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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

University Community Reacts to Incident in the Campus Center

 

 

Between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. on December 6, a distraught student attempted to jump over the railing in the Campus Center 3rd Floor. Several dozen students who had been in the same room witnessed the event.

“I listened to [the student] for a moment as I passed by…[he or she] just seemed like someone who wasn’t happy at the time,” said one surprised witness.

The student’s friends prevented him or her from jumping and called Campus Safety. According to Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs Patrick Day, “We had an exceptional response from other students who were helpful, who responded quickly, who were incredibly supportive and continue to be.” He added “I could not be more proud of UMass Boston students.”

“It is so critical that students be connected to the services that are available.” Vice-Chancellor Day continued. “We want to keep people from feeling isolated or helpless…We want people to communicate if they see a fellow student, a part of our community, that seems like they are in a tough place.”

The witness in the Campus Center agreed that students should make sure that their classmates are taking care of themselves. “If my friend did that,” he said, “I would obviously try to get that friend help.”

Jesse Wright, Student Body President, was not present when the student tried to jump, but he still had a strong reaction to the event. The next morning, he met with his cabinet members to work on a response.

“We’ve recognized that this is a tough time of year,” he said. “We’re going to have a stress-relieving activity day on Wednesday next week before finals start.”

Pre-finals relaxation activities will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Campus Center Terrace on December 12. The student government activity planners have arranged for an oxygen bar and massage chairs.

Students who are experiencing distress should visit or call the Counseling Center in the Quinn Administration Building on the 2nd Floor. Emergency counselling is available for free, and the center will work with students to find long-term psychiatric care.

Outside of school hours, the Counselling Center offers an online self-evaluation tool to help students via their website. In an emergency, the Counselling Center recommends that students call Campus Safety.

Finally, UMass Boston has a protocol for students who encounter distressed or distressing individuals on campus. The protocol gives directions to UMass Boston students who come across anybody with mental health problems which are causing them to frighten or harm themselves or others.