Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, September 30, 2010

University continues to support MSA president

When the university first learned months ago that Michigan Student Assembly President Chris Armstrong was being attacked in a blog because of his sexual orientation, staff in U-M’s Division of Student Affairs reached out to Armstrong to offer support. 

“The University of Michigan stands behind our community’s value of expecting respect,” says Laura Blake Jones, dean of students. “We continue to take the situation very seriously. Many of us have been working behind the scenes on this situation since spring,”


Click here to read the full U-M statement.

Above all, says Kelly Cunningham, director of public affairs, the university is working to respect Armstrong’s privacy and not let an unwanted situation interfere with his college studies or the ambitious agenda he has set for MSA in the coming year.

Both Jones and Cunningham say it was important to understand that the university community stands by Armstrong and his work on behalf of all Michigan students through MSA.

“We teach our students the importance of engaging in respectful civil discourse,” says Jones, citing the university’s long-standing campaign to promote tolerance and civility called Expect Respect.

Cunningham says the ongoing effort by Student Affairs staff on behalf of Armstrong is consistent with the public statement made Sept. 16 by the university’s Board of Regents: “When one member of our community is targeted, we are all attacked.”