April 20, 2024

Honoring Lauren

 Students at universities throughout Utah, including Utah State in Logan and Utah State Eastern in Price, will walk Friday in memory of Lauren McCluskey, who was murdered three years ago on Oct. 22, 2018 by a man she had briefly dated while attending the University of Utah.

The Memorial Walk for Lauren McCluskey will start at 6 p.m. at the multipurpose room of the  Jennifer Leavitt Student Center. Participants will walk the inside perimeter of the campus in silence, followed by a candlelight memorial. It should last one hour.

This is the first time the memorial walk has been at the USUE campus, says Alayne Jenkins, a student advocate in charge of organizing the event here. “They are trying to make it a statewide thing and it’s gaining traction.”

McCluskey was fatally shot outside her University of Utah dorm by Melvin Shawn Rowland, a convicted sex offender. The murder exposed flaws in the University of Utah’s responses to complaints of stalking, domestic violence, and violence by intimate partners. Campus police and other authorities, including Rowland’s parole officer, were contacted numerous times prior to the murder.

McCluskey’s family filed a $56 million lawsuit and set up a foundation with money from the settlement.

  Students who fear they are being stalked should inform campus police or any faculty member. In an emergency, dial 911

Lauren’s promise: listen, believe and support

Jill McCluskey, Lauren’s mother and a professor at Washington State University, created Lauren’s Promise in 2019 for educators at her institution to include on course syllabi to signify their willingness to listen to, believe and support students who may need help. The pledge provides information about what happened to Lauren, makes a call to action and then offers information and links to community- and campus-specific resources, adapted as needed. Lauren’s Promise has been adopted by educators at institutions across the country. The standard part of the statement reads:

“I will listen and believe you if someone is threatening you. Lauren McCluskey, a 21-year-old honors student-athlete, was murdered on Oct. 22, 2018, by a man she briefly dated on the University of Utah campus. We must all take actions to ensure that this never happens again.”

U of U track athlete, Lauren McCluskey