A link to view the magazine is at the bottom of this post.
This particular magazine issue for Spartan has been a long time coming.
As you’ll see in “A Letter to Our Readers”, we were inspired by The PennStater in their empathetic and timely response to their own university’s scandal that broke in 2011. We at Michigan State wanted to send the same message to our own alumni and community through a special Teal Issue.
Seeing the Teal Issue (Spring 2018) on the MSU Alumni Magazine archive, it feels as if I’ve gone through a time machine. This issue is a picture of what it felt like right after the Eaton and Ingham County court hearings on Nassar, where hundreds of Survivors bravely shared their stories. It’s a picture of what it felt like after former President Lou Anna K. Simon resigned. So much has happened since then; changes in administration (again), further developments in Nassar’s case and in William Strampel’s case, etc.
After a lot of research, editorial planning, design, and collaboration, this issue was put on hold for over a year. Out of respect for my employer, I won’t go into details as to the reason behind the delay.
What I will say is that regardless of how long it took, I’m extremely proud of the work that was put into the Teal Issue. We used our platform to help contribute to some sort of healing for the Survivors and for Spartan Nation. We called for experts, students, faculty, and community members to share their experiences, research, and empathy through the power of the written word.
I contributed my own thoughts in an essay titled “The Danger of Unquestioned Authority” where I highlight my experience of knowing Larry Nassar personally. I went to Holt High School from 2012-2015, where he worked as a volunteer with our athletic department. I knew him through our community’s unique clash between the school board and students/parents; Holt switched its freshman campus to house its seniors across the street from our main high school. Nassar was on the side of many students and parents (including my friends and me) that were against the switch. Though his kids were younger than high school age at the time, he essentially led the march against the school board’s decision. He helped a small group of us make signs for school board meetings and continued his facade as a “trusted” community member. Along with many students and Holt community members that knew him personally, I was shocked to hear he was arrested in 2016 and extremely disheartened in the events that followed. As I wrote “The Danger of Unquestioned Authority” I reflected on that feeling of disbelief, and how it feels going forward out of something that felt like the Twilight Zone, to put it lightly.
*TL;DR, I knew Larry Nassar and wrote an essay reckoning with what it felt like to see his disgusting crimes come to light.
I also contributed to the Teal Issue with my article, “The Making of ‘Go Teal'”, which was originally published in ING Magazine’s April/May 2018 issue. I was able to sit down with the amazing students who started the Go Teal movement at MSU. They’ve worked tirelessly to spread awareness of resources and a much-needed conversation around sexual assault. I consider it an honor to be able to tell their story.
Apologies in advance for the formatting and grammatical errors that you may find in this issue. I wasn’t at Spartan to perform a final edit for this issue before it was officially published.