6 helpful tips MSU transfer students should know
It takes time to learn the ins and outs of MSU's campus. Here are a few tricks for transfer students who might be showing up toward the middle of their college careers, with less time to learn the ropes and helpful hints for navigating MSU.
1. Your Spartan ID
The Spartan ID is a key to just about everything on MSU's campus. Student IDs are needed to get into the dining halls, to retrieve Combo-X-Changes, to get into residence halls and to take exams. Students should have their ID available at all times.
Spartan IDs are swiped to allow access to the dining halls on campus, and depending on which meal plan students have, IDs can be used as guest passes for family or friends visiting from home.
Students can also load Spartan Cash onto their Spartan ID. There are several locations on and off campus that accept Spartan Cash, such as McDonalds and Blaze Pizza.
Spartan IDs are also required for students to receive their Combo-X-Change every weekday. Combo-X-Changes are available at Sparty’s, the dining halls, the Eat at State ON-THE-GO food truck and several other locations on campus. Combo-X-Changes can only be redeemed once a day on weekdays, so use it wisely.
Students also have a decreased fare on Cata busses, but must show their student ID to pay 60 cents instead of the usual $1.25.
Those who lose their Spartan ID can check the front desk of the building they potentially lost it in, where there will likely be a lost and found. Student can also check Facebook and their MSU e-mail account for messages from someone who might have found their ID. If all else fails, students have the option to replace their ID. The MSU ID Office is located in the International Center. The replacement fee is $20.
Those who accidentally leave their ID in their dorm room can ask for a temporary ID, or an access card, to get back into the room. It has to be returned within 48 hours and can't be used to get into the dining halls.
There are several ways to can get across campus: walk, bike, CATA bus, drive, Uber or moped are all options. The methods of transportation students choose might change along with the weather, and there really isn’t a best way to get to class.
Walking is simple in the spring and early fall. For those who really want to learn where everything is at MSU, walking is the way to do it. The app MSU Guide-Navigating Michigan State University allows users to see their location on the campus map, and users can search for certain buildings.
Biking is another efficient way to get around at MSU, especially in the fall and spring. It is pretty difficult to bike in the winter, but some students are strong-willed and do it anyway. There is a bike rack next to or nearby just about every building. Students don't have to pay to keep bikes on campus, but must get a permit on the MSU Police website. Otherwise, the bike will be impounded.
The CATA buses are another alternative. Busses are generally more crowded during the winter, so plan accordingly. Those in a rush to make it to class might find that getting an Uber might be a better option.
There are bus stops located across campus, and students can track the different busses by either texting the number listed at the stop to 76123 or by downloading the CATA Transit app from the app store.
Meeting with an adviser, or advisers, is important for transfer students when it comes to checking to ensure that all of their credits have transferred. It also helps students guarantee that they're enrolled in the right classes for their major.
Student can schedule a 30-minute time slot with his or her adviser by going to msu.campus.eab.com, or can see what times the adviser has express advising. All students need to take to advising appointments is a Spartan ID and questions.
Everyone has different food preferences and needs. Depending on whether students have an on-campus meal plan, an off-campus meal plan, or no meal plan at all, difficulties could arise in finding a location that meets certain preferences.
On MSU’s campus, there are nine dining halls and 21 Sparty’s locations. Each dining hall has its own vibe and style, but students definitely have varying opinions on which one is the best.
For vegans and vegetarians, each dining hall will at least have a salad bar. However, depending on the dining hall, the options can be limited. Some options include VegOut in Brody Square, which has, “Grilled-to-order sandwiches, a hummus bar, a delicious variety of fresh fruit and other menu items dedicated to those with vegetarian and vegan preferences,” according to the Eat at State website.
From the chain restaurants, to the other sit-downs, there are several places near campus that are options for those who do not have a meal plan. The Peanut Barrel is one of many restaurants special to East Lansing. It is located right across the Broad Art Museum and Berkey Hall on Grand River Avenue. For those looking for a quick sit-down restaurant, the Peanut Barrel is a good option; however, it can be loud depending on whether or not there is an MSU football or basketball game broadcasting.
Olin Health Center offers up to three free visits for students. The pharmacy is located on the first floor of the building.
Student Health Services also offers counseling, therapy and several other services for students. You can find out more by going to the Student Health Services website.
There is also a CVS on Grand River Avenue, and for those who need more than what is offered at CVS, students can take the bus to Meijer.
6. Construction on Grand River Avenue
MSU transfer students looking to take a stroll down Grand River Avenue might come across the massive construction going on downtown, and no, they're not filming a sequel of another "Batman v. Superman" movie.
The demolition of buildings along Grand River Avenue began more than a month ago for the construction of the new Center City District development in downtown East Lansing. A 12-story building with a Target store and apartments is set to be constructed on Grand River Avenue between Urban Outfitters and Lou & Harry's Bar and Grill. Eastbound Albert Avenue between Abbot Road and M.A.C Avenue is closed and will be for the foreseeable future. The sidewalk between Lou & Harry's and Urban Outfitters is fenced off because of construction.
According to the city's dedicated website for construction updates and news, the projects will be completed sometime in 2019.