On this edition of Focal Point, we take a look at how the new epidemic order is affecting local businesses, what spring semester housing could look like, and the cancellation of Saturday’s football game. All those stories and more on Focal Point
If you drive into a parking ramp, you might expect to here a few things; footsteps echoing or a car engine whirring to life. But one thing you wouldn’t expect to hear, is singing. The University Chorale, made up of 15 graduate students, went from practicing in a classroom to a concrete structure known as the Kellogg Center parking ramp. This outdoor structure was the perfect acoustic and socially distanced space choir director David Rayl could think of. And the members of the choir also found it suitable as long as they could sing again.
The oldest known religious site is 11,000 years old. Ever since gathering together has been an important part of many religious practices. With large gatherings being tied to the spread of COVID-19, religious organizations have to adapt services
Riverview Church used to have a group meeting at MSU’s Union every Sunday. The church began meeting online in March and plans to continue online services until the pandemic passes. Similarly, the Shaarey Zedek, a Jewish Synagogue in East Lansing went virtual in March.
Nigeria is experiencing police brutality and the youth are doing something about it. The movement is called #ENDSARS. It is similar to Black Lives Matter in the United States. SARS stands for Special Anti Robbery Squad, a special police force facing criticism in Nigeria for abuse of power. Focal Point’s Shade Moore met with MSU computer engineering major who’s from Nigeria, Tim Nwanze, to learn more about the movement.
When the pandemic hit, only 2,000 students were allowed to live on campus instead of the regular 1,500. With Michigan State recommending students to stay home, most freshmen have not had the traditional college experience. But some freshmen made the decision to live near campus while still feeling at home. “Usually you meet people in the dorms,” Nayna Chhabria, a freshman at Michigan State, said. Nayna knew she couldn’t live in a dorm, and she knew she may get homesick.
With COVID-19 cases growing, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released updated guidelines that require restaurants to switch from dine-in to carry-out only. MDHHS says they “will continue to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19 and impacts on our hospitals and health infrastructure to determine if additional measures are necessary.”
On this edition of Focal Point, we break down the results of the 2020 Election as of Friday, November 6. The MSU swim team makes its last dive, IM West reopens for the first time since the pandemic, and MSU’s football win against U-M results in a spike in COVID cases in Ingham County.
The Great Pumpkin Walk, usually held in downtown East Lansing every Halloween, is being replaced by a pumpkin photo contest to help keep the holiday safe during the pandemic. City of East LansingEast Lansing is finding new socially distant ways to celebrate some holiday traditions
The photo contest is being handled by the Downtown Management Board, composed of local merchants. Safer ways to celebrate the city’s winter events are also being developed. Amy Schlusler-Schmitt, the neighborhood partnerships initiative liaison, called the photo contest is “A virtual, yet fun way to support local merchants.”
Schlusler-Schmitt said the event is community engagement activity and keeps the fun spirit in East Lansing.
The contest comes with first-, second- and third-place prizes. The first-place winner gets a $300 Visa gift card and a $25 East Lansing parking voucher.
In 2007, APIAVote-MI started as a small activist group informing voters about the harms brought on by a 2006 Michigan amendment, Proposal 2, that banned affirmative action programs in education. Since then, the group has registered thousands of Asian-American and Pacific Islander voters, held voter education events and reminded individuals via phone and mail to prioritize voting.
U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin and State Rep. Julie Brixie spoke at East Lansing High School on Feb. 21 at the state of the district town hall meeting. Slotkin said she didn’t regret her decision on voting yes to impeach President Donald Trump. Slotkin, right, and Brixie take questions. “I made the decision to support the impeachment vote,” Slotkin said.