Survivor Morgan McCaul to call for structured sex assault policies at MSU
Survivor of ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse and University of Michigan freshman Morgan McCaul plans to address MSU's Board of Trustees at its next meeting on Friday.
On Tuesday, McCaul spoke out about her concerns for MSU at Take Back the Night, a day-long event meant to shed light on domestic violence and sexual assault. She said the continuing allegations surrounding MSU’s athletic programs — not just the Nassar situation — add to the need for MSU's administration to develop a more grounded sexual assault response team.
“Their (the University of Michigan’s) department is much bigger and much more comprehensive than what exists on this campus,” McCaul said. “I think it’s disgusting that they (MSU) don’t increase the breadth of their programs to accommodate for this.”
McCaul also said neglecting the creation and enforcement of such programs leaves women on campus susceptible to sexual assault.
“There’s multiple breakdowns in their programs,” McCaul said. “I think they had, to begin with, negligent policy, but then they also failed to enforce that policy. I think there’s a dual breakdown there, and it completely leaves women on this campus vulnerable to perpetuated assault.”
Because of this, McCaul and several other students, faculty and alumni have remained firm in their calls for the current members of the MSU Board of Trustees to resign. McCaul, along with members of advocacy group Reclaim MSU, plan to air their concerns before the board on Friday.
“I think that this existing board as we know it have proven themselves, time and time again, to be incompetent and unqualified to be charged with protecting children,” McCaul said. “I think their resignation is long overdue.”
McCaul said it would be appropriate for the MSU Board of Trustees to follow the actions of the USA Gymnastics governing board, as all of its members resigned in the wake of the Nassar crisis in January.
“USAG — their entire board was forced to resign after they were threatened with withholding funds,” McCaul said. “They’ve completely changed their administration at that organization in response to the Nassar case. I think it’s more than appropriate here to do the same.”
In terms of what she wants to come out of the entire crisis surrounding MSU, McCaul also said the university must take responsibility for enabling Nassar and others before any further progress can be made.
“I don’t think that we can make any progress, or at least my healing can’t make any progress in regards to the university until they do that very first step,” McCaul said. “It’s what I’ve been waiting for here, and it’s what they’ve refused to acknowledge for decades.”
Madeline Van Eck, an organizer for Take Back the Night, talked about the reason McCaul was asked to speak at the event. To her and others, McCaul provides a voice to address in-depth how sexual assault is dealt with at MSU.
“She spoke about her own experience as a Nassar survivor and then also spoke to the way sexual assault is being dealt with on this campus and kind of how sexual assault looks different to all survivors, and that you can’t weigh one sexual assault as being more severe or less severe than other sexual assaults,” Van Eck said. “Sexual assault is sexual assault.”