East Lansing home to more than students
Editor’s Note: Views expressed in guest columns and letters to the editor reflect the views of the author, not the views of The State News.
When headlines reference MSU as a party school and contribute to stereotypes, the accompanying stories often fail to mention all the great things we do as Spartans.
We are No. 1 in sending students abroad, our researchers make scientific advancements every year and our athletic teams truly instill “fear the Spartans” in our rivals.
However, despite our many successes, it too often is student parties, excessive drinking and so-called riots that make the news and give all students a bad reputation.
On March 17, 2012, we saw a perfect storm that left MSU and East Lansing with a little less pride than we started with. It couldn’t have been a nicer day for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. And by 10 a.m., much of downtown and surrounding neighborhoods were taken over by students — many drinking to excess.
With arrests, hospital visits, injuries, littering and vandalism, the fine line between celebrating responsibly and complete absurdity was so far crossed that it was left in the dust.
To all our fellow Spartans: Drunken obliteration is not a good look for us.
We often forget that we don’t, in the words of Rihanna and Jay-Z, “Run This Town.” More accurately, we have the privilege to be part of the community of East Lansing. When we first come to MSU, we often forget our university is located among a community of permanent residents, many of whom do not participate in St. Patrick’s Day festivities or similar celebrations.
We live among residents who have lived in this city for decades, or maybe their whole lives.
It is important to be conscious of all members of our community. It is imperative for students to remember that for the next four years, we ourselves are considered residents of East Lansing.
And we are fortunate to not only be students of a wonderful university, but to also be part of a community that goes beyond our beautiful campus.
As presidents of the Student Health Advisory Council and Interfraternity Council, we have realized what immense thanks we owe the police officers, city officials and long-term residents of East Lansing for always making sure the city is a safe environment.
Without them, we would not have the amazing memories formed while studying at MSU and living in East Lansing.
On this St. Patrick’s Day, remember that you are a citizen of this city. Treat it with the same respect you would hold for your city back home.
By doing that, you are saying a big thank you to all those who make East Lansing the city it is. Dear East Lansing, we owe you an apology. This year we will act like the Spartans we know and love.
This is our home; we all live here.
Julie Nguyen, president, Student Health Advisory Council
Tony Biallas, president, Interfraternity Council