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MSU Adds 'Listening Spaces' In Response to Chauvin Verdict

Contributor: David Barton

Michigan State University President, Samuel Stanley, along with multiple groups on campus, have issued statements regarding the trial of former Officer Derek Chauvin.

President Stanley characterized Chauvin’s conviction as “the culmination of nearly one year of calls for justice” in his April 21 statement. “I hope that it brings some measure of justice to the family of George Floyd and the millions of Americans demanding accountability.”

Some activism events, claiming to fight for justice, have resulted in $2 billion dollars in damages, at least 19 deaths, and the livelihood of a black fireman who had just opened his lifelong dream sports bar.

President Stanley also characterizes this outrage as the result of multiple “killings of black Americans.”

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President Stanley finished, saying “It might be difficult to process the outcome of this trial. While we acknowledge that the verdict doesn’t fully address issues of equity, systemic racism and anti-Black violence, we must continue to engage in difficult conversations and support each other as one Spartan community.”

Marlon Lynch, the Vice President for Public Safety and Chief of Police, sent a university-wide email regarding how the “healing process” can now begin.

Several groups, such as MSU Counseling & Psychiatric Services (CAPS), MSU Student Health & Wellness, and the MSU Dean of Students Office have all issued statements relaying their availability to help students cope with their feelings regarding the verdict.

They are open to talking about anything regarding the trial, the incident, and the verdict “if applicable.” The sessions are offered once a day over 5 days. These virtual ‘listening space’ meetings have their own registrations.

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Initially, the listening spaces were intended to be broad about the death of George Floyd, but when the verdict came out on April 20, they added a session for April 21.

The Dean of Students Office stated they are offering “love, support, care, and concern to MSU’s Black students.” They also urged students to attend the CAPS listening spaces and stated their “solidarity today and everyday” with MSU students.

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