A white church in Hawaii

Follow us on 3 new First Amendment issues

New issues broke out today about extending religious freedom exemptions to businesses, state and local government; cutting federal funds to universities where disruptive speeches are canceled; and political activity by churches. Follow us for coverage.

Michigan State University student Jazmine Skala-Wade

Students work to overcome stigma around mental illness

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in 20 American adults live with a serious health condition, but people living with mental illness, believe there is a negative stigma attached to it. Michigan State University student, Jazmine Skala-Wade was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, known as ADHD, when she was 11. “People have this idea that mental illnesses aren’t real, that you need to pray them away, that you are making it up or that you are crazy,” Skala-Wade said. “I have been judged and looked at as crazy. People have made up stories about my mental illness and I’ve been treated like I shouldn’t be smart.”

Skala-Wade said she’s doing things in college that people did not think she was capable of because of her ADHD.

Inclusion campaign aims to address discrimination on campus

Michigan State University has launched an inclusion campaign to address issues of race, gender and discrimination on campus. “Inclusion is defined as creating a living, learning and work environment where differences are valued, respected and welcomed,” said Paulette Granberry-Russell, senior adviser to the president for diversity and inclusion. “We’ve committed resources to the reducing the graduation gap between white students and black and Hispanic students, and we recognize there is more that we need to do to reduce the gap,” she said. In fall 2015, MSU launched the Office of Institutional Equity to oversee the university’s efforts to address discrimination and harassment based on factors such as race, gender and sex. The office allows students and faculty to file reports of discrimination on its website.

New student group works to promote health issues on campus

With more than 600 registered student organizations on campus, students at Michigan State University can find a group for just about any interest

The the leaders of Raising Awareness with Students believe they have a mission unlike others. RAWS promotes health issues, with a focus on preventable illnesses. It was created by Kady Cox, an interdisciplinary studies in social science student. The concept of RAWS started with her annual event, “Diabetes is Not Sweet.” “I got the idea for the ‘Diabetes is Not Sweet’ event because mom and my grandmother both have diabetes,” Cox said.

MSU athletes explore multicultural issues in student group

At the MSU vs. Wisconsin football game on Sept. 24, Spartan players Delton Williams, Kenney Lyke and Gabe Sherrod raised their fists during Star-Spangled Banner to protest racism. During the next game six other players joined in protest. Why did Gabe Sherrod feel it was important to speak up?

Should college athletes get paid?

The University of Georgia, North Carolina, Southern California, Alabama and Auburn: All Division I programs sanctioned by the NCAA because athletes accepted payments and gifts under the table. According to the NCAA rules, student-athletes cannot be paid for their athletic skills. They also cannot advertise, promote or endorse any product. However, their image and name can be used by the institution they attend for a wide variety of purposes. For example, a game program including a team’s roster and stats at a football game is sells for about $10.

Junior linebacker Sean Harrington talks about being a walk-on athlete

Athletes on scholarship have their tuition, room and board, and more paid for. But, what happens with walk-on athletes? Michigan State University redshirt junior linebacker Shane Jones of the Spartan Newsroom, who came to the university on an athletic scholarship, talks with junior linebacker Sean Harrington, who began as a walk-on on the team and earned a scholarship.