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MSU to outline plans to address concerns of African-American students

Nov 18, 2015

Michigan State University will release plans later today to show it is trying to address the needs of African-American students. 

MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon (left) speaks with students upset by racist remarks and other problems on the East Lansing campus
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

But some black Spartans feel the university is not doing enough.

Many African-American students say they are “uncomfortable” on the East Lansing campus. The students say they are too often the targets of racist remarks by classmates and a lack of university support.

“We need to be here and exist in dignity,” says Mike Wilson, a PhD student at MSU. He and dozens of other students took part in a protest on the East Lansing campus. At one point, the students blocked the entrance to a speech by former President Bill Clinton. The students could be heard chanting while the former president spoke about the need to honor public service.

One of the protesters' demands was to meet with MSU president Lou Anna K. Simon. 

Simon did meet with the students following the president’s speech. The meeting was contentious at times. 

Simon says the university is trying to meet their concerns.

“We’re going to continue to work on it in terms of actionable items … targets and other kinds of things,” says Simon. The MSU president says the university will release a broader plan to meet the students’ concerns later today. 

But the African-American students are doubtful their voices are being heard.