Obscene is the appropriate descriptor for the entirety of the U of U's
response to Lauren's continued and frightened reports and requests for
help.Accolades for failures that lead to a young woman's
preventable murder? Obscene.The University defending their failure
of Lauren? Obscene.Salt Lake City's Police failure to
intercede? Obscene.That Lauren - who had made multiple reports, had
expressed her fear; whose friends had made reports; whose parents had made
reports; whose RA had made reports - was murdered on the very campus where the U
of U failed to protect her? Obscene.Harassment. Stalking. Extortion.
Intimidation. Any and all of these were chargeable offenses. Had Rowland been
charged with any of them, it was inevitable his status of sex offender and
parolee would have been revealed.A felon permitted to roam the
campus freely, even as he stalked, extorted, intimidated a U of U student?
Obscene.Fill in the blank:“The police department should
have ________ in response to Lauren's concerns.”Cared
comes to mind. Acted comes to mind. Heads need to roll. Period.That they haven't is obscene.
Fill in the blank?? The police should have DONE something when she reported
harassment and extortion and showed a SCREENSHOT to them of his CONVICTED SEX
OFFENDER status. 50,000 women a year are killed by intimate partner violence.
Might we listen to them when they report harassment? Might we act on it to
prevent further harassment? I have yet to see it at my university or at any
To "Jim Schwartz" the problem is that 76-8-703 of the Utah Code would
not have applied to him. Even when they spotted him on security cameras, there
was still no known intent to harm her. At that point it looked like
vindictive ex-boyfriend. He had not broken any law that would have put him back
in jail.Yes we can see looking back that he was intent on breaking
the law, but at the time that was not evident.Her story is a sad
story about meeting the wrong guy and allowing him to take advantage of her.
The apology from the university of Utah didn’t address the tone-deafness
and insensitivity of this award ceremony. They apologized for using
Lauren’s name in the program without the family’s consent. This
administration just doesn’t get it.
@Moderate - First, as regards McCluskey's killer, yes, his
prison sentence was through May. U of U graduation was May 2. (Google:
"Rowland’s prison sentence was set to expire in May 2019.") The
additional charge, even if the sentence were concurrent, would have added time
to the killer's sentence. Lauren would have graduated and left town.You said: "You want to improve the
response? Fill in the blank." "You want your
son or daughter to be safer? Fill in the blank."Now that I have
filled in the blank with a valid answer, you have a new question: "How do
you protect a student (or anyone) who is being harassed by someone not on
probation?" The answer to your new question is similar if not
precisely the same: Take the victim's complaint seriously, investigate the
claims, charge and prosecute any crimes, pursue appropriate sentences. No one will claim that that would ensure the safety of every student,
but it would help.
Jim Schwartz - Fort Lauderdale, FL "The police department should have made
contact with Rowland, arrested him, charged him with his violations of §
76-8-703 of the Utah Code..."This is excellent, Jim, thank you. It is
the exact detail which is missing from articles written by professional
reporters.I don't know what "the remainder of his prison
sentence" is, but hopefully that would have been enough time for Lauren to
finish school and leave town. Yes, leave town. Because he would eventually get
out of jail and come looking for her.Sadly, I don't see how
this helps others. How do you protect a student (or anyone) who is being
harassed by someone not on probation?
@ModerateThe police department should have taken Lauren seriously,
made contact with Rowland, arrested him, charged him with his violations of
§ 76-8-703 of the Utah Code (Criminal trespass upon an institution of
higher education), communicated with his parole officer with respect to the
violation, and taken measures to verify that he was returned to prison to serve
the remainder of his prison sentence which his violation of § 76-8-703
mandated as a violation of his parole, in response to Lauren's concerns.
She kept calling and calling, but nothing meaningful was done. Now she is dead.
Heads need to roll!
