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MSU student hopes website will be a collective place for healing

Flowers are left at the Spartan Statue on the grounds of Michigan State University, in East Lansing, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. A gunman killed several people and wounded others at Michigan State University. Police said early Tuesday that the shooter eventually killed himself. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/AP
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AP
Flowers are left at the Spartan Statue on the grounds of Michigan State University, in East Lansing, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. A gunman killed several people and wounded others at Michigan State University. Police said early Tuesday that the shooter eventually killed himself. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

As the Michigan State University community grieves the victims of last week’s mass shooting, one student has created an online platform for public expression.

Kirin Krafthefer says when the university lifted its shelter in place order following the mass shooting, her emotions came out in a stream of consciousness.

She posted her thoughts online the next day and received thousands of mostly supportive replies.

When another student asked her to edit her own post, Krafthefer launched a new website, www.spartanstronger.org.

Krafthefer realized some people were uncomfortable posting to their own social media pages, so she built a collective site for people to write about their experience.

“And so, then to in turn have that heard through, you know, a platform and a community of other students who also went through the same thing, I think, has been very healing for a lot of people, and I know it’s been healing for me as well,” Krafthefer said.

Krafthefer says her initial social media post right after the shooting also drew some negative comments.

“What I’m trying to do with this website is eliminate that,” she added. “They’re not going to get any backlash from a post because all that’s on there is their name and no contact info. It’s just primarily a place of healing, I guess is what I would like a student who’s worried about submitting something to know.”

Krafthefer says for now, spartanstronger.org is open only to MSU students and faculty, though she says she’s aware the need for healing reaches much farther into the community.

Kevin Lavery served as a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered before retiring in 2023.
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