07/21/2014 07:26 EDT | Updated 09/20/2014 05:59 EDT

Nick Phongsavath's death at Pemberton Music Festival shocks Regina friends

The death of Nick Phongsavath at the Pemberton Music Festival in B.C. has shocked his Regina friends.

Phongsavath, 21, was found unresponsive in his tent on the grounds of the music event shortly after 6 p.m. PST Friday. RCMP said the man's death was being treated as suspicious.

Phongsavath was a computer engineering student at the University of Regina who was set to graduate next year. He had been working as an intern for a Regina information technology company.

"It's a big loss to all of us and society, too," Essam Hussein, Dean of Engineering at the U of R, said Monday. "A very young, bright individual is lost."

Hussein said the faculty is looking into ways to remember Phongsavath, including the possibility of awarding a posthumous degree to his family.

"If he has completed 75 per cent or more of his degree requirements then we can grant him a degree," Hussein said. "We very likely will be looking at establishing a scholarship in his name. Maybe have a memorial service, maybe plant a tree. We're exploring a number of options to keep his memory alive."

CBC News also contacted some family and friends who said they were not ready to talk.

Some said they were still waiting to learn what happened.