On this edition of Focal Point, get a preview of VIM Magazine’s new cover. Also, volunteers create survival kits for students in need. Learn more about how an MSU study is showing how marijuana use may have some benefits. These stories and more on this episode of Focal Point.
By KAITLYN KELLEY
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Improving road conditions in Michigan is among the issues Gov. Gretchen Whitmer discussed during her campaign and has outlined in her budget plan. At the recent State of the State address she said unsafe roads “endangers our lives and robs us of our time and our hard-earned money.”
“Our roads are so bad they cost the average driver more than $540 a year, and none of that fixes a single pothole,” Whitmer said. “While politicians in Lansing vote down road funding solutions for political gain, the dire state of our highways is endangering our people and getting in the way of our economic prosperity. ”
According to the most recent World Health Organization, or WHO, report on road safety, road infrastructure is “strongly linked” to fatal and serious injuries in road collisions, and road improvements are “critical” to improving overall road safety.
By DEBRAH MISZAK
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Latina women across the globe face unique hardships, The Dia de la Mujer — Day of the Woman in English — conference this April at Michigan State University seeks to address many of them. For 26 years, the MSU Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions and Culturas de las Razas Unidas (CRU), a student group dedicated to Latinx empowerment have hosted the conference.
This year’s theme is “She exists because she resists,” meaning “Ella existe porque se resiste.” The event will feature workshops and talks — some in English and some in Spanish, said
CRU President Tammi Cervantes, 20, a third-year political science/ pre-law major has a lead role in organizing the conference. “We have bilingual workshops,” Cervantes said.
By JASMINE HALL
LANSING, Mich. — The Ingham County Board of Commissioners is following communities in countries such as Germany, Scotland, Britain, Canada and China in deciding to put gender-neutral bathrooms in all county public buildings. According to Rick Terrill, the county’s facilities director, the move would replace between 60 and 69 bathroom signs on single-stall restrooms.
The resolution sponsored by Vice-Chair Ryan Sebolt, D-Lansing, says that “all restrooms and gender-segregated facilities on property operated by Ingham County shall be accessible to individuals consistent with their gender identity or gender expression.”
The gender-neutral bathrooms will have single stalls. Commissioner Mark Grebner, D-East Lansing, also suggested that the county builds new structures, multiple-stall gender-neutral bathrooms should be constructed. In 2017, Berlin passed a similar resolution called the “Toilet Concept for Berlin.” The city stated that it would push to introduce unisex toilets throughout its public buildings.
By KALEY FECH
EAST LANSING, Mich. – People all over the world are aware of the concept of climate change. But for many, that’s all it is – a concept. A recent study, published in Nature Communications, is aimed at showing the implications of climate change for millions of people. The study by Matt Fitzpatrick of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and Robert Dunn of North Carolina State University, predicts what the climate for 540 North American cities will be like in 60 years.
By DEBRAH MISZAK
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University is home to almost 30,000 students, and 6,260 international students from 140 countries were enrolled in the fall 2018 semester, according to the Office for International Students and Scholars [OISS]. Of the thousands of international students last fall, 1,302 were new to MSU. Quy Nguyen, 24, is one of those new students. Her experiences adjusting to Michigan in winter and difficulties forming friendships reflect challenges other international students face in their first six months at MSU.
By KYLE TURK
EAST LANSING, Mich. — For any international student coming to the United States, the first few months on campus can seem daunting at best. When home can be thousands of miles and multiple time zones away, sometimes the things local students take for granted can be a struggle for international students. That struggle multiplies for a pair of international students on Michigan State’s field hockey team. Freshmen Daphne Voorman of the Netherlands and Jade Arundell of Ireland have an even smaller window of opportunity to check in with loved ones back home.
By CRYSTAL CHEN
EAST LANSING, Mich.- When Ruth Osoro first came to Michigan last summer, she was surprised that everyone was wearing shorts. “You’re not supposed to wear shorts in Kenya. That’s immoral,” she said. Osoro is a first-year graduate student majoring in communication at Michigan State University (MSU). Born in a land which lies on the Equator, this winter is her “first winter.” And she’s not going to get used to it.
By KALEY FECH
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Over 12 percent of Michigan State University students are international, according to the Office for International Students and Scholars. The students come from over 140 countries for both undergraduate and graduate programs.
Moving to a new country with a different culture can be challenging. Add school to that equation, and it takes getting used to. “I have never lived away from family,” Fateh Mohammed said.