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Friends remember Kersten Greene

April 14, 2011

UW-River Falls freshman, Kersten Greene, 19, who was found dead in her dorm room in Prucha Hall April 7, has been described by her former dorm mate, Alyssa Shelton, as an incredible and amazing person.

Shelton said Greene was always laughing, acting childish and proud of who she was.

In reference to the rumors that have been circulating regarding the cause of death and her sexual orientation, Shelton clarified that the circumstances surrounding her death had nothing to do with her sexual orientation or bullying.

“I am also convinced that that the recent events of Kersten’s passing were an accident,” Shelton said. “She had too much going on in her life to just leave like that.”

Shelton said she was the person who called 911 after Greene was discovered.

The university responded by sending an email out to the campus community informing it of the situation and clarifying that this was an isolated incident.

Residence Life and Counseling Services met later that evening to discern how it was going to aid in the grieving process, said Director of Residence Life Sandi Scott Duex.

The grieving process can be different for every individual, said Lead Personal Counselor for Counseling Services Gretchen Link.

“Whenever there is a death of a student, it can re-open previous losses or pain, Link said.  “Everyone moves at their own pace when it comes to dealing with grief.”

Residence Life paid for a bus to drive Greene’s friends and dorm mates to the funeral in Eau Claire, Wis., Tuesday, April 12.

Shelton said she was pleased with how the funeral was put together.  “The church was packed with people, to the point where people were standing around the perimeter of the pews,” Shelton said. “There were dinosaur shirts and tie dye everywhere.”

While counseling services has aided in the grieving process, academic staff member, Margaret Broz, who teaches chemistry, postponed an exam that was scheduled for April 8.

Broz said she made her decision based on course-related issues, and emails regarding Greene’s death that she received from UWRF administrators and students within her class.

“I additionally considered the fact that this is a small, close-knit campus, and that even though all of my students might not have known her, I believe they would still be affected, Broz said.  “I went to a small college myself, and when something similar to this
occurred, I remember how hard it was on the campus as a whole.”

The cause of death is still being determined by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office, which could take six to eight weeks, said Scott Duex.

She also said that it light of the rumors, it is important to respect Greene’s family and friends.

Greene is survived by her parents Timothy (Beverly Olson) Greene and Victoria (Steven) Patrow; siblings Aimee Torrence, Jocelyn and Robert Moyer; grandparents Richard and Judy Greene, Donna Judes and many other relatives and friends.