Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Uncategorized category.

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Apartment Hunting: MSU Edition

You’ve been on campus for two years and you’re ready to move off campus and live on your own. Finding a new home in East Lansing/Michigan State University isn’t easy. When I first planned to move to East Lansing/MSU, it was trouble from the time I started. Rent being advertised that is was $335, and finding out that is was $335 a person. The models of the apartments were no where near the real apartments. And not to mention, you never know what is included in the rent and what isn’t. I wish that I had a guide or even a booklet that could have helped me on my journey to finding my humble abode. Allison Repp, currently searching for an apartment, describes how she feels and I how I felt too.

“I hate looking for apartments,” said Repp. “There is so much pressure. Finding the right apartment for you is not easy. Location, price and amenities are important. But moving from apartment to apartment is the worst. The move in dates are insane and it makes me crazy. It just sucks.”

This is insight on East Lansing from a person who has lived here for about 1 year and a half. This is your complete guide to living in East Lansing/MSU area.

When you’re looking for an apartment, there are many things that you must consider.

How far away from campus do you want to live?

Do you want roommates or would you rather live by yourself?

If I would like to have a roommate, would I have to find one myself or do they have a roommate matching service to help me find someone I can get along with?

If you do have a roommate, how are you going to split the rent and/or utilities?

What is included in your rent or can you include utilities into your rent?

What about adding a phone line or getting cable?

Is it cable ready? Does the apartment allow pets?

How far are you from a store to get your necessities?

Does the apartment you are choosing include a CATA Bus card or will you have to pay? After I stay here for a certain amount of time, is my rent negotiable, stays the same or does it go up?

The average rent in the area is $550 or so. This varies by number of rooms, bathrooms, styles of apartments and how far you are away from campus. The number of rooms can range from none (a studio) to a four bedroom apartment. These apartments can be very versatile. For certain places, such as Chandler Crossing and Abbot Place, they have individual leases, where you pay for your room but share utilities. Or you can get a standard one, and split everything with a roommate. Or you can have an apartment all by yourself. It seems that the farther away from campus your are, the less you pay. In Lansing, the typical 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom cost about 450 but in East Lansing, it can cost $600.


The East Lansing/MSU area is a great place to live. There are malls, restaurants, bars and movie theaters to go to. So boredom would never and could never happen. If you live very close to campus, you have Grand River. Grand River is a strip you could never forget. There are many restaurants from American to Chinese, thrift stores and boutiques, and bars and clubs where you can hang out with your friends until 6 in the morning. If you live east of the area, Meridian is your hangout. This mall has huge department stores like Macy’s and JC Penny. They also have a food court and if after your delicious pretzel you would like to watch a movie? AMC is right around the corner. If you live on the west side of the area, you have a double wammy: Frandor and Eastwood Mall. Frandor and Eastwood are both strip malls. They have stores and restaurants that are very fancy. All of these place you can get to by bus. The CATA Buses are very reliable and are easy to use.

Beware of the party areas! If you are used to being in a quiet area, picking a place like the Pointe at 3636 might be for you. “We’re a bit more laid back here,” said Jill Banish, a community assistant. “I live here and you don’t see nearly as many parties as you see in other apartments. It’s a really relaxed environment and I think that is what attracts us to renters.”

This may seem like a lot of information. And it is! It can be overwhelming and sometimes, you just want to pick someplace and get it over with. But remember! You’ll be staying at your new home for a while. Comfortability is very important.

The Apartment Store, located right inside SBS on Grand River is here to take the stress away, and the best part? It’s absolutely free! “We can help anyone,” said Nicole Levy, a locator specialist. “Usually, we can match people with an apartment as soon as possible. And there is something for everyone. Since we do all the work for you, it’s so connivence. It’s a one stop shop for apartment living.” They have listings for about 84 communities in and around the East Lansing and MSU area and we know all the details inside and out. You tell them what you are looking for and we’ll match you up! It’s like an apartment dating service, you go look and if you like it all you need to do is sign your lease. This makes it extremely easy!

