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Pissed Off MSU: Michigan State’s Newest Student Organization

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

“There is little basis behind their arguments, making them a difficult group to stand behind. They promote the liberal agenda and are not interested in the general advancement of the students, faculty, or staff at MSU.”

Author: John Binkowski

Image from Pissed Off MSU's Facebook Page

A new student organization at MSU has emerged with a vengeance. The group calls itself “Pissed Off MSU” or POM. According to The State News, the group was founded in backlash of Richard Spencer’s event in spring 2018.

Richard Spencer is a white supremacist and president of the National Policy Institute, a think tank located in Washington D.C.

POM uses its “Disorientation Guide” to lead their group. This guide is a manifesto calling for rebellion at MSU.

“We can imagine a new university,” the front cover of the pamphlet states. The guide describes the current campus climate as the oppressors versus the oppressed. The guide goes on to explain how students and even faculty have stood up in resistance of the institution. It also points to university-related instances of “harassment, discrimination, and violence” before the university’s founding.

POM has posted pamphlets of their manifesto on billboards around campus to promote the group. It began the 2018-2019 school year with extensive outreach, as the group only had three meetings prior to October 2018.

“Often, the administration relies on students forgetting or not knowing what the history of the university...or the power that students, faculty and staff had in the past,” group member Zoe Jackson told The State News.

The group hopes their booklet solves what they believe is ignorance by highlighting the resistance and uprisings that have existed on MSU’s campus since 1855.

A pamphlet acquired by The Morning Watch, is available on their website and Facebook page, includes the disclaimer: “(MSU), the home of prominent scholars, as well as a hotbed for young fascist organizing; presidents praised for their anti-racist liberalism while they helped funnel university funds into murderous dictatorships; the ‘Pioneer Land Grant University’ founded on land that was stolen; a ‘public’ university that is funded by less and less public funds.”

The timeline begins in 1819 when native land was “stolen” in the now East Lansing area. “The United States coerced the Ojibwa, Ottawa, and Pottawatomie people (of the Three Fires Alliance) to sign [the Treaty of Saginaw], which laid claim to parts of so-called Michigan where Lansing and surrounding areas now lie. The treaty was signed under false promises made by the U.S. Government,” the guide says.

The booklet finishes with many events revolving around the Larry Nassar scandal, which was the surfacing of numerous sexual assault cases since the 1990s during Nassar’s time as an athletic physician for MSU and the USA Gymnastics teams.These revelations and the testimonies of survivors not only brought the university into litigation but also revealed the multitude of failures within MSU departments relating to sexual assault and violent encounters on campus.

In 2017, Nassar pled guilty to federal child pornography charges, seven charges of first-degree sexual assault, and three additional charges of sexual assault. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison with an addition 40-125 years added in 2018.

The final event on the timeline is the February 2018 appointment of “the notorious right-winger,” John Engler, as Interim President.

There are several other events in their timeline, including the 2016 election of President Donald J. Trump, which the timeline describes as “the election of proto-fascist Donald Trump[.]”

“[L]iberal groups tried to organize a peaceful ‘pro-unity’ march. Militant anti-racists successfully led the march into the street and then to the MSU Student Union building where they attempted to occupy the building. They demanded a freestanding multicultural center and other anti-racist policy changes,” the event description continues.

“The MSU police violently slammed and barricaded all the doors to the building and illegally shut down the Union, even while lying through their smiling teeth to the occupiers within the building upstairs,” POM’s timeline says.

Other students at MSU did not find POM’s message appealing.

“In the past I see merit in student protesting...say during the time of MLK and fighting against racial injustice,” a Holmes Hall Residential Assistant (RA) told The Morning Watch.

“These days social activists... don’t have as much to fight for a society we’ve reach a peak of social equality,” the RA said, preferring to stay anonymous.

According to MSU senior, Justin Pederson, Pissed Off MSU is an organization that has no merit other than starting fights and uprisings.

“There is little basis behind their arguments, making them a difficult group to stand behind. They promote the liberal agenda and are not interested in the general advancement of the students, faculty, or staff at MSU,” Pederson said.

This article was updated on 1/31/2019

Contributor: John Binkowski

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