On Saturday, Feb. 3, the body of Alexie Adams was found on Colburn Drive. Although the case is still under investigation and the cause of death is not certain, officials believe that it was not foul play and that alcohol was involved.
Any time someone dies, there is usually an impact on the community they were a part of. Although she was not attending classes at the University of Maine, Adams was still a member of our Orono, Maine community. Colburn Drive, where her body was found, is close to the Founder’s Place apartments, where many students live, and near the local restaurant and bar, Orono House of Pizza.
For her friends and family it will be the loss of a loved one, but what will it be for the entire community? That is up to us as a town. For many of us, the death of Adams hit close to home. Many people who live in downtown Orono, or close by at apartment complexes or on College Avenue, often walk home from the bars or from nearby events on campus. For many of us, this could have been one of our friends who was found the next morning in a snowbank. I know many people who were considering walking home on that very night and either made it home safely, or decided to play it safe and get a ride.
Since Adams’ death, many people have been talking about the events that had to occur for her to be found the next morning. But all these people who have been talking about her death have one common idea: it could have been someone they knew. For that very reason, we need to all remember and learn something from her death. We need to watch out for our friends and check to make sure they made it home. Even if they are only walking a few feet farther than you are, that doesn’t mean you can’t check to make sure they got into their house. With these cold temperatures, being locked out of your apartment could be fatal.
With that notion, getting a ride home is sometimes a necessity. When it is snowing and cold, walking home may not be a safe option, and acknowledging that we live in Maine, it is imperative to have a backup option for getting home if the weather takes a turn for the worst. Whether you are coming home from a party, the bar or even campus late at night, it is important to tell a friend what you are doing and check on your friends who are coming home after dark.
The day after Adams’ death, one of the advisors for the College of Education and Human Development posted on the college’s page for students, “When you are out at night, take care of each other. Watch out for each other.” The message rings true for students everywhere, but specifically here in Maine, where the weather has been below freezing most nights. You will never regret checking the safety of a friend or loved one, especially when the alternative could be deadly.