“The police department should have ________ in response to Lauren's
concerns.”Read the comments of this and any other story on
Lauren. They speak in generalities about being disappointed in the response, or
that it was disgraceful, or that it was detached and insensitive or that it was
tone deaf. Nobody -- not even Lauren's parents -- fill in the blank. None
identify that thing or things the police should have done but did not.You want to improve the response? Fill in the blank.You want your son
or daughter to be safer? Fill in the blank."Take her
seriously" is not a valid answer. What is the ACTION that police could have
taken to prevent a determined killer from obtaining a gun and killing his
As a U grad, my experience with the administration, at least at the law school,
was that it was laden with hypocritical activists who had a thinly-veiled
contempt for many of its students, especially those of a certain political and
cultural background. So it doesn’t surprise me in the least that the
administration over the entire school would pat themselves on the back after
such a tragedy and colossal failure. The U needs some house cleaning or at
least some changes to its internal culture.
The author of this opinion stated: "Addressing the glaring deficiencies at
the U. regarding the need to take and deal with women’s concerns seriously
and with urgency, and the overarching issue of student safety in general, is not
solely a matter of changing a few policies and procedures". Hmmm? First, I posit that the University of Utah grossly failed to protect a
student. It doesn't matter if the student is a female or a male. They
should not be unequally focused with "women's concerns", they
should be fully concerned with the safety of all students!It
interesting how women are all for being treated equal when it comes to pay,
responsibility, capability, and leadership ability (which they rightly deserve),
but then when a tragedy like this occurs they seemingly always want special
treatment. Where is the equality in that?
The university has been a disgrace from start to finish here
@Orson - "This kind of misguided activism destroys trust in law
enforcement."No. It is misguided law enforcement which
destroyed trust in law enforcement.The spirit of Lauren McCluskey
lives on through her family and friends who will not allow law
enforcement's, the U of U's, "the system's" problems to
continue without resolution and remedial action. Thanks to the
Deseret News for continuing to support their efforts.
"Orson - Woods Cross, UTJune 8, 2019 10:31 a.m.What a sad stare
of affairs when the DN opinion pages give vent to activists running down police
depts that need loyalty instead of negative publicity.""Activists"? It's decent people, most whom are parents, calling
out the incompetence and abject failure of the PD's involved. Someones
daughter was murdered due to people not doing their job. No one got fired, no
one was held accountable. The "negative publicity" is earned.
What a disgrace. The University of Utah administration is an embarrassment to
the fine institution that is the University of Utah.Multiple people
should lose their jobs over the whole McCluskey debacle. My best wishes to her
family in Pullman.
Let Lauren rest in peace.
I am all in with this article. I really feel university negligence contributed
to the death of Lauren. I’m not sure why her family has not taking legal
action against University, and I can’t figure out why the state of Utah
hasn’t stepped in to decertify the campus police department. It’s
confusing how the states Public Safety office has handled the BYU Police
Department for not sharing documents and the universities Police Department for
gross negligence in the death of one of its students. Go figure.
It’s inexcusable how tone deaf everyone at the U has been on this tragic
event.I wonder how they would have reacted if Lauren had been their
What a sad stare of affairs when the DN opinion pages give vent to activists
running down police depts that need loyalty instead of negative publicity.Police are not all-knowing all-perfect every-where present law enforcers
who perfectly respond to every situation. Instead they are over-worked,
over-stressed, understaffed, and constantly criticized by everyone they give
tickets to.Now so many seem to be jumping on the hate police wagon,
letting these upset and angry McCluskey parents vend their anger in the
press/media. This kind of misguided activism destroys trust in law enforcement.
Most universities have failed us, and we have worshiped these institutions for
50 years in our country. All universities have crime. I grieve with those who
are in mourning. This is tragic.
"It is way past due for someone of authority in Utah to hold personnel at
the U. accountable and responsible for the failures in behavior and leadership
at the University. "Yeah? Whom? The leadership (or lack of it)
starts at the top with Ruth Watkins. An absolute disgrace. Next, I hear the U
History department will posthumously award the Captain of the Titanic with a
"great fuel mileage" award.
The behavior of the University was incredibly insensitive and detached from