EAST LANSING (WWJ) – A bit of drama, not on the agenda, briefly disrupted proceedings as the Michigan State Board of Trustees moved to appoint former Michigan Governor John Engler as the embattled school’s interim president.
Before the vote was held at a public meeting Wednesday, an MSU student gained attendees’ attention when he jumped atop the trustees’ table to make a statement.
“These board of trustees do not speak on behalf of students, staff or faculty at Michigan State,” the young man said. “We would like to make that known to all the media and all the press.”
“This is nothing more than symbolic. There’s been no student or staff or faculty comment on this vote,” he continued, to some scattered, but loud applause from the crowd. “I am not proud to go to this school; I’m not proud of their position.”
Although one trustee calmly asked that the student please stop off the table, the student was allowed to finish his short speech. The student’s name was not immediately known.
Engler’s appointment comes a week after, under immense pressure, Lou Ann Simon resigned from her long-held position as president. As it’s not the board’s intention for Engler to stay on, a search will soon begin to find a more permanent replacement.
These events come as MSU continues to face scathing criticism over former campus sports doctor Larry Nassar’s ability to sexually assault young female athletes for decades under the guise of medical treatment.
Many of the women have the same allegations: During the course of Nassar’s treatments, the doctor inserted “his bare, ungloved and unlubricated hand” while he was supposed to be treating them for sports-related injuries. When one woman reported Nassar’s disturbing “treatments” to MSU training staff, she was allegedly told that Nassar was a world-renowned doctor and that his “inter‐vaginal adjustments” were legitimate medical treatments.
The incidents took place at his Michigan State clinic, his home in Holt and at a Lansing-area gymnastics club, according to Nassars’ more than 100 accusers.
Nassar — who last week was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison —was fired from MSU in September of 2016. The university is facing numerous lawsuits in connection with the case.