10 Things East Lansing Needs

10 Things East Lansing Needs

Build Up Downtown
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College towns are typically filled many cool and trendy places to eat, hang out, and shop. There are great places to go to on the weekends when your sororities chef doesn't come, or even on the nights when he does and you're maybe not the biggest fan of the meal. There are many options that fulfill your sweet tooth or places to go when you just need a pick-me-up. Unfortunately, things and places like these are something East Lansing at Michigan State University lacks. As college students and residents of the area, there are things we need that we don't have here. Downtown East Lansing needs to thrive. Here are the top 10 things that East Lansing would benefit from adding.

1. An acai bowl/smoothie restaurant

Acai bowls and smoothies are not only super trendy and great for the Insta, but also super yummy and filling. A place like this would do very well in our college town. It's the perfect thing to get in the morning for breakfast or for an afternoon snack.

2. Healthy Eats

A restaurant that exclusively sells healthy and fresh meal choices such as salads would be a great addition to EL. Don't get me wrong, I love Noodles & Co. just as much as the next person, but I am always craving something that will make me feel good about myself. I'm tired of filling up on junk food on the weekend. It's time we bring some freshness to our town.

3. A bakery/cafe

A cute bakery would thrive in our area. It is the perfect place to lounge around at or stop for coffee on your way to class. While Starbucks is amazing, it would be nice to have a more localized cafe to go to.

4. Better brunch

Brunch is arguably the hottest trend of meals right now. This is one of the major things I think East Lansing lacks. While there are a few places for us to brunch, they all pretty much serve the same and most basic thing. Other schools have these extraordinary brunch spots that serve unique treats. A trendy brunch spot is definitely something EL could benefit from.

5. More sit down restaurants.

Let's face it, basically, our only options are HopCat or Fieldhouse. And while those restaurants are good they can get old pretty quick. We need nicer places to celebrate friends birthdays at or go on the occasional date with that frat boy who claims he's not a f**k boy.

6. Vegan/Vegetarian

At a school, with 50,000 undergraduate's there are bound to be a number of people who are vegetarian or vegan. People with a vegan/vegetarian diet deserve their own restaurant. The food is great for everyone and healthy too.

7. Cava

I recently ate at Cava and instantly became obsessed with it. It is a Mediterranean chipotle and it would add some diversity to our downtown. I really think a restaurant like this would do amazing in our area. It is fresh and healthy and there are tons of options to choose from.

8. Nail salons

Getting a manicure is the one thing that I know is ridiculous to spend money on, but will consistently do. At home, I frequently get a gel manicure. Being a college student is very time consuming and sometimes you don't always have time to sit and wait for your nails to dry or to constantly redo them. Getting a gel manicure takes tops 30 minutes and lasts long so you don't have to worry about redoing your nails all the time. I have yet to find a nail salon that I really like in EL or ones that are close enough to campus. We should really consider adding more to the area.

9. A barre studio/gym

We need a barre studio in East Lansing. Barre and cycling have become the hottest trends in fitness. It is a great and fun way to stay in shape which is something that I think all college students are concerned about. It would be amazing if a studio like this opened on Grand River. Not only would this be beneficial for college students, but other residents would also benefit from it.

10. More shopping

We need more places to go shopping in our downtown. There are a few stores and they sell really cute clothes, but with Greek Life being so big and there only being a few stores, you're bound to have the same formal dress as someone. More shopping would make our downtown more lively and give college students more things to do on the weekends.

These are just a few ideas of ways to make our downtown better. We are certainly lacking some major aspects of what makes a downtown a great and fun place to be. I think if we slowly started adding a few of these things our college town would come back to life.

Cover Image Credit: MSUToday

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:” Line Matters,

I want to start off by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can’t afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you’re just lazy and you “don’t feel like it”? Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you’re unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the US Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck.” stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:” line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can’t seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to ten people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!”

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the seventeen other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there’s a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 dollar bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of ten times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession - whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food, and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a forty dollar bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes - as if you’re better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you’ll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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