Grinnell College Response to the Passing of Armando Montano
We, the Grinnell College community, are writing with great regret and much pain concerning the death of Armando Montano and the response of the College. On the evening of Saturday, June 30, students and alumni began making posts on Plans and other social media referencing Montano. The Plans administration began receiving questions as students and alumni worked together in trying to find out what happened. This led to great pain for many students in learning about the death of a fellow community member through rumors and social media. The Plans administrators struggled to piece together information and work together in deciding how Plans should respond. With a large number of students making posts and many questions being directed to the Plans on-campus representative, the Plans administration decided to make a post on the front page of Plans acknowledging the loss of Montano. On the evening of Sunday, July 1, an article from the Washington Post on Montano's passing was found (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/armando-montano-ap-summer-intern-dies-in-mexico-city-at-age-22/2012/07/01/gJQAWBt5GW_story.html) and began spreading among students and alumni through social media. Many students were further pained in learning more of Mando's death through the press, with no acknowledgement from the College. Given Montano’s position with the Associated Press, it should be clear to any communications professional that his death will be in the media. We, Grinnell College community, respect the mourning of the Montano family and sensitivity to their wishes. We also acknowledge the mourning of the larger community of students, alumni, and friends. As has been demonstrated this weekend, Grinnell is a community that rises and supports each other in times of loss and mourning. We have been greatly pained and hurt by the lack of response from the College and learning of Armando Montano's death through rumors and the press.