Redefining Success — COVERing April/May 2018 Print (co-written with Michala White)

“A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.” That is the dictionary’s definition of success. In reality, the idea of success changes over time and means something different to everyone. We know that sometimes it feels as if there are only a handful of options after you graduate. In reality, you can do whatever you want as long as it makes you happy! Whether it’s grad school, accepting a job offer, or taking some time off, there are plenty of ways to lead a fulfilling life and reach your personal version of success.

Not everyone idealizes the American dream anymore. The perfect vision of success used to be a house fit for a married couple and their two children, enclosed in a white picket fence. But now, success can simply mean achieving your definition of true happiness. Sometimes we want to reach certain goals and follow certain paths to please others. But what really matters is making sure you are happy with what you are doing, because you are living your life for you. That is what success is today.

The slogan “Spartans Will” is a phrase that each student has carried close to their hearts after receiving their acceptance letters. We see it plastered around campus, in ads and some of us even analyze the campaign in classes. To many, “Spartans Will” encourages a mentality of tackling difficult problems head-on, overcoming challenges and changing the world. It means standing up for what you believe in, speaking out and making a difference. When you look at what “Spartans Will” means to students, it’s obvious that there is a direct link to success. This slogan empowers and encourages students to define success in their own, unique versions. At any stage of a college education, it’s scary to stop and think, “well what’s next?” It seems as though there are endless options and opportunities.

If you didn’t want to jump right into your career after graduation, an option that you might consider is taking a gap year. But we already know why you might not consider doing that. You could be risking financial instability; your family will question every move you make and you could feel weird about taking different paths than your friends or peers. There isn’t one particular reason why people take a gap year, but it certainly allows them to experience life in new ways outside of school and work. While taking time off, you could travel the world, learn new skills, focus on your mental health, join the peace corps or do something abroad to learn about other cultures. Your gap year might not be a cookie cutter experience like you’d expect it to be. But who knows, it could be everything you didn’t know you needed.

To get the inside scoop on this kind of path after graduation, here are some insights from Meghan Green — an MSU alumna who has recently been traveling the world and has taught in Thailand.

“I think I realized while sitting in one of my final lectures that if I wanted to do something like this it would be now or never,” said Green. “I know the world is huge and there’s so much we can learn from one another and from our own experiences in a different culture.”

Green taught English in Thailand and hasn’t second-guessed her decision yet. She kept a blog during her time teaching as a way to reflect on her experiences.

Green loved the education she gained at MSU, and she can’t wait to eventually start her career. But for now, she wishes to travel throughout more of Southeast Asia before heading home.

“There are so many things I have learned in Thailand that I will be able to come home with. I don’t even know where to begin. Learning to navigate and adapt to a foreign culture, problem-solving foreign concepts like transportation, learning to communicate in another language, learning to be flexible and learning life lessons from people who grew up with a totally different perspective,” said Green.

Experiencing a different culture has taught Green that once she begins the start of her career, she at least wants to dedicate a couple weeks per year for traveling. You could say her definition of success is to become more of a global citizen and to become more culturally aware.

If taking a whole year off after graduation isn’t your speed, but you still want to travel and explore the world, you can definitely find a way to balance your career and your adventures! Nicole Jakubik graduated from MSUin spring 2016 with a degree in media and information technology, and a concentration in television, film and radio. She now works in the Metro Detroit area for an independent television and film studio as an associate producer. Her plans and goals changed a lot over the course of her senior year.

“During my first semester I was super confident that I was going to move to New York City and work at a major television network,” said Green. “Second semester came around and it became very clear that my plan was not going to happen anytime soon. The thirty jobs I applied to quickly turned into over a hundred, and I still had no job offers. I was totally freaking out. It’s so easy to get this idea in your head of what your plan in life should be, and think that somehow that plan is going to fall into place.”

After weighing her options and working hard to figure out a backup plan, one of her mother’s coworkers was able to put her in contact with someone starting a film company and she landed the job she has now.

While Jakubik thinks taking a gap year sounds like an amazing opportunity, she didn’t personally feel that she could take an entire year off to travel. “I knew I needed to start my career as soon as I could. As much as I love traveling, I also love working.” She decided to take control of her days off, and make sure she is able to fulfill her travel goals while also pursuing her career goals.

