Lauren McCluskey Foundation launches initiative at University of Utah

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4)- The Lauren McCluskey Foundation held a press conference today at the McCarthey Family Track and Field at the University of Utah. The purpose of the press conference was to announce five key initiatives designed to change the culture on college campuses that responds to dating violence and stalking.  

Members of the McCluskey Foundation were joined by state, local and academic leaders; faculty, students, friends and family to talk about the new initiatives and about ending dating and stalking violence on college campuses.

In 2018, Lauren McCluskey, 21, was a student-athlete at the University of Utah when Melvin Rowland, 37, murdered her outside her college dorm. Lauren dated Rowland briefly but broke it off when she discovered he had lied about his name, age, and criminal history. After McCluskey was killed Rowland was on the run and was later found dead in a local church. 

McCluskey’s parents filed a federal lawsuit against the university and other entities connected to her murder but dropped the lawsuit after reaching a settlement. 

Former University of Utah Police Chief Rodney Chatman, who was hired after McCluskey was killed, was accused by the university of not being a certified police officer at the time he was hired. 

An investigation by law enforcement found no evidence to charge him with that offense and he was cleared of any wrongdoing. However, he was placed on leave by the university in December of 2020.

The press conference took place during a Lauren McCluskey Memorial Walk from 1-4 p.m. sponsored by the Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU). In 2020, ASUU passed a resolution to honor Lauren McCluskey by holding a memorial event each year on the anniversary of her murder. 

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