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'It's different than it was before': students, employees gather for MSU Union reopening

April 3, 2023
<p>Michigan State University hosted the Union Reopening Ceremony on Monday, April 3, 2023 - seven weeks after the shooting in north campus that left three students dead and five hospitalized. “Know that this is your building and nobody can take that from you,” said McAna Craft, the UAB Membership &amp; Retention Coordinator, after acknowledging the Spartans lost.</p>

Michigan State University hosted the Union Reopening Ceremony on Monday, April 3, 2023 - seven weeks after the shooting in north campus that left three students dead and five hospitalized. “Know that this is your building and nobody can take that from you,” said McAna Craft, the UAB Membership & Retention Coordinator, after acknowledging the Spartans lost.

The MSU Union officially reopened its doors to welcome students and community members back into its building on April 3. While Union workers began preparing for their shift to see familiar faces and student customers, students entered the building again almost two months after the mass shooting on campus. 

Ayesha Alvi, a student Union worker, said the reopening is a good sign of healing and feeling optimistic.

“I was working here when there was nobody else here,” Alvi said. “So, the staff has been here but, the building (being) empty just seems so haunting and the emptiness doesn’t feel good. Today, when I saw people and everybody coming it was a lot nicer, and things felt more optimistic.” 

MSU is offering support for students, employees and faculty through Counseling and Psychiatric Services in the Olin Health Center and the third floor of the Union, a reflection room for students to read uplifting messages and to pet therapy dogs.

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Human biology sophomore Kaitlyn Wilcox said that a couple weeks ago she drove past the Union and everything felt eerie. 

“It’s different than it was before just because of what happened,” Wilcox said. “I know what happened there so who's to say it won’t happen again?” 

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Spartan Spirit Shop employee Medina Muhammad said she is ready to go back to work and talk to customers, but the reopening speeches made her emotional.

“(The Union) is my study spot,” Muhammad said. “So, before work or class, I would come here. I had multiple classes in Berkey Hall ... so I'm happy, but as the talk was going on I became a little bit angry and sad, so all the feelings (came) at once.” 

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