Beaten to death with a curling iron. No one heard anything.
Media seized on this. If the police timeline is accurate, she tweeted this about 1 hour before she died.
I didn’t know 48 hours still existed.
12 to 1 positive ratio.
signs, hand made banners on bedsheets
I don’t want to tell you we sat around a conference table and said “this is the way it’s going to be.” But we trusted ourselves and each other. We communicated. And working together throughout the week our team, from our Chief Communications Officer right down to our design team, we felt our way through this crisis and we worked to make sure what we weren’t hiding behind a press release. Our campus was hurting, we were hurting too, and we wanted to do whatever we could to help. We turned to the power of social media to help make that happen.
My phone rang at 5:30 that morning. Didn’t recognize the caller ID. It rang again from same number, I figured I better hurry up and listen to the message. One our posts was a “thank you” for your thoughts and prayers.
Alex #2 grew up 10 miles from the deceased. No relation, no indication they knew each other. Within seconds of the release of the name we had posts from students telling us we ID’ed the wrong victim. Other students corrected them, not us.
We got the idea after seeing our student government start something.
Spur of the moment decision made in a hot sweaty Student Union
We started thinking of this Monday night. John Follaco. We recorded the memorial as a favor to Alex’s family. Lots of editing
What do we do? How do we make sure this doesn’t happen again? Green and Gold was an effort to collect signatures pledging to take a stand against domestic violence
Sent our design and production director Richard Black out to get a photo. Utica TV shared it. “ classy act by Brockport” Football team crushed their opponent on Saturday. We kicked around the possibility of posting a “win one for Alex” type post, decided not to.
Can’t stress be human enough. A simple “thank you” got a big response. Community provided better responses than we ever could. We could have deleted posts, instead we ended up with positive community interactions. Many of our ideas for the week came because we were observing what was going on on social media.
Statistically our best social media week to that point. But to me, that’s beside the point. It showed a lot of people in our administration that social media is an important way to communicate. It also showed our audience that we cared. Hopefully it’s an indication of just what kind of school we aspire to be.
This was difficult. This was tricky. Spent the whole week nervous that the next post would be the one that screwed everything up and ruined the good we were hoping to do. And there were a lot of unique circumstances that came together here that allowed us to do what we did. If god forbid you have an incident on your campus... be careful, be sensitive. Would we ever do it again? I hope to God I never have to find out.
Can Something Positive Come From This: How a School and A Community Responds to a Student Death
Can Something Positive Come From This?
Social & Digital Media Manager
The College at Brockport
• Part of the SUNY system
• 67 miles east of Buffalo, 25 miles"
west of Rochester
• ~8,400 students (undergrad/grad)
• 1979 Special Olympics
• Stan Van Gundy and William
The Murder of Alexandra
• 18 year-old Freshman
found beaten to death in
her dorm room early on
Sept. 29, 2012
• Hometown boyfriend
• Trial is set for November
"Brockport" Mentioned once
every 30 seconds on 10/1
The Mood on Campus
• How do we get the news out?
• How do we offer support?
• How do we balance the needs of the community with the
needs of the family and investigators?
• October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
• Events already scheduled on campus
• Strong feelings of "what can we do? how can we
• Messages springing up around campus
.... We decided to be human
We decided to take a
• First Post: ~ 5 am
• Before 6 am, we had the
news out on FB&Twitter
• Parent Hotline
• Updates throughout the
• Press Conference
• 8 posts to Facebook (and
more to Twitter) on 9/29-