As Eastern Michigan University President Susan Martin pledged Wednesday to get alcohol counseling after being accused of inappropriate professional conduct, students were trying to make sense of what happened to their leader, and the university's image.
"It's embarrassing," said Carl'Meisha Wourman, a 22-year-old senior. "She represents all of us at EMU. It's a bad example, especially with the issues that a lot of universities have to deal with (regarding) alcohol."
Wourman's comments came in the wake of the university's board of regents sending Martin a letter, telling her she must deal immediately with her drinking in public or face termination. The letter, sent in May, outlined the board's concern for the university's liability and for Martin personally. It pointed to inappropriate behavior in April with an alumnus in Washington, D.C., that involved profanity and alcohol. But the letter also mentioned other incidents.
Martin responded in writing seven weeks later, saying she apologized to the alum, took responsibility for her actions and promised it would never happen again. She also told the board she had been drinking on an empty stomach.