Odyssey Impact: A Student Recounts A Harrowing Shooting At Saginaw Valley State

Odyssey Impact: A Student Recounts A Harrowing Shooting At Saginaw Valley State

Miah Cooper doesn't let violence define her community.
29
views

Imagine attending a party at an apartment complex across from campus, and suddenly hearing gunshots just a few feet from where you’re standing.

Saginaw Valley State University student Miah Cooper found herself in the midst of a shooting around 1:50 a.m. on Sunday, September 11, and escaped the premises unscathed while five others were injured.

Almost a thousand people attended the party and quickly scattered after the gunman opened fire. A few hundred people, Cooper included, were eyewitnesses, and stayed to give their accounts to police. “I didn’t get home until after 4:30 a.m.,” Cooper said.

She woke up at 11 a.m., distressed. Her first instinct was to retell what happened on Odyssey, and to start the healing process of her community. “I felt compelled to write about it,” she said.

She submitted her post within two hours.

Cooper’s mission was not only to unify the student body, but also to give peace of mind to worried parents and grandparents:

My school is my safe place. My school is not dangerous. My school is not violent, but the world is. So on this day — and every day — I stand with my Saginaw Valley State University — because we are Cardinal Strong.

“I felt that the way I’d worded it, it would be able to help so many people who were there who were scared,” she said. “My biggest concern was that yes, it was scary, but that didn’t make me any less proud of being at SVSU.”

Within the next 24 hours, her story was resonating so much with other SVSU students and faculty that they started sharing the article on social media. Cooper, whose only intention was to help heal those who had been affected by the shooting, was blown away to find her article was garnering thousands of shares within just a few days of being posted.

“I didn’t expect a thousand shares and I definitely didn’t expect 7,000.”

Multiple students, alumni and family members of SVSU students and faculty thanked Cooper in Facebook comments and messages for helping ease their fears about the shooting, and for reminding them that SVSU is still an incredible place.


“This is such a beautiful article and you have empowered many to not live in fear but to put biases aside and come together with their Cardinal Family to always protect and look out for one another,” commented reader Ally Smith.

As several news outlets reported on the shooting, ABC12 approached Cooper directly about her Odyssey post, and requested an interview with her.

“I felt pretty great being on the news and the way my story got shared,” Cooper said. “A lot of people now recognize me, and I have no idea who they are. They’ll be like ‘You were the girl who wrote about the shooting,’ and they’ll read my other articles and say ‘I love the one you wrote about your dad.’”

After Cooper’s interview, the dean of her college quickly recognized her as a true leader on campus and invited her to his office.

Cooper, whose major is secondary education with a minor in communications, was previously told she may not graduate on time because her minor was not considered “teachable.”

After her visit, the dean made some connections and adjusted the program so Cooper could graduate on time.

“He said ‘I could tell the way you write, the way you talk in the news, that there needs to be a teacher like you in the world.’ That wouldn’t have happened for me had it not been for Odyssey.”

Almost a month later, Cooper is continuing to make an impact with recent Odyssey articles like “For All You Boys With Baby Sisters” and “20 Things I’ve Learned Before 21,” but her coverage on the shooting forever proved how powerful her voice could be.

“To be given a platform to be able to share what happened to me is so incredible.”

Cover Image Credit: ABC12

Popular Right Now

3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

54690
views

I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

283
views

Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

Related Content

Facebook Comments