Regis University students speaking out for more safety amid recent tragedies

"There have been so many ongoing conversations between students about concerns regarding safety on campus and resources," said a Regis University senior
Regis University
Posted at 4:57 PM, Oct 06, 2023

DENVER — A recent spike in crime near Regis University Denver is prompting students to speak out, asking for stronger safety measures on campus.

On Wednesday, the university canceled classes after the deaths of two students, the University posted a message on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying, "All classes have been canceled tomorrow, Oct. 4, due to the sad news of a student’s passing tonight and the death of another student over the weekend who was studying overseas."

The school did not say what caused the deaths of the two students, but in their post, offered resources for anyone who may be struggling with a mental health crisis.

On Sunday, officials responded to a double shooting near the campus. Two gunshot victims were taken to the hospital with an unknown extent of injuries, according to the Denver Police Department.

And last month, on Sept. 14, an 80-year-old woman was fatally stabbed near Regis. Friends identified that victim as Judy Corcoran and said she was stabbed while she was on her daily walk.

Denver7 spoke with three seniors at the university who said they want the school to do more when it comes to safety and more mental health counseling.

"There has to be some kind of change, we have to be met with a solution," said Amanda McCloskey. "I feel like we keep doing a Band-Aid over bullet hole solutions."

A second student, who preferred not to be identified for this story, said she believes the quality of mental health support at the university has declined during her time there.

"The disconnect between administration and students has to stop. And until it stops, there will continue to be tragedies, violence, and really hurt, disappointed students," she said. "Students who do not feel like they can trust their administration to take care of them, to be responsible for them and keep their promises."

The student added that the education and professors at the university have been great for her, but said she feels a disconnect from the administration.

"Every single professor that I've had has been the most supportive, kind, inclusive, engaging educators I've ever had. They're incredible," the student said.

A third student, who also did not want to be identified for this story, said she's concerned for herself and her younger sister, who is a freshman at the university this year.

"It's really concerning to know that stuff like this is happening, and I have to leave my sibling behind once I leave Regis, to possible danger," the student said, adding she's also hoping the school will offer more counseling to those who need it. "I've heard many things about people struggling and not being able to speak to people about what's happening."

Denver7 reached out to Regis University about the students' concerns. Sheryl Tirol, a spokesperson for the school, provided the following statement:

“This has been a challenging yet unprecedented time for the University. The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. This is a community of caring and we actively seek and value ongoing feedback.

Regis deploys a system of more than 100 overt and covert security cameras across the 90-acre campus. Not all are visible, and the University does not disclose details regarding the system for security reasons. Regis reviews our system on a regular basis and makes additions and adjustments, as necessary. We will continue to rely on our partnership with the Denver Police Department as well as improvements in our security systems to help make our community as safe as possible.

The University does offer 240 mental health appointments per month, and slots regularly remain unfilled. During our recent challenges, we have enhanced our mental health resources and support, and are drawing on the expertise of our counseling and therapy program faculty and staff who are offering additional virtual and in-person services. Additional resources beyond the counseling services on campus are also available. The University has also been providing on-going communications regarding the recent incidents and how to access resources which can be found here.

"I just want to speak directly to the university," added McCloskey. "This is not in an effort to cause problems to deface you, we are just scared and we're asking for help and changing the culture and to (sic) all the students."

All three students who spoke with Denver7 will be graduating this school year, and said they want to help fix the issue for the students who will remain on campus when they leave.

"Seniors are really, really trying to leave you with a better situation to feel safe on your campus," McCloskey said. "It just wouldn't sit right with me and with other people of the student body to leave the university in the way that it is. So just hoping that we can find a path forward and that we can start to protect Regis students all around."

Regis University students speaking out for more safety amid recent tragedies

D7 follow up bar 2460x400FINAL.png
The Follow Up
What do you want Denver7 to follow up on? Is there a story, topic or issue you want us to revisit? Let us know with the contact form below.