In the wake of the latest developments regarding the Larry Nassar case, Michigan State University students gathered April 25 morning in protest of the Board of Trustees’ refusal to hand over 6,000 documents to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
Nessel requested the documents connected to the Nassar investigation multiple times, but MSU has denied all requests. This is not the first time this school year that the board has been in hot water with the students. In the fall of 2022, university president Samuel Stanley resigned after several months of pressure from the Board of Trustees regarding an investigation involving former Business College dean Sanjay Gupta and a Title IX violation.
Positioned beneath the Michigan state flag, about 10 students stood in front of the Administration Building to share their grievances. MSU junior Charlotte Plotzke organized the event herself, citing that she used her platform on social media to reach as many students as she could. Plotzke and fellow MSU student Clarissa Mata planned one other event this year, a gun prevention rally in February after the shooting on campus.
“I want to see a complete change in the Board of Trustees,” Plotzke said. “Personally, I would like them to resign and I would like to build the board back up again with reasonable people who aren’t tied into money. I want to see a complete shift. The only thing I will settle for is these documents being released.”
Plotzke emphasized that the protest was meant to be for the students, as they are the ones the board is supposed to be supporting. She also pointed out the proximity of these developments to finals week, feeling a sense of deception since the students cannot put a halt on their studies to protest.
“It sends a really bad message,” junior Bella Plumaj said at the event. “We don’t even know how many sexual assault survivors are on this campus because not all of them are documented. This does not make them feel valued or respected or listened to.”
The students, while relatively few in number, made sure that they would still be heard, Plotzke prepared with a megaphone. They stood outside for about an hour and a half, even gaining the attention of local news networks and were featured as the top story on the Channel 6 noon broadcast. Plotzke and the other protesters made one thing clear: this fight is far from over and that they will be back.
“This is my school, we’re supposed to be proud to be here,” Plumaj said. “When stuff like this happens, when people are protecting abusers and not survivors, it doesn’t make me feel proud.”