UNC-Chapel Hill Pauses Classes After Suicides on Campus

Classes are canceled at UNC-Chapel Hill this Tuesday due to “multiple reports of suicides” and an attempted suicide on campus since the start of the fall semester, the News & Observer reported Sunday.

University officials made the decision to cancel classes after two separate 911 calls were made over the weekend involving a suicide and an attempted suicide, according to the newspaper, which also reported that two other suicide calls were reported to police in September.

University chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz announced the cancellation of classes in a statement Sunday night, saying that the campus would use Tuesday, which is World Mental Health Day, as a day of rest and contemplation, the News & Observer reported.

“We are in the middle of a mental health crisis, both on our campus and across our nation, and we are aware that college-aged students carry an increased risk of suicide,” Guskiewicz said in the statement. “This crisis has directly impacted members of our community – especially with the passing of two students on campus in the past month.”

“At Carolina, we strive to put our students first in everything we do. We are living in a world that is constantly shifting and changing. We are facing major challenges and the ongoing toll this takes on our health cannot be underestimated. This cannot be solved by one person, or on one day, alone.” 

According to the News & Observer, “Chapel Hill police records show two calls made to 911 over the weekend, one regarding an attempted suicide, and another for a suicide. The university said investigations in both of those cases are ongoing. Police call logs also show two reported suicides in September.”


UNC’s Undergraduate Executive Branch, Student Government and the Graduate and Professional Student Government said in a press release on Sunday that students’ mental health needs should be prioritized and considered, the newspaper reported. The executive branch said in a tweet on Sunday that the organization was in discussions with university administrators about canceling classes Monday and Tuesday, and leaders of the undergraduate and graduate student organizations tweeted that they would request the university allow a break from instruction along with the postponement of University Day events.


“All university actions should be guided by the expertise of Carolina’s mental health professionals and we request transparency from the university as to the implementation of this guidance,” the graduate and undergraduate student governments said. “A loss of even one Tar Heel is one too many.”

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