Controversial loan program benefits Michigan colleges 

COLLEGE LOANS: Five Michigan colleges have taken advantage of a USDA loan program for rural and agricultural areas to finance new buildings and facilities. Alma College’s president says the $39.4 million it borrowed has paid off in rising enrollment. Others are Adrian University of Olivet, Glen Oaks Community College and Bay Mills Community College. The Michigan Association of Independent Colleges and Universities says the benefits are visible on participating campuses. Some rural borrowers nationally haven’t seen the expected benefits, however. By Elijah Taub. FOR ADRIAN, BAY MILLS, MARQUETTE, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS AND ALL POINTS.

MSU’s Annual ‘Painting at the Planetarium’ Shines at Abrams 

Michigan State’s Abrams Planetarium ensures students can always see a sky full of stars, even on a cloudy day, with magic around every corner. Hosting several events in the first week of February,this planetarium was quite a busy place.  

“We have a lot of events that we do, we do birthday parties and we’ve had people’s weddings here and proposals and stuff like that, so it’s great,” said Kylie Hunter, a third-year student studying environmental geography and a cashier at the Planetarium. “We see more and more numbers, after COVID we took a hit so we’re happy to have all these different events and many people coming in.” 

The University Activities Board also hosts its annual “Painting at the Planetarium” event, allowing students to take a break and paint their own night sky.  

Picture credits: Instagram, @uabatmsu

“This event is essentially just a session to watch a star show and paint,” said Simran Sompore, the outreach and inclusion coordinator at UAB. It’s a great way for people to learn more about the Abrams Planetarium, engage students in astronomy, and bring the culture together.”  

The planetarium hosts several different shows. Each lasts approximately 30 minutes and is followed by a 30-minute live presentation of the current evening sky.  

“The shows are pretty popular, sometimes we fill out and hit our max [180 seats] and have to stop selling tickets, those are good nights,” Hunter said.

Section of Chestnut Road closed due to construction on Farm Lane bridge

Part of the Spartan Statue intersection will be closed until May 1 due to construction on the Farm Lane bridge. Chestnut Road was closed before the start of the spring semester. While there is no construction being performed on Chestnut, the detour aims to protect pedestrians by reducing overflow traffic from the Farm Lane closure. The detour reroutes vehicles along Kalamazoo Street and Demonstration Hall Road. Michigan State Infrastructure Planning and Facilities (IPF) sent out a campus-wide email announcing the closure on Dec.

Rep. Emily Dievendorf, D-Lansing, has proposed a bill of rights for homeless Michigan residents

Steep challenges face homeless students, experts say

STUDENT HOMELESSNESS: Homeless students often slip under the radar, and their plight draws insufficient attention from college administrators and others, advocates say. We learn about what Northern Michigan University is doing to address the problem, hear from the Michigan Association of State Universities and talk to a Lansing lawmaker who is pushing to establish a bill of rights for homeless Michigan residents. By Elijah Taub. FOR MARQUETTE, LANSING CITY PULSE, SAULT STE. MARIE, IRON MOUNTAIN, ST. IGNACE AND ALL POINTS.

Protests disrupt Pete Buttigieg speaking event at Michigan State

On Nov. 29, several protests took place outside of Michigan State University’s Kellogg Center as U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg held a speaking event inside the venue. The event was one of many along the secretary’s recent speaking tour that has been met with protests. 

Three distinct groups protested the event: the Sunrise Movement, Michigan State’s Hurriya Coalition, and Climate Defiance. The Sunrise Movement, which is a national grassroots movement advocating for climate justice, hung banners out of the Kellogg Center’s main parking garage, where most event attendees were entering. The three banners read in all capital letters: You have blood on your hands; Biden: Fund climate action not genocide; and Biden: Declare a climate emergency

The entrance to Thrive Dining Hall

Students wish MSU’s allergen free dining hall could be open for longer hours

Living With Food Allergies

Living away from home and learning time management skills are only some of the many challenges incoming college students face. But for some, figuring out how to navigate the dining halls brings even more anxiety. 

“I think for anyone with food allergies, coming into a college setting can be really stressful,” MSU freshman Alina Morse said. 

Morse manages her allergies to wheat and tree nuts daily. This was part of her decision to come to MSU. “If the school is accommodating I think that brings some peace of mind so I definitely had some peace of mind coming into MSU,” she said. 

The main accommodation MSU offers is the Thrive Dining Hall located in Owen Hall. Thrive is a certified allergen free dining hall, and is completely free of the top nine major allergens in the U.S., including; peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, soy, sesame, wheat and gluten. 

Although Thrive chefs have to avoid so many common ingredients, they still figure out ways to make their menus exciting. 

“It really is kind of a trial and error when we have so many different restrictions,” said Ross Grimmett, the Dining Service Manager for Thrive.