AUTISM COVID: Online learning forced by COVID pandemic is especially hard for the 22,500 Michigan students with autism who need structure and stability. Some parents are finding ways to cope. We talk to an MSU researcher, a parent mentor in Iron Mountain and parents in the Clawson and Berkley school districts. By Taylor Haelterman & Luke Sloan. FOR DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE, WKAR, MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, ST. IGNACE, SAULT STE. MARIE AND ALL POINTS.
As Michigan State University has adjusted its operations to the COVID-19 outbreak, the department of Residential and Hospitality Services has been working to ensure the safety and health of students.
Assistant Director of Communications Bethany Balks has been at the forefront of the department’s response. “Residential and Hospitality Services leadership has been meeting almost daily since the university response to COVID-19 began,” Balks said. “Leaders have reviewed guidance from the university, county health department, state and national government to inform our decisions.
“As RHS is a critical division to maintain housing and dining for students, it’s important that we maintain safe and healthy living and working environments. It’s a large team effort to address the coronavirus concerns, from facilities to operations to residence education to culinary services.”
One of the primary concerns for Residential and Hospitality Services has been facilitating the move-out process for students opting to leave their residence halls.
“We’ve been able to be flexible and adaptable,” Balks said. “We have been able to implement new practices, like express checkout, that allow students to move out faster and staff to have less physical contact.
“Additionally, we’ve created new processes like remote checkout to accommodate residents that have left and would have a hard time returning.
Ever since Michigan State University announced the suspension of in-person classes on March 11 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, students have attempted to navigate the change while school officials worked to accommodate their needs.
MSU students with Rep. Julie Brixie, fourth from left and, next to her, Rep. Padma Kuppa. Michigan State students connected with state representatives on a personal level Feb. 25, as Bailey Hall Government hosted Michigan Reps. Padma Kuppa and Julie Brixie for a small group discussion and dinner at Brody Hall.
“Seeing someone’s name on the ballot or reading about them online is a lot different than actually being able to interact with them,” Bailey Hall President Juhi Parekh said. “An event when students can ask questions with the people they actually elected themselves is a great opportunity to understand the impact your voting can have.”
The death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant on Jan. 26 shook the hoops community to its core. Even though the five-time NBA champion is best known for his feats in men’s basketball, his loss also t devastated the women’s sports world, a community for which he was a lifelong advocate.
On the campus of Michigan State university, the women’s basketball team, a group comprised of many lifelong Bryant fans, is saddened.
“It’s very sad, it’s almost surreal, especially as a parent of two daughters,” assistant coach Maria Fantanarosa said. “He was the most high profile supporter of the women’s game. And I don’t think that’s because he had four daughters, I think that was because he was a very visionary guy.