“It’s easy to get trapped into the career mindset that Americans have that you have to work all of the time, and if you take vacation or personal days, it means you’re lazy,” said Jakubik. “Don’t listen to that. Traveling can absolutely fit into your career. Use weekends. Where can you go from Friday to Sunday? If it’s a short plane ride or trip in the car, I’ll leave after work on Friday and get back as late as possible Sunday. Use long weekends for trips where you want extra time, or use personal days to create a long weekend! If I want to go somewhere international, that’s when I’ll use vacation time.”

Once you hit college, you have been in school for about 16 years non-stop — if you go straight from high school to college. That is a long time without getting a break. It is drilled into our heads that we can only reach success from going to school, but that’s not always the case. You can learn something new from every experience you have, and what better way to learn than to have rich, diverse experiences?

You can learn about different walks of life just by traveling the world, observing and talking to others. It is okay to jump right into your career after graduation, and it is okay to take some time to tend to yourself if need be. Your definition of what success is and how you reach it is truly up to you.

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Springtime in Lansing — FEATURing April/May 2018 Print

Spring is a period of rebirth and growth, and there are plenty of activities and events that reappear in our community during the warmer months. Once the season of skiing, sledding and skating comes to an end, festivals, ball games and concerts are welcomed with open arms. No matter where you are in Michigan, the Mitten State has a lot to offer after the snow starts to melt.

April showers lead to beautiful views on MSU’s campus. Many students lay out picnic blankets and study, while others hang hammocks and lounge; pickup games of basketball, soccer and volleyball can be found in each neighborhood, along with friendly faces who encourage others to join the fun. Junior Drew Bartlett is excited to enjoy the MSU Food Truck once the nice weather rolls in! “When I have a long day of class in the spring, I love to get my lunch from the food truck and eat it outside. The food is fresh and delicious, and it’s a perfect break from school work,” Bartlett said. Students who live on campus will often seek out the Food Truck because the meals are a pleasant change from the dining halls.

Another fun activity students enjoy in the spring is walking. Junior Sydnee Levine is a fan of taking walks along the Red Cedar and River Trail at night. “A big group of my friends and I always like to take walks at night in the spring. It’s warm enough where you’d only need a light jacket, and the cool air is refreshing, and it’s cool to experience campus in a way you wouldn’t normally see it,” Levine said.

The Greater Lansing area hosts a myriad of events in the spring that draw in audiences of all ages. The Capital City Film Festival from April 11-15 is a local favorite, as well as for those who travel from out of town. The website states that the festival is a “multimedia showcase of independent films and live touring bands with engaging audiences in Michigan’s capital city.” Not only does the festival celebrate artists from our community, but it lets creators from around the world promote a diverse, cultural atmosphere. With individual events that range from free of charge to $15, this is a great, inexpensive way to get out the residence hall and into the community.

Lansing’s Beerfest at the Ballpark on April 28, is another springtime tradition – for ages 21 and up, of course. The festival is held in the concourse and front lawn of the Cooley Law School Stadium and is a dream for every beer lover! With over 300 craft beers, ciders, meads, spirits and wines from over 70 Michigan breweries, there’s something for everyone. The event’s location is a fitting backdrop as baseball is a springtime favorite for Lansing residents.

If you love music, then make sure to mark Lansing’s StoopFest on your calendar. For its third year in production, the festival will be bigger and better than ever. When StoopFest was established, the goal was to create an inclusive environment for Lansing’s music and art lovers, showcasing talented individuals within the community while promoting Lansing’s eastside. The community embraced the festival, holding nearly 100 performances in six different houses with music ranging from rock and folk to hip-hop. This year, the goal remains the same, but the plan is much larger. By expanding capacity, including more well-known artists and occupying more spaces within the community, the event is setting itself up to become a staple of Lansing for years to come.

Spring is a perfect time to enjoy all that our lovely state has to offer, and the Greater Lansing area makes it easy to do so. With events beginning in early April, the season is a wonderful time to explore the community. When the sun begins to shine and the snow melts, the opportunities to get outside and have some fun are endless.

The Best Healthy Snacks from Around the World — BLOGGing April 2018

We all love to say that we’re being healthy but how often do we make healthy choices? While choosing healthy snacks is not the only way to maintain good well-being, it is a great place to start. For some, the idea of eating healthy food means eating uncooked brussel sprouts for every meal (don’t hate on brussel sprouts! They’re delicious!) but there are so many options that are considered healthy.

