By Milan Griffes
Last updated: 04/10/13 6:14pm
Rising tuition and student debt are on the minds of many students today. These aren’t new concerns, however. In the fall of 1979, MSU students organized a march to the Capitol in protest of rising education costs.
About 150 protestors gathered at the base of Beaumont Tower, then marched into Lansing to assemble in front of the Capitol building.
With the Cold War raging at the time, it was easy to contrast military spending to governmental support of higher education.
“I would rather see 10,000 to 100,000 students go to college than see a nuclear submarine or MX missile,” said Zolton Ferency, an MSU professor of criminal justice who addressed the crowd.
The protest drew the attention of state government. State representatives and senators encouraged students to write letters to their legislators and to remain committed to their cause.
The rally was organized and supported by ASMSU, which authorized $1,000 on advertising for the protest. An immediate trigger for the protest was a 9 percent cut in state appropriations to higher education.
In hindsight, the protest did not have the impact its supporters had hoped for. MSU tuition in 1979 was $24.50 per credit-hour. By fall 2012, that number had skyrocketed to $420.75 per credit-hour, well outpacing the rate of inflation.
It is good to know that past generations of MSU students were concerned about the same issues that we are today. And when things seem to be continually on the verge of falling to pieces, it can be refreshing to see that MSU has survived through much of the same in the past.
But now, the costs of attending college are increasing faster than ever. It would be good to see some of the 1979 fervor on campus today.
By Caleb Nordgren
Last updated: 04/02/13 4:57pm
About 37 years ago, The State News profiled a freshman at MSU who was semi-famous — or semi-infamous, depending on how you want to look at it — on campus for her bagpipe playing. Given that I’ve never seen anyone on campus playing the bagpipes before, I thought that was interesting.
Objectively, the ability to play the bagpipes is fairly impressive.
As someone who learned to play a normal instrument — the clarinet, in case you were wondering — I would assume that learning to play the bagpipes is several levels of difficulty higher than the comparatively simple clarinet.
Bagpipes, after all, require supreme breath control and the ability to do at least three different things with your arms while you’re blowing.
Subjectively, however, knowing how to play the bagpipes generally just makes people hate you.
This one time, at band camp — this story is not going where you think it is, just so we’re clear — a classmate of mine decided to break out his bagpipes and started playing at the top of a hill above a couple of the dormitories. Which was fine, except for two things.
One, he was a freshman and we barely so much as knew his name at that point, let alone that he was a bagpiper. Two, he didn’t actually tell anyone he was going to do it, he just did it.
Imagine, if you would, that suddenly, in a completely strange environment — none of us had ever been to the camp before — you heard this sound, except louder and less musical. And nobody can figure out where it’s coming from or who is responsible.
So yeah, I’m not terribly fond of bagpipes.
But I think it’s pretty cool that people my age or younger have actually taken the time to learn how to play them and it’s just as cool that they get recognized for it.
So props to you, State News staff of 1975. Well done.
By Holly Baranowski
Last updated: 03/14/13 4:48pm
MSU certainly looks forward to celebrating St. Patrick’s day — something that hasn’t changed much in the past thirty years.
The State News published an article called “Begorra! Tis’ time to be celebratin’ St. Paddy’s Day” on March 16, 1987, which included details of the St. Patrick’s Day events for that year.
The year of ‘87 was not much different from how MSU celebrates St. Paddy’s Day today. Although, I can’t promise that people are going to be getting beer for $.25 at any of the bars on Grand River Avene such as the deal that club “Sensations” offered in ‘87.
Students at MSU might also be thankful that St. Patty’s day no longer falls during finals week. The article stated, “Derath said he does not expect business to be hurt by the fact that this year the traditional holiday falls in the middle of finals week at MSU.”
Although this was unfortunate timing to celebrate the holiday, the bar owners did not seem concerned that business would be hurt from it.
The assistant manager of P.T O’Malley’s at the time thought students would be looking for a way to relieve the tensions of final exams.
