By TOPHER PAYTON
Reggie Price, an arson investigation junior from Louisville, died in his third floor Telford Hall residence hall room Wednesday, March 26.
Price was one of 11 students honored at the university’s annual memorial service Wednesday, April 23. 19 staff members and 18 faculty members who died within the past year were also remembered.
“Reggie was always such a fun loving person who was very energetic,” said Kimberly Merritt, assistant director of student recruitment in the Office of Admissions, where Price worked. “He loved recruiting for EKU, and he just loved EKU.”
Merritt said Price’s job was to travel to various high schools and talk to students about Eastern, in an effort to recruit them. She said he was a great student leader.
“He was really good to talking to people upfront about coming to EKU and behind the scenes work,” Merritt said.
The smiling, sweet kid is what they are going to miss the most, Merritt said. That and the opportunity to have him represent the university.
Price was found in his Telford room by another floor mate, who called EKU Police. Upon their arrival they found no sign of life from Price, at which point Madison County EMS notified the Madison County Coroner, Jimmy Cornelison. EKU Police deemed the death an apparent suicide, according to police records.
Eastern administrators offered opportunities to work with the students that had been affected this year by the deaths of their friends.
Claire Goode, associate vice president of Student Affairs and dean of students, has an administrative role after they learn a student has died on campus. The office is directly involved with informing the family and the students involved.
Her office plans the time for the families to come get the belongings of the student that passed away, as well as talking directly to the students if they come to her, Goode said.
“Sometimes students are very upset, and may miss classes or may not be able to keep up with their assignments,” Goode said. “Then I will notify a student’s instructors and tell them of the difficulty that student is having in handling their friend’s death.”
She then asks the instructors to work with the students as much as possible about making up assignments within the confines of their department.
Goode also talks to the parents of the students who are involved, and informs them of resources available to help the students cope with the loss of their friend.
“I do all I can to help students stay in school,” Good said. “Or keep their academic record as positive as possible while they work through the situation.”
One office she will send the most students to is the Counseling Center, where trained psychologists help students involved cope with what happened.
“The psychologists have been working with many of the students impacted by the death,” Goode said, “and have been available to them whenever they are needed.”
The bottom line is the Counseling Center is there to help students with any level of problem they have, said Jen Walker, director of the Counseling Center.
“We want students to succeed in achieving their goals and if there is something in the way of keeping them from achieving their goals we want to help,” Walker said.
She said there is never a problem too big or too small that they can’t help students address.
“College is an overwhelming, wonderful time of life,” Walker said. “It is also a stressful time in life because of all of the changes that are happening as well as all the major decisions that are expected of college students to make.”
Walker wants to encourage everyone, not just those recently affected by the student death, to come seek help in the center if they need it, and they will help as best they can.
“Your well-being is the foundation on which your success is built,” Walker said. “You are never alone at EKU, this is a caring community. One of the most important things to learn in college and in life is to ask for help. College students are amazingly resilient and reaching out for help is a sign of wisdom and strength.”