Opinion

LETTER TO THE EDITOR RE: “Tragic death leaves UM community shaken,” 9/21

RE: “Tragic death leaves UM community shaken,” 9/21

I saw someone die on Saturday. I did not know him, or how he died, but I saw the paramedics put the white sheet over his body. I spent most of the day crying and thinking about death. For my own well-being, I needed questions answered: Why did he do it? Where were his friends? His R.A.? His support? I needed to read a letter from President Shalala similar to that of when Chad Meredith passed away when I was a freshman, but what do I get? The most generic, ambiguous, apathetic, impersonal statement regarding a nameless student’s death. This offended me more than words can express.
President Shalala: drugs and alcohol are a problem on this campus; remind us that there are counseling options. President Shalala: it is hard to deal with death; remind us there is someone on campus to help us deal with it. President Shalala: there are people on the verge of suicide that may now think that it is a solution; remind them that there are other options! Let us know a memorial will be held, let us know his death will not be lost in the mix of the Debate and the Dalai Lama, let us know that the University does truly care about him and about us. He is not nameless; he was more than just “gifted,” and those of us still here are the ones that have to deal with it. The ones that knew him will have to deal with the loss of a friend; those that did not will have to deal with seeing death face to face. You cannot let this tragedy go in vain – this tragedy should not have happened in the first place.

Name withheld by request

September 24, 2004

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