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Feb. 14, 2024

MSU community comes together to reflect, remember Feb. 13

Spartan statue during the day time with bouquets of flowers at its feet.
The Spartan statue has bouquets of flowers at its base, in remembrance of Feb. 13, 2023. Photo by Nick Schrader

At spaces around the main Michigan State University campus and in the East Lansing community, Spartans joined together to reflect, grieve and honor those who were lost and all who were impacted by the tragic events of Feb. 13, 2023. All the activities were designed to allow people to participate in the way that made the most sense for them.

“One year ago, we saw this community come together in a way we’ve never seen before. Today, we come together to support one another again and to foster healing and resilience within the Spartan community,” said MSU Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D.

The Associated Students of MSU and the Center for Community Engaged Learning hosted Healing Through Kindness and Service events at the MSU International Center and Hannah Community Center in East Lansing. Both locations provided opportunities for attendees to write notes of support and attach them to small stuffed animals as well as paint small rocks with heartfelt messages, to keep or give away.

In addition, at the Hannah Community Center, attendees participated in service projects such as packaging supply kits for area schools and organizations, and decorating sack lunch bags for Kids' Food Basket. Many stayed to share snacks and fellowship with others.

Reflective spaces were available across campus and at the Hannah Community Center to provide a safe environment for individual reflection. They were staffed by crisis counselors for those seeking additional emotional support. In some places, community members were also met by the wagging tails and fluffy ears of therapy dogs.

The Rock painted with
The Rock painted in remembrance of those we lost. Photo by Derrick L. Turner.

 A Remembrance Gathering was held during the evening as a time for the community to come together in shared reflection. Many attendees carried flowers or luminaries — small white paper bags with green, battery-operated LED tealight candles. Several wrote notes that will become part of a community art piece.

“Our hearts are heavy as we remember the students we lost. Their families and loved ones are in our thoughts, not just today, but always and forever as Spartans,” said Emily Hoyumpa during a short program at the gathering. Hoyumpa is a third-year student in James Madison College and the current ASMSU president.

“At the end of the day, we are also all human and are doing what we can to process everything that has happened.”

Visit the Spartans Together website for information about available resources and memorial planning.

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