MSU students said it was time for President Simon to step down

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EAST LANSING, Michigan (WJRT) - (01/24/2018) -The word's "time's up" and "change" Lou Anna are painted on the large rock on Michigan State's campus that serves as a gathering place for student protests.

Those words rang true Wednesday night, when MSU President Lou Anna Simon issued her letter of resignation hours after Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for seven counts of felony criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.

During his sentencing hearing, more than 156 survivors were able to read victim impact statements either in person, via video, or having it read on their behalf.

In her resignation letter, President Simon wrote there is no cover-up.

Many students we spoke with at the MSU student union before her resignation letter was released, declined our request to be interviewed.

The students we spoke with who agreed to go on camera, however, said they believe stepping down is the right move.

"I feel like she should step down," said MSU Freshman Armani Johnson, "she didn't really handle the situation that well and I feel like she might have allowed things, maybe intentionally or not, to kind of spiral out of control how they did, and she wasn't really a support for anyone."

MSU Freshman Richard Zarate said, "I'm kind of ashamed to say I'm a student at MSU, because of what's been going on, especially since it happened for a long time."

Sarah Owocki, a doctoral student said, "... ask yourself is this an administration and a president that are fit to lead? I think not. And I defer to those young women because that's who we should be listening to."

Owocki added she's troubled with the way the president handled the university's response to the case.

"This is a textbook example of not fit to lead and if she does resign," she said, "whoever they bring in, they're going to have a lot of healing work and other work to do."

Freshman student Paige Salenbin said she now worries about the impact the Nassar case will have on the school's reputation.

"This is embarrassing to me," Salenbin said, "especially as a first year student. I'm obviously very happy I made the decision to go here but it's kind of like a damper on it right now when everyone else is talking about it that doesn't go here."

We did talk with a university employee, and a Resident Assistant who worry that there might be a rush to judgement in regards to Simon's role in all of this.

One thing that is certain, however, is that this case, which has generated international attention, has been closely followed by the students here on campus in East Lansing.

A link to President Simon's full letter of resignation is available as a link.

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