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Shooting at MSU 'hits close to home' for Northwestern Michigan College

Northwestern Michigan College, University Center,
Andy Wakeman
Northwestern Michigan College Campus, Photo Credit: Andy Wakeman, Northerwestern Michigan College

Monday night’s mass shooting at Michigan State University is being felt beyond the East Lansing campus.

“We have a ton of alumni who went from NMC to MSU, so it just really hits close to home,” said Diana Fairbanks, associate vice president of public relations, marketing and communications at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City.

“It’s just heartbreaking. There’s frustration, there’s sadness. There’s really a desire to comfort each other. And I think that’s where we’re starting.”

NMC is providing counselors by Zoom, phone or in person for anyone who needs support.

Fairbanks said the school’s emergency management team practices communication monthly with texts, emails and phone calls to employees and students.

She says Northwestern Michigan College is confident in its safety protocols, but plans to review them in wake of the shooting at Michigan State.

“Everybody’s looking at their safety protocols again, including us. Fortunately, we have robust safety protocols in place,” she said. “We work really closely and regularly with local law enforcement, we have security on campus that is our own security.”

It also offers a “red flag” system, for people to easily report suspicious or dangerous activities online or by phone.

And emergency blue light phones are scattered across campus.

Tyler Thompson is a reporter at Interlochen Public Radio.