March for Transparency calls for clarity in administration
Amid turbulent times at MSU, students are still expressing frustration toward their Board of Trustees.
On Feb. 2 at approximately 5 p.m., a modest crowd gathered around the Rock at Farm Lane to protest a lack of visibility from their administration. On Jan. 31, the MSU Board of Trustees appointed John Engler as interim president following the resignation of former president Lou Ann K. Simon.
Throughout the election process, students have called for increased transparency as a form of reassurance.
Many university bodies, such as the Residence Halls Association, or RHA, have voiced concern about the appointment of Engler as interim president and have even gone as far as to vote no confidence in the Board of Trustees.
Other organizations, such as the LBGT Resource Center, voiced concern with the appointment of Engler and the lack of representation on the Board of Trustees.
Words of frustration were voiced by MSU student Katelyn Kimberly.
”MSU’s institutional response has been sickening but not a surprise,” Kimberly said.
As the march assembled at the Rock, others, such as the student representative for the MSU College of Music, offered their condolences and reassured the crowd that they would be there to assist and give emotional support.
Soon thereafter, the crowd shared a moment of silence while migrating to the Hannah Administration Building. Once congregated, more speeches were given from faculty, students, alumni and concerned parents.
With each protester taking their turn with the microphone, support was drawn from the crowd. The evening culminated in a prepared dissertation from comparative cultures and politics junior Natalie Rogers, who expressed the crowd’s frustration.
“This faculty, student staff coalition will work tirelessly to ensure everyone, no matter their race, no matter their gender, no matter their religion, no matter their sexual identity, is represented and heard," Rogers said during her speech in front of the Hannah Administration Building.
Once the protest had waned, Rogers voiced her concern about the future of MSU.
“I think it can really be positive, I think we are really in a position to be leaders going forward and I think we can really make a change," Rogers said. "We're working to make this happen: faculty, staff and students all coming together so we can have a unified message and we have a unified voice to stand up to the administration, because we outnumber them.”
Comparative cultures and politics junior Samuel Klahn expressed similar points after the protest, but called for a more drastic overhaul on MSU’s culture.
“This isn’t going to be solved with a couple of marches of a resignation or any one singular act," Klahn said. "This has to be a much larger change within the culture of the university and how we view one another and how we love one another as Spartans.”