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Michigan State’s Independent Voice

ELECTION 2020 THE INS AND OUTS OF VOTING THIS ELECTION SEASON

2020 FALL HOUSING GUIDE INSIDE! Pages 1B-16B

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@THESNEWS

STAT E N EWS.COM


Vol. 111 | No. 7

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2020

EDITORIAL

Skeptical about voting? You should read this

EDITOR-INCHIEF Evan Jones

COPY CHIEF Mark Ostermeyer

MANAGING EDITOR SaMya Overall

CULTURE EDITOR Devin Anderson-Torrez

ART DIRECTOR Genna Barner

By The State News Editorial Board feedback@statenews.com

AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT EDITOR PHOTO EDITOR Sophia Kalakailo Alyte Katillius

T

his election is pretty important, but especially for students. Generation Z makes up 10% of the voting population this cycle, which has a significant impact on final results, according to Pew Research Center. Young people have the greatest stake in the decades ahead of us, but we can only sway those decisions if we show up to vote. If you’re second guessing political participation, we want to change your mind.

CAMPUS EDITOR Karly Graham

SPORTS EDITOR Jayna Bardahl

CITY EDITOR Kaishi Chhabra

DESIGN Hope Ann Flores Emily Maze

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.

The State News @thesnews

“WELL, I DON’T WANT TO CHOOSE BETWEEN THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS.”

This election determines the president, and there’s a good chance neither was your first choice, but the elections down-ballot are just as, if not more, important than the presidency. You should still vote! The Nov. 3, 2020, election determines who runs the sheriff’s office, the state legislature, Michigan’s representatives to the U.S. Congress, court prosecutors in your area, the state Supreme Court justices, statewide ballot initiatives, and your Board of Trustees members. If that’s not enough, you can always vote third-party.

“POLITICS IS TOO TOXIC; I DON’T WANT TO BE INVOLVED.”

You might not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you. It’s easy to disengage, but this also comes from a point of privilege. It’s harder to research and determine who should hold the responsibility of public office. It’s harder to research where changes need to be made, or what needs to stay the same. The decisions affect your friends and family. But it’s not that hard to vote! In Michigan, you can register, request a ballot and vote at your local city clerk’s office before 8 p.m. on Election Day, or vote in person on Nov. 3.

“WHY WOULD I ENGAGE IN A SYSTEM THAT’S CORRUPT OR DOESN’T DO ANYTHING FOR ME?”

A democracy is only as strong as those who support it. It re-

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MULTIMEDIA EDITOR Tessa Osborne

@statenews

CONTACT THE STATE NEWS (517) 295-1680

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 bi-weekly on Tuesdays 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. Copyright © 2020 State News Inc., East Lansing, Michigan Cover design by Daena Faustino

@thesnews The State News

Illustration by Daena Faustino

“Your vote does matter!” quires an informed voter base and widespread participation. This isn’t just about you. While change might not immediately come for you as an individual, it could for others. Decisions from elected officials will affect someone if not you. We cannot change the system overnight or before this election, but we can vote for the candidates that seek the systemic change we do. By abstaining from voting, you are only allowing for the system you deem as corrupt to continue.

“MY VOTE MATTER.”

DOESN’T

Your vote does matter! Local elections can be determined by few votes and your local government officials often have the most direct, immediate impact on you and your community.

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Last November, former East Lansing City Council Member Mark Meadows won his seat by two votes. While the presidential race is important, it is essential that we don’t only consider the weight of our vote in the context of the presidential election. The State News Editorial Board is composed of Editor-in-Chief Evan Jones, Managing Editor SaMya Overall, Campus Desk Editor Karly Graham, City Desk Editor Kaishi Chhabra, Culture Desk Editor Devin Anderson-Torrez, Sports Desk Editor Jayna Bardahl, Copy Chief Mark Ostermeyer, Audience Engagement Editor Sophia Kalakailo, Multimedia Manager Tessa Osborne, Photo Editor Alyte Katilius, Staff Rep. Wendy Guzman and Diversity and Inclusion Rep. Di’Amond Moore.

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E L ECT I ON

Students weigh in on the presidential election By Elijah McKown emckown@statenews.com The upcoming 2020 U.S presidential election will be one of the most unique in our country’s history. In the middle of a pandemic, millions of people are preparing to vote in-person or from home. In recent months, young people in the United States have made their voice heard by fighting against racial injustice and getting involved in the upcoming election. The State News conducted a survey with 321 responses from Michigan State students on their thoughts and opinions on the upcoming election. The survey took results from Oct. 2 to Oct. 5 and asked MSU students who they would be voting for and why, how they would be voting, what issues were important to them and much more. All results taken have just under a 6% margin of error in either direction.

THE CANDIDATES

When students were asked “Which candidates will you vote for in the 2020 Presidential election?”, 73.2% of MSU respondents said that they will be voting for the Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. On the other hand, 24.3% of students who responded said that they would be voting for the Republican candidates President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. The remaining 2.5% of students were voting for a third party candidate, or were undecided. International relations senior Alan Shulman has been a Biden supporter since the beginning of his campaign. Shulman traveled to Iowa on caucus night to represent the Biden campaign in a district. Shulman is also president for Spartans for Biden. For Shulman, he believes that Biden has the ability to reach to both sides of the political aisle and found Biden’s experience in politics the most appealing. “He’s had so much impact, so much legislation,” Shulman said. “He's had so much influence on political affairs in the United States, some good, some bad. He has so much experience. He's so very unique as he's so respected across the political ideologies. We've had conservative Republicans come out and say they have the utmost respect for him. We have very progressive Democrats say they have the utmost respect for him, and that's what we need in our country right now.” Experience architecture sophomore Emma Riddering said she felt that the Trump-Pence ticket was more appealing after the last four years with Trump in office. "I don't trust Biden to be a strong figure for our country is essentially what it boils down to,” Riddering said. “I think Trump has proven that he can make a change, and hopefully will after coronavirus settles down.” When asked why those candidates had their vote, students who responded to the survey had a variety of answers to choose from. However, the “lesser of two evils” option held the majority of votes at 37.7%. Interdisciplinary studies in social science senior Greg Stevens said that

for the upcoming election, he decided that he was going to vote for all other positions on his ballot, but not the Presidential election, citing his displeasure with both candidates. “As far President Trump goes, his moral character and what he represents for me as a Christian, I can't stand behind the way he represents himself,” Stevens said. "The way he disregards other people in the way he mistreats and attacks people ... and I just can’t stand behind that and support him and support what he represents.” “As for Vice President Biden, from a policy perspective I can't stand behind his policies, especially regarding religious freedom, economic policy, just in general policy wise I can't get behind him," Stevens also said. "Even though from a character perspective, I don't mind Vice President Biden, but his policies and what he had to support, and I wouldn't want his Supreme Court justices. I feel like I'm kind of in between a rock and a hard place where I can't reconcile picking either of those candidates with my Christian faith.”

