New York University is urging students who are feeling overwhelmed to contact the school's mental health facilities, a few days after one of its incoming freshman killed himself by jumping from the 15th-floor roof of his Union Square dorm on East 14th St. Eighteen-year-old "Trey" Allan Oakley Hunter III leapt to his death minutes after texting a goodbye message to his parents and brother. In an email sent out to students, university president John Sexton described how young people far from home and confronted with an alien environment that can seem overwhelming often make irreversible and tragic decisions.
While popular with friends, Hunter was described in the New York Post as having a morbid streak. He arrived at NYU from California as the grandson of a notable WWII war hero and Congressman and the son of a very wealthy dotcom entrepreneur. A seemingly amicable separation with his high school girlfriend appeared to have troubled him. The young woman, who attends Princeton University in NJ, was visiting Hunter in NYC when he allegedly read text messages on her cellphone that indicated she was interested in another man.
It was the first suicide at NYU since six students killed themselves in 2003 and 2004. What seemed like a trend in self-destructive behavior led to the installation of barriers around the atrium of Bobst Library. NYU students are informed during orientation of resources available to them should they feel troubled. Sexton reminded the community that NYU's Wellness Exchange center was available to students.
And Hunter's father told the Sun, "It's been a flood of tears and shock in the last two days...I think it's kind of a myth to believe that, okay, you're 18, you get into college, and you're all ready to be launched."