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The following open letter can be attributed to Tim Daman, president and CEO, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce and Bob Trezise, president and CEO, Lansing Economic Area Partnership.

Our community is the campus, and the campus is our community.

With this friendship in mind, we write to you as leaders of organizations responsible for building a growing region full of opportunities and a hopeful, bright future for all who set foot in Greater Lansing. We also write to you as proud alumni of the greatest university in the world, Michigan State University. Our wish for you is to derive the full benefit of your Spartan experience, academically and socially. We are doing our best to ensure that the Lansing region is a welcoming community for all, especially you, our MSU student neighbor. The business members of our organizations are most interested in providing opportunities for you after graduation, and we hope you will choose to continue to live and work in our region.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to all of us. Throughout the region, businesses are feeling the economic impact, including the small business community where you live in East Lansing. We understand the challenges you face from dealing with the shift to online, remote learning, to worrying about paying your bills and the stress of social isolation. We know and recognize many college students are struggling.

But along with this reality is the fragility of our region’s economic recovery. None of us can afford any further setbacks or other obstacles that will worsen the situation for all of us. Unfortunately, the careless behavior of a small group of students who have chosen to disregard widely accepted safety protocols such as wearing a mask, social distancing and not getting tested is putting our entire region at risk.

We are in this together. We all want basketball and football and hockey! We want business to thrive. So, all of us, as citizens of the region, have a responsibility to respect the health and safety of everyone in our community. We encourage you to fully enjoy the benefits of living and studying in this incredible region. We ask that you follow the commonsense guidelines for dealing with COVID-19.

Let’s all do the right thing. Protect yourself. Protect others. Protect our community. Remember, our community is the campus, and the campus is our community. It will take a collective effort from everyone in our region. We can do this.

Let us show our region, state, and other university communities that Spartans WILL!

Tim Daman, President and CEO, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce
Bob Trezise, President and CEO, Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP)