Rutgers reflects on 16 student deaths

<p>October 2014 | Mourners somberly stand to celebrate the life of Amr Gabale, a deceased Rutgers student, on October 21.</p>

October 2014 | Mourners somberly stand to celebrate the life of Amr Gabale, a deceased Rutgers student, on October 21.


As students prepare for summer vacation, they also recall classmates and friends who have died over the course of the 2014 to 2015 academic year.

A total of 16 students passed away since September: Osei-Kwame Afriyie, Patrick Awosogba Jr., Joshua Cooper, Amr Gabale, Yoshitaka Inomato, Paul Kim, Nexhmi Klobucista, Caitlyn Kovacs, Franciso Martinez-Holsey, Michael Murray, Neha Musipatla, Aniesh Patel, Darsh Patel, William Ouch, Maneesha Singh and Caroline Yoshimoto.

Along with those students, Rutgers-Newark alumna Marisa Eve Girawong was killed in the Nepal earthquake while working for a mountain guide service, according to The Daily Targum. 

In April, the University commemorated the deaths with a memorial service on campus. While the “Rutgers Remembers” event is held each year, this semester’s event represented a more formalized gathering, according to The Daily Targum.

Rutgers–New Brunswick Chancellor Richards L. Edwards spoke at the event. Rutgers also rung the Old Queens bell as students held candles in memory of their former classmates.

The students came from a variety of backgrounds. Michael Murray, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, was a transfer student working toward a computer science degree, according to The Daily Targum. Aniesh Patel was a fourth-year pharmacy student who loved movies and rescuing bugs. 

These losses took a collective toll on fellow students, said Jewel Daney, senior case manager for the Office of the Dean of Students.

“One loss is one loss too many,” Daney said. “(They’re) young people ... (they) feel invincible, but things can happen to you and sadly, things do happen regardless of our ages.”

While students noticed an increase in emails signifying a Rutgers death, Daney said 16 deaths, though tragic, were expected in a University of this size.

“We’re a big city, and so things happen ... We’re not out of the range of the probability of this happening at a large University."


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