Custodian Passes Away in Residence Hall

By Angelica Sisson

Students found Denise Reid, a member of Catholic University’s custodial staff, unconscious on the bathroom floor of Ryan Hall on Sunday, March 13th. Several Resident Assistants called the Department of Public Safety who in turn called the Maryland Police Department. The preliminary examination revealed that Denise Reid had died of natural causes.

“I’ve known Ms. Denise since the beginning of the school year. She was a wonderful person,” said Cameron Konyak, a freshman biomedical engineering major.

Sunday evening, the Catholic University community came together to hold a prayer service in the St. Vincent de Paul chapel.

“[The service] was definitely filled with mixed emotions,” Konyak said. “While there was sorrow and grief in the air over this loss in our community, it was beautiful to see the mutual love and support that CUA’s community has for each other.”

“It was a good closure for the students,” said Rebecca Johnson, a freshman psychology major. “[The service] was a very good way for the student body to show her family how much she meant to us and that they will always have the support of CUA.”

The following morning, University Chaplain Reverend Jude DeAngelo had a prayer meeting with members of the facilities staff.

“I think the school handled the situation very well, but it was very frightening to be in Ryan and not knowing those first couple hours what was happening and just seeing the caution tape,” said Johnson.

Johnson went on to say that she believed the police and staff of Catholic University were all very attentive and kind to the people involved in the situation and the women living in Ryan.

Konyak believes the unfortunate situation has affected the university’s community.

“We will look at our individual lives and all be more appreciative and grateful of it in all its beauty. We will also take away the fact that we need to treat each other with kindness and compassion, because we never truly know what is going on in someone else’s life,” Konyak said.

Counseling services are, as always, available to students in 127 O’Boyle Hall.

1 thought on “Custodian Passes Away in Residence Hall”

  1. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ms. Reid’s family. It’s good to hear that students were connected with the staff that helps maintain their living areas. (Sometimes, this is not an enviable task.) It’s important to recognize the “person” behind each job that we see from day to day.

    There is one oddity in this report: When R.A.’s called 911, District of Columbia paramedics would have been called, not Maryland State Troopers. If there had somehow been a complete and utter shortage of DC fire and rescue staff (a story in and of itself) then it’s possible that they might have called a neighboring county, such as Prince George, Maryland. However, this would be an extremely rare contingency.

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