Simmons students unite in the wake of death on campus 

Olivia Ray, Editor-in-Chief

Following the death of a first-year student in Simmons Hall on November 2, Simmons students and organizations held events and community spaces to come together to grieve.

The Simmons Student Government Association (SGA) organized a “commemorative event” on November 4 for students and canceled their weekly forum on November 9 to instead provide pizza, snacks, candy, and crafts to the community. 

“In times of such tremendous grief, it was clear that something needed to happen,” said SGA President Megan Watras in an interview with the Voice. 

Watras shared that the response to SGA’s statement and widespread attendance at the events affirmed for her that there is “nothing as important as [coming together].” 

The Student Affairs office sent a list of resources to the student body via email on November 3, including drop-in hours hosted by the Simmons Counseling Center and Office of Residence Life.

Other Simmons organizations including the Violence Prevention and Educational Outreach office, the REEF Center, and Wellness Ambassadors also held office hours in the days following the death.

According to Laura Wareck, Assistant Vice President of Communications, the administration’s primary goal is to make sure students know what support is available to them, and to “provide students with resources to engage how they feel comfortable.”

“Take care of one another, be supportive, be compassionate,” said Wareck when asked what the most important message the administration has for students is. 

Renique Kersh, Vice President of Student Affairs, said that “what [she] would love students to keep in mind is that we need one another more than ever. The power of community connection in terms of how a sense of belonging is created is unmatched.” 

According to Kersh, the resources offered by the Simmons administration aim to be as holistic as possible. She pointed to the Counseling Center, programming put on by FIT at Simmons and student-run spaces as ways to engage with the community and begin to heal. 

“Everybody deals with grief in a different way,” said Kersh. “There are a lot of students who need to take space, and there are a lot of students who need a sense of normalcy.” 

Both Kersh and Wareck said that they were happy with the events put on by SGA and by student response as a whole.

First-year student Cloude Danforth said that he has “learned how to recognize things that are useful in times of tragedy and great need like this,” and is impressed with “students advocating for mental health.” 

“The students are coming together in such a beautiful way in such a hard time,” said Danforth. 

Please note resources and upcoming events here.

988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline: This number will connect callers with a local crisis center for confidential support.

Actively Moving Forward (AMF): Actively Moving Forward is a grief support program for young adults.

Simmons Counseling Center:  The Counseling Center is open Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30 for in-person and telehealth counseling. If you need assistance after hours, you can call Simmons Public Safety at 617-521-1111 to be connected to additional support.