Message from the Dean following the Events of February 13, 2023

February 14, 2023

Dear Members of the RCAH Community, 

I wanted to share with you a message I sent a few minutes ago to current RCAH students. Most of us have never experienced a day like this—a day unlike any other in MSU’s history—and we have been changed forever by these acts of violence against members of our community. Sadly, some Spartans know this kind of violence all too well, with at least one student who was on campus last night also having survived the Oxford school shooting more than a year ago.  

As a resilient and creative residential college that “lives our learning” each and every day, we in RCAH will continue to do what we do best: mobilize the arts and humanities to build community, achieve social justice, and individually and collectively heal in times of crisis.  

At this particular moment, I am struck by the inadequacy of “thoughts and prayers” to express the emotional turbulence that one has on a day like this. We must act. 



Note: Please be aware that the following communication contains references to last night’s campus shooting.  


Dear RCAH Students, 

It is with unspeakable sadness and grief that I communicate with you today. Last night’s horrific events on campus have forever changed our individual and collective trajectories. Alongside other University leaders, RCAH faculty and staff have been working tirelessly in response to our collective campus nightmare. 

While I was not in Snyder-Phillips Hall when the shelter-in-place order was issued, I returned to campus when the imminent threat ended shortly after midnight. I spoke with students and a professor who had been sheltering in the Language and Media Center and Art Studio. These visits at this traumatic time reinforced that while the MSU community is resilient, these events are very painful and raw for the entire Spartan community, and probably will be well into the future. 

RCAH cares deeply about your mental health and physical wellbeing. I know you are being inundated with messages today, so we will communicate with you clearly about the people and resources in RCAH and at MSU that you can turn to for support.  

Some important things for you to know: 

  • MSU Police say the campus is in no imminent danger and that the single perpetrator has been found deceased. 

  • Three individuals perished last night on campus, and their names are being released as family members are contacted. Five people whose names are not being released are hospitalized. 

  • Via email and on our website, RCAH Associate Dean Terese Guinsatao Monberg and Director of Student Success and Advising Marissa King will be sharing resources available to all MSU students, and to RCAH students specifically

  • Ongoing now, there are listening sessions in 303 and 304 Snyder Hall, facilitated by the MSU Neighborhood Student Success Collaborative. Those begin noon-10 p.m. today and available through Thursday. 

  • ALL classes are cancelled until Monday, February 20. 

  • Be aware that your professors cannot assign additional remote work or make assignments due until Monday morning (February 20).   

  • The Snyder-Phillips Hall exterior doors are locked until further notice and can be accessed using your ID card. 

  • The Gallery cafeteria is closed. The Vista at Shaw Hall is the closest dining hall to Snyder-Phillips Hall. 

  • For those of you who remain on campus or in East Lansing, the Spartan community will host a candlelight vigil at 6:00pm tomorrow evening (Wednesday) at The Rock, on Farm Lane near the Auditorium 

  • Prior to Wednesday’s vigil, the RCAH community will gather at 5:00pm in the RCAH Student Center and proceed to the vigil for the 6 p.m. start.  

  • For up-to-date information, MSU has created a prominent webpage with emergency news and information about MSU operations, services, and supports for the MSU community. 

I will be available in person or via Zoom over the next few days for those needing to connect. Moreover, faculty and staff will likewise make their time and attention available to you over the next few days. Marissa King will share a schedule of when and how you can connect with our faculty and staff in person or over Zoom.  

Last night’s violence will undoubtedly have differential impacts on each of us for some time to come. This sort of violence should never be acceptable on a college campus or any place for that matter. While we grieve together, I am confident that we will move forward in positive and mutually supportive ways.  

In solidarity,


Dylan AT Miner, PhD
Dean and Professor 
Residential College in the Arts and Humanities 
Michigan State University