On Feb. 13, 2023, a mass shooting took place on Michigan State University’s (MSU) campus in East Lansing. Three students were killed, and five students were rushed to Sparrow Hospital in critical condition. The perpetrator’s motives are still under investigation by The MSU Department of Police and Public Safety.
At 8:18 p.m. that Monday, an active shooter was reported in Berkey Hall, and a shelter-in-place was put into effect immediately asking students and the surrounding community to stay where they are or find a safe location. MSU Police Offers reached the scene minutes after the report.
From Berkey Hall, the gunman entered the MSU Union Building where another shooting took place. He was then suspected of being on foot. During this time, the description of the suspect was announced to the public. MSU Police asked the campus and surrounding community to continue the shelter-in-place.
At 11:00 p.m., the campus security cameras captured the perpetrator which was then distributed on the MSU Police social media 20 minutes later. According to MSU Police’s News Release on Feb. 14, 2023, a caller’s tip led officers to the shooter at 11:35pm. The perpetrator was identified as a 43-year-old man with no known affiliation with MSU. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
As of March 6, 2023, three of the five students who were in critical condition are improving, but still in serious condition.
After this event, MSU closed campus for two days including sports, extracurriculars and other campus related activities. MSU has put out numerus resources for their student body during this time of grief including counseling, therapy dogs and vigils to honor those that were lost.
There is currently a vigil set up in the vestibule of the Dunning Memorial Chapel at Alma College in remembrance of the three students who lost their lives that night: Arielle Anderson, Brian Fraser and Alexandria Verner. It is open to anyone who would like to visit. The Wilcox Health Center and the Chapel are resources for students to use during these difficult times.
At Alma College, the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) created a campus safety form that was distributed to the students in hopes of getting the opinion of the student body regarding what Alma College could do to create a safer campus.
“Being less than an hour from Michigan State, where so many staff, faculty and students have friends, family and peers there, we were disturbed by how the school handled and addressed the devastation and loss that occurred. The safety survey was created to gauge students’ safety feelings on campus and give YDSA a better idea of where we can conduct our efforts to best help the students at Alma College,” said Elaina Gross (‘25), one of the Co-Chairs of YDSA.
In response to the YDSA campus safety form, 90% of students said they do not know where the evacuation spots are and 80% of students said they do not know what to do during a shelter-in-place order.
Alma College is responding to this problem. “The campus Crisis Management committee, which consists of members from every sector of campus, meets regularly with our campus leadership team and local first responders to discuss roles and execution of the Alma College Campus Emergency Guidelines, as well as new developments in the area of public safety,” said Damon Brown, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer.
“‘Run, Hide, Fight’ is a common active shooter protocol or survival strategy recommended by the FBI, the State of Michigan and many colleges and universities. In cooperation with Student Affairs and Human Resources, this video will be emailed out to campus and implemented as required viewing material for all employees and students,” said Brown.
“Secondly, we have started the process of assessing our physical campus buildings and what we can do to better secure them, with a focus on technology and barriers to entry. Once we complete our assessment, expected by the end of this Winter Term, we will be able to take [the] next steps, including developing a timeline for any changes that need to be made,” said Brown. “Finally, we are in the early stages of planning an all-campus emergency training. We hope to conduct this campus training during the Fall 2023 Term and will announce more information as it becomes available,” said Brown.