After suicides, Rowan puts fences at garage where students fell and died
GLASSBORO — Rowan University will continue its campus conversation about mental health services at Monday night's Student Government Association meeting — after 10 deaths among students, faculty and staff this semester.
A meeting began on Thursday night following a student's fall from one of the Glassboro school's parking garages. The student survived, and authorities have not said whether the student jumped or fell accidentally.
Students and others in the Rowan community have been making and continue to make several claims on social media: In trending Tweets on Twitter, they said the school hasn't been honest about how many suicides have taken place, that it hasn't communicated with students when deaths occur, and that it hasn't done enough to provide mental health services.
Some students spoke of months-long waiting lists for care through Rowan's wellness center — though the school says this semester, it stepped up staffing levels to minimize any delays, acknowledging waits plagued it in past years.
Rowan spokesman Joe Cardona on Monday reiterated to New Jersey 101.5 that there were three student suicides this semester, but 10 deaths of students or faculty members overall. He said the school aims to honor the wishes of family members when determining how much detail to release about an individual's death, and follows privacy laws and regulations guiding the release of information.
The installation of a temporary fence on the top levels of the parking garages by its owner was accelerated by the Thursday fall, Rowan spokesman Joe Cardona told New Jersey 101.5 on Monday. Cordona said that the fence installation was a response to a student suicide in 2018. One of the students to commit suicide this semester — just a few weeks ago — also did so by falling from the garage, he said.
He additionally said 24-hour patrols would monitor the garage until more permanent barriers could be put in place.
"Then these two incidents happened in the last two weeks so they put up temporary stuff now and later on will put up more permanent fencing later," Cordona said.
The student in who fell Thursday continues to recover, but Cordona said the family asked additional information not be released.
About 100 students gathered on Friday night for a candlelight vigil to remember the students who took their own lives.
Monday night's meeting begins at 7 p.m. in Chamberlain Student Center Eynon Ballroom.
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