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Updated on Friday, September 12

#19763

OMG: A student dies on campus, and the excellent folks at Imprint put it on page 4 and somehow manage to try and blame the UW Administration.. but fail. seriously imprint? Health Services Renovations and Trudeau are more important? who runs this joke of a paper and why do we a students continue to give it money?

34 comments

  1. Our school isn't even cool enough to organize a vigil or memorial or put down candles or something like normal communities. How can you expect Imprint volunteers to be any different? It is not our culture at UW.

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    1. The nano profs are doing something for the family. From what I hear they wanted things low key.

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  2. I don't know if it really necessitates a cover story and a full page spread. The family asked for privacy, and everyone at UW seems adamant about having all sorts of very public displays of sorrow and sadness, in spite of what the actual people who knew the girl have asked for.

    @1: You realize that cities and community organizations don't organize vigils, right? That's usually just individuals in the community. If candles haven't been put down nor a vigil held, it's probably because no one except for you and OP deemed it a good idea.

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    1. I don't think it's a good idea. But I think public displays of grief and sadness are overall good for other people. Personally, I don't actually care...it's a tragedy but I didn't know her or any of her friends or family in any capacity. How can I care?

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  3. I think what they did was very respectful actually. They covered this story extensively on their website last week and the family did ask for privacy. There are no new updates to report, so why would they put it as a cover story?

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  4. The Imprint did some good investigative reporting. I don't think they failed. They asked good questions, got their interviews and quotes, informed the UW community, and raised awareness, which is more than I saw the administration do.

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  5. What is wrong with putting it on the fourth page? The family asked for privacy and it would be ostentatious to slap that story on the front page. The aftermath of a death should revolve around the needs of the next of kin.

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  6. "why do we a students"

    TIL Borat goes to UW

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  7. “... yes this morning we did have fire drills, however, it was a completely different part of campus, miles apart from where the incident took place. There is no linkage between this unfortunate accident and the fire drills,” Hamdullahpur said.

    I just checked Google Maps and the campus looks less than a mile wide, and the furthest point on campus from the incident looks less than a kilometer. This doesn't help his credibility.

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    1. Meh. It's silly to pretend this was anything less than a freak accident. This student was heading to an event - she wasn't out on the V1 Green because of a fire drill.

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    2. “... yes this morning we did have fire drills, however, it was a completely different part of campus, miles apart from where the incident took place..." Hamdullahpur said.

      7a I think you missed 7's point. President Hamdullahpur's fact was quite wrong in a public statement. He chose to use distance between drill and bolt as the fact to support his conclusion.

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    3. 7a the idea isn't that UW instructed her to leave the building for a fire drill, it's that they did instruct others on staff to do this, where they were exposed to the same level of risk that led to her being struck down. Her being hit may evidence that the risk was heightened.

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    4. What buildings had fire drills?

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    5. 7d all residences have fire drills on the Friday morning of Orientation Week.

      7b, what you're saying is correct, but irrelevant. Obviously Feridun was speaking with a certain amount of (admittedly misplaced) hyperbole.

      7c it really depends on whether the drills were before or after the lightning strike. Remember, in spite of the weather, Orientation events were also running that morning, until the lightning strike happened. And the fire drill - which is required by the Region as part of the University's annual fire safety testing - would be much less likely to be cancelled than an Orientation event. Besides, the buildings are equipped with lightning rods, and during fire drills students congregate just outside them. It's not a flat open space like V1 Green.

      This tragedy was... tragic. But the only person who could've prevented it was the victim herself, who, quite frankly, shouldn't have taken shelter under a tree in an otherwise open area during a lightning storm. If you want to place blame somewhere else then go ahead - but it's silly.

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    6. 7e,
      about 7b, it wasn't obvious he was exaggerating and that's not what readers would expect from the UW President in a statement to the public. We'd expect his statements to be factually correct.
      7b's and 7's points sound relevant and central. The 3 laws of real estate are location, location, location and that applies here too. The closer the fire drills were to the bolt in time and place, the closer the weather conditions.
      about 7d, when you said all residences had fire drills that Friday did that include village 1?
      about 7c,
      1. We don't know if the fire drills were during, fully before, or fully after the bolt.
      2. Scheduled fire drills can be deferred due to inclement weather. It wasn't required to proceed with that Friday's fire drills to comply with by-laws, the Ontario Fire Code, or the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.
      3. Likeliness doesn't apply to cancellation. Unlike weather it isn't capricious but is the responsibility of UW admin.
      4. Lightning rods get less effective the further away from a structure's interior. During fire drills people are to congregate away from the building. So either UW did not appropriately instruct students where to gather, or moved them to an area of lessened lightning rod effectiveness.

