Thursday, September 28, 2023

Student plans protest against Board of Trustees following denial of Nassar document release

April 24, 2023
<p>The Rock on Farm Lane on June 22, 2021. </p>

The Rock on Farm Lane on June 22, 2021.

Photo by Chloe Trofatter | The State News

After Michigan State University's Board of Trustees denied Attorney General Dana Nessel's request for thousands of long-withheld documents relating to the disgraced ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar, students reacted furiously and planned to protest the Board's decision.  

Communications and music junior Charlotte Plotzke called for students to join the protest at 11 a.m. on April 25 at the Hannah Administration Building to hold the Board of Trustees accountable. 

Plotzke said it filled her with rage that the Board was protecting Nassar, as it was harmful to the community of Spartans, especially those who were abused by Nassar. 

"He has inflicted so much harm on the community and so many people," Plotzke said. "So I did only what I really knew I could, which was trying to gather a group of people, as large as possible to protest this decision." 

Plotzke said students who have experienced sexual assault are going to feel disturbed by the university's choice.

"By (the board) doing this, it could make (students) feel like they're not being represented," Plotzke said. "(This decision) shows that they're not taking sexual assault seriously and setting an example for the entire world to see that they're not going to do anything about this." 

Valerie Von Frank, the mother of a Sister Survivor and president of a survivor advocacy group, said she was glad that there is a demonstration against the Board of Trustees as the decision affected many students. 

"It's time for victims to come forward and show that they are not gonna put up with this anymore," Von Frank said. "Victims' rights are really important." 

Results from MSU's second-ever Know More Survey show that during the 2021-22 academic year, 24.8% of undergraduate cisgender women experience sexual assault since enrolling in MSU. 

"We have waited since September 12 of 2016, when we first heard the news (about Nassar) for some accountability and justice," Von Frank said. 

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