The hardest thing to find are alternative snack foods. With oreos, cheese wiz, and pop readily available in the US, it can be easy to choose snacks that won’t do anything positive for your body. Netflix has a few food documentaries such as Food Inc. and What the Health that have totally freaked everyone out in regards to the American food system. For healthy snack inspiration, looking to other countries for recipes is a great idea. Every country has different snacks that will boost energy, mood, and relieve hunger throughout the day. Here are the best healthy snacks from around the world.

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves – Lebanon

This Mediterranean favorite is high in protein and will keep you full between meals. The vegetarian version gives you a plant fueled kick. The best grape leaves are stuffed with rice, pine nuts, tomatoes, and a bunch of herbs and spices.

Hummus – Egypt

Hummus is a staple of many cultural cuisines, but it was first found in Egypt. This chickpea dip is delicious and has become an obsession over the past few years. For a filling snack that is good for you, dip cucumber, celery, or carrots in hummus and enjoy!

Fresh Vegetable Spring Rolls – Vietnam

Think of spring rolls as a healthy alternative to a burrito. Fresh vegetables, mint, cilantro and shrimp are wrapped in rice paper and served with a tangy peanut sauce. You can munch on these bad boys all day without feeling any guilt.

Bruschetta – Italy

Italians know how to do food, and bruschetta is a staple of Italian cuisine. This dish is created simply out of toasted bread topped with chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, salt and pepper. Bruschetta feels like a decadent treat, but it’s actually healthy!

Veggie Sushi – Japan

For those who are sushi obsessed, but don’t love how expensive it is, you can easily make sushi at home! Since we live in the midwest, we don’t have great access to sushi grade seafood, but fresh veggies are just as delicious and make for the perfect vegan/gluten free snack! You can even make sushi without a mat by laying plastic wrap on a dish towel. Slice up fresh carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers and avocado, wrap in sticky rice and dried seaweed sheets for a perfect roll.

 

Maggie Morgan is a junior majoring in Professional Writing with a concentration in Creative Writing. Hobbies include: spending all of her money on concert tickets, trying to convince Green Day to let her be their friend, geeking out about music history, dreaming of writing for Rolling Stone. You can follow her on instagram at @swaggie_.maggie.

Music Festival Lineup Recap — BLOGGing March 2018

Summer is the best season for countless reasons, but for music lovers, summer marks the start of festival season. Many people love music festivals because they are able to see a bunch of their favorite artists in the same venue, while enjoying the energy and atmosphere. This summer, the line ups are what dreams are made of, including classic bands, hot new artists and even reunions!

June 7-10 in Manchester, Tennessee is Bonnaroo Music Festival, and the lineup has a lot of people buzzing. Artists set to perform include Muse, Bassnectar, Paramore and Dua Lipa making it perfect for fans of any genre. One artist that has caught the interest of many fans is Bon Iver. Bon Iver is scheduled to perform two unique and separate sets, which should be a special experience for fans.

Firefly music festival in The Woodlands of Dover, Delaware has been a favorite for both indie and hip-hop lovers alike since 2012. June 14-17 will be filled with performances from Logic and Kendrick to Foster the People and alt-J. Big names for the festival include Eminem and The Killers and a special reunion performance from the Arctic Monkeys —their first live show together since 2014! A lineup like this would make a road trip out east worth it.

Vans Warped Tour is making its final cross country run after 23 years in operation. While many fans who have been going to the festival when it comes to their city for years are sad to see the fun come to an end,  but the lineup makes it sting a little less. All Time Low, The Maine, Mayday Parade, Sum 41, Taking Back Sunday and more can be found playing the festival this summer, as well as additional special guests that are yet to be announced. This may be the last Warped Tour, but it’s sure to be one of the most memorable.

Music festivals can be great experiences, and many fans wait the whole year for summer to roll around so they can attend one. People often take road trips to see their favorite bands and end up falling in love with music they’d never listened to before while waiting in the crowds. Make sure to check out the full lineups, and see all of what festival season has to offer.

 

Maggie Morgan is a junior majoring in Professional Writing with a concentration in Creative Writing. Hobbies include: spending all of her money on concert tickets, trying to convince Green Day to let her be their friend, geeking out about music history, dreaming of writing for Rolling Stone. You can follow her on instagram at @swaggie_.maggie.