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    7. 7f, while your points are well-worded and appear salient at first glance, ultimately they boil down to nothing more than mere semantics.

      The important fact here is that the bolt strike did not occur in any of the areas students are normally asked to congregate during the morning fire drills.

      This was a freak accident, plain and simple. To the best of my knowledge, it's the first and only time something like this has happened on-campus ever before. That's why none of the morning's events were cancelled until after the tragedy occurred.

      I'd be far more concerned about tragedies like the accident on Ring Road 2 years ago, where a speeding bus hit a student who ultimately died of his injuries. That was preventable, and it was the University's fault. And it is a much more regular problem.

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    8. Sorry 7g, 7f's arguments remain salient at more than just first glance.

      When I see semantics used as a counter I read back and evaluate. I usually as in this case conclude the person making it has run out of mental ammunition but may not be in a position that allows them to concede.

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    9. ^Or that person simply doesn't have the time/energy to spend hours wrapped up in an anonymous argument on the internet about whether or not the President of the University was using colloquial language in a press conference.

      Seriously, I just read this whole thread and am violently rolling my eyes... why anyone would engage in these arguments for any reason other than "soul crushing boredom" is beyond me.

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  8. You need to understand the pressure which Imprint was put under in this kind of situation OP. First of all, that reporter caught A LOT of flack from a lot of different directions for even covering this in the paper. Secondly, if they don't cover it, then they get those who accuse them of not caring. As some said, they covered it extensively the week before when it happened, but did not physically publish anything. At the point of publishing the latest ed. of Imprint there was nothing new to publish that hadn't already been said. But if nothing was published some people would be unhappy. It's a no win situation, and they were trying to be respectful of the family's wishes.

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    1. For what it's worth 8, I think Imprint did a pretty good job handling the situation. It bugs the hell out of me when media use a tragedy to create sensationalist news.

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    2. That the reporter caught a lot of flack from a lot of directions indicates they did the right thing on an important topic.
      Impressive that the Imprint continues to support the reporter while under that pressure.

      Good judgment and good work.

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  9. Have they released the girls name yet?

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  10. Reading through this, based on these statements of
    a) acceptance and excusing President Hamdullahpur's wildly inaccurate public statement,
    b) incomprehension of why people would want to know the facts surrounding what happened, and
    c) negative phrases for those trying to understand responsibilities
    would some of these posts happen to come from UW Public Relations?

    The coroner's office and Ministry of Labour are investigating.
    It seems they aren't taking the President of the University's word on events either.
    Are they silly, suffering from boredom, or not worthy of the money they're being paid?

    Remember UW's motto.

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    1. The coroner's office is investigating because investigating cause of death is literally their job.

      The Ministry of Labour is investigating because, under some obscure provincial regulation, students on-campus are classified as 'employees,' and a student death on campus is classified as a workplace death - for which the University, as the 'employer' is obligated to notify them so that they can investigate.

      But both of those things are essentially formalities at this point. Maybe - just maybe - it's possible that recommendations will come out of both of those investigations to try and avoid such a tragedy in the future. And if that's the case, then I for one would welcome any suggestions.

      I wouldn't describe the President's statement as 'wildly inaccurate,' just 'an inappropriate use of hyperbole' - which is (unfortunately) how he normally talks. Feridun is a lot of things, but 'a precise speaker' is NOT one of those things.

      If lightning strikes were a common cause of death on this campus (or at all, for that matter), I'd be worried about the facts surrounding this event. But to the best of my knowledge, this is the first time a tragedy of this nature has ever happened at UW. It was a freak accident, a real tragedy. I wouldn't say anybody is honestly responsible, except perhaps the victim, who decided to STAND UNDER A TREE DURING A LIGHTNING STORM.

      Crazy conspiracies/finger pointing at this stage is just disrespectful to the family of the victim - and the point of many of the comments above was to say that we should be respecting their wishes, above and beyond all else.

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    2. "How he normally talks"? He's not my bud, so I wouldn't know.
      I'm not on a first name basis with him like you seem to be.
      But his public statement was likely vetted by UW legal and PR, otherwise they weren't doing their jobs.

