A United Front?

By: Megan Kirk

The Black Student Alliance held a program Tuesday evening to discuss a series of recent incidents that have occurred on the campus of Michigan State University.

The emergency town hall meeting, led by BSA President Mario Lemons allowed a platform for students of diverse backgrounds to discuss their feelings toward administration and the situation as a whole.

This past week, a female student had racial slurs written on her Akers Hall door and, in addition to that, a photograph surfaced on Monday of a makeshift noose hanging from the ceiling of the Biomedical building; attached was a black doll.

“This is not the first event. There have been several events that have taken place this year,” said Jasmine Fountain, an executive board member of BSA.

As African-American students filled Conrad Hall, they were also met by faces that did not mirror their own. Many other ethnicities were also in attendance such as Latino, Caucasian and Asian students.

During the program, three student speakers shared their personal experiences with racism on this campus. Each told stories of discrimination in cafeterias, public places and even their own residence halls.

One young lady stood by her sister’s side as she recalled a hurtful message that was written and directed to her.

“I feel bad because it happened to my sister. Normally when you see it happen to somebody else you say ‘oh well that’s sad it happened to them’; but when you see a sign, it affects all black people,” said Tia Sharp, a Nursing junior.

MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon sent an email to the entire student body with one line that Fountain, as well as many other students, found questionable.

“It should go without saying that the University supports free speech including the use of words that are offensive to most in our community,” the email stated. Applause erupted when the line was read, and a stance was taken.

Mario Lemons says this program meant a lot to him.

“It means that the black community is unified and our allies are definitely supporting us,” said Lemons.

MSU’s faculty and administration has requested that no Resident Mentor or anybody employed by the Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions (OCAT aide) disclose any information about the incidents with any media outlets.

The Black Student Alliance is holding another meeting Friday at noon to discuss an action plan.

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