Senior English major remembered
“His mother was crying on the phone,” said Dean of Students Brian Carlisle. “She said, ‘Please don’t hide this. Let your students know that this happens.’”
Carlisle took the phone call from the mother of senior English major Daniel Gerbec, who committed suicide Saturday.
Normally, if a student death is a suicide, Carlisle said they don’t relay that information to the student body.
“We have students who do commit suicide,” he said. “I don’t tell you about all of them to protect the privacy of the family, but we do have students who commit suicide.”
This time, since the family’s wishes were for Gerbec’s story to be heard by the student body, Carlisle included it in his email to the entire student body Monday afternoon.
“I hope that you will honor Daniel’s life by talking to each other and taking care of each other,” Carlisle wrote. “Being part of this Blugold family is a truly remarkable experience, and the loss of one of our family members hurts us all.”
Director of Counseling Services Lynn Wilson said Counseling Services actively helps students work through issues of suicide and depression.
“All student(s) at UWEC are going through a developmental process of change in their lives,” Wilson said. “Sometimes there are speed bumps … (and) sometimes there are barricades that they come across that they’re having difficulty overcoming.
“Everybody needs a little help every once in a while.”
Gerbec’s memorial service was held in River Falls on Tuesday and those whom he is survived by remember him fondly.
“If you knew Dan, you loved Dan,” his obituary reads. “Dan lived to make others laugh and smile. He never met a stranger and enriched the lives of everyone he met. Dan’s life ended too soon, and his family will cherish every happy memory of his wonderful life.”
-The Spectator Staff