Death affects campus

Sep 092004
Authors: Christiana Nelson

Samantha Spady never knew Christine Reinosa, but her death changed Reinosa’s life.

In her first year at CSU, press over Spady’s death has led Reinosa to deal with her parents’ newfound perceptions of the university.

“I know it makes my parents uncomfortable because they call all the time,” said Reinosa, a freshman open-option major. “I know a lot of parents are uncomfortable because everyone’s parents are calling to make sure they are safe.”

While Reinosa still feels protected at CSU, she was shocked when a friend told her about Spady’s death in an unused room of the Sigma Pi fraternity, 709 Wagner Drive, over the weekend.

“I didn’t think something like that would happen,” Reinosa said. “It just doesn’t make sense, I thought it would be a guy doing some sort of dare or that it would be initiation related. I didn’t expect this.”

Recent events have also impacted students who have attended CSU for several years.

“It does seem abnormal. In all four years that I’ve been here I can’t really remember anything like this,” said Mike Drewlow, a senior finance major. “Now, it is all happening at once – it is a little overwhelming.”

While some students on campus were deeply affected by the death, information regarding the final hours of Spady’s life will not yet be released.

The autopsy reports, revealing manner and cause of death will likely not be released for “some time,” said Rita Davis, spokeswoman for Fort Collins Police Services.

“We will not release any part of the investigation until the investigation has been completed,” Davis said. “The next thing that will come from us will be when we have determined the case is closed.”

Still details aren’t important for K.A. Barbarick, who is troubled by losing any student, even after teaching at CSU for 30 years.

“I just feel a great sadness because it was probably avoidable,” said Barbarick, a soil and crop science professor.

While he agrees the recent publicity of the riots, Spady’s death and the car-surfing incident on Monday night that left a 14-year-old girl from Cheyenne, Wyo. in critical condition, have not reflected well on the university, he also believes the events are not completely abnormal.

“Similar things have happened in the past. It is just that now everything is occurring at relatively the same time,” Barbarick said.

For Cassandra Nassif, a junior marketing major, the events hit close to home, as she knows several of the Sigma Pi fraternity members. Still, she feels the statewide publicity has not only hurt the university’s reputation, but also been insensitive to Spady’s mourning family and friends.

“This is a grieving period for her family,” Nassif said. “And I don’t feel (the fraternity members) could have controlled anything, as a whole, they’re grieving as well – she was there when she died.”

Despite community mourning, some students have mixed feelings about Spady’s death.

“I feel sorry for her, but I kind of feel like the events that happened could have been avoided with proper judgment,” said Jorge Jordan, a sophomore computer engineering major.

Regardless of how students feel or how they were impacted by Spady’s death, Drewlow advises students to learn from the events of the past week.

“Show your support,” Drewlow said. “But at the same time remember that everything we do reflects on the university – just keep that in mind.”

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