Student tragedy prevented on campus

A student considered jumping from a seventh-floor ledge Nov. 9. Here, local authorities escort him away after talking him down. Randyl Nielson / UVU Review

A student intending to commit suicide from the seventh-level ledge of the Computer Science building was brought down to safety by campus and city officials Tuesday morning.

 

Chris Taylor, associate vice president of communication and marketing, said the student left a note describing his intentions with an academic advisor around 8:45 a.m.

 

After the student rejected the advisor’s attempts to stop him, the advisor immediately notified campus police and Student Health Services. Police began a campus-wide search for the student before a faculty member spotted him at approximately 9:00 a.m.

 

Bill Erb, Student Health Services director and counselor, and campus police located the student and proceeded to speak to him. They were later joined by Orem City Police and firefighters.

 

After roughly 30 minutes of conversation, the student was persuaded to lower himself with the aid of Orem firefighters.

 

“Trained negotiators played a key role in [speaking with him], and they were able to talk to him to the point that he was amenable to coming down,” Taylor said. “Orem Fire raised the ladder and assisted the student down.”

 

According to Taylor, police transported the student to a local hospital for evaluation.

 

Taylor expressed relief concerning the resolution of the incident.

 

“This was a textbook response to a situation like this,” he said. “From the advisor to the faculty member, to Student Health Services, to UVU Police and Orem police and fire, they collectively prevented [what] would have been a disastrous outcome.”

 

Taylor did not know the motive to the student’s decision, nor the details of the note left with the advisor. He did express his desire for the student to receive any help he might want or need.

 

“Our heart goes out to this young man, this student of ours,” Taylor said. “We’re hopeful that he will get the help and the care he needs.”

 

Student Health Services features a certified, on-campus suicide prevention counselor for anyone who needs, or knows someone who needs, qualified assistance in preventing a potential suicide.

Celeste Rosenlof also contributed to this article

 

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