EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Memorials that were set up on Michigan State University’s campus to honor the victims killed in a deadly shooting on Feb. 13 started to be removed by officials on Thursday.
Since the shootings at the MSU Union and Berkey Hall a little over two weeks ago, flowers, signs, and a myriad of commemorative displays were erected throughout campus.
There were multiple reasons for the displays being removed, but MSU spokesperson Dan Olsen said that harsh weather conditions and the deterioration of flowers and signs played into the decision to remove them.
Students and staff were invited to help with the removal process. With the removal comes a new purpose for the flowers and signs.
Olsen added that the flowers from the memorials will be turned into mulch that will be used to plant a memorial tree later this year- commemorating Alexandria Verner, Brian Fraser and Arielle Anderson, who were killed in the shooting.
“When you get an environmental policy degree, you don’t take classes on how to deal with cleaning up situations like these,” said MSU employee Chris Hewitt. “I think this is the most kind and respectful way that we can do this. Respect those we’ve lost and try to carry the memory on.”
Signs and other items will be preserved by MSU Archives and the MSU Museum.
“With the storm coming, it’s the best thing to do to preserve what has been given here,” continued Hewitt. “This way, the MSU archives can preserve and catalog all of the very thoughtful signs and kind gifts people have left. It’s giving new life to something that would normally be waste.”
As of March 2, four out of the five shooting survivors were still recovering in the hospital.