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Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Opinion Blog

Freshman year teaches responsibility

By Casey Holland          Last updated: 04/22/14 7:20pm         

Before my senior year of high school came to a close, I had a specific image of what my college life would be — I pictured myself studying outside every day while finding the time to participate in floor events. 

I would get all of my work done ahead of time so I would still have time to have fun with my friends. I would have a job and support myself without having to ask my parents for any help.

I planned on taking total control of the freedom I would have before me.

Instead, most of my time is spent panicking over assignment deadlines and feeling too exhausted to even make it to the cafeteria for dinner with my roommate. 

I pictured smooth sailing whenever I imagined my freshman year of college, and it's honestly been everything but easy. 

But it's definitely helped me grow all the same.

I didn't know what to do with all of this freedom when I first arrived on MSU's campus. There was no one to tell me not to eat two cones of ice cream for dinner, or even to make sure I found time for dinner at all. 

My mom wasn't with me to ensure I woke up for class, and it didn't matter to pretty much any of my professors if I showed up or not. Most of them probably never even learned my name. 

Before coming to MSU, I was used to having most of my decisions be made for me. Now everything was up to me.

I had to learn to motivate myself to wake up for class, even if it was at 8 a.m. I had to remind myself to check every syllabus for due dates, because no one was going to do it for me. I had to make time to eat and try to, just maybe, make time for my friends.

Balancing a job that doesn't have set hours along with that made the task feel impossible. 

But I figured it out. I bought a day planner and set times for every class. I used the resources I had available to me — I went to MLCs every week and attended every exam help session I heard about. 

This year has taught me responsibility that I plan to carry with me throughout my remaining years here.

Increase in Netflix prices is not something to be upset about

By Erin Gray          Last updated: 04/22/14 6:42pm         

Netflix, an online streaming of movies and television shows, is raising subscription prices for new subscribers for the first time in three years. 

A standard Netflix account is currently $7.99 for a two-screen plan and $11.99 for a four-screen plan.

The company wants to charge subscribers another dollar or two in order to pay for more internet video programming, or their increasing selection of movies and shows. This new fee would take place sometime in July.

Netflix said they would not charge existing customers yet and it would most likely be a gradual transition, according to the Fox News. New subscribers, however would have to pay the new fee.

Many college students share their Netflix accounts and passwords with their friends. The fee does not seem detrimental because a large amount of Netflix watchers don't pay for their service. The actual subscriber would have to pay a slightly higher amount per month which only adds up to an additional 12 to 24 dollars each year.  

Many subscribers also complain that Netflix needs a wider selection, so this new fee resolve that customer concern.

Office of Financial Aid deserving of upcoming renovation

By Olivia Dimmer          Last updated: 04/21/14 4:27pm         

I paid a visit to the Office of Financial Aid for the first time on Friday, and boy, was it a confusing and frustrating experience.

Upon approaching the office, the doors were closed and the hallway to the waiting room was dimly lit. I wondered if it was even open. Upon entering the room, about a dozen students were sitting around waiting. There was no receptionist and no sign pointing to the dated computer in the corner telling me how to sign in. 

I stood there for a hot minute before realizing what I was supposed to do — as a freshman, I'd never had to visit the financial aid office before.

Although students don't have to make appointments to see a financial aid officer, they should. I sat there for a good 45 minutes before a frazzled staff member who got locked out of her office called my name and led me through a maze of cubicles, looking for an open computer.

We sat down in a would-be conference room with another dated computer, and discussed my financial aid package, which went fine.

But it's just so disappointing that an office that is so important to student success was in such disrepair and using outdated technologies.

Luckily, the Office of Financial Aid is moving to Brody Complex for the summer during renovations to the permanent office in the Student Services building.

And luckily, I won't have to go back there anytime this summer!

Opt-out lease ordinance would benefit students

By Kary Askew Garcia          Last updated: 04/14/14 4:43pm         

Since January, several friends of mine have been scrambling around trying to figure out where they're going to live in the summer. 

Some are graduating, others have internships and some are trying to stay and finish a few extra course credits on campus. MSU tries its best to make things a little bit more convenient, but more often than not, the City of East Lansing poses plenty of issues for students depending on how their leases are set up.

Currently, city council has been discussing an option for students to opt out of their leases for summer by paying a fee –– something I think would be incredibly beneficial.

Students shouldn't have to be spending loads of extra time worrying about where they're going to live but they still do. Dorms are incredibly costly and extremely hot in the summer without air conditioning. People scramble to find a sub-leaser and end up paying more money out of pocket than originally planned. 

Students are paying more money in order to chase opportunities of internships and jobs out of area which is completely unfair. Why should they remain locked into their lease when many times they need to take these opportunities to have a chance at a career in the future?

