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Feb. 12, 2024

Student view: ASMSU Week of Remembrance marks first year since tragedy

Emily Hoyumpa is a third-year student majoring in social relations and policy in James Madison College with an anticipated early graduation date. Hoyumpa is from Shelby Township, Michigan, and has been actively engaged as a student coordinator in JMC, executive director of the Association of Big Ten Students, officer-holder within ASMSU and now serves as Michigan State University's student body president. She was also selected to serve on the Growing Michigan Together Council.

Following the 2023 spring semester, one of the first meetings I was urged to have as the incoming ASMSU president was with Dave Brewer and Natalie Moser, co-directors of the Office of Support and Resource Coordination. I know for some Spartans, there was relief that such a year at MSU had just completed; but hurt and uncertainty still remained – and that was OK.

Emily Hoyumpa poses with her arms crossed in front of a door
Emily Hoyumpa. Courtesy photo.

With that in mind, the primary goal for the three of us was to think about Feb. 13, 2024 – what the one-year remembrance efforts could be and what it would mean to so many.

From the beginning we all knew a focus on community connection had to be key. It was community connection that was so important the days and months that followed the tragedy. The Spartan community even connected to other schools across the country who reached out with messages of support. Schools often considered rivals made signs in all colors beyond green and white to show Spartans that we were not alone.  

Still, we knew not everyone was feeling - or would be feeling - the same thing. Some people would want to be with others. Some people would want to be alone. Some people may want to give back. As we continued to meet, Dave and Natalie suggested organizing student-led service efforts.

ASMSU coordinated with Students Demand Action, March for Our Lives MSU and Sit Down Michigan State as well as the Center for Community Engaged Learning to put together events for each day the week of Feb. 12.

While service allows people to get involved, ASMSU and OSCR were thoughtful about the various places that people are at in their grief and trauma. Everyone is on their own journeys. So, beyond programming, there will be reflective spaces to provide a safe environment for individual reflection. Crisis counselors will be at the reflective spaces for those seeking additional support.

Personally, I have been in so many different places for this. My mind has been in so many different places. So, I'm not even sure what the week is going to look like. I think the most I can say is I'm hoping fellow Spartans come in support of one another. A lot of people I've talked to don't know how they're going to feel until they get there. And that’s OK.

One of the big things I want people to take away is that regardless of where you are in your healing journey, you know that there are other Spartans here to support you. It may sound cliché, but it’s okay to not be okay. Healing is by no means linear, and I think it's just really important to acknowledge all those different feelings just simply to validate them. I'm hoping people give validity to what they're feeling. I hope they know that there are other people in support of them, if they so choose.

I’m one Spartan out of 51,000 students. That doesn’t include our faculty. That doesn’t include our support staff. That doesn’t include our alumni. That doesn’t include the Spartans that are yet to come. This community continues to grow and there’s so much pride in being a Spartan. When you're taking on that role of a Spartan, you're not only taking on being a part of that community, but you're taking on the support system. You're taking on just simply being there for one another.

Below is more information on what is happening this week.

A green graphic listing on-campus pickup locations from Friday, Feb 9 through Tuesday, Feb. 13:   MSU Library circulation desk Student Services Building, Room 150 MSU Union Welcome Desk IM Circle, IM East and IM West welcome desks Neighborhood residence hall service centers  And off-campus locations: Common Ground United Resiliency – 1504 E. Grand River Ave East Lansing Hannah Community Center – 819 Abbot Road East Lansing Public Library – 950 Abbot Road

Luminary pickup at Breslin Center is Monday, Feb. 12 at 5:30-8:30 PM  Reflective spaces are Tuesday, Feb 13 from 9 AM to 5 PM Brody Hall, Room 175, Main Library, Green Room (W444), support dogs will be present, International Center, Room, Hannah Community Center, Recital Room (246)  And 9 a.m.-8 p.m. at the Alumni Memorial Chapel

10 a.m.-2 p.m. February 13: Healing Through Kindness and Service	Hannah Community Center and International Center, Room 115   7:30-9:30 p.m. February 13 Remembrance Gathering at MSU Lot 62  And 8 p.m. February 13 Luminary Lighting Various locations

February 14 at 11 AM - 3 PM is a take a break day with coffee and coloring in the Main Library Green Room and February 15 from 12 PM to 3 PM is a self care day held on the first floor of the north business building, wells hall b-wing lobby and the student services building room 110

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