The State – 02/23/23

Rachel Fulton

Today’s weather forecast is predicting cloudy with light freezing rain in the morning with a high of 46 degrees and a low of 18 degrees.

Students lead second vigil to mourn classmates as classes resume

Hundreds of Michigan State University students gathered at The Rock on Farm Lane Tuesday evening for a vigil which honored their classmates killed in the mass shooting and supported survivors as the university transitions back to regular classes and activities.

The event was organized by Spartans Against Gun Violence, or SAGV, a chapter of the national gun-control advocacy group March For Our Lives. But, genomics and molecular genetics junior Zoe Haden, who led the vigil and co-chairs SAGV, said in an interview before the proceedings that the event was intentionally not political. Instead, student-speakers focused on honoring those killed and sharing their experiences with the return to classes this past Monday.

This comes less than one week after thousands gathered for another vigil at The Rock. That event was organized by the university, headlined with speeches from university administrators and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and attended by the national media.

In comparison, Tuesday’s vigil was a more intimate event, planned by students to support their peers in a return to campus.

The event ended with members of the Spartan Marching Band performing MSU Shadows to a teary crowd, swaying arm-in-arm.

MSU cracks down on ‘Spartan Strong’ scams

Following the mass shooting on Michigan State University’s campus, the university formed the Spartan Strong Fund to support “student and staff counseling, campus safety enhancements, and recognition for those involved with the crisis, such as first responders.”

Since then, some businesses and individuals have been selling unofficial “Spartan Strong” merchandise which purports to donate to the fund. But without licensing agreements, the university has no way of verifying that those donations are ever made.

MSU deputy spokesperson Dan Olsen said while licensing agreements have previously been used for the university to collect a portion of profits from merchandise, MSU has waived that royalty cut for Spartan Strong products and is using licensing as a method of “verifying” the charitability of products.

MSU released a consumer alert Tuesday afternoon with a current list of officially licensed merchandisers whose royalties and proceeds go to the fund which includes Nudge Printing, Colosseum, Underground Printing, Blue 84, CDI Corp., A. Dean Watkins, 4Imprint, Sewing Concepts, Zephyr, and Gametime Sidekicks.

Olsen said the university is currently reaching out to unverified merchandisers, and while some are malicious scams, MSU has also encountered well-intentioned sellers who can go through the licensing process to confirm their contributions to the fund.

Michigan State offers support for those impacted by campus crisis

In response to the active shooter situation, Michigan State is offering numerous forms of support for all students, faculty and staff.

MSU will have open confidential crisis counseling 24/7. More information can be found at

“You are worthy, no matter how hopeless things might feel right now. That’s why there are so many resources available to help.” Michigan State Crisis Resources for students, posted on their website.

There will also be a line open to call for community mental health. They can be reached at 517-346-8460.

“Grief is a profoundly personal thing, and we know the healing process will not be swift. We must take time to think, mourn and be together,” Michigan State’s Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff said.

Based on original reporting by Alex Walters and Zac Slowik.