author: kristian ferguson | news editor
Student’s death hits community
Promise (Max) Chukwudum, originally from Lagos, Nigeria, came to the U of R to pursue a computer science degree. In addition, Max was a rugby player for the Cougars.
Max went missing at the end of November in a northwest neighbourhood near Normanview. Search parties were organized at the university in order to look for Max, and spent time scouring the area in which he was last seen.
Max’s sister, Chinaza, who is also a U of R student, and his father, David, who flew in from Nigeria, helped in the search effort.
Police responded to reports of a found body on Dec. 21, and on Dec. 27, it was confirmed that the body was Max.
The Regina Rugby Union held a memorial for Max on Jan. 4, in which they invited “all members of our rugby community as a whole to a memorial gathering to honour Max and find some closure from this tragedy together.”
The University of Regina Students’ Union also provided a statement.
“We want to pass on our condolences to Max’s family, his friends, the University Regina Rugby team and all students affected by his passing,” said the statement. “Max, like many students on our campus, was an integral part of making our campus a positive student-centered space and he will surely be missed by many.”
The statement goes on to thank other students who were involved.
“We also want to thank all the students who worked tirelessly to organize vigils and rallies in support of the search of Max during their final exams and the end of the semester.”
“It is extremely unfortunate that we have lost a valuable member of our campus community and he will be dearly missed by many,” said Wiskar.
Nathan Sgrazzutti, a fellow rugby player and one of the organizers for the search parties, spoke about his teammate.
“This past holiday was an incredibly difficult time for members of Max’s family, as well as his friends and members of the rugby community who knew him as a teammate and brother on the pitch.”
“While we are deeply saddened by the end result of our search, we are also happy we have found Max and do not have to face the terrifying reality where we never found him at all.”
Sgrazzutti made note of some of the positives that arose out of such a devastating situation.
“The community outpouring of support during the time of our search was amazing. During a time of great uncertainty, the best any of us could do was to help raise awareness about our missing friend and take part in searches of areas the police had not yet had time to search.”
“It also allowed us to show our staunch support of Max’s family and hopefully our attempts to assist helped Chinaza and her father know that we are here for them and want to support them in any way we can.”
Sgrazzutti then went on to talk about how he knew Max and the person he knew from playing sports together.
“Max was a second-year member of the U of R Cougars rugby and he was an integral part of our squad. A gifted athlete and physical player, his hard work on and off the pitch helped the other guys succeed and helped build us towards a successful season this fall.”
“Max will be sorely missed, and never forgotten.”
Fellow University of Regina Student Victor Oriola spoke of the effects Max’s death.
” The search parties were a reflection of what we can be as a community when we are united in a oneness of spirit. Unfortunately for all of us, we didn’t get the happy outcome that we all hoped for but in this unimaginably painful moment, people from all walks of life gathered to share the burden of loss. The loss of a son, a brother, a friend and teammate is one that will be indelible but we are able to console ourselves, though scant this consolation may be, in knowing that Max was widely loved and he will be deeply missed.”
A GoFundMe was organized by Akin Nana in order to provide financial support for Max’s family.
The fund was started on Jan. 6 and as of the writing of this article, has a goal of $30,000 and has yet to raise any money. The GoFundMe can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/max-chukwudum039s-family-financial-support.