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Being a Spartan Now

Stephanie McCann, ’09

Being a Spartan Now

Larry Nassar is not MSU. Lou Anna K. Simon is not MSU. The institutional trauma created by a culture of avoidance is not MSU.

The students I teach, the faculty I work with, the staff who support every corner of this community—we are MSU.

How do we reconcile being a Spartan with the harm caused to so many people at the hands of another fellow Spartan? How do we put on our Green and not feel embarrassment, anger or shame?

It is in the remembering that Nassar does not have the power to defi ne the MSU community. It is in the remembering that anyone who covered up Nassar’s abuse does not have the power to defi ne the MSU community.

I am reclaiming what it means to be a Spartan. Being a Spartan means having deep empathy, it means speaking our truth, it means believing one another, and it means showing up when we feel most vulnerable. No one gets to push me out of MSU, including Nassar.

I am an MSU alumna, MSU faculty member and MSU parent. I am a social worker who strives to help others fi nd their healthiest selves. I am a therapist for the Firecracker Foundation, which provides healing therapeutic services to children and families when child sexual abuse occurs.

To say that Nassar’s sexual abuse at MSU is personal to me would be an understatement. It is betrayal. It is a reminder that as a survivor myself I have deep empathy for the courage it takes to speak your truth without attachment to the judgment of others.

I am a Spartan, and I am a survivor. And I still bleed Green. I believe people heal when they are heard.

#SpartansListen #SpartansWillShowEmpathy

Stephanie McCann,’09, LMSW, teaches classes in the College of Social Work. She originally posted this on LinkedIn. 

Contributing Writer(s): Stephanie McCann, ’09

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