The Courier

We Hear You Ladies

Carlos Peterson, Editor-In-Chief

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Here we are again. Last spring, I wrote a piece that evoked a lot of unbridled loyalty from many Penn State alumni, telling them that the money and power is too large in our university athletic and academic system and that the humanity of individuals will begin to blur. Now, nine months after the blatantly insensitive comments made by Al Lord of the Penn State board of trustees, a situation equal in horror reared its head at Michigan State University and its leadership’s blatant disregard for the safety of their student body.

Every year parents send their daughters off to large public universities entrusting those in power to keep them safe and nurture a welcoming academic culture. In the case of Michigan State, allowing their cash cows to flourish under the circumstances of multiple sexual assault cases was far more important. These did not include the reports that were deterred from being reported by the campus police as well as ones dismissed by Athletic Director Mark Hollis. In the latest chapter of enabling campus assault culture, the public has reached a breaking point. MSU needs to lose its athletic program for what Outside the Lines of ESPN described as a sexually hostile environment in which Michigan State University deliberately ignored the horrified pleas of sexual assault survivors.

Larry Nassar, the former physician for the MSU athletic department was the small window into the tone deaf and ignorant culture of big money athletics. It’s all a sham. The commercials during the breaks of football and basketball telling young potential applicants how different and special their university is are all a hoax. Money and power are all that matters in this system. Since 2007, there have been 16 cases of sexual assault under the guise of football coach Mark Dantonio as well as multiple cases involving basketball players under coach Tom Izzo. The hollow statements from the coaches saying we need to find solutions following this uncovering must be ignored. They don’t mean a damn thing.

Even in the face of knowing that the writing was on the wall, Board of Trustee member Joel Ferguson gave a disgustingly tone deaf interview to which he was unwilling to equate his situation to any of the ones that occurred at Penn State and Baylor. Instead he chose to refer to the Nassar situation as a “thing” rather than what it was – a tragedy. He later hollowly apologized saying that isn’t what he intended to say.

This has to be the beginning in unearthing the money of college athletics and the power structures in the university system across the country. More importantly we as people have to give a voice to those who are vulnerable and have had their voices muted in times of peril. We must continue to be vigilant and believe those who are confiding in our presence. This systematic suppression weighs on my conscious. It is depressing knowing that the needs of the university will be prioritized ahead of the safety of students. We as potential students of four-year universities must demand more. Willful ignorance simply isn’t a viable response anymore.

My thoughts are with the survivors and how to find a solution to this problem. I know Michigan State can’t be the only one trying to protect the brand at all costs. Humanity can never seem to overcome the conscious of those in power. When will money, reputation and winning go by the wayside in pursuit of doing the right thing?

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We Hear You Ladies