Connect with us

All Articles

Martha Corey-Ochoa, CC ’16, Has Passed Away

Martha Corey-Ochoa, a freshman in the College, passed away last night. Dean Shollenberger informed students of her death in an email, after notifying her family. Her death is being treated as an apparent suicide. Dean Shollenberger writes, “Martha was passionate about mathematics and literature, and recognized as a very talented writer.”

Visiting hours will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. this Friday at The Edwards Dowdle Funeral Home (64 Ashford Avenue in Dobbs Ferry). Funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Immaculate Conception Church (16 N. Broadway in Irvington).

CPS will extend its normal hours of operation to include this Saturday, September 1, 2012 from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

We encourage all students to reach out to fellow students during this tragic time, and to take advantage of counseling resources available. These include:

Counseling and Psychological Services (212-854-2878)

Barnard’s Rosemary Furman Counseling Center (212-854-2092)

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)

Center for Student Advising (854-6378)

In addition, all counseling appointments this week will be structured as walk-ins.

We would like to remind you all to never underestimate the strength and kindness of those around you, no matter how recently you may have met them. We extend our deepest condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy, and ask that commenters use the space respectfully.

Write a comment

Your email address will not be published.



  • SEAS'13 says:

    @SEAS'13 It might not be much, but if there are any freshman living in John Jay who would like to get away my door is open to you and I am also hear to listen. If you also would like a place to stay I have an air mattress in my suite and a couch. I’d rather not put my UNI up here so please e-mail me at if you want to talk or need a place or both. Again I know it isn’t much but I’d like to be here to help anyway I can.

    1. ltom says:

      @ltom hear? really?

  • yet another CC'12 says:

    @yet another CC'12 To echo the statements of others, I am devastated to hear that something like this has happened again on our campus. Please don’t worry about convention in times like these. I don’t care if you’re new and no one know one on your floor; if you need to speak to someone, if you need to be near someone, just knock. Our student body is beautiful in terms of support in times like these.

    If you need someone to ‘anonymously’ speak with, email

    My prayers and condolences go out to family, friends, and all affected by this tragedy.

    1. CC14 says:

      @CC14 Same as above, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

    2. SEAS '14 says:

      @SEAS '14 Same. Please, everyone, know that WE ARE ALWAYS HERE FOR YOU if you ever need someone. And please, please, please, don’t ever hesitate to reach out, if you ever need anyone.

      sgk2118 (at) columbia (dot) edu

  • GS '14 says:

    @GS '14 Very sad. Martha and I went to the same high school and she graduated with my sister. She was a brilliant student…

  • parent says:

    @parent I am a parent of a Columbia freshman. My deepest condolences to Martha Corey-Ochoa’s family and friends. To the Columbia students; be strong and seek comfort from your family, friends, fellow students and school professionals. I am angry that this student has performed the ultimate selfish act and has caused grief, worry and pain to thousands; including family, friends, fellow students and to the whole Columbia community! Life is fragile and short. For the class of 2016, again, be strong, seek support and try to focus on your orientation and may your four years at Columbia be filled with many fun, meaningful and educational experiences!!

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Have some compassion. It’s not your place to be angry with her. It’s a tragedy.

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Sadly, I think this is a troll. Please try to have some respect.

      1. Troll? says:

        @Troll? Do you know how many people actually believe that shit–that people who kill themselves are selfish? Regardless of whether this is a troll, good God. A girl has died.

      2. Anonymouse says:

        @Anonymouse Probs a troll, do parents really know about bwog anyway?

        1. another parent says:

          @another parent Yes, us parents do know about BWOG. A tragic event like this sends parents looking for all the information we can get and the same goes for grandparents. While I knew about BWOG previously, my mother found it as a result of poor Martha’s death. Do not underestimate the power of the parental instinct to look out for our progeny.

          As for the posting for the other parent – it is an unfortunate truth that some people, even at the advanced age of your parents, do think this way. Some people have trouble with empathy. While I worry about how this tragedy will affect my child and I am very sad that such a shadow has been cast over what should be a happy and exciting time, my sympathy goes out to the Corey-Ochoa family and I wonder what can be done to reduce the chance of something like this happening again.

    3. BC '15 says:

      @BC '15 I can understand how horrible this must be for you as a parent, and how horrible this must be for your child, but that is not an appropriate reaction, especially not for Bwog.

    4. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Nobody wants to die.

    5. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Watched the JFK episode of “Mad Men”? You’re Margaret.

    6. I'm not defending, says:

      @I'm not defending, but giving a possible explanation:

    7. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous I agree with the parent

    8. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous She doesn’t even go here!

    9. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous if this was a “selfish act,” what exactly did the poor girl get out of it?

