RECLAIM MSU: Group Cites Recent Turmoil as "Shameful Negligence"
February 24, 2019
By: Dave Rogers
Michigan State University is in the midst of reorganizing after a series of incidents that saw a medical doctor, Larry Nasser, go to prison, charges of lying to police against former president Lou Anna K. Simon, and firing of former Michigan governor John Engler as interim president after insensitive comments about survivors.
Without a doubt, this situation is unprecedented in the 164-year history of the university. It demands concerted, equitable action for change.
Activists at Michigan State University have organized for policy changes to address
MSU's long-term crisis of transparency and resulting abuses of power, calling the recent incidents as "shameful negligence."
The movement has arisen in the wake of the Dr. Larry Nassar sentencings for sex crimes, the resignation of President Lou Anna Simon, and the unilateral appointment of Interim President Engler by the MSU Board of Trustees.
Reclaim MSU is an alliance of students, staff, faculty, and alumni at Michigan State University demanding transparency, accountability, and equitable distribution of power and resources from the MSU administration.
A spokesperson for the group says: "Our current actions include: maintaining this central Activism & InfoHub, recruiting volunteers, mobilizing action, and drafting policy recommendations available for any group to use. Any individual or group can join Reclaim MSU.
"We are organizing against all instances of discrimination, violence, and harassment in our community further enabled by administrative neglect. "We stand in solidarity with all those affected by institutional and cultural injustice on our campus and envision a future of substantive justice for the MSU community.
"We are calling for the Michigan State Community to unite and retake our agency from the Administration and Board of Trustees. Our rights to safety, health, justice, voice, equity, and respect to which we are entitled as invested members of the university community are currently not, and for some have never been, fulfilled by our system. We as faculty, staff, and students demand change and are thus working to regroup, recreate, and reclaim our rightful place at Michigan State University.
"MSU Spartans are acting. This hub keeps track of all the public info for campus actions to aid transparency, networking, and synergy. We prioritize info that is not readily available in other news sources. For example, we look for open letters, events, demands, emails, and meeting minutes sent through the MSU community.
To submit info, ask questions, or suggest revisions, email email@example.com or visit the group's Take Action page.
Reclaim MSU, is an alliance of students, faculty, staff, and alumni at Michigan State University formed in response to the insufficiency of our institution?s ability to respond to, prevent and investigate instances of sexual misconduct, violence, and discrimination.
The group issued this statement:
"We condemn sexual violence and rape culture plaguing our campus. We condemn all discrimination based on ability, age, citizenship status, gender, HIV antibody status, nationality, parental and pregnancy status, race, religion, seniority, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and weight on our campus.
"We condemn the lack of functional institutions to investigate instances of sexual gender, HIV antibody status, nationality, parental and pregnancy status, race, religion, seniority, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and weight on our campus. We condemn the lack of functional institutions to investigate instances of sexual misconduct, prevent sexual assault, and support the survivors.
The current administration's attitudes and inactions towards discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence on our campus are unacceptable. In their shameful negligence of these is misconduct, prevent sexual assault, and support the survivors.
The current administration's attitudes and inactions towards discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence on our campus are unacceptable shameful negligence of these issues; they have betrayed the trust of the MSU community. The administration's lack of accountability has enabled them to act against the best interests of the MSU community. As public servants, the Board of Trustees has betrayed the trust of the MSU community. It is time to stop prioritizing the brand and reputation of Michigan State University.
"We must Reclaim MSU. This means valuing the health and well-being of the community through equitable distribution of power and resources. , and transparent. It is time to stop prioritizing the brand and reputation of Michigan State University.
"This means valuing the health and well-being of the community through equitable distribution of power and resources. This means the direct participation of faculty, students, and staff within the administration and the Board of Trustees.
"This means procedural justice where different social groups and stakeholders are represented and have a seat at the decision-making table. This means a safe and inclusive campus that is empowering and fosters a learning environment. This means fostering a culture of both consent and transparency on part of the Board of Trustees and the administration.
In our view, the activists are doing what a great university should do--mobilizing for change with all stakeholders involved. Watch for push-back from the defenders of the status quo.