UR students are coming together to support sophomore Christopher Porco, whose father was murdered and whose mother was severely beaten in their Delmar home this past weekend. In response to the tragedy, university counseling services and other school officials have made themselves available to listen and offer assistance.
“People are very sad and eager to support each other,” Dean of Students Jody Asbury said. “Chris is very involved on campus and has touched a lot of people. It is our commitment to support them.”
Asbury opened the Commons Room in the Interfaith Chapel to students who wished to speak with counseling services, chaplains and academic advisors. More than 100 people turned to them.
In addition, an e-mail was sent out by Asbury and Dean of The College William Green to the entire student body with information about the situation. The e-mail included updates on the investigation as well as phone numbers for students to call for support. These numbers included the Interfaith Chapel, Counseling Services, Dean of Freshmen Deborah Rossen-Knill and Dean of Sophomores Vicki Roth.
“It is hard since the investigation is going on in Albany,” Roth said. “Even though the incident didn’t happen here, there is a rippling effect. Many people feel connected and have reached out to their own family for support.”
A Web site has been set up to continually update students, faculty and parents.
The police in charge of the investigation have not yet named a suspect. Porco, whose Jeep Wrangler was impounded, was questioned and released. His fraternity brothers and friends were also questioned.
“It will take at least a couple more days to process the crime scene,” Albany County Assistant District Attorney Michael McDermott said.
“We worked out an arrangement for the next few days for a Rochester Police [Department] officer to be stationed in Hill Court as a reassuring presence,” Director of UR Security Walter Mauldin said. “It just seemed like the right thing to do. It’s a city contribution to help the university.”
As more information becomes available, Asbury and other officials will notify students.
“This has had such an impact on our campus and we will continue to help people for as long as possible,” Asbury said.
Reporting by Emily Paret
and Chadwick Schnee.