In Response to Campus Incidents

Update: Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017
11:00 a.m.

Overview and statistics on mental health services at the Georgia Institute of Technology (PDF)


Update: Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017
7:59 p.m.

To the Georgia Tech community:

Today marks one week since the tragic death of Scout Schultz. I bear that burden, not only as Georgia Tech’s president, but also as a father and a grandfather. I have been in higher education for 38 years at five universities. Losing a student, particularly under such tragic circumstances, is every leader’s nightmare. A number of you have shared similar thoughts.

As we began the process of working through the events of this past week, I have heard from many individuals and groups both within the Georgia Tech community and from the community at large. As we are all grieving and reflecting, it is imperative that we come together to shape the best path forward. There continue to be unanswered questions and details surrounding Scout Schultz’s death. We will have to wait to receive the final report from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) for the full details and answers. However, as we strive to respond to recent events in a constructive manner, there are some immediate steps we can take.

Over the past week, I have solicited input from a broad range of individuals and groups with various perspectives, and will continue to do so. I met with a diverse group of elected student leaders representing various student organizations, including both the undergraduate and graduate Student Government Association presidents. My main goal was to encourage dialogue and feedback, and to listen in order to gain insight from students’ unique perspectives. In addition, I have received input from a number of other groups, including both faculty and student organizations, and will be meeting with them in the coming week. I am finding these continuing discussions to be very helpful. I believe that the concerns raised by the student leaders, faculty, and others can be placed into four broad categories – student mental health, including a focus on both counseling and psychiatric services; campus culture; LGBT+ community issues; and campus safety.

Based upon the discussions already held and those I will be having in the next few days, I will be appointing, within the week, four Institute-wide “Action Teams,” each focusing on one of these four areas. These Action Teams will be responsible for further identifying concerns, issues, and potential solutions, along with additional resource needs. They will include students, faculty, staff, and outside experts as needed. The Action Teams will be asked to submit a series of recommendations by November 1, so that implementation can begin and a preliminary progress report can be completed before the end of the semester. It is my expectation that the recommendations of the Action Teams will be a continuation and expansion of the work we have done in the areas mentioned, along with new insights and initiatives.

We have received a great outpouring of offers for support this week. In addition to our ongoing institutional support for these important areas, I am taking immediate steps to establish a fund through the Georgia Tech Foundation whereby donors can make monetary contributions that will be utilized for mental health initiatives and other campus wellness programs for our students, faculty, and staff; and for additional training needs of our Campus Police. An initial commitment of a $1 million endowment to support these efforts has been received, and we will continue to raise private gifts.

Many of our best achievements here at Georgia Tech are the result of campus leadership teaming with elected student representatives, representative faculty and student groups, and other interested parties to identify and address challenges in a constructive manner. We seek a culture in which our community can flourish and be fulfilled emotionally, physically, professionally, socially, and spiritually. I have no doubt that we can continuously improve the campus environment and the health and well-being of our entire community, and I look forward working together with you to do so.

G. P. “Bud” Peterson
President, Georgia Tech


Update: Friday, Sept. 22, 2017
5:48 p.m.

About 75 people gathered near the Student Center on the Georgia Tech campus as a part of a planned demonstration voicing support for a variety of social causes. The group of students and other community members made their way to Tech Green and to the roof of the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons where they posted signs. The group peacefully dispersed after about 90 minutes. Since Monday’s activities, we’ve had an increased level of security on campus.


Update: Friday, Sept. 22, 2017
4:15 p.m.

The Georgia Institute of Technology supports the mental health needs of the campus by providing access to licensed psychologists at the Georgia Tech Counseling Center and board-certified psychiatrists at Stamps Medical Services.

The Counseling Center served 1,777 students (more than 1,400 of them new) during the 2016-2017 academic year, resulting in 13,195 counseling hours. 

Georgia Tech currently has 13 licensed psychologists and therapists on staff at the Counseling Center as well as three predoctoral interns and two postdoctoral residents who see clients, which provides 18 who see clients. The Counseling Center is currently led by Mack Bowers, the interim director. Bowers has worked at the center and Georgia Tech for 24 years. He has been a licensed psychologist in Georgia since 1995, and served as interim director of the center from 2005-2006.

