9 Student Deaths Since August Cause Alarm at USC

That's up from 6 deaths in all of last school year
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2019 7:16 AM CST
9 Student Deaths Since August Cause Alarm at USC
This May 22, 2018 file photo shows the University of Southern California's Engemann Student Health Center in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

Shortly after administrators acknowledged a series of deaths at the University of Southern California, another student was found dead. The body of a male student, aged 27 or 28, was found in an apartment off campus Monday afternoon, according to university officials, who sent letters to students and parents on Saturday describing eight student deaths between late August and early November, including one on Saturday and one on Friday. No foul play is suspected in any case, and three are attributed to suicide, per CNN. Still, the deaths of seven undergraduates and two graduate students have rocked the student body. As a health officer tells the Los Angeles Times, there are typically four to 15 student deaths in a school year. Last year there were only six.

The university has pointed students to mental health services while it grapples with what information to release. "In some cases the cause of death is still undetermined, and in others loved ones do not want details disclosed," University President Carol Folt wrote in the letter to students, which said the deaths "resulted from a number of different causes," per NBC Los Angeles. CNN cites "apparent overdoses and accidents." In an early case, incoming freshman Matthew Olson was struck and killed while walking on the 110 Freeway near USC on Aug. 26. The Times notes the difficult position officials are in: "Some families have expressed gratitude after receiving the emails. Others have voiced dismay over a lack of information. And yet others think that the details so far provided have made matters worse." (More University of Southern California stories.)

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