POLICY IMPORTANCE

Many issues are up for debate this upcoming election. The economy, health care, climate change and ongoing social justice movements are all crucial to voters on all sides of the political spectrum. Among Michigan State respondents, 61.7% said that issues of police brutality and racial equality was a major issue for them. After that, nearly 60% of respondents said that climate change and COVID-19 were important issues to them. Health care, gender and LGBTQ+ equality, the economy, affordable college tuition, and immigration were also high vote garners in the important issues poll. Economic and environmental geography senior Tirstan Walters is concerned about his job prospects after he graduates in December as the pandemic continues to shrink the job market. “Of course you want to ensure that there's an economy for us to go into and especially with COVID now,”

Walters said. “That was a big issue for me because I'm graduating here in December, so I'd like there to be jobs out there for me once I graduate, and the way the current pandemic has played out under the president has not been beneficial for me whatsoever.” Walters decided that Biden would be getting his vote in the upcoming election not just because of his job prospects but also because climate change was a key component for him in this election as well. “The biggest thing for me is his policy on climate change,” Walters said. “Whereas he's taking a step to combat ensuring the U.S. is net-zero carbon by 2035, while also ensuring that previous practices will maintain employment until the nuances are implemented. So those are big things for me and coming from Joe Biden that had me excited.” Political science sophomore George Spicer said he was sold on Trump’s reelection bid after seeing his policies in the Middle East. “A big thing that I really, really liked that Trump did was that politicians have been saying for decades now that they're going for peace in the Middle East,” Spicer said. “I think Donald Trump has taken tremendous strides. Especially to bring that peace in the Middle East.” In addition to the Middle East, Riddering said she felt that the Trump tax plan was beneficial to the middle class. "I think the tax breaks are for ordinary people, middle class people," Riddering said. "I think that's a very typical thing people say when they like Trump. Also peace in the Middle East. We're not talking about ISIS anymore, which is a super good thing.”

HOW TO VOTE

Perhaps the most unique aspect of this election is the way in which people will be voting. Millions of voters have already cast their ballots via the absentee ballot route. Michigan State student respondents were split in how they casted their ballots. Most submitted their ballots via absentee, but 34% of stu-

Graphs created by Genna Barner

dents mailed their absentee ballots while another 23.7% dropped off their absentee ballot in a voter drop box. Additionally, 31.8% of students decided that they would be voting in-person on election day. According to the survey, 85% of students are registered to vote in locations outside of East Lansing, while another 12.5% are registered to vote in East Lansing. Political theory and constitutional democracy sophomore Jack Harrison said he is choosing to vote Republican down the entire ballot. Harrison decided that the absentee ballot was the best way for him to vote in his first presidential election. "I’m actually from Ann Arbor, Michigan, but I'm currently residing in East Lansing, about an hour away," Harrison said. "Actually, my ballot is in Ann Arbor so I anticipate going home to fill it out, and then I'm going to make sure I hand it in to my city clerk's office. Unfortunately there is all this information and stuff going on just about voting by mail, but by putting it in my clerk's box I'm con-

T U ES DAY, OCTOBE R 27, 2020

fident to do that. I think it is a great way for people to vote and to stay safe, especially for older folks.” Journalism sophomore Carson Hathaway said he decided the opposite. Hathaway said he will be voting for Biden in the upcoming election and decided that absentee was a good option for him, despite some of his former skepticism. “I was a little skeptical and maybe I still am on the whole mail-in ballots because it's never really been done like this before,” Hathaway said. “Until I heard that there have been some other elections where other people have voted this way, not as much as now, but it's still happened before.” The presidential election isn’t the only thing on the ballot this cycle. Judges, senators, state legislators and much more will be decided Nov. 3. As Election Day draws near, it is clear the college student voting demographic will have a large impact on the results of this election and the future of our nation moving forward.

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HOUSING GUIDE 2020

CU LTU R E

CAM P US

Love Lockdown: How college students are dating during the pandemic There have been triumphs and tribulations for everyone during this time in regard to their dating lives.

MSU graduate students Column: The RA role is more struggle with mental different than ever health, research “Although this year looks a lot different, I still enjoy being an RA.� uncertainty

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Evan Jones

CONTACT THE STATE NEWS

MANAGING EDITOR SaMya Overall

NEWSROOM/CORRECTIONS (517) 295-5149 feedback@statenews.com

(517) 295-1680

ART DIRECTOR Genna Barner

GENERAL MANAGER Christopher Richert

COPY CHIEF Mark Ostermeyer

ADVERTISING M-F, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

CAMPUS EDITOR Karly Graham

The State News is published by the students of Michigan State University on Thursdays during the academic year. News is updated seven days a week at statenews.com.

CITY EDITOR Kaishi Chhabra SPORTS EDITOR Jayna Bardahl PHOTO EDITOR Alyte Katilius MULTIMEDIA EDITOR Tessa Osborne AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT EDITOR Sophia Kalakailo DESIGN Genna Barner Hope Ann Flores Emily Maze

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. Copyright © 2020 State News Inc., East Lansing, Michigan 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

LOCKDOWN LOVE STORIES:

HOW COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE DATING DURING THE PANDEMIC By Emma LaRocca elarocca@statenews.com Dating during a pandemic would have been much more complicated just years ago. But, with today’s technology, students were able to choose if and how they continued dating while being on strict lockdown. Kelsey Robinson, a human biology sophomore, met her boyfriend, Evan Odar, like many college students meet a prospective partner: at a party with friends. Robinson laughed as she recounted how they first met nearly 10 months ago. “I went with one of my friends to his frat and I ended up meeting Evan because I pointed across the room and was like ‘Oh my god that kid’s so cute,’” Robinson said. Since Robinson and Odar had established their relationship before lockdown went into effect, the new normal was hard to adjust to for both of them. “It was a whole process,” Robinson said. “That Monday we went into the lockdown, and I didn’t see him for two months after that because we weren’t allowed to leave or go anywhere.” While they were both on campus, they would see each other frequently, but suddenly there were over 100 miles between them as they were in their respective hometowns. Similarly, social relations and policy junior Wyatt Humphrey-Phillips was in his hometown and separated from his girlfriend, who he had met just weeks before lockdown went into effect. In the beginning, Humphrey-Phillips was not too concerned that he was trying to establish a relationship amid a pandemic. “I was pretty confident at first because I thought that we were

“It’s always really exciting when I would go and get to see Kelsey in person because it didn’t happen too much … because of distance and at the beginning because of the lockdown, so it just made our time together that much more exciting.” Wyatt Humphrey-Phillips

