The U’s recently launched violence prevention center has been named the McCluskey Center for Violence Prevention in honor of Lauren McCluskey, a U student-athlete who was killed on campus in 2018. The center brings together researchers, prevention educators, community stakeholders, and students and aims to become a national leader in the effort to eliminate relationship and sexual violence among college students.
Renaming the center was part of the settlement of two lawsuits filed in McCluskey’s death. The agreement also includes a $10.5 million payment to her parents by the state of Utah through its risk management agency and its insurance provider, and a $3 million charitable donation to the Lauren McCluskey Foundation. The U also pledged to seek funds for an indoor track facility to be named in honor of McCluskey, who was on the Track & Field team. No state-appropriated funds or tuition will be used for the payments.
“The university acknowledges and deeply regrets that it did not handle Lauren’s case as it should have and that, at the time, its employees failed to fully understand and respond appropriately to Lauren’s situation,” President Ruth Watkins said at a press conference announcing the settlement.
Since McCluskey’s death, the U has taken numerous steps to improve safety on campus, including, making changes to safety operations; new personnel; revisions to policies, practices and procedures; and investments in infrastructure.
The settlement announcement took place on the two-year anniversary of McCluskey’s death, and hundreds of students and community members attended a memorial walk in her honor on the same day.