'Tight-knit' student community shocked by University of Canterbury death

The University of Canterbury.
A man's body was discovered in a hall of residence at the University of Canterbury. Photo credit: File

The University of Canterbury's tight-knit community is shocked after a student's body lay undiscovered in a hall of residence for two months.

The man was discovered on Monday night and has yet to be formally identified. Police are making inquiries and will commission an independent investigation into how a student's absence from campus could go unnoticed for eight weeks. 

Sam Brosnahan, president of the university's Students' Association, says it's a "hugely sad time" for students.

"I always make the point that UC is regarded as a pretty tight-knit student community," he told Newshub. "Most students live reasonably close to campus. Most study on the same main campus here at Ilam. Most students are part of some sort of student-run club.  

"So the news that came out was not only saddening, but also quite surprising to some extent. It's been a tough last 24 hours."

He says students expect a level of duty of care from the university and its halls of residence.

"But in terms of this particular situation, it seems like something has unfortunately not happened to students' expectations, so I guess we're just going to have to wait for what comes out from this investigation."

Brosnahan says students affected by the death are receiving support from the university, and points anyone feeling distressed to find further resources through UCSA Advocacy & Welfare.

"Our collective thoughts and prayers are with the student’s whānau at this distressing time."

Anyone with information that may help with the investigation is asked to call 105, the non-emergency police number.


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