THURSDAY, Feb. 8 —Michigan State University and East Lansing Public Schools have canceled classes Tuesday for the one-year anniversary of the shooting that killed three students and wounded five more on MSU’s campus.
Instead, the university has scheduled events throughout the day.
“The university will remain open on this day to support students and our community,” MSU’s interim president Teresa Woodruff wrote in August. She added that assignments and exams will still be delayed until Thursday at the earliest when classes resume the following day. However, she noted that some graduate programs may need to hold classes to stay on schedule.
Several spaces throughout campus will provide an environment for students faculty, staff and residents for reflection and, if they wish, to see crisis counselors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The campus locations are Room 175 in Brody Hall, 241 W. Brody Road; the Green Room of the Main Library, 366 W. Circle Drive.; in the International Center, 427 N. Shaw Lane; and the Room 105 of the Eppley Center, 645 North Shaw Lane. Room 246 of the Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road, in East Lansing, will also be available off-campus. Crisis counselors will be present at all but the Eppley Center, which will have therapy dogs only.
On campus, the Alumni Memorial Chapel, 636 Auditorium Road, will be staffed with religious leaders “representing the spectrum of denominational beliefs” and crisis counselors. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., although the crisis counselors will be there until 5 p.m.
MSU is sponsoring “Healing Through Kindness and Service,” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at both the Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road, and Room 115 of the MSU International Center. Attendees may participate in activities that include writing cards of support that will be attached to a Squishmallow and painting small rocks intended to replicate “The Rock” on campus.
Other activities, such as packaging supply kits for local schools and youth-serving organizations, including Lansing and East Lansing public schools, Edgewood Village and the MSU Student Parent Resource Center, and decorating sack lunch bags for Kids Food Basket, will be exclusive to the Hannah Community Center space.
Both locations will feature food, drinks, crisis counselors and lists of additional resources. Participants are invited to come and go as they wish at either space throughout the day, with a free shuttle scheduled to run continuously between the two buildings from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration is not required but is encouraged.
The day will culminate in a two-hour Remembrance Gathering at MSU Lot 62, 789 Red Cedar Road, that starts at 7:30 p.m. The live-streamed event, intended to allow the community “to come together in shared reflection, will include community art creation and offer opportunities for community members to provide feedback on a permanent memorial still in the planning stages.
Starting at 8:10 p.m., a short program will include a rendition of “MSU Shadows,” a moment of silence, and the ringing of the Beaumont Tower Bells at 8:18 and 8:25 p.m. The bells will coincide with the respective times at which Anthony Dwayne McRae fatally shot Arielle Anderson and Alexandria Verner and wounded five others in Berkey Halland fatally shot Brian Fraser at the MSU Union one year earlier. Both sites will also be lit up in green to honor those who were lost that day.
In a moment of shared solidarity with Spartans around the world, those who attend the Remembrance Gathering will engage in a Luminary Lighting at 8 p.m. MSU has encouraged others throughout the globe to do so at the same time and has shared luminaries with alumni chapters across the country.
Luminaries can be picked up in various campus buildings and others in East Lansing before Tuesday while supplies last. At MSU, they can be found at Room 150 of the Student Services Building, 556 E. Circle Drive.; at the MSU Union welcome desk, 49 Abbot Road; IM Circle, 308 W. Circle Drive; IM East, 804 E Shaw; IM West, 393 Chestnut Road; and at service centers in neighborhood residence halls. Off-campus pickup sites are the United Resiliency Center, 1504 E. Grand River Ave.; the Hannah Community Center and the East Lansing Public Library, 950 Abbot Road.
An additional luminary pickup and decorating event, hosted by the Associated Students of Michigan State University, is scheduled Monday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Gilbert Pavilion in the Breslin Student Events Center, 534 Birch Road. MSU encourages those who need to craft their own luminaries to do so with a white paper bag and a green, battery-operated LED tealight candle. In a corresponding social media campaign, participants both on campus and elsewhere are invited to add photos of their own luminaries or send messages of support using the hashtag #SpartansTogether.
Before, during, and after the events, MSU encourages anyone who is struggling to call its 24-hour crisis center at 517-355-8270 and press 1 to speak with a crisis counselor.
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