It has been one year since a Alexandra Kogut was killed in her dorm room at SUNY Brockport. As YNN's Christina Noce reports, the community gathered on Sunday for a remembrance ceremony.
BROCKPORT, N.Y. -- Sunday was exactly one year since a College at Brockport student was murdered in her dorm room.
Alexandra Kogut, 18, of New Hartford, was a freshman communications major. She was found beaten to death in McLean Hall. The College at Brockport community gathered Sunday night for the anniversary of her death.
The school's spokesperson says for now, they decided to keep her room empty.
Fellow students and friends of Alexandra held a vigil to remember the friend they lost last year.
"We lived a few doors down from each other and we had class the next day so we asked to sit next to each other and from then on we were great friends," said Samantha Turner, one of Kogut's friends.
When you're a freshman in college, the first month of school can be the most important. Some students say that's the time you'll make your closest friends.
"She was a giver, not a taker. She always wanted people to be happy," said Turner.
Candles floated around the school's swimming pool where Alexandra spent so much of her time on the swim team.
"I'm sad, but happy we are able to do this. We are a family and being able to come together as that family," said Heather Ryan, resident assistant.
Students say Kogut's murder has prompted more awareness on campus about domestic violence and unhealthy relationships. The faculty has helped the students keep her memory alive.
"We're trying to balance a sense of good memories the vitality and vibrancy of Alex. Her mother, Becky, said remember the shine. The shine of Alex," said John Halstead, The College at Brockport President.
And while their time with Alexandra was cut far too short, they say their memories will make it a lasting friendship.
"You need to live every day to the fullest and be happy as much as you can you never know when your last day is going to be. Alex wants me to be happy," said Turner.
While it was very emotional, there were moments of laughter because students really wanted to remember the fun times they shared.
The students on campus have an open conversation about the signs of an unhealthy relationship and where to go if you need help.
Prosecutors say her boyfriend, Clayton Whittemore, also from New Hartford, was at the college visiting her the night before. Whittemore was arrested at a Thruway rest stop in Dewitt during the morning of her death.
Whittemore has been charged with her murder. His trial is expected to begin November 4.