How MSU Students are Challenging the University’s Culture of Silence — BLOGGing March 2018 (co-written with Emily Orlando)

In 1997, Larissa Boyce told Kathie Klages, who was then MSU’s head gymnastics coach and the head of the MSU junior gymnastics program that Boyce was a member of, that an MSU physician named Larry Nassar had touched her inappropriately during medical treatment. At 16 years old, Boyce put her trust in Klages, a woman Boyce referred to during her victim impact statement on Jan. 19 as someone she “looked up to. She was the person I thought had my back.” Instead of protecting Boyce, Klages discouraged her from filing a formal complaint, convincing her that the medical treatment was legitimate and that she had just misunderstood Nassar’s actions.

Though Boyce was the first woman to report Nassar, she was far from the last. This much was made evident during Nassar’s Ingham County sentencing hearing, which took place Jan. 16-Jan. 24 of this year. At that hearing, 156 women and girls came forward detailing stories eerily similar to Boyce’s: they were assaulted, and then they were silenced. Women on MSU’s campus, women involved in gymnastics and other sports on campus, and women coming to MSU for medical help were repeatedly let down by those in positions to help them. And it wasn’t just Klages. A Detroit News report outlines as many as 14 people who, over the past 20 years, were notified of Nassar’s abuse — and did nothing. The inaction of athletic trainers, coaches, a university police detective and others will forever affect MSU. But for the time being, the students won’t let it define their university.

The New York Daily News stated that “the students are the only ones acting like adults in response to the Larry Nassar scandal,” and we find that to be true to this day. On Jan. 26, students rallied at the rock to show support for the victims of Nassar. After students, professors, and athletes spoke, the crowd marched, homemade signs in hand, to the Hannah Administration Building, chanting “silence is compliance.” Later that same night, on a different part of campus, hundreds of students gathered at the Breslin Center to watch the Spartans take on the Wisconsin Badgers. Student leaders provided teal t-shirts to every member of the Izzone and passed them out as students walked into the stadium. The entire student section was participating in the #IzzoneTealOut to show their support for the survivors. The State News, The Detroit News and even CBS News wrote articles detailing these two events and commending the students for rallying together to show that this is important to us. Our University, however, hasn’t said a word about students coming together in this way. The announcer at the Spartans vs. Badgers game didn’t even acknowledge it.

What more will it take? The students want to talk about this. The students want the survivors to find peace and justice. The students want to make sure that this never happens on our campus again. If our administration won’t even comment on our efforts, what will it take for them to recognize that the students see a problem and actively want to fix it?

 

Maggie Morgan is a junior majoring in Professional Writing with a concentration in Creative Writing. Hobbies include: spending all of her money on concert tickets, trying to convince Green Day to let her be their friend, geeking out about music history, dreaming of writing for Rolling Stone. You can follow her on instagram at @swaggie_.maggie.

 

Emily Orlando is a podcast lover, a Food Network connoisseur and a senior majoring in professional writing with a focus in editing and publishing—in that order.

Melodies of MSU How MSU’s students and faculty embrace music as a community — COVERing March 2018 Print

MSU’s College of Music is a hidden gem on campus. It’s listed in Niche’s top 50 music schools in America and offers many different bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree options. It even offers non-degree programs, including a minor in music and a performance diploma. The College of Music however offers far more than just degrees — it creates a unique community on campus by offering inclusive sessions and workshops called Listening and Healing that are enjoyed by students who are involved with the college. These events are the basis for a supportive environment in which students, faculty and staff participate in, to initiate a unanimous responsibility that embraces students’ similarities while celebrating their differences.

Casey Sherwood and Connor Bulka are freshmen who benefit from the community aspect of the College of Music. Sherwood studies vocal performance with dreams of singing for international opera companies and beginning a nonprofit that brings the benefits of learning and performing music to children, who do not have the opportunities in their daily lives to do so. Bulka is studying music performance, and his instrument is a tuba. He plans on either performing in a professional orchestra or becoming a music professor for small groups of students.

The pair are part of a tight-knit community that is created by the College of Music. “It’s two buildings; you’re with the same people all day. You get really close, really fast,” said Sherwood, thinking of how she was instantly able to make friends when she came to campus in the fall. “The voice department all comes together on Thursday afternoons and has recital hours, so you get to see the entire vocal department perform and see what they’ve been working on. You’re there to support each other and aspire to be better together.”