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous An escape from her life’s troubles when things seem to have spiraled out of control? Just saying. I’m not angry at her at all, just being a devil’s advocate.

    10. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Inappropriate.

  • BC '12 says:

    @BC '12 This is unbelievably sad and my heart goes out to all those on campus and affected by this tragedy.

    Class of 2016 — it does get better. NSOP and freshman year can be scary and difficult, but it is worth working through. And there are plenty of resources on campus to help if you feel you need it. There is no stigma with seeking help and I hope all those who feel they need it, do so.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous If you really are a parent and not a troll, think about how you will make Martha’s parents feel if they happen to come across your comment. Give your sincere condolences and just leave it at that. It’s not your place to say anything more.

  • I send my prayers to her family. says:

    @I send my prayers to her family. I never met her (as I was CC ’08, GSB’11 ) but I want everyone here to have an open mind as well.

    When I lived in a 7th floor apartment a few years ago, it was around 4am in the middle of the week so it was just me on the floor of the 7th floor at the time. A man came in wearing a hoodie and large aviator sunglasses walked up next to me, asked me how my night was then asked my name was what he thought it was (like, “hey, you’re…tyler right? ive heard about you”) I said yes I was. Then out of nowhere he displayed a pistol and told me to get up and walk towards stair exit. I didn’t know who he was but he knew my name. I yelled “are you crazy? what do you want? you can have my wallet and anything else!!!!” in hopes of attracting some attention. He said he wasn’t after my belongings and told me to walk up the emergency exit stairs up to the 9th floor, smash the public window, then “hop out.”

    I (very slowly) walked towards the emergency exit as he followed with his gun drawn. I was only saved when the elevator beeped to our floor. By the time a couple came out of the elevator, the man was gone.

    anyways, i immediately called 911 and got the hell outta there. we haven’t found the man yet but i had a hunch about who had sent him. not going into details here.

    but enough about me. back to this woman today. i just want everyone to keep an open mind. did she have any enemies? any jealous parties? someone she was competing for a scholarship with? i want her (if she’s watching this), her friends, and most importantly, her family to know that we will all get to the bottom of this, we will get her justice, and i am praying for all of you.

    1. I send my prayers to her family. says:

      @I send my prayers to her family. I only bring up my experience because the best way to well…. hurt someone and with minimal evidence is a staged suicide cover up. Nobody ever stops to think stuff in movies don’t happen in real life. I wouldn’t be surprised if that man in the hoodie had already had my suicide note ready.

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous Unfortunately, if there are foul dealings mucking about, I doubt Bwog commenters are capable of investigating them.

        It’s all up to the NYPD, the DA, and her parents now…

        1. i agree says:

          @i agree but you HAVE to make sure that they investigate from ALL the angles. sometimes people (including law enforcement) are so quick to conclude that a death was a suicide they stop investigating it as anything else.

          please please please make sure they cover all the angles. interview everyone close to her and everyone who might’ve seen suspicious people lurking around last night.

          reading about this young woman’s tragedy literally gave me high blood pressure since it reminded me of what i went through (and possibly what happened to her as well). i just want everyone to not jump to any conclusions.

          1. really? says:

            @really? 5 thumbs downs? so you people would rather just rule this as a suicide, take it at face value, say your prayers, then move on?

            really? all i proposed is that we “have an open mind” and i get 5 thumbs downs? wow. so much for a columbia liberal open minded education.

            i haven’t attacked anyone in this forum today and people are treating me like i slandered a rape victim.

            my, how columbia has changed since i was here. and that was just a few years ago!

        2. i agree says:

          @i agree and because the NY Daily News’ first line is “A troubled female student jumped to her death at Columbia University early Tuesday morning, police said.”

          a “troubled” student? see what i mean? quick to jump to conclusions!

          we need to come together as Columbians but at the same time, never forget that by jumping to conclusions quickly, we are actually doing this woman and her family a huge injustice.

          1. yikes says:

            @yikes bad pun.

          2. meant to say "arrive at" conclusions says:

            @meant to say "arrive at" conclusions sorry. dont mean to offend.

    2. Huh? says:

      @Huh? Your conspiracy theory is completely crazy and honestly feels inappropriate to affix to this Bwog article. (And to the Spec article as well, which you did.) If what you said really happened to you, I’m sorry, but don’t try to shift the conversation from this tragedy to your own bizarre experience. Maybe talk to a therapist about your paranoia.

