Feb

25

Tejraj Antooa, SEAS ’13, Passed Away

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While the university has not yet officially announced that Tejraj Antooa, SEAS class of 2013, passed away a month ago, this week’s SEAS newsletter contained the following message:

The Columbia University community recently suffered the loss of a former student, Tejraj Antooa. Tejraj, who was a member of the Columbia Engineering Class of 2013 until Spring of 2012, perished on January 24th, 2013 near his home in Elmont, Long Island. Throughout his time at Columbia, Tejraj touched the lives of many members of our community. He was a leader of Columbia Model United Nations and the Hindu Students Organization, a participant in the Academic Success Program and a student of the Computer Science department. In Tejraj, Columbia has not only lost an active member of the community, but also a loyal, selfless, and compassionate friend. We would like to wish the best for his family and friends during this difficult time.

Bwog would like to extend our most sincere condolences and thoughts to all those who were close to Tejraj.

Don’t forget that Columbia has many resources to help students cope with loss, including Counseling and Psychological Services (212-854-2878). We extend our deepest condolences to everyone affected, and ask that commenters use the space respectfully.

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16 Comments

  1. RIP  

    Tejraj was a good dude

  2. didnt know him very well  

    but was saddened to hear about this. He was an incredible guy, and his death--and life--touched many people

    • Anonymous

      how rude to inquire! quiet that noggin of yours. haven't they taught you anything in CC

    • Tejraj's good friend  

      It was a suicide. I really wish that more attention was given to the entire situation.

      • Cole  

        I am highly displeased with how the administration swept the entire situation under the rug. At the very least, the administration could have sent a campus-wide email a month ago. But they did not. Their overt reticence is highly symptomatic of a larger issue plaguing our campus: the stigmatization of mental health.

        I conjecture that the administration was more concerned with protecting its own image as a nurturing "alma mater" figure than admitting its own shortcomings. Yet by virtue of its inaction, Columbia has propagated the vicious cycle of silence shrouding suicide. Students need to know that IT IS OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP.

        What bothers me the most is that Columbia students, and by extension Columbia, are more demonstrative about comparatively less significant issues like overwrought FroSci lectures than matters which are quite literally life or death...

        Our perspective is dangerously distorted and we need a reality check. And so here it is: my friend is dead. And there is no bringing him back. Yet, what remains to be seen is whether or not we will continue to allow our peers to fall victim to the grim realities of mental illness. One thing is for certain, however: if we do not take action, things will not change.

  3. Narayan

    Tejraj was quite honestly one of the nicest and most harmless individuals to walk our campus. I remember our random John Jay lunches freshman year and the conversations that we used to have over them. He always exuded passion and sincerity in whatever he talked about. It's a true loss for our community...

    Rest in Peace Tejraj.

  4. hmm  

    " not part of class of Spring 2012". You mean he left Columbia???? I know this is insensitive, but curiosity is killing me, what happened?

  5. good friend of tejraj's  

    He completed the spring 2012 semester (his junior year), but did not return for his senior year.

  6. Cole  

    Tejraj, I feel honored to have spent my 21st birthday with you. Thank you for making it so memorable. You were always such an easy-going, fun-loving friend and I loved hanging out with you. We all did. Maybe it was your charisma, or maybe it was your vivaciousness, but there was just something so unassuming and inviting about you that made people reflexively like you. To know that we will never dine together or drink at 1020 or hang out in EC again is a bitter pill to swallow.

    While you were not long for this earth, the amount that you have achieved in your 21 years is remarkable by all counts. But you will be remembered not just because of your extraordinary talents but also because you were genuinely a good person to the core, a far rarer attribute. RIP, my friend.

  7. CC2014

    At one point do we stand up as a school and ask ourselves why is it that many of us feel like the only solution left it to take one's life. As an international student I do not have many friends. However, I know that 5 of the closest people I have on campus have either tried to commit suicide or had serious psychological issues that led them to have to take a year off or withdraw from classes.

    Why can't Columbia ask the right questions? Why do we all feel so desperate?
    My only prayer is to stay sane enough to graduate from here. When I get that diploma I will run far away from this place.

  8. Anon  

    I don't understand why the administration was able to create a statement as to why they did not announce his death. It would have taken less energy sending a campus-wide email to inform us about Tejraj's death.

    Shame on Columbia!

    This is sad and tragic. You will be missed Tejraj.

  9. Another reason why  

    All this school cares about is it's faculty.

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