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East Lansing, MI

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It's been a while since someone posted on this thread. I wonder if anyone has some new/updated information on East Lansing--? I'd personally like to know about if there have been any changes in preferred living areas, as well as what the music scene is like, whether live or recorded. Are there nice music stores you'd recommend?

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I too would like some updated information about East Lansing, particularly regarding decent places to live. I've got cats and would like to live somewhere with a little bit of personality -- perhaps somewhere with a yard rather than some boring and obnoxious college type apt. complex.

Applicant,

Have you been admitted to MSU for English? Have you heard anything about funding? Are you going to the admitted students event next week?

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Hey Jewel,

I was looking at the board, and wanted to tell you that I am got in for history and am going Sunday - Wednesday for admitted students day. I am leaning toward going to MSU and am already trying to figure out where I might live..lol

Congrats on your acceptance!

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Hi Everyone,

I've just been looking at this forum to gather some information on East Lansing. I am a single black male 34 from outside the US, thinking of taking up a job at MSU. Can anyone give me information on race relations in East Lansing and surrounding areas. I have dated women of different races and I'd like to feel free to do the same wherever I am. Would I have problems in East Lansing? I'd also want to live in a mixed area since I'm believe getting along with anyone regardless of race is important and this is what I have grown accustomed to. Any information on suitable places for housing etc would be welcomed.

Cheers,

Bird.

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I'm considering accepting a PhD slot at MSU in English, but I'm concerned about two things:

1. How difficult is finding a short-term lease (month-to-month or semester-to-semester) in a "good" part of town -- and/or -- can someone suggest a way to find a live-in situation for super cheap for at least the first semester until I learn the city?

2. The teaching assistantship offered doesn't cover summers. Can I survive without summer aid, and/or are there opportunities in surrounding cities for work during summers?

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I, too, am considering accepting a slot at MSU in English (modernism, cultural studies, theory). I wonder if anyone can point me to neighborhoods that are both affordable and quiet. I also wonder how bad the economy is in East Lansing; my partner will be looking for a job wherever we go (in natural foods or landscaping), so my hope is that jobs are available in those areas. Any suggestions?

I have a couple of contacts in East Lansing who have suggested the possibility of living in Lansing proper, but when I looked at older posts on this board that idea frightened me a bit--have things changed a lot (or at all) since 2006?

I second abluedude's concern about summer money, too. Are there off-campus job opportunities during the summer in East Lansing?

Thanks in advance for any feedback you may have. . . .

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Theorygirl,

If you accept your MSU offer and want to room with someone for the first semester until we figure out this town, I'm down for sharing a place with you and your partner. My partner will need to stay in our current location for up to 3 months after school starts, so we need a long transition period -- certainly enough to sign a 1-semester "lease." Anyway -- let me know what you think; message me on here and we'll exchange email addresses closer to time.

abluedude

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Lansing can definitely be a nice place to live. Check out the East Side of Lansing (west of 127 and Frandor, between Kalamazoo and Lake Lansing) for decent grad student housing/apts, or down around Forest Lane. If people do live in EL they tend to live in Okemos (tons of apts) or up north of Lake Lansing (Abbott/Chandler Rd). Its not too hard to get an apt, although short-term leases tend to be in kind of sketchy places (there is one on the south side near Lowes that is particularly gross, but I can't remember the name) As far as work for non-academic partners and summer jobs, opportunities can be tough to find, but they do exist. If you are willing to be open minded and work hard, you can do ok, as the cost of living is so reasonable. For example we did fine on grad student (me) + americorps (him) salary our first year in town, which would have been hard anywhere else. Good luck w/ your decision!

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I will second the fact that Lansing/East Lansing can be a fun place to live if done properly. I've been doing it for almost two years and I've been happy with it.

In fact, if anybody is planning on coming to the area prior to the school year and is looking for summer housing options, drop me an IM.

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So, any other grad cafe-ers heading to MSU? Anyone in East Lansing have any more info on good places to live, good ways to find apartments, etc? Or other any other advice on EL/MSU....?

