Grand River Avenue is the hub where students spend much of their free time, whether that be catching up with friends or doing homework at the few cafes, grabbing groceries or food at the numerous restaurants and eateries or leisurely strolling through the unique shops.
It’s also the epicenter of nightlife for students, with many bars and restaurants that promote drinking and fun events like karaoke or trivia.
For many, before the Feb. 13 shooting on Michigan State University's campus, Grand River Avenue was a safe place to be. Since then, however, many East Lansing businesses have had to make accommodations and create precautions to prepare for a emergent safety threats.
Perry Kaguini, a manager at Campbell’s Market Basket, said the building has a basement with food and water for employees if an emergency like that happens. The shelter has a lock inside for extra protection.
Kaguini had "some employees that were in the Union" when the shooting took place. He said he is aware of emergencies that come up and feels more compelled to help.
Raising Cane’s manager Sarah Mersino said the restaurant has increased a few store-wide safety measures since the shooting. Initially, Mersino and other managers were informed to "educate members on information regarding disasters and emergencies" like the shooting or any other threats to safety. Immediately after the shooting, Mersino said, the store had to complete training.
"We all have to do training on stuff like that," Mersino said. "(We need) to do active shooter training."
Raising Cane’s also has security on the weekends, which is more in preparation for the rowdiness and chaos that often happens following football games, she said.
Moosejaw manager Collin Tarr said the store keeps "full injury preparedness kits" to assist people who have been injured during an accident, but initially there was no training on how to use the contents inside the kit.
In the wake of the shooting, Tarr and other employees took management training on how to use the kits and successfully help any individuals who have been harmed, including employees, customers and passersby.
On the other hand, there are stores on Grand River Avenue that have not implemented safety measures since the shooting for different reasons.
Dave Dellinger, one of the owners of Flat, Black and Circular, a record store on the second floor of a building on Grand River Avenue, said that the shop has not taken any safety measures or training because of it's location.
"We’re kind of upstairs and off the main road," Dellinger said. "I feel like people don’t know we’re here. You can’t really see us in the street."
El Azteco manager Johnny Vlahakis said he did not add any restaurant security because he trusts the East Lansing Police Department to arrive quickly to the scene, as well as the fact that previous security issues "haven’t affected" the restaurant.
Vlahakis added that he doesn’t think he will add any training or security in the future either, because he and the other leaders of El Azteco are "always aware of what’s going on."
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