MSU students begin week of shooting remembrance with luminary lighting event

Tuesday marks one year since the Michigan State University mass shooting
Luminaries decorated by Michigan State University students
Posted at 11:19 PM, Feb 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-12 23:45:38-05

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Tuesday marks one year since a shooter opened fire on Michigan State University’s campus, killing students Arielle Anderson, Alexandria Verner, Brian Fraser and injuring five others.

To help the East Lansing community during this difficult week, a series of remembrance and mental health events have been organized by various student groups.

The first event Monday was an opportunity for students to create luminaries to light up campus and remember the lives lost.

“I think it’s just really important to acknowledge that everyone’s at different places in the healing journey and there’s no blueprint on how to heal," Associated Students of Michigan State University President Emily Hoyumpa said. "For those that want to come together, they can. For those who don’t want any part of this, that’s also completely OK. But we want to offer those spaces and those opportunities for Spartans and the like to come together.”

ASMSU along with Sit Down Michigan State, Students Demand Action at MSU and March for our Lives MSU organized the week of activities. On Monday, the group put together the luminary event at the Breslin Center, where students could pick up electric candles, pens and a luminary to decorate. MSU Interim President Teresa Woodruff was also in attendance.

“I think it’s important to support the Spartan community after the tragic events that happened last year. Just to be here and be with everybody is a good way to spend my day," MSU sophmore Raimi Soerreis said as she decorated her luminary.

Phrases like "Spartan Strong," "Love" and "Spartans Stay TOGETHER" covered the luminaries that will then cover parts of campus. Students are also encouraged to bring their decorated luminaries to the remembrance event scheduled in front of Spartan Statue at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Luminaries decorated by Michigan State University students
Luminaries decorated by Michigan State University students

Most classes will be canceled Tuesday, but MSU will remain open for support as students reflect on where they were one year ago during the shooting.

"I remember all of us and all the (sports) clubs went down to the basement. There was about 70 of us in the men’s locker room and we were all just really scared, didn’t know what was going on," MSU sophomore Emily Evans recalled.

The trauma hasn’t gone away for these students one year later, and these student organizations hope these community events can aid their healing process.

“I hope that it brings a sense of hope that there is community, that we can come together after tragedy like this," Students Demand Action at MSU co-leader Saylor Reinders said.

Here is a schedule of Spartans Together in Healing and Remembrance Events for the remainder of the week:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 13
    10 a.m. -to 2 p.m.: University Student Day of Service and Kindness at the Hannah Community Center and the International Center
    7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.: Evening Remembrance Ceremony at Sparty Statue
  • Wednesday, Feb. 14
    11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Take a Break Day with coffee and coloring at the Green Room at the Library
  • Thursday, Feb. 15:
    2 p.m.: Advocacy Day at the state capitol building sit down
    3:30 p.m.: Advocacy Day at the state capitol building speeches
  • Friday, Feb: 16
    12 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Self Care Day with free food, self-care kits, therapy dogs and mental health resources on the 1st floor North Business Building, Wells Hall B-Wing Lobby and Student Services Building Room 110