Helping Rutgers Cope With Student Deaths

By: Tatiana Vickerie

Rutgers University has set up grief counseling offices on the College Avenue campus to assist those who are dealing with the unexpected deaths of two university students in September. All services are located on the College Avenue campus.

The counselor center located, at 17 Senior St., had an influx of students who needed help coping and a place to properly grieve. For students needing support, class accommodations were also given through the Dean of Students office, located at Bishop House on College Avenue. CAPS, which stand for counseling, ADAP (Alcohol and Drug Assistance Program), and psychiatric services allowed students to call in and talk over the phone.

“Students who call CAPS are asked a series of questions just so that we can get a sense of what they’re seeking help for,” Jill Richards, CAPS director, said. “We then set a time for students to come in and meet with a counselor. We try to provide a safe environment for them to feel open, and offer both individual and group counseling.”

Rutgers University has had to face the unexpected deaths of two students, Caitlyn Kovacs, 19, a sophomore, and Darsh Patel, 20, a senior. There was an influx of students who were affected.

“If they’re really affected by this,” Maryana Nikolin, 22, senior in School of Arts and Science said, “I think [CAPS] is a professional kind of organization that they can reach out to and get professional help.”

Students have access to these resources every semester. They are welcomed with open arms and fully encouraged to take advantage of these services provided. Services are there throughout the entire school year for students whenever they need help.

One Rutgers student, Briana West, shared her experience of getting counseled through the services provided from last semester.

“The representatives at CAPS allowed you to express and cope with certain advertises that you may be facing in order for the you to get through them and still stay on top of your academics,” Briana West, 20, junior in School of Arts and Science said. “Everyone’s very friendly they just allow you to be pen and expressive and say what’s on your mind.”

For more information on these programs you can call 848-932-7884,or visit