JCU reacts quickly to tragedy

September 24th, 2009

This past week the John Carroll community had to deal with two deaths that brought a wave of sadness and reverence over campus. In light of the tragedies, though, JCU did a great job of reacting and putting together services to remember the victims.

The reactions of JCU leadership to the tragic death of a student on campus last weekend, was a model for responding to such circumstances. Student affairs and the counseling center did an excellent job, both in addressing the family and classmates of the student and in reaching out to all those across campus who were shaken by the loss.

Frank Kinmonth was found dead in his dorm room at 3:55 a.m. last Sunday morning. JCU EMS was the first to arrive on the scene with University Heights police. Once there, they attempted to resuscitate Kinmonth. University Heights EMT were the next to arrive and continued to try to resuscitate him while transporting him to South Pointe Hospital. Both units responded quickly and did what they could to help the situation Area Coordinator Anne Kowalski was the first JCU staff member on the scene and began the process of notifying University officials. Further notification of the situation was done quickly and efficiently as both Sherri Crahen and Mark McCarthy were on campus within 35 minutes of learning of the situation. The two faculty members notified the parents, and by 5 a.m. the JCU counseling center, residence life, campus ministry, office of student affairs and administration all had members on campus to respond to the situation.

On Sunday, the Rev. Robert Niehoff went to visit Kinmonth’s stepmother’s home to extend condolences on behalf of the university. Rev. Niehoff also spoke at the prayer service held Sunday afternoon for Kinmonth and Daniel Murphy, who died in an ATV accident this past Saturday. Murphy is the son of Paul Murphy, JCU director of the Institute of Catholic Studies.

We commend all of the members of the University who were involved for communicating what was going on and for reacting so quickly. All of the events held in response were well organized, especially given that they were put together in less than a day, and the student body was informed quickly via e-mail.

Campus Ministry was also quick to inform the student body of when the services would be held. A shuttle service was provided by CSS to and from the wake on Tuesday for Kinmonth.

Also, it was made known to students that the counseling center and campus ministry would be available after regular office hours for those having trouble dealing with the tragedy.

While the situation was handled well, it cannot stop with the services for Kinmonth. Steps should be taken to prevent similar situations from happening in the future. There have been talks of a session for faculty to learn how to recognize signs of troubled students. This is an idea that the University should follow through with in an effort to look out for the student body and in order to make the campus as safe as possible.