Houlihan’s, located on 5732 W Saginaw Hwy in Lansing, tried going for the record of the largest Irish coffee in the world. They planned to mix it in a 220-gallon hot tub.
“I don’t know if there really is a record, but this should break it,” said Houlihan’s general manager Scott Slaonek.”
By Simon Schuster
Last updated: 02/28/13 5:08pm
How does an all-inclusive eight day, seven night stay on Grand Bahama Island with travel included for $250 sound?
That was the price of the first-ever spring break trip organized by ASMSU during the 1966-1967 school year.
“The program covers eight days and seven nights on Grand Bahama Island for 95 students and chaperones for approximately $250 apiece,” the article in the Nov. 26, 1966 issue of The State News reads. “Included in the trip are a chartered round-trip flight, breakfast and dinner each day, ground transportation, television, air-conditioned rooms and various activities at the hotel.”
Activities offered during the trip included archery, deep sea fishing and horseback riding.
However, with inflation taken into account, the trip would have cost $1,745.01 in 2012 dollars, according to an online inflation calculator.
This is similar to today’s prices, with well reviewed all-inclusive resorts and flights listed on the trip planning website Travelocity between $1,700 and $2,400.
MSU’s student government continued to organize the trips for several decades afterward to various tropical locales.
By Isabella Shaya
Last updated: 02/19/13 9:29pm
In The State News’ Oct. 4, 1993 edition, Olin Health Center ran an ad in the paper claiming MSU would become smoke-free in 1994.
“Smoke No More in ‘94 …
Will You Be Ready?
Beginning January 1,1994 the MSU campus will be smoke-free. Have you stopped smoking yet?
The goal of the Smoking Cessation Education Session is on increasing the likelihood of succeeding in a self-help smoking cessation program. The one and a half hour session will cover related issues to nutrition, exercise, camus/community resources and nicotine withdrawal aids. The session is not a smoking cessation class but rather an informational tool to assist someone who is trying to quit on their own.”
Almost 20 years later, MSU still is not a smoke-free campus.
Despite the ad in the paper and providing smokers with help classes, the Olin Health Center has not been able to make MSU’s campus smoke-free yet.
But, recent announcements of MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon’s Bolder by Design plan for the university aims for a smoke-free campus in the future.
By Christine LaRouere
Last updated: 02/13/13 7:47pm
On Monday, March 9, 1987, The State News covered the need for more interaction between African and black students on campus. The need for more study abroad programs to Africa was addressed and student group explained the importance to have each group understand one another.
Organizations such as “Harambee” were one of the student groups to help interactions between African and blacks. They pointed out that blacks are the only race to not be identified with their homeland.
They found this need to bridge the gap to between the difference of Africans and black is important to preserve the black identity.
Today, MSU students of any race have the opportunity to study abroad in Africa and learn about the culture. Knowing that MSU has come a long way between race relations between different groups on campus shows how diverse the university has become.
In the article, a black student explained how MSU only had one study abroad program in MSU. MSU currently has more than 10 study abroad programs in southern Africa.
Students back then also said to help fund the trips, they needed grants from the school. By going on these trips, students said it would help make this gap smaller between the Africans and blacks on campus.
MSU seems to notice the importance of study abroad programs in Africa because of the amount of programs in South Africa. Students also can get grants to go one these study abroad programs that MSU received from MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
By Isabella Shaya
Last updated: 02/12/13 9:47pm
The days leading up to the University of Michigan against MSU basketball game Tuesday night in East Lansing might have been a little quieter and warmer for the students compared to more than 35 years ago.
Before the annual football game between U-M and MSU, The State News ran a story about problems with U-M vandalism of campus.
“Wolverine hunting: a lonely, chilly sport for a sneaky animal” was a story that ran in the Oct. 7, 1977 edition. The story talked about how students camped out in front of Sparty the days leading up to the game to protect the statue.
