Procedure to be Followed in the Event of the Death of a UW-Whitewater Student

Procedure to be Followed in the Event of the Death of a UW-Whitewater Student

The following procedure is to be utilized in the event of the death of a currently enrolled UW-Whitewater student. Anyone who becomes aware of the death of a student should contact the Office of Student Life (UC 245, 472-1533) as soon as possible.  In all student deaths, the Office of Student Life will assume responsibility for the following tasks:

Immediate Steps

  1. The death should be verified via county coroner, police agency, funeral home, newspaper obituary or family member.
  2. The enrollment status of the deceased student will be verified and a check will be made to identify other students with the same or similar names.  If students of the same name are enrolled, they will be contacted and informed of the death.
  3. Office of Student Life staff will gather as much data as possible regarding cause of death, time of death, memorial arrangements, student involvement on campus, etc.
  4. If necessary, Student Life staff will make notification of death as appropriate to family members and roommates.
  5. The Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and the Director of Marketing and Media Relations will be notified immediately of the student death and provided with as much information as is available.
  6. As soon as possible, Student Life staff will send notification of the student death to the following:
    Cashier's Office Help Desk WSG President
    First Year Experience University Health & Counseling Library
    University Police Appropriate Academic Dean Visitor & Parking
    Student Financial Services Registrar Financial Aid
    ID/Meal Plan Office Campus Ministry Residence Life
    Textbook Rental Admissions Career & Leadership
    Appropriate Dept. Chair Alumni Center Current Faculty
    Current Campus Employer    
  7. The Registrar's Office will change the deceased student's mailing addresses to that of the Registrar's Office.  Mail will then be forwarded there and office staff can "catch" inappropriate or unnecessary mailings.  The name of the deceased student will also be deleted from any newly-generated 3rd party mailing lists.
  8. If the deceased student lived in the residence halls
    1. All building residents will be notified by Residence Life staff
    2. The student's roommate will be notified in person
    3. Information about memorial services will be made available at the hall front desk
  9. The Office of Marketing and Media Relations will coordinate broadcast e-mails to students and to faculty/staff with notification of the death and information about visitation and funeral arrangements. This announcement should go out within 48 hours, whether funeral arrangements are known or not.  A sample notification announcement is as follows:

    The University has been notified of the death of a student.  John A. Doe, freshman, was killed Friday night in an automobile accident in Monroe County.  Memorial services will be held on Thursday, Oct. 9, at 6:00 pm at the Johnson Home in Monroe, with visitation from 4:00 - 6:00 that day.  The UW-Whitewater flag will fly at half staff on Thursday in John's memory.  Counseling services are available at University Health and Counseling Services located in the Ambrose Health Center building and appointments may be made by calling   472-1305.

  10. A Student Life staff member will contact the family to
    1. Offer condolences
    2. Determine if the family has any immediate needs from the university (e.g. gathering items from residence hall room, notifying other students, etc.)
    3. Gather information about funeral, visitation, memorial arrangements.
  11. A Student Life staff member will be designated as the campus contact to assist family members who may come to campus.  Whenever possible, this should be the same staff member who initially contacted the family.
  12.  If appropriate, Student Life staff members will help to coordinate transportation for other students to funerals and memorial services.
  13. A Student Affairs staff member will attend the visitation, funeral or memorial service if it is held within a reasonable distance.  Whenever possible, this will be the same staff member who initially contacted the family.
  14. When appropriate, counseling or crisis intervention services may be offered to campus groups.  The Counseling Center will coordinate these services and may contact the Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team.
  15. The Chancellor's Office will send flowers on behalf of the university.
  16. Office of Student Life staff will arrange for the UW-Whitewater (purple campus) flag to be flown at half staff and for the campus photographer to take pictures of the flag.  This is typically done on the day of the student's funeral.  Prints of the photos will be made and sent to the student's family. 

Long Term Contact/Action

  1. A Student Life staff member will maintain contact with parents/family as appropriate.  Again, this will be the staff member who has been working with the family since the death.
  2. Student Life staff will work with the student's family to coordinate check-out and removal of belongings from the residence halls.  A Residence Life staff member will be present during this process and will return any university property for the family.
  3. The Chancellor will make a condolence call to the student's family within the first few weeks after the student's death.
  4. It the student has attended the university for at least one term, approximately one month after the death, a certificate of attendance at the university is created and presented to the family.  The certificate is created by Leadership Development staff and placed in a UWW diploma holder. 
  5. The Registrar's Office will review the academic records of the deceased student to determine if an Associate's Degree has been earned.  If so, the Office of Student Life will notify the Chancellor.
  6. The awarding of posthumous degrees will be based on university policy.
  7. As a memorial to the deceased student, a book will be chosen and placed in the University Library, with a commemorative plate.  The book is usually related to the student's major or interests and, when appropriate, the student's family may be consulted about a book topic.  The book is selected and ordered by library staff and funded by the Chancellor's Office.  A second copy of the book is sent to the family by the Chancellor's Office.
  8. Tuition and fees will be refunded for the current semester (or charges removed) regardless of the date of death unless doing so would require the university to make a refund to a government program.  Financial Aid staff will make this determination and work with staff of Student Accounts.
  9. All Residence Life fees will be refunded for the current semester (or charges removed) regardless of the date of death unless doing so would require the university to make a refund to a government program.  Financial Aid staff will make this determination and work with staff of Student Accounts.
  10. All meal plan fees (except for Purple Points already used) will be refunded for the current semester (or charges removed) regardless of the date of death unless doing so would require the university to make a refund to a government program.  Financial Aid staff will make this determination and work with staff of Student Accounts.
  11. An attempt will be made to identify and remove any other charges such as parking tickets.
  12. Any refund check will be sent from the Office of Student Life, along with an explanation of the check.  At this point, the Student Life staff member will also send a card or letter to the family.
  13. All student deaths will result in an automatic review of the deceased student's records at the University Health & Counseling Service.


APPENDIX A
(Text of the notification email to be sent to various offices)Sent to:cashiers@uww.edu;kuhls@uww.edu;fye@uww.edu;jazdzewr@uww.edu;swisherr@uww.edu;mccallim@uww.edu;police@uww.edu;parking@uww.edu;sfs@uww.edu;registrar@uww.edu;withdraw@uww.edu;housnerb@uww.edu;harej@uww.edu;hawkcard@uww.edu;uwwfao@uww.edu;hoeslya@uww.edu;bartletf@uww.edu;tumbaret@uww.edu;meinelt@uww.edu;admissions@uww.edu;buchholr@uww.edu;bastienk@uww.edu;helpdesk@uww.edu;cmcuww@sbcglobal.netFrom: RE:  Student Death
  John Doe
  ID#  1234567We have received word that John Doe was killed in a car accident on Monday morning in Janesville.Please make sure that the appropriate matters concerning this student are attended to,  per university protocol.


As Amended: June 2010


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