September 25, 2018 | ° F

McCaw’s death should be acknowledged by Rutgers officials


Letter to the Editor


Rutgers, I am disappointed in your leadership team.

You can just ask my daughter, currently a Rutgers senior, how much worse it is for me to be disappointed than for me to be angry.

Four years ago, I sat in the College Avenue Gym and was welcomed as a Rutgers parent during incoming freshman orientation. The statement I most remember was, “Parents, college is not a vocational school. Don’t worry if your child does not have a career path in mind. College is a place of learning and our students learn, grow and develop tools to be successful for the rest of their lives.”

Rutgers — you just missed an important TEACHABLE MOMENT.

A beloved young man was killed in your community. He was not currently a Rutgers student. It was not on official campus property.

But look around. Billy McCaw continues to be embraced by the Rutgers students and community that he loved so much. They are grieving. They are stunned, and some are scared.

There has not been one statement from Rutgers. Not even a response to multiple questions on the Rutgers Parents Association’s Facebook page regarding safety concerns for our children.

I have to surmise, it is because, officially, the crime does not “belong” to Rutgers. There is not an announcement of increased security or more cohesive cooperation between New Brunswick and Rutgers University Police Department, not an expression of sorrow at a life cut too short, not an offer of counseling or support for our children who we entrusted to your guidance, not even an acknowledgement that is happened.

We belong to one universe. What happens to one of us happens to all of us. Even though Billy McCaw was not a current Rutgers student, he was part of the culture and touched many, many lives.

I am so disappointed that Rutgers promotes such an inclusive environment, and your complete silence about his death seems to be saying something completely different — that he was not our responsibility.

That is wrong.

Look around. Students have stepped up to support each other and his family. There is a Facebook page with more than 1,000 members in memory of Billy McCaw. In just four days, there have been hundreds of contributions totaling more than $24,000 to a fund to help support his family and memorials for him. There was a vigil on campus attended by hundreds. T-shirts have been designed to honor his memory with a smile.

It is never too late to do the right thing. Let your students teach the University this time. Billy McCaw left a lasting impression on the Rutgers community. Acknowledge it, express sympathy and inspire confidence that safety concerns are important for every human being in your community.

Jacqui Klein is a member of the Rutgers Parents Association.


By Jacqui Klein

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