November 18, 2019
Ramping up efforts to keep our students safe
By all accounts, Samuel Martinez was a 19‑year‑old
you would love to hang out with.
Sam was funny, bright, and caring. Polite. Serious. Responsible.
Fiercely loyal to his family and friends. He loved sports, and he
volunteered often for community service projects.
Knowing Sam’s virtues makes coming to terms with his tragic
death November 12 at his fraternity house in Pullman all the more
heartbreaking. Losing a family member hurts. When that family member is
young and brimming with potential, the pain is gut-wrenching.
As our community grieves Sam, I extend my deepest condolences on
behalf of the entire Cougar nation to the Martinez family, Sam’s
friends, and all who knew him. As we mourn together, I encourage you to
take the time and seek the help you may need during this challenging
period. Our counseling
and Student Affairs staff
will continue to assist the community as needed.
Sam’s death also reminds us that we must continue to refine
and ramp up the University’s efforts to keep our students safe
and healthy. While ensuring the safety of the entire WSU community
remains one of our highest institutional priorities, we can—and
must—do more. For example, while incoming WSU students
already are required to complete mandatory alcohol and safety training,
we will revisit this policy and others in an effort to strengthen them.
I also want to remind you of our
Good Samaritan guideline, which
was created to protect the health and lives of students who over-consume
alcohol or drugs. Under the guideline, you can contact police or other
authorities in these situations without fear of disciplinary action for drug or alcohol use.
Effective immediately, we also have placed an interim loss-of-recognition-status
on the Alpha Tau Omega-Gamma Chi chapter, the fraternity of which
Sam was a member. Student Affairs staff have opened an investigation and
are working with the fraternity’s national headquarters. Any disciplinary
action will be determined by WSU’s
community standards process.
Please join me in reflecting on Sam’s life with gratitude
for the love and the vitality he brought to his family, friends, and
our community. May we keep those memories alive in the days to come
as we endeavor to ensure his death was not in vain.
Kirk Schulz, President
Washington State University