Bulka has found his community by making personal connections with music majors outside of the college, especially in university-required courses. “Since our schedules are so similar, I’ll be going to my Africa Studies class and see someone from my music class, and I can go over and spark up a conversation,” said Bulka.

Sherwood and Bulka are also huge advocates for non-music majors participating in music on campus. “There are choirs here that you don’t need to be a music major to be in. All you have to do is audition!” Sherwood explains. This is a perfect opportunity for students who have a passion for music performance but decided not to study music in college. “Some professors even do individual lessons,” Bulka adds. The College of Music offers countless performances that are free to students and anyone who enjoys watching and listening to live music. “On Fridays, the College of Music puts on concerts in the lobby of Landon Hall,” Sherwood mentions while listing off countless musical events that are free to Spartan students. “Music enhances life in the right ways.”

The College of Music aims to share its community spirit with the rest of MSU by making it easy for students who are not music majors to get involved in all the fun; music is a universal language, and everyone has some sort of experience with music. While music can provide a personal experience, it’s also a factor in creating a fiercely inclusive community. Concerts, open mic nights and karaoke at Crunchy’s all contribute to the community aspect. There are also plenty of courses that non-music majors can enroll in and get their fix of music education.

Professor Joseph Steinhardt, Ph.D., is a perfect example of how music courses can become inclusive and reach even non-music majors. He teaches in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences under the department of advertising and public relations. He may be a professor now, but back in 2003 he started Don Giovanni Records while in college. The record label started while Steinhardt was in a band at Boston University, and he moved the label to New Brunswick after graduation. Don Giovanni typically focuses on bands local to the New York and New Jersey scene and has a formidable reputation for backing female and LGBT artists. Now that Steinhardt is a professor, he shares his wealth of knowledge in the music industry with his students. In his Independent Music Culture and Society course, students from any major can spend a semester learning about the operations of an independent record label by gaining hands-on experience in the manufacturing, distribution, press and marketing functions of a label. The goal of the course is to prepare students who are interested in working in music-related fields for any sort of job they could possibly apply for. Through this course, Steinhardt came up with the idea to create a minor in indie music production.

“The idea of this class is that you don’t have to be a musician or a music major to work in the music industry,” Steinhardt said. “The culture side fosters community and it fosters political change. It has a significant impact on culture. Music can’t just be a product; it’s more important than that.”

While Steinhardt cannot promise that this minor will show up in MSU’s degree navigator any time soon, he is excited to continue to work with the college of Communication Arts and Sciences to make it happen.

The MSU Community Music School is located on Hagadorn road, right across from campus. It was founded in 1993 with the goal of providing everyone in the community with an access to music education. They are inclusive of everyone, regardless of age, ability or income. The music school offers private lessons, group classes and ensembles, summer camps and music therapy. Jamie DeMott, director of the music school, is an MSU alumna who has always had a passion for music. DeMott graduated from MSU in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in music education and pursued her master’s degree in arts and youth development in 2009. As director, she “oversee[s] all programs, all faculty — basically the operations of the Community Music School as a whole. Every day is different.”

The range of services, sessions and courses that the MSU Community Music School offers to members of the community is expansive. “We offer music education and music therapy from birth through senior adults,” DeMott said. “It truly runs the gamut. We have had students as young as just days old.” One of the most special aspects of the school is the use of music therapy to help children and adults. The courses aim to use “the therapeutic use of music to address anything from closed brain injuries to autism.” The sessions are taught by MSU music students, professional musicians and music educators who each bring unique methods and style to each class. The school also functions as the lab for MSU music students, giving students hands-on experience as music educators.

Music is a force that has the incredible ability to create community and culture. It brings people together every day and serves a critical role in students’ lives at MSU. From music majors and professors to students studying an array of different topics, music is one thing that connects them all.

Maggie Morgan is a junior majoring in Professional Writing with a concentration in Creative Writing. Hobbies include: spending all of her money on concert tickets, trying to convince Green Day to let her be their friend, geeking out about music history, dreaming of writing for Rolling Stone. You can follow her on instagram at @swaggie_.maggie.