“The Wolverines, naturally a sneaky animal, become a particular problem at MSU during one special week every year,” the article said. “Wolverine hunting is a chilly sport, but for the hunters their satisfaction comes with the Saturday sun rising on a ‘clean’ Sparty.”
Sparty Watch sets up camp in front of Sparty every year the week before the rivalry game, and is run by the Spartan Marching Band.
Some things never change — we still hate U-M, and they still hate us.
And, Spartans still know how to stand by their team and school.
By Isabella Shaya
Last updated: 02/07/13 9:28pm
The State News really took its policy that “All comments are eligible for publication in The State News” when this letter to the editor was published in the Oct. 4, 1977 edition:
“I am writing you from the U.S. Penitentiary located at McNeil Island, Washington. I will be here until July, 1979.
I have an ongoing interest in both original poetry and photojournalism.
When I am released I plan a photo safari into both Baja and Yucatan states of Mexico.
I am writing you in the hope that you might refer me to one or two young women who might like to share any of the above interests with me.
Rogers Kirk 18964
Steilacoom, Washington 98388”
The letter was followed by this editor’s note:
“EDITOR’S NOTE: The State News maintains a file for those interested in corresponding with inmates.”
The editor’s note below the comment leads me to believe there have been other letters written to the paper. I found in a Google search that he sent the same message to other newspapers.
The State News’ current opinion editor and editor in chief said they have never received any letters from inmates.
I respect The State News for publishing all comments, but sometimes I think there is a line we should draw. This comment could lead to potentially risky business if a student were to meet up with this inmate, and The State News would be held responsible for facilitating that conversation.
By Robert Bondy
Last updated: 01/31/13 7:56pm
Finding a calendar filled with attractive men and women in an MSU student’s dorm isn’t considered a shocker, but imagine seeing grandpa sporting his birthday suit on your wall.
This was reality in the winter of 1987.
The State News ran a story on Feb. 2, 1987 on an East Lansing man starting a new trend with his ‘Sexy Sixties’ calendar.
Continued from print
“We want to show that we’re not always at the Social Security office or out buying constipation medicine,” then 64-year-old William Baldwin told The State News.
Baldwin created the calendar to show the elderly are just as alive and fun as the younger generation.
When an ad for Baldwin’s calendar first appeared in a couple of elderly magazines, the calender was an instant success, with about 20,000 people buying picking it up from the stores.
Baldwin faced criticism for his controversial calendars but didn’t
budge off his line for elderly nude rights.
“For those who want to be 60 and rock in their rocking chair to their graves, we don’t argue,” he said. “But we think this population shouldn’t be idle — we’re showing that at 60, you can be vital and sexy.”
While the calendar had a strong run in 80’s, it was nowhere to be found in the Google search engine.
By Isabella Shaya
Last updated: 01/24/13 5:39pm
In 1991, members of the Hemp Environmental Activists, or HEA, student group would be happy to hear that now, a few states have legalized marijuana and many Michigan cities have decriminalized pot.
But, HEA was fighting for more than the legalization across the U.S. — the group was fighting to save the planet.
On Sept. 30, 1991, The State News ran an article about an HEA march down Michigan Avenue and a rally at the Capitol advocating the legalization of hemp, or marijuana.
The HEA vice president said hemp has more purpose in this world than just recreational use, according to the article.
“It should be looked upon that we are saving the seed that is going to save the planet,” he said to The State News.
According to the article, the vice president of HEA said hemp can replace people’s reliance on trees and oil, and therefore has the power to resolve many environmental issues.
A business owner who saw the students protesting yelled, “That’s disgusting!” at the activists, and said he is against using the drug for recreational purposes, according to the article.
Another student who was at the rally said he wasn’t advocating for unlimited use of hemp, but the ability to use marijuana for “intelligent purposes,” according to article.
There are many groups on and off campus trying to legalize marijuana for various reasons, but I believe HEA’s reasoning is the most interesting by far.
Despite the group’s strong advocating for the legalization of hemp, only now do we see some laws being slowly lifted towards the legalization of marijuana.