We will endure this together

February 14, 2023

Dear MSU Sociology Community,


We experienced a collective trauma this evening, as a single shooter killed and injured multiple people in Berkey Hall before moving on to do the same in the MSU Union and ultimately heading north where he apparently took his own life.  For approximately four hours tonight when the identity and location of the shooter was unknown, we were gripped with fear, desperation, and hopelessness.  Even though the shooter is now deceased and our campus “shelter-in-place” order has been lifted, our fear, desperation, and hopelessness—among other feelings—may endure for a while.


It likely will take each of us quite a while to deal with this trauma—and we will do so in our own ways.  I expect that university officials will share with our community an array of counseling, care, and wellbeing resources in the next day or so.  Of course, MSU’s Counseling & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) (https://caps.msu.edu) is a key resource for MSU students who are dealing with trauma, depression, and anxiety, and MSU’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) (https://eap.msu.edu) is a parallel resource for MSU faculty, staff, and graduate student employees.


In the coming days, I urge all of us to prioritize self-care, acknowledge our feelings, and maintain our connections to our friends and family members.  In doing so, let’s keep in our thoughts and our hearts the families and friends of those tragically killed tonight—as well as those continuing to fight for their lives in the hospital.


For the next 48 hours, MSU will be on emergency operations.  Our classes, meetings, and nearly all other events are cancelled for the next 48 hours.  Those of us who do not live on campus should simply not come to campus during this time.  Those living on campus will soon receive information about foodservice and other essential services.


Since part of Berkey Hall remains a crime scene, we may want to prepare for the contingency that our access to our building may be suspended for longer than 48 hours.


Finally, I just want to remind us that humans have a tremendous capacity to endure tragedy.  This capacity is further actuated when we support and care for each other.  We will endure this together.  Spent time with family, reach out to friends, and check in on colleagues.



Aaron M. McCright (he, him, his)

Professor and Chairperson

Department of Sociology

Michigan State University


317 Berkey Hall

e-mail: mccright@msu.edu

office: 517-355-6640

department: https://sociology.msu.edu

personal: https://goo.gl/bjjrJS


MSU occupies the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary Lands of the Anishinaabeg—Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples.  MSU resides on land ceded in the 1819 Treaty of Sag