As our community mourns the murder of Aaron Lowe, a 21-year-old University of Utah sophomore, I am relieved by the news that the Salt Lake City Police Department has made an arrest in the case. A second victim remains in the hospital and we continue to send our thoughts and best wishes for a full recovery.
I want to thank Chief Mike Brown, the responding officers and detectives involved for their continued professionalism and sensitivity in investigating Aaron’s murder. I appreciate their responsiveness as they pursue a careful investigation to determine the facts of this murder that occurred at an off-campus house and in front of dozens of our students and neighbors. I also want to thank Mayor Erin Mendenhall and her team for their support.
In the coming days, weeks and months, I encourage all members of the university community to check in on each other and reach out for support. In addition to the multiple witnesses to this crime, many of our students, staff and faculty knew and loved Aaron. He was a communications major, a talented member of our football team, a son, brother and friend. All affected by Aaron’s death need our compassion and understanding in working through the complex and very real reverberations of trauma and grief.
The murder of young Black men has become all too common in our society. At a gathering last week on campus I was asked what I was doing as president to better support our Black community and what the university could do to address this violence. I believe the university has an important role to play and we must use our voices, talents, and resources to drive change. I will work with my cabinet, academic and student leaders, in partnership with the U’s Black Advisory Council and community leaders, to further this work.
Campus counseling and safety resources are available to any member of our community who has been impacted. Mental health support services include: the University Counseling Center, the Huntsman Mental Health Institute crisis line and the Employee Assistance Program. Safety resources can be found via the SafeU website and through the SafeUT app.
The loss of another U student—someone with such promise and life ahead of him—leaves us anguished and shaken. But we are steadfast too. I know the University of Utah community will come together around Aaron’s family, his friends, his teachers and his teammates as we begin the long process of healing.
University of Utah