Living our values

As Spartans, we take pride in our daily work, achievements and sense of purpose to make the world a better place for all. And we hold ourselves accountable when we don’t live up to our expectations.

We must do better for survivors of relationship and sexual violence on our campus. We must protect all who live, work, study and visit here. We must create a culture of awareness, but also of action — to protect, to educate and to ensure lasting change.

Students, faculty and staff have shown their support for survivors in numerous ways, from classroom discussions and projects that address issues of sexual assault and relationship violence to signs of solidarity like painting the Rock and wearing and distributing teal ribbons.

Many campus leaders — students, faculty and staff — are using their voices to encourage and to engage the MSU community in important conversations and the work of moving forward. Following are some examples.


June Pierce Youatt, MSU Provost
"We spent a lot of time thinking about academic success and we continue to. We have a number of things going on in that arena, but part of student success is making sure that our students can be fully engaged, not just in the classroom, but outside the classroom and activities. That means making sure they really are healthy, emotionally healthy as well as physically healthy."

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Lt. Andrea Munford, MSU Police Department
"Shame on us if we don't share what we know. Because it's really, really important to have this knowledge established in police departments and other agencies, to be able to support survivors."

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Eight Deans wrote an op-ed article
"These three imperatives – to keep the lessons of our current crisis in front of us, to interrogate and redress all unjust structures, and to create a culture of shared empathetic leadership -- point to a paradigm shift in higher education. Only by creating communities in which everyone has the opportunity to be heard, feel valued and ultimately to succeed, we will create a new culture of inclusion and empowerment."

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Jessica Norris, former associate vice president, Office for Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance
"At MSU we are not simply addressing an issue but building a supportive culture - a culture that doesn't tolerate this type of behavior, that holds people accountable, and that works together to prevent incidents from happening."

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Ron Hendrick, dean, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
"It is absolutely incumbent upon us to assess our cultures to create lasting change wherever necessary. I stand here knowing that this work matters. I’ve seen it transform people. When voices are heard, seats at the table given, respect and dignity offered, people change. We rise to challenges we never considered attainable. We work harder than ever before because we share responsibility. Our lives become richer for the relationships we develop with people we never knew."

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Prabu David, dean, College of Communication Arts and Sciences
"We have to find a fiber of resilience, spun in green and white. We have to look failure straight in the eye and acknowledge failure with humility. We have to search for meaning in the broken shards and commit with steely resolve to restore lost dignity."

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"Finding the right words begins with active listening. And active listening is the first step toward being an active voice for positive change."

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Liz Schondelmayer, student, College of Social Science and College of Communication Arts and Sciences
"I see survivors supporting one another, students supporting survivors and faculty and staff supporting students."

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Rachel Croson, dean, College of Social Science
"I believe that MSU will ultimately be defined by how we respond to this tragedy and the legacy we create beginning now.  This is a critical moment for us to lead and to teach."

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Christopher P. Long, dean, College of Arts and Letters
"Let the courage and power of the women who have spoken so publicly and eloquently stand as a model for us. Let us continue to learn. Let us remain open and honest so we can create the university we expect ourselves to be."

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Cheryl Sisk, interim dean, College of Natural Science
"The path we are now on will undoubtedly be difficult at times. The example set by these women and girls stands as a model of inspiration and right action for all of us. May we, as a university community, emulate their bravery and resilience as we seek to forge a culture of responsibility, respect and mutual support at MSU."

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Mike Brand, executive director, Wharton Center for Performing Arts
"There will be a long road toward healing and change — a road paved with compassion, empathy and attentive listening. Our focus is, and needs to be, on the survivors and on our community."

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Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, dean, Honors College
"There are paths forward that can help bring truth, healing, wholeness, and restoration for the survivors, first and foremost, as well as the MSU community. May we have the wisdom and courage to choose wisely."

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Lisa Mulcrone, editor, MSUToday
"We now shoulder the immense responsibility of making sure this never happens again here or anywhere. The task is great, but we can rise to the challenge. There is no other option. Spartans Will."

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Ron Hendrick, dean, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
"We must speak the truth, hold one another accountable and create a more just and responsive community. I stand in support of those survivors who have shared their stories and those who cannot yet share theirs."

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Sanjay Gupta, dean, Broad College of Business
"At a university, we have a special responsibility for creating environments where people feel empowered to speak, and ensuring the safety of our students and the MSU community."

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Randolph Rasch, dean, College of Nursing
"We are listening, we are sorry and we are committed to championing change."

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Robert Floden, dean, College of Education
"As educators, we have a special responsibility for creating environments where people feel empowered to speak, and those in positions of power are ready to listen."

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Kaitlin Dudlets, student, Communication Arts and Sciences
"It’s no secret the Spartan community has been shaken. Determined to pick up the pieces, many students have taken to the streets in protest, while others appeared at administration meetings or adorned the campus—and themselves—with teal in a display of solidarity."

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Brendan R. Watson, assistant professor, School of Journalism, College of Communication Arts and Sciences
"We also have an opportunity to turn our tragedy into something positive. Collectively, we can end the silence around sexual violence so we can begin to start working towards more awareness, better support for survivors, and prevention of this epidemic in our society. It’s time we all find our voice."

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Los Angeles Spartans board, Alumni club
"WE are Spartans and WE reclaim what it means to be a Spartan. Let’s show the world WE are more, WE care, WE listen and WE SPARTANS WILL be part of the healing."

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