Thank You for the Music March is Music in Our Schools Month, and MSU is Full of Music — FEATURing March 2018 Print

Music affects everyone in diverse ways, but many will confirm that music ultimately changes lives. Being exposed to music brings about countless benefits, and many experts believe that music is a crucial part of education, creativity and expression. In 1985, the National Association for Music Education dedicated a monthlong celebration of music in schools to raise awareness of musical education for all students. Music in Our Schools Month (MIOSM) is celebrated each March and is an opportunity for music teachers to highlight the programs in their academic community that bring the benefit of music to students at any level.

At MSU, music is a part of our daily lives — whether we notice it or not. We walk to class to the tune of the bells in Beaumont tower, we sing “Victory for MSU” and the “Alma Mater” at every sporting event, and we’ve all seen at least one amazing musical at the Wharton Center. While those things may seem obvious, there are many other ways to experience and participate in music at MSU and during MIOSM, even if you aren’t a music major.

The College of Music schedules performances that students are welcome to enjoy. From piano performances and symphony bands to jazz orchestras and wind symphonies, there are more days in the month of March that feature musical events than days that do not. These festivities are completely unique to MSU’s college experience and are free to students with a valid ID. Generous sponsors and lovers of music donate time and funds to make these performances happen, including MSU’s public radio station, WKAR.

WKAR is a public radio station in East Lansing that is owned by the university and has been providing students and faculty with classical music channels since 1948. Along with stations that play classical music, WKAR also provides some of National Public Radio’s popular programs. Fans of folk, jazz and classical music can tune in at any time of the day to catch playlists within their favorite genres. Student radio is an underrated but crucial aspect of ensuring that music is an integrated part of education, by making it accessible to anyone on campus.

Speaking of student radio, MSU’s Impact 89FM has students covered on all things alternative music. Impact is one of the nation’s largest college radio programs with over 300 students who work and volunteer for the station; this collaborative effort is recognized across campus as students are involved with not only FM music and DJing, but also with updating the website’s written articles about music, covering all MSU’s sports teams, managing marketing and conducting professional interviews. Impact also hosts events over the course of the semester that aim to get students involved with music in any context.

One of the most well-known events that Impact sponsors on campus is Open Mic Night with the University Activities Board. Open Mic Night takes place every other Tuesday night and is a favorite of Spartan students. March 13 and March 27 are the next Open Mic Nights, so grab your friends and head to the MSU Union for a night full of music. Students are encouraged to embrace their musical, comedic and creative sides by signing up to sing a couple of songs. There are even regulars who perform; The Three Dollar Bill Crew, a huge crowd pleaser, leave the crowd laughing every time. You don’t need to be the next Beyoncé or Justin Timberlake to perform — you just need to have fun!

Music is an important part of MSU’s social and cultural identity, found in any corner of the university. There are countless opportunities for students to get involved with music whether it’s through working at one of the radio stations, performing at open mic night or attending events scheduled by the College of Music. Since March is Music in Our Schools Month, take advantage of all the music our school has to offer and make the most of this university.

 Maggie Morgan is a junior majoring in Professional Writing with a concentration in Creative Writing. Hobbies include: spending all of her money on concert tickets, trying to convince Green Day to let her be their friend, geeking out about music history, dreaming of writing for Rolling Stone. You can follow her on instagram at @swaggie_.maggie.

Arts Night Out — HAPPENing March 2018 Print

Friday nights bring about a fabulous list of endless opportunities. There is often so much going on that it’s difficult to know what to participate in. In May of 2016, the Arts Council of Greater Lansing set off on a mission to create an event that brings art to the Old Town neighborhood in Lansing, and since then, Arts Night Out has become a favorite of many Lansing and East Lansing residents. The bi-monthly occasion combines street art, pop-up theater, live music and performances with local businesses and friendly faces.

Locals look forward to Arts Night Out and use it as an opportunity to become more acquainted with everything Old Town has to offer. Its small businesses, bars, coffee shops and even parking lots turn into galleries and venues. Diverse people, cultures and ideas combine to create a truly unique experience.

Sierra Richards, an advertising major at MSU, is planning to attend Arts Night Out in March. “My friend Lilly grew up around here and likes going to those events, so I heard about it from her,” Richards said. After learning more about the event, she became excited to explore her community with her friends. “Old Town is a hidden gem for Lansing,” said Richards. Its atmosphere attracts all aspects of culture and draws people in with its charm. Arts Night Out magnifies that and turns that feeling into a celebration.