City officials and rental companies should be more lenient with students because of the fact that many times the future is uncertain. Transferring schools, taking time off, job or internship opportunities can come up out of nowhere. Rent is costing students more than they can afford in the long run and surmounting loan debt to pay off after graduation can be completely overwhelming. Not to mention the continual rise of tuition.

Opting out is great, so more housing will be available on the market for students seeking a place to stay for the summer, rather than hunting around flyers and Facebook groups in search of someone subleasing. 

The opt-out ordinance would give students a chance at a brighter future and not overwhelm them with extra costs to pay for a place that they may not even be living in.

CBS should have chosen female host to replace David Letterman

By Robert Bondy          Last updated: 04/13/14 6:22pm         

Congrats to Stephen Colbert for landing the gig as David Letterman's replacement on the Late Show, but I think CBS truly missed out on potentially changing the game for late night television.

Colbert has earned his way to the top and in my opinion will make a solid replacement for Letterman, but it's time for a woman to step into the late night talk show world.

Rumors broke last week that Ellen Degeneres would be the replacement and become the first woman on a late night national televised talk show. That would have been a true game changer for the industry.

There are woman who have proven they can handle the position, such as Chelsea Handler of Chelsea Lately on E! The addition of a woman figure, such as Degeneres, Handler or even Tina Fey, to a role that has been dominated by men since its creation is something this country is more than ready for.

With as much progress as women have made over the years, it only seems fair that a woman should be in one of these late night comedy positions. Whether it be NBC, ABC or CBS, it's only a matter of time before it happens, but with NBC recently choosing Jimmy Fallon to replace Jay Leno on The Tonight Show and Seth Meyers stepping into Fallon's old gig, it could be a while before another slot opens.

There's no reason a woman couldn't handle the position and shouldn't be given the opportunity.

So with that being said, I think Colbert will prove to be a good choice as a comedian and entertainer, but CBS dropped the ball here. It would have been nice to see a woman, whether it be Degeneres or someone else, step into that spotlight and become a trailblazer for future female comedians.

Now we will have to wait for another legend to retire before the opportunity presents itself, and who knows when that'll happen again.

Spartans stay resilient

By Ben Stram          Last updated: 04/09/14 4:41pm         

One loss at a time, and MSU's faculty and students just grow stronger. This university has been through so much and it still stands tall.

First losing Dominique Nolff on February 1, Dustyn Frolka February 15, and now Lacey Holsworth today — our campus has been through a roller coaster ride this semester.

With finals quickly approaching and final papers to be turned in on deadline, it's important for those to use that heart-sinking feeling and direct it in a positive way.

We've all have been through the hills and valleys in life, but when adversity hits, how do we respond?

We're Spartans. We were put here for a reason. But we need to move on together, one step at a time.

As difficult as that may be, MSU has the proper staff in place if you need to meet with someone.

Some resources available to students include the MSU counseling center, MSU Olin Health Center Psychiatry Clinic and the MSU Psychiatry Clinic. Each offers help for students on a wide range of subjects; whether it be emotional, physical, or mental.

If you don't want to do that, simply talk to a friend. Your mom, dad, or a sibling can help just as much.

Many students struggle with facing their problems and seeking help. Sometimes that is the only thing to do to move forward.

This is when students have to be more focused then ever, but at times like these, it can be easiest to shut down and put everything aside.

It can't be right now. We need to push on ahead.

Learn from these experiences and move on. The programs MSU has to offer are here to help with exactly that.

Stay strong, Spartans.

Athletic Director Mark Hollis key in Spartan sports success

By Erik Sargent          Last updated: 04/07/14 11:09pm         

As MSU sports fans, it can sometime be easy to take for granted the success our athletic programs as a whole have had.

From the long-time success of our men's and women's basketball teams, to the recent dominance of the football program and the winning of many other sports, it's easy to forget how lucky we are as fans.

When looking for a reason as to why our sports programs are so success, there are many factors that come into play but there is one man who is the mastermind behind it all and that is athletic director Mark Hollis.

Since his hiring in 2008, Hollis has done an outstanding job of putting MSU athletics on the map through various avenues and opportunities for the clubs.

His full-blown investment into making MSU athletics one of the best in the country has paid off and the victories are rolling in for the programs.

Hollis has done everything from putting the MSU men's basketball team on a ship, to having them play oversees in Germany.

The football program is featured in high-profile out of conference match-ups, like their trip to the University of Oregon next fall for a primetime game.

Along with putting his teams in the national spotlight, Hollis has seen each program, from football to basketball to baseball, softball and soccer and everything else in between get major facility improvements.

These improvements and investments into each athletic program make it more appealing to potential recruits, which will keep the wins coming for all of the sports teams.

Above all else, Hollis has done a great job of bringing in coaches who can keep the teams winning and keeping the ones who have been winning around.

MSU has had a long history of not dishing out the necessary money to keep winning coaches around, but Hollis made sure to pay up for top coaches like Tom Izzo, Mark Dantonio and Pat Narduzzi.

