at

the end of the night. Masks will be required in the vehicles and a plexiglass barrier will be between the driver and riders. If needed, masks and hand sanitizers will be provided. If riders are feeling unwell or have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 10 days, ASMSU requests that they do not request a ride. The TransLoc app may be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play and students can call 517-884-8069 for any questions. If students have any further questions they can emailSafeRideor the ASMSU Vice President for Finance and Operations.


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