Capilouto addresses campus via email about the ‘tragic accident’ on Saturday


President Eli Capilouto listens to the audience during the UK Senators meeting at the University of Kentucky Student Center in Lexington, Ky., on Monday, October. 22, 2012.

Kernel News Staff

UK President Eli Capilouto sent a campus-wide email on Tuesday afternoon addressing the accident that occurred on Saturday afternoon, when UK student Jacob Heil was arrested for a DUI after being identified as the driver of the car that struck 4-year-old Marco Shemwell. Shemwell passed away from his injuries on Monday afternoon. 

Below is the entirety of Capilouto’s email:

“Dear Campus Community,

The entire University of Kentucky community is heart-sick at the loss of a young child following a tragic accident near Cooper Drive this past weekend. Please join us in extending our deepest condolences to his family and other loved ones. They are part of our family, and we will always be there for them. 

These events compel us to ask ourselves with renewed purpose how we can promote a safe campus for everyone – our students, faculty, staff, and those who visit us. In that context:

  1. The UK Police Department has opened an investigation and is working closely with Lexington Police. In preparation for this Saturday night’s game, UK police will install additional lighting along heavily traveled roads around the stadium.
  2. The student involved in the accident has been suspended from the University, pending the outcome of investigations by Lexington and UK Police and our Office of Student Conduct.
  3. The fraternity where the student has been a pledge – Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) – has been suspended on an interim basis, pending these same investigations. An interim suspension means all fraternity activities must immediately cease. Members may remain in their house during this time. A University employee has moved in to serve as a resident director. Administrative staff with the Dean of Students Office are working with the organization’s national headquarters – which also is conducting an investigation  – to ensure appropriate actions are taken.
  4. Provost Blackwell and his senior leadership team met Monday evening with the leadership of all four UK Greek Life councils as well as leaders of individual chapters and Student Government Association President Michael Hamilton. Their discussion centered on:
  • Our firm expectation that the law and University policies regarding the legal consumption of alcoholic beverages be followed.
  • Our Code of Student Conduct speaks clearly regarding drinking, hazing, on-campus and off-campus parties, and appropriate conduct at all times. Whether on or off campus, the Code of Student Conduct applies and will be enforced.
  • Our commitment to work with student leaders to create a fun environment on game day, but one that – most importantly – is safe and inclusive. This year, UK’s Office of Student and Academic Life initiated the Student Gameday Zone , a place where students can come together for free food, games, and football tickets in a safe and entertaining atmosphere. We encourage students and organizations to register each week for this experience.
  • How we can continue to improve the game day experience to maximize student participation. Subsequent meetings are being scheduled to continue the dialogue with student leaders regarding our expectations and how we can work together to improve the gameday experience and ensure the safety of everyone.

We are united in our commitment to creating a welcoming, inclusive, and safe community that values each member and those who visit us. That means being open to new ideas, appropriate safety measures and policies, and further dialogue to promote the safety and well-being of all those who call this community home and for all those who visit with us as members of our extended UK family.


Thank you for your commitment to our shared community.

Eli Capilouto”