Dear Student Wellness Project members and other friends,
I don’t really know yet how to explain the terrible sadness I felt this morning when I saw that one of our new student body members passed away in an apparent suicide last night. The truth is, you can spend years thinking about these issues, and how to deal with them, and you’re still left completely unprepared when it actually happens again.
In this time, we need to come together. Not just to stand strong, but also to remind each other that it’s okay to be weak. That it’s okay to lean on someone next to you and say, “I’m not okay right now.” And that, at a place like Columbia, we’ll be there for each other, no matter what. Moreover, we need to be there for the Class of 2016 right now. After all, we can tell them to go to CPS and Furman, but what about the new students who have no idea what those terms even mean? We can tell them to be there for each other, but what if they don’t even have real friends yet? It is NEVER too early to remind others that we care about them.
So — 1:45 PM. Today. Lerner 5th floor SGO. Impromptu Student Wellness Project meeting. Please come as you are. Bring friends. This will be an opportunity for us to discuss this tragedy, what it means, and to talk about an initial campus response. My hope is that we can put together an event for the early evening where we provide an open space for 2016 and other students to come, and to know that they are not alone.
In the meantime, if any of you need anything — anything– please call me, or call a friend who cares. None of you are alone.