FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – The Colorado State University community is concerned following the deaths of two young adults on campus in less than two weeks.
Two 18-year-old freshman students died in campus dorms. One has officially been ruled a suicide and cause of death of the other is still pending.
CSU President Tony Frank sent out a heartfelt letter to all students speaking off the cuff about the emotions of loss, struggles and hope. The letter struck a chord with students, especially those who knew the two who died.
“It’s the second one this month, so it’s kind of … I mean people are just pretty somber at the moment,” a student said. “She was a sweetheart. She was always smiling. That’s why it’s so shocking.”
A male student died on Oct. 12. It was ruled a suicide by the Larimer County coroner, but how he died hasn’t been released. A female student’s cause of death on Oct. 23 has not been determined.
Both students were living in on-campus freshman dorms when they died.
“That’s an unusual combination of events, it has a big impact on the community, and I think it calls to all of us to reassess our policies,” Frank told CBS4.
In his letter to the student body, Frank recognized the struggles many students are facing.
“Let people know where they can go for help, and importantly to let students know how valuable they are,” Frank said.
CSU officials said it was the third suicide in the last four years at the university. According to the American College Health Association, suicide is the second cause of death among college students. That’s 7.5 deaths per 100,000 students. In a revived effort to change those statistics, university officials are alerting students to the resources available in the community to help cope with loss, stress and depression.
“We are in the process to make sure our CSU students and our community knows that we care about them and we want to reinforce that we all need to care about each other,” a CSU official said.
Frank also says in honor of the deaths the university will start a new tradition on campus. He says the will work on finding an evening to pay tribute to those who have died. A date has not yet been determined.