Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Too Bad, So Sad: It's Gross, but Safe

If you walk into the bathroom that you're expected to use for the next school year and find yourself looking at this, you would be concerned.

A great majority of on-campus students at Michigan State University are disgusted with that quality of water that is provided for their use for showering, drinking, and washing their clothes.

It's not just the appearance of the water, it's also the smell and the taste.

Rita Yarber, a nursing and social work sophomore, who lived in Emmons of Brody Complex last year, was shocked when she first saw the water and then smelled it. The combination of sulfuric and metallic scent, made her cringe when she had to brush her teeth with it.

Despite this, Douglas MacDonald, who works for MSU Utilities and Waste Management and oversees the water-works division, said student's concerns are "purely aesthetic."

He said that the discoloration and smell comes from naturally occurring iron oxide, or rust, and that the levels in the water are completely safe. He said that the Water Quality Report, compiled in 2008 reaffirms this.

Many students refuse to drink the water as is and are forced to buy either bottled water or water filters, simply because they prefer the taste.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Researchers Dig Deeper into Factors that Cause Suicides at Big Ten Universities

In effort to curb campus suicide, Michigan State University's Counseling Center adopted QPR: Question, Persuade, Refer; a method of suicide prevention training that was recommended by Dr. David Novicki, a professor and counselor at MSU's Counseling Center.

The training deals chiefly with the idea that the most effective way to prevent suicide is to directly ask someone if they are thinking about ending their life. Novicki hopes the practice of this method among MSU Residence Life and other staff and students will result in a decreased number of overall suicide attempts.

Novicki revealed that he is among a group of specialists that are studying student suicides among Big Ten schools.

The intention of the new study is to delve deeper into what factors cause students to choose to end their lives, to recognize trends in such things as majors and other defining factors. Novicki said that the biggest challenges stem from accurately determining the cause of a suicide after a person has died, as well as how difficult it is to obtain information surrounding attempted or completed suicides from law enforcement.