Cornell on alert after suspected suicides

March 17, 2010 at 9:49 AM
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ITHACA, N.Y., March 17 (UPI) -- Cornell University has increased its mental health outreach after the apparent suicides of three students in less than a month, officials said.

The deaths have renewed talk of Cornell's reputation as a high stress "suicide school," The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Historically, however, Cornell's suicide rate has not been higher than what national statistics predict for a college population of 20,000, which is about two suicides per year, university officials said.

Suicides at Cornell often have been devastatingly public because they've been committed in the deep gorges on campus. The school has stationed guards on bridges until the end of the week.

In recent weeks two bodies were recovered from a gorge: freshman Bradley Ginsburg of Boca Raton, Fla., on Feb. 17 and sophomore William Sinclair of Chevy Chase, Md., Thursday. On Friday, junior Matthew Zika, of Lafayette, Ind., was seen falling into the same gorge. His body had yet to be recovered from swollen Fall Creek below.

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