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Sam Stefanek, Location: Lodges Apartments

Monday, 4:30pm. I packed my bags and began my walk from the MSU Union to

the Minskoff Pavilion for an evening class. I have spent countless hours, days, and

nights in the Union working on homework while sipping coffee. I loved how warm

and homey the place always felt. It was a beautiful day to walk outside, especially

for February.

7:30pm. My class got done a little early. With a lot of homework left in front of

me that night, I decided to go eat at SnyPhi to save myself time cooking.

8:15pm. I leave SnyPhi and begin my walk along Bogue Street back to my car. I

have my airpods in, listening to music. I hear some loud noises in the distance but

think nothing of it. I am used to hearing cars backfiring or other loud noises

coming from Grand River.

8:32pm. The first text comes through as I pull into a parking spot outside of my

apartment. Run, hide, fight.


I walk into my apartment, lock the door behind me and immediately address my

roommates. We were worried but felt we were far enough from campus that we

were fine. I text my parents to tell them where I am at, thinking its better for

them to hear the news from me rather than a headline.

As group chats and snap stories quickly start blowing up, we realized how serious

this was and turned on the police scanner. Reports are flowing in of gunshots

across campus. Reports of people’s doors being banged on and men spotted with

guns across campus. “Shots reported in Hubbard Hall” we hear over the scanner.

Were there multiple shooters? Was this a planned attack? Whatever was

happening, it seemed to be heading east, in the direction of our apartment. We

turn off the lights and barricade our door, as all of East Lansing did the same.

Every sound from outside made us hold our breathe. Calls were flowing in on the

scanner of reported shots seemingly everywhere. My phone is blowing up with

people asking if I am okay. I am overwhelmed trying to communicate with my

parents, friends, roommates, while trying to listen to the scanner.


I learn that I have friends barricaded in closets, random dorm rooms, and dining

halls. I learn that I had friends in the Union at the time of the shooting. I have

never felt so helpless. For hours, we sat in the dark, waiting for it all to end.

3:00am. The shooter had been found a couple of hours ago, but I was nowhere

near sleeping. Our door was still barricaded. I had been scrolling social media,

contacting my friends, and trying to wrap my head around what just happened.

My incredible campus was devastated.


I am angry. Angry at politicians who had done nothing for shooting after shooting.

Angry at the coward who wreaked havoc on my home. Angry at the media for

pushing their narratives. Angry that my beloved University could not catch a

break. Angry at people who felt their interpretation of the second amendment is

more important than our society’s wellbeing. Angry for all the beautiful people of

MSU who’s lives are forever changed.


The world lost three souls who truly embodied being a Spartan. My heart breaks

for them and others in the hospital. I can’t help but think about how that could

have been me.


As well stated in Tim Alberta’s article, “A Requiem for the Spartans,” we are

resilient. We are a community. We are fighters. If anything good could possibly

come out of this, let it be how Michigan State University is defined for our

response to this tragedy, not the tragedy itself.

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