A student’s body was discovered in a Canterbury hall of residence last Monday, despite no-one having noticed for almost two months.
It was only after fellow residents noticed an odour that the student’s body was discovered. It is yet unknown how the student passed, but a specialist police team has been called into the facility to investigate.
The student was a resident at the Sonoda Christchurch Campus, a fully catered first-year hall at the University of Canterbury (UC). The university website says the facility “provides pastoral care, events and activities suited to a younger, more vibrant and lively community”.
Australian company Campus Living Villages (CLV), whom manage the Sonoda facility, announced they would conduct their own internal investigation towards the circumstances behind the student’s death.
However, since Stuff’s initial report, students have stepped forward criticizing the company’s operations. Anonymous residents described the living situation as “completely independent”, while one student went as far to say “you could really fly under the radar there”.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins has vocalized his own concern over the student’s death, calling for a thorough investigation to be launched. “This tragedy raises a number of questions, and I expect the university to conduct a thorough investigation,” he told reporters.
However, UC Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey insisted that students were under diligent care in their halls of residence. “Despite the comprehensive pastoral care programmes in place, for us it is inconceivable to imagine how these circumstances could have occurred.”
In the aftermath of this discovery, the university has been stringent in enforcing privacy; media swarming the university have been ordered off campus by a private security firm.
Both the UC and Campus Living Villages have chosen not to disclose further information to the media. It is understood that this is at the behest of the family’s wishes for privacy.