Social relations and policy junio going to be back in three weeks like we were scheduled to be,” Humphrey-Phillips said. But, this wasn’t the case, as online classes continued through the remainder of the spring semester. Reflecting back on this, Humphrey-Phillips and his girlfriend were able to go on very few dates before they would be separated for a long period of time during the lockdown. “We hung out … Friday, Saturday, Sunday. We left on Sunday and didn’t see each other for three months,” Humphrey-Phillips said. For Carla Simone, a Spanish senior, stepping away from dating was the best option for her once lockdown went into effect. “Before COVID, I wasn’t really dating much to begin with,” Simone said.“It wasn’t one of my top priorities I guess, so I didn’t put much time and effort into meeting someone. I did have Bumble and I would be on and off with the app.” Once the country got further into the pandemic, Simone said

Illustration by Daena Faustino

she decided to delete the dating apps she had and focus on herself instead. “I think not having dating apps and not worrying about meeting someone … I put more focus on me in general and kind of doing more stuff for me,” Simone said. Simone said she took this time to reevaluate why she had previously felt the need to be on dating apps. By deleting them she said she realized there were outside pressures that made her feel like she needed to be on the apps. “It was kind of less pressure in a sense,” Simone said. “I feel like when I downloaded those apps it was because I felt like I needed to have a boyfriend or I felt like I needed to be dating someone because everyone around me was in a relationship or I was seeing people in relationships on social media.” Packaging junior Claire Cassar entered lockdown and also decided to stop dating, as she wanted to make sure she was being as safe as she could be amidst the unknowns of the

pandemic. But, as the world slowly began reopening, Cassar said she reconnected with someone she had met before. Cassar said they were trying to form a relationship in the middle of a pandemic that would keep them away from East Lansing for many months. A recurring trend among these relationships is the use of technology as a way to stay connected to their partner. For Robinson and Odar, they utilized Facetime most days to catch up and talk about their days. They would branch out with other technologies in an attempt to create the closest thing to being on a physical date with each other. “We ended up starting to use Zoom, and I would share my screen, and we would watch Netflix together,” Robinson said. Cassar and her boyfriend also used Zoom as an alternative to going on dates in person. “We couldn’t always meet in person so we had to rely on

Zoom, which was a little disappointing but understandable because we have to stay safe,” Cassar said. Humphrey-Phillips and his girlfriend felt the effects of trying to advance a relationship solely over technology. “It was Facetime, it was texting, it was praying that anything would change,” Humphrey-Phillips said. Humphrey-Phillips said he and his girlfriend made extra effort to have deeper conversations so they could learn more about each other and their relationship all while not being able to see each other in person. “There was a point where it could have plateaued, but we stuck with it,” Humphrey-Phillips said. Cassar and her boyfriend also faced challenges when it came to maintaining their relationship over technology. “Something that’s always hard is making sure that you can maintain a solid conversation with somebody over some sort of technology,” Cassar said.

“So it’s always hard if you can’t have that face to face contact but thankfully … my current boyfriend that I started talking to, we had a really nice time bonding over it but one of the challenges was we couldn’t go on dates for a while because we did have a COVID scare.” However, it was not all negative effects that came from trying to support a relationship throughout a pandemic. For Cassar, she appreciated how well she got to know her boyfriend even before they got to be together in person. Humphrey-Phillips felt similarly about how his relationship developed in the pandemic. “We had a clear definition of who the other person was before we were able to meet back up,” Humphrey-Phillips said. Odar felt that the time apart from Robinson made him even more appreciative of the few times they did have together. “It’s always really exciting when I would go and get to see Kelsey in person because it didn’t happen too much … because of distance and at the beginning because of the lockdown, so it just made our time together that much more exciting,” Odar said. There have been triumphs and tribulations for everyone during this time and everyone had unique experiences in regard to their dating lives. Dating during a pandemic put Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown” into a new perspective. Humphrey-Phillips said he learned a lot about himself and his relationship through all the ups and downs that came with dating during the pandemic, but overall, his idea of what love was supposed to look like was completely transformed. “I really learned that there was more to love,” Humphrey-Phillips said.

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H OU S I N G G U I DE

‘The Earth has a deadline’

The value of sustainability and how to incorporate it into your daily life By Sara Tidwell stidwell@statenews.com

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Climate change is real. Global warming is real. Every decision made from this day forth either helps protect the planet or adds to its demise. There are easy first steps to sustainability that every individual can follow, which can lead to a huge impact on our carbon footprint. Robert Richardson, a professor and associate chair in the Department of Community Sustainability that branches from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, loves the Earth. “Living sustainable comes down to a question of whether or not you care about the future and future generations,” Richardson said. “Most of us can go about doing whatever we want, and we can continue to still live our lives in relative comfort, but the impacts of climate change are already being felt.” With his PhD in environmental economics, he dove deep into the costs of pollution, along with the economic benefits of natural resources, recycling, etc. He pursued his degree partly because he’s an environmentalist at heart and partly because he was a business major as an undergraduate — he wanted to marry his background and his passion. He said he is a huge fan of national parks and has a goal of visiting every national park in the country, though they’ve added some to the list in recent years. Richardson said that the sources driving the helm of climate change are our uses of energy and transportation — and not only our own driving, but corporations using trucks to deliver their products to our stores and our doors. “If we can be aware and try to do a little bit to reduce the emissions associated with those, I think that’s low hanging fruit ... not that hard to do,” he said.

SO, WHERE DO I START?

For Richardson, it’s about practicing what you preach. And the three R’s, those are key: Reduce, reuse, recycle. Sustainability is a lifestyle that an individual conforms to by lessening use of detrimental products in an attempt to reduce their carbon footprint. Michael Ofei, from the Minimalist Vegan, wrote an article with nearly 120 simple tips and tricks to get on the sustainable track:

AROUND THE HOUSE

Instead of blasting the air conditioning or the heat, try opening the windows for a breeze or putting on an extra layer of clothing. In the colder months, blankets, sweaters, cabin socks

and thick sweatpants do wonders. Think like a skier. In the warmer months, shade does wonders, even indoors. If you have a basement, they are usually the chilliest areas in your home. Other things you can do include opening your blinds and using as much natural light as possible before you switch on your light bulbs. Similarly, turn off the lights when you leave a room. Also, hand wash your clothes and hang your wet clothes on a drying line or rack instead of using a powered appliance. You can do one or the other or both!

GROCERY SHOPPING

Avoid plastic bags. Bring your own cloth reusable bags, jars and other containers instead. Also avoid plastic wrapped products, and go for free roam or biodegradable materials . If you take your own containers to bulk food stores, it saves you from supporting expensive commercial products and allows you a more eco-friendly way of getting a large amount of food at once. Growing your own herbs, fruits and vegetables, even if it’s just a few pots around the house, or shop for them at local farmers and outdoor markets is another way to increase sustainability. If you do the first option, use organic fertilizer! Start a compost pile with cores and peels afterwards!

YOUR CLOSET

Whether your wardrobe is overflowing or nearly empty, whether you’re a big and trendy style person or not, stop shopping at fast fashion outlets. Instead, buy second-hand clothes when possible. Sustainable brands also work, but do your research beforehand — most companies are less transparent about their processes. Also, it doesn’t hurt to acquire basic sewing skills that you could use to patch holes and sew buttons back onto damaged clothes. If you have a bigger sewing job, either take your item to an alterations shop, transform it into something new and improved, repurpose it or donate it.

