Special Reports

Michigan State University Bans Whiteboards On Dorms Due To Bullying


Michigan State University (MSU) has decided to prohibit the presence of whiteboards on dorm doors for the incoming fall semester. This comes after it was used as a tool for bullying.

The Associated Press, via Diverse Education, reported that the whiteboards have been used for anonymous bullying. It was intended to exchange friendly messages and inspirational quotes.

In a Facebook post by the Lansing NAACP, a student had a racial slur written on her whiteboard. This is not the first time, though, that this type of incident happened in the Michigan State University dorm.

Michigan State University Residential Services Communications Director Kat Cooper said that the whiteboards have become more of a distraction. This is a far cry from its intended use.

However, students reacted to the policy by saying that it was unnecessary to ban whiteboards from dorm rooms. Sofia Sokansanj, a freshman of the university, said that people will always be judging others with or without whiteboards. The whiteboards were deemed as the students' way of encouraging others and bring lightheartedness to the halls.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Cooper did acknowledge that the removal of whiteboards does not address the real issues. She admitted that MSU is now requiring new students to go through cultural sensitivity and inclusiveness trainings. The university also continues to implement its anti-discrimination policy.

Michigan State University staff, including the resident assistants inside the buildings, files reports with the Office of Institutional Equity when they come across offensive language on whiteboards. However, the people responsible for the bullying are hardly ever identified.

Ande Durojaiye, director of Office of Institutional Equity, said that students who are found to have violated the school's anti-discrimination policy will be warned or suspended. The ban only prohibits whiteboards placed outside dorm rooms. Students can still use them inside their rooms.

Inside Higher Ed noted that several students have spoken out against the ban, saying that it will not remove racism or bullying. One person even commented that the one who wrote the racial slur has actually been given power since every dorm resident will be punished for an act committed by one.

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