In a tragic turn of events, the New York City Police Department confirmed the deaths of two young women within New York University’s Manhattan campus.
One of the victims, 19-year-old Jacqueline Beauzile, was found unresponsive in her suite at Lipton Hall, a resident building mainly for first-year students, on Thursday, Feb. 8th.
Just two days later, on Saturday, Feb 10, tragedy struck once more when an 18-year-old died by suicide by jumping from a fifth floor campus window of the Barney building. The body, bearing grave injuries from the fall, was discovered at the intersection of East Ninth and Stuyvesant Streets. She was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The police identified Doreah Salti as the victim.
NYU did not responded to calls by press time.
The medical examiner has not yet officially confirmed the cause of death for Beauzile.
According to police reports, she was a resident of Hempstead. A news report by Pix 11 in 2023 covering a Juneteenth graduation ceremony in Hempstead featured a student named Jacqueline Beauzile-Badette, who was described as heading to NYU after her graduation. She had mentioned the difficulty of having lost her mother recently in the news story.
Since Beauzile was a resident at NYU’s on-campus housing building, Lipton Hall, located at 33 Washington Square West, only other students at that specific residence, along with their parents, were notified about the incident. The notice was sent by email approximately five hours after paramedics responded.
“It is our somber duty to let members of the Lipton Hall community know that late this afternoon, a member of the Lipton Hall community was found unresponsive in her suite by University personnel,” stated the email, authored by a group of NYU officials, including Rafael Rodriguez, the Dean of Students.
The email assured recipients that they are in contact with the student’s roommates and friends, providing necessary services and support to them during this challenging time. The email also highlighted the availability of mental health services for students at NYU.
Much of the NYU student body remains unaware of the incident, as the email was restricted to the residents of Lipton Hall. This has left many students expressing frustration with NYU’s handling of such incidents on social media, citing a lack of transparency and communication from the university.
Salti’s death by suicide that followed a day after left students even more frustrated due to the complete lack of communication about it. Even though the victim jumped from a campus window and access to NYU buildings is restricted to students and staff with ID cards, NYU has not identified whether the victim was an NYU student.
The lack of communication has raised eyebrows, especially given reports from the New York Post indicating that NYU may have posed difficulties to the authorities who were investigating the suicide. The article mentioned, “Not even detectives were able to get inside to investigate—at one point Sunday afternoon a medical examiner tried to enter the building but left after an hour of failed attempts.”
NYU has faced criticism multiple times for its secrecy regarding the number of suicides at the institute. Washington Square News, the daily student publication for NYU campuses, has consistently covered this issue, including a significant feature piece in 2022 focusing on the school’s library. It explained the installation of permanent aluminum screens around the atrium after a series of suicides, allegedly implemented to prevent further sudden deaths.
An earlier opinion piece penned by former Washington Square News editor Abby Hofstetter in 2019 highlighted the ongoing concerns. She wrote, “By now, we all know that two students died of suicide over the course of the last academic year. But these are only the confirmed cases—because NYU does not track suicides, students are left to discover the information on their own.”
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or need mental health support you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free and confidential crisis counseling. You can also dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 988 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org if you live outside NYC.