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MSU to outline plans to address concerns of African-American students

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Michigan State University will release plans later today to show it is trying to address the needs of African-American students. 

But some black Spartans feel the university is not doing enough.

Many African-American students say they are “uncomfortable” on the East Lansing campus. The students say they are too often the targets of racist remarks by classmates and a lack of university support.

“We need to be here and exist in dignity,” says Mike Wilson, a PhD student at MSU. He and dozens of other students took part in a protest on the East Lansing campus. At one point, the students blocked the entrance to a speech by former President Bill Clinton. The students could be heard chanting while the former president spoke about the need to honor public service.

One of the protesters' demands was to meet with MSU president Lou Anna K. Simon. 

Simon did meet with the students following the president’s speech. The meeting was contentious at times. 

Simon says the university is trying to meet their concerns.

“We’re going to continue to work on it in terms of actionable items … targets and other kinds of things,” says Simon. The MSU president says the university will release a broader plan to meet the students’ concerns later today. 

But the African-American students are doubtful their voices are being heard.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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