Editorial: History still has its eyes on MSU
It took a village of complicit individuals in places of power to create a safe haven for Larry Nassar. It will take an unwavering horde of vigilant, courageous individuals to dismantle it.
Leaving the healing and reformatory process to Interim President John Engler and the Board of Trustees after decades of passivity towards sexual misconduct hasn't resulted in meaningful change.
Survivors of Nassar’s abuse, students, faculty and other members of the MSU community have tried to tear this safe haven down, but pieces of it still remain. Engler and the Board of Trustees, who were called on to resign by The State News and several other entities, are still here.
It is time for them to listen to members of the MSU community pleading for change and reform right outside the doors of the Hannah Administration Building.
It’s simple: We need our leaders to listen to their community and enact change on campus so that history doesn’t repeat itself once more.
History still has its eyes on MSU.
Survivors named themselves and rallied for their rights. Members of the MSU community marched out in the cold Michigan winter day after day. Students tied teal ribbons in bows all across campus and taped posters around bulletin boards and classrooms. Members of the administration remained silent and ignored their responsibilities as leaders.
When it was announced that MSU had reached a $500 million settlement with the 332 survivors of Nassar’s abuse, individuals, including Engler, were quick to suggest this was the moment everyone could move on. However, the thing Engler and the Board of Trustees fail to comprehend is a need for real, legitimate change on campus, including reformed sexual assault policies, programs and accountability.
Just because a settlement has been reached doesn’t mean this university’s severe underlying problems have been fixed. By itself, a monetary settlement will not atone for the unremovable stain that Nassar and his enablers have left on MSU.
Since our leaders refused to resign, it is up to the students and the rest of the MSU community to continue making their voices heard, because these are the voices that should be representing the university.
You should still care about this narrative because you are still a part of it.
Students still need to fight for their voices to be projected on campus because, evidently, they haven’t been listened to yet.
Don’t give up the fight. Don’t stop conducting rallies, protests and marches. Don’t stop starting conversations about why MSU and other universities need to implement institutional reform. Call upon your leaders to ensure that the pain inflicted on hundreds of women because of Nassar’s decades of sexual abuse never happens again.
Breaking stories involving Nassar, former MSU dean William Strampel and other sexual assault-related cases involving the university have continued into the summer. Whether you are approaching this campus for the very first time or returning to it for the very last time, remember the things that have happened at MSU still matter.
Students both new and old have a voice. Use it to call for further accountability among this university’s administration. Use it to demand that Engler and the Board of Trustees answer to the student body.
You have the power to ensure that history doesn't repeat itself at MSU.
The State News Editorial Board is made up of Editor-in-Chief Claire Moore, Content Editor Anna Nichols, Photo Editor Matt Schmucker and Staff Representative Kaitlyn Kelley.