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Updated on Monday, September 8

#19724

OMG: The death of the first year engineering student has affected me more than I expected. As an O-Week leader I feel like I let her down, even though she wasn't even in my faculty. Plus the fact that we were pretty much told to ignore it until the school got outed by CTV made me feel like the school was very untrustworthy.

22 comments

  1. If the situation has had a lasting negative effect on you, please go to counselling services and talk to a counsellor. I can imagine it was very tough for a lot of leaders to deal with, and it's a good idea not to have things like this weighing on your mind as you begin classes.

    On that note, I don't think the university "ignored" the situation, they responded carefully to a tragedy. You don't want the details of someone's death spread around campus before the family is notified. You don't want students in a panic that one of their friends/first-years has died but they don't know who. You don't want the media to crowd the scene and block emergency crews, pester students or misrepresent the story.

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    1. Yeah, I think it's pretty standard to keep things on the down-low until the situation is properly assessed.

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  2. "told to ignore it" .. care to elaborate?

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  3. They ignore a lot of stuff - suicides for examples are kept pretty quiet and certain faculties like Engineering and CS have particularly high rates - does this change curricula or improved capacity of counselling services? Nope.

    Try making an appointment today and see if they can see you before October.

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    1. Suicides stay on the down-low because of the copycat effect. Publicizing them increases the suicide rate.

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    2. I think the point 3 was trying to make was that even knowing that there are people placed in vulnerable situations, the university does very little to diffuse the high pressure environments some faculties love to create.

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    3. Counselling Services will usually get you space with an intake counsellor fairly quickly, and if you are in urgent need they will usually slot you in ASAP.

      If you need someone to talk to and can't wait, you should call Good2Talk at 1-866-925-5454. It's a free counselling service for post-secondary students run by the provincial government.

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    4. 3b your comment about being placed in vulnerable situations along with 3c's adivce to go to counselling services is ironic, given concerns students have with counselor Dave (comment 4). You and 3 are right. They do tell us to ignore a lot.

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    5. Seriously MODS, I don't know what's happened to you over the past 6 months, but OMGUW used to be a place where you couldn't name names unless they were well-known public figures, at least in the local (university) community. Regardless of what said person has been accused of/involved in, witch hunting is a despicable pastime.

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    6. hush hush, sweep sweep. They're talking about higher vulnerability of students. This looks like its from a sexual perpetrator who has access to students one on one behind closed doors, already arriving vulnerable from whatever brought them there.
      And isn't he already named at the public Canadian legal library website? Why's it okay there and not here?

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    7. ^...because omguw is subject to higher legal standards than CanLII?

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  4. As a fellow orientation leader I know how you feel. However I do think it was reasonable for the school to try keeping it quiet for a bit, the media let it spread before the family was even notified and I don't think that's fair to them. especially since every parent of every first year probably had a heart attack hearing that story on the news

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  5. 1 basically said it perfectly. It's totally understandable if you're feeling unnerved by what happened - consider seeing something in Counselling Services.

    As for the University's response to the situation, it's normal to ask your volunteers/personnel to not spread rumours/panic until the situation has been properly assessed, and the relevant people (i.e. upper admin, the family of the victim, the police, etc.) have all been notified and have had a chance to formulate a response.

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  6. There was nothing "untrustworthy" about the University's media blackout on the death of that student. The University needs to actually formulate a public statement so that we don't just have wild guesses and hyperbole for hours before anything was certain.

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  7. No one is responsible but her. She stood under a tree, knowing the risk, and unfortunately paid for it.

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    1. The chances of getting struck by lightning is still pretty low though. She may not have even realized she could actually get hit.

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  8. Waterloo is untrustworthy. Two years ago an international student who was raped in residence was expelled and deported to keep everything hush hush. I can't wait to get out of here.

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    1. Sorry bud, but that's going to need a big ol' [Citation Needed]

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    2. They can do that since their legal and government relations teams report up to their public relations department.

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    3. Sorry 8a given UW's legal and PR resources we'll need to rely on keeping each other informed right here on this site.

      But if you're looking for a some recent UW history read these at maasv .

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    4. 8b, your information is false. UW's legal team (Office of the Secretariat and General Counsel) reports to the Secretary of the University, who reports directly to the President and the Board of Governors.

      I'm with 8a - this needs a damned citation before I'll believe it. Contrary to popular belief, the University can't just expel a student for any whimsical reason - their own policy framework is pretty strict about it. This isn't some private university in the USA.

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    5. ^is there a restructure history available?

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