      1. i haven't jumped to any conclusions says:

        @i haven't jumped to any conclusions about what happened to martha. so please do me a favor as well and not attack me. i don’t think you would want me to spill the police reports, interviews, photographs, and and everything else on here for everyone to see but i assure you, stuff like this does happen if only you’d step out of your bubble for a few moments.

        it’s people like you who think the extremes will never happen and end up doing victims a huge injustice. i never concluded anything on martha’s case. but i just want everyone to have an open mind.

        is that so hard? why the hostility?

        1. Please says:

          @Please Please just go away. I don’t want to continue this conversation because every comment spent discussing it further distracts from the tragedy at hand.

          1. well we wouldnt be having a conversation says:

            @well we wouldnt be having a conversation if you would have just read my comment, thought to yourselves “hmm, maybe he’s right. we should all keep an open mind and not arrive (to the commenter above, sorry. i should have used the word “arrive” instead) at conclusions so quickly because by doing so, we’re making this tragedy worse.”

            a tragedy where a potential perpetrator isn’t caught is double the tragedy.

            i hope we get justice for this woman. that is all.

          2. Anonymous says:

            @Anonymous lol “we wouldn’t be arguing if you would just agree with my point”

            r.i.p. martha

          3. and why says:

            @and why are you so defensive?

            an open mind is all i proposed. i only gave my experience to show some people that things you’d never think will happen, do happen.

            i apologize if putting my story here was inappropriate for this section but at least do us all a favor and keep an open mind.

            thank you.

    3. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous if you name is tyler, why do you sign as robert on Spec?

      this is a place to grieve for a fellow columbian, not for you to selfishly vent about your problems.

      1. who said my name was tyler? says:

        @who said my name was tyler? i used tyler as an example of what it was like. when i wrote the spec comment, i felt a little more obligated to use my real name. my name’s rob.

        but i slightly agree with you and sorry for putting a long story on here. this isn’t about me. but i just felt that if i had simply wrote “let’s keep an open mind for any signs of foul play” people would read it and think “no way! impossible! this was a suicide for sure!” by giving my story, i had hoped you all would see that the most extreme situations do happen and take this very seriously.

        i will say no more. i never intended to have this long of a conversatoni about this. i just wanted everyone to have an open mind. there is no need to me to “vent” anything on here – i have the card and phone ## of an NYPD detective for that purpose.

    4. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous cool story bro.

      1. CC '13 says:

        @CC '13 Regardless of the content of the person’s post — you all trolled him and made him feel unwelcome. Perhaps his argument was irrelevant to some eyes, but the way in which you attacked him is the same reason some people commit suicide.

        We need to learn how to treat people better. Point blank.

        My condolences go out to those affected. This is a tough time but we need to all come together.

        1. CC '14 says:

          @CC '14 My thoughts exactly. We may not all agree on the appropriateness of his story but the resulting attack on him was totally uncalled for!

        2. Anonymous says:

          @Anonymous I’m sorry, but people need to call out meaningless drivel. There is just as likely a chance that someone in a hoodie “made her commit suicide” as there is aliens making her do it. His post was almost entirely about himself with a few garbage questions tossed in at the end. We do need to treat people better, but that doesn’t mean they can just say whatever they feel like. This person is an alumni and an adult. He should be called out on his nonsense.

          1. CC '13 says:

            @CC '13 If someone needs to be called out, and you feel that’s the appropriate action — then do so.

            But on the right forum. Not here.


    5. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous I LOL’ed

  • Debbie Souza-Okpofabri says:

    @Debbie Souza-Okpofabri What very, sad and unfortunate loss of precious life of a gifted young woman. I hope that there is proper analysis of circumstances that led to this, to determine what may be required for precautionary safety modification(s) and/or emotional support. With my family, I send condolences to Ms. Corey-Ochoa’s family as they work through this loss of life of their beautiful daughter, and with preserving their priceless memories, their gift of sharing her life. This loss saddens us.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I’m a parent of CC’16 myself. Please refrain yourself at this tragic moment. If you have to vent your angry, find somewhere private, please. My sincere condolence goes to her parents.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Try telling that to a person who’s suicidal. I’m sure they’d love to have you convince them that what they’re doing is selfish. That’s certainly going to solve the problem. That’s certainly going to make them feel better and cure their depression. That’s such a caring thing to say that I’m sure would make any person on the edge decide, “Well, hey, there are actually some nice people in this world after all.”

    Have some fucking compassion. Just because you can say it doesn’t mean you should. And it kills me that others going through the same things will read this and feel even more alone that people are more likely to pull the “think of your family, you selfish little ____!” card than actually want to help.