Now that you know all that you need to know, you can make a conscious decision when locking into a lease agreement.

Blog 1: Knight News

Organization or Business Name: Real News

Annual Operating Budget: $10,000

Project Title: NewsForYou.com

Requested amount from Knight News Challenge:  $10,000

Expected amount of time to complete project: One year

Total cost of project including all sources of funding: $20,000

Describe your project

This project dedicated to all the people of the world who would love to go on the internet and get “good” news. What I mean by “good” news, is news that is fair and balanced, tells the whole story, and is interesting. That is “good” news. People have lost faith in the media because of biases, half-truths, lies and attacks on issues (i.e. abortion, same-sex marriages). The project that I would like to start up and have funded has the sole purpose to build the publics trust in the media. The website would involve panels of journalist and reporters that look over current stories that are written and have them go through a review that will look for biases, half truth, ect. Then they will be ranked from 1 to 10, 1 being a “bad” article and 10 being a “good” article (which is subjective in politics). With these ranks comes the best part! The user will sign up for NewsForYou.com, which is a website that will use answers from questions asked and interest chosen, and with those (and the extensive trials all articles have to go through) they will pop up on your home page and you just read away. The next great thing about this website is that you can add comments and feedback what you thought of the article, meaning if it was well written and if you thought it was fair and balanced on a scale 1 to 10.

The great thing about this website is it balances fairly written news articles with reader opinion that aides in continued website development and growth.  The function of the website is to help readers help themselves by adding continued opinion and bringing a fresh perspective that may escape the panelists.  The readers will have an opportunity to weigh in on what makes “good news” creating a more simplistic flow of quality and entertaining news without the trouble of sifting through endless articles.  We bring reader preference without the endless search.  This is Pandora for readers.

How will your project improve the way news and information are delivered

Information is tailored to the reader. Using crowd-sourcing as a major technique, this will pinpoint what the readers want. And it is all in one place. Who wants to sit and look at cnn.com, abcnews.com, and yahoonews.com? And we all that there are so much more. Also, this website has tons of links that gives the opportunity for readers to branch out to other website and read other articles while experiencing what the other website have to offer. Some may believe that this could be bad for our website, considering it could be a gateway to people leaving our website and just going to the one that they like, but please remember that we are our website is more than just for reading. It is tailored to the readers needs and desires.

How is your idea innovative? (New or different from what already exists)

My idea is innovative because it is new and I believe that the public will benefit from it greatly. Sifting through articles that are absolutely useless to them and giving them what they need. It could also cause the media to better choose its journalist, reporters and gatekeeps. So many times today, people would rather put on the tv a celebrity scandal than what is happening with your government, educational system, healthcare system, prison system, ect. Those are the things that matter and they affect us greater than what happened than Kim Kardashian. This is a brand new fresh idea. Pandora for news. It’s completely tailored to the reader and it’s judge by a panel that makes sure that it is fair and balanced. And that what the public wants. I think that this website will be the first step in the direction that it was meant to be in. And hopefully, others will follow suite.

What experience do you or your organization have to successfully develop this project?

Every person that is a part of my company has experience with journalism. We have been apart of newspapers and magazines such as Forbes and the New York Times. All of our work has been under a rigorous peer review to make sure that they meet the requirements of the company. Also, there are people on the board who have connections with the CEOs and owners of magazines and newspapers around the world. We have also searched for upcoming journalist, writers and bloggers to allow them to write for the news site. This helps them build credibility while building credibility as a freelancer to other newspapers. We have a plan of how we are going to spend the funds, including the upkeep and launch of the website, our advertising department and street team. We have a website now, that like a  newspaper on site. But now, we would like develop now a website where interaction is very important. We also have experience in graphic design and our website will be successful because we have know how to capture our audience. We have gotten a lot of readers to our original site, and the audience has given us great ratings on the quality of the stories that we post on our site.

Blog Post 1:

Cover It Live Experience

Today, I covered the Stanley Cup Finals. Canucks vs Bruins. I love hockey. And I thought it would be a great idea for me to put my skills to the test and write a live story about what was going on there.

