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MSU to install new permanent fencing along Red Cedar River

Michigan State University sign made of brick and grey stone, sitting among plants. The text is in green.
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Michigan State University
Michigan State University will install new permanent fencing along the Red Cedar River.

Michigan State University is installing new permanent fencing along the Red Cedar River this week. The barrier is meant to increase safety in the area.

The fencing replaces a temporary barrier put in place by MSU in January.

That’s after students called for increased safety measures following the death of visiting Grand Valley State University student Brendan Santo.

His body was recovered from the Red Cedar on Jan. 21 months after he went missing on campus in October of 2021. An autopsy report found Santo died of an accidental drowning.

MSU spokesperson Dan Olsen said the university is aiming to decrease the risk of anyone else getting hurt.

“This fencing adds to our vast portfolio of safety and security measures which also include the replacement of some of our lighting fixtures across campus to more high lumen, which are brighter LED lights, across campus,” he said.

The four-foot tall-fencing is decorative steel and will cover 2,300 feet along the river.

Dan Olsen said the university is committed to protecting those on campus. He said students are encouraged to travel with a friend on campus and to use the SafeMSU app.

The application has a "walk with a friend" feature that allows users to share their location with a trusted friend or family member as they make their way to their destination.

“Safety is always our top priority here at Michigan State University not only for our students, faculty and staff but also those around our community and those who visit our campus,” Olsen said.

The university has also installed 300 surveillance cameras across campus as another safety measure.

Melorie Begay is the local producer and host of Morning Edition.
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