SARASOTA -- In response to two suspected drug-related deaths on New College of Florida's campus, college officials are forming a task force to examine drug policies and campus culture on substance abuse.
“We will do everything to ensure this never happens again,” New College President Don O’Shea told faculty and staff on Monday. “We can and will take steps to make sure all students are learning and working in a safe environment where they can reach their greatest potential.”
On Friday, a registered guest on campus, identified as Dylan Besser, 21, a University of Central Florida student from Boca Raton, Fla., was found unresponsive in a dormitory room and pronounced dead at the scene.
On Sunday, first-year New College student Julian Toomsen-Hall, 18, of Georgia, was found unresponsive in a room in another dormitory, and pronounced dead at the scene. The Sarasota Police Department is investigating both cases.
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O'Shea said officials are still determining specific goals and makeup of the task force, but that it should be working soon.
Administration held a community meeting at 7 p.m. Sunday to provide information, answer questions, and address concerns. Walk-in counseling was available throughout the night and continued all day Monday, and staff members visited every dormitory room on campus. More programs are planned for this week.