Spring showers bring May flowers — and allergies for many of us

Springtime in Michigan exhibits an abundance of sunshine and rising temperatures. Adults begin to tend their gardens and flowers, soccer fields are filled with joyful cheers of children and college students begin working on their tans or are studying for final exams outside. But, some of them are forced to stay inside, balled up in bed with half-used tissues crumpled on the side table. Spring allergies vary depending on your location, but Michigan is among the worst states for people who suffer from seasonal allergies, says Dr. Richard Kustasz, a family medicine doctor at Olin Health Center, located on Michigan State’s campus. “Because Michigan has four regular seasons, allergies become more concentrated in those times of the year,” Kustasz said.

Earning only the minimum wage linked to health declines

With graduation rapidly approaching colleges across the United States, a new wave of potential employees are hitting the open market, eager to jump on the next opportunity in their professional careers. Unfortunately, some of those wide-eyed alumni won’t be finding jobs in the field they set out for, at least not yet. Nor will those who drop out of high school, as they’ll be making about 65 percent of what college graduates make. For the ones who decided college wasn’t for them, but earned their high school diploma –– they’ll get 80 percent. College students who don’t make it into their desired field right away often resort to taking minimum wage jobs to start the payback of student loans or to have some extra spending money.

Stress, anxiety peak with finals week on campuses

Dr. Richard Kustasz, a family medicine doctor at Olin Health Center located on Michigan State University’s campus, regularly sees around 40-45 college students come through his exam room door every day he works. The reason for visits often varies by the time of the year. More students with cold and flu-like symptoms come in during the late fall and winter and students with allergy symptoms in the spring. But two times in the year –– once in early December and again in late April –– Kustasz sees a large influx in symptoms related to final exams.

“Every time spring rolls around, the office gets more people with allergies and asthma, but it also gets a large increase in students with symptoms of stress and anxiety with finals coming up,”  Kustasz said. It’s no wonder why the American Institute of Stress calls stress “America’s leading health problem.” It can affect you in a number of ways, as it can cause visible physical symptoms such as headaches, insomnia and fatigue, as well as affect one’s mental health through anxiety and in severe cases, depression.

Smokers are feeling the heat not from law enforcement, but their peers

Michigan State enforced a tobacco-free campus beginning in August of 2016. Since then, it’s not the potential of a ticket that has smokers on edge –– it’s the disapproval from stares and comments made by their fellow peers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcrOvA1kBIY

Anywhere between 10 and 12 Newport Menthol 100s will get MSU senior Jacob Hicks through the day. Some of those smoke breaks happen at his duplex on Burcham Street, but some of them happen on MSUs 5,200 acre campus. And despite the campus enforcing a tobacco ban that went into effect August 15 of 2016, that’s not what has Hicks worried.

Michigan State freshman Nick Ward would have bigger impact with more minutes

Standing at 6-foot-8 and weighing a bulky 250 pounds, Michigan State basketball’s freshman forward Nick Ward has never been in the shadows. He was a star averaging 21.0 points and 8.5 rebounds as a senior at Gahanna Lincoln High School and was a top 50 recruit nationally heading into this year by both ESPN and 247sports. Ward was planning on adjusting to the shadows, destined for a minimal role, if any, in 2016-2017 as additions like prized top-10 recruit Miles Bridges and UNLV transfer forward Ben Carter gave commitments to Michigan State,. The Spartans also had senior center Gavin Schilling returning to the team and the emergence last season from former walk-on Kenny Goins slotted him in the Spartans rotation down low. That’s when the injury bug hit MSU shortly before the season.

Trump win grabs headlines, but Michigan also remains red in U.S. and state House

The 2016 presidential election transformed Michigan from a state with traditional Democratic voting patterns into one of president-elect Donald Trump’s biggest swing-state victories. Michigan, which hasn’t cast its electoral votes for a Republican presidential nominee since 1988, turned to Trump, as lower voter turnout across key Democratic areas in Detroit and Flint helped propel him. Trump’s victory was unexpected, as a Fox News poll gave Democrat Hillary Clinton a four-point edge the day before the election, while the New York Times gave Clinton an 85 percent chance to win on election night. Overlooked in the hubbub of Trump’s odds-defying victory was that the U.S. House of Representatives maintained its “red” majority. Michigan not only voted for Trump, but kept its nine-to-five Republican majority in the U.S. House among its 14 seats.

Blue Faces: Would college students voting Democrat really matter for tuition costs?

Many of the major topics raised in this election year will have a tremendous impact on Americans’ everyday lives. With immigration policy, Supreme Court nominations and gun control the most prominent issues, there is another that could affect students and first-time voters the most: the cost of college. “It’s definitely one of the biggest things that will impact who I vote for,” said Mackenzie Banks, a political science and James Madison senior at Michigan State. “I’ll be starting law school next year, and any help with decreased tuition costs would be great.”

Banks said he was a supporter of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders before he dropped out of the presidential race. Sanders was an advocate for free tuition at public universities and was a popular candidate among young voters.

The critical youth vote and the importance of youth voting


Andrew and Alex Heavin, natives of Rochester, Mich. turned 22 just three weeks ago. They have been through this rodeo of presidential voting once before, and with their loyalty connected to the Republican Party, they cast a vote each for Mitt Romney. Now they, like numerous others, feel that this election feel they are choosing the “lesser of two evils.” In their opinion, that is Donald Trump, the businessman turned politician whose ranting about a top-down economic plan and strict immigration have captivated many, but left a many other fearful of what he could do when in power. But for the Heavin twins, a part of them wishes for the sake of all their friends who didn’t have a chance to vote last election that their first would have been more, for a lack of a better word, normal.

For this MSU student, lack of voting didn’t skip a generation

By Nathaniel Bott

Ann Arbor native and MSU senior Joseph Titus, 21, goes about his busy day with no time to think about politics. He takes his studies and homework to the MSU library or Union, takes to the gridiron in intramural football leagues and plays beer pong with his roommates while tailgating a Spartan football game. According to Circle statistics, an organization that examines youth voting in the United States, Titus is also among the 49.6 percent of people in the state of Michigan from ages 18-29 who didn’t vote in the 2012 presidential election. Only 14.8 percent of people ages 18-29 voted in the 2014 midterm, and Titus wasn’t one of them either. As far as Titus knows, His parents and his 25-year-old sister don’t vote.