MSU students return to campus with Lansing on high alert

Michigan State students to get free on-campus bus rides
Posted at 3:04 PM, Jan 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-16 17:29:26-05

EAST LANSING, Mich (WXYZ) — As downtown Lansing is busy boarding up windows in preparation for protests, just a few miles down the road students at Michigan State University are busy hauling their belongings into dorms, finally returning to campus.

“I'm really excited to be back,” said student Delaney Hudson as she was moving in.

With all the excitement comes concern, with the National Guard now being called in down the road in Lansing, as potential protesters come to town.

“It’s definitely a concern if anything does start happening with how close we are to the capitol,” Hudson said.

The State Capitol building is roughly 4 miles from MSU’s campus, which in itself feels like its own community.

“I think when you’re here on campus it's sort of a different world, even though it is only a couple miles away,” said parent Pamela Sloan.

However, with such a short distance to potential danger, parents dropping off students have concerns and are discussing them with their kids.

“We did talk about it," said parent Heidi Hayes as she helped her son move into his dorm. "He says he’s about 4 miles away so hopefully that’s far enough, and hopefully they’re taking the right precautions as well.”

“We’re getting a lot of inquiries and I know a lot of people are nervous and anxious about this weekend,” said Captain Chris Rozman with the Michigan State University Police Department. "The Capitol is a little over 4 miles from campus, events there don’t typically impact Michigan State University”

MSU’s police department has been in communication with law enforcement across the region, and even put out an email to all students and faculty about their plans.

“It's important for our MSU community and the public to know that law enforcement is working together and has a coordinated plan to do everything within our power to ensure their safety,” Rozman said.

Some MSU police officers will also be working this weekend at the Capitol, but those working on campus will be prepared in case any potential violence comes down the road.

“We have a very robust emergency plan on campus and we are very prepared and well-positioned to respond to any situation that may arise. We don't anticipate that, but we’re prepared for it,” Rozman said.

On-campus move in for MSU students began on Friday and continues through the weekend.