Campus Tragedy Information

On Monday, December 11, 2023, in on-campus housing known as the Mods, carbon monoxide poisoning took Evergreen student Jonathan Rodriguez's life and sent two other students to the hospital. A campus police officer was also hospitalized due to exposure. Our community continues to grieve.

The Washington State Patrol investigated this incident and has issued a statement signifying the conclusion of their work. We are awaiting receipt of the final report to better understand what happened on our campus three months ago. In the meantime, the college has taken decisive actions to help ensure student safety.

If you have questions or concerns, contact the Community Support and Response Team at community‑

Media inquiries should be directed to

This is a loss we will feel for a long time to come. Please take care of one another.

Steps We're Taking

Actions Taken to Date

Inspections and safety measures
  • All students living in the mods fueled by propane for water and/or heating have been moved to either on-campus apartments or apartments the college secured at the nearby privately-owned Evergreen Gardens complex.
  • Thorough inspections of all student housing structures have been conducted, including the modular units, A Dorm and 14 apartment buildings with 403 bedrooms.
  • The inspections included assessment of heating, electrical and fire systems; potential water intrusion areas (bathrooms, under the sinks, window frames, ceilings and floors) and mildew; ventilation; windows; door security; and appliances.
  • A comprehensive list of maintenance issues has been compiled and work orders have been populated to address each finding one by one. Some of the work that needs to be done is deferred maintenance and others are new discoveries.
  • Addressing the heating systems, which includes reviewing ventilation and window replacements, is the priority. We have hired MacDonald Miller, an outside contractor, to assess the heating system and repair any identified deficiencies. Our goal is to have all heating fully operational by the end of Spring Break.
  • Also, over Spring Break, custodial staff will be cleaning all apartment bathroom walls and ceilings. Any further work will be conducted over the summer when spaces are unoccupied.
  • We are consulting with an outside contractor to review all the exhaust systems in the apartments and propose upgrades. Meanwhile, maintenance of the existing building exhaust system vents and ducts will begin over Spring Break and continue until complete.
  • Windowsills will be cleaned over Spring Break to remove mildew. During the summer months, all windows will be stripped of existing caulking and resealed. The sills will also be sanded, stained, and varnished.
  • Remaining work will be done over Summer Break when fewer students will be in residence.
  • As is common in the Pacific Northwest, some campus housing structures have experienced an influx of brown marmorated stink bugs. A pest control company has determined that several trees nearby are infested with the insects. The trees will be treated to prevent further spread and keep them off the buildings in the future.
  • The Board of Trustees approved an allocation of $1 million from their contingency reserve fund to address housing facilities issues, among other things.
  • While we continue working on maintenance of existing housing, renovation of Dorm B has begun to provide more space and more options for current and new students for Fall Quarter 2024.
  • We are hiring a residential facilities manager to focus on Residential and Dining facilities. When that position is filled, they will coordinate maintenance work for Residential and Dining facilities and will report to Campus Facilities in Administrative Operations. The Residential and Dining student worker program will continue as an essential part of this work.
  • Two students have joined the college’s Senior Leadership Team. This is in direct response to a request from the Geoduck Student Union to have student representation on the team.
  • All student housing workers will be attending CPR/First Aid training in April. Many others have already participated in the recent Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)/Stop the Bleed training and more will be attending the next one.
  • College housing has updated the fire and life safety systems protocols for the student workers program and after-hours duty staff.
  • General safety training has been increased through the hiring of a custodian to oversee and lead that work.
  • Training is planned for the entire after-hours staff, resident assistants and maintenance staff to prepare the teams on how to interact with first responders, and fire department personnel and to clarify what role they play on the campus after hours.


For Students

Student Wellness Services

As our Evergreen community grieves the loss of a student and those harmed by the recent incident on campus, we offer these resources for students seeking additional support: 

  •  If you find yourself in immediate distress, please call the Thurston-Mason Crisis Clinic at (360) 586-2800.

  • A weekly Grief Support meeting will be held with Student Wellness Services counselors on Mondays, April 1 through June 10, from 3 - 4 pm in the Social Justice Center on the 2nd floor of Evans Hall.

  • We also encourage you to schedule individual appointments with our counselors as needed through Health eConnect via your my.evergreen dashboard or by calling (360) 867-6200. 

For Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). These resources include 24/7 support via phone at 1-877-313-4455.

For All

Additional resources that our therapists have found helpful in navigating grief and stress:  

Events & Community Forums

Campus Investigation Community Webinar

December 15, 2023

Please join us for a community webinar tomorrow, Friday, December 15.  

Colleagues from across campus will share what they know about the ongoing investigation, what's being done to ensure safety, and where to direct questions. 

When: 1 - 1:30 pm  
Where: Zoom Webinar

Community Gathering

December 13, 2023

Dear Evergreen Community,   

During this time, we acknowledge there is a need for greater Evergreen connection and collective care.  

We will be gathering on Red Square at noon today, Wednesday, December 13, to connect, grieve, reflect, and support each other. All are welcome to attend.  

The Social Justice Center will also be open with staff and counselors on site.  

If you are in or near Olympia on Wednesday, we hope you will consider joining us at noon on Red Square.