Meeting set with MSU president over Wharton Center display

EAST LANSING, MI (WILX) -- Dolls depicting historical African American figures, hanging on tree-like racks were removed from MSU's Wharton Center recently, but the Michigan State Black Alumni Group says just rid of them isn't enough.

MSU Spokesperson Emily Gerkin Guerrant told News 10 that the display at the Wharton Center Gift shop was inappropriate and people were hurt and offended. (Source WILX)

The MSUBA tells News 10 that enough is enough which is why they scheduled a meeting with the MSU President Samuel Stanley to discuss change.

All this comes after the school was not only the subject of another racial incident but was also the butt of a joke on this weekend's episode Saturday Night Live.

But not everyone is laughing at the SNL joke, especially at MSU.

"It's disheartening because we are 2020 now and so it's not even that people feel that this had true intent, but its the unconsciousness we are at day to day where we should be conscious of those things and that's in every culture, every race, especially this being Black History Month what a way to start it," said MSU sophomore, Karena Coffie.

The MSUBA said they scheduled a meeting with MSU's president to not only address this incident but to give recommendations to eliminate future racial incidents on campus.

"We are hoping to talk about several things like having staff reflect the makeup of the student body in terms of race, we want to discuss a zero-tolerance policy for racist acts and accountability, and have a mandatory program focused solely on diversity," said Shondra L. Marshall, the National President of MSU Black Alumni Inc.

A week after the display went up, MSU President Samuel Stanley sent out a letter to the university stating that the Wharton Center will "reevaluate the roles and responsibilities of all its gift shop employees and volunteers" after a mandatory racial-bias education and development training.

But Marshall wants more.

"We do believe that the statement was a great start to the call of action that he mentioned but we are hoping to move that call of action into results," said Marshall.

The MSU Black Alumni Association tell News 10 a date has been set for their meeting with MSU's president, but wouldn't give specific details at this time.

To read the letter Marshall sent to the MSUBA, click to the right of this article.

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