The Counseling Center expands its service offerings in cases of increased need, crises, or vacancies through a variety of means. The four current vacancies are filled with licensed psychologists and licensed professional counselors on a temporary basis until permanent hires can be made. Some have previous experience at Georgia Tech. The number of licensed therapists remains the same while we work to fill those vacancies with full-time staff.

Counselors staffed the Center from 2-5 a.m. over the weekend to support students who had witnessed Saturday night’s event. They also offered a special time for debriefing and support Sunday from 12 -2 p.m. at the Eighth Street Apartments for any student who wanted to stop by and speak with a counselor. The Center also modified its walk-in policy for students so that anyone (client or not) could drop in and would be seen right away without having to go through the usual check-in process.

Normal hours of operation were extended this week to 7 p.m., and psychologists staffed the memorial vigil. The Center has sent psychologists to support numerous requests from faculty and other campus departments this week. Counselors from other University System of Georgia institutions were also called in to enhance staffing levels for the week.

Stamps Health Services is staffed by two full-time and four part-time psychiatrists, three case managers, and a practice coordinator.

Last year, the Georgia Tech Counseling Center and the Division of Student Life developed an initiative called Tech Ends Suicide Together. Georgia Tech has held 23 training sessions since implementing the initiative.

This initiative is based on an international Zero Suicide campaign that has been enacted in community health care systems around the world and made prominent in the U.S. through the efforts of Henry Ford Health Care Systems. Zero Suicide aspires to create an extensive system of care to identify individuals at risk for suicide and to provide effective intervention and services to eliminate suicide.

Since November 2014, Georgia Tech has trained 1,251 people in QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer), which teaches how to recognize a crisis and the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide. 


Update: Friday, Sept. 22, 2017
4:10 p.m.

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) prohibits us from disclosing any personally identifiable information, other than directory information, about a student without either consent from the student or a subpoena. Cassandra Monden’s case will follow the Institute’s student code of conduct process, and the Institute will not address the status of an open investigation.

Student Code of Conduct: https://policylibrary.gatech.edu/student-life/student-conduct


Update: Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017
6:50 p.m.

A message to the Georgia Tech community:

On behalf of the Georgia Tech Police Department, I want to say how deeply saddened I am by the tragic death of Scout Schultz last Saturday night.

I understand that many of you have questions. We've worked very hard to build an open and transparent relationship with you. Currently, the case is in the hands of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, so we are limited in what we are able to share. The GBI will release a full report as soon as their work is complete.

All of us here at GTPD would like to thank the Georgia Tech community for the support we have received. Like you, we are mourning the loss of a member of our community, and ask that you keep the family and friends of Scout Schultz in your thoughts and prayers.

Rob Connolly
Chief of Police
Georgia Tech Police Department


Update: Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017
5:00 p.m.

The Institute can confirm that Cassandra Monden is a current Georgia Tech student and Jacob Wilson and Vincent Castillenti are not Georgia Tech students.


Update: Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017
2:10 p.m.

As the investigation continues, Georgia Tech can confirm that Officer Tyler Beck discharged his duty weapon during Saturday night’s incident. The officer remains on paid leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.


Update: Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017
11:30 a.m.

A Message to the Georgia Tech Community:

The events of the past few days have been incredibly difficult and challenging for the entire Georgia Tech community. Consistent with our traditions and values, it is especially important that during times like these we come together and support one another.

One of our student leaders, Scout Schultz, has died and we all bear the tremendous weight of that loss. I met Scout last year at the Lavender Graduation ceremony, and our entire Georgia Tech community is mourning the tragic loss of this smart and passionate young person. Losing a student, friend, colleague, and campus leader is one of the most difficult experiences that any of us will have to face.

Georgia Tech has gained national attention as a result of this incident, and while today’s communications technologies provide us with almost instantaneous coverage, we must rely on professional investigation and evaluation, and not draw conclusions too quickly. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is currently investigating the incident and reviewing all of the circumstances surrounding Scout’s death. Details will be revealed by the GBI as they become available.

For now, we are focusing on mourning the loss and remembering Scout’s many contributions to the Georgia Tech community over the past four years. Last night’s vigil at the Campanile that was coordinated by the Pride Alliance and the Progressive Student Alliance was attended by almost 500 community members including Scout’s family. Unfortunately, they were also joined by several dozen others intent on creating a disturbance and inciting violence. We believe many of them were not part of our Georgia Tech community, but rather outside agitators intent on disrupting the event. They certainly did not honor Scout’s memory nor represent our values by doing so.