When the Arts Council of Greater Lansing launched Arts Night Out almost two years ago, the goal was to give locals a way to broaden and participate in urban space and creativity in unexpected ways. Arts Night Out is a creative mash-up that promotes a love for this community and a love for the arts. Make sure to head to Old Town on March 2 to embrace the culture and follow @myartsnightout on Instagram.

10 Love Songs We Love to Hate — BLOGGing February 2018

They’re notoriously cheesy, sometimes they’re cringeworthy, but they’re also our guilty pleasures. There’s no shortage of love songs in this world, and sometimes we become painfully aware of that, especially in February when this idea that cliché, movie-style, romance is the only way of showing affection is shoved down our throats. While there are plenty of delicate, beautiful love songs out there, there are definitely more than a few that are so bad you have to love them. Here are 10 love songs that we just love to hate. Be sure to listen along with the playlist!

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/126162006/playlist/2SdOk0otoO6Tb8oCW13mZO

 

“I Really Like You” by Carly Rae Jepsen

This gem off of Jepsen’s 2015 album “Emotion” is one of the catchiest songs in existence, but it’s also one of the cheesiest. The lyrics are incredibly basic, and the chorus repeats the word “really” 6 times, which to many, is a writing faux pas. If you’ve heard the song, you understand that even if you don’t want to sing along you end up doing it anyways. And that’s why we love to hate the song!

 

“Smile” by Uncle Kracker

As a staple of Midwest pop radio stations, Uncle Kracker is an artist that we grew up listening to. Any Michigander has known the lyrics to “Smile” since they knew how to speak, and it’s honestly a cute song. The easygoing melody is pleasant, but the use of simile in the lyrics is overwhelming and sickly sweet. It doesn’t take too long for something so cute to become annoying, yet we can’t help but sing it when it comes on the radio.

 

“Boyfriend” by Justin Bieber

If you didn’t live under a rock during your adolescence, you’ve heard “Boyfriend” and you loved it at first. When it was released Bieber was still a sweet teen-heartthrob, and this was his first move towards the “bad boy” cliché. Now, as young adults, we fully understand just how cringeworthy the line “I don’t know about me but I know about you so say hello to falsetto in three, two, swag” is, and we claim that we never listened to Beiber to begin with.

 

“A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton

The 2004 film “White Chicks” is an accurate portrayal of the widespread obsession of Vanessa Carlton’s hit song, “A Thousand Miles”. Groups of girlfriends scream sing it together, and boys claim to hate it, but somehow know all the words. If the catchiness and the vulnerability of the heartfelt lyrics aren’t enough to get stuck in your head for days, the widespread popularity of the song is sure to create a situation in which you’re going to have to sing along and like it.

 

“Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne

We all went through our angsty tween phase where we wore pink and black graphic tees and worshipped the queen of pop-punk, Avril Lavigne. I know we all loved to sing “Girlfriend” and scribble our crushes name in a notebook while drawing hearts around it, but those days are over. The repetitive nature of the lyrics are annoying, and nobody wants to actually be in a love triangle. Though if the song comes on at any moment, you’re still going to know every single word.

 

“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift

If the story of an on-again-off-again relationship wasn’t annoying enough, immature lyrics and country-turned-pop star vibes make this Taylor Swift song eye-roll worthy. Everyone has at least some opinion on Taylor Swift, and whether you love her, or you hate her, you know the song and you’ve heard it one too many times.

 

“Perfect” by One Direction

Like Justin Bieber, every girl loved One Direction at some point, and whether they admit that or not is up to them. Now that the guys have all gone in different directions, it’s fun to reminisce and sing their old pop hits while getting ready for a night out with the girls. While we all know that nobody is perfect, it’s still fun to imagine Harry Styles telling us that he thinks we are.

 

“Somebody To You” by The Vamps featuring Demi Lovato

Whenever this song comes on, I imagine a group of fun, hipster-ish, teenagers sitting around a bonfire on the beach singing along. The beat is addictive, and the vocals featured by the boyband are so smooth and innocent. The lyrics are playful and bring a youthful energy that can seem cringeworthy now that we’re older. Still, you’re bound to be singing along with the chorus before the song ends.

