Thursday, November 26, 2020

Several Michigan legislators call for MSU President Simon's job

January 18, 2018
<p>On June 5, 2017, at the Hannah Administration Building. Statements were made by then-President Lou Anna K. Simon and Trustee Brian Breslin based on the findings of the Jones Day Law Firm's report on the MSU football programs compliance.</p>

On June 5, 2017, at the Hannah Administration Building. Statements were made by then-President Lou Anna K. Simon and Trustee Brian Breslin based on the findings of the Jones Day Law Firm's report on the MSU football programs compliance.

Photo by Jon Famurewa | The State News

As of Thursday, all four leaders in the Michigan Legislature called for the removal of MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof and Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich called for Simon to be fired by the MSU Board of Trustees, according to Gongwer.

Also on Thursday, Michigan House Minority Leader Sam Singh and Sen. Curtis Hertel called for Simon to resign.

In a joint statement, Singh and Hertel denounced Simon's handling of the scandal regarding ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar, saying the current administration was "unable to handle" their responsibility to help the university recover from the damage Nassar caused.

"We owe it to every survivor who had to endure this horrific torture to ... ensure that changes are made at the university to prevent this from ever happening again," they said in the statement. 

Nearly 140 women have come forward with accusations of sexual abuse against Nassar.

Hertel said the joint statement was issued because Michigan State needs "a cultural change" as it relates to the handling of sexual assault allegations.

"We have an epidemic of sexual assault, and I think that survivors deserve to be treated with respect and with belief," Hertel said. "There has not been a culture created where those people feel like they're getting justice." 

The lawmakers, who both represent East Lansing in the Michigan Legislature, join a growing cast of state legislators who have either suggested Simon resign, or called for her resignation outright.

House Speaker Tom Leonard, Sen. Margaret O'Brien and Sen. Rick Jones are among the names that have explicitly called for Simon to step down.

O'Brien is an MSU alumna.

Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker and Rep. Kim LaSata have avoided explicitly demanding Simon's resignation, but appeared to suggest it would be a proper response.

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