Postvention at UC Davis

What is Postvention?

Postvention refers to measures taken after a sudden student death to provide psychological and practical support and assistance to those affected. Whether from illness, an accident, suicide or other cause, providing support and care after a campus death is a huge undertaking that calls for rapid and intensive coordination between many units and individuals.

“A student is a part of the campus family. The first priority [following a sudden campus death] is supporting the family and others who are impacted.” - Cory Vu, associate vice chancellor for Health, Wellness and Divisional Resources

AVC Cory Vu served as chair of a workgroup that developed the university’s first comprehensive guidelines on the subject. The plan provides UC Davis faculty and staff a systematic framework for responding to a sudden death on campus.

Postvention Guidelines in Action

Many people will be impacted by a student death; the university’s Postvention guidelines provide an effective plan of action for how best to support everyone on campus when that happens. To learn more, download Postvention: A Guide for Response to a Sudden Death at UC Davis.

Anyone who learns of a student death should contact the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Under the guidelines, when a death is reported, the vice chancellor for Student Affairs immediately calls an ad hoc meeting of the Postvention Committee. The committee’s goal is to assign tasks, mobilize resources and coordinate communications in response to what has occurred. The aim at every step is to facilitate the process of healing for those closest to the deceased, as well as the community at large.

This will never be easy, but with the UC Davis Postvention Guidelines, a framework is in place to ensure a rapid and adaptable campus response.

Postvention Committee

Central to the Postvention concept is the idea that efficient coordination and communication around mandated administrative actions is part and parcel of supporting those affected by the death on an emotional level as well. Student Affairs oversees the Postvention Committee, which is made up of a multidisciplinary team of university representatives who serve a two-year term. The immediate goal of the committee is to assign tasks, mobilize resources and coordinate clear, concise communication, all with the aim of helping to begin the process of healing for those closest to the deceased, as well as the community at large.

Committee Members

  • Jennifer Chow, Co-Chair, Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs
  • Paul Kim, Co-Chair, Student Health and Counseling Services
  • Cory Vu, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • Duane Lindsay, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • Letty Quintana, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • Branden Petitt, Student Housing and Dining Services
  • Margaret A Walter, Student Health and Counseling Services
  • Katie Cougevan, Counseling Services
  • Jennifer Billeci, Student Disability Center
  • Leslie Kemp, Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center
  • Kristin Dees, Center for Student Involvement
  • Lt. Mike Green, UC Davis Police Department
  • Julia Ann Easley, Strategic Communications
  • Sue Ebeler, Academic Affairs/Council of Associate Deans (CAD)
  • Kayton Carter, Academic Affairs/Undergraduate Advising
  • Duncan Temple Lang, Graduate Studies
  • Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor, Graduate Studies
  • Tammy Silver, Global Affairs/Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS)
  • AJ Leeds, Global Affairs/Study Abroad
  • Gaby Renteria, Safety Services/Risk Management
  • Maleah Vidal, Campus Counsel
  • Joshua E Flushman, Athletics
  • Satinder Gill, Academic and Staff Assistance Program (ASAP)