In a letter addressed to the Michigan State University community following the recent prison sentence bestowed on Larry Nassar, University president Lou Anna K. Simon announced the establishment of at $10 million counseling and mental health services fund as a commitment on the part of the university to show continued support to Nassar’s victims.
Simon wrote that “Nassar preyed on his victims’ dreams and ambitions, changing their lives in terrible ways,” acknowledging that new and reinforced policies and procedures can’t change what happened, but she hopes the fund will be the beginning of a healing period.
In conclusion, Simon wrote, “To the brave young women who came forward about Nassar, you have my deepest thanks, respect, and sympathy. I am truly sorry for the abuse you suffered, the pain it caused, and the pain it still causes. I am sorry a physician who called himself a Spartan so utterly betrayed your trust and everything this university stands for.”
For some, however, the university’s perceived role in perpetuating a system that ignored abuse is not so easily overlooked. Michigan State representative Kimberly LaSata is calling for Simon’s resignation, accusing the university of demonstrating “an unacceptable inability to provide justice for victims of sexual assault on campus.”
Said LaSata, “The simple truth is we cannot allow something this serious to be mishandled ever again. In my role as chair, I will use every resource at my disposal make sure of that. I plan to hold hearings, get answers, and find solutions to prevent this kind of negligence.”
According to FLOGYMNASTICS, Michigan State University — despite its work to internally review and strengthen its policies and procedures regarding Title IX and medical services — will continue under the legal microscope at risk of incurring multiple civil lawsuits until the rest of Nassar’s sentences are fixed.