As many community members led the search and sent prayers for a missing student, more students began to reflect on the lack of communication between administration and LSU students.
LSU students who worried about a missing freshman, Kori Gauthier, hoped to find answers from university administrators, but they didn't hear much. Many feel this is just one of several examples of LSU’s lack of transparency and communication.
Students took to Twitter with their concern of LSU’s obscurity about the situation. LSU sent an email on the evening of April 8th to students with general information about Kori hours after the story broke in the local news and social media. This raised questions from students mostly regarding why LSU had waited so long to alert their students.
“I think it was a poor response, and LSU has a very hard time responding to these things...I think the response was too delayed and backhanded,” said Jade Smith, an LSU freshman and associate of Kori.
Kori Gauthier went missing on April 6th, and community members including LSU students quickly gathered to spread the word and help find her. Many social media posts and flyers circulated from students and family members in order to alert others.
Smith also hopes that the university will incorporate better safety protocols for students such as The Blue Box, an emergency call system that was replaced with LSUPD’s Shield app for reporting emergencies, in addition to improving its communication.
Although police reports say there is no suspicion of foul play, the recent events have made some young Black women on campus more cognizant of the importance of administration-student communication.
“I know it didn’t happen on campus and I think that’s why LSU [was just trying to] mind their business, but she [does] attend this school...just like myself, it could’ve been anyone of the Black women at LSU,” said Whitney James, LSU freshman and associate of Kori.
All three women met Kori earlier this school year, and the news of her disappearance left them shaken for her and themselves.
“LSU tries to make it look like they’re the best university and nothing goes wrong. Everything from the sexual assault, to Kori, to the stabbings [at East Campus Apartments]; if they had said something from the jump we wouldn’t be going through this turmoil...we basically have to bully LSU into doing the right thing,” said Madison Thony, LSU freshman and associate of Kori.
All three women hope that LSU will initiate a better line of communication with students in the future to ensure.