AROUND THE OFFICE

Go paperless. Technology is the new wave for everything. That’s the way society is transitioning. Ditch the paper, ditch the hard drives and servers and switch to cloud computing.

TECHNOLOGY AND APPLIANCES

It’s in the planet’s best interest for you to look second-hand first. If you can’t find any, look for energy-efficient appliances

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Illustration by Daena Faustino

next. Instead of throwing your old devices in the trash or letting them collect dust in your attic, donate them to schools and other institutions or recycle them at a specific plant.

AROUND THE KITCHEN

You can really get the “reuse” portion of things running. Reuse glass jars, opt for tupperware rather than plastic bags, rags instead of paper towel, metal over plastic silverware, use your dishwasher over hand washing to limit your hot water intake. Another big thing would be to try making your own cleaning products, rather than using chemicals from the store that pollute the air and are dangerous for your body.

PERSONAL HYGIENE

Take shorter showers and turn off the faucet when washing your face or brushing your teeth. Timers help with this. And again, reuse Cotton pads or washcloths for taking off makeup rather than single use wipes. For those that experience menstruation, try reusable pads, special built underwear or menstrual cups when it’s that time. The biggest one would be to share products with those you live with. Whether it be toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, shaving cream, soap, etc., reduce your cart — buy bigger bottles less often, rather than smaller bottles more often. For more than 20 years, Metronome, which includes a 62-foot-wide 15-digit electronic clock that faces Union Square in Manhattan, New York used to tell the time to and from midnight. Now, it tells the time remaining, Colin Moynihan wrote for The New York Times. Sustainability, factually, makes the planet a better place.

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T HE STAT E N EWS

TU ESDAY, OCTO BER 27, 2020


H OU S I N G G U I DE

MSU graduate students struggle with uncertainty By Anastasia Pirrami apirrami@statenews.com The expectations going into the academic year were mixed among graduate students — some had a little bit of an idea and others, not a clue. Michigan State University graduate students are adjusting to academic life since the novel coronavirus made its way to the United States earlier this year. Since the beginning of the 2020 fall semester, MSU has switched most undergraduate and graduate programs to a remote format. Anna Wilcoxson, a Ph.D. candidate in the sociology department at MSU, said that she was anticipating working from home regardless of COVID-19 since she is at the dissertation stage and not attending classes anymore. Wilcoxson also is a Graduate Teaching Assistant, or GTA, for a methods course. Since the course includes lab instruction, it was set to be in-person until about a week before classes began. The administration then switched to an online format. “I went into this semester basically not knowing what I was doing,” Wilcoxson said. “I didn’t really have time to process what I expected for this semester. I genuinely had

no idea what was going to happen.” Clay Oppenhuizen, who is a GTA and Ph.D. candidate in the department of history at MSU said that he felt nervous going into late July and early August because it seemed that the hybrid system the administration introduced did not seem prudent, even after clarification. “I thought that having hybrid courses seemed like it was still going to lead to greater exposure for graduate students, but not only that, but for undergraduate students too,” Oppenhuizen said. “I was honestly worried too for colleagues in the department because I wasn’t sure when they were being notified, like if their classes were going to fully be in-person, fully online or a hybrid.” For both Ph.D. candidates, the novel coronavirus has affected their students’ academic lives, as well as their own. As GTA’s, the pressure to produce results from their students is higher than years past. Wilcoxson said she tries hard to reduce her students’ tasks because although Zoom classes are hard for her, they are equally challenging for other students, and she notices how much pressure and anxiety it

Illustration by Emily Maze

puts on them. Wilcoxson said that her students have admitted that other professors have moved to entirely asynchronous class formats and bumped up the course workload. “I try to talk openly with them about mental health, and a lot of my students are

suffering from serious mental health issues at the moment,” Wilcoxson said. “It was either before this that they had mental health issues or it’s onset, but (nonetheless) everybody’s anxiety is heightened and exacerbated because of this.” The pandemic has put in-

person research almost entirely to a halt for graduate students. There have been numerous graduate students who have either had to change their dissertation topics or put their dissertation projects on hold indefinitely, meaning that their graduation timelines will likely be pushed back one to two years, Wilcoxson said. As for herself, Wilcoxson felt a reduction in pressure. She talked through her strategies with her committee and advisers, and after looking to enter the job market this year and seeing that there was nothing available from top prospects, she realized there was no rush to get through the program. Overall, the speed and pressure of completing the program declined, but in another way, Wilcoxson said she feels stagnant. Oppenhuizen said that he has already had seven or eight students test positive for COVID-19. Each of them missed class for about seven to 10 days. In these cases, because the students were so fatigued, Oppenhuizen said he gave week-long extensions on assignments to ease the pressure. “Nobody really prepares for how to teach in a pandemic,”

T U ES DAY, OCTOBE R 27, 2020

Oppenhuizen said. “I try to be as open and transparent with my students as possible and be more lenient with grading.” Oppenhuizen and Wilcox said they feel fortunate that they have colleagues and committees that communicate so well together to maintain a steady work environment. However, they agree that despite their students doing their best to complete online work, there are more benefits and collaboration with the face-to-face format. “If you’re face to face with ... your peers, you’re able to get a lot of feedback and also able to talk to each other, but my students are having a hard time engaging with each other because there is not any inperson interaction, and there’s not that classroom interaction” Wilcoxson said. “There’s a lot of missed opportunities, and so there’s quite a reduction in collaboration.” Oppenhuizen emphasized how important it is for everyone at MSU to be transparent and forgiving. “It is not easy for anybody, necessarily,” Oppenhuizen said. “This isn’t how the university has been structured, and how pedagogy and learning are supposed to be undertaken, ethically, at the university levels.”

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T HE STAT E NEWS

TU ESDAY, OCTO BE R 27, 2020


H OU S I N G G U I DE

Landlord discusses investing in property By Wendy Guzman wguzman@statenews.com Whether it’s dorms, apartments, houses or condos, many of Michigan State’s nearly 50 thousand students are looking for a place to live in the city of East Lansing — but who owns the property? “As far as investment properties, a college town is awesome, because you’ll always basically have a renter,” Owner and Co-Founder of Real Estate Redesigned at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Dominic Lee said. “So worrying about whether or not your property will be rented is a lot less risky than outside of a college dorm.” Landlords in East Lansing have a unique opportunity. Due to the demand for housing in college towns, the property investment can begin reaping rewards quicker as properties have a good overall appreciation — an increase in the value of the asset over time. “The biggest thing I see in why people should (invest in college towns) is the overall appreciation,” Associate Broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Rob Buffington said. “I mean, if you have a long-term plan … properties are going to appreciate. And most likely, they’re gonna appreciate quicker than some typical investment property, like if you invested in Lansing, a property in East Lansing will appreciate a little bit more.” Buffington has specialized in the sale and acquisition of East Lansing rental properties since 2007. East Lansing varies in that there is a moratorium on rental licenses. A home cannot be rented out if it does not have a license and the

