A “staggering” number of Boston University student deaths have been recorded in recent months, with 11 students dying in a “nonstop barrage of bad news for BU.”
The Boston University deaths are due to a variety of causes, but Emily Overholt, editor-in-chief of BU’s Daily Free Press, says that the unusually high number of fatalities this year is having an impact on student morale:
“We get them in these little clusters … It’s hard, because it’s really catching up to people. It’s one thing after another.”
Boston University spokesman Colin Riley commented on the tragic year, saying the number of deaths has far outstripped the norm statistically:
“It’s staggering … There are years – most years – where there isn’t a single fatality. That’s the way it should be. Young people should be going through their lives reaching old age.”
Over the weekend, a BU student died in an off-campus fire, just two weeks after Lu Lingzi, 23, died in the bombing at the Boston Marathon.
The worrisome trend of Boston University deaths began in April of last year, when 24-year-old Kanagala Seshadri Rao was shot to death off-campus. ABC explains that several accidents and mishaps claimed the lives of 10 other BU students:
” … a doctoral student committed suicide. Then, three students studying abroad in New Zealand were killed in a van crash. Then an archaeology student died in a fall working on a project in Turkey. Then, a freshman was found unconscious outside a fraternity party in March. He, too, later died.”
Dr. Catherine Fuchs is a psychiatrist and professor at Vanderbilt University. Fuchs explains that the unusual number of Boston University deaths has shaken the student body, as it drives home the often indiscriminate nature of sudden and accidental passing:
“Even on a campus with this many students, all of them are going to know about the Boston Marathon student … So this is going to bring all the students to a point of having to think about their lives and the lack of control over events in life. You’re not invincible when the randomness of a bomb occurs.”
While the number of Boston University deaths is unusual, the institution offers grief counseling generally for students facing a loss while enrolled.