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Ohio Universities Chapter of Phi Delta Theta hosts a candlelight vigil on February 20, 2022 in Athens Ohio. The Fraternity hosted the event in honor of the students who are injured and passed away on February 13, 2023, shooting on the Michigan State Universities campus.

Students reflect on shooting at Michigan State University

A gunman opened fire at Michigan State University, or MSU, on Feb. 13, killing three students and leaving five more in critical condition before dying by suicide according to Michigan State Police, the names of the victims included Arielle Anderson, Brian Fraser and Alexandria Verner. 

On Monday the students at MSU resumed classes for the first time in almost a week. Their college green was covered in stands of organizations around campus offering free hugs, flowers, food and therapy dogs, according to USA today

Campuses around the U.S. held vigils commemorating the victims including one at Ohio University organized by Phi Delta Theta, a fraternity on campus. The vigil was held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

All MSU students were given a credit/no credit option this semester allowing them to receive credit for their classes with no impact on their overall grade point average, according to AP News

Almost 80 mass shootings have been reported in the United States since the beginning of 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive

Paige Gehring, a freshman studying health services administration, said she has a friend planning on attending Michigan State University next semester, and this shooting was a real eye-opener on what can happen on a college campus. 

She said she was angry to hear about the shooting because she felt like the incident could have been prevented all-together if the United States government passed stricter gun laws. 

“It could have been prevented and there just needs to be more laws honestly on what can and can’t be done with guns,” Gehring said. 

She said that she felt like she wasn't personally ready in case of an emergency on campus because although she saw many fire alarms throughout buildings, emergency call buttons seemed to be scarce throughout campus. 

Maggie Peterson, a freshman studying art therapy, said she found out about the incident at Michigan State after her mom had texted her about it. 

Peterson said she was furious about what seemed to be recurring events across the nation. 

“It’s not even a shock anymore, which is horrible,” she said. “They keep happening and nothing is being done about it.” 

Peterson had a childhood friend who attends MSU. As soon as the events happened, she texted her friend to make sure she was ok and was very anxious due to the fact that her friend did not answer until several hours later, she said. 

She said she wasn't sure that she would feel safe in case of an emergency due to what she feels like is a lack of security cameras on campus. 

“I just know in the moment if it ever happened, I would get so overwhelmed,” she said. “I wouldn’t know what to do.” 

Tyler Ottersbach, a freshman studying political science, said he believes OU lacks the infrastructure to be able to keep students safe in case of an emergency. 

He said he believes a good start would be updating the buildings around campus as well as stairs and sidewalks in case of an incident. 

“In the event of a mass shooting, if somebody’s trying to run down the stairs, they’re not going to be safe even running down the stairs,” he said. 

Ottersbach said that he felt emotionally exhausted when hearing about the MSU shooting due to how often he feels similar events happen across the U.S. 

“It just feels like another statistic at this point,” he said. “More people dead. More gun deaths. It’s just a repeating cycle.” 


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