Another student death at UW Place

The body of a student was found March 20 outside UWP
The body of a student was found March 20 outside UWP

Waterloo Region Police were called to the UW Place residence at 6:24 a.m. on March 20 when a body was found on the ground.

After investigating the scene, police determined the deceased took their own life, according to Waterloo Region Police Services Executive Officer Mike Haffner.

While the victim will not be identified, Haffner confirmed the 19-year-old male was a University of Waterloo student. At the time of reporting, the deceased’s next of kin had not been notified.

“Right now, through some of the people we have been able to speak to, we have determined that it is a University of Waterloo student,” Haffner told Imprint.

“It’s one of those situations where any death in our region is tragic,” Haffner said. “Especially when the circumstances are such that this young man chose to take his life.”

The incident marks a second death at UW Place this term. In January, an 18-year-old female at UW Place’s Beck Hall took her life. At the time, police evacuated the building, though Haffner noted Monday’s incident posed no threat to public safety.

Students expressed frustration at the university’s relative silence over past incidents.

“This is one too many times, Waterloo. And it’s not time now to figure out how to hush this up or write a statement that is purposefully vague,” a commenter on the UWaterloo subreddit said Monday morning, “It’s time to do something to prevent the next one.”

Haffner advised students to look out and be mindful of the well-being of those around them.

“We deal with these types of incidents throughout our region on a daily basis. It’s everyone’s responsibility to check on their friends, their acquaintances, their colleagues, their fellow students, their own family members, to check to see that they’re doing OK,” Haffner said. “And that if they are having struggles, if they are having certain thoughts to make decisions, that they have the necessary supports — whether that be through agencies, or whether it be through family or friends — available to them to hopefully not end up in [these] situations like we’ve seen from two individuals at 108 Seagram.”

UW Director, Media Relations and Issues Management Matthew Grant released the following statement on behalf of the University of Waterloo late Monday afternoon:

“Today the university community is deeply saddened by the loss of one of our students. This tragedy leaves our campus community in mourning and we offer our deepest sympathies to the student’s family and friends,” Grant said. “We encourage anyone who needs support at this time to take advantage of the university’s counselling services and peer support programs or to contact the post-secondary student helpline, Good2Talk. This matter is currently being investigated by the Waterloo Regional Police Service.”

  • Curious

    Why doesn’t Imprint use the word ‘suicide’ on the article?

  • Sad day

    If Waterloo’s board members were in anyway accountable, every time this happens there would be a full scale internal investigation launched and someone would have to lose their job. Of course, Hamdullahpur has no such concern in his mind.

  • Hory Shet

    What is the university supposed to do? They’re not in any way at fault. They have resources available for those who seek help with suicidal thoughts. If someone chooses to do it anyway, that’s their own choice.

  • Lshea13

    The University of Waterloo is all about innovation. Year after year, they are placed on the top spot for innovative universities in Canada by various publications. What is innovation? So far it has been ideas and technology.

    What if we were the first university to truly engage and take care of our student body. Why don’t we be innovative in our support and health care for our staff and students. Be the first and you will be considered innovative and will most likely set the trend for other universities to follow.

    Release the suicide statistics.
    Stop covering up “mysterious” deaths.
    Make mental health a priority among professors and their treatment of struggling students.

    We talk about stopping the stigma around mental illness, but how are we suppose to do this when our own environment doesn’t acknowledge it?


    Ask the people who know what we need:
    Counseling services. Health Services. Accessibility. The student body.

    What do all of these supports have in common: underfunded, lack the amount of services to supply our student body and staff, the caseload is so massive many people are not able to get the resources they need when they need them, wait times are also very long once a semester begins.

    I find it disgusting that in this article it is suggested that we should watch out for our family and friends to make sure things are ok. If they are not ok, we are suppose to do….? Send them to the services that are already at full capacity? Great suggestion. More frustration all around.

    At this point it has only made the services look bad. I have heard many comments from students about how bad our counseling services and health services are. It has nothing to do with the actual help or the people they encountered there. The anger occurs from the inability to get an appointment for up to a month, or that they weren’t able to accept new clients.

    This is unacceptable.

    For a school with this many students, and obvious amounts of money, it would be great if they got over what a bit of “bad press” would do , i.e. UW campus suicide rates, and stand up for making the student’s health a priority.

    Waterloo builds leaders. We are known for our innovation. We are the school of “Why not?”

    Why not be the first to lead the next generation of students and competing universities to health and education, instead of losing one for the other.

    Lauren Shea –
    psychology and music student,
    mental health advocate,
    mental health consumer

  • Samantha Kristoferson

    Local Options for help:
    Here 24/7 (phone) 1 844 437 3247
    Mental Health First Aid Courses

    Let’s start talking in our community. Let’s support each other when we get down. Let’s make an active role in creating a life we love and letting go of what makes us sad.

  • Cassidy Nighthawk

    Fuck Waterloo. They didn’t even respond to the family after they notified who it was.

  • fuck that
  • linkinmetalica

    “We deal with these types of incidents throughout our region on a daily basis.”
    Really? Is this honestly the type of attitude that they have? Based on that last paragraph, it doesn’t seem like they even care. A very generic statement aimed towards a general population, when this is a high level learning environment. Nothing about the background of the student, nor his studies is even mentioned! This is simply another statistic in their eyes!

  • Pingback: Enough is Enough | Spreading My Sunshine()

  • Pingback: Stop history from repeating itself | Imprint()

  • Pingback: Canadian Universities Aren’t Quite Ready for Death in the 21st Century – Thinking Port()