MSU students not attracted to Downtown Lansing

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By Ryan Squanda
The Lansing Star

LANSING – In addition to serving as Michigan’s Capital city, Lansing is home to over 113,000 people. Filled with its many shops, bars and restaurants, there’s no question Lansing offers leisure and activities to people from all over the area.

Downtown Lansing is less than a four mile drive down Michigan Avenue from MSU's campus. (Photo by Ryan Squanda)

Downtown Lansing is less than a four mile drive down Michigan Avenue from MSU’s campus. (Photo by Ryan Squanda)

And with nearby Michigan State University just a four mile drive down Michigan Avenue from Lansing’s Capitol building, one would think the downtown area would attract a good number of the students that make of MSU’s 50,085 enrollment number.

However, after talking to numerous Michigan State students, The Lansing Star has found this not necessarily to be the case.

The reasons range far and wide, from the fact that East Lansing has many similar shops and restaurants to offer, right down to the fact students have no way to get down there.

“I’m from Connecticut so I don’t really know a lot about the area,” MSU student Kayla Con said. “Being a freshman and not having a car, getting down there is a hard thing to do.”

Fellow freshman student Annie Teunessen is in a similar boat, while also pointing out there’s not a need to go downtown.

“I don’t have a car and everything I need is on campus,” she said.

Still, while a majority of MSU’s population have either no interest in going into the Downtown Lansing area, or have no way in getting down there, some students, like sophomore Kait Durga, find a way to make it happen.

“I actually just went there last weekend,” Durga said. “I visited the Capitol building, walked around the downtown area. It was cool. When I have time, I of course go down there because I like the way it looks because it’s pretty.”

But in Demitri Johnson’s case, an MSU student who has family in the area and spent summers there growing up, Lansing is an great place to hang out.

“Downtown Lansing is cool,” Johnson said, going on to bring up numerous attractions in the area like restaurants Fork in the Road, Golden Harvest and Meat as well as Cooley Law School Stadium – home of the Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball team.

In addition to this, Johnson also expels the notions that Lansing is an unsafe environment.

“It’s pretty good for the most part,” Johnson said. “Stuff may happen sometimes but the police have a nice presence down there and make you feel safe.”

Still, despite everything Downtown Lansing has to offer, Johnson acknowledges the exact reasons stated by his peers for why he believes not as many students utilize the area as some may think.

“I think because East Lansing has so much. You got the bars, you got the food … but then also maybe some people don’t have cars,” Johnson said. “But there’s a lot to do in Lansing for sure.”

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