Appendix 1

Procedure to be Followed in the Event of Life-Threatening Emergencies or of the Death of a University Of Wisconsin- La Crosse Student

In order to insure accuracy of information and expedite official University follow-up, the Office of the Assistant Dean of Student Life is responsible for coordinating matters related to any life-threatening emergency involving a student or the death of a student. In the following procedures, when the primary person is not available, his/her designee will carry out the function/responsibilities. This procedure provides for consistent University action and a centralized communication source for families and survivors.

Following are procedures and assigned responsibilities in force when dealing with life-threatening emergencies or the death of a student.

  1. Immediate Procedures and Responsibilities
    1. The Witness/discoverer calls University Police who goes to the scene.
    2. University Police staff informs the Director of University Police who informs the Assistant Dean of Student Life (Office of Student Life).
    3. The Assistant Dean of Student Life confirms that the department head in the area in which the event occurred (e.g., Residence Life) has been informed.
    4. The Assistant Dean of Student Life goes to the scene of the incident, as does the department head.
    5. The Assistant Dean of Student Life immediately informs the Chancellor and the Director of University Relations and the Director of the Student Health Services.
    6. Student Health Services personnel will work with the Medical Examiner’s Office when appropriate.
    7. University Police staff are in charge at the scene of the incident, until such time as City of La Crosse Police Department are called and take charge.
    8. The family of the student is informed of the incident by the Assistant Dean of Student Life leaving a name and phone number where he/she can be reached for further information. A second call should be made one hour later to insure credibility. At that time an offer should be made to help with travel/lodging arrangements where appropriate.
    9. The Director of University Relations is contacted by the Assistant Dean of Student Life and assumes responsibility for dealing with the media. The media will be contacted if this is absolutely necessary; otherwise, we should expect the media to be contacting us. In the event that the director is required elsewhere, the Assistant Dean of Student Life will serve as the media contact during the follow-up. The switchboard should be notified and the Director of University Relations called regardless of the time of day.
    10. If the event occurs in a fraternity or sorority or in an off-campus location contact 911 and then contact the Assistant Dean of Student Life.
    11. If the situation involves a foreign student, the Assistant Dean of Student Life will notify the Office of International Education and/or the Foreign Student Advisor in addition to other staff mentioned above.
    12. The Assistant Dean of Student Life will see that parents/spouse, roommates and relatives on campus (i.e., siblings) are humanely and compassionately told of the death either through his/her office or a family friend, doctor, clergyman, or campus minister.
  2. Next Day Procedures and Responsibilities
    1. The Assistant Dean of Student Life will contact the family the following day to express condolences and to offer assistance with any arrangements related to the University (e.g., withdrawal, packing belongings, etc.).
    2. The Office of Records and Registration and the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance are informed of the death by the Assistant Dean of Student Life and proceed to make appropriate changes in University records. If a student’s fees are paid, tuition will be refunded, Food Service will prorate meal costs and Residence Life may prorate board costs. Appropriate refunds will be issued to the designated survivors. If fees have not been paid, the Assistant Dean of Student Life will consult with the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance to determine appropriate billing.
    3. The academic department chair and service unit directors have the responsibility for providing support and care to other students who are affected by the incident. For example, in a residence hall incident, meetings and other activities may need to be held to control rumors and to provide appropriate support for roommates and other residents.
    4. If any University personnel receives a call or a letter from the family of the student requesting the University to act or respond in an official capacity, please refer the request to the Assistant Dean of Student Life who will act upon the request and coordinate all further communications between the University and the family.
    5. A University staff member will be designated to be on hand to assist family members or friends who come to the campus as a result of the death.
    6. The Director of University Relations will arrange for a timely article in the student newspaper and campus media.
  3. Follow-up Procedures and Responsibilities
    1. The academic department chair and service unit directors and appropriate personnel within their departments will meet with the Assistant Dean of Student Life to review the incident and to discuss any changes that might be required in the future.
    2. A final telephone contact with the family, after the initial period of shock/grief and funeral occurred, will be made by the Assistant Dean of Student Life, offering assistance in handling any final details with the University.
    3. Relatives or staff members will be responsible for packing the belongings of students who resided in campus buildings. The Assistant Dean of Student Life will offer to work with relatives in dealing with landlords and/or roommates to settle financial matters and to arrange for packing belongings of students residing off campus.
    4. A letter of sympathy should be sent by the Chancellor.
    5. In the event of a death, the funeral and/or wake are attended by appropriate University representatives when possible.

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