Campus in shock over UNCC student death

Fraternity suspended, student killed remembered
Published: May. 2, 2018 at 7:09 PM EDT|Updated: May. 3, 2018 at 5:04 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The anxiety felt by UNCC students over the end of the school year and exams was thrown into a sharp perspective by what happened to a student off campus.

"We're all like stressing about finals and we're worrying about that and it's just crazy to think that like on top of that something so devastating could happen," said Cassidy Cavalho.

Word had been spreading through campus on Wednesday about the accident that took the life of Polly Rogers.

According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, the incident happened in the 4500 block of North Tryon Street near Wellingford Street shortly before 10:30 p.m. Police said the woman, identified as Polly Miranda Rogers, was riding in a Charlotte Party Charter bus when she fell out of the emergency window, which was located on the right side of the bus.

"I just became numb, like, I still don't believe it. I still have are texts and I still have are pictures," said Jessica Alvarez, a good friend of Rogers. "She didn't judge for what you did or who you are. She just loved you for your heart."

Alvarez says Rogers worked summers at the Harris branch of the YMCA.

"She is one of those people that had a knack for being able to build a relationship with anyone," said Tim Jordan, who hired Rogers and had known her since she was 12 years old. "She wanted to study to become a teacher that wanted to work with those that have a different need than other people."

Tim Jordan says he had Rogers as a camper back in 2010, he got to know her well.

"I don't think she knew how much of impact she had on the people around her," said Jordan.

Rogers was 20 years old, a sophomore, and a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.

"Yes, it's really horrible to hear that story," said student Ditarrie Hooper

On campus Wednesday, students expressed their grief.

"It's just a horrible terrible thing that something tragic happened and she's not back with those same people," Hooper added. "They all expected to come back home, it's just really sad that they don't have her now."

Many students said that they frequently use a party bus for different functions, and always considered it a very safe way to travel, and while all the details of this accident are not known, some students say it will be on their minds.

"We were all celebrating like the last day of classes last night and like I never would have imagined something like that," said Cavalho. "It's kind of scary to think that freak accidents like that happen."

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Kevin Bailey sent a letter to the campus community Wednesday afternoon:

Dear Niner Nation,

I write you today with a heavy heart. It is with deep sadness that I share we lost a member of our community late last night. Sophomore Polly Rogers was killed in a traffic accident on Tryon Street.

As we begin to understand the circumstances surrounding Polly's sudden passing, we also reflect on her life and her time with us. Polly was a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and was studying special education in the Cato College of Education. Her professors describe her as warm and caring, as do others who had the pleasure of knowing her.

If students need support during this difficult time, please reach out to the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services at  704 687 0311 (after hours, press 0 to be connected with a counselor) or Student Assistance and Support Services at  704-687-0289.

Faculty and staff who need assistance should contact ComPsych (employee assistance program, available 24 hours a day)  at 877-603-8259.

Please join me in holding Polly's family and friends in your thoughts and prayers now and in the days ahead. 

Kevin W. Bailey, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

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