EDITORIAL: Honor our Spartan neighbors, take part in the community

A protester warms her hands up during the peaceful protest Friday, Feb. 17 on the CMU Botanical Garden Lawn.

Last week, we watched in horror as an all-too common, all-too American experience took the innocence of yet another school campus.

In the minutes, hours and days following the tragic mass shooting at Michigan State University, we saw an immense response from community members everywhere. Students, professors, parents and many others banded together to support and hold the Spartan community when it needed it the most.

Our country has already seen countless mass shootings around the United States, this year alone – 80 as of mid-February, according to the Gun Violence Archive

When it happens outside of your direct community, it can be easier to lose site of the everlasting pain it leaves. But when it’s in or near your community, you cannot avoid the, at times, unbearable days that follow.

Vigils, memorials, protests, therapy dogs, mom hugs: Those are just a few things that have been made commonplace on many Michigan campuses since the shooting.

The entire world has been able to witness, understand and empathize with this situation as it unfolded because of those working tirelessly to share stories.

One group in particular has gone above and beyond to document the aftermath of this traumatic situation they now understand all too well -- the East Lansing-based, independent student-run newsroom, The State News. Without them and other student journalists, we would have dramatically less information.

The entire staff of student journalists have documented every step of the way, sharing stories that truly reflect the horror and trauma endured the night of Feb. 13.

Central Michigan Life recognizes the relentless effort of The State News to honor its campus through accurate documentation of history.

It’s a hard thing to do, and even harder when it affects you. The student journalists at MSU have not only lived through this unspeakable experience, but many have begun to cover it before they’ve even processed what happened.

In recent days, they have helped lead the community by showing one another they're not alone. Because of their in-depth storytelling, communities near and far have been able to join in the overwhelming kindness, love and support towards Spartan community.

As the flood of media attention dissipates, and those who have the benefit of forgetting do, MSU student journalists and The State News will continue to document the healing and repairing that will take years to do.

Let’s stand with them, and the entire MSU community, in healing, sharing and connecting.

Give a hug, have a conversation or share a story. We all have the power to change a person’s world for the better.