SUNY New Paltz students are in a state of sadness and denial after the passing of a well-regarded colleague.
On Sunday, April 3, second-year biology major Thomas O’Rourke was found unresponsive in his dorm room after University Police, (UPD), responded to a 911 call. He was later pronounced dead and although UPD have ruled out foul play, the cause of death has yet to be determined.
SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian sent out a campus-wide email at 6 p.m. announcing O’Rourke’s passing.
“The death of a student is one of the most difficult issues a campus community can deal with, and this is a time to come together to support all who are affected by this loss, including the student’s friends and family,” Christian said. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to Thomas O’Rourke’s family and to the students, faculty and staff on campus who knew him.”
O’Rourke was well known to many students and staff of the college. He was heavily involved in academics and extracurricular activities on campus, specifically with the Italian Club where he formerly served as club secretary.
The Counseling Center staff encourages any student seeking help, in personal feelings of loss or otherwise, to contact their office at 845-257-2920. For professors and staff who wish to speak with someone, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available at 845-257-2886.