February 12, 2024

ASMSU Week of Remembrance Marks First Year Since February 13

Emily Hoyumpa, social relations and policy senior and president for the Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU), understands how emotional the week marking the one-year anniversary of Feb.13 may be. She understands there are complexities and nuances for which to be thoughtful. She understands all of that not only because she is an important campus leader, but also because she is a student – a Spartan.

“I’m one Spartan out of 51,000 students. That doesn’t include our faculty. That doesn’t include our support staff. That doesn’t include our alumni. That doesn’t include the Spartans yet to come. This community continues to grow, and there’s so much pride in being a Spartan,” Hoyumpa explains. “When you're taking on that role of a Spartan, you're not only taking on being a part of that community, but you're taking on the support system. You're taking on just simply being there for one another.”

As a result, ASMSU has worked hard for months to produce programming on the week of Feb. 12 that is reflective of the notion that each person impacted is in a different place on their own respective journey to processing and to healing. A focus on community connection became key as well as the consideration of choice.

“Not everyone is feeling the same thing. Some people want to be with others. Some people want to be alone. Some people want to give back. Some people just want that word of kindness, and that's kind of where that day of service came about — finding activities for people,” says Hoyumpa.

Kathryn Harding, ASMSU’s director of Health, Safety and Wellness, also worked with the Center for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL) in producing Healing Through Kindness and Service, a two-location event Tuesday, Feb. 13, in which attendees can come together with the community at both the Hannah Community Center and the MSU International Center. Kindness activities will be available at both locations, and service activities will be available at the Hannah Community Center, where participants will be packaging supply kits for K-12 students and families of Lansing and East Lansing Public Schools, Edgewood Village and the MSU Student Parent Resource Center and decorating brown sack lunch bags for Kids Food Basket. A shuttle will be provided going to and from the locations. Attendees may join and leave at any time.

“The Center for Community Engaged Learning is honored to be able to support ASMSU and other campus partners that wish to provide a place for Spartans to be in community Feb. 13. Sharing kindness and being in service will provide a space for healing and community. Emily Hoyumpa and Kathryn Harding are thoughtful and kind leaders. The care they put into ensuring that Spartans will be supported is immeasurable,” says Renee Brown, director for the CCEL. 

There will be reflective spaces to provide a safe environment for individual reflection by members of the community. Feb. 13 will be capped with an evening Remembrance Ceremony luminary lighting from 7:30-9:30 p.m., in MSU Lot 62 on the north side of the Spartan Stadium. Luminaries can be picked up at several locations, and Spartans around the globe are invited to join from wherever they are that evening. During this time, Berkey Hall and the MSU Union will be lit in green in honor of the Spartans lost in those spaces.

Following Tuesday’s Remembrance Day activities, ASMSU will also be hosting events through Friday. More information can be found at the official ASMSU Instagram account.

“I think one of the big things I want people to take away is, regardless of where you are in your healing journey, you know there are other Spartans here to support you. It may sound cliché, but it’s okay to not be okay. Healing is by no means linear, and I think it's important to acknowledge all those different feelings, just simply to validate them,” Hoyumpa says. “I'm hoping people give validity to what they're feeling. I hope they know that there are other people in support of them, if they so choose.” 

Hoyumpa hopes this week provides whatever it is each Spartan needs at this point in their process. As for her, she doesn’t quite know how she will feel. 

“I have been in so many different places for this. My mind has been in so many different places. So, I'm not even sure what next week is going to look like. I think the most I can say is I'm hoping fellow Spartans come in support of one another. A lot of people I've talked to don't know how they're going to feel until they get there. And that’s okay.” 

More details on Remembrance Day as well as important resources can be found at SpartansTogether.msu.edu. The Office of Student Support and Accountability Care and Intervention Team, introduced last fall, is also accepting referrals for individuals who may be struggling and can provide support and resources to community members who are concerned for another individual.

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