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MSU States ‘Novel Coronavirus’ is the Only “Acceptable” Term, Encourages Signing of Anti-Hate Pledge

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Author: Sergei Kelley

In an email sent by the University on April 2, 2020, eight recommendations were given to handle COVID-19. Staff, faculty, and students were encouraged to sign MSU’s “Hate Has No Home Here” pledge.

Sent by Residence Education and Housing Services (REHS), the recommendations will make “this process more manageable for all of us.” The term ‘novel coronavirus’ was stated as the “correct term” and “no other names are acceptable."

Listed before their eight recommendations, are multiple paragraphs advertising MSU’s “Hate Has No Home Here” statement. Included is a link where students, faculty, and staff can sign the pledge. MSU alleges by signing, you could show “support of an inclusive and hate-free community.”

Being called an “upstander,” MSU highlights we stand up to “racist, dog-whistle, ageist, xenophobic, classist or other speech that divides our community.” Further, the MSU community should, “especially stand up against the denigration of anyone in our Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi American (APIDA) community at this time and in the future days... because we are seeing a rise in anti-APIDA racism.”

Cited in this recommendation, is the racist incident reporting website “Stop AAPI Hate” for acts against the “APIDA community.” Additionally, MSU’s email further says “words matter. This disease does not discriminate.”

Other recommendations are listed, including to “Share financially”, “Be kind and patient with one another,” and “Take care of yourself.”

Weeks ago, The Morning Watch reported on a statement by the Asian Pacific American Student Organization (APASO) of MSU. It cited coronavirus disinformation, unnecessary panic, and “decontextualized videos and memes” as “intolerable acts” leading to discrimination of Asian students at MSU.

Similarly, Lyman Briggs College of MSU released an email saying coronavirus has caused fear and anxiety. Furthermore, “this epidemic may be new, [but] the racist and xenophobic discourse and images on the news and social media are all too familiar.”

MSU’s campus remains open and some students still reside on campus. Classes have been moved online and finals will further be in virtual formats. In addition, MSU announced summer classes will also be online.

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