While the MSU community works to heal from sexual assaults by Larry Nassar, students and faculty alike are looking for a person to bring about change, hope, and a new way of life for the university. MSU sophomore and Nassar survivor Kat Ebert, said she hopes to do exactly that. “Yes, it was horrible. “But, I feel like it has helped me find my calling. I want to help other people, and I’ll do whatever it takes.”
— Kat Ebert
Ebert said counseling resources on campus are very limited, especially now that demand has become so high.
Lansing area students had an opportunity to display their artwork and hopefully win awards for their outstanding efforts. The Michigan State University Federal Credit Union, The Capital Area Women’s Lifestyle Magazine and The M3 Group hosted this event.
On a morning where members of the MSU community they thought they would be a part of a conversation, they ended up in a crowd outside. Inside the Hannah Administration building, the Board of Trustees were making decisions that didn’t sit well with many.
It’s no secret that families who share neighborhoods with students from a major university face unique circumstances. In the city of East Lansing, permanent residents often find themselves living in close proximity with students who live lifestyles completely different from their own. Naturally, some frustration among permanent residents regarding the more raucous lifestyle of college students is to be expected. “If the partying didn’t go on as much as it does along M.A.C. (Avenue) I’m sure people would be very happy,” said Jim Levande, an East Lansing native. “After a big game weekend if you walk along M.A.C. you’re gonna find all kinds of empty beverage containers,” Levande said.
In the wake of Larry Nassar’s sex abuse scandal at Michigan State University, staff members, professors, and students alike are feeling the stress of a university whose future seems uncertain.
Following two major protests on campus, a state and federal investigation, and a vote of no confidence in the Board of Trustees from MSU faculty during a recent televised emergency meeting, attitudes on campus toward the university can be complicated. One professor, Dave Sheridan, feels let down. “I certainly feel troubled, I feel that MSU as an organization failed and we clearly need to do better. And so we need to all work together to makes sure we will all do better in the future,” Sheridan said.
As Michigan State University continues to confront the effects of the Larry Nassar scandal, the surrounding community weighs in on whether the fallout could damage East Lansing’s reputation. Michigan State University is experiencing faculty resignations, disciplinary action, and ongoing investigation in the wake of its association with a sexual abuse scandal involving over 250 victim reports nationally. For East Lansing, the home city of MSU, collateral damage is still being assessed. “Obviously, people are thinking about the issue,” said Kathy Schaefer, a partner with Communications and Research, Inc., a public relations firm in East Lansing. “It’s in their minds.
When a crisis of tremendous magnitude occurs, it is sure to impact people on many different levels. This has been the case with the Larry Nassar crisis, as this issue has affected far more than just those affiliated with Michigan State University. Although people will most notably associate Nassar with Michigan State University, the rest of the city of East Lansing could suffer setbacks from this tragedy as well. Shanna Draheim is an alumnus of MSU, and current East Lansing City Council member and resident, as such she has a unique perspective on the crisis. “As a city official, I’m happy to see that steps are now being taken to address some of the structural failures on the part of MSU,” Draheim said.
Although the Larry Nassar situation might be detrimental for the reputation of Michigan State University, it does seem that the city surrounding the university will be able to survive from the repercussions. It does not seem that the incident will have a strong effect on the local economy. “Honestly I can’t see a connection on that one. I’m not sure why there would be a connection there,” said Tim Dempsey the director of East Lansing’s Planning, Building & Development Department. “ I can’t imagine how.
Following the Larry Nassar sentencing in January, there have been many discussions in East Lansing concerning rape culture at Michigan State University. Concerned community members shared their thoughts regarding this issue after the Nassar allegations blew up in the media. Kintla Striker, an East Lansing resident, owns her own yoga studio and has worked with many sexual assault survivors through yoga therapy. “I have been writing to the university for years about the number of sexual assault survivors that I see who feel unsupported and who feel too afraid to speak up at the university and about their care of sexual assault survivors,” said Striker. Striker explained that she has seen this issue for years, and that “the Nassar issue just blew it up.”