SANTA CLARA, CA (Crowns) – Three students from Santa Clara University have died in recent weeks, and some students on campus have said they are mentally distressed.
Students told KRON4 that two of the deaths were suicides.
“They were younger than the lower class. It was very difficult for me to hear the news of their loss. It was difficult to cope. I was sad and very sad,” said senior official Raul Orellana.
In the wake of the tragedies, a group of students is urging Santa Clara University officials to offer more mental health counseling services, grant academic indulgences in the fall, and improve communication on campus.
Flowers were left outside a dorm as a new student majoring in computer science committed suicide on Sunday. He was 19 years old.
University President Lisa A. Kloppenberg in an email to students on Monday wrote, “It is with a sad heart that I share the news of the passing of a valued member of the community last night. Our deepest condolences go to his family. Members of the Campus Department. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS); Residence Life; The Office of Student Life has made available to help Those who need comfort or support.”
A 22-year-old graduate student killed himself on October 26.
Students told KRON4 that the mental health services provided by their university were not enough. Some said that when they made appointments for CAPS counseling services, they were told the waiting time would be 2-3 months.
“The university hasn’t really given any adequate support to students during this time. We have asked for student leaders and they have asked for academic leniency. The university has not responded appropriately,” Oriana said.
Meg Wu, a young student, is organizing a rally on campus next to Mission Church at 12:15 p.m. Thursday to demand action from the university.
A university spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment for this story.
Student Molly Tucker launched a petition titled “Petition for Academic Indulgence and Advice on Contractual Crises at SCU” on Change.org, which has so far collected 11,000 signatures.
“In less than a month, the Santa Clara University community has experienced three tragic deaths. In the same month, we were expected to attend all classes, complete all assignments, and excel in all midterms and assessments. Santa Clara is not a great school — not even one death does It can be obliterated under the rug in such a way that not every student is affected.Tucker wrote that the expectation that “keep on and on on work” is inhumane.”
“We are afraid. We are speechless. Students are spread out at home or away from campus,” Tucker wrote.
If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide, here are ways to help:
Call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It provides free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week to people experiencing a suicidal crisis or distress. You can also call 1-800-273-8255 to talk to someone about how to help someone in crisis.