Dean shares update on fraternity member’s death

She encourages professors to check on their students



Jill Creighton, dean of studens and associate vice president for campus life, discussed the recent death of a 19-year-old student at the Faculty Senate meeting. She said the dean’s office is looking into ways to support students’ mental health.

LUKE HUDSON, Evergreen reporter

Jill Creighton, dean of students and associate vice president for campus life, spoke about the death of a 19-year-old WSU fraternity member during a regular WSU Faculty Senate meeting Thursday.

Creighton said the university does not have a lot of information on the cause of Samuel Martinez’s death and, according to WSU policy, will not publish that information. She said people who wish to know more should direct their questions to coroner’s office when it makes a formal report.

“That is for the police to decide and for the coroner to decide,” she said. “It’s our job as a university to care for our people.”

She said she encourages professors to check in with their students and refer them to WSU Counseling and Psychological, which she said is prepared to handle more walk-in appointments.

Doreen Main, CAHNRS senator, said students wanted her to talk about starting an online training program to help faculty be more aware of student mental health issues. She said students want rooms in every building for people to go to decompress if they are feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

Creighton said the dean’s office is examining options to support student mental health including mandatory training. She said the GPSA also said this was a top priority for graduate students.

The dean’s office can give students emergency financial loans and a check is usually cut within 24 hours, Creighton said.

“Our primary goal is that when students hear Office of the Dean of Students they think, ‘That’s where I go for help,’” she said. “And I would love for you all to think that as well.”

Creighton said the office is also working on updating the posthumous degree policy because she said it is stringent and not generous. Alternative honors could include a certificate of academic achievement like a diploma and a student becoming an honorary member of a graduating class.

Greg Crouch, WSU faculty senate chair, said the senate executive committee has not met with Schulz or Provost since last senate meeting.

The senate unanimously approved all action and discussion items without conversation. One of these items established a rule for students’ rights regarding education records.

The full list of approved items can be found on the Faculty Senate website.

The senate will meet again at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 in the Food Science and Human Nutrition building, Room T101. It will host Stacy Pearson, vice president for finance and administration, and Olivia Yang, associate vice president for facilities services.

Crouch said Pearson will discuss the capital and operational budget process and ways to make it more transparent.