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.
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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

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Red, White, And Blue, What Did You Do?!

Have you ever been pulled over by the police? Have you ever been on Live PD?! Maybe I've seen you on there!

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For the past week, I have been watching "Live PD" on Youtube and it's actually really interesting. Watching people give tickets and arrested for all kinds of things, high-speed chases, and shootouts... It sounds insane because it is! It is also really real and it happens because of bad choices. I assume that there are hundreds of people, probably, even more, getting pulled over by the police every couple of minutes, maybe even seconds. When driving around from city to city, I see police everywhere; especially pulling people over. Most of the time someone will get pulled over for speeding or for equipment problems. I have only ever been pulled over once in my life, for speeding, which was unfortunate, but I was speeding and now I understand the consequences - EXPENSIVE AND NOT WORTH THE TIME IN COURT.

A lot of scenes from this show are people getting pulled over for something more dangerous. Each episode of the show is police from different places all over the United States. Sometimes it's body footage (which is incredible and very scary), car cam, helicopter cam, or a cameraman. We all know these police officers much rather be pulling people over and giving them speeding tickets, but some people just don't know when to stop.

I am writing this article for all the law enforcement officers out there because I give them so much more respect upon seeing what they deal with almost every day. Not to say that all police officers deserve the same respect because some do not because of horrible mistakes and misjudgment of situations, sorry to say. Some make bad mistakes, but so do all of those people that they have to arrest. Police officers are following the law. They are taking every necessary precaution to protect the public, protect themselves and to potentially save those who could bring harm to themselves.

I searched how much energy one must go through to become a police officer and I found that on average they must spend 880 hours (22 weeks) of academy training which includes having them, "learn state laws, criminal investigations, patrol procedures, firearms training, traffic control, defensive driving, self-defense, first aid and computer skills." Along with those they must take part in, "physical training and fieldwork that demonstrates their comprehension of classroom instruction. Field exercises include investigating mock criminal scenes, directing traffic, operating police vehicles, arrest techniques, using firearms, fingerprinting and interrogation methods." Officers with K-9 units take a couple weeks to be initially placed into a department, then 3-4 weeks for actual training for narcotics or explosives. K-9 units often teach in German so when on the pursuit and they get released that those who are being sought after cannot stop or control the dog in control. Watching countless videos of K-9's responding to their owners by attacking the suspect, usually leave their mark by taking them down by biting their arms or legs. This ensures that the suspect will not go anywhere and it gives the police officers a chance to catch their breath, evaluate the situation, making sure it is safe, then arresting them.

Another show, taken place in the UK ("Nothing To Declare") deals with suspicious travelers in airports going through security (border patrol). They arrest countless people laundering money, and others traveling with (smuggling) hundreds of pounds of cocaine, marijuana, and other miscellaneous substances or objects. Within the show, officers work in tandem with sniffer dogs to detect possible packages of those illegal substances and excessive amounts of money. It is really very fascinating and impressive what the dogs find. They stop hundreds of people and arrest plenty of them. Before watching this show, I had no idea that dogs could detect large amounts of money. When traveling out of the country, one is only allowed to carry up to $10,000; if more then police have the authority to confiscate it from the owner.

People become erratic and make bad decisions. People have to understand that there is a law to follow and if they don't then there are serious consequences. A lot of the videos from Live PD are people that have warrants, illegal substances, DUI's, assault charges, and the list goes on… I'm not going to type out every reason for you to be an advocate to either side; law or injustice, but people have to understand that when police get involved it is for the fear of the safety of the public. The police are here to bring justice and to protect us. Not everybody does their job right. We all do things wrong, sometimes with other peoples lives in our hands. Hear me out- it is easy to avoid mistakes, it is easy to get yourself into dangerous situations. Watch the people who influence you; if they act poorly and have attitudes and behaviors then get away and STAY CLEAN. The world wasn't meant for violence. The reason why we have police is to KEEP THE PEACE.

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