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Hey all,

I'm a 29yo PhD student who needs a home from Aug-Dec 09. Anyone want to rent an apartment with me for the first semester or share an apartment they've already rented?

Send email to ami.blue@eku.edu if you're interested in going in together on this. :)

me

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I'll be starting a PhD program at MSU this fall. Does anyone have any particular recommendations for apartment complexes to look at (or particular complexes you'd recommend avoiding)?

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I'll be starting a PhD program at MSU this fall. Does anyone have any particular recommendations for apartment complexes to look at (or particular complexes you'd recommend avoiding)?

Hey wwellington,

I just got back from looking at places in EL/Okemos. One thing I learned is that it will almost always be better to go with an independent landlord who owns a quadraplex or something similar. Large corporate compounds are, if not totally gross, pretty high in price (unless you are making more than the usual Ph.D. stipend). I looked in the 500-650 price range and found only one place that I would have considered, if only they allowed dogs. That place is called Hillcrest, if you're interested. However, I ended up lucking out and finding a great price for an apartment in a ranch house.

I've heard from many people that it is wise to steer clear of DTN management company. This is hard, though, because they own what seems to be the majority of compounds in EL/Okemos.

Good luck!

philogal

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DTN is heartless, it's true. But if you go that route, Berrytree is not bad. Lived there for two years without a lot of problems. Nice location for bus/bike. A bit of a walk to campus.

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My undergraduate research advisor did her PhD at Mich State, and I went to college not too far from East lansing so I'm pretty familiar with the area. Everything is really spread out on campus (it's HUGE) so getting around on a bus while on campus is ok. However, if you are living off-campus, most residential areas where grad students, faculty, etc live are further away, so you will need a car to get anywhere.

I'm a much bigger fan of Ann Arbor because its downtown/urban living access makes it easy to walk most places. However, East Lansing does have some good parts about it too including a really great couple of sushi restaurants and lots of spectator sports.

If you have any other questions about south central Michigan, don't be afraid to ask me!

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I hope there's someone who can still answer my questions about this city. I am serious considering attending MSU. I have been offered the fellowship+assistantship for about 16k if I work for 20 hours/wk (without the summer). Will that be enough to live? What is the cost of living in East Lansing? Please note that I am an international student so I won't be able to work more than 20 hours . I have lived in Cambridge, MA before. And I know that 16k is definitely not enough there. I need some advice from the local of I will be able to survive without taking out a loan. Thank you in advance for your advice.

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I hope there's someone who can still answer my questions about this city. I am serious considering attending MSU. I have been offered the fellowship+assistantship for about 16k if I work for 20 hours/wk (without the summer). Will that be enough to live? What is the cost of living in East Lansing? Please note that I am an international student so I won't be able to work more than 20 hours . I have lived in Cambridge, MA before. And I know that 16k is definitely not enough there. I need some advice from the local of I will be able to survive without taking out a loan. Thank you in advance for your advice.

I grew up there, and I can safely say that 16K is completely doable in East Lansing. A room in a 2 or more bedroom house apartment will probably be around 3-400, you can find one-bedrooms for 5-600. I am on the east coast right now and I miss the Midwest cost of living something fierce.

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I hope there's someone who can still answer my questions about this city. I am serious considering attending MSU. I have been offered the fellowship+assistantship for about 16k if I work for 20 hours/wk (without the summer). Will that be enough to live? What is the cost of living in East Lansing? Please note that I am an international student so I won't be able to work more than 20 hours . I have lived in Cambridge, MA before. And I know that 16k is definitely not enough there. I need some advice from the local of I will be able to survive without taking out a loan. Thank you in advance for your advice.

i agree with houseb to some extent. i don't want to leave you with the impression that East Lansing is an expensive city - it's not, especially compared to East Coast places like the Boston area - but i also don't want you to think $16k is going to make for easy sledding. you really will have to minimize your rent - find people that need roommates and you might be able to do $300/mo or even less - and keep in mind that Michigan is terrible for public transit (in ALL cities). there is a bus system in the Lansing area, but it's not going to remind you of the T.

a lot of bad things were said about Lansing (which is different than East Lansing) earlier in the thread (like a few years ago it looks like). be advised, most of Lansing is not dangerous at all, and median rent is cheaper. you could find a bus to campus (probably takes 30+ minutes by public bus). i work in Lansing, and although i don't like it as much as my native Kalamazoo (also in MI), it has really come a long way in the last few years. it's not as drab and boring as it was even in 2007.

