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.
In regard to an open letter expressing no confidence in the Board of Trustees submitted by students, Sheridan was proud of students for using their voices.
“I was really proud that our students took action in this case and that the three colleges were able to work together on this,” he said. “It was incredible to see three different colleges come together and do something meaningful.”
But many are still working toward change.
“There’s a larger culture change that a some of us are mindful of,” Sheridan said. “It’s all about the mechanics of reporting, it’s also about the attitudes that we bring to our work, that we bring to campus, to ensure we have a culture of respect and not a culture of violence.”
Sheridan hopes that structural changes to the university’s reporting policies will help ensure that violence like Nassar never happens at MSU again.
“All of us need to be proactive in reshaping the university we want to see,” Sheridan said.