On Thursday, Oct. 25, the University of Utah held a press conference updating the campus community and the public on the status of the police investigation into the fatal shooting of U student Lauren McCluskey and provided a timeline of events surrounding the incident.
Earlier in the day, U President Ruth V. Watkins had “the honor and the privilege” of posthumously awarding a degree in communication to Lauren by presenting the degree to her family. Watkins said it was “a gesture intended to express how important Lauren was to our campus community.”
“There is no degree that can adequately acknowledge the outstanding contributions that Lauren made to our campus and to this university and to her field of study,” said Watkins.
Watkins announced the university’s initiation of two separate reviews.
“We are determined as a university to learn from this tragedy and to ensure that what we can do better at the University of Utah happens,” said Watkins. “We are committed to doing everything we can to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again on our campus.”
The first review will focus on campus safety. The campus safety task force will continue its work with the addition of an outside, independent expert to take a look at every aspect of campus safety and security. Watkins acknowledged that progress was made in the past two years, but “this tragic event requires us to revisit every aspect of campus safety and to do so with the help and guidance of an independent expert.” More specific information will be shared, but the review will commence immediately.
The second review will be an independent review specifically focused on the actions the U police department took in response to Lauren’s original complaint and leading up to the tragic incident. U Police Chief Dale Brophy said that the department welcomes the review. Watkins said she has “great faith that the U police department worked diligently on this incident.”
“We will leave no stone unturned in determining anything we can do to prevent this from happening again on our campus,” said Watkins. “We will honor Lauren by learning from this tragedy to make the University of Utah a safer place for everyone.”
View the timeline of events here and watch the press conference below:
There are a number of campus resources available to support students, staff and faculty, with both group and individual counseling services.
- University Counseling Center, 426 SSB, 801-581-6826
- Office of the Dean of Students, 270 Union Building, 801-581-7066
- Women’s Resource Center, 411 Union Building 801-581-8030
- Victim-Survivor Advocacy, Center for Student Wellness, 328 SSB, 801-581-7779
- University Neuropsychiatric Institute SafeUT
- More student services can be found at utah.edu