  • Student Wellness Group says:

    @Student Wellness Group Freshmen and all students, there is a tremendous group on campus called the Student Wellness Project. This group was created last fall in response to a similar incident on campus. SWP is a group that tries to help students on campus not only enjoy Columbia University, but also show us all that there are ways to be be driven, successful, and motivated all while living healthily and without harmful levels of stress and pressure.
    If ANYONE is looking for a place to go to appropriately and healthily talk about this unfortunate and tragic accident SWP is on campus and ALWAYS willing to help:

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous God Bless You Class of ’16 – Turn this incredible tragedy into an early rallying effort to forge this Columbia community into a much stronger, welcoming, vibrant and tolerant place than ever over your next four years.

    “In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.” — Aeschylus

    Best of luck to you all!

  • This is Interesting says:

    @This is Interesting A commenter on that other campus publication’s website linked to an NY Times article of a similar incident 24 years ago. Same building, same floor:

    1. I love that says:

      @I love that you feel the need to be an asshole about Spec in an article about the death of a student. Those kids might not be as cool as you, but they were up all night with this story too and they are experiencing the same emotions as you. Maybe for the five seconds it took to write your post you could be considerate and quit playing up the “competition” between these two student publications.

      1. whoa there says:

        @whoa there that wasn’t really what his comment was about?

  • Bwog, says:

    @Bwog, can’t you just disable comments on posts like this? It’s called “editorial discretion.”

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Seriously. I sincerely hope half of these commenters don’t even attend our school, though that’s not much better of a thought either.

      At least have a heavier level of moderation for comments on posts like these, Bwog. For absolute respect to the family and loved ones. There is nothing wrong with forcing comments to go through approval for the announcement of someone’s passing.

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous oh shut up

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous She seemed like a sweet girl. Here’s a profile from here local paper:

  • BC '13 says:

    @BC '13 let’s be good to each other. smile at a stranger.
    my condolences to a her family, this is so devastating.

  • Columbia 2011 Alum says:

    @Columbia 2011 Alum I graduated from Columbia College in 2011. While I was at school, there were students who died from disease and accidents, and also from suicide — whether you know the person who died or not, it’s always a shocking and painful thing. It reminds the school community of the fragility of life, even among people who are young and supposedly bursting with lively potential. To the family and friends of Martha, I offer my deepest condolences. I can’t even begin to imagine the shock and grief. To the current students at Columbia, support each other during this time. If a tragedy can remind us of anything, it’s to reach out and offer your friend, neighbor, roommate, suitemate, classmate a hug and an encouraging word. Freshman — going to Columbia can be stressful at times. I’ve seen people burn out, give up, go too hard… just remember that it’s only a few years of your life and you need to just get out of it what you need to, without breaking your back. All the best to everyone.

  • BC '11 says:

    @BC '11 When my college roommate told me to check Bwog this morning, I was unprepared for what I would find. Tears filled my eyes as I read the posts and comments about this horrible event. I’ve been out of college for a while now but I’m still emotionally attached to the CU community. More personally, I was upset because that girl could have been me. I hated NSOP. I didn’t click with my floor right away, I ditched all the activities offered and spent most of the time on the phone with my parents or emailing friends from home. I thought I had made a huge mistake coming to college and especially choosing a school in NYC. Everything was new and overwhelming and I didn’t have the energy to deal with it. I didn’t leave my room for days. I didn’t eat. I slept all day and cried all night. Finally my mom had my aunt come from Westchester to take me to her house for the weekend. It was painful to recover while knowing I would have to go back to school eventually. My four years in college were equally as tough. I saw psychologists and psychiatrists to deal with my anxiety and depression. I was convinced I wouldn’t make it out of Columbia alive, but I did. I hope that anyone else who has ever felt like I did can seek out some help and know that life can not only get better, it can be great. Good luck to all the freshman and first-years.

    1. CC '13 says:

      @CC '13 When I first heard about Martha’s death, I found it really hard to empathize. School has been difficult, but I never seriously considered suicide as an option, and in some ways I feel like I’ve really started to be my own person in college, that life has a new purpose and clarity… Thinking that someone would voluntarily stop before experiencing that confuses me, baffles me. The start of school, when things were awkward and sometimes painful, seems so distant from me now. I feel like an insensitive person, but maybe that’s because I don’t know her story well enough to see how things could have been that much of a struggle. ><
      So thank you for sharing your story, BC '11. I'm really, really glad you made it through okay, and that you're continuing to (hopefully) be okay.
      To Martha's family and friends, I am really sorry for your loss. I trust and hope that she's in a good place, right now…

      1. BC 13 says:

        @BC 13 You really need to think about suicide differently. It is not some sort of logical response to the “awkwardness” of orientation. People who commit suicide are often going through much deeper mental trauma that you and I have never experienced, or acting upon a momentary impulse that is tied with depression or some other mental disorder. People don’t commit suicide because of awkwardness or because college is too much work.
        Sorry if this sounds harsh. I thought the way you did before someone in my family became suicidal.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous To Martha’s friends and family: I offer my sincere condolences.

