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Evan Gaines deserved more respect from Chancellor

Updated: Aug 24, 2019

By Javona Moe-Nae Pringle

Editorial Editor

As you all may know by now, we have once again lost another fellow Spartan.

On March 26, 22 year-old Evan Gaines died from a gunshot wound outside of his apartment in Campus Edge. Evan, who was from Columbia, was a senior majoring in business expected to graduate in May. His friends and loved ones described him as a friendly, smart, humble man who kept to himself and was passionate about his studies.

Chancellor Kelly sent an email March 27 announcing the death of an unnamed student. It wasn’t until the day after Evan’s memorial in Columbia – nine days – that the Chancellor mentioned Evan by name.

Immediately, I noticed that Chancellor Kelly did not include Evan’s name in the email, but in October of 2018, he included the name of Jordan Bouchillon, who passed away. Not only did Chancellor Kelly include Jordan’s name, but he also mentioned her involvement on campus and sent condolences to her family and friends.

I’m sure I am not the only one who noticed that Chancellor Kelly blatantly chose not to include Evan’s name, and all I have to ask is why?

The only logical reason I could come up with was maybe the Chancellor did not receive information on the student’s identity before sending out the email, but this “what if” scenario was soon debunked as I found out that WSPA posted a news story announcing that it was Evan Jeffery Gaines that morning at 10:36 a.m. Chancellor Kelly sent the email at 1:41 p.m., so there is apparently no way he didn’t know who the student was.

As a student who has attended Upstate for four years I’ve received a handful of campus tragedy emails regarding the passing of students at Upstate, and this is the first time the Chancellor and the administration chose not to identify the student.

I am disappointed and frustrated in the Chancellor and Administration’s actions of excluding his identity, because any other time the names of the students were included. I hope the administration will rectify this situation, so we as a community don’t have to address this issue again.

I didn’t know Evan personally, but his passing so close to campus saddens me. I just want our campus community to know that it doesn’t matter how he died or what we think might’ve taken place. All that matters is that he was moved by many around him and made an impact on the lives of those he crossed.

I send condolences to the friends and family of Evan Gaines, as we as a community try to move forward from this tragedy. If you knew Evan or maybe even seen him around campus all I ask is that you all try to remember how he made you feel and not remember him by the way he died.

The administration chose not to acknowledge him, but many others and myself will continue to say his name #LLEVO.

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