UH 'seriously considering options' for future of campus building following 2nd suicide this semester

KTRK logo
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
UH classroom building's fate uncertain after 2nd suicide this semester
EMBED <>More Videos

"Clearly, we need to go deeper into our system and do more," President Renu Khator said. Agnes Arnold is closed and classes normally held there will be remote on Tuesday.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Students at the University of Houston are returning to class after a second death was reported at a building on campus this semester.

The university said a person was found dead at Agnes Arnold Hall on Monday, March 20. In a separate incident, a student was found dead on Feb. 15.

FEBRUARY REPORT: Foul play not suspected after University of Houston student found dead on campus walkway, UH says

In a series of tweets on Monday night, the university's president, Renu Khator, said it appears both people who died this semester took their own lives.

"Many in our community have expressed concern about Agnes Arnold Hall. We are taking immediate action to limit access to the building as we consider its future use in the short and long term," UH said in a statement on Monday night.

The building is now closed and all classes normally held there will be remote on Tuesday, the university said. Offices in the building are also closed and employees will work remotely.

A statement from the university noted that the use of Agnes Arnold for the rest of the semester has not yet been determined. An update will be provided once a plan is finalized.

"The building is only one aspect of these troubling events. The toll this can take on mental health cannot be overstated. We are committed to providing our faculty, staff and students with additional opportunities for mental health support. We will be providing more information on these resources in the coming days," UH continued.

READ MORE: 2nd death reported at UH a month after student found dead in February, university says

As UH evaluates future use of the building, Khator said university officials will need to sit down with students, faculty, and staff in the coming weeks to "seriously consider our options in regard to the building."

Khator said she is making the building's future a priority at UH. She said she is also seeking help from the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine, as well as city experts, to set up a special task force to deal with mental health and suicide prevention.

"Clearly, we need to go deeper into our system and do more," Khator said. "This is devastating. Let's pull together and help one another and find long-lasting solutions."

UH released the following statement on Monday, including information about campus mental health services:

"We are deeply saddened to inform our community of a death that occurred on the University of Houston campus today.

The person who passed away has not been identified and there is no threat to campus safety. We will be working closely to provide support to all who are impacted.

All classes and activities at Agnes Arnold are canceled today, March 20. Offices in this building are closed and employees will work remotely.

The UH Police Department and other officials are at this building now investigating an incident that took place today.

While we await official updates and during this time of loss, we are reminded of the importance of community. We encourage those who feel they may need support to utilize the following support resources available to members of the university community:

UH Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available at (713) 743-5454 and is located in the Health 2 Building, Rm. 2005 (4349 Martin Luther King Blvd.) or Student Services Center 1 (SSC1), Rm. 226 (4365 Cougar Village Dr.).

The "Let's Talk" Program provides daily, easy access to informal confidential consultations with CAPS therapists. Locations and hours are available here.

Wellness services are offered to faculty and staff through its Employee Assistance Program.

Support and care are also available through the Student Health Center and the A.D. Bruce Religion Center.

Academic HealthPlans opened our Academic Student Assistant Program (ASAP) to all UH students 24/7 FREE access for support.

We ask members of the UH community to support each other. We will be planning additional outreach to friends, family and members of our community once more information becomes available."

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, or worried about a friend or loved one, help is available. Call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 for free confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.