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hello everyone! thanks for participating. i have 2 quick questions about east lansing, mi. is it easy to get around without a car, and is it gay friendly? thanks!

higheredgal,

I've been looking at MSU's gay climate as well. There was a report done on MSU and gay student life (I don't have the link, but I found it on the lgbt campus group's page). The overall takeaway from the report for me was that MSU seems safe and tolerant for the most part. There is a gay group for grads that does social things like bowling. This was a plus for me since I would be moving to a new area and leaving all my friends behind.

I also know that there are "gay neighborhoods" like Old Town, but don't know much about them. Old Town has three gay bars, but they seem to cater mostly to a male crowd, with only one once-a-month lesbian night.

I'd be interested if anyone has futher information on this!!

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higheredgal,

I've been looking at MSU's gay climate as well. There was a report done on MSU and gay student life (I don't have the link, but I found it on the lgbt campus group's page). The overall takeaway from the report for me was that MSU seems safe and tolerant for the most part. There is a gay group for grads that does social things like bowling. This was a plus for me since I would be moving to a new area and leaving all my friends behind.

I also know that there are "gay neighborhoods" like Old Town, but don't know much about them. Old Town has three gay bars, but they seem to cater mostly to a male crowd, with only one once-a-month lesbian night.

I'd be interested if anyone has futher information on this!!

To add to my earlier post, I have noticed that the political climate for gays isn't so hot. No form of partnership is legally recognized (marriage, civil union or DP) and even though it's been added to the current anti-collective bargaining bill, the language banning public institutions from offering DP health benefits was passed years ago (2008). I did read online that MSU is offering a pilot program to get around this ban by defining beneficiaries as "other eligible persons"--a non-union member of the household who has resided with the MSU employee for 18 months, making every effort to provide an inclusive environment.

That said, it's rough knowing that while attending graduate school, your partnership would largely be unrecognized or protected.

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To add to my earlier post, I have noticed that the political climate for gays isn't so hot. No form of partnership is legally recognized (marriage, civil union or DP) and even though it's been added to the current anti-collective bargaining bill, the language banning public institutions from offering DP health benefits was passed years ago (2008). I did read online that MSU is offering a pilot program to get around this ban by defining beneficiaries as "other eligible persons"--a non-union member of the household who has resided with the MSU employee for 18 months, making every effort to provide an inclusive environment.

That said, it's rough knowing that while attending graduate school, your partnership would largely be unrecognized or protected.

The state regulations don't matter as much as the school. U-M is subject to the same restrictions as MSU, and I have never felt anything but welcomed, recognized and protected. No, there are no state protections, and coming from Washington that was a hard thing to get used to. (Though Michigan has been far more LGBT-friendly than the University of Washington was.) Michigan's laws suck for LGBT people (really suck, as in don't allow second-parent adoption, don't recognize sexual orientation as a protected class), but U-M covers DP and children of DP, by calling them "Other Qualified Adults". I know a lot of queer women in Lansing/East Lansing, and for the most part they're happy there and don't want to leave. That said, I live in A2/Ypsi, so that is secondhand.

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What can you tell me???

What do you need to know? Apartments, restaurants, MSU? I was at MSU for 5 years and lived off-campus for the last. Plenty of apartments north of campus / Grand River, and west and east of there, though transportation becomes an issue the further out you are, particularly to the east. There are a lot of restaurants and bars / pubs on Grand River border the campus itself. Rent isn't too bad. I split a house with 3 friends and paid around $450 per month plus my share of utilities in an area walkable to campus. Noise can be an issue depending on the street / neighborhood, as MSU is a huge school and there are inevitably a lot of parties and frat houses. All in all, I think it's a decent place to be, made better with a car for off-campus excursions (campus itself is doable by bike). Do you have any more specific questions?

There's also another thread further down:

Edited by megumi85

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