Editors Note: In the April 3 story on the death of Christopher Stanton, it was incorrectly reported that Stanton was taking to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla before passing away. Stanton died instantly at the scene of the accident. The Daily Nexus regrets this error.
An allegedly drunk driver killed UCSB staffer Christopher Stanton as he was driving on Interstate 5 on March 25. Stanton was 33.
Stanton, an assistant judicial affairs coordinator for Housing and Residential Services, was driving south toward San Diego when Melanie Brown, 21, lost control of her truck in the northbound lane at approximately 120 miles per hour, crossed the median and collided into Stanton’s truck. The California Highway Patrol arrested her on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Stanton was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla with a lacerated liver, cuts and broken bones. He did not recover and died at the hospital.
“Although Chris was relatively new to judicial affairs, he made an impact on our campus and in the lives of many students,” Joyce Ester, judicial affairs coordinator for Housing and Residential Services, wrote in an e-mail to Stanton’s colleagues.
Stanton worked with the Housing and Residential Service Judicial Review Board as an adviser to members on the judicial board dealing with behavioral misconduct by students in residence halls.
“I believe that that legacy that he left here was to help us think outside the box, to think of things in a very different way and to really get out and meet the students,” Ester said.
Although Stanton’s official job with Housing and Residential Services dealt with student misconduct, he was also passionately involved in counseling and mentoring students, especially young men, his girlfriend Autumn McKee said.
“He’d been a little frustrated that masculinity was not portrayed in a positive way on campus. He thought that there should be more support [on campus] for men’s issues and problems growing up,” McKee said. “He found so much satisfaction in being able to relate to students on a one-on-one level.”
Stanton tried to further his involvement with men’s issues on campus by forming an unofficial men’s interest floor at Santa Cruz Residence Hall. He helped organize events for students living on the interest floor including trips to the “The Price Is Right” and a retreat to Camp Whittier. He also helped organize discussions on rape, alcohol and other topics that men at UCSB may not have had a chance to talk about.
“He tried to create gentlemen out of us,” said Even S. Gaines, a first-year film studies major who lives on the men’s interest floor in Santa Cruz Hall.
Students who knew and worked with Stanton remember him as being approachable and fun to be around.
“He was like Batman; he was just suave and cool. He always said the right thing. He was just like a brother,” Gaines said. “He just lived the ultimate life. There was never a dull moment.”
Matt McEwen, a second-year biology and Spanish double major, is the resident assistant for Santa Cruz’s men’s interest hall.
“He was always willing to sit down with me and any of my residents and talk things over, regardless whether or not it had to do with his job. He was always willing to not only listen, but he would give his own opinions about stuff. He really desired to learn from people, from students especially,” McEwen said.
Stanton is survived by McKee, a brother and his parents.
“In the past few weeks, we have tragically lost several members of our campus community, and we feel each loss deeply,” Chancellor Henry Yang said. “Chris was involved in our community in so many different ways. He will be sorely missed by the students he counseled and assisted and by our staff colleagues who knew and worked with him.”
Stanton’s family and Ester have established a fund in Stanton’s memory at The Golden 1 Credit Union to help promote and support men’s issues. Judicial Affairs has set up an online message board for students and faculty to leave messages about Stanton so that his family can read them. The message board can be found online at 22.214.171.124/forum/default.asp.
Flags on campus will fly at half-staff tomorrow in memory of Stanton and a memorial service will be held the same day at 3 p.m. in the RecCen courtyard.