By Mya Gregory
The East Lansing community is coming together with the Michigan State University (MSU) community to remember and reflect on the mass shooting on campus one year ago.
The university and city are providing a variety of resources and hosting events Tuesday (Feb. 13) to commemorate the Feb. 13, 2023, shooting that took the lives of three MSU students and left five others critically wounded. Many of the activities are designed to provide support for MSU students and staff and the community as everyone continues to process the tragedy.
MSU and ELPS classes are canceled Tuesday as well as city meetings.
Classes at MSU have been canceled Tuesday and the city is not holding meetings, including the discussion only City Council meeting. East Lansing Public Schools (ELPS) has also canceled school for the day.
“This allows our staff, students and family to honor this day in a way that is meaningful to them,” ELPS Superintendent Dori Leyko said at the Dec. 11 School Board meeting.
The East Lansing City Council passed a resolution honoring first responders and the victims of the shooting at the Feb. 6 meeting. The resolution concludes with, “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the East Lansing City Council and East Lansing community recognize the physical and emotional sacrifices made by our First Responders and the suffering of those victims killed and injured in response to the traumatic events of February 13th, and offer grace, compassion and empathy as they grieve and heal, while our First Responders continue to keep our city safe; and will cancel the February 13 City Council meeting in commemoration and observance of the tragedy and sacrifices of February 13, 2023.”
For the past month, the East Lansing Police Department (ELPD) and the East Lansing Fire Department (ELFD) have been working with the United Resiliency / Common Ground to provide support for first responders and the community.
Luminary kits can be picked up today around town and on campus.
United Resiliency has also provided 25,000 luminaries for community members to utilize in a luminary lighting event in recognition of the anniversary. Luminaries can be picked up today (Feb. 12) from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at various locations around the city and campus. These luminaries will be utilized in a community event Tuesday from 8-8:25 p.m.
Luminaries have been shared with MSU alumni chapters across the country and the university invites people to join in and post photos of their luminary or a message of support on social media with the hashtag #SpartansTogether.
Reflective spaces are available Tuesday with counseling support as well as religious leaders in certain locations.
Reflective spaces will be open at Brody Hall, the MSU Library, the International Center and the Hannah Community Center from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Alumni Memorial Chapel will hold reflection times 9 a.m.-8 p.m. with religious leaders of various denominations.
Support dogs will be available from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in the MSU Eppley Center, Room E105.
Other activities open to all include the Healing Through Kindness and Service event 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at both the International Center, Room 115, and the Hannah Community Center.
Activities at this event will include writing notes of support and gift-making to keep personally or give to others. Anyone is welcome to join at any time throughout the designated hours.
Specific service activities will only be available at the Hannah Community Center. Activities will include packaging supply kits for K-12 students and families, and decorating brown sack lunch bags for the Kids Food Basket.
Free shuttles will run between the International Center and Hannah Community Center from 9:45 a.m.-3 p.m.
A Remembrance Gathering will be a space for the community to come together.
The evening will conclude with a Remembrance Gathering as well as the luminary lighting activity.
The Remembrance Gathering will be held from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in MSU Lot 62 on the north side of Spartan Stadium. This will be a space for the community to come together in solidarity. There will be opportunities to participate in a community art creation and discuss the permanent memorial.
A short program will begin around 8:10 p.m. with a reflective message, playing MSU Shadows, moments of silence and ringing of the Beaumont Tower bells. Livestreaming of the event will be available as well.