MSU Says Group Followed Policies When Student Died - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

MSU Says Group Followed Policies When Student Died

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BOZEMAN -

Students and staff are mourning the loss of a student who died last week during an academic spring break trip to London.

University officials said the group was following the new international travel policy.

"I'm speechless, I don't quite know what to say," said MSU spokesman Tracy Ellig.

Aaron Plowman, 24, from Soulsbyville, California died Friday in London.

Ellig said the senior English major was with another student when he climbed onto the roof of an abandoned warehouse sometime between midnight and six Friday morning.

The roof collapsed and Plowman fell to his death.

Ellig said Plowman was with a group of 13 other students and a faculty member from the Shakespeare's England course to learn about Shakespeare's life and works.

"He was a very bright young man clearly very interested in the world and it's such a loss," said Ellig. We feel such sorrow with his passing.

This is the second death in less than a year for someone on an international trip associated with MSU.

In May, associate professor Betsy Palmer died after being injured in a landslide while she was leading a group of students on a study abroad trip to Nepal

On March 7, the Montana Board of Regents adopted a new policy for international travel for universities across the state.

"Those primarily have to do with making sure we knew where the student group was, how to reach them and contact information," said Ellig. "That went quite well in this case."

Ellig said Plowman was on his own time when he went to the abandoned building.

"The group had finished its activities for the evening and so he was just on his own that evening and I'm not sure there's not much we could've done," said Ellig.

Now the trip is over and students are back in Bozeman, Ellig said they've been spending a lot of time together.

"They are going to be receiving some counseling therapy as a group very soon," said Ellig. "They are just trying to process; this is such a shocking and tragic accident."

Ellig said memorial services haven't been planned yet.

Right now he says the U.S. Embassy is working with London officials to bring Plowman's body back to the U.S.

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