    To Columbia Freshman: this is quite possibly the most saddest way to start your Columbia experience. I know that for you all this tragedy has tempered (if not completely erased) your excitement about your college career. To you all, I say that Columbia is a fantastic place. During my four years at Columbia, I made great friends and learned so much from professors that did genuinely care about me. I gained life experiences that I cherish to this day. I hope you continue to look forward to the wealth of knowledge and experiences you will gain in college. Columbia, while extremely difficult, is a great place to go to school.

  • CC'13 says:

    @CC'13 She was a bright-eyed girl who aimed for a phD and was in the middle of writing a book. She had a definite goal and definite passions. It was her first day at the school she’d been dreaming about attending all summer.

    …..then she commits suicide?

    Something doesn’t add up here. There is absolutely no way this was a suicide. She had everything going for her! I hope NYPD gets to the bottom of this.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Not saying you’re necessarily incorrect in your assessment, but under what circumstances does suicide make sense or “add up”? We don’t know what anxieties she had, what scars she had been dealing with–she had her whole life ahead of her, but sometimes the pain of the past and present is just too great.

      Which is what makes this tragedy all the more deeply deeply sad.

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous I completely agree on both ends. I just feel like it’s so difficult to truly decide when a fall was truly a “suicide,” unless blatantly obvious with a note. As others have noted, it is so easy to fall out of those windows. Standing on her bed to hang up a post? Sitting on the window ledge to reflect on her first day?

        I don’t want to rule out suicide, or anything else. But I think it is also terrible to the student, family, and loved ones, to label it a suicide when it is still under investigation. What we need right now is not to jump to conclusions, but instead just remember her as part of our community, as someone we may have become best friends with, and as a young human being who’s life was lost far too soon.

        I am so sorry, Martha. I sincerely hope that somewhere out there is a better place for you.

        1. Anonymous says:

          @Anonymous Martha was not present at the 14th floor JJ mandatory floor meeting, but this situation did not arise until a while afterwards. To me, this makes it seem, very tragically, like Martha may have been in her room or somewhere else contemplating suicide and then ended up committing suicide a while afterwards (unless it took a long time for her body to be found, which I doubt).

    2. Ernest Hemingway says:

      @Ernest Hemingway had definite passions. So did van Gogh, Alexander McQueen, Hunter S. Thompson, and David Foster Wallace. Want me to name some more examples? Being brilliant and ambitious doesn’t rule out suicide, ever.

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath….to get some woman writers in there

    3. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous It’s extremely dangerous to think that depression and mental illness in general only affect certain kinds of people. We benefit from paying attention to correlations, but if we continue to think that depression MUST look a certain way, then we prevent ourselves from helping those who so require it.

      CC’13, I hope you realize there are many people who are just as high-achieving and ambitious as Martha and also suffer depression. We have many of them here at Columbia. Tina Bu was one.

  • CC'14 says:

    @CC'14 This is so sad. My heart goes out to Martha’s familiy and the class of 2016. Stay strong guys.

    “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” -John Donne

  • JR says:

    @JR This is the some of the saddest news I have ever heard. What is lost is not just a life, but the precious time that every new class of Columbia students should have to discover for themselves that what they have heard about college for most of their lives is not, strictly speaking, reality. Being happy, and being yourself, in the face of whatever the world throws at you, takes practice, and most Columbia students I know used the project of just getting through school here to do exactly that. Chin up, fresh folks – the adventure is just starting. I wish I could tell you all face to face just how many amazing moments you will have here. And, I wish most of all that I could have told Martha.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Bwog, why isn’t nightline active??

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous most of the staff probably hasn’t even gotten to campus yet

  • CC '12 says:

    @CC '12 Having just graduated in May, I’m still attached to Columbia and am heartbroken to see this happen. In a vacuum it’s awful, but on the first day of NSOP and in a brand-new class? Even worse.

    To the Freshmen I say this: come together. Get to know each other by pouring support out and loving each other during this sad time. Build strong bonds because of this and decide to be a class that supports each other all four years to an unprecedented extent.

    You did not make a mistake coming to Columbia – it is a truly exceptional place. This may be unbelievably sad, but know that there will be lighter times ahead. In this moment, though, embrace each other. There is so much love on campus – do your part to let it out.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous but this might probably has to do with something not related to Columbia. Think about it…school hasn’t even begun.

  • Twitch says:

    @Twitch The view from JJ14 facing downtown is really nice…she may have been simply taking it in.

    We’ll never know what her last thoughts were. I really hesitate to jump to conclusions about suicide. I know that NYPost is reporting she was treated for mental health issues…but even so, it may have been the view.

