U of U reviews campus safety recommendations after Lauren McCluskey's murder


    This Aug. 21, 2018 photo, provided by the University of Utah, shows Lauren McCluskey, a member of the University of Utah cross country and track and field team. (Steve C. Wilson/University of Utah via AP)

    (KUTV) -- The University of Utah Board of Trustees gave an update about implementing 30 recommendations from an independent review that was conducted after a student was murdered on campus.

    President Ruth V. Watkins, Police Chief Dale Brophy, Dean of Students Lori McDonald, Vice President for Student Affairs Barb Snyder and Student Housing Director Barb Remsburg addressed the progress.

    Officials assured they are working to implement and keep the recommendations for campus safety. McDonald says they are trying to utilize technology to keep students safe and the university staff will attend training in the spring and summer.

    During the month of February, the university will focus on educating students and staff on bystander awareness and reporting situations of sexual violence, Snyder said.

    Remsburg mentioned many of the recommendations have to do with her department. She said she was “deeply concerned” when she learned about the flaws in the system and that these safety measures will be implemented with “seriousness and speed”

    The school is also planning on hiring a resident outreach coordinator, who would directly reach out to students.

    "Our systems weren’t talking to each other. We’ve worked on that," said Brophy.

    21-year-old Lauren McCluskey was allegedly shot and killed by Melvin Rowland in October 2018. She dated the suspect for a brief time.

    Lauren's father released a statement following the press conference.

    "We commend the University of Utah for trying to adopt measures that will make the campus a safer place for students. These measures are a first step. Moving forward, comprehensive reforms, personal accountability, and acceptance of responsibility are essential to assure parents that their daughters and sons will be safe."

    Former prosecutor Paul Amann said the 37-year-old was caught in an online sex crimes sting when a police officer posed as a 13-year-old girl. After he was charged, a woman reported Rowland had sexually assaulted her after they met online.

    Melvin Shawn Rowland, 37, a registered sex offender who killed his ex-girlfriend, Lauren McCluskey - a University of Utah student - said in a parole hearing that he was a womanizer. (Photo: Utah Sex Offender Registry)

    Records show Rowland was released from prison in 2013 after spending nine years behind bars. McCluskey's mother says her daughter dumped Rowland after learning about his criminal history.

    Police say Rowland killed himself shortly after shooting McCluskey.

    The university was given 30 recommendations to improve campus safety in December 2018.

    Before that happened, the university tried to implement several more policies and recommendations they saw were flawed or needed to be improved. This included streamlining the reporting process for criminal cases, and mandatory offender and information checks.






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