A first-year student was found dead in a dormitory this morning, the NYPD confirmed.

According to the Post, "The 18-year-old man was discovered with a bag over his head inside the bathroom at Carman Hall near West 114th Street and Broadway at 9:10 a.m., the sources said." Police are waiting on the Medical Examiner's Office to determine cause of death.

Carman Hall houses first-year students.

If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone; remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt; and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.

Update: Students received this email, which identified the deceased as Joshua Villa:Dear Students,

It is with deep sadness and regret that I write to inform you of the loss of one of our students. Joshua Villa, a first year Columbia College student from Azusa, California, and resident of Carman Hall, has passed away. Campus administrators have been in contact with Joshua’s family to provide support and assistance during this difficult time. In line with protocol, local law enforcement is present in Carman Hall and may be here throughout the day.

With the death of Joshua, we grieve the loss of a caring and valued member of our community. Joshua was very involved with the Columbia Mentoring Initiative, Proud Colors, and the Columbia Queer Alliance.

When we lose a member of our community, we are all affected by the loss. During this difficult time, I encourage you to rely on one another and on University resources. Carman Lounge will be open as a gathering space throughout the afternoon and evening. Members of our Residential Life staff will be available throughout the day and over the weekend in all of your residence halls and may be reached by contacting the RA On-call in your building. Dean Cristen Kromm will also welcome students to her apartment in 916 Wallach from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday.

You may also seek support from professional staff by calling or visiting Counseling and Psychological Services (212-854-2878), which will be open until 10 p.m. tonight, from 2-7 p.m. tomorrow, and from 2-6 p.m. on Sunday; or by contacting the Center for Student Advising (212-854-6378) and the Office of the University Chaplain (212-854-1493).

I know we are united in mourning the loss of such a promising member of our community. We wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to Joshua’s family for their terrible loss and ask that you keep them in your thoughts in the days ahead.

James J. Valentini
Dean of Columbia College and
Vice President for Undergraduate Education