State grant helps university fight sexual assault

A new grant from Governor Synder will help Michigan State combat sexual assault.

The 38-thousand dollar aid will go towards the MSU Bystander Network, a group that empowers people to take action if they see signs of sexual assault.

The network is working on an educational seminar for upperclassmen that they want to implement by the Fall 2017 semester. The class will build on the sexual assault workshops mandatory for incoming freshman. “It’s taking it a step further and building on that education,” says Leah Short, MSU Bystander Network project coordinator. When it comes to recognizing assault, Sergeant Andrea Munford of the Michigan State Police Department says that it’s important to trust your gut. “A lot of times, [people] may not recognize it for what it is, but they know they have a bad feeling about it,” said Munford.

Michigan State addresses Immigration Ban

By Chloe Kiple

Michigan State hosted an informational meeting days after President Trump issued an executive order banning immigration from seven countries. While many came with questions, university officials could only offer a little more than support. “We can’t change anything about the executive order,” said one speaker. “We are committed to supporting you.”

MSU faculty from the Office of International Students and Scholars addressed a jam-packed lecture hall in the international center. Lawyer Marie LaComb flipped through a powerpoint detailing the specifics of the ban.

Michigan educators react to DeVos nomination

DeVos Place hosted the Michigan Music Conference, an annual event bringing together the state’s music educators – many of whom have not rallied behind new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, who’s namesake adorns the venue. The Michigan billionaire was confirmed in the Senate in a 51-50 decision, the win decided by a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. DeVos advocates for school-choice and using vouchers to pay for private schools. But her opponents dislike her lack of education experience. “You have to be working with the kids day by day to understand what it is we do,” said Farmington High School choir director, Angel Gippert.

In college town, senior population growing

By Chloe Kiple
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING—In a city of nearly 48,000 residents, whose median age is just 21, there are also nearly 5,000 seniors 65 years and older. And the older demographic is growing rapidly, presenting the college-town with new challenges. “Between 1990 and 2010, the East Lansing population of 50-plus [year-olds] increased by 40-percent,” said Prime Time senior center program planner Lisa Richey. “The number of adults aged 65 and older is expected to double within the next 25 years, so we have that to look forward to.”

For this reason, new senior facilities and programs have been cropping up in East Lansing and nationwide. Recently, the City Council voted to turn the old Bailey Community Center into a new senior living home.

Senior Center expresses concerns about funding

By Chloe Kiple
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING— Residents are taxed to provide resources for citizens 60 years and older, but sometimes, old legislation makes it difficult for that money to make it back to local senior centers. Kelly Arndt, Prime Time Senior Center director, said that she plans to address the Tri County Area Agency on Aging that distributes federal funding intended for senior citizens programming under the Older Americans Act of 1965. In order to receive funds, municipally run senior centers need to go through the lengthy process of applying for a grant. “We put out a public notice that funds are available, and we invite different organizations to apply,” said Tri County Area on Aging Agency communication relations specialist and grant manager, Tammy Lemmers. “It’s a competitive process.”

Funding decisions are based on the applicant’s capacity to accomplish the tasks set forth in their application and how many people they service.

Interfraternity Council welcomes Galantis April 15

Stanley Lassen explains how and why he organized this concert. 

By Chloe Kiple
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING—Members of the Michigan State Interfraternity Council will welcome Galantis and Skizzy Mars April 15 for a concert benefitting the victims of the Flint water crisis. The Grammy nominated DJ duo Galantis and rising hip-hop artist Skizzy Mars will be performing at the Summit Sports and Ice Complex in Dimondale. Greater East Lansing residents and MSU students can party while also supporting a worthy cause. Proceeds will fund new pipes that will replace the old, lead pipes that leached into Flint’s water supply. The problem started in 2014 when Flint switched out of the Detroit water system to use its own to save money.

East Lansing seniors and special needs students create art

By Chloe Kiple
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING—Students squish red clay between their palms as they carefully mold small angel figurines. Smiling faces, laughter and conversation fill the room. On March 21, the joy was palpable in the art studio of the Prime Time senior center, making fertile grounds for creative expression during the intergenerational art program. 

The senior center pairs special needs students with seniors. Over six weeks, the duo works together to create art projects, like glass night-lights, masks and mosaic picture frames.  

“We have some really gifted artists among the seniors and the students,” said program planner Lisa Richey.

Local charities vying for grant money

By Chloe Kiple
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING — Over 90,000 adults in the greater Lansing area are functionally illiterate, or cannot read above a third grade reading level, according to the 2012 U.S. Census survey. This makes it difficult or impossible to complete daily tasks like reading food labels, pay stubs and the directions on a bottle of medicine. The Capital Area Literacy Coalition seeks to empower adults and children with weekly reading tutor services. “There’s not a lot of funding for [illiterate] adults,” said Di Clark, the assistant director of the Capital Area Literacy Coalition. “A lot of times the attitude is ‘they had their chance.’ The reality is, they probably didn’t.”

The group is one of many seeking money from the East Lansing Human Services General Fund Grant.

East Lansing High School student wins big at art show

By Chloe Kiple

Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING – East Lansing High School artist Montgomery Smith started her day at an old train station in Detroit. She walked along its perimeter looking for an entry into the abandoned building. She found a break in the boarded up fences and wire and snapped some of the hundreds of pictures she would take that day, until the police showed up. “They pulled us out right away,” said Smith. “They were like, ‘we don’t want to have to arrest you’ and we were like, ‘we just really want good pictures!’ We just kept going.”

Last spring, Smith spent almost ten hours in the city and took over 500 pictures in preparation for an assignment in Robin Remer-Saenz’s advanced placement art class.

East Lansing Historic Districts at Risk

By Chloe Kiple

Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING– Proposed state legislation could put East Lansing’s historic districts in jeopardy. House Bill 5232 and Senate Bill 0270, which are currently on the floor of the Michigan legislature, propose to dissolve historic districts after ten years unless opposed by a 2/3 majority of property owners in the historic districts. The bill defined a historic district as any place with one or more resources related to history, architecture, archaeology or culture within its boundaries.  East Lansing has six historic districts, Hillcrest Village, Chesterfield Hills, College Grove, Collegeville, Oakwood and Bailey. Members of the East Lansing Historic District Commission and city council have publicly opposed this legislation for a multitude of reasons.