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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I'm An Education Major Because I Know Firsthand That Teachers Can Make All The Difference In The World

"You're my teacher, but I need you to be so much more than that."

cpabel
cpabel
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This is my third semester student teaching in an elementary school classroom.

It has been an absolute honor and joy to work with elementary age students. They are so full of excitement, energy, curiosity, and ambition. It's such a breath of fresh air to be around these children and help them learn, grow, and develop into who they will eventually become one day. Going into this experience, I knew that I was going to be making a difference.... but I didn't know how much of an impact I would make on some of my students.

Growing up, I was very fortunate, loved, and cared for. I never had to wonder where my next meal was coming from or when I would see my parents again.

Unfortunately, this is not the reality that a lot of my students live in. They live in my nightmare.

There have been several times that I have arrived to my school to see a child crying, absent from school, or secluding themselves. My first semester student teaching, I didn't think much of this. It's not abnormal for children to cry over spilled milk or to seclude themselves from their friends because they've had a fight.

These inferences were far from the truth. These children are living a life that I could not even begin to understand.

At the beginning of this semester, I had a student say to me: "You're my teacher, but I need you to be so much more than that." When this student said this to me, I said yes of course and that I'll do everything to help her. Little did I know, there was so much I didn't understand in that one sentence. After a few weeks, I learned that this little girl was being raised by her elderly grandmother because her father had committed suicide and her mother was so high on drugs that she couldn't even take care of herself and was in and out of jail.

Wow. No child deserves to start their life off this way or live this way. What can I do? How can I help? How can I make a difference?

Being a teacher is so much more than just teaching students how to add/subtract, read, or complete a science project. You're teaching children to someday become young, knowledgable, and responsible adults. But how can we do this if they don't even have responsible adult figures in their life at home? It's so important to be more than just this child's teacher. If you gain their respect and trust, you can make all the difference in their life.

This student and I had created a bond. For some reason unknown to me, she gravitated towards me as soon as I stepped in the classroom. The first few weeks we made small talk, but in recent weeks, she has told me that she feels alone. She feels unloved. She feels responsible for her dad's death and her mom's pain.

Talk about having your heart ripped out of your chest.

I hid my tears. I didn't dare cry in front of her. I stayed strong. I want to be a rock in her life. I want to remain stable and help her through her pain. I want to make school an enjoyable and safe environment for her. I want to see her succeed. I want to see her make meaningful and great friends. I want to see her blossom and overcome the struggles that she has endured in her short ten years of life. Being a teacher is such a wonderful experience, but it definitely is trying and hard. When you see a child, treat them like the beautiful souls that they are. You may not have a single clue in this world what they're going through at home.

They may be stronger and more mature than you are as an adult. Be kind. Love one another. Make a difference.


cpabel
cpabel

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To The Generation That Might Not Care, A Green New Deal Is Crucial

Take care of our planet and our future.

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The reality of climate change and method to address the issue has been a source of contention in the United States for far too long. While Republicans trail behind Democrats a great deal in the percentage who believe long-term, irreversible climate change is a real problem, an equally if not more important gap to acknowledge is that between generations.

A universally taught science concept in elementary school is the difference between weather and climate. Weather is the day-to-day condition of the atmosphere — rainy, sunny, etc. Climate is the weather of a particular geographic location over a long period of time. The weather in an area may be snowy on a particular January day but might overall have a warm climate (Trump has yet to learn this concept).

The gap between generational support for not only believing in the reality of climate change but if the government should take steps to prevent further harm on our planet is apparent. A few reasons that older generations may not support aggressive climate change policies are that many are not going to see the lasting impact of their harmful actions, may not want to acknowledge that their way of life for a majority of their life was detrimental to the environment, or that they simply do not think it is the government's role to further regulate current practices and lifestyles in the name of the environment (an argument supported by many conservatives).

Data For Progress

The "Green New Deal," proposed earlier this month by Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward Markey is mainly a list of ideas and goals rather than a carefully laid-out plan, though aims to eliminate greenhouse emissions through the creation of millions of jobs in the renewable energy industry, moving toward public ownership (a major source of disagreement among Republicans and Democrats), and much more. This plan is a comprehensive overview of many sources of environmental degradation that our nation has not addressed, despite the majority of the nation believing the climate change is a real issue.

There will undoubtedly be a major shift in the operations of many companies due to aggressive climate change policies, which could have been avoided at a drastic level if our nation had chosen to make climate change prevention a priority. Unfortunately, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global temperatures will rise to an irreversible level in 12 years if the United States and other countries that greatly contribute to rising temperatures do not take action. A sense of urgency has been lacking for far too long is crucial.

Written into the recently proposed Green New Deal is a section detailing how it will attempt to remedy the inequality of those most directly impacted by climate change. Vulnerable communities, particularly communities of color, are not seeing an equitable distribution in disaster funding to prevent damage inflicted by the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters that have resulted as an increase in rising global temperatures — Which, regardless of your age, should be a glaring flaw in our current system.

I personally doubt that the entirety of the recently proposed Green New Deal will be enacted, however, I believe that anyone who values the quality of human life, clean air, clean water, food sources, for not just those in the United States, but around the world, should be supportive of a Green New Deal.

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