ComplicitMSU is back

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Midwestern State University has not done enough to address its deeply rooted history and culture of sexism, sexual assault, harassment and racism. During my time as a student, I have concluded from the total lack of action on the university’s part that the hostile climate is reinforced through administrators who are not “committed to providing a safe, inclusive community.”

#ComplicitMSU was formed in the spring of 2018 as a platform for students’ concerns that were being silenced. The overall goal was to demand accountability for the learning environment that was being promoted as safe and inclusive while actually being a toxic dumpster fire that promoted violence and harassment. We were gaslighted by administrators who told us our concerns were not valid, scolded for speaking out, and some even lost student jobs on campus as a direct result of questioning what actions the administrators were going to take to mend the toxic culture they help reinforce. It was clear then and it’s clear now; Midwestern State University is not committed to providing a safe or an inclusive community for students, staff or faculty. 

While I maintained the @complicitmsu twitter page, I received, on average, five messages per day for several months detailing individual accounts of sexual assaults, stalking, racism, harassment and improper interactions between students and faculty. What started as a campaign advocating action on cases of sexual assault and harassment, quickly evolved to address the broader issue of the campus’s systemic problem that perpetuates a culture of violence and harassment. 

It is no secret that the campus has been plastered with flyers promoting racist, sexist and xenophobic causes. I have documented and removed three flyers over the course of three years. Others have gone to the police department to report the signs only to have nothing done about them. One flyer titled “Save the Males” was encouraged by a former faculty member of MSU.

Faculty and staff on campus face abuse too. It was reported that a box of bananas was left in a residence hall with the note “For your n-word employees.” This event was made private by the housing director. This housing director also demanded it is kept quiet that individuals with no-contact orders were allowed to be RAs with access to room keys, that an RA accused of sexual misconduct would only have a weekend suspension as punishment, and that removing individuals who questioned these actions be removed from their positions.

These are just a few of the things that have happened. The list could go on and on. The point is that the list is still going on and on because no real impact has been made. No real action has happened. No one in the administration has taken the step to critically examine the system they stand on and attempt to enforce meaningful policy. The administrators are cowards for choosing the voices of hate. The administrators are cowards for hiding behind empty words. The administrators are cowards for allowing a culture that supports white supremacy, sexual assault and harassment, and violence on their campus.

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