Much has changed at MSU since this year’s seniors were fresh-faced first year students. From new technologies being banned on campus to favorite restaurants being closed in East Lansing, MSU and its surrounding community will never be the same as it was just four years ago.
MSU’s Tobacco Ban
On June 17, 2015, the MSU Board of Trustees to ban tobacco products and e-cigarettes on campus beginning in fall 2016.
The ban was met with mixed receptions. Many students did not know what the extent of consequences would be or how the ban would be enforced.
Smokers who were worried about enforcement quickly realized the ordinance would not be enforced as harshly as they thought. In a previous article from The State News it was made clear that MSU police, who are responsible for enforcing all university ordinances, would not necessarily be aggressively enforcing it beyond informing an offending individual to put the cigarette out.
For example, MSU police Sgt. Florene McGlothian-Taylor said in the article, people who smoke in Spartan Stadium are asked to stop, but could be kicked out if they refuse.
The tobacco ban remains in effect and includes all tobacco products, such as vaporizers and chewing tobacco.
Many residence halls saw expansive renovations between 2011 and 2016. Brody Neighborhood saw the most renovations, with four residence halls completely transformed into modern living spaces.
The class of 2015 was the first class to experience Emmons Hall in 2011 after a $13.8 million facelift. Bryan and Armstrong Halls, also within Brody Neighborhood, were renovated and reopened in fall 2013.
Case Hall reopened in January 2012 following renovations to its dining hall and January 2013 brought the same renovations to Shaw Hall. The same year, the Union reopened after a $2.4 million renovation.
Brody Neighborhood saw the end of its renovation in fall 2014 when Butterfield Hall’s renovations were completed, giving Brody Neighborhood the most modern residence halls at MSU.
And finally, another dining hall — inside of Akers Hall — reopened in 2014 after a year-long renovation project to improve the aesthetics and the effectiveness of the dining area.
The trend of the two-wheeled motorized machines called hoverboards quickly increased during 2015 at MSU, but the safety concerns outweighed their usefulness on campus.
Hoverboards were banned in residence halls in the fall semester of 2015 because of reports that the batteries were prone to exploding.
In a previous State News article Fire Marshal for MSU police Dennis Zietlow said while there had not been fires on campus, there were numerous incidents of hoverboards catching fire.
In March 2016, MSU made the move to completely ban hoverboards on campus and with that, MSU said goodbye to the self-balancing two-wheeled machines.
Formerly known as the Forestry Building, Chittenden Hall had been vacant since 1999. The , or COGS, sought to change that and worked to bring the historic building back to life and use it for its own services.
In June 2013, the MSU Board of Trustees approved a motion to allow COGS to plan for a renovation of Chittenden Hall in order to create a hub for graduate and professional students.
The plan for the estimated $6.2 million revamp was approved in October 2013, with construction beginning in November.
In Fall 2014, Chittenden Hall — the building which had been vacant since 1999 — reopened after the renovations as COGS’ headquarters.
Facility for Rare Isotope Beams or FRIB
The FRIB project was awarded to MSU by the federal government in 2008 after MSU and the state of Michigan’s congressional delegation campaigned for the FRIB, beating competition from the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.
The project brought projections of more than $1 billion in economic investment for the greater Lansing region over 20 years and the creation of 400 permanent jobs and 5,000 construction jobs.
In 2013, The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislation that fully funded President Barack Obama’s request for the FRIB, which allowed for construction to begin in fiscal year 2014.
The U.S. Department of Energy then signed off on a $730 million project cost for the groundbreaking nuclear science endeavor at MSU in 2014, including $635.5 million in federal funding and a projected completion date of 2022.
In December 2015, the federal government granted MSU’s FRIB facility $100 million to continue construction.
Construction began in 2014 and is still underway. MSU has until 2022 to finish the facility, but hopes to finish by 2020.
MSU’s FRIB houses a high-powered superconducting linear accelerator that accelerates heavy ions and produces rare isotopes, which are short-lived atomic nuclei not found on Earth.
The research done at FRIB has applications in fields like energy, medicine and national security.
The facility will create up to 400 jobs for scientists, engineers and staff, and bring together nearly 1,400 nuclear minds from around the world, according to MLive.