Campus News

Update regarding recent events

(UGA file photo)

We are grateful for the news from the University of Georgia Police Department that investigators have a suspect in custody for the murder of 22-year-old Laken Riley. The apprehension of a suspect, however, does not erase the fact that a vibrant young life was senselessly taken on our campus. Laken attended UGA as a student until May 2023, when she transferred to the Augusta University College of Nursing at Athens. She remained actively involved in her sorority at UGA and had many friends here on campus. We mourn the loss of her precious life.

Our entire campus community is shocked and saddened by this despicable act. Many of you are understandably scared, and all of us are angry. We have not experienced a homicide on this campus in nearly 30 years. Laken’s murder violates our sense of safety, and it will take hard work and vigilance to restore it. We commend members of the UGA Police Department, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Athens-Clarke County Police Department and federal law enforcement partners for their tireless, round-the-clock efforts to bring the suspect into custody.

Please know that there is no higher priority for our campus than the safety and security of all who live and work here. We have put in place comprehensive measures to protect our students, faculty, staff, and guests—including $16 million invested over the last eight years to hire more police officers, install more security cameras, enhance lighting, establish a nightly rideshare program, and create a UGASafe app. But we are committed to doing even more. Earlier this week, we approved an additional phase of lighting improvements and security camera installations, and we will continue to evaluate our safety programs for further enhancements. This is an ongoing and exhaustive effort.

As you know, the tragic death of another student in Brumby Hall on Wednesday evening has also shaken our community. As our UGA family grieves and grapples with recent events, now is the time for us to come together and support each other.

Our classes will resume on Monday, Feb. 26. The student Greek organizations Alpha Chi Omega and Kappa Sigma are jointly hosting a vigil at Tate Plaza on Monday, Feb. 26, at 3 p.m. to remember the two students we have lost. This service is open to the campus community.

We also want to remind you of the resources that are available to help our students, faculty and staff cope with grief and other personal challenges. A list of resources appears below, as well as activities to support our students over the weekend. 

Mental Health and Counseling Resources

We have resources available to assist anyone having thoughts of suicide, and these resources can also be of assistance to those who are grieving. We encourage students to contact Student Care and Outreach  (, 706-542-8479). Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) is available 24/7 and stands ready to assist as well (, 706-542-2273).

Below is a list of resources that are available to UGA faculty and staff:

  • The Acentra Health Employee Assistance Program provides 24/7 access to free counseling specialists for employees for mental health and emotional support. Sessions can be conducted virtually or in person ( or 844-243-4440).
  • Anthem BCBS’ Emotional Well-being Resources program provides support for employees enrolled in one of the Anthem healthcare plans. Employees can schedule a virtual appointment with a mental health specialist 24/7 at or 800-424-8950.
  • Kaiser Permanente members can get connected to a mental health professional by calling 404-365-0966 or visiting

Weekend Activities

To encourage comfort and community this weekend, the University is providing engagement opportunities and activities. Each person processes these events differently, but Student Affairs is providing an opportunity for students to come together and be in fellowship in supportive environments. Staff are ready to assist anyone continuing to process this past week’s events and connect you with helpful resources.

These activities include movies and games at the Tate Student Center and free group fitness classes at Ramsey, which are open for normal hours this weekend. UGA Miracle will host the Dance Marathon, benefitting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, beginning on Saturday afternoon at the Tate Center.

In addition, digital well-being resources are available. The Well-being Hub and Sensory Room at the Disability Resource Center in Clark Howell Hall and the University Health Center clinics will reopen on Monday morning.