Michigan State U. Lists ‘Acceptable’ Names for Chinese Virus

A woman sings and waves the national flag of China during a pro-Beijing flash mob at the Pacific Place shopping mall in Hong Kong on September 24, 2019. - Pro-democracy supporters have taken to Hong Kong's streets for almost four months in the biggest challenge to China's rule since the …
ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty

Michigan State University is advising its students use only “acceptable” terminology when speaking about the Chinese virus, insisting that the Wuhan coronavirus must be referred to as the “novel coronavirus” or “COVID-19.” The school is also encouraging all students to sign a pledge entitled, “Hate Has No Home Here.”

As coronavirus-related death tolls continue surge around the globe, Michigan State University (MSU) has prioritized informing students to be careful about their choice of words.

In a campus-wide email sent to staff, faculty, and students, MSU is recommending that people refer to the Wuhan coronavirus as the “novel coronavirus,” “SARS CoV-2,” or “COVID-19,” according to a report by the Morning Watch.

“Use the correct term for the virus,” insists the university in its email. “No other names are acceptable.”

The school is also encouraging its campus community to sign MSU’s pledge, entitled, “Hate Has No Home Here.”

The pledge reads as follows:

I will work to make sure HATE HAS NO HOME HERE at MSU. I pledge to do my part in creating and sustaining a welcoming and inclusive environment at MSU. I pledge to not commit acts of hate. I pledge to be an active bystander and to prevent and address incidents of hate and bias.

In MSU’s email, the university also recommends that students “stand up” to “racist” and “dog-whistle” speech that they hear others engaging in on campus, as well as stand up “against the denigration of anyone in our Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi American (APIDA) community,” as the school insists that it is seeing “a rise in anti-APIDA racism.”

Included in the email is a link in which students can report instances of “hate” that they hear on campus to school administrators.

Michigan State University is not the only school attempting to conflate acknowledging where the Chinese virus came from with “hate” and “racism.”

Last week, a University of Texas at Austin dean argued that the term “Chinese virus” is inspiring hateful acts against Asian-American students on campus.

At the University of Wisconsin, Madison, administrators condemned a series of “anti-China” chalk messages that appeared on campus — one of which mentioned the “Chinese virus,” while another blamed the pandemic on the Chinese government.

The University of California recently told students that it is inappropriate for them to use the term “Chinese virus.” The school also released a set of guidelines, which argued that the term projects “hatred towards Asian communities.”

These sentiments echo propaganda touted by the Chinese Communist Party, imploring Americans to be careful about their words when speaking about the Chinese coronavirus.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.