During the past few weeks, The Temple News has continued to report on incidents concerning the tragic deaths of two former students—Agatha Hall, a 21-year-old finance major, and Shazim Uppal, a 27-year-old recent graduate of Temple’s Law School.
It’s problematic that this editorial has to acknowledge the university has not responded quickly enough.
At the start of this semester, the university has witnessed its football team win its first three games, jump to its highest rankings in the U.S. World News Report and prepare for Pope Francis’ visit to the city of Philadelphia. Temple has been constantly updating the community on all of those topics and their importance to the university during the “best week ever,” according to President Theobald.
What we haven’t seen, as of Monday night, is any sort of public acknowledgement from Temple about two alleged murders, resulting in the deaths of Hall and Uppal.
This is perplexing, given how the university has handled tragedies involving students in the past: this spring, the university quickly responded to the horrific accident involving former lacrosse player Rachel Hall with statements from Athletic Director Kevin Clark and lacrosse coach Bonnie Rosen.
When Rebecca Kim died after falling out of a eighth-story window in Center City in January, Theobald issued an email to the university community the following day.
It goes without saying that we cannot imagine what friends and family of both Rachel Hall and Kim are going through. The same must be said of Agatha Hall and Shazim Uppal.
We understand our reporting won’t bring any type of closure for Agatha or Shazim’s families. But the delayed response from university administration speaks volumes to us about how they are prioritizing the recent deaths of two former students versus everything else currently happening with Temple.