Michigan State University students are spreading their wings and leaving their nest from apartments within walking distance to campus to apartments that may require more effort to getting to campus. Apartments further away to campus are cheaper than apartments that are in walking distance. Unless students are willing to pay over $1,000 a month in rent for a one bedroom, they must prepare themselves to live with at least three to four different roommates in one apartment. The Hannah Lofts apartments on 2929 Hannah Blvd. in East Lansing is one of the few ideal apartments where students would like to live because of its location and nearby transportation services.
Students in James Madison College are disappointed with the representation numbers between white and minority students and faculty members, but James Madison’s Associate Dean Julia Grant believes the college has created an open environment for all students to feel represented. According to James Madison senior Gerena Walker, studying social relations and policy, JMC is not doing its best when it comes to recruiting minority students. Walker believes that James Madison is recruiting students too late into their high school career. She suggested that instead of looking for students in their senior year of high school, recruiters should visit schools during their freshman or junior year just before they begin to consider what college they want to to go and what they want to do. “In my opinion, we don’t do a good enough job recruiting certain identities and we don’t we do it at a good enough rate,” Walker said.
Sarah Pete has lived in the Delhi Manor community with her family for over two years and says that about every day people will come by and throw their trash on the curbs and keep going without thinking about what they have done. “Most of the trash cans stay full because there are lots of people in one household so sometimes their trash may pile over on the ground because it cannot fit into the trash cans.I think that when outsiders come to the neighborhood they think that the trash looks that way it does because we do not care so they just add to it,” said Pete. Jeff McKinney, Delhi Manor leasing office manager, says that this has been an ongoing issue and that he and his staff have taken action to prevent people from throwing their trash on their ground but people just do not care now days. “About a month back, my staff and I posted flyers in the neighborhood about making sure that trash goes into the trash cans and we did not have an issue for some time then all of a sudden it started again,” said McKinney. Roger Jackson, a Delhi Manor staffer, says that the trash does not come from those in the community.
An ongoing concern in Holt for residents is the lack of public transportation dependability in the community.The Capital Area Transportation Authority also known as the CATA is the public transit system that operates through Holt. Residents say that they spend hundreds of dollars a month on Ubers, Lyfts, and other forms of transportation. Residents are having several continuing issues with the CATA from there not being enough buses that run through Holt; buses are not getting to the stops on time; and there have been cases where the bus allegedly simply does not show up. Douglas Lecato, CATA Board of Directors Vice Chair for Delhi Township says that he is aware of these issues and that the CATA executive staff along with the board are working to fix these problems as soon as possible by hiring more drivers. According to Jasmine Roy, there is only one bus that comes to Holt which is the #8 Pennsylvania-Holt bus. Roy says that the #8 CATA only goes down some streets and she has had to get off at on stop and almost walk a mile to her destination.
Christopher Robbins, a music professor at Lansing Community College, says that he never considered living in East Lansing because he did not want to be neighbors with his students. “East Lansing is too close to LCC and MSU,” he said. “I have younger children that has to be in bed at a certain time to get up without crying in the morning so having a bunch of teens and young adults living next door or a fraternity across the street will interrupt their sleep making it difficult for me and my wife to wake them up in the morning.”
So he chose Holt, a place growing in popularity with first-time and experienced home owners because of its low property taxes plus its low crimes rates and peacefulness from all the nearby Michigan State University madness. Holt is located just a few miles southeast of Lansing and has a homeownership rate of 74.5 percent and homeownership costs at 31.5 percent of median monthly household income. Holt’s location in Delhi Charter Township means more peace and quiet for educational pursuits at MSU, Lansing Community College and the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
Sarah Keller became homeless after three months of living in Holt. According to Keller, she moved her family there from Grand Rapids because she received a job offer that she could not pass up. After working at the job for two months, they let her go because they were making cuts. “I was devastated. I was not in a contract so they could fire me whenever they wanted but I figured since they came looking for me and offered me the job I had some job security,” Keller said. Keller and her family had to move to The City Rescue Mission of Lansing for a few weeks until she was able to find another job.
Holt Community Food Bank, located on the grounds of Holt First Presbyterian Church, is the only food bank in Holt and Delhi Township. It was started 20 years ago by two members of the congregation after discovering that there were members in the church who were having difficulties making ends meet. What is so unique about Holt Community Food Bank is that it is exclusively run by volunteers in and outside of the community who are dedicated to serving by donating groceries and helping to prepare bags of food for those who are in need. According to Bonnie Mahieu, the food bank’s coordinator, all donations and food contributions come from people in the community, local businesses, churches, and local grocery stores like Kroger and Meijer. Mahieu also explained that HCFB is only dedicated to serving Holt residents.
For some, in order to enjoy their favorite sports team they need to be in their favorite restaurant or bar enjoying their favorite drinks and appetizers. This increase in customers benefit businesses financially but restaurant owners know not to depend on these customers for sales every weekend because they are “band wagoners” that will stop supporting their team if they stop winning. Michigan State sports have been major players in weekend activities for residents and in nearby Holt and Delhi Township. Holt and Delhi Township are only about 10 miles away from Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, but fans that cannot make it to the game travel to their local bar and grills to enjoy the game with other fans. Restaurant owners take advantage of these customers to help increase their sales by making appetizers and drinks half-off and by purchasing larger televisions so that customers can sit at their tables to relax and enjoy the games instead of having to sit at the bar.
Holt is one of the many school districts that no longer have free or affordable after-school programs. Parents that cannot afford before-and-after care are left cutting their work hours to pick up their children, leaving them home alone, or having family or friends pick them up until they are able to get off work. Unfortunately, Holt Public School District has a strict budget that does not include coverage for free after school programs at every school in the district. Parents can either switch schools or come up with a solution themselves. According to David Hornak, Holt Public Schools superintendent, “keeping in mind how the budget is set up, adding free after-school programs to each school in the district year-round is simply impossible. There has to be money to pay the staff who will lead these programs and money to feed the children who participate in the programs.”
After school programs are not meant to be “babysitters” but they are the reason why crimes committed by young people are decreasing.The lack of after school supervision put children at a higher risk to participate in criminal activity and an array of other problems that could have been prevented because of free after school programs.
Maria Sanchez mother of three Elliott Elementary boys says that she has missed several days of work this week because she is not comfortable with leaving her 8-year-old triplets home alone with the recent burglaries that has happened in the neighborhood.
There seems to be mixed feelings among Holt’s officials and residents on how many retail shopping stores there should be in the area and how long they should stay open. Local officials say that Holt has everything it needs while some residents are fed up with driving a few miles down the highway to the closest shopping area. According to Mary Fuller, a Holt resident, local town officials have been promising for years to open a new grocery store closer to her like Meijer for years but she has yet to see any construction for building one. “I moved to Holt in the ’90s because the school district was great and the taxes were lower than East Lansing. I enjoy living here but I have to drive 25 minutes way to the nearest grocery store if I want to pick up a late-night snack.