A UR graduate student threatened to commit suicide in Hylan Hall late Sunday night. The student broke a window on the ninth floor and stood in the frame for at least three hours, apparently contemplating jumping out of the building, while law enforcement and emergency crews worked to alleviate the situation.
At approximately 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, students in Hylan contacted UR Security to report sounds of broken glass. A UR Security supervisor entered the building at 11:34 p.m. and engaged the student in a brief conversation in an attempt to calm him down.
A 911 call was placed at 11:37 p.m., and Rochester Police Department officers and Rochester Fire Department crews were on the scene by 11:45 p.m., according to Director of UR Security Walter Mauldin. Rural Metro Rochester was also at the scene for the duration of the incident.
An Emotionally Disturbed Response Team, consisting of RPD officers trained to deal with mental health situations, was sent up to the ninth floor upon RPD’s arrival. The EDRT, along with other RPD officers and UR Security officers, engaged the student in dialogue aimed at convincing him to move to a safer position.
“Everyone was cooperating; it was all happening in a very professional manner,” Mauldin said. “The stakes were very high, [but] everyone was very calm.”
Meanwhile, Student Aides set up a perimeter around Hylan Hall, Hutchinson Hall and Carlson Library. Pedestrians were diverted away from the scene to avoid injuries related to the broken glass and to keep distractions and disruptions to a minimum, according to Mauldin. Students already inside some of these buildings were kept inside for a period of time for the same reasons.
A number of University services were also called to the scene to assist RPD and UR Security. Representatives from Residential Life and the University Counseling Center, as well as Dean of Students Jody Asbury, were there to give the officers information that could be used to help connect with the student.
“What was remarkable was how effectively and comprehensively people descended on [Hylan Hall] to address the needs of the situation and the student,” Asbury said.
When the EDRT’s efforts to persuade the student to move away from the window failed, a crisis negotiator was called to the scene. The negotiator arrived between 12:15 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. Monday morning.
It was not until 2:33 a.m., however, that the student agreed to step away from the window and into a safer location. He was then transported to Strong Memorial Hospital by Rural Metro Rochester for evaluation. Details of his status after that time are currently unavailable.
“The intensity of this [situation] was pretty strong, but everyone was very professional,” Mauldin said. “It is a testament to the very strong relationships among the many offices in the University when called to help when we have an emergency with a student.”
No one involved in the incident was injured. University officials, including Asbury, have spent time this week with friends of the student to help them cope with the situation.
Moeller is a member of the class of 2009.