GV responds to student death on campus

Audrey Whitaker, Associate Editor

Grand Valley State University has shared funeral information and resources for students struggling with the death of GVSU student Quentin “Quinn” Campbell, who died by suicide on Thursday, Dec. 9.

“It is with deep sorrow I share with you that we lost our student Quentin ‘Quinn’ Campbell this past week,” GVSU President Philomena Mantella said in an email to the GVSU community. “He died by suicide on Thursday.”

Mantella said that while some have questioned the time the university took to release information about the death, the university’s first responsibility is always to the families involved, to understand their wishes and offer support before communicating with the wider community.

Part of the message was also shared on GVSU’s Facebook page on Sunday afternoon.

The post follows a message from Mantella, that was shared via email and on GVSU’s social media accounts on Friday, Dec. 10. Mantella shared resources, including suicide hotline numbers and GVSU Counseling Center resources.

“We are affected by the losses, the pressure of the pandemic, and the loads we carry into the end of the calendar year. Some of us may need additional support,” Mantella said in her message. “My main message to you is that you are an important member of our campus community, and we care about you.”

Grand Valley Police Department Captain Jeff Stoll said that the university intended to support students who have been impacted by the death while showing respect for the family and those who may struggle with the topic of suicide. However, Stoll said that the public nature of the incident warranted a response from the university that addressed mental health resources.

In the comments section of the post, Campbell’s mother, Tami, encouraged other students struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide to seek help and asked for those who knew her son to reach out to her via phone calls, texts and email.

“Students, if you are dealing with depression, please get help,” Campbell said in her post. “To any of my son’s friends: I want to hear from you. I want to hear stories about my son. I want to know how much he meant to you.”

GVSU students organized a memorial on the Little Mackinac Bridge, as well as a gofundme for funeral expenses which has raised over $28,000 since Friday.

GVSU encourages any community members struggling with mental health or a crisis to visit the University Counseling Center in person, as well as explore online resources for dealing with trauma and self-care. Additionally, GVSU students, faculty and staff can submit a CARE refferal for themselves or others who may be experiencing a crisis or in need of additional support.

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line: Text 741741