Update, 10:45am, 4/1: Student Affairs has not yet released the name as they are trying to reach her family, but the woman has been confirmed by Spectator as Jessica Fingers.

According to Gothamist and CBS, a 21-year old woman was found dead in East Campus this morning. The article reports that police responded at around 11:48 AM and that EMS pronounced her dead at the scene.

Student Affairs told Bwog that the woman was a Columbia student who had been on leave for one year, and who had entered with the class of 2013. She was signed into EC by a CU student.

CPS and religious advisors will be open until 11 p.m. tonight.

Update, 6:30: Shollenberger has just released a statement; the full email is below.

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

Update, 6:00 pm, 4/1: Deans Valentini and Goldfarb have sent an extended letter to students with information on Jessica Fingers and about support on campus:

Dear Students,

We want to express our deepest condolences for the loss of Jessica Fingers CC ’13, who came to Columbia as a track star from Monticello, N.Y., and was majoring in sociology. Jessica was on leave from the University and was visiting friends in East Campus at the time of her death.

It is very difficult to mourn the loss of a member of one’s community. This is a terrible tragedy for Jessica’s family and a sad time for many of us. In times like this, we can all rely on the strength of the Columbia community as a resource. We encourage you to come together as classmates and friends to support one another as we remember Jessica.

As always, staff, administrators and professors are also here to support you. Counseling and Psychological Services will have extended hours until 9 p.m. tonight in East Campus, 115 Hartley and 600 West 113th Street. As a reminder, the following resources are available to you:

  • Counseling and Psychological Services – (212) 854-2878
  • Center for Student Advising – (212) 854-6378
  • Office of the University Chaplain – (212) 854-1493
  • Members of the Residential Programs staff are available and may be reached by contacting the RA on-call in your building


James J. Valentini
Dean of Columbia College and
Vice President for Undergraduate Education


Donald Goldfarb
Interim Dean and Avanessians Professor of IEOR
The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science