Students line up to receive a ballot at a table in Brody Hall.

East Lansing elections run smoothly as election challengers observe

In contrast to scenes of voter intimidation in some parts of the country, East Lansing polling places were free of trouble on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

This fall, East Lansing City Clerk Jennifer Shuster said the city was expecting an increase in election challengers at the polls during this year’s midterm elections. While challengers were present at several polling locations throughout the day, officials at these precincts reported normal conditions.

City of East Lansing wants to plant more trees on campus

Trees line the sidewalk on Shaw Lane. The road is one campus entrance that could gain more trees over the next year. The City of East Lansing is working with Michigan State University to increase the number  of trees on and near campus. Jessica Crawford, a member of East Lansing’s Commission on the Environment, said the plantings will help increase the well-being of students and residents and beautify campus entries. “There’s a lot of research behind urban forestry being not only something to help improve mental health of the residents, but also the physical health as well, in order to help reduce any heat deserts,” she said.

East Lansing, students work to create safer downtown

In the early hours of Sunday, Sept. 11, police were dispatched after reports of gunshots in the 300 block of M.A.C. Avenue in East Lansng. Thirty-one bullet casings were found on the ground in the area, and one victim was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The city has previously experienced couch burnings and damaged vehicles during college football home games, but gun violence marks an escalation.

To mitigate this situation, the city is working with the University Student Commission, a city commission of MSU students meant to foster communication between the city and the student body. The commission’s first meeting of the semester was on Oct. 11. Student and community safety was one of the commission’s most prominent topics for discussion.

Challengers allowed, expected at county’s polling locations

Jack ArmstrongThe MSU Union will serve as a polling location for East Lansing residents in the upcoming Nov. 8 elections. The City of East Lansing is planning for election challengers to be at every city polling location Nov. 8, according to City Clerk Jennifer Shuster. The city has seen an increase in election challengers and poll watchers since the 2020 presidential election.

Third-year University of Windsor student Ben Chittle helps strap one of his DIY pressure sensors to a cement block to keep it submerged

Student makes DIY devices to fight lake erosion

DIY TRANSDUCER: A University of Windsor student created a do-it-yourself device to measure the impact of boat wakes on shoreline erosion. The device usually costs $7,000 but Ben Chittle’s version is just $200. With pressure on coastal managers to do more with less, the DIY version holds promise, researchers say. By Jack Armstrong. FOR ALL POINTS

Young man stands near ballot box outside East Lansing City Hall.

Absentee ballots booming in 2022

The Nov. 8 elections are more than a month away, and East Lansing City Clerk Jennifer Shuster’s office is busy preparing absentee ballots.

Shuster said she and her team expect about 12,000 absentee voters this year, an increasing demand spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Voters can fill out a ballot at home and deposit it at a local dropbox or with the clerk’s office, avoiding in-person polling locations.