The Stanley Cup Finals is a big event. Primarily because Canada and the US are going against each other. Canada hasn’t had a Stanley Cup in 40 years and the US want another one.

The game was high intensity from the start. Tim was blocking shots while McPierre was defending his team. (You can read my story here!

I think that Cover It Live is good in some degree but I wouldn’t use it much. I think that it is good for sports, award shows and government. Something fast paced and always keeps going. And obviously, live.

I had the hardest time trying to use Cover It Live. The biggest thing I like about it is that you’re not just telling a story, you can have the audience interact with you directly. I think that it makes it really special and adds more discussion. You never know where it goes. And the audience can give you information that you may have not have thought of.

The thing that I hate the most is that trying to find videos and pictures and tweets is crazy! Personally, I don’t think it is that user friendly. It could use some improvement. I think it would have been better if they had basic and advanced settings. It was a little overwhelming trying to find things while a high paced hockey game was going.

Overall, I don’t think I would use it again. It’s okay, but as a journalist, I would turn this down.

Blog 2: Who is your favorite blogger?

I don’t have a favorite blogger. However, there is one blog that I go to for my digital and technological information. The blog that I go to all the time and swear by is slashdot.org. This blog is such a great source to know all about the newest technology, problems and innovations due from technology. On this blog, they spilt their pages into 8 sections: Cloud, Hardware, Linux, Management, Mobile, Science, Security and Storage. This makes the blog crowd-source friendly. They always have the newest news, while also adding their opinions on what may happen in the future (which sometimes happens). They also don’t always write their own stories, they link to other websites on the internet, have freelancer submit stories or they may link stories that further their stories for those that are further interested. So, you get a variety of writing styles and different voices adding diversity to the blog.

What makes their writing important is that technology is affecting our lives every day because we are consumed by it. And having someone writing about technology, pros and cons, innovations or improvements, and developments  is great so we as consumers of this technology understand what we are buying and  in some way, get a grasp on what is going on in the industry. Even though our live is consumed by technology, I think that all the news and information about it gets swept to the side so to speak. It’s there, but no one really notices it, unless it’s mainstream and can cause a large scale impact. This blog and other blogs like it also gives people the opportunity to become early-adopters of this technology. And sometimes this can better influence the people around them, causing the new or improved product to spread like wildfire. This can also work for things like the discovery of viruses and how to get the “patch” for the computer.

I think that they are pushing the envelope forward by constantly updating and staying on top on everything in the technology world. And between phones, computers, television and the web, that is such a difficult task. They are using Twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds to better get their work out there. They mostly use links in their stories to other credible source (usually the home source) to further their source. However, I think that they could do so much more. The layout of the current blog is bland and if you’re not motivated by learning about technology like I am, then reading it is a lost cause. I wish that they would add videos and more pictures. They have such a great information, I wish that they would further their work in those mediums. They could do stand-ups or compare equipment and technology side-by-side using videos. Slideshows are very engaging. Overall, visuals would do the blog good. Maybe this is far fetched, but if they they had representatives (i.e. Apple, Microsoft, Nokia) writing for the blog, it would be great because they would know what is happening in the company furthering the knowledge and readers.

JournChat Fun!

JournChat has to be one of the most fun and rewarding things I did his semester!

I really liked because there was a constant conversation from all people around the world and you just talk about journalism and issues going on that world. I spoke to some really smart people, received insight and saw things from a different angle. It was a bit hard to follow at first. The newsfeed was going out of control, but it got better as I learned how to set up my Tweetdeck to work for me. It is such a way to network. I started following two people and they followed me back. One was a freelancer and one was PR. They direct messaged me and gave me some useful advice for finding a job and being successful in life.

At first, I thought because I’m a young 19 year old junior at Michigan State University, no one would value what I had to say. Or people would just blow me off because of how young I am and I don’t have much experience in the field. But people were so receptive and nice. I felt like “one of the guys”. It was friendly debate and I had a great time

JournChat is something that I plan on being a part of in the future.