Source reports discovery of U of O student’s body on fifth floor of Simard building

In an email to the Fulcrum on the evening of Thursday, March 16, a support staff member at the University of Ottawa from the Faculty of Arts, who has chosen to withhold their name, reported that a male student was found dead on campus on Tuesday, March 14.

According to the staff member, the body was discovered on the fifth floor of the Simard building by three female students and one male student, who called the U of O’s Protection Service upon discovery.

The Fulcrum initially learned of the incident on the night of Wednesday, March 15, after receiving reports that Community Advisors employed by the U of O’s Housing Service were informed of a death by suicide on campus.

The Ottawa Police Service confirmed with the Fulcrum that they responded to a medical emergency call at around 6:30 p.m. on March 14. According to the university staff member, Simard was on lockdown for two hours after the body was discovered.

Tristan Lamonica, a fourth-year U of O communications student, reported that police remained on campus as late as 10 p.m. on March 14 and blocked off the walkway between the Perez and Simard buildings, telling students to take an alternate route.

In an interview with the Fulcrum on the morning of Thursday, March 16, while discussing the need for faster access to mental health services on campus, U of O president Jacques Frémont said that the university “had an incident yesterday which reminded us how fragile the system is.”

“It’s always a defeat when people face mental health problems and are not taken up by the system. It’s a grave concern,” said Frémont.

“The university is deeply saddened by a tragic and unfortunate death on our campus on Tuesday evening,” said Isabelle Mailloux-Pulkinghorn, acting manager of the U of O’s media relations, in a statement to the Fulcrum.

Mailloux-Pulkinghorn informed the Fulcrum that the student’s family has been notified of his death, and that it offers its sincerest condolences to the family.

The Faculty of Arts staff member confirmed that the Vice-Dean of Undergraduate Studies has since been informing departments in the faculty of the suicide.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available, including funeral arrangements and other ways to pay respects to the student and his family. Anyone with further details is asked to contact the Fulcrum at news@thefulcrum.ca or at (647) 470-6136.

For those requiring on-campus support, the U of O’s Counseling and Coaching service is open Monday to Friday, 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They can be reached at (613) 562-5200 or at the fourth floor of 100 Marie-Curie Private.

For 24/7 service, please contact the Ottawa Distress Centre at (613) 238-3311 or Crisis Line Ottawa at (613) 722-6914. In a case of immediate crisis on campus, please contact the U of O’s Protection Service at (613) 562-5411.

Correction: The deceased’s name has been obtained by the Fulcrum, and was included in a recent update of this article. The editorial team has decided, out of respect for the family, to withhold the name for a longer period of time. Though this update was briefly online, we regret any distress this may have caused our readers.