Guidelines for Responding to the Death of a Student

Guidelines for Responding to the Death of a Student

  


 

 
       Guidelines for Responding to the Death of a Student
 
 

 

 

 
 
 



Category:
Student Services
Number:
AVPSS01
 
Responsibility:
Vice-Provost & AVP Student Services
Approval:
Vice-Provost & AVP
Student Services
 
Approval date:
June 25, 2010
Issue date:
June 25, 2010
 
Next review:
June 2012
 
 
 
 
Background
 
In the event of a student death, the University has a responsibility to coordinate a
compassionate and timely institutional response. Staff will work in a coordinated fashion to address human needs and business matters.
 
Purpose
 
 
The Vice-Provost & AVP Student Services will appoint a coordinator or will assume those duties in his/her absence to take the lead on the Universitys response. The Deputy Registrar will normally act as the coordinator.
 
Scope
 
Before releasing the details of the death of a student, verification and permission to release the student’s name must be obtained from the next of kin, unless already published by the media, e.g. an obituary.  Prior to obtaining consent, only those employees on a need to know basis will be informed, e.g. Campus Security. Staff, who become aware of a student death, should notify the Deputy Registrar.
 
According to Brock University’s Access to Student Records and Disclosure of Information Policy, which is in keeping with FIPPA:
 
In compelling circumstances affecting the health and safety of an individual and in certain compassionate situations relating to individuals who are injured, ill or deceased, the Registrar / Director, Graduate Studies or designate may authorize the release of information from student records as appropriate in the circumstances.
 
The above policy is available at http://www.brocku.ca/webfm_send/308, and the exception is located in the Release of Student Information section.
 
Guidelines
 
In the event of a sudden death on weekends or after business hours, Campus Security Services can be contacted at extension 3200.
 
The Deputy Registrar will inform Communications staff when death of the student should be formally announced to the University Community.
 
Except where there is a compelling reason not to do so, news about the death of a Brock student will be communicated to the university community via bulletins posted on the Brock Portal and also in the Brock News online edition. Facts to be contained in the message will be determined by the Coordinator and sent to the Associate Director of Communications and Public Affairs or his/her designate. Communication staff will then draft the bulletin and post it on the Portal and Brock News. The message will generally include the student’s name and program; date of death; funeral
 
 
details; book of condolences; potential donations or in memoriam gifts. Units should check the portal for recent updates received on funeral or memorial services.
 
Deputy Registrar will inform all appropriate departmental contacts by telephone or e-mail.
 
Additionally, Administrative Assistants will be a point of contact for the Faculty Deans, Associate Deans, Chair of Department or Director of Programs/Centres, Sessional Instructors and Teaching Assistants/Lab Advisors and appropriate Undergraduate Advisors or Grad Program Directors.
 
Upon notification, Professors and TAs may inform their classes/labs/tutorials of the death of an individual student. Students seeking personal support may contact the Student Development Centre for counseling. In certain situations, departments may consider inviting counseling staff to classes, departments or residences.
 
Campus Ministries will contact next of kin to determine if a memorial service will be held on campus and then inform Communications and the Coordinator to have information updated accordingly.
 
Deputy Registrar will notify the President's Office and appropriate units of funeral arrangements when they are known and lowering flags to half-mast. The flags shall normally be flown at half-mast on the day of the funeral or memorial service.
Deputy Registrar will ensure that an appropriate official message from the University is sent to the family of the student.
 
 
Units to be informed (others may be added as appropriate)
 
President’s Office
Human Resources
Campus Security
Office of the Registrar/Office of Graduate Studies
Student Development Centre
Campus Ministries
Office of the Vice-Provost & AVP Student Services
Finance Office
Health Services
Library
Dean of the student’s faculty, Dean of Graduate Studies
Chair of the student’s major department/Director of student’s program,
Graduate Program Director
Student Awards & Financial Aid Office
International Services
Department of Residence
Off Campus Housing Office
Communications
Student Union Office
Alumni
Parking Services
Brock Card Office
 
 
Related Policies
 
 
 
Amendments (revision history)
 
Date revised
Responsible
June 25, 2010
Vice-Provost and AVP, Student Services