“… How many people at U of M were really grieving and how many people across the state had to be grieving.”

The next morning, I had a meeting first thing in the morning, and that’s – I mean, I was thinking all of my connections to MSU are like second order, right? I mean, I know people who know somebody at MSU. One – two of the people at work that started in the last year used to work at MSU, one of their spouses still does. You know, a friend in my book club went to MSU, her daughter has friends there. So it’s all that kind of connection. But I have found anytime there’s this kind of violence on a college campus, it does feel a little bit more… I dunno, a little more concrete, a little – it hits a little closer to home. And anyway, when I got to campus, I think that’s when it really became clear to me, you know, how many connections people at U of M have to MSU. People are alums, people have family members that attended or are currently attending, or they work there or used to work there. You know, and really that’s true across the whole state because, you know, MSU is a big institution, it’s got students who attend from, you know, every county.

So I was really struck by how many people at U of M were really grieving and how many people across the state had to be grieving, and everybody who was on the agenda spoke about it a little bit, and we had a moment of silence and it was very… You could hear their voices wavering and, you know, it was just clearly hard to talk about, and one of the people, [NAME], reminded everybody on the call, “You know, you may have staff members who have kids who want to go home, you know, they’re gonna be leaving to go pick them up.” And I dunno. There were all these… I keep saying the same thing over and over again, but I guess I just – I was just struck by the connections. How much this story touched people, really really close to them, and then I guess I later found out that someone in our building, their niece or nephew was one of the people who were critically injured. And then later this week, I had met a bunch of people for brunch, and one of them was from Lansing and he had like the same kind of connection to one of the shooting victims, you know, somebody who was hospitalized but had survived. So, I don’t know, I guess I feel like I wish we would never have these events ever. But if we’re going to have them, I wish that everybody could feel that sort of “this hits close to home” feeling.

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