Wright Hall student dies

DKS Editors

A 19-year-old Kent State student was pronounced dead at 11:50 a.m. this morning, said Tom Decker, an investigator with the Portage County Coroner’s Office.

Decker said a university employee found Jessica Schenk, a sophomore physical education major from Port Clinton, unconscious in the fifth-floor bathroom of Wright Hall.

Decker said an ambulance was called and upon examining Schenk said there was no sign of life.

The cause of death has not yet been determined, and Decker said an autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death.

A fifth-floor Wright Hall resident said after a 3 p.m. floor meeting, students were allowed back in their rooms despite one of the bathrooms still being locked. University Health Services was at the meeting to provide support for students.

Greg Jarvie, dean of students, and Betsy Joseph, director of residence services were at the scene. Neither they nor officers on the scene would comment.

Earlier in the day, Winnie Sodhi, a fifth-floor resident, said students were escorted to their rooms on the fifth floor to get their things. Many students were going home.

At the time, Sodhi said the girls didn’t know which student died.

“As girls come back from class, we’re asking if their roommates are all right,” she said.

First word of the death came Friday before 11:20 a.m.

Lefton offered condolences in a news advisory posted on Kent State’s Web site.

“The entire Kent State community sends its sincerest condolences to Jessica’s family,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very difficult time.”

KentNewsNet is following the story and will publish more information as it comes in.

Editor’s note: This is a chronology of events that led to an earlier false report about a drug overdose.

Earlier reports on the cause of death posted on KentNewsNet were incorrect, said Tom Neumann, vice president for university communications and marketing, and Kent State police.

KentNewsNet reported the death was a result of a drug overdose. That information came from a man who called and did not identify himself.

He asked if we heard what he had just said over the scanner — that a student had died on campus from a drug overdose.

At that point an editor posted a one-sentence bulletin on KentNewsNet relaying the information about the death from a drug overdose attributing the information to a police dispatcher.

KentNewsNet reporters went to the scene, but officials and police there would not comment.

KentNewsNet received phone calls from three university officials and the campus police saying information about a drug overdose was false. The police said they found no evidence of a phone call from a dispatcher to reporters in their logs.

A KentNewsNet reporter then called the coroner’s office, who said to call back in an hour. When the reporter called, the coroner confirmed there was a death, identified the student, but said the cause of death was unknown.

KentNewsNet should not have posted the information about an overdose. We were wrong to use an unidentified source.