The State – 3/29/21

Haley Sinclair

MSU study abroad office offers virtual experiences, students reflect – Melanie Soverinsky

Each year, many students graduate from Michigan State University after sharing an abroad learning experience. Michigan State offers over 275 credits worth of study abroad and study away experiences with trips ranging from weeks to months.

Students that embarked on a study away experience during the spring 2020 semester had their trips cut short due to COVID-19.

Due to the many restrictions surrounding the global pandemic, the Education Abroad Program has faced many challenges. They have adopted a virtual format to provide learning opportunities to students through their revamped program that runs safely and that still provides somewhat of an abroad experience.

There are several Education Abroad trips planning to run this summer and into the fall. Applications are currently open as health professionals continue to review the specific programs.

‘We will no longer be the silent minority’: Community town hall demands action from MSUEmily Bevard

Following recent acts of anti-Asian violence, the Michigan State University Asian Pacific American Student Organization (APASO), the Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi American/Asian Faculty and Staff Association (APIDA/AFSA) and the Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions (OCAT) hosted a community town hall, demanding action from the university to support its APIDA student population.

MSU Neuroscience Undergraduate Advisor Becky La, on behalf of APIDA/AFSA, stated that since the start of the pandemic, the APIDA and Asian community has continually sat with a lot of grief and anger.

Among the demands placed on the university, the groups called for the removal of MSU alumnus Larry Gaynor’s name from the Eli Broad College of Business Gaynor Entrepreneurship Lab. In 2017, Gaynor and his wife donated $3 million to the Business Pavillion, creating the lab on the ground floor.

In May 2020, Gaynor publicly made several racist remarks, directly discriminating the Vietnamese community and business owners, mocking their accent and demanding they “talk English.” The groups called on MSU to issue an official statement condemning Gaynor’s actions and to create donor accountability practices for future donors so that the university can properly distance itself from those who do not align with university values.

Though Gaynor personally responded with an apology to MSU VSA, many feel as if his words were insincere, ill-written and held insignificant meaning into relieving the troubles inflicted upon the APIDA community as a whole.

Police survey results presented to City Council ‘surprising to no one’Hope O’Dell

At a City Council meeting on Tuesday a survey of 500 East Lansing residents showed Black residents trust East Lansing Police Department officers 45 points less than trust given to police in the overall survey.

City Manager George Lahanas said that this survey will be used as a “baseline” to judge whether changes that have recently been put in place will adjust attitudes toward the police.

According to the survey, 51% of Black residents feel “less safe” than they did this time last year in East Lansing, and 52% said the ELPD does not treat people of color fairly.

This compares to 82% of all residents who said they either felt no change or feel safer. Even among the entirety of the surveyed residents, who were majority white, there was doubt regarding ELPD’s treatment of people of color.

With 22% of residents agreeing that people of color were “not at all” treated fairly. When asked about officers specifically, 56% of Black respondents said people of color are not treated fairly by officers.

Council Member Ron Bacon said that East Lansing has long had a perception problem, that “it’s not really a big secret.” He said the results were “surprising to no one,” and that the job of the City Council was to fix the “brand problem” and to create an environment where all feel welcome and protected by the ELPD.

Script: Kelly Winters