Most of you know Harper's as one of your favorite bars in East Lansing, where you've had lots of fun nights out and made countless memories. Others remember Harper's or PT's as the place they felt unwelcome, that was visibly unsanitary, had rude waitstaff, where they got food poisoning, COVID-19 or were scammed, where they were harassed, discriminated against, and in many cases, where they were assaulted by the staff.
Maybe you've never had a negative experience with Harper's, but I'd bet you know someone who has. Regardless, the magnitude of this issue should be something we are all concerned about as a community of Spartans. Harper's is NOT a safe place for MSU students to party. They are unaccountable, poorly owned and managed and have clearly put their financial interests before the safety and well being of their customers. East Lansing and Michigan not only deserves, but needs to have a safe and reliable place to party. We CAN make a change, a positive impact on the party culture in East Lansing, if we refuse to tolerate Harper's actions and conditions that are harming our classmates and community. It IS possible to maintain the fun experience of bars in EL, while also ensuring a safe environment. There can be another bar in the same space, better management, safety and accountability.
Their obvious ignorance and defiance of COVID-19 put our entire community as risk and it is highly unlikely they will ever properly adhere to the pandemic precautions and procedures. While the un-masked customers in June are very much to blame, Harper's also has a responsibility to respect and enforce government mandates. They had every right to deny entry to customers without mask, but it's clear they wanted the business and money more than ensuring safety for their patrons. The employees did not wear masks, there was an open dance floor promoting a crowd, no disposable cups, no signage. How can they possibly claim they went "above and beyond" to develop COVID procedures when THE EMPLOYEES WEREN'T WEARING MASKS?? When, if, they reopen, I am very certain that COVID-19 will spread throughout our campus and school, further delaying a return to in-person classes and some sense of normalcy.
For the safety and well-being of our entire community, Harper's needs to be closed permanently. We need to come together as a community of Spartans, residents of Lansing, Michiganders. We need to DEMAND better for our students and young adults in East Lansing, REFUSE to contribute to a business that has harmed the lives of far too many, EDUCATE those who are unaware of Harper's dangers and wrong doings, and FIGHT for the safety of this community.
I know this is a big beast to fight and that the majority of students at MSU couldn't care less and will continue to go to Harpers. If I have to be an outcast among my peers on this issue, I will. I'm not afraid of the criticism or the people I might lose along the way, or the thing I may miss out on at Harper's or PT's, because I'm doing what's right. I can't keep turning a blind eye to the harm Harper's has caused. I refuse to let this party culture become the "norm" at MSU.
So please, I ask all of you to help me. I cannot do this without you. Please help me make a change for the better in East Lansing. Fight for better. Fight for those you may know that have been harmed by Harper's. Fight for future Spartans.
I will attach my statement that further details my claims. It will also include written statements from patrons and photos of their crowd/lines this June.
***FOR THE RECORD: This petition on Thepetitionsite.com is an extension of the original petition that was removed from Change.org. Please find in the document below evidence of the signatures on this petition before it's removal, 1766. Please consider these signatures in addition to the current number on this petition. ****