SCE Student Samantha Kwek Has Passed Away

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Samantha Kwek, a student in Columbia’s School of Continuing Education, passed away on Sunday according to SCE Dean Kristine Billmyer. Kwek was a postbaccalaureate student pursuing quantitative studies. Her death is being treated as a suicide.

We extend our condolences to Samantha’s friends and family, and ask that commenters please use the space respectfully.

In light of this tragedy, we would like to remind you of the many counseling services offered to Columbia students. Don’t underestimate the value of these resources, or that of your friends and fellow Columbians, especially in times of need.

Counseling and Psychological Services (212-854-2878) is open for walk-ins until 10 pm.
Barnard’s Rosemary Furman Counseling Center (212-854-2092) has regular appointments from 9-5, and after-hours resources.
Nightline Peer Counseling (212-854-7777) is open until 3am.
RAs are available in all residence halls and may be reached by contacting the RA on-call.
The Office of the University Chaplain (212-854-1493), and the Center for Student Advising (854-6378) offer ongoing support.

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the death of an SCE student, Samantha Kwek.

Ms. Kwek was enrolled as a Postbaccalaureate Studies student in quantitative studies for finance.

Losing a member of our community to an untimely death is deeply troubling, especially for family and friends. Please know that we are here to support you during this difficult time. My colleagues in SCE Student Life and CU Health Services are ready to help should you need them.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to SCE Student Life (212) 854-0419 or CU Counseling and Psychological Services (212) 854-2878. When contacting either resource, please indicate that you are calling in reference to Ms. Kwek’s death and an appointment will be scheduled immediately.


Kristine Billmyer

Dean and Professor
Columbia University, School of Continuing Education



  1. CC'13  

    What a tragedy. Samantha, I'm so sorry you felt so alone. My heart goes out to your family and friends. I hope you have some measure of peace.

    Please, if you've ever felt this way, if you've ever thought about harming yourself, talk to someone. Even if you don't think it will help. Someone loves you, I love you, you are never alone.

  2. my condolences

    This is awful, awful news. My sincere condolences to Samantha's friends and family.

    In addition to the resources listed above for counseling and psychological services, if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline number. The number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This is a toll free number. Alo, their website is: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/Default.aspx
    If you are in a medical emergency or suicidal crisis and you cannot reach a crisis worker, please call 911.

  3. Help is available

    even when these services aren't available, imalive.com has trained councilors to help you 24/7 online

  4. Anonymous

    Sam was the sweetest, brightest, most fun girl and a great friend. She will be dearly missed.

  5. Anonymous

    The New York Times delays posting comments until they are screened. I think BWOG and Spectator should do the same.

  6. Anonymous

    It's so hard to believe that this is true....RIP from Northport High School

  7. cc'12  

    my heart goes out to samantha's family and friends. i can't know what samantha was thinking or feeling, but i'm sorry she felt this was her answer.

  8. Anonymous

    To Anonymous @ 7:02pm Thank you for your enlightened support. I cannot believe my posts were deleted. They simply offered a different viewpoint and had the potential to save the lives of other women caught in bad relationships. It should be considered that saying that Samantha committed suicide is tantamount to defamation of character. An intellectual dialogue is necessary and relevant. Very sad that a school noted for its intellectual student body would cut off this attempt. Very sad...not only for the student body...but for Samantha and her hard working and loving family who are suffering from this inaccurate portrayal of their devoted daughter. She just was not a suicidal person and would have never done this to her family who worked so hard to provide a better future for their daughter. She deserves this side to be heard and the female student body deserves to understand it.

    • Anonymous  

      I agree; although I question the reputation of other sources that reported the event, something just doesn't add up about the case. Sources reported that she was found with her shoes on, coat on, purse in hand... had plans to break up with the boyfriend... Additionally, Spec reports that her brother said that the death has actually not been ruled a suicide... Bowg please be respectful of other viewpoints and in your portrayal of the individual's character. Thank you.

  9. Anonymous

    Condolences to Samantha's family ... the Columbia community mourns with you.

    I am curious why nothing has been mentioned about the boyfriend other than his name and a post tragedy quote . It appears as if he is a Columbia alum and I find it odd that this has not been noted... anywhere. Please, correct me if I am wrong.

  10. Anonymous  

    Don't you think we should have a link on bwog's homepage for "In memory of Samantha Kwek"? I think we should honor all Columbia community members that pass away, not just some.

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