Albion College Hosts Vigil at Rock to Honor Victims of MSU Shooting

Assistant Director for Spiritual Wellness, Laura Todd, speaks to those surrounding the green and white painted rock in the quad during a vigil held on Tuesday for the victims of the shooting at Michigan State University on Monday. The vigil allowed students to speak and share a moment of solidarity for the victims of the shooting (Photo courtesy of Eric Westmoreland).

Content warning: The following article contains discussion of gun violence. 

On Feb. 14, on the quad, there was a campus vigil led by the Assistant Director for Spiritual Wellness, Laura Todd, following the shooting at Michigan State University. Three students were killed and five have been hospitalized with injuries. 

“Today, we are gathered to honor the people who were killed last night and to stand in solidarity with the spartan community,” Todd said. 

Many Albion College community members were in attendance to pay their respects to the lives that have been lost and to grieve along with those affected. Todd said they understood the emotions people were feeling: “Afraid, angry, numb, hypervigilant and frozen.” 

Todd said they felt the shooting left Albion students with a lot of questions. 

“Maybe we have been asking ourselves why, and how, and what does this mean, and what can we – what will you do and how do we stop this from happening,” Todd said.

They said that some have answers and some don’t; the more we think about it, the more “it rubs salt on the wound.” 

Following the introduction, Todd gave the floor to the college’s Brition Singers who sang “Secret for the Mad” by Dodie Clark. Clayton Parr, their instructor, said that the piece was about not being okay, but knowing that the time will come.

Then, Student Senate President Sheridan Leinbach, Lansing junior, said the senate is working with the school to provide better training across campus and making sure all support services stay open. 

“I, along with all the other senators, am putting my emotions and personal connections aside, yet also using them to fuel my anger and to look at the level of change we can easily obtain,” Leinbach said.

After Leinbach spoke, Todd invited an open discussion for all of those who were in attendance. Sebastian Quirarte, Dallas first-year, performed ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ by Oasis on guitar. 

Three prayers were given by the President of Hillel Em Schiffer, a sophomore from West Bloomfield Township; the President of the Christian Fellowship Samantha Dye from Canton; and Wyatt Falardeau, a first-year from Vero Beach, Florida. 

When finished with his prayer, Falardeau hugged the rock and other students began to follow, sitting at the base. 

“Let this vigil be the beginning of the journey, not the end,” Todd said. “Let the presence of students, staff, and others in our community remind you that you do not walk by yourself in this.”

Counseling services, Albion Care and Active Minds will continue to be open to any Albion College students, staff or faculty who need support. 

About Rhiannon Slotnick 28 Articles
Rhiannon Slotnick is a Junior from Detroit, Michigan. She is double majoring in English Literature Creative Writing and Sociology. She enjoys putting words on to paper for both work and for personal pleasure. If she's not writing, you can find her reading a book or stargazing around campus. You can contact her at rms15@albion.edu

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