Administration, SGA address student deaths


The Appalachian Online

Laney Ruckstuhl

Chancellor Sheri N. Everts, Dean of Students J.J. Brown and SGA President Carson Rich addressed a room of approximately 200 students and faculty members Tuesday evening regarding recent student deaths.

The event began at 5 p.m. in the Parkway Ballroom of Plemmons Student Union. A campus email was sent out by the Dean of Students office after 2 p.m. Tuesday announcing the event.

Nine Appalachian State University students have passed away on and off campus since the beginning of the 2014-15 academic year.

Everts opened with remarks regarding the importance of community, which she said “is often shaped by the things that are most on our minds at that time.”

“There’s no right way to feel in response to the cumulative effects of this year’s tragic events,” Everts said. “Some might feel numb, sad, fearful or angry, or maybe that things are just not right with the world. I hope that we can sort one another in our individual and different responses to loss.”

Everts’ remarks were followed by a brief speech from Rich, who said he is tired of the student body having to act as though nothing is wrong.

“I guarantee to you that it is not all for nothing,” Rich said. “Life throws challenges at us for the sole purpose of us falling down because only then can we truly learn to pick ourselves back up. We are going to be OK, we are going to grow stronger, we are going to continue to be Mountaineers.”

Brown closed the remarks by addressing little things students can do for each other to make a difference.

“We all have the ability to make a difference each and every day,” Brown said. “I really encourage you to say hello to everyone as you walk across campus, reconnect with a friend, reconnect with an acquaintance, introduce yourself to an acquaintance sitting alone at the cafeteria or giving someone your seat on a full bus. Those things matter.”

Brown then asked students to seek help if needed and to address administrators directly with any concerns they had. Counselors were available in the office of the Dean of Students in the Student Union.

STORY: Laney Ruckstuhl, News Editor