Michigan State University is home to a beautiful campus and wonderful students. MSU is home to “diversity and inclusivity” and “all are welcome here”, as stated on their website. However, recently surfaced incidents regarding the James Madison College (JMC) at MSU would lead anyone to believe otherwise.
MSU has one of the highest rates of sexual assaults on campus: over 25% of undergraduate women and almost 9% of undergraduate men have experienced sexual assault since being on campus, according to a campus wide survey. Approximately 75% of all sexual assaults go unreported, so the survey results are more accurate than reported numbers, though this number is expected to be higher still.
Sexual harassment is even more common than sexual assault. Roughly 67% of all women undergraduate students have experienced sexual harassment at MSU, according to that same survey.
The MSU College Republicans group is a political group at MSU that contains mainly right leaning students and alumni. This group has a group chat called “The Best Party on Campus!”, where many of these students interact and communicate with one another. Screenshots were obtained by an unknown member of the group chat and sent to a source at The Evening Look (follow the link to view those screenshots).
This group chat of approximately 150 students decided to create fake Instagram and Tik Tok accounts in order to “troll” younger left leaning students that are in the James Madison College at MSU. In their biographies they used the phrases “They/Them”, “Black Lives Matter”, “Protect Trans Women”, “Biden Harris”, and gay pride flag emojis to attract left leaning people. They used these phrases in a mocking manner, in order to make fun of these minority groups and Biden Harris supporters. The students that made them even admitted to using these phrases as “jokes”.
The students that created these accounts then proceeded to follow (mainly women) students in the James Madison College and direct message them. Initially, these direct messages just said “heyyy”. However, these students soon received messages of unsolicited pornography. When a student was asked by another student in the group chat if they really sent porn, they replied “no comment”.
This “trolling” idea was never contested by anyone else in the group chat, rather it was encouraged. When it was found out that unsolicited porn was sent from these trolling accounts, nobody contested that either, though they did not encourage it.
MSU is responsible for properly punishing these students and their actions, or their complacency if they didn’t directly harass other students. Students were sexually harassed, sent unsolicited pornography, online, by other students. MSU needs to be held responsible and properly take action against these students.
MSU has let incidents of sexual assault, harrassment, and hate crimes go unpunished. Just last year, in October 2019, a noose was hung on the dorm door of two black Michigan State students. The students who hung the noose came forward, saying it was “just a halloween prank”. The university proceeded to deem it as a prank and send out an email saying it was “just a prank” but they’ll “look into the students who did that”. There was no follow up information after that, MSU just chopped it up to a prank.
This is not the first time MSU has had incidents of hate crimes on campus. The emails are always the same: everyone belongs here, nobody should feel endangered, blah blah blah. The person who found this on their door informed their resident assistant (RA) and the police. They were told by the police and the RA that there was “nothing they could do” and they “wouldn’t find out who did this” and that they were “sorry”.
MSU police and RAs are notorious for not doing their job to protect students. A Michigan State student was sexually assaulted at an MSU fraternity party. She called the police after it happened to report the incident. The police showed up, accused her of lying, told her she shouldn’t have been drinking, and they weren’t going to do anything about it because she couldn’t prove he was lying.
In a different instance, a Michigan State student was sexually harassed in her dorm room. She informed her RA, and her RA forced her to report the incident to the police, and then told her there was nothing she could do about it and that she wouldn’t be speaking to anyone on the floor to find out who did it. It continued to occur, and the RA said “oh well”.
In yet another instance, a Michigan State student had her personal belongings rifled through and personal clothing items stolen from her by her roommate. She informed her RA that her belongings had been gone through and things were missing. She was told that it was “nothing of value” and she “couldn’t prove anything was missing” so there was “nothing to be done about it”.
In these 4 instances, authority figures at MSU failed to protect their students. They did nothing about racial hate crimes, sexual assault, sexual harassment, or theft. Now, there is not only gender and sexuality harassment towards a broad spectrum of LGBTQ+ MSU students coming from other MSU students, but there is direct sexual harassment of MSU students by MSU students. Students sent unsolicited pornography to other students from burner accounts designed specifically to harass their follow students.
MSU has a duty to protect their students. MIchigan State University needs to take action against the students who were affiliated with these actions. James Madison College needs to take action against its students who have done this. They’re not anonymous, all their names are readily available to read in the screenshots. There is no excuse of “we can’t find them” or “we have no idea who did this, sorry”. We all know exactly who did this, who condoned this, and exactly what they did.
James Madison College was informed about the incident on Monday, November 23rd. Which means Michigan State University was informed about the incident Monday, November 23rd. It is now Wednesday, November 25th and MSU has yet to say anything, make any statements, or take any action. MSU, President Stanley, how do you expect students to feel safe on this campus if you and all your branches of authority excuse racial hate crimes, gender and sexuality harassment, theft, sexual harassment, and sexual assault? Students at MSU will not feel safe until you prove that you will protect us all. Spartans deserve protecting. Protect us. It’s your f***ing job.