    I pray that her family find comfort, and that their last image of their daughter be something close to the truth.

    Such promise.

    -Another Westchester Columbian.

  • CC15 says:

    @CC15 CC’16, I encourage you to love, support, and open up to one another, even if you are not the type of person that normally does so. Please also know that you have an entire community of returning students that already loves and supports you as members of the Columbia family.

  • Columbian says:

    @Columbian It is very well possible that foul play was involved. However the media reports that this girl had a history of psychiatric problems. Supposedly she was also very close to her family and it was her first night away from home at college. That she took her life is not impossible.

  • Ryan says:

    @Ryan rfm2135 (at) columbia (dot) edu
    We’re all here for you. Drop me or any of the people who put their email addresses above a message if you need a friend to talk to.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Coming from another part of the world, my freshman year was perhaps equally difficult. I cried, had sleeping troubles, had to work extra hard to cross the language barrier. I talked little, didn’t connect with many people, felt helpless in the face of a new life but already detached from home. Suicide had certainly crossed my mind, but I never regretted coming to New York and to Columbia, which had me so hopelessly disillusioned but also fascinated and stimulated. As someone with a history of depression, I send my deepest condolences to Martha’s family and love to Martha herself. I understand too well the darkness, but there truly is a larger world out there made of concrete things and tangible happinesses which, if nothing else, could pull you out of the most dangerous days. As Rilke said, be patient, love and endure is all. (his Letters to A Young Poet got me out a lot of things at a young age, which I recommend to everyone)

    Last but not least, anyone who wants to talk please don’t hesitate: kk2743

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Please don’t presume to understand her circumstances. Using someone’s death as a means to validate and seek pity for your own experiences is entirely disrespectful and patronizing (this is said with foreknowledge of the individual above.)

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous You know what’s selfish? Forcing somebody to live the life they hate for the sake of other people’s company.
    I assume you mean selfish as though she’s depriving herself from the ones who love her – considering the fact she was suicidal, don’t you think it would be possible that she didn’t believe anybody loved her?
    Instead of calling people who want to get rid of their pain selfish maybe you should, I don’t know, help them? If they live with an abusive family, give them a place to live. If they’re bullied at school, you talk to them and inform a teacher if they agree. If they have money problems you help them find a decent job.
    Now, don’t you think that is a far better way of preventing suicide rather than calling them horrible people?

    You disgust me.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous This was meant to be a reply.

  • Friend of Martha says:

    @Friend of Martha I had the privilege of knowing this lovely young lady. My heartfelt condolences to her family.


    @CALL NIGHTLINE You can also call Nightline, Columbia/Barnard’s anonymous peer counseling hotline. They’re open from 10pm-3am, 7 days a week.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Forgot to add, their number is 212-854-7777

    2. Alex says:

      @Alex Nightline will not be operating until later in the semester. Please use the alternative resources listed above.

      1. bmom says:

        @bmom That seems less than ideal. This is a difficult time of transition when all resources should be available if at all possible.

        1. Alex says:

          @Alex Nightline provides peer counseling, which requires the peers to first be available on campus.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous This obviously has nothing to do with Columbia because the girl had just arrived and just said goodbye to her parents. It could not have been any particularly stressful aspect of the environment there but it must have been the whole idea and anticipation of starting college that was overwhelming to her. Because it is the norm in this country for 18 year olds to leave their parents’ house and move in with strangers, we forget that this is actually very difficult. For an emotionally fragile person, it can be too much.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous My sincere condolences. Whatever the rest of the story is here, and please please no more assumptions, I just want to say: first years at Columbia/ Barnard/ SEAS/ GS, college is tough, especially on this type A campus, but you CAN do it! If you don’t find the people you were meant to be friends with right away, keep looking and stay confident. I’m a senior and I have been meeting new people from 2013 on this campus right up until now. Out of my closest friends here, I met one during NSOP and the rest along the way, even well into junior year.

    And if you need to talk, THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE TO TALK TO, even when it seems like everybody is locked up in Butler during midterms and finals. Your RA (who can connect you with resources too), Counseling, Furman at Barnard, clergy/ office of the University Chaplain, etc. etc. Nightline too, when it starts for the fall, and that’s run by students. By the way, so many people on this campus go to counseling; it’s totally normal. I’ve been there. You can go if you just want to talk to someone. This is especially important now, if this affected you, because it is a rough way to start your college experience, which is a rough transition in itself. Never forget that there are plenty of people on campus who are here for you. And remember to reach out to those around you when you’re ready, make 2016 a closer class, and carry on.

