News from Progress Michigan 

January 31, 2017

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574,

Progress Michigan Spartan Alumni Call for Ouster of MSU Board Trustee Mitch Lyons

Xenophobic tweet in direct conflict with university goals and mission

MICHIGAN — Progress Michigan is calling for Michigan State University Board of Trustees member Mitch Lyons to resign in the wake of him tweeting — and then attempting to delete — a xenophobic and dangerous message.

Early Tuesday, Lyons tweeted: An “impediment to quality, connectivity, and inclusiveness” at MSU is a terrorist blowing himself up on campus. #SecureTheBorder

The tweet was obviously a direct response to MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon’s statement on Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban executive order. Simon wrote, “President Trump’s executive order on immigration is deeply concerning as it runs counter to the global nature of our communities and our nation. At MSU, our core values are quality, inclusiveness, and connectivity, and this action is an impediment to each.”

Lyons later deleted the tweet — after a lot of criticism from Twitter users — and posted: “My tweet earlier today wasn’t against immigrants or about travel ban.Simply supporting the need protect our nation against terrorism.”

The following statement can be attributed to Marissa Luna, Denzel McCampbell, Sean Tobin and Sam Inglot of Progress Michigan, who are all proud graduates of MSU:

“We’re calling for Trustee Lyons to step down from his position. His despicable rhetoric on Twitter was bad enough, but then he tried to cover up the evidence to avoid criticism and is deliberately trying to mislead the public as to his intentions. Trustee Lyons knew exactly what he was doing when he muddied up President Simon’s words with violent, xenophobic imagery. Clearly, Lyons doesn’t have the best interests of MSU students at heart. MSU is supposed to be a place of inclusion and diversity. We’re a global university and it’s naïve to think Donald Trump’s actions won’t negatively affect the Spartan community in some way. Trump’s actions and Lyons’ words do nothing to foster an inclusive and safe learning environment. What Lyons and Trump are doing is sowing the seeds of fear and hatred toward Muslims, immigrants, and refugees — and it needs to stop. Lyons is clearly unfit to hold a leadership position at Michigan State and we’re demanding he step down immediately.”