On Sunday Nov. 7, 2013, the body of a Rock Hill man was found on the outskirts of the Winthrop University campus, near Cherry Road behind Lee Wicker Residence Hall. The man was not a Winthrop University student, and is reported to have died of natural causes after collapsing. While many Winthrop students learned about the discovery of the body through text messages and pictures from friends, Winthrop administration did not relay any message to students about the discovery of the body.
While there isn’t much that administration could have done, alerting students later on in the day once the body was removed seems as if it would have been the more proper course of action. Students sent around pictures of medics, firefighters and police officers working over the body. This means that students did see the body, and for some, seeing a dead body is quite a traumatic experience. If someone did see or stumble upon the body, knowing that there is somewhere they can go to talk about what they saw is important. When the administration elected not to alert students that this happened, students relied on information from friends who weren’t completely sure of what happened.
Winthrop has set in place the WU alert system, a system that alerts students via text and through phone calls of happenings on campus or around the campus 365 days a year, such as crimes that have happened on and around the vicinity of the Winthrop campus. Sending out an email under priority or through the WU alert system after the body was removed would have allowed students to receive accurate information on what happened just outside of Lee Wicker Sunday morning.
Winthrop administration chose not to alert students for certain reasons unknown at this time about the discovery of the body on it’s campus. It is known that Winthrop campus police assisted Rock Hill Police in securing the area and removal of the body from the campus, so it seems that information should have been made more readily available to students. If students do want more information on the situation, they should contact Winthrop University police.