      And he'd do what he was advised to:
      - express sympathy
      - make a statement that denies any responsibility
      - spin as much separation between UW actions and the incident
      So it's disingenuous to attribute UW's statement from the President as a small matter of his speaking style.

      On the regulation, it's obscure but not obsoleted.

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    3. No 10b, I just happen to sit in the audience at the monthly UW Senate meetings (they're open to the public; you should go too - he talks about interesting things ranging from strategic planning to the uni's lobbying efforts), and am used to hearing how he answers questions put to him by that crowd (they tend to ask a lot).

      Correct me if I'm mistaken, but I believe the original "controversy" (if you can even call it that) was related to the way he answered a question that was put to him by a reporter (the reporter asked "were the fire drills close to the site of the lightning strike?" and he responded "no, they were miles away, on a different part of campus"). So that's hardly "his vetted statement" now, is it?

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    4. We should go to? Yeah, no. Thanks for the interesting diversions of what he'd rather talk about. And we're seeing enough of the uni's lobbying efforts right here.

      You're "used to how he answers questions put to him by that crowd"? So as long as this is just an instance of his pattern to give inaccurate answers to students' many questions that's fine. I'm sure they go away quite comforted.

      I suggest he use a different style with the Ministry of Labour's lot of questions.

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  11. From Imprint student interviews V1 had fire drills that morning.
    Poster 7e agreed that all residences are scheduled to have fire drills the Friday morning of Orientation Week.

    Questions still aren't answered about facts:
    1. Precise timing of the fire drills that morning. The Imprint has quotes of 8:30am-8:50am. Anything more accurate?
    2. At what time were students allowed back in after the fire drills and by who?
    3. Precise time of the bolt. UW's media relations said "around 9am, when a 911 call was placed". In that case the bolt happened earlier than that.
    4. What was the exact area that V1 students were told by UW to evacuate to during the fire drill?
    5. Were there trees in or around that area?
    6. Or were V1 students not given specific instructions on where to stand outside?
    7. Which way was she really going? From the Imprint article there were conflicting reports. Who reported what?
    8. What was the real distance between V1 residence and the bolt? 40m to 180m?
    9. Was a procedure document being followed to execute the fire drill and what did it say?
    10. Was there any recognition of what to do in case of inclement weather, inclement weather drills or instructions?

    It looks like the fire drills and the incident happened at about or exactly the same time at about the same place.

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    1. Okay, this is sounding WAY to much like conspiracy theorist, "the moon landing was faked," "9/11 was a government cover-up" babbling logic at this point. But I will set that aside for a second and respond to...

      10. No, there was, in all likelihood, probably not a protocol in place for what to do in the event of inclement weather. At least, if there was, it was undoubtedly for weather of the "campus is closed today" variety (which is currently determined at the Provost's discretion, based on local traffic conditions/highway closures). And that's probably something the UW Safety Office will be taking a closer look at, now that something like this has happened.

      At the same time, one of the things we DO know is that this student was wearing her frosh t-shirt and her yellow hard-hat. Based on that, and her location, it's relatively easy to infer that she was heading to the morning Orientation event (which had been moved indoors due to the inclement weather, as is standard procedure) when the bolt hit.

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    2. No conspiracy, just negligence, and now failure to take responsibility for their actions.
      UW did not know there would be lightning. UW should have known there was heightened risk.

      UW failed to protect the student adequately.
      UW put other students and possibly the victim in danger by sending Village 1 students into what UW should have known was a more dangerous situation.

      The victim may have worn the hard-hat because she was proud to be in engineering. And it would offer some protection from the rain during the fire drill.
      In first year some students wear them all the time. Indoors through hallways to the caf, in their rooms. Some probably try sleeping with them on.
      The victim wore the frosh shirt because that's what frosh wear all the time the first week.

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    3. 11b the Orientation event for that morning was already in progress in the SLC when the incident happened, which means that the fire drills were long over.
      As someone who's been a leader before, that particular event is meant to begin *after* the fire drills. And since the student wasn't struck outside any of the residence doors, and was away from the buildings, on the path leading to the SLC... it's not unreasonable to assume that's where she was headed.

      Negligence is a pretty severe accusation. If you ask me, the freak accident that occurred seems to far-removed from the University's actions for that kind of liability to be justified here.

      The student who was killed on Ring Road 2 years ago, on the other hand - different story entirely. If the University is prioritizing the things it worries about, Ring Road safety should take priority over 'lightning safety,' every time.

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    4. "should take priority over 'lightning safety', every time."
      Tell that the the young woman's friends and family.

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