Rest assured that our campus community is responding to these recent events in a positive and constructive manner, in spite of the many challenges they represent. I am grateful for our students, faculty, staff, campus leaders, and for our campus police. The response by our students to last night’s events is particularly heartwarming – they were on Facebook and Twitter through the night trying to find ways to show support and to say this is not who we are.

In closing, I want to convey to you how proud I am of the Georgia Tech community. I know the true character of our community and am confident that we can work together to address our challenges and heal.

Let’s do it the Georgia Tech way. We are, after all, One Georgia Tech.

G.P. “Bud” Peterson
President, Georgia Tech


Update: Monday, Sept. 18, 2017
10:45 p.m.

After a peaceful memorial vigil for Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz, a group of approximately 50 protestors marched to the Georgia Tech Police Department. One police vehicle was damaged and two officers suffered minor injuries. One officer was transported to Grady Hospital with minor injuries.

The Atlanta Police Department and Georgia State University Police Department helped restore order relatively quickly. Georgia Tech police arrested Vincent Castillenti, Jacob Wilson, and Cassandra Monden. All three were charged with inciting a riot and battery of an officer.

Normal campus operations are in effect and GTPD will run additional patrols throughout the evening. Scheduled classes and regular business operations will resume on Tuesday morning.


Update: Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017
7:50 p.m.

Remembering Scout Schultz

To the Georgia Tech community,

Late last night, we lost one of our students, Scout Schultz, a fourth-year computer engineering major and a campus leader. Our hearts and prayers go out to Scout’s family, friends, and colleagues as we mourn Scout’s life and the unrealized potential of what could have been.  

While this is a heart-wrenchingly painful time for the entire Georgia Tech community, it is important to know that all of us here at Georgia Tech are committed to providing a safe and healthy, living and learning environment for all of our students, faculty and staff.  

As we work through this tragic event, I encourage you to take advantage of all of the resources we provide here on campus, for mental, emotional, and physical well-being.  

In the days and weeks to come, we will offer opportunities for dialogue and will respond with additional resources as needed for healing.   Together, we will get through this. We are one Georgia Tech.

G.P. “Bud” Peterson
President, Georgia Tech


Update: Sunday, Sept. 17
11 a.m. 

The Georgia Tech community was notified Sunday morning of the tragic death of Scout Schultz, fourth year computer engineering student from Lilburn, Georgia. Schultz died on Sunday, Sept. 17 as a result of an incident in the West Campus residential community. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident and reviewing the circumstances surrounding the death.


Update: Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017
6:45 a.m.

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

I am deeply saddened to inform the Georgia Tech community of the loss of fourth year computer engineering student Scout Schultz of Lilburn, Georgia. Scout’s sudden and tragic death today has been devastating news for the Schultz family, classmates, and for members of the community who knew Scout personally, the shock and grief are particularly acute.

We are committed to providing resources for the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of our entire campus community. Please remember that Georgia Tech offers multiple services and resources in support of the community during this time of loss and grief:

• The Georgia Tech Counseling Center (www.counseling.gatech.edu) will be available for students today from noon to 2 p.m. at the 8th Street Apartments West Building Recreation Room. Walk-ins are also welcome at the Counseling Center in the Student Services (Flag) Building from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the week. The after-hours number for the Counseling Center is 404-894-2575.

• The Office of the Dean of Students also has a referral option if you are concerned about a student (www.deanofstudents.gatech.edu).

• The Georgia Crisis & Access Line (1-800-715-4225) is staffed with professional social workers and counselors 24 hours per day, every day, to assist those with urgent and emergency needs. www.mygcal.com.

It is our hope that anyone who needs these services will be able to take full advantage of them. We have communicated directly and offered our support and deepest sympathies to Scout’s family. At times like these, we are reminded of the importance of coming together in support, understanding, and care for one another.  

JOHN M. STEIN 
Vice President of Student Life And Dean of Students


Update: Sunday, September 17, 2017
1:07 a.m.

The Georgia Tech Police Department can confirm that one of its officers was involved in a shooting on campus this evening, September 16. There is no ongoing threat to the campus. Additional information will be shared pending the outcome of an investigation of the incident.