Written By Vaishnavi Peyyety, Current Events Staff Writer
A rock that turned into memorial for the three students that died in mass shooting on campus. (Photo Courtesy Nick Hagen for The New York Times)
FEB. 21, 2023 - Last week a gunman killed three people and injured five on the campus of Michigan State University, a large university with over 35,000 students. The victims included Brian Fraser, Arielle Anderson and Alexandria Verner. According to the University’s school newspaper, Fraser was the President of MSU’s chapter of Phi Delta Theta and a business major. Anderson was aiming to be a surgeon. And Verner was a biology student and skilled basketball, volleyball and softball player.
The suspect, 43-year-old Anthony Dwayne McRae, opened fire on the campus, fled the scene and later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The motives of McRae are still unknown and are of primary interest to authorities as they continue their investigation. Students were harmed around Berkey Hall and at the MSU Student Union, two buildings that have been shut down following this incident.
The MSU school newspaper shares “We need more time to process without a class to worry about. MSU must extend the pause they've given us so we can decide how we need to proceed to feel safe and secure.” To this end, the newspaper also reports a petition is circulating (now signed by over 20,000 people) advocating that classes be moved completely online and follow a hybrid schedule, speaking to the widespread feelings of shock and uncertainty present in the MSU community.
According to the online petition, “With Michigan State University being a public campus and an ongoing investigation, it is believed it is in the students’ best interests to be given a call of action to move forward with the school year.” Despite public outcry, the university has recently reopened. The interim provost Thomas D. Jeitschko in response states “no one thinks that we are coming back to a normal week.”
According to Jeitschko, the faculty will reorganize the syllabus to provide a lighter course load as students acclimate back to classes. Regardless of this change, students are still attempting to advocate for themselves. Student body president Jo Kovach states “This is our campus, and we're not letting anybody take that from us."
“This is our campus, and we're not letting anybody take that from us." - Jo Kovach, MSU Student Body President
This horrible incident is just one of many examples that demonstrates the need for greater awareness of firearm death rates as a large public health crisis in the US. In fact, the firearm homicide rate grew 35 percent from 2019 to 2020 and the firearm suicide rate has continued to remain high, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
“The firearm homicide rate grew 35 percent from 2019 to 2020 and the firearm suicide rate has continued to remain high, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).”