 

“Black Magic” by Little Mix

Little Mix is a badass girl group that doesn’t take anything from anyone. That being said, their song Black Magic was definitely a pop favorite a few summers ago. This is another one of those songs that is just so catchy it’ll get stuck in your head for at least a week. Not only is the tune catchy, but the lyrics are just fun! As much as some people wouldn’t want to admit to singing along, it’s inevitable!

 

“Out Of My Limit” by 5 Seconds of Summer

It’s no surprise that another boy band made it onto this list. 5 Seconds of Summer has a special place in my heart, (I swear I was going to their shows before they even released their first full length album) but some of their jams are adorably immature. Their song “Out of My Limit” has lyrics that will remind you of having a secret crush in high school, but it’s so upbeat that you can’t help but dance along!

 

Maggie Morgan is a junior majoring in Professional Writing with a concentration in Creative Writing. Hobbies include: spending all of her money on concert tickets, trying to convince Green Day to let her be their friend, geeking out about music history, dreaming of writing for Rolling Stone. You can follow her on instagram at @swaggie_.maggie.

Revolutionary Research MSU students explore their passions through research — FEATURing February 2018 Print

Undergraduate research at MSU has been on the rise lately, and many students are making their college careers meaningful by participating in hands-on, research-based environments. Research is a vital part of learning because it allows students to think critically and analyze various situations. Students from each major are constantly encouraged to think outside the box and question what they do not understand. This promotes research in a way that makes it a learning experience, which allows students to explore multiple passions.

Since MSU is a Big Ten university, it allows students to participate in research programs that receive international recognition and have renowned reputations for producing groundbreaking projects. When people think of research, the first thoughts that come to mind are of science and data. But research exists in every college and every major. The university offers unique opportunities for collaboration between students and faculty that effortlessly combine the academic and creative sides of research.

The best way for MSU students to showcase their research as undergraduate students is to enter their project into the annual University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF). This is MSU’s main showcase for undergraduate research, scholarship and creative work. UURAF allows all the undergraduate students to engage with, participate in and exhibit original work.

First place recipients in the Humanities and Performing Arts section of UURAF, Ryan Duda and Evan Phillips, are theatre majors who created “Farm the Musical: Theatre and Autism.” The musical is a collaboration of efforts from students across all majors at MSU to create an original musical that is specifically geared toward children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

“We knew that theatre had significant educational benefits for children with autism, but we wanted to be able to create tangible evidence for ourselves. It is one thing to read about research and to watch videos of interactive musicals being performed for this audience, but it is an entirely different thing to experience all of that for yourself,” Duda said.

The pair was able to conduct their study with a sponsorship from the Michigan State University Department of Theatre. Duda felt that they couldn’t have accomplished their goal without MSU’s generous support. He and Phillips were able to use their sponsorship to take trips to New York City and meet with theatre professionals who are actively working in pursuing the same mission.

“Without our 2016 trip, we might not have received the information or connections we needed to complete this project. UURAF was also beneficial in allowing us to present our research to peers who did not have the same deeply passionate biases that we had,” said Duda. “The feedback we received helped us to better focus our research plan for the following year.”

Alternatively, Clairessa Smith, a junior studying psychology and youth in society, has been participating in SONA all semester. Through SONA, she is able to study “interpersonal processes and psychotherapy,” through labs where she and her lab partners interpret “interpersonal relationships in psychotherapy settings.” She first became interested in doing this research when she attended a psychology research fair, where she was able to meet individually with the lab directors. Here, she expressed her interest in the research and that she was looking to gain experience. Smith is also a big supporter of students from all majors participating in research projects.

“To get involved, no matter what major, talk to professors of classes you like. They are a great resource to possibly have you get involved with their own research but can also direct you to someone who is looking for undergraduate research assistants,” Smith said.

MSU is a suitable place for undergraduate students to explore many different activities, majors and interests. Research is quickly becoming a typical aspect of education at MSU because it is no longer reserved solely for students pursuing science-related majors. All students, from theatre majors to STEM majors, are encouraged to participate in research studies. Since asking critical questions is a crucial part of learning, many students turn to research projects to explore their passions and majors.

Maggie Morgan is a junior majoring in Professional Writing with a concentration in Creative Writing. Hobbies include: spending all of her money on concert tickets, trying to convince Green Day to let her be their friend, geeking out about music history, dreaming of writing for Rolling Stone. You can follow her on instagram at @swaggie_.maggie.