NASPA Responds to Student Loss at Georgia Tech

NASPA reached out to student affairs leadership at Georgia Tech to express our support for the pain felt after the death of Scout Schultz. The impact of the loss of a student goes beyond the boundaries of the Georgia Tech campus to every student affairs professional in our community. For those both close to Scout and those who are feeling the pain of the Georgia Tech campus from across the world, our thoughts are with you as you navigate the “why” of this tragedy.

This incident reminds us how critical campus mental health service is, not just in the construction and operation of a counseling center, but infused into the daily work that all of us we do with students. Improving students’ mental well-being is core to our mission to support student success. Our student leaders are often asked to put their identities at the forefront, and deserve our support in building resiliency in the wake of a world where acceptance is a struggle.

That police were involved in Scout’s death also contributes to ongoing attention to the use of lethal force with marginalized populations. Our campuses must feel safe for all of our students, and for our student affairs professionals who navigate these complicated systems beset with oppression towards a more socially just and safer campus community. That work is difficult, but it is vital.

There are no easy answers to the problems we face, but our students depend on our work to be successful, to thrive, and more than ever, we know that there are times that their lives are on the line. We encourage you to dialogue with your student affairs colleagues about how we can all learn from this tragedy, improve our campuses, and develop students who will, in turn, improve our society.