Around Town

Three nearby colleges, three rounds of bad news

The Story

A string of saddening headlines have been churned out lately at nearby college campuses, including App, JCSU and UNC Charlotte.

Appalachian State

– A shocking 8 students from this Boone university have died this school year.

– Two died from traffic accidents, four were ruled suicides and a medical examiner report is pending on the other two. No foul play suspected in any of the deaths.


– The most recent death happened this weekend, when Charlotte’s Michael Cameron Schmitt was found in medical distress at his apartment. He later died at the hospital.

– Particularly poignant and upsetting: Read App’s online message board. Way too many notes of condolence from the chancellor.

– Another shocking number: Since spring of 2012, 28 App students have died. The campus has 18,000 students.

Johnson C. Smith University

– Six members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity have been charged with hazing.

– They are accused of striking the victim, who wanted to be part of the fraternity, so severely he had to get treatment at the hospital. The abuse allegedly happened over two months.

– JCSU has suspended the fraternity.

UNC Charlotte

UNCC has opened a food pantry for students in need. It’s hard to imagine — if you can afford college, you can afford to eat, right? But so many students are living close to the edge, having to support themselves.

UNCC foodbank students charlotte

– The pantry averages 30-50 students a week.

– Plans are to add fresh food from a university garden next year.

C5’s Take

College should be fun and eye-opening and inspiring. We feel for these students in crisis.

 Photos: Lisa Thornton & Jeff Willhelm / Charlotte Observer