Cornell Responds to Alarming Surge of Apparent Suicides

School takes aggressive approach to helping students through stressful times.

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Cornell University is taking significant steps to combat suicide on its Ithaca, N.Y., campus. Three students have died in recent weeks in apparent suicides, prompting the school to take new measures to ensure its students' safety and well-being.

The Ivy League school sent officials throughout campus—knocking on every student's door—stationed staff on campus bridges, and widely publicized its mental-health services, the Cornell Daily Sun reports. Student leaders at Cornell are also planning events and actions to help the school, the report says.

"I think everybody's kind of shaken. I know I am," one student tells the New York Times. "I wanted to go home."

According to the Daily Sun, the university took a far more urgent tone following the third death, a junior who was found dead on March 12. Efforts include a new website,, which features links, advice, and resource information for students and Cornell community members. Cornell President David Skorton sent an E-mail to students and took out a full-page ad in the Daily Sun.

"Your well being is the foundation on which your success is built. You are not alone," Skorton says in the message. "Your friends, your family, your teachers, your colleagues, and an array of counselors and advisors are ready to listen and help you through whatever you are facing. If you learn anything at Cornell, please learn to ask for help. It is a sign of wisdom and strength."

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