MSU Graduates protest handling of COVID-19

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 10:46 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Friday night protesters stood quite literally on Michigan State University (MSU) President Stanley’s doorstep, demanding for their complaints to be taken seriously. Protestors there outlined their demands to keep themselves and their classmates safe and healthy, and expressed their dissatisfaction with how the university has handled COVID-19.

MSU graduate students stood side by side, singing and chanting outside President Stanley’s home, protesting what they say is the university’s failure to provide safe working conditions as COVID-19 numbers rise.

“We’re hoping to put pressure on the university and make them realize how serious we’re taking this, how serious the faculty is taking this,” said Ava Hill, a spokesperson for the group. “We’re obviously concerned about not just our health and safety but the safety of all the undergrads as well and the whole campus community and we’re hoping that MSU can realize that safety is more important than their bottom line.”

Hill says that if there was a COVID-19 outbreak in a class, or if cases continued to rise, instructors were once able to request for the course to be moved online. However she says, so far, those requests from professors have been denied. Members of the group also claim that the university has failed to pay some graduate students health insurance.

One speaker at the protest said, “I’m here tonight because I want MSU to realize that if they want to uphold their own values that they publicize, they need to start looking at us as people.”

MSU officials wouldn’t go on camera, but did respond to our email saying they respect their right to assemble and have their voices heard.

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