PROVIDENCE, R.I. – An openly gay sophomore at Johnson & Wales was found dead in his residence hall room on Wednesday, Sept. 29.
Raymond Chase, 19, had hanged himself in the dormitory, according to various news sources.
“The campus community is mourning the loss of this vibrant young man who leaves many JWU friends and teachers, and a loving family of Monticello, N.Y.,” Ronald Martel, vice president of student affairs and dean of students, said in a statement.
Chase’s death comes on the heels of another high-profile suicide by 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi, who killed himself by leaping off the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 22. Clementi had become extremely distraught after learning that his dorm roommate had secretly recorded him making out with another man and broadcasting it over the Internet without his consent or knowledge. The incident apparently outed Clementi, a gifted violinist.
In addition, several other teenage boys around the U.S. have killed themselves this month after being bullied in school.
The circumstances behind Chase’s death remain unknown.
Campus Pride, a non-profit that works with LGBT students and their allies, is demanding action.
“The loss of Raymond this week is the second college LGBT-related suicide in a week and the fifth teenage LGBT suicide in three weeks. The suicide of this openly gay young man is for reasons currently unknown; however, the recent pattern of LGBT youth suicides is cause for grave concern,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director and founder of Campus Pride.
How to find help if you feel suicidal
-- The Trevor Lifeline: (866) 488-7386
-- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255
-- Suicide Awareness Voices of Education: save.org
-- Suicide Prevention Resource Center: www.sprc.org
-- Every county operates immediate mental health crisis response services. For information, contact your local county human services agency.
-- Safe Schools Coalition: www.safeschoolscoalition.org/rg-bullying_harassment_schoolbasedviolence....
Forty-three states have adopted anti-bullying legislation, according to Bully Police, an anti-bullying advocacy group composed of parents, many of whose children committed suicide as a result of bullying.