An unidentified male was found dead in NYU's Bobst Library this morning. NYU has an unfortunately well-earned reputation as a hub of student suicides: Six in 2004, five in 2005. UPDATE: Letter from NYU President confirming suicide, below. [WSN]

From: NYU President John Sexton
Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 12:19 PM
Subject: The Death of an NYU Student

It is with great sorrow that I must tell you of the death of a student — a
junior in the College of Arts and Science — early this morning in Bobst
Library. While the cause of death is still being determined, indications are
that he took his own life.

Suicide among people of college age is a national problem, a leading cause of
death among the young; each year, campuses across the country must cope with
these tragedies and their aftermath — the pain, the heartbreak, the upset it
causes to those who are vulnerable, and all the terrible, persistent questions.

I have taught young people for some five decades, drawn by their energy and
their promise and by the unique bond that forms between student and
professor. The impulse for self-harm — particularly among young men and women
with so much talent and so much to live for — is incomprehensible to me.

And so I would like to speak to the NYU student community as I would speak
with a student of mine sitting and talking with me in my own office.
No matter how difficult things might seem at any particular moment, your life
is filled with promise, you belong in and are part of a community that
cherishes your presence, you are loved, and there are many people at hand
ready and willing to help you — your professors, the staff in the residence
halls, the Wellness Exchange, your family, and your friends. I am certain of
this: there are many resources to help you, and harming oneself is absolutely
the wrong choice.

We are a close knit community, a large community of small communities; we
should remind ourselves that there will always be people among us who will
need our help, and we should never hesitate to reach out and offer a hand or
an attentive ear, or to direct friends and peers to the many excellent
professionals we have at the Wellness Exchange (212-443-9999, or 999 from any
campus phone) to help students work through problems.

If you feel upset by this news or anything else in your life, do not hesitate
to call the Wellness Exchange. If you have a friend or a student or a
colleague who seems vulnerable, call on his or her behalf.

I know I speak for the entire NYU community when I say that this student's
family and loved ones are in our thoughts and our hearts and our prayers. The
family has asked that they be accorded the greatest possible degree of privacy
and sensitivity in this difficult hour, and I would hope that we all shall
strive to comply.

To each one of us — student, faculty, administrators, or staff: take care of
yourself, take care of one another.