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Solidarity with Graduate Students in the College of Education



The Graduate Employees Organizing Committee (GEOC) stands with employees against all forms of harassment, racial discrimination, intimidation, psychological abuse, and threats to their safety and security.


We stand in solidarity with The WSU Students for Action Collective and support their Open Letter to President Wilson, Provost Clabo, and the Board of Governors of Wayne State University. Formed by current and former students of COE’s Division of Theoretical and Behavioral Foundations (TBF), The WSU Students for Action Collective is organizing and calling for WSU administration to “acknowledge the harm and work swiftly to remediate the situation” caused by Cheryl Somers and Lauren Mangus. Because of their continuous harm, WSU students and workers are changing fields, considering dropping out altogether, and seeking psychological services to heal the abuse.


GEOC advocates and stands with any and all graduate students who do not feel safe in their campus environment. In line with The WSU Students for Action Collective, GEOC calls for:

  1. Immediate removal and dismissal of Dr. Lauren Mangus, a clinical faculty who is not tenured. She should no longer be teaching, advising, or directing or overseeing the School and Community Psychology program. As noted in the WSU policies and procedures, with respect to clinical faculty, “This delegation of authority is revocable at any time at the discretion of the president and without notice.” UP-01-1 7.1

  2. Removal of Dr. Somers from the department entirely for longer than one year. Specifically, bar her permanently from teaching, interacting with students, sitting on dissertation committees, and advising.

  3. Implement an oversight committee or faculty member to ensure that all students receive fair and equal access to school placement sites, practicum opportunities, and research.

  4. Appoint a separate faculty to oversee the internship programs and placements for the division who is clear on boundaries and appropriate professional conduct.

  5. Provide financial support for all students who have paid tuition and not received the educational opportunities they deserve and are legally entitled pursuant to Title IX.

  6. Publicly address the racism and toxic environment, condemning the TBF faculty and speaking openly about the plans to remedy the situation.

  7. Provide assurance that graduate students will not be retaliated against or condemned for speaking out.

GEOC does not tolerate racism, discrimination, sexual harassment, or abuse. The current open investigation will not stop GEOC from voicing our unwavering support of harmed members in our campus community. We expect better from leaders within WSU leadership and look forward to swift and reparative action.


In solidarity,


Graduate Employees' Organizing Committee

AFT Local 6123, AFL-CIO

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