UVM aids in search for student

With Nicholas Garza missing from Middlebury College, UVM’s response could potentially help in local search efforts. Nicholas Garza, a freshman at Middlebury, went missing on the night of Feb. 5 after leaving a social gathering on campus, according to The Burlington Free Press. He was not reported missing until Feb. 10, after a group of friends Garza was first thought to be with returned from a camping trip without him. As of Feb. 18, the Vermont State Police Search and Rescue Team had finished its on-campus search according to the Middlebury College Web site. The effort has now been moved to searching snow banks along roads, sidewalks and parking lots. “We have extended an offer of any and all support,” Chief of Staff Gary Derr said. “The Middlebury Department of Public Safety asked UVM to send out an e-mail, which we did, and we have made posters available,” Derr said. “We’ve made contact through police services and with their counseling center,” Annie Stevens, Assistant Vice President for Student and Campus Life, said. “One of the hardest parts is people want to do something, but we need to let the police to do their job,” Stevens said. Stevens also said that there is information on how to communicate with authorities regarding Garza on UVM’s Risk Management Web page. “My impression is that the local community has been very sympathetic,” Sarah Ray, Director of public affairs at Middle?bury, said. SGA has yet to pass a resolution regarding Nicholas Garza because he has yet to be found, said Jay Taylor, chair of the student action committee. “The issue hasn’t been brought up yet. But as soon as there is a definitive answer and we hear the news, it will,” Taylor said. According to the SGA Web site, a resolution in regards to the safe return of Michelle Gardner-Quinn was passed on Oct. 10, 2006, three days after she went missing. Student responses to UVM’s efforts in making Garza a well known figure around campus were positive. “I think they’ve done a good job,” UVM sophomore Clinton Hayes said. “I’ve seen posters in all the dorms and they sent out that e-mail.” “I’ve been seeing more and more posters around, so that helps,” freshman Katelyn Blaire said. There are many ways students can get involved in the search effort. A Web site has been set up by the family of Nicholas Garza, www.nicholasgarza.org. There is also a Facebook group, “Middlebury College Student Nick Garza is Missing,” which gives tips on how to help. Middlebury College is also informing the public on updates via their Web site http://www.middlebury.edu.