license classifies properties on how many tenants can live there. “In normal towns, you don’t really have that, in Lansing, you do have to have a rental license, but it’s not as strict as East Lansing. So it varies a lot differently,” Lee said. “Because if you purchase a property in East Lansing … if it doesn’t have a rental license, and I try to rent it to students or something, I’d actually be breaking the law.” Even in towns just outside of East Lansing, like Mason, you don’t necessarily need a rental license as long as it fits with code, Lee said. Ideally, homes should be purchased in September and October to be ready for the next fall semester. Initial rental licenses in East Lansing take about two to five months to process and cost $1,550, according to the city of East Lansing. The process includes a completed application with all required documents, administrative review by the housing office, and inspection followed by a letter indicating any code violations that must be fixed. Then the commission hearing forwards the recommendation to City Council and a Council Hearing where the final decision is made. “What happens often is because obviously, East Lansing doesn’t want college students to be living in rough living situations, they have certain guidelines for what the property has to have,” Lee said. “So the inspector comes through the house and marks everything up that needs to be repaired or gives you the green light. And then after that they submit it to the city, obviously and then you go through the hearing and all that. So it’s a pretty extensive process and it can be expensive.” Due to the length of the process, it’s not always

“The biggest advice I can give people is to find someone that actually knows this niche of the market” Rob Buffington

Associate Broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices guaranteed, but homes can be purchased with a preexisting license that has to be renamed under the new owner. When looking for off-campus housing, parents of students often consider purchasing property for their students to live in with friends while they’re studying in East Lansing, rather than renting. “Now you have investors that will look at it, but you also have … all these parents that come in looking for places for the kids to rent, and now they see this house for sale, and they think, well, ‘I never thought about the house for sale,’” Buffington said. Deciding to purchase a home depends on the family’s situation, Buffington said. If students are going to be living there longer to continue their studies or there are multiple students who will be living in the house across a few years, it could be a good investment for the parents. Animal science sophomore Erin Boyle-Levy

will be living in a three-bed, two and a half bathroom condo her parents purchased for her to live in the next few years. “I’m looking to go to vet school. That’s the plan. And so since I’m a sophomore right now, if that happens, and I go to MSU’s vet school, I’ll be here for the next six years,” Boyle-Levy said. “My other two roommates, we were looking into renting like a house or something ... and I was updating my parents about all this, then one day, just kind of out of the blue (my dad) texted me and he goes, ‘If you find a house, that’s a good price, I’ll buy it for you.’” Boyle-Levy and her parents began looking for property to purchase in East Lansing. She was familiar with the area and her father focused on the logistics of the home, eventually opting for the condo option over house or apartments. “We found two condos, and then we went and toured them. And we just went to one that we thought we could really be liked and didn’t take much work. And I had two roommates lined up and everything,” Boyle-Levy said. “So I think we put in the offer for the condo three weeks ago, and we’re supposed to close next week.” Investing in property in East Lansing can be worth the investment, but realtors recommend becoming familiar with the regulations of East Lansing and seeking advice from experts. “The biggest advice I can give people is to find someone that actually knows this niche of the market, if they’re serious about investing in East Lansing or even just want to learn more about it, they need to know someone that knows, they need to hire someone or recruit the expertise of someone that knows the different classes of licenses in East Lansing,” Buffington said.

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H O US I NG G UI D E

COLUMN

Classified The RA role is more different than ever Class By Janelle James jjames@ statenews. com

A

dapting to the challenges of COVID-19 means being flexible and supporting students, just instead from behind a laptop screen. The Resident Assistant, or RA, program is very unique this year. The main goal of an RA is to provide support to students, especially on a social level. Transitioning from high school to college can be difficult for everyone, whether you’re an in-state freshman, out-of-state freshman, transfer student or international student. That is why we plan floor events every month: to be a resource for students to use if they are struggling to make friends during their transition. It isn’t always easy being an RA. Even though we are about halfway through the semester, roles are still being modified. While you could be a student’s

first friend, it has always been difficult to get residents to participate in events unless we use food as an incentive. Now, getting students to attend events is harder than ever because everything is virtual. Last year, we planned events where we did face masks, had emotional support animals, movie nights and floor dinners. This semester, there are only so many things you can do virtually without it being redundant. The RA program has downsized, partly because of COVID-19, but also because of the lack of organization among the administration. Following President Samuel Stanley L. Jr.’s August announcement that the university would transition to mainly remote learning, RAs in community-style dorms had to move to suitestyle dorms if they wanted to stay on campus. Some of them chose to move, and others decided to go back home. I was lucky because I was already placed in a suite-style dorm when I was selected to be an RA.

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I was placed on the alternate list at first, which wasn’t the best feeling, but it was better than not being selected at all. I eventually got a call from my community director asking if I wanted to be placed in Case Hall and I took it. South neighborhood wasn’t my first choice, but if I declined the offer, I wouldn’t have been able to be an RA at all. The reduced staff has also affected another component of being an RA, which is duty. We don’t have to be on duty for as many days a month as in previous years, which is a relief. While we’re on duty we have to do rounds in the building every couple hours, answer the duty phone and also handle any situations that may occur during that time. Although this year looks a lot different, I still enjoy being an RA. I love seeing my residents in the hallway or in the cafeteria because that is the only time I can interact with them in person.

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TU ESDAY, OCTO BER 27, 2020


ELECTION

Absent voter turnout significantly higher than 2016 election By Griffin Wiles gwiles@statenews.com Two weeks before the 2020 presidential election, absent voter numbers are higher than ever before, and Michigan eAlection officials are encouraging residents to vote as soon as possible. According to City Clerk Jennifer Shuster, people who are not registered or who need to update their voter registration information in East Lansing must do so in person at either the clerk’s office or the satellite office at the Hannah Community Center. Proof of residence is required to register to vote. There are voting booths at both locations, allowing for registration and voting to be accomplished in one visit. About 10,600 ballots have been issued to East Lansing residents, Shuster said, and roughly 65% of them have been returned, as of Oct. 20. Shuster said about 300 people have voted in person and the rest of the ballots have been cast via mail or drop box. Two weeks before the 2016 election, absent voter, or AV, turnout in East Lansing was significantly lower than this election. 2,429 ballots were issued, and 1,176 were returned, as of Oct. 24, 2016. The increase in absentee votes is not unique to East Lansing — in Ingham County and across the entire state, voters are taking to the polls early. Ingham County has issued over 93,000 absent voter ballots for this election, and 60,771 of them have been returned, as of Oct. 20. Currently, the county holds a 64.8% ballot return rate. Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum said the county is on pace to receive nearly 90,000 absentee votes this year, which would be three times as many ballots were cast via absentee in 2016. For the 2016 election, the number of Ingham County absentee votes cast two weeks before the election was only 30,681. This year, that number is nearly doubled.“That’s not comparing apples to apples because in 2016, we didn’t have no-reason absentee voting,” Byrum said. “Proposal 3 passed in 2018 that afforded people the opportunity to vote by absentee ballot without having to provide a reason, and also, we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic.” Statewide, more AV ballots have already been returned than were issued two weeks

