A sea of purple in memory of murdered Brockport student
Posted at: 10/01/2012 6:55 PM
| Updated at: 10/01/2012 7:25 PM
By: Christine VanTimmeren | WHEC.com
The Brockport College campus is coming together Monday night to remember a young woman police say was killed at the hands of her boyfriend.
At 9:30pm, students will gather for a vigil in honor of the 18-year-old freshman. Police say Alexandra Kogut was beaten to death. Her body was found inside her dorm room Saturday morning.
Her boyfriend, 21-year-old Clayton Whittemore has been charged with second degree murder. Investigators say he admitted to intentionally killing her.
Officers discovered Kogut’s body after her mother told them she was concerned because she couldn’t reach her. Investigators say the officers who found Kogut are also having a hard time dealing with the tragedy.
Chief Robert Kehoe, Brockport University Police, said, “The officers are certainly not used to dealing with those kinds of situations. So the officers particularly who were the first responders that night have been somewhat affected.”
The mood on campus at the College at Brockport is somber. The color purple can be seen everywhere, dotting the dining hall, the sidewalks and the classrooms.
John Halstead, College at Brockport President said, “I understand it was Alex’s favorite color and so you will see a sea of purple tonight at the remembrance service.”
The color purple has another meaning.
Anna Marianetti, Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Grad Assistant said, “Purple is domestic violence awareness. Just that they're supporting ending domestic violence and that they really take a stand toward ending it.”
It's a chilling coincidence that is not lost on members of the violence and sexual assault team at Brockport.
Marianetti said, “Just crazy to think that this is a campaign that we already started and had planned and then to have it happen after this weekend. I came in just feeling heavy.”
Months ago, The Counseling Center put together a group focused on domestic violence. It's their job this year to educate students about domestic violence and urge them to commit to stand against it.
Marianetti said, “Most people are really into it and really have something to say. We’ve had a lot of responses that have been very emotional and very to their heart about how they feel about ending violence against women.”
Never has the topic of domestic violence meant more to this college campus than it does right now.
President Halstead said, “This is a supreme test. We will be resilient. We have come together. There will be moments of reflection and tears and pride in our campus.”
Marianetti said, “In my opinion this is Brockport. That’s how people are. People come together and people really show their support and I wouldn't expect anything less from our students.”