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Student Paper Publishes Suppressed Alumni Magazine

August 28, 2018
 
 

Michigan State University’s student newspaper has published the entire censored version of MSU’s summer 2018 alumni magazine, weeks after interim president John Engler spiked it.

The original version included a striking, mostly black-and-white cover image of a woman wearing vivid teal lipstick in support of survivors of Larry Nassar. The replacement image was a plain green message vowing that the university would be “stronger, safer and more competitive than ever before.”

A former U.S. gymnastics team doctor and onetime MSU associate professor, Nassar is serving life in prison after pleading guilty to multiple counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. His victims and their supporters have taken to wearing teal to show solidarity, but the Detroit Free Press reported in June that Engler scrapped a version of the magazine that tackled the abuse case head-on. Sources told the Free Press that Engler saw the planned image of the woman, among others, and said, "Get that teal shit out of here."

The State, the student newspaper, said it had obtained the manuscript from "someone close" to Engler's office.

The original magazine chronicled the history of Nassar’s abuse, as well as topics of gender inequality, the psychological effect of sexual abuse and “a culture of silence,” the newspaper reported Friday. Contributors wrote of being sexually harassed by medical professionals, among other issues.

The approved alumni magazine covered housing, an expansion of MSU’s College of Music building, a medical mission to Iraq and the university’s Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, which is scheduled to become fully operational in 2022.

Writing in the original version of the magazine, journalist and fiction writer Louise Knott Ahern said Nassar’s survivors “deserve to have alumni stand with them and demand answers.” She asked why the university didn’t realize that “normal operations needed to stop immediately” once the full scope of Nassar’s crimes became apparent.

“No more solicitation calls,” she wrote. “No more cheerful Facebook posts. No more business as usual at Board of Trustees meetings. On behalf of survivors, we must demand to know: How did MSU get this so, so wrong?”

MSU fired Nassar in September 2016.

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