    You can do it and you WILL make a niche for yourself here. Life’s storyline can be pretty hard to follow until you look back on it years later with fondness. But, if you don’t like NSOP yet and/or if you’ve been affected by this, hang in there and reach out to someone. (Upperclassmen included in that! We support you! Seriously.)

    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss. Cheesy but good. Don’t forget it.

  • cc'12 says:

    @cc'12 no matter the reason behind this young woman’s death, death is never logical to those affected by it, and my heart breaks for her family, friends and the columbia community. i’m thinking of you all with love today, and i hope you’ll try to think of each other, graduated or not, the same way.

  • RIP says:

    @RIP For her soul’s sake, I sincerely hope that it was an accident and not suicide. I pray for her family.

    1. Would it have been too much... says:

      @Would it have been too much... …for you to keep your particular dogma to yourself while her friends, family, and peers are mourning her? I sincerely hope that your comment is just trolling rather than smug self-righteousness veiled in religious idiocy.

    2. gross. says:

      @gross. For society’s sake, I sincerely hope you don’t say these types of things out loud and that you are just trolling. Otherwise, I just hope your insensitive, judgy self doesn’t procreate.

    3. GS says:

      @GS go to hell you repulsive idiot.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous My condolences to Martha’s family – I’m sorry for your loss.

    To the class of 2016 and beyond, I’m sorry for the loss of your classmate.

    I know it’s been said here already, but I would like to echo earlier sentiments. Please do whatever you need to do to support yourself, and try to support others if you can.

    Columbia is a special place to be, but it is trying. Your friends, professors, RAs, team members, fellow classmates, and members of the community are now a part of your life, and they will be there for you. I know this from experience, as I am sure others do as well.

    Best wishes for the school year. Hang in there.

  • Emma says:

    @Emma Martha was my best friend. She was always there for me when I needed her and I will never forget all that she has done for me. I will cherish every memory I have of her. It angers me to see some of the mean comments people post about her because most of those people didn’t even know her. Shame on them.

    1. CC '11 says:

      @CC '11 I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. Your good memories of Martha will echo much more loudly than what strangers write here– whether you’re at Columbia or elsewhere, I hope you and your loved ones will have lots of chances to share them. Be well.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous LISTED RESOURCES, at columbia and outside of COLUMBIA:

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous First my condolences go out to Martha’s family.

    As a recent graduate of columbia it’s terrible to hear about this event. I feel for the family of
    martha as well as the freshmen students that had to spend their first night on campus dealing with this tragedy. To all the freshmen, keep your heads up and try to be excited about the upcoming days, months, and years to follow. They will be great. The first few days can be tough, but it does get better. It gets much better. Sometimes it’s scary being in a new place and meeting new people all while dealing with the pressures of school, but in the long run, it will be the time of your life. In tough times reach out and ask for help; the resources are in place, all you need to do is ask for help.

    As a side note to those people on this blog that have chosen to post comments of criticism, speculation, and other distasteful comments, other than support for the students having to deal with this tragedy and Martha’s family, please be aware that you are making it difficult to be a proud columbia alumnus. Whether you are a parent, alumnus, or student posting on this blog there is a general lack of self restraint being shown. This is a public record and it is permanent once you hit submit. Be smart and save your discussions, feelings, and conspiracies for a private discussion.

    Again My Condolences to Martha’s family during this difficult time.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous prayers, hugs, and comforting energy to all

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I think our only concern should be for this young lady, her family, her friends, and the Columbia community. Let us not forget that a dear daughter, friend, and Columbian was lost yesterday. Whatever your beliefs may be, hold her and her loved ones in your heart, prayers, and thoughts.

  • Anon says:

    @Anon I heard from someone involved with res-life that her RA referred her to counseling minutes before it happened because she appeared to be extremely anxious and upset. That leads me to believe that this was no accident.

    Either way, this is truly a tragedy and anyone who is disrespectful of that has a lot of growing up to do.

  • Caitlin says:

    @Caitlin Dear Class of 2016 and the general Columbia Community,

    Please take care of each other in the wake of this tragedy. A little bit of kindness can go a long way. NSOP week and freshman year can be very trying times for many people. It is not my intention to make any assumptions about why Martha committed suicide, but this is a more general message about how life at Columbia, at once a glorious and grueling place, is and how we can perhaps collectively make it better.

    I know that most of my friends here found the first few months of college alienating and overwhelming in terms of academics and the atomized social scene. I don’t mean to say that everyone goes through terrible, dark times at Columbia (I love this place and all of my friends in it to death)– if you are loving Columbia so far, then go out and enjoy it and remember to spread the love. It can be tempting if you’ve already found great friends to just stick with what’s safe, but I think maintaining an open and friendly attitude towards all the people you meet at Columbia is really the way to go.