So if you're looking for an individual to thank as we experience success in the Rose Bowl or in the NCAA tournament, look no further than Hollis and his winning attitude. 

Boy Meets World spinoff brings us back to the 90's

By Christine LaRouere          Last updated: 04/02/14 7:28pm         

Fans from the 90's sitcom "Boy Meets World" now have more information about the spinoff show "Girl Meets World " from E! Online. The website released a photo and cast names today for the show that is going to be aired on the Disney Channel sometime this summer. 

Seeing the picture today honestly made me so excited for the new series. I was a very big fan of the original show and all I hope is that Disney Channel makes it even better. Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel are two of my favorite actors and the fact that they are coming back to the screen will make for a great reunion. 

The combination of experienced actors with new ones such as Rowan Blanchard, Sabrina Carpenter, Peyton Meyer, August Maturo and Corey Fogelmanis will be a great advantage for them because the mix will give the young actors a positive start to their career. 

The only thing I think 90s kids are worried about is the fact that it won’t live up to the original “Boy Meets World.” I know I am not a fan of how Disney Channel shows have progressed, but I am hoping the cast and crew will keep true to the genuine comedy and love of the initial show.

According to the E! article, creator Michael Jacobs said it will have the same kind of feel as the originl “Boy Meets World.”

"Girl Meets World is a new show for a new generation that will be rooted in the same kind of honest, comedic storytelling about coming of age and the importance of family and friendship that made Boy Meets World so popular," Jacobs said.

Drag Show gave chance to explore diverse performances

By Meagan Beck          Last updated: 04/01/14 6:39pm         

The spotlight comes on, “Still Into You” by Paramore is blasting, and the first queen of the night makes her entrance.

I spent my Sunday night at a Drag Show, and it was the first one I had ever attended. Spiral Dance Bar in Lansing hosts a show called “Showbiz Sunday” and the queens perform in their best outfits for a crowd.

Before going to the show, I was a little nervous about what I was about to see. I would say most people know what a Drag Queen is, but how many of them know what goes on at their show?

The first queen, Ace DeVille, came out with fire-engine red hair and wore a striped outfit with black bustier. She danced and sung along to Paramore’s “Still Into You.” The energy level was insane. Halfway through the song she climbed onto the bar and strutted. The crowd seemed to be loving her sassy moves.

Other queens came out and performed to songs like Selena Gomez’s “Come and Get It,” and Britney Spears’ “Work B****.” Each wore fabulous outfits with glitter and animal prints. I noticed all of the queens got into their performances and wanted the crowd to have a good time.

Something I had never heard of before in drag was a woman who chose to dress like a man. There were performances by “B Spectacula,” a female who put on more masculine clothes and danced alongside DeVille during a performance of Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse.” During the whole show I was thinking how I was glad I had a chance to see this happening.

I wouldn’t say I never planned on going to a Drag Show, I’m sure it is something I would have experienced at some point in my life. However, I wasn’t expecting to spend my Sunday night watching these Queens perform. The show was so full of energy and fun, and I’m anxious to see the queens when they perform at 9 p.m. on April 11 at the International Center.

Chivalry really is dead

By Olivia Dimmer          Last updated: 04/01/14 9:27am         

I don't usually go out of my way to piss people off on Facebook, but today I stumbled upon a status that really irked me.

While scrolling through during my morning bus ride to class, I came across this gem of a Facebook post:

"Thank you to the men who open doors and remind women what chivalry is. Your few and far between"

Without even starting to correct the grammar in this post, the underlying theme left me flabbergasted. Let me tell you why.

Firstly, chivalry is a medieval code by which knights live by, which included virtues like chastity, brotherhood and bravery. Opening the door for some one falls into none of those categories, and I think it's safe to say the person this user was posting about has never and will never be knighted.

What's more, this Facebook user implied that men who open doors for women are some kind of anomaly, and should automatically be rewarded a gold star for being a "nice guy."

Newsflash: Opening doors for people doesn't mean you deserve a cookie. In fact, you should probably open doors for people because its a nice thing to do, not just because that person is a woman.

This plays into a larger societal trend where men are rewarded and praised for doing things that normal people might consider "just being a decent human being."

Another example is when men claim to be a feminist. When women identify as feminist, they are almost always told they are overreacting, hate men, or (a comment that's been made to me many times) need to take some Midol.

But when a men claims to be feminist and support women's rights, he's hailed as a saint who must care oh so much about women and the rights of the oppressed.

I would venture to say that expressing one's belief that women are equal to men is no groundbreaking, awe-inciting exclamation.

Opening a door for some one does not automatically make you a chivalrous knight in shining armor, either.

And by the reactions I got from men when I commented on the status, you would think I was painfully prying a "Good Job!" cookie from a child's hands.

Like I said, I don't usually go out of my way to piss people off on Facebook.

But today I just couldn't help myself.