News | Mar. 31 5:22 pm EST

Updated: Columbia student, on leave, found dead in EC

Updated, 9:41 p.m.: A police spokesperson has confirmed that the student who died was Jessica Fingers, a member of the class of 2013 who has been on leave since spring 2012. See the full story here.

Updated, 6:32 p.m.: Shollenberger just emailed CC and SEAS students announcing the death. See the full text of the email after the jump.

Updated, 5:50 p.m.: A Columbia student, who has been on leave for the last year, was found dead in East Campus this morning, Dean of Student Affairs Kevin Shollenberger told Spectator Sunday evening.

The 21-year-old woman was a member of the class of 2013 before going on leave after the spring 2012 semester. A police spokesperson had told Spectator earlier this evening that the woman was not a Columbia student.

The woman was found face-up and unresponsive on the floor of an East Campus dorm room around 11:48 a.m., the police spokesperson said, and was dead on arrival. Shollenberger said she was on campus visiting friends.

Shollenberger said that the city medical examiner would determine a cause of death, but that administrators “have no reason to believe” that anyone on campus is in danger.

Staff members from Counseling and Psychological Services will be available tonight until 11:00 p.m. in the CPS office on the eighth floor of Lerner Hall, as well as the CPS satellite office in East Campus. Students can also reach out to Residential Programs staff, and advisers from the Center for Student Advising and the Chaplain’s Office will be available starting tomorrow morning.

We’ll update with more details as they come in.

Shollenberger’s email:

Dear students,

It is with deep sadness and regret that I write to inform you of the untimely loss of one of our students who has been on leave from Columbia but visiting campus at the time of her passing.

Although the local police department has made contact with the family, unfortunately, at this time we have been unable to reach them. Out of respect for the family, we will not release the student’s name until we have done so.

When we lose a member of our community, we are all affected by the loss.  During this time, I encourage you to rely on one another and University resources.  You may seek support from professional staff by calling or visiting Counseling and Psychological Services (854-2878), which will be open until 11:00 p.m. tonight, both on the 8th floor of Lerner Hall and in the East Campus CPS office.  CPS will maintain regular evening hours throughout the week.

Members of our Residential Programs staff are also available in all of our residence halls and may be reached by contacting the RA on-call in your building throughout the evening.  For ongoing support, students may also reach out to the Office of the University Chaplain (854-1493) beginning Monday morning or to your adviser in the Center for Student Advising.

With deepest sympathy,
Dean Shollenberger




  1. A 21 year-old woman • March 31, 2013 at 5:30 pm • Reply

    This is shocking. Regardless of the cause and surrounding circumstances, this is a shame.

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  2. :( • March 31, 2013 at 5:31 pm • Reply


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  3. A 21 year-old man • March 31, 2013 at 5:37 pm • Reply

    So she was a student at Columbia in the past?

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    Rating: +17 (from 19 votes)
    • A 20 year-old man • March 31, 2013 at 5:51 pm • Reply

      Kim Jong-un is not currently a student at Columbia.

      “So he was a student at Columbia in the past?”

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      • ... • March 31, 2013 at 5:57 pm •

        well now don’t you feel stupid

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      • Anonymous • March 31, 2013 at 5:58 pm •

        Wow you must feel silly now that they’ve updated the post

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  4. Anonymous • March 31, 2013 at 5:57 pm • Reply

    What floor did this happen on?

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    • anon • March 31, 2013 at 6:28 pm • Reply


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    • Anonymous • March 31, 2013 at 9:19 pm • Reply

      I’ve heard the 12th.

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  5. Anonymous • March 31, 2013 at 6:01 pm • Reply

    Well the good news for the administration is that she wasn’t currently a student so they can pretend like nothing happened again

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    • ... • March 31, 2013 at 6:21 pm • Reply

      they can pretend like nothing bad happens to students who take “time off” from Columbia. No, no everyone graduates happy, healthy, and about to become president.

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    • Wow • March 31, 2013 at 6:36 pm • Reply

      But instead they defied all expectations, and sent out a respectful, prompt e-mail, despite the fact that she wasn’t a current student. Not bad.

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      • Anonymous • March 31, 2013 at 6:45 pm •

        Yep OP here. Props to Kev Sho. Did not expect that. May be he read my spectrum post ;)

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      • Anonymous • March 31, 2013 at 11:52 pm •

        With all the press and qus that clearly have been asked earlier today I don’t see how they could have not sent the email. But still, props.

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    • Anon • March 31, 2013 at 8:23 pm • Reply

      Yep…I’m sure you’re the reason he sent the e-mail. Congratulations on being the most important person at Columbia.

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  6. dirty mike • March 31, 2013 at 8:18 pm • Reply

    we hardly knew ye…

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  7. Anon • March 31, 2013 at 9:18 pm • Reply

    I think the administration should provide details of the death. This kind of thing happens nearly once a semester and it’s too scary to just keep hearing about it in general terms. If we are told the circumstances of the death we can increase our awareness and be better prepared to avoid any comparable set of circumstances we might find ourselves in.
    In the real world, when someone dies in your community or environment you can know exactly how and then prepare/behave accordingly.

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    • Anon • March 31, 2013 at 9:41 pm • Reply

      This will be known with time. Have patience young padawan and have some respect for the deceased’s family

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      Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)
  8. Phreedom1 • April 3, 2013 at 4:14 am • Reply

    Another investment of time, effort and desire to achieve wasted by the cruel despot of addiction and easy access to the means to support it.

    May we all learn from this tragedy?
    Not likely, as freedom is just another word, for nothing less………… (You all know the rest of that)

    Peace to her family in this time of loss.

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  9. don wright • April 5, 2013 at 4:05 pm • Reply

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  10. don wright • April 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm • Reply

    cut and paste the Kathy Boudin article in your browser. Find out about your teachers.

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  11. ...HI NEW F@GS • April 13, 2013 at 12:24 am • Reply

    I believe we have a ratt in the COLUMBIA NETWOORKkk please advise

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  12. ...HI NEW F@GS • April 13, 2013 at 12:25 am • Reply

    B@B is not responsive JAE may be ZEDZDED

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  13. ...HI NEW F@GS • April 13, 2013 at 12:25 am • Reply


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  14. ...HI NEW F@GS • April 13, 2013 at 12:26 am • Reply


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  15. ...HI NEW F@GS • April 13, 2013 at 12:26 am • Reply

    or just 1 —> 0

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