Los Angeles, California – The first death occurred at the end of August, two days before the school year began, when a freshman was hit by a car while walking on a road near the University of Southern California (USC ).
In the more than two months that have elapsed since that time, eight other USC students have died, three from suicide and the others from unknown causes. The series of deaths has left the students and teachers of the prestigious institution shocked and looking for answers.
The Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday that the most recent death of a 27-year-old student who was found lifeless on Monday in an off-campus apartment occurred days after school officials sent letters to students and students. Parents about the series of deaths.RELATED
“There is a lot of speculation about the causes of these deaths and most are attributed to suicide. This is not correct, ”said one of the letters, according to the newspaper.
Although authorities said it was confirmed that three of the dead took their lives, the causes of the others are not known or have been disclosed. The most recent case remains under investigation.
The directors of the institution said they decided to treat the deaths in the most transparent way possible and let the students going through an emotional crisis know that there are resources available on campus.
"We know our students are looking for answers," said Sarah Van Orman, director of health at USC. "It is important that, if we hear incorrect information, we share what we know."
The student acknowledged that the news of the deaths has shaken the university.
“It has definitely been a difficult semester for us,” said Trenton Stone, president of the student body, adding that he and each member of his executive board knew at least one of the deceased students. "Many things are happening, and everyone wonders the same thing: What can we do?"
Student body leaders plan an event to bring students together with health professionals, Stone said.
The deaths of USC students during a normal school year have been between four and 15, Van Orman said. Last year six deaths were reported at the university with 47,500 students.
"Students ask for answers from the university," said Natalie Bettendorf, editor in chief of The Daily Trojan. “There is a feeling of despair within the student body. There have been too many deaths and not enough answers. ”