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“Only the absentee ballots received by 8 p.m. on November 3 can be counted, and voters should not risk possible postal delays this close to the deadline.” Jocelyn Benson

Michigan Secretary of State

prior to the 2016 general election. For the 2020 election, 2,973,501 absentee ballots have been issued to Michigan voters, and 1,563,423 Michiganders have already returned theirs, as of Oct. 19. Two weeks out from the 2016 election, only 1,026,192 ballots had been issued, and 473,494 had been returned. To assure all votes are received and counted, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson urged absentee voters to hand-deliver ballots to their clerk’s offices or ballot drop boxes. “Only the absentee ballots received by 8 p.m. on November 3 can be counted, and voters should not risk possible postal delays this close to

T UESDAY, OCTO BER 27, 2020

the deadline,” Benson said in a statement. “Voters who already have their absentee ballot should hand-deliver it to their city or township election clerk’s office or ballot drop box. Voters who still plan to request an absentee ballot should visit their clerk’s office to make the request in person, and fill out and submit the ballot all in one trip.” Byrum echoed Benson’s concerns, and said that issued absent voter ballots must be voted now and dropped off at either their clerk’s office or a ballot drop box. Additionally, Byrum said there will be a delay in result tabulation because of the expected number of absent voter ballots to be cast. “People may want to know the results first thing on election night,” Byrum said. “Historically, in Ingham County, it’s been 11:00 or 12:00 at night until unofficial results are posted. It’s going to be later [in this election], and it’s going to be later all across the state because more absentee ballots are being voted.” It takes longer to process absentee ballots because of the added security that election workers must accomplish before counting the vote, Byrum said. “Just because unofficial results are not available by 10:00, 11:00 at night on election night, does not mean there is a problem,” Byrum said. “It does not mean there’s a delay. It means that we’re still counting ballots, and that’s all.”

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EL ECT I O N

Students, professor explain importance of climate change for upcoming election By SaMya Overall soverall@statenews.com Racial equity, immigration policies, reproductive rights and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic are among the many polarizing, politicized issues that are driving the upcoming Nov. 3 election. However, another important, yet divisive issue in the country affects the air we breathe, the food we consume and the weather we endure: climate change. “Climate change is always on my mind at this point because it’s such a big issue,” civil engineering sophomore and leadership member of Sunrise MSU Julia Rudlaff said. “I think a lot of people, especially in this generation, are understanding more that it’s a real issue. But specifically, I think that more people need to be taking it seriously and recognizing that climate change isn’t something that is abstract and scientific.” According to the NASA website, the average global temperature has risen two degrees since 1880, with 19 of the 20 warmest years on record occurring since 2001. Also, carbon dioxide levels have risen 415 parts per million, the highest it’s been in 650,000 years, according to the website. Currently, the recent widespread wildfires in California and devastating hurricanes in the Southern U.S. have been connected to the increasingly warming planet by many in the scientific community. Leading up to the election, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have taken stark opposing stances on climate change, sparking fierce debate among their supporters and a country divided on this issue. “I think the reason for that is, unfortunately, because

there is a lot of money in denying the reality of climate change,” Phillip Warsaw, assistant professor in the department of community sustainability, said. “This is particularly true for both fossil fuel companies and for our electrical utilities. ... For companies, particularly oil companies and other fossil fuels (like) coal, natural gas, etc., the more we recognize climate change as a reality, the more pressure there is to regulate those companies, which would then, of course, result in them paying a lot more money and losing profits.” Biden’s climate change plan includes investing in public sectors, such as public transportation, electricity, buildings and the auto industry, making them more eco-friendly while creating jobs, according to his campaign website. Though she believes this is a good step toward climate justice, comparative cultures and politics senior Sara Millies-Lucke said this is only a first step. “He’s (Biden) definitely getting us pointed in the right direction, but I don’t think we should be complacent with everything,” Millies-Lucke, president of DivestMSU, said. “His campaign did not talk anything about fossil fuel divestment, which is something obviously we’re (DivestMSU) very passionate about. So, I think it’s a start to kind of start redesigning how we build, how we live, how we move and everything to start to change our society in a way that’s more climate friendly, but I think there’s a lot more he could be doing.” In contrast, Trump has often denied the science behind climate change, instead focusing his campaign on “increasing exports of energy resources into the global market,” according to his campaign website.

Trump also pulled the United States from the Paris Agreement, an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that addressed global greenhouse gas emissions. President Barack Obama originally signed the agreement in 2016. “It certainly undermines our reputation in the international world,” political theory and constitutional democracy senior and DivestMSU Vice President Jake Nessel said. “I know when Barack Obama signed the climate agreement, it was a big step forward. Then Donald Trump said ‘we’re not going to agree with that.’ But, we have an international crisis with climate refugees because they’re being forced to flee from their homes, and floods and hurricanes and natural disasters are just ravaging these areas. When Trump says that we aren’t going to follow these international agreements, that threatens our reputation.” Rudlaff said that voters have to recognize that climate change affects them in their everyday lives. Voters should do their research on candidates’ policies and endorsements to get a sense of what each candidates’ priorities are. The Nov. 3 election is more than a presidential one. Michigan’s U.S. Senate seat, delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives, state legislature and state Supreme Court justices are all being decided by voters that Tuesday. More locally, two seats on the MSU Board of Trustees are up for grabs, and those candidates will help decide how MSU reacts to climate change on a university level. In the past, Warsaw said MSU has supported research that goes toward sustainability and environmental

“Increasingly, you are slowly starting to see more and more Republicans and other conservatives start to acknowledge climate change as a reality because they don’t have a choice. ... We know that this isn’t a game. This is real.” Phillip Warsaw

Department of community sustainability assistant professor

“It’s a product of our own making. We have to examine how we built our society, how we treated individuals and treated our climate. How we’ve built this system that is making our planet sick. It forces us to really examine things that we’d like to turn a blind eye to.”

