The NY Times looks at the measures colleges are taking to prevent their students committing suicides, due to the high profile on-campus suicides at schools like MIT and NYU. Many schools are asking faculty to notice whether or not students are absent or sullen, which, while admirable, seems like administrations are asking professors to take on another role besides teacher. The procedures that two NYC schools, NYU and Columbia, are examined. At NYU, one student was forced to withdraw from attending school because she had suicidal thoughts; when she felt better, the school didn't allow her to return, prompting an editorial in the Washington Square News to say NYU should try to work with the students, because "Pushing those students out of the university community is not the answer." The Columbia example is Nicole Thompson, who felt worse about herself when asked to leave. And Columbia found out about her depression because her friends alerted the school.
What's interesting about plight of college suicice is that schools are trying to prevent suicides, because suicides are bad PR and could have financial implications (parents suing the school, for example). But many college tout the environment and atmosphere of the community as much as they do the academic opportunities, which makes Gothamist curious how far colleges are willing to go with their responsibilities to the student. Sure, many colleges are putting counselors in dorms, but is that enough? Or weren't there days when bouts of depression, with a few dark days, were more normal and acceptable?