Josh Mansour, State News, October 28, 2011
The Black Student Alliance, or BSA, met with some of MSU’s top administrator’s, including MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon on Friday at Brody Hall, determined to see action in response to a series of racial incidents that have occurred on campus this semester.
The group read off a list of 22 demands they want to see implemented by administrators, with each demand containing an expected date of completion.
Included in the list of demands were the establishment of a multicultural center, the creation of a required course for all students teaching cultural sensitivity and an increase in black students, faculty and staff at the university to match the 15.2 percent of blacks in Michigan’s population, according to U.S. Census data.
The tone of the meeting was contentious with members of BSA’s executive board frequently raising their voice and interrupting Simon on multiple occasions.
At one point when Simon referred to the demands as “recommendations,” BSA Vice President and journalism junior Silver Moore interrupted Simon and responded pointedly.
“You keep throwing around the word recommendation,” Moore said at the meeting. “These are not recommendations or suggestions. If they were suggestions we would put them in a suggestion box. These are demands.”
Simon said the administration would send a written response to the BSA’s demands “in due course,” and said the university has to continue to improve graduation rates and health and safety issues among other concerns.
After the meeting, Simon also said she was disappointed with the way the meeting played out.