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On this page, you can find direct links to culture-related articles I have written for The State News. Click any photo to view the entire article. 


Bartenders, servers challenge potential minimum wage change, fear life without tips

Servers and bartenders say removing the incentive of a tip would result in worse service, lower incomes and higher menu prices at Michigan restaurants. 


‘I’m gonna turn some heads’: Weight-lifting women talk gym, health culture

Roberts and May said they have seen more women in the gym moving away from cardio and beginning to pick up free weights, but it's still far and few between.


Artists of all different backgrounds showcase their work at the East Lansing Art Festival

Artist Sarah Jean Anderson from Grand Rapids came to the festival for the first time this year. She describes her style as “lowbrow outsider mixed-media”—‘Outsider’ meaning that she did not go to art school. 

“Sometimes it's icky,” Anderson said. “I like to find the beauty in all the things.”


'I still appreciate the knowledge': Students choose not to use their degrees post-graduation

There is typically one vision of the academic college experience: Students will take classes for four years, receive an undergraduate degree and secure a job in their respective field. 

However for some students, the journey to finding what they want to do for the rest of their life is less conventional.


When self-care creates careless consumerism

The "clean" aesthetic: effortless? Or only accessible by those who can afford to buy all of the right products? Lifestyle reporter Miranda Dunlap talks to consumer behavior experts to explain how our current era of self-care promotes consumerism.

“Sometimes you don't even know if the products work,” Thotakura said. “It’s just the fact that you're doing it, it makes you feel good. So it's all about the feeling.”


The fight against book banning at MSU

‘banned book’ is a book that has been removed from a library or educational institution because they are deemed too controversial or inappropriate to read. 

English professor Jyotsna Singh said banning books can prevent the free exchange of ideas. 

“I think that it's very unfortunate,” Singh said. “That in a democracy, in a free society with intellectual freedom that is so crucial to our culture, to all democratic societies, debates and differences have become so polarized.”


How students can stay safe while using dating apps and websites

According to a study done by Pew Research, 48% of 18 to 29-year-olds have used a dating website or app. Despite their popularity, such methods are generally recognized as unsafe. 39% of adult men and 53% of adult women in the U.S. think dating apps are not a safe way to meet people. 


How students are using social media to rekindle their love for reading

Gone are the days where it’s considered cool to brag about how you haven’t picked up a book since you read "Romeo and Juliet" in high school. With a little help from social media, being a bookworm is officially back in style.

GoodReads, an app dedicated to book reviewing, is a key component of the recent trend on social media. It allows you to share your thoughts on books, like and comment on your friends’ activities and set a goal for the number of books you want to read in a year. 


Women's use of exclamation points in emails might not be the issue you think it is

Discourse surrounds why women should delete the exclamation points from their emails and be more assertive. But this way of communicating may not be for a lack of confidence or power, Thompson said, but possibly that women’s tentative speech is simply flagged more than men’s.


Michigan-native authors ‘100 things to do in Lansing before you die’

Amy Piper had a ticket to London in her pocket when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States.

Piper, a travel blogger, writes about the most note-worthy experiences in all of the 41 countries she has visited. When the pandemic confined her to Lansing, she decided to shift her focus to shining a light on all of the hidden gems right at home. 

“If I can't travel the world,” Piper said. “Then I'm going to make the best of the pandemic and write a book about my hometown.”


Summer Solstice Jazz Festival makes ‘bittersweet’ return to East Lansing 

“Everyone misses being in public spaces like this, people love the ambiance of all this,” Reo said. “Listening to jazz with birds in the background.”


Meet the East Lansing nurse competing among the top 24 on 'American Idol'

Moran is ready to pursue a music career at all costs, planning to quit his job as a nurse in East Lansing and move to L.A. He said it has been difficult to decide to leave his coworkers and patients, but it feels necessary.


‘There’s a reason we left’; Russian MSU students react to invasion of Ukraine

Most MSU students have the privilege of keeping up with Russian war efforts through headlines and social media posts and the security of knowing none of their loved ones are involved in the conflict.

But for some students like linguistics freshman Zhanna Yakubova, who moved from Russia to the U.S. four years ago, the war directly affects their families. She says her parents live on “Russian time” now, constantly keeping up with each and every move. 


20 books by Black authors that should be on your shelf this February

In honor of Black History Month, here are 20 books by Black authors that everyone should be reading in 2022. Divided by genre, we compiled picks in new fiction, nonfiction and the classics that should have been taught in your high school English class if they weren't already.

We also invited owner Nyshell Lawrence of Lansing’s newest indie bookstore, the Socialight Society, to give us her current favorite in Black literature. Happy reading, and, as always, remember to patronize local and independent bookstores for your literary ventures!


Absence makes the heart grow fonder? Students navigate love and sex in long-distance relationships

The pressures of the college lifestyle can be rough on any relationship. Between long days of classes, rigorous studying and the added implications of college party culture, being in a relationship as a student is difficult. If that weren’t enough, some students add another element into the equation: living hours away from their partner. 

I talked to a sexual satisfaction expert to answer the question we're all asking: can long-distance relationships work?

*This story was published in the Love & Sex print issue.


MSU students have mixed feelings about Euphoria's season 2 premiere

Season one of HBO Max’s “Euphoria” engrossed Gen Z when it offered a comfortless portrayal of teen relationships, sex, drugs and partying. Paired with the flashy aesthetic and whimsical makeup, the show creates an experience so unique you can’t decide if you want to hide your face in discomfort or keep your eyes peeled.  

The wait has been long for those eagerly anticipating new episodes. “Euphoria” season two premiered on HBO Max on Sunday, Jan. 9, more than two years after season one wrapped up. However, students have mixed opinions about whether the episode lived up to season one’s hype.

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