Guest column: Morgan McCaul, sister survivor
My name is Morgan McCaul, and I’m 18 years old.
Six years ago, I became a member of the Spartan community in the most unfortunate, perverted of ways. I endured unspeakable acts on this campus, things which forged my future forth in a direction completely out of my control.
As a result of those breaches of my tiny, prepubescent body and subsequent breach of my faith in this school, Michigan State University has broken, battered, and slandered my intellectual ability in the media. It has stalked and compiled my online activity for months and then shut me out in the most critical of days. Of utmost tragedy, this university literally robbed me of a life and childhood I’ll never get to experience, as it stole from so many other girls just like me.
And still, I choose to love this university.
I was only 12 years old when I limped into the MSU Sports Medicine clinic to meet a monster, my torn hip flexors a souvenir from a ballet class gone wrong. It was 15 years after Larissa Boyce had reported her assault to Kathy Klages, the first of many MSU employees who informedly chose to protect a predator over protecting a child. Subsequent reports to MSU employees in 1998, 1999 and 2004 failed to ensure my safety.
Despite the incredible, seemingly endless stream of ineptitude and callousness pouring forth from the Hannah Administration building, I choose to love this university.
Flooded with messages after each protest we staged, I heard the cries of faculty, staff, and students appalled by the heinous acts committed by the administration. I listened to them rally around the Sister Survivors, but more outstandingly for something greater than themselves.
I choose to love this university, because I have seen the depths of its insufficient policy firsthand and endured the painful reality of that negligence. And in doing so, I’ve seen how far we need to come.
We, as Spartans in our diverse set of ways, are calling for a revolution, and our pledge to change this campus for the better has no expiration date. As we charge forward into our collective future, we cannot afford to stand idly by.
I’m calling on you, as that little girl who faced excruciating and unfamiliar pain on Larry Nassar’s exam table, to call for democratization of the Board of Trustees as per ReclaimMSU’s policy proposals so that this attack on students’ rights can never happen again.
I’m calling on you, as the 17-year-old college freshman who missed her final chemistry exam to plead with the Board of Trustees for transparency, to demand a complete overhaul of university staff who perpetrate or allow sexual misconduct. We shall not tolerate the culture of abuse as it stands today, and we shall not accept proven enablers to remain on payroll.
And I’m calling on you, as the young woman whose world has been turned upside down and shattered into pieces, to demand that Michigan State University reopen Amanda Thomashow’s Title IX investigation. Because until we remedy the injustice of our recent past, we cannot manage to look to a brighter future.
Continue this work, Spartans Will...
Editor's note: Morgan McCaul is a survivor of ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse. She has become an advocate for strengthened sexual assault awareness on college campuses.