On the night of February 13, 2023, I had just finished up my homework when I got a text from my sister. At 8:31pm, I started living my worst nightmare. Her text said, “There might be a shooting or something at the Union, I’m on lockdown in the basement. I’ll let you know if anything happens.” I was immediately texting my parents and siblings telling them how much I love them, locking and barricading all doors, turning off all lights, and making sure all of my pets were safe. I locked myself in the bathroom and turned on the police scanner and was immediately flooded with a number of different possible locations the shooter was. My roommate was at work so I was doing this all on my own, solely from the “training” I’ve gotten all my life on how to deal with this situation. But no matter what, you will never be fully prepared for a situation like this. My heart sank hearing that 2 students were dead and more were injured in the building I was in just 3 hours earlier, and 1 more student was killed just a floor above my sister at the Union. What felt like minutes later, the police scanner said there was a possible sighting of the shooter at Snyder Hall, then the Cedar Village Apartments. I live in the Cedar Village neighborhood in the Americana Apartments, right down the road. In a panic, I called my mom. I felt like I was having a heart attack. I have never been in such genuine fear of my life, of my sister’s life. Any time she stopped answering for more than 2 minutes, I would assume the worst. Luckily, the police rushed in and moved them to another building. But all I wanted was for her to be able to go home, safe and sound, in the comfort of her own space. Even reaching the 4 hour mark of this nightmare, it still didn’t seem real. It still doesn’t. And we are still living this nightmare. Arielle Anderson, Brian Fraser, Alexandria Verner, and the other 5 victims in the hospital did not deserve this. The people of MSU did not deserve this. We will NEVER stop fighting for change. Never. We are not supposed to be afraid to attend class. We are not supposed to scan every room for an exit before we decide where to sit. We are not supposed to have to learn “Run. Hide. Fight.” I never want to hear those words ever again. When is our country going to realize we are BEGGING for safety? We are BEGGING for change. We are BEGGING for our lives. This is NOT normal and we need to stop pretending it is. I hate hearing about how mass shootings are a “uniquely American experience.” It shouldn’t be, and it doesn’t have to be. That being said, I believe forcing us to resume class on Monday is insensitive and way too soon. A week may be long enough for some to process and grieve, but not everyone. I believe the school needs to leave it up to the students. Allow us to decide when we are comfortable to return, even if that means going online for the rest of the semester. So please, Spartan leaders and staff, I urge you to listen to your students. Allow us to decide if we want to do in-person, hybrid, or online classes. We all know it is not difficult to to switch an in-person class into an online or hybrid class. At a time like this, we cannot be worrying about money, or “getting back to normal.” We will NEVER be the same after the events of February 13, 2023. We will NEVER go back to normal.
Spartan Strong Forever