EAST LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Just days after a trustee called for the removal of Board Chair Rema Vassar, the Michigan State University Board of Trustees held a heated meeting.
From survivors urging the university to release 6,000 documents related to Larry Nassar to an ongoing dispute between members of the Board of Trustees, Friday marked a contentious meeting for Michigan State University officials.
“They (the Larry Nassar documents) need to be released for healing transparency and so others can learn how to stop this atrocity from happening,” Danielle Moore, a Larry Nassar survivor, said.
“Learn how to function as a public board of trustees that we can trust or just resign already,” Jo Kovach, former MSU student body president, said.
On Sunday, trustee Brianna Scott sent a seven-page letter to the Board that accuses Chair Rema Vassar of bullying and overstepping her authority. Scott has urged Vassar to resign, although Vassar has said that she will not step down.
“I apologize to the 2.3 million people who voted for me and the students and faculty for the spectacle this board has subjected you to,” Vassar said.
During Friday’s meeting, Vassar said she could’ve done some things differently but continued to deny the claims that were made against her.
“I will continue to be transparent and accountable as questions and unfounded accusations continue to be lobbied at me,” Vassar said.
One of the allegations she specifically pushed back on was her refusal to give investigators her cell phone as they look into who was responsible for leaking the identity of Brenda Tracy, a rape survivor and activist that has accused former MSU head football coach Mel Tucker of sexual harassment.
Tracy attended the meeting but did not speak.
“Wednesday we were given a mandate around our phones. Thursday, we agreed to give (up) our phones. All of this before is a lie,” Vassar said.
Scott, who is from Muskegon, was visibly emotional as she defended what she wrote.
“People can’t talk because they’re afraid, and we say we want transparency? If you want transparency, then you let this investigation go through, and you hold your comments until you see what the facts say,” Scott said.
She also contends that the letter about Vassar was factual.
“I didn’t put one lie in that letter, not one,” Scott said.
Trustee Dennis Denno also attempted to go forward with a motion to release the Nassar documents, but it was stopped because of procedural issues.