VESTAL, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – After a student was found dead on campus yesterday, Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger has announced his decision to make today’s classes voluntary in his latest statement.
In a post made to Binghamton University’s Instagram account, Stenger expressed his grief as he addressed the campus community. Stenger tells students he had trouble sleeping last night and at 4 a.m., traveled to campus to view the memorial set up last night by students and staff. He also expresses how joyful he was seeing the number of flowers, notes, and candles set up for the deceased student.
On Monday morning, Campus Police and Harpur’s Ferry responded to the Bartle Library Tower. There, they discovered a student deceased at the base of the 15-story building. An investigation into the incident began shortly after and classes were canceled for the day. As the investigation concluded, the campus reported that foul play was not a factor in the student’s death.
Stenger says that the decision to cancel or not-to-cancel classes was not easy. However, he proposed an idea to allow students to grieve the way they see fit. He says classes will resume, but faculty is not allowed to cover new material. Instead, if they feel obligated to hold class, they are encouraged to hold an open forum to allow students to engage in meaningful conversation with their peers. Stenger also says if a student chooses not to attend class should it be held, they will not be penalized as it is a decision each person must make on their own in order to heal from yesterday’s events.
The campus community has stood in solidarity as they mourn the loss of one of their own. Students and organizations have been positing mental health resources to their social media with information to services both on campus and in the local area to encourage those who are struggling to reach out for help.