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Campus mourns after death of teen who fell from Bemidji State dormitory

Little additional information was released Monday about the Sunday morning death at Tamarack Hall, one of the dormitories on the BSU campus. Jordan Shearer | Forum News Service

BEMIDJI, Minn.—Little new information was released Monday following the death of an 18-year-old man who apparently fell from a high elevation on a 12-story dormitory on the Bemidji State University campus in northwest Minnesota early Sunday, Sept. 30.

The Bemidji Police Department has not released the name of the victim or any of the circumstances surrounding his death. The man's family has been notified. University officials also didn't release any new information Monday.

"Given that this is an ongoing investigation, all new and updated information we're deferring to the Bemidji Police Department," said Andy Bartlett, BSU interim director of communications and marketing.

The man died after allegedly falling from "a high elevation" at the 12-story Tamarack Hall on campus.. Bemidji Police responded to the call at approximately 12:30 a.m. Sunday, where they found the victim on the ground outside Tamarack. Life-saving efforts were unsuccessful, a press release from the department said. His body was transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.

The 18-year-old was not a student at BSU, officials said.

BSU President Faith Hensrud did hold a press conference Monday, highlighting the various counseling services the university offers students, especially in the wake of the reported death.

"One of the things that has been of most concern to us is the health and well-being of our students," Hensrud said.

She said the university has opened up the availability at its counseling center this week, in addition to providing those services to students at the time of the incident. Hensrud also said the Sanford Health Mobile Crisis team came to assist during the immediate aftermath of the incident.

The Student Center for Health and Counseling is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. After hours, students may contact the free Mobile Crisis Hotline at (800) 422-0045.

Hensrud said the university recently hired an additional counselor, although she added that was set to happen before Sunday's death.

The university also is looking at putting together an event that would "focus on healing and focus on the health and well-being of our students," Hensrud said.

There will be no changes to the homecoming schedule this week. Events are planned daily and through the weekend.

"We will be stressing to our student population, again, the importance of remaining safe and watching out for one another over homecoming," Hensrud said.

Jordan Shearer

Jordan Shearer covers crime and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. A Rochester native and Bemidji State grad, he previously spent several years in western Nebraska writing for the Keith County News. Follow him on Twitter @Jmanassa

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