Michigan State University implemented new safety measures during all athletic game-days to ensure anyone on campus during game-day can enjoy the game without the worry.
MSU student Toby Smith said he feels safer than ever during games.
“I think there are a lot of people to control but I have never felt an issue, so I know they are doing a good job,” said Smith, a sophomore living in South Neighborhood. “The student section is definitely very rowdy, a lot of people, hype, and excitement for the game, but that’s what makes it fun.”
Metal detectors were added to Spartan Stadium, which holds a maximum capacity of 75,000. The detectors are also in place at Munn Ice Arena, the Tennis Center, and the Wharton Center for Performing Arts.
There are also new rules on building access after certain hours. Those who wish to enter campus buildings are required to have a student ID. These new measures follow the school shooting that took place Feb. 13.
Game-days at MSU mean large crowds. Dana Whyte, spokesperson for MSU Police and Public Safety, shared ways the police department on campus is helping to keep students safe.
“We’re always looking for ways to improve safety here on campus, as the Department of Police and Public Safety. That’s our number one goal, to make students and faculty feel safe. With the amount of people coming on game day it just makes sense to install metal detectors in Spartan Stadium,” Whyte said.
Some international students are experiencing American football for the first time at MSU. Originally from Argentina, Victoria Redruello said stress doesn’t affect her during the excitement of game days because she knows the police and school officials are effectively performing their jobs.
“I am very excited, I love seeing everyone hanging around and going to games, the vibe is very upbeat,” said Redruello, a junior in mechanical engineering, “I just went to the football game with my boyfriend and that was a fun experience.”
Tailgating is another huge tradition at MSU that requires effort to keep students safe on and off campus. Overcrowding is a common problem every game throughout the streets of Grand River. The bars, and the campus itself are swarmed with sometimes angry, or even overjoyed fans. Maria Basaldua, who came from Panama, said she finds these crowds stressful at times and wishes there was more control on exactly who is allowed where.
“Grand River was pretty messy, but inside the (bars) there were a lot of people which made me nervous, and I am much more careful on game days,” said Basaldua, who is studying environmental engineering, “I have yet to go to the football games, but I have gone to on campus tailgates, those feel safer when I go I feel safe for the most part.”
MSU plans to add additional safety measures throughout the campus and not only for football events. For now students feel they are safe to attend the games even considering all that has happened, said student Toby Smith.
“I feel safe a lot of the time I go with friends or groups of people I know,” said Smith while sitting outside of Case Dining Hall. “I think it’s crowded, but I think it’s fun.”
Moving forward, MSU has recognized the importance of safety in all its venues. Whyte said that no matter the capacity, each athletic game deserves safety consistency. Safety comes from both the officers put in place to protect, but also the community. It is important that visitors utilize the buddy system, and the police department’s phone lines or 911 in emergencies. As well as helping others in need when situations do not seem right.
“If you see something say something, you can’t assume someone else will report something because a lot of times it will not get reported,” Whyte said. “As Spartans we are here to protect one another.”