Sara Millies-Lucke Comparative cultures and politics senior Illustration by Daena Faustino 8A

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science. However, Warsaw said the university hasn’t reduced its overall fossil fuel use and divested from fossil fuel companies, despite many students’ demands. Millies-Lucke said the issue of climate change has become politicized and divisive because it’s a human-made issue that reveals a lot of ugly truths in society that lead to this problem. “It’s a product of our own making,” Millies-Lucke said. “And we have to examine how we built our society, how we treated individuals and treated our climate. How we’ve built this system that is making our planet sick. It forces us to really examine things that we’d like to turn a blind eye to.” However, new voters are encouraged to consider the implications of not addressing climate change before casting their ballot. “It’s easier to push for change when you’re moving in the right direction versus when you’re playing defense to keep the change you already have,” Warsaw said. “We’ve seen that in the last four years. So, I think we have to always be pushing. If you’re someone who believes in climate change, for that change to happen,

but also recognizing it’s better to vote for the person who can steer the ship in the right direction, even if they’re not going to drive as far forward as we want.” Regardless of political leaning, climate change is an issue many people at MSU want addressed on a university, state and national level. “There’s really no reason to support a candidate who doesn’t believe in climate change at this point,” Warsaw said. “Increasingly, you are slowly starting to see more and more Republicans and other conservatives start to acknowledge climate change as a reality because they don’t have a choice. ... We know that this isn’t a game. This is real, and I would support voting out candidates who can’t accept that reality. It’s possible to be a conservative and also believe in climate change.”


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EL ECT I O N

First-time voters share their motivations to vote in the upcoming election By Morgan Womack mwomack@statenews.com In the early morning of Nov. 3, human biology senior Devon Hages will stride out of East Lansing High School flaunting her cozy outfit, rainbow printed owl mask and an “I Voted” sticker. Devon registered to vote about two months ago. She said she feels nervous to vote in person, but doesn’t trust her ballot to go through the mail system in time. “I was almost 18 when Trump got elected,” Devon said. “Then I just figured, why not wait until the next four-year term to register then because Photo courtesy of I’m not really Devon Hages gonna be able to make my voice heard until the next election. That’s what I thought at the time.” Devon isn’t the only one in her family who struggled to see the importance of voting. Her father, Colin registered to vote for the first time recently as a 64-year-old. “I guess in the past, I’ve always kinda felt like it was a choice between the lesser of two evils,” Colin said. “I really wasn’t that motivated to vote because I didn’t think it would count for much.” The biggest problem for Devon and her father was the registration process, which is common for many, according to Professor Matt Grossmann from the political science department at MSU. “In the United States, you have to register before voting, which is always true internationally,” Grossmann said. “And yet (this) has tended historically to present an obstacle to new voters, especially young voters.” Once Devon received information from the Secretary of State in the mail, she took the next step. “So I did register,” Devon said. “I was really proud, I sent pictures of my voter registration card to all of my family and they were (happy).” Devon then urged her dad to register, but he was just as uneducated on the process, especially living in a small town. At the time, he didn’t feel a need to vote. However, a few months ago, he changed his mind when a close friend mentioned her sister died due to COVID-19. As they continued their discussion, Colin said he became frustrated with the way the President handled the pandemic. “It was at that point in time that I realized, you know what, I have got to vote just to try to make a change at this point,” Colin said. Even though he still believes one vote won’t change the course of an election, he said it makes him a 1 0A

T H E STAT E NEWS

better citizen. “I just couldn’t not register to vote because, whether it’s going to make a difference or not, in my heart and in my mind, at least I’ll know that I did what I could do to try to make a change,” Colin said. Many new Photo courtesy of Amer Yassinvoters who have Kassab already worked through the registration process are eager to have their voices heard, like human biology freshman Amer Yassin-Kassab. “I believe that voting is one of the best ways as just any regular person like myself can impact everything around me in the nation,” YassinKassab said. “There’s so much going on, something so important to do that you can do is to vote. Once you hit that age, you can do it.” Yassin-Kassab registered to vote by mail. He learned about deadlines from social media posts, which encouraged him to complete his ballot early. “I’m a huge procrastinator,” YassinKassab said. “Just in general, not only in school. But any responsibility I have to do I always push it so far back until I forget about it. Honestly, I probably would’ve been late to get all the voting things sorted out.” Grossmann said that the high costs of this election could be influencing the myriad of informational posts. “More money is being spent on this election than any other previous election by a large margin,” Grossmann said. “That includes more television ads, more mail, more online ads, so it’s not people’s imagination that they are seeing more advertising there.” That’s why new voters can view more information on how to get registered. For journalism sophomore Carson Hathaway, seeing current events unfold shaped his interest in registration. “I think there’s been more conversation this time because people have gotten tired of those issues,” Photo courtesy of Hathaway said. Carson Hathaway “There’s more urgency because of that — because racial issues that have been going on in this country are long overdue that need to be addressed.” Hathaway thinks voting is the best way to get involved with these social justice issues. “You can go to all of these rallies, say ‘Black Lives Matter’ but none of that will do anything if the wrong person gets elected,” Hathaway said. “Going out and voting, that’s

“...your voice does matter. You can either sit back and watch it all crumble or you can help try to put it back together again.” Devon Hages

Human biology senior something that will actually make a difference in the long run.” Yassin-Kassab said filling out a ballot is an indirect, effective way to stand up for beliefs. “Voting is a huge way you can do that so easily,” Yassin-Kassab said. “Checking a few boxes and voting for the people who have the same views as you, opinions and things you want to get done, carried out by someone else that you can vote for ... It’s a way to be active without really stepping out of your comfort zone.” Kinesiology senior Riya Bhutani is a new voter as well. She said she feels strongly about current events like COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter Photo courtesy of protests. “I think a lot Riya Bhutani of what has happened could’ve been handled differently and maybe could’ve been handled better,” Bhutani said. “So if we vote, we could change that.” She also said she holds voting to a high standard because of her personal upbringing. “A lot of (American) Indians are considered a model minority because we come here on work visas, we have high qualifications, we get high positions in whatever company,” Bhutani said. “But there are still those microaggressions that we face. Bringing awareness to those really is important and I think that’s how I was raised, to fight to be heard.” The registration process is the first step for citizens to become voters and share their political opinions. After that, voters like Devon might encourage others to do the same. “It’s worth jumping through a few extra hoops,” Devon said. “It’s worth figuring out how to do it on your computer if you’re older because your voice does matter. You can either sit back and watch it all crumble or you can help try to put it back together again.”

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COLUMN

Nationalism has superseded decency; it’s time to reevaluate “Being a patriot does not exempt you from being a human. Humans make mistakes. Taking accountability and righting your wrongs By Jack Falinski are what make you a jfalinksi@statenews.com Presidential debates patriot.”

used to be boring … but civil.

