Deceased Student Found on Campus
Issue   |   Thu, 03/29/2018 - 14:56

A member of the college’s grounds crew found a deceased male between Morris Pratt Dormitory and Arms Music Center at 6:15 a.m. on Mar. 29, according to an email sent to the school by President Biddy Martin.

Authorities believe that they have identified the body, but are still waiting on confirmation and notification of his next-of-kin. It is still unknown whether he was associated with the college. According to Martin, the Amherst College Police, along with Massachusetts State Police Detectives and Amherst Police are investigating the death. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has not yet determined the cause of death, although no foul play is suspected, according to a statement from the District Attorney’s Office.

An ACAlert was sent out at around 8 a.m. cautioning community members to stay away from the area between the two buildings so as not to impede the investigation. By 9:02 a.m., the police determined that there was no danger to the college community at large.

Counseling resources for students are currently available at Keefe Campus Center, and Martin said in her email that the college is arranging to have more resources available on campus later today. Additionally, the Office of Human Resources is organizing resources for faculty and staff who might be affected by the death.

The Boston Globe, Mass Live, and Western Mass News are among several publications that have reported on this incident.

Update, 6:12 p.m.:

Martin announced in an email sent out around 6 p.m. that authorities have confirmed the death of Christopher Collins '20. She urged community members to support each other, and to use college resources that will be made available over the next few days. At 8 p.m., counseling center staff will hold gatherings in Cole Assembly Hall, the McCaffrey Room and Alumni House. On Mar. 30, classes between noon and 1 p.m. will be cancelled, and a community-wide gathering will be held in Johnson Chapel in Collins' honor.

"The cumulative effect of two student deaths in so short a time will make Chris' death, indeed, both losses, even harder on the community," Martin wrote. "It is important that we turn to one another for comfort and strength, that we avoid isolation, and that each of us look out for the people we know or encounter."

This is a developing story that will be updated as more information becomes available.