Editorial: City should prioritize students in downtown development
Downtown East Lansing is about to get a makeover. Though the various development projects aren't quite at the final stages of planning, the future of the city will look much different than the recent past. Though we recognize the need for development in certain areas, The State News Editorial Board calls on East Lansing City Council for any development projects moving forward to prioritize students.
East Lansing is a college town, and it's time the city recognizes that. Though in recent years the council appears to be significantly friendlier to students, it would be dangerous for development projects, especially downtown, to cater to the non-student population of East Lansing to any large degree.
Downtown developments should seek to attract prospective students to MSU and provide enough for them to do off campus. Especially when a lot students don't have cars, being within walking distance of MSU is an absolute necessity. Attempting to make downtown an integrated environment for both students and older, permanent East Lansing residents ignores the reality of what East Lansing is.
The city needs to focus on making East Lansing a great place for college students to want to live.
While a city like Kalamazoo, Ypsilanti, Mount Pleasant or even Ann Arbor needs to be diverse to fit the niches of the different people who live there, East Lansing simply would not exist as anything more than a forgotten dot on a map if MSU, and its almost 50,000 students, weren't sitting across the street. For that reason, downtown developments should be targeted toward students first.
The State News Editorial Board is made up of the Editor-in-chief Jake Allen, Managing Editor Cameron Macko, Campus Editor Rachel Fradette, City Editor Stephen Olschanski, Sports Editor Souichi Terada, Features Editor McKenna Ross, Copy Chief Casey Holland, Staff Representative Marie Weidmayer and Diversity Representative Madison O’Connor.