“I think Mr. Nixon is an effective leader of his party. I hope he would grant me the same,” Sen. John F. Kennedy said of Vice President Richard Nixon during the first ever televised presidential debate in 1960. “The question before us is, which point of view and which party do we want to lead the United States?” Like any presidential race, debates were also combative, but done so in a cunning, sophisticated and sometimes jokingly manner. “I will not make age an issue of this campaign,” President Ronald Reagan said to challenging Vice President Walter Mondale during a 1984 presidential debate. “I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” That comment even drew a chuckle from Mondale. But contrast that to now. The first presidential debate of 2020 was filled with back-and-forth name calling, vicious accusations, senseless butt-ins and an unchecked, yet justified, “Will you shut up, man?” from former Vice President Joe Biden to President Donald Trump. The fight for the most revered chair at the table of the United States was belittled to a kindergarten scuffle about “Who stole whose crayon?” Where has decency gone? The answers to this question remain abounding, flush and opinionated in many ways. Arguably, there is no right or wrong answer, for the answers themselves remain subjective. Some might even maintain that decency is still intact. My answer, I like to think, is simple, and it stems from Big Stick ideology. Throughout his presidency, President Theodore Roosevelt upheld the mindset to “speak softly and carry a big stick.” This idea was specifically directed toward his foreign policy approach. And what it meant, according to Brian Fung of The Atlantic, was “that talking politely and allowing others to perceive Washington’s latent power would do more for it than it would to go around making examples of people.” While there have been instances here-and-there over the past four years of using force “to make examples of people” overseas, ironically, it’s been seen more lately in our own country

during a period of civil unrest — any word that comes out of the White House these days is not spoken softly or politely. Twitter has censored several of the president’s recent tweets due to his threatening rhetoric. And during a time when marginalized and silenced groups need to be heard, he’s put on his noise reduction earmuffs and has crowed about the military power he has to silence these groups even further. Most of the racial demonstrations across the country amidst this time have been peaceful, but some have turned into riots. And while riots need to be addressed, they first need to be understood. By not taking the time to recognize why they happen, Trump has turned patriotic ideals into nationalistic beliefs. True patriots love their country; they want the best for it, and they want the best for everyone living in it. Nationalists love their country, but they want it to be the best instead of wanting the best for it. There’s a difference. That’s why in the final presidential debate before the Nov. 3 election, Trump downplayed COVID-19 saying, “We are rounding the corner,” as the U.S. currently averages an astounding 60,000 cases per day, as of Oct. 22. That’s why he hasn’t spoken about the cries from those who continue to be racially oppressed. He doesn’t want to admit that our country is internally broken when it is. As I watched the latest presidential debate, I noticed something that could’ve easily gotten lost among the million other remarks made. In talking about his former immigration reform policy, Biden said he and the Obama administration “made a mistake.” Regardless of the policy, I loved hearing from a politician who said himself that he “made a mistake.” It’s refreshing, and it’s something this current administration seems incapable of doing. Being a patriot does not exempt you from being a human. Humans make mistakes. Taking accountability and righting your wrongs are what make you a patriot. Now, circling back to Kennedy: “The question before us is, which point of view and which party do we want to lead the United States?” An obstinate nationalist, or a receptive patriot?


E L ECT I ON

How to stay safe and cast your ballot this election season By Maddie Monroe mmonroe@statenews.com With the Nov. 3 election quickly approaching, East Lansing city officials have suggested the numerous ways for residents to cast their ballots safely given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The East Lansing City Clerk’s Office has been busy preparing for election day and has expanded their accessibility given the expected high turnout. They are offering longer hours for voters to come into the office to register or vote early, as well as an additional satellite office in the Hannah Community Center. For those who wish to cast a ballot in person on election day, polling locations will be equipped and ready to keep residents safe. “We are continuing to utilize as much PPE as possible for our election inspectors,” East Lansing City Clerk Jennifer Shuster said. “We are screening their temperatures when they show up for their shifts. (We’re) providing them with face masks, face shields, gloves, plenty of disinfectant wipes and spray.” Shuster said they have special alcohol prep wipes to wipe down the machines, which are also provided for the voters. The staff will also be disinfecting voting booths between the usage. “We have plexiglass tabletop shields that we will have at the different stations throughout the polling location where the workers are interacting with voters,” Shuster said. “We have four markings for social distancing throughout the polling locations, so areas where voters would be in line marking those six foot markings.” Masks will be provided for those who do not have them, but voters are not required to wear a mask at the polling locations; however, it is encouraged. Given the Secretary of State’s guidance, voters cannot be turned away for entering without a mask. “I do highly encourage all of our voters to still wear a mask, or proper PPE,” Shuster said. “Because obviously, they will have to interact with our election workers to be able to vote in person. So, just being aware of where your polling location is and making a plan for election day.” If residents are concerned about crowded polling places, avoiding peak times like early in the morning when the polls open, or after 5 p.m. can also help to reduce risks. “There’s always some risk and of course, in the midst of a pandemic, it’s a heightened risk,” Health Officer for the Ingham County

“We have options, and I encourage everybody to exercise their right to vote. This year is going to be different. There are a lot of additional challenges this year because of the pandemic and what’s going on. And I think there are some out there who might try to dissuade people voting by scaring them and saying, ‘no, it’s not safe.”

have lots of options. And I think the polling places are very aware and doing everything they can to make sure that we’re staying six feet apart and wearing masks, so it shouldn’t be an issue.” The main City Clerk’s office in East Lansing City Hall (410 Abbot Road), will be open the following expanded hours leading up to Election Day:

• Saturday, Oct. 31: 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. • Sunday, Nov. 1: 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. This satellite office in Hannah Community Center (819 Abbot Road) will be open until Tuesday, Nov. 3 at the following times and the following expanded hours:

• Monday, Oct. 26 - Friday, Oct. 30: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Saturday, Oct. 31 and Sunday, Nov. 1: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Monday, Nov. 2: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Election Day - Tuesday, Nov. 3: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Dr. Jan Liu

Doctor of family medicine Illustration by Hope Ann Flores

Health Department Linda Vail said. “But there are ways to mitigate it. ... Mask wearing, social distancing and trying to stay out of large gatherings, they are all very effective. Polling places could end up being relatively large gatherings with big crowds. So, the offpeak idea is good.” East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens said he also encourages voters to wear a mask while in polling stations, washing your hands before and after and to vote early, if possible. “So, the biggest thing you can do to stay safe is to vote early,” Stephens said. “We have hours within our clerk’s office to do that. You can register at our clerk’s office and then vote at our clerk’s office early. And I would say the best thing that you can do to stay safe is vote early. It’s going to mean there’s less people there, it’s going to decrease the amount of crowds that we have actually on Election Day. That’s why we’re doing increased hours at the clerk’s office. That’s why we have a satellite location.” While some voters may be hesitant to vote in person, Jan Liu, M.D. in family medicine, said it is perfectly safe to do so, as long as you are following the guidelines. “We have options, and I encourage everybody to exercise their right to vote,” Liu

said. “This year is going to be different. There are a lot of additional challenges this year because of the pandemic and what’s going on. And I think there are some out there who might try to dissuade people voting by scaring them and saying, ‘no, it’s not safe,’ but we

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Election Edition & Fall Housing Guide - Tuesday 10/27/20  

The State News is published by the students of Michigan State University every other Tuesday during fall, spring and select days during summ...

Election Edition & Fall Housing Guide - Tuesday 10/27/20  

The State News is published by the students of Michigan State University every other Tuesday during fall, spring and select days during summ...

Profile for statenews