Evesham police officer Jared Halpern calmly talked down a person who had made a suicide try and was within the woods
Celeste E. Whittaker, @cp_CWhittaker


GLASSBORO –  Ten members of the Rowan College neighborhood have died because the present semester started, inflicting shock, grief — and criticism — on the college.

After one pupil died and one other was critically injured in a fall simply days aside, the college held a gathering Thursday evening to assist college students and others address the repeated tragedies.

Faculty officers additionally pushed again at what they described as misinformation concerning the deaths, disputing social media claims wave of suicides had swept over the varsity.


Additionally they rejected allegations that the varsity’s Wellness Middle was too sluggish to assist college students in disaster.

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Thursday evening’s assembly, hosted by the Wellness Middle, was supposed to “present help and assets … close to the top of a semester during which now we have suffered extra losses than ever earlier than,” Rowan President Ali Houshmand  stated in a press release posted to the varsity’s web site.

It was held simply hours after a pupil fell from the highest of a parking storage onto busy Rowan Boulevard close to the Barnes & Noble bookstore. He was reported in vital situation at an space hospital Thursday evening.

One other Rowan pupil died Friday in a confirmed suicide, college officers stated.

The incidents made “Rowan” a trending subject on Twitter Thursday evening, with many individuals saying the varsity had downplayed the most recent incident by saying the coed “fell” from the roof.


Others claimed college students may face lengthy waits when searching for assist from an understaffed Wellness Middle.

“@rowanuniversity please do one thing to assist your college students,” tweeted @dahlirious, whose Twitter deal with recognized her as “Rowan 22.”

“Clearly what ever it’s that you’re presently doing isn’t sufficient,” she wrote. “What number of extra of my classmates need to fall earlier than you arise?”


Rowan spokesman Joe Cardona famous the information of Thursday’s incident are nonetheless to be decided by an investigation by Glassboro police and the varsity’s Public Security Division.

He additionally famous privateness legal guidelines limit what the varsity can say.

“We’re not being coy,” stated Cardona. “There are simply limits on what we will say.”


Friday’s loss of life of Benjamin Deschesne, a music main from Veazie, Maine, was disclosed to be a suicide solely with the consent of the coed’s dad and mom, who hope the knowledge might assist others, Cardona noticed.

He additionally stated suicides are recognized to account for 3 of this semester’s 10 deaths, a quantity properly beneath the totals being talked about on social media Thursday evening.


Scott Woodside, director of the Wellness Middle, stated college students in disaster can attain a counselor at any time.

“We do not preserve a ready listing,” he stated in reference to a different social media allegation.

Cardona additionally famous the Wellness Middle has tripled the variety of counselors in recent times, to 15. He stated an ongoing search is meant to herald three extra counselors early subsequent yr.


Houshmand’s assertion famous the Pupil Authorities Affiliation’s common assembly on Monday “shall be dedicated to bringing the broader College neighborhood collectively to debate what has been a nationwide disaster, now touching our neighborhood.”

He additionally emphasised the companies offered to college students in want.

“If you happen to or somebody you already know is struggling, please go to the Wellness Middle and ask to talk with a counselor or name the Wellness Middle at 856-256-4333,” his assertion stated,


“Counselors will be reached 24 hours a day at 856-256-4922,” he added.

Thursday evening’s stream of tweets additionally included recommendation from Ben Kukainis, who teaches literature and composition at Rowan.

“My message to fellow instructors all over the place: be a useful resource, be approachable, be accessible, be empathetic, go the additional mile, validate your college students as people,” he wrote.


Jim Walsh is a free-range reporter who’s been roaming round South Jersey for many years. His pursuits embody crime, the courts, financial improvement and being first with breaking information. Attain him at or search for him in visitors.

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