    This school is full of ridiculously amazing, clever, talented, and affectionate people, but I think we could work on being friendlier overall as a student body. We all contribute to each other’s psychological well-being. So say hello to people you know as you walk around campus, even if you’ve only met them once or had a section with them freshman year. It makes a difference. It does not take that much effort to be warm to others and the payback is enormous. These people you go to school with are worth getting to know and good vibes are contagious. I am not saying that being nice around campus will prevent suicide by any means, but it will make this place happier and healthier.

    The main point of this message is: Don’t be a stuck-up reptilian butt-face. It’s not always easy at Columbia, but here are some ideas: smile, give people hugs, make time for yourself and your loved ones, and most importantly Be a Human Being (ie: do not spend all saturday in the library and let schoolwork steal your sanity)

    Additionally, echoing all those who have offered to listen or talk to anyone who needs it, my uni is caw2153, and I will respond just as quickly as I can.

  • Genevieve Conover says:

    @Genevieve Conover Hi,
    I don’t know if anyone has proposed this already as I have not read through all of the comments, but I was wondering if anyone would be interested in sending small notes to her parents just to let them know that members of the Barnard/ Columbia community are thinking about them and their loss. Obviously there is nothing we could to to alleviate their pain, so maybe it is a dumb idea… does anyone have any thoughts about this? If so, feel free to email me at
    BC 2013

  • 1st year parent says:

    @1st year parent My condolences to the family, friends and classmates. Please show some respect at this difficult time as losing a child is by far a parent’s worst nightmare. Leave the offensive comments for another topic and focus on supporting one another.

  • M.L. BC '14 says:

    @M.L. BC '14 Martha was my friend, a close friend, and I really don’t want to include these kinds of details in my memories of her. This kind of gossip and speculation about her death really hurts.

  • srdjan says:

    @srdjan When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
    when the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
    When the funds are low and the debts are high,
    And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
    When care is pressing you down a bit,
    Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

    for the rest of the poem please click on the link below.
    This poem should be a Bible in life of all.
    Life is great, life is precious, If we could only bring her back.
    I am a parent of a freshman girl at Columbia. It is a great loss for all.
    Please help and support each other to prevent tragedy like this in the future.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I’d like to send my prayers and condolences to Martha’s family. If this was a suicide then I’m very sympathetic to the kind of mental and/or emotional trauma that she must have been going through. I hope that people who are depressed turn to spirituality to get them out. Depression can touch anyone and it is brutal. I used to consider myself extremely happy but life can really throw some surprises at you, and I eventually found myself in an extremely anxious/jealous/depressed/awful state of mind and soul. I’ve been turning to spirituality, Islamic and Buddhist to get better….even if someone doesn’t believe in God, I think it’s essential for people to be patient and seek help through the tough episodes. It does get better and you can get out of it. Life can be really painful sometimes but I like to think that the pain teaches you to lead a different life or walk a better path.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous This is heartbreaking. I didn’t know Martha, but from what I have read, she seemed like such a talented, sweet girl full of promise. To her family and friends, I send my deepest condolences. Even though this may not reduce the sting of her loss, I want you to know that our thoughts are with you.

  • Columbia College 2011 says:

    @Columbia College 2011 This is heartbreaking. I didn’t know Martha, but from what I have read, she seemed like such a talented, sweet girl full of promise. To her family and friends, I send my deepest condolences. Even though this may not reduce the sting of her loss, I want you to know that our thoughts are with you.

  • Have Your Say

    What should Bwog's new tagline be?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

    Recent Comments

    Love love love (read more)
    Bacchanal (But In Your Bedroom)
    April 8, 2020
    I knew Tom when he worked as an organizer for low income people in Knoxville, Tn in the 1990s. He (read more)
    Former Barnard Faculty Member Tom Waters Has Passed Away
    April 7, 2020
    The Cathedrals around Columbia are magnificent. (read more)
    Bwoglines: Cathedrals And Courts Edition
    April 7, 2020
    I shaved mine off after a week. No hair to worry about. (read more)
    A Quarantine Crusade To Change Your Hair
    April 7, 2020

    Comment Policy

    The purpose of Bwog’s comment section is to facilitate honest and open discussion between members of the Columbia community. We encourage commenters to take advantage of—without abusing—the opportunity to engage in anonymous critical dialogue with other community members. A comment may be moderated if it contains:
    • A slur—defined as a pejorative derogatory phrase—based on ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or spiritual belief
    • Hate speech
    • Unauthorized use of a person’s identity
    • Personal information about an individual
    • Baseless personal attacks on specific individuals
    • Spam or self-promotion
    • Copyright infringement
    • Libel