They walked along an alley back toward their apartment in Cedar Village.
The student wasn't drinking or causing any trouble, but that didn't stop someone from brutally beating him.
Now police are searching for the suspects just as students move back onto campus to start the school year.
According to witnesses, an argument was already underway between 30 to 40 people when the friends unknowingly walked right into it.
The victim suffered multiple face and skull fractures and remains hospitalized.
East Lansing police are investigating.
With the new term just starting it’s a good time for students to re-think safety rules.
"I don't ever go out by myself, I go out with a group of friends" said one student.
"We always travel with people just in case something would ever happen" said another student.
At the top of the list, never let something minor escalate into something major.