Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Community shows support for student whose car was flipped during chaos

	<p>Photo courtesy of Steven Ripley</p>

Photo courtesy of Steven Ripley

More than 300 members of the MSU community have raised thousands for a student whose car was overturned during the chaos that followed MSU’s win over Ohio State to demonstrate that the offenders’ actions are not indicative of the entire student body.

After watching MSU’s victory in the Big Ten Championship game, fisheries and wildlife senior Steven Ripley returned to his apartment from a friend’s house at about 2 a.m. Although he’d heard about the revelry that had engulfed Cedar Village, Ripley assumed he was far from the action at his apartment on Milford Street.

But at about 3 a.m., his roommate looked out the window and saw a group of revelers had forced Ripley’s car onto its side. By the time he grabbed Ripley and ran outside, the car had been flipped over.

“I have no idea why they decided to flip my car, I don’t know anyone that would do that,” Ripley said. “My car can’t be fixed, it would cost more than the car is worth.”

Civil engineering senior Karen Wood heard about the overturned car on Sunday morning and wanted to help in some way. She knew the owner was an MSU student, but had no other information.

“I felt really, really bad for him,” Wood said.

Inspired by calls on Facebook for the community to assist the car’s owner, she started a fundraiser on a crowdfunding site called gofundme, hoping that he would reach out and contact her. She said she wanted to ensure the fundraising would begin as soon as possible, when the events were still fresh in the minds of students.

“To be perfectly honest, I was expecting to raise about $500,” she said. “Just more of a ‘We’re a community, we’re thinking of you, I’m sorry this happened to you, here’s a little bit (of support).‘”

Instead, the fundraiser earned thousands in less than 24 hours from more than 300 donors, whose contributions ranged from $5 to $100. As of Monday afternoon, the site raised $3,042, surpassing its $3,000 goal.

“I am shocked … (by) how much it’s taken off,” Wood said. “I think it’s a better representation of our student body, versus the actual events that happened that night.”

At first, Ripley said he didn’t know if the fundraiser was a scam, but when Wood and Ripley were finally able to speak over the phone, he was overwhelmed.

“I was pretty speechless, I’ve never been a part of anything like that,” Ripley said.

Wood said Ripley was amazed by the amount of support he had received.

“It was really nice to finally get to speak with him, just because he was so appreciative and so thankful,” Wood said.

Although the fundraiser has surpassed its goal, Woods said she plans to leave the page open for donations until the end of the week.

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