Stop Shaming Students For Attending Michigan State

Stop Shaming Students For Attending Michigan State

We’re angry and we want change, but we still love our school.
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The events that have transpired at Michigan State lately have shook me to my core. You hear about these horrible things happening at universities, but when it happens at yours, you can’t help but feel a disgust for the school you go to.

I first came to Michigan State around the same time Larry Nassar was fired. My roommate, being a journalist, kept me updated on the story. Soon I forgot all about it. That was until I returned to school the following fall.

The story I had forgotten began to unravel quickly. The story I once didn’t know much about was all anyone could talk about. Heinous acts of sexual abuse committed on this campus, by a member of the faculty that young girls were supposed to be able to trust. How could this happen here?

It’s no secret Michigan State has an issue with sexual assault, but this was so much more than that. I couldn’t believe this was happening here, at the school I chose to attend. I’m still shocked and saddened by the events that took place on this campus. I feel for the victims and respect their bravery in coming forward. And it gives me hope in seeing so many students stand up and give their utmost support to these victims.

With the recent events, not only has Michigan State been the target of hateful remarks, but the students have too. Before I continue, I want to make clear that the events that happened on this campus are disgusting and inexcusable, and that every member of faculty involved should be punished. But what I don’t agree with is the shaming that every student here has endured for attending this school since these events transpired.

We didn’t choose for this to happen. We are furious that something so horrible could happen at the place we are supposed to feel safe, and the place we choose to call our home three quarters of the year. But in no way are the students responsible for what happened. We’re as shocked and hurt as everyone else learning about what has happened here over the years. But what does shaming us do? What does it help? We didn’t play a hand in what happened, so why are we made to feel guilty about the school we’ve chosen to attend?

I chose to go to Michigan State because I wanted to get the best education I could. Coming from a small town, I wanted to be apart of something bigger, something exciting. As upset as I am with what happened here, I still love my school. Why am I being shamed for that?

Fans from other schools are quick to bring up the sexual abuse that has happened here to try and tear me and others down, and make me feel as bad as I can for attending Michigan State. I just don’t see how that’s fair. Just the other day one of my friends was told by someone that she shouldn’t be wearing her MSU sweatshirt. What used to be playful banter with others on the MSU v. U of M feud has turned into snarky remarks like, “How’s your rapey school?” These comments aren’t just disrespectful to students here, they’re disrespectful to the victims. To turn their abuse into a way to try and justify whatever college sports team they support is better than MSU is disgusting.

I don’t care if you aren’t a fan of MSU. I don’t care if you’re a U of M fan or an OSU fan. Bringing up the recent sexual abuse scandal that happened here to try and bring us down for attending Michigan State is unfair and wrong. Just like I didn’t think it was fair to shame Stanford students during the Brock Turner scandal, I don’t think it’s fair now. It’s wrong and it’s low. Don’t think for one second that not every student here is angry about what happened. We were all shocked and upset when the story broke, and we still are.

The students at Michigan State are NOT to blame for what happened. You know who is to blame? Larry Nassar. And every single member of the faculty who didn’t do anything to stop what was happening. I’m sick of people trying to make me feel like a bad person for the school I’m attending.

Even though I’m disgusted at the events that have occurred here, I still love Michigan State. I’m still grateful that I’m able to go to school here. I still believe Michigan State is a great school. The actions of those who have done wrong here do not represent the students that go here.

We stand with the victims and want everyone involved to receive the punishments that they deserve. We’re angry and we want change, but we still love our school. Stop shaming us just for the fact that we attend Michigan State.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.landof10.com/michigan-state/michigan-state-students-larry-nassar-survivors-paint-rock-support

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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First-Generation Kids of Brown Parents Are Bridging the Gap Between 'Traditional' and 'Modern'

Speaking as a first-generation child of Indian parents, it's going to be a rough and rocky road for us all.

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I didn't realize or think about what it would be like being the first generation in my entire lineage to live in a country other than India. It just never occurred to me that this was a bigger deal than I thought it was. Yes, I would be living on the opposite side of the world than most my family members, such as my grandparents. But growing up in this country with parents that grew up in India, this is more than just a geographical distance between my family members and I.

My parents left India and came to the United States to ensure that their children (my brother and I) would have more opportunities and live a better life. That kind of transition is definitely not easy because they had to abandon their home, their language, their family, and their country to come to a completely foreign land. It required a lot of struggle, sacrifices and a hell of a lot of courage to do this. And I am forever grateful.

But in a way, this is going to be a way more difficult path for my brother and me, along with any other first-generation children of Indian parents. Not in the sense that we will have to uproot our lives to move across the world, but we will have to face a lot of societal and traditional issues. Right now, it seems as if we don't necessarily belong anywhere. We are different from the other people our age whose families immigrated to the U.S. hundreds of years ago. But we are also different from our parents because they cannot relate to us and we cannot relate to them.

While our parents grew up in a land where things are done a certain way and traditional rules must be followed, it is a little different for us. Growing up in a "melting pot" country where there is diversity of race, religion, and thoughts and ideas, we are constantly exposed to new things.

We were always given the freedom to think and say what we believed and wanted. We have a lot more room for expression than our parents or grandparents ever did. But even though our parents came to this country and were exposed to these thoughts, they stuck with the beliefs they always grew up with because it is a part of their identity. For us, it's a little different because we grew up and surrounded ourselves with all kinds of new people and thoughts.

As amazing and expressive it feels to have this freedom, it also makes it more difficult for first-generation kids because we are going to have to stand up to tradition and introduce these new ideas to not only our parents to all of society. These ideas include dating and love marriages, the extent of religious beliefs and our own faith in God, how to raise kids, distribution of responsibilities in a family where both the husband and wife work, etc.

Our families have done things a certain way for generations and generations, and for the first time, this is going to be disrupted. There is going to be a change in tradition, a revolution. And it's going to be us first-generation children of Indian families that are going to have to bridge the gap between "traditional" and "modern." It's going to be a difficult road, but in the end, it will be worth it because our future kids will have a more open-minded family and society to be a part of.

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