News | Student Life

Columbia College student dies in apparent suicide

Yi-Chia “Mia” Chen, a Columbia College exchange student from Japan, has died in an apparent suicide, Columbia College Dean James Valentini announced in an email Thursday.

Following Columbia College senior Mounia Abousaid’s death last month, Valentini noted in his email that “this is an especially difficult time for all of us.”

The Broadway Residence Hall 14th Floor East Lounge and the McBain Main Lounge will be open from 7 to 9 p.m. today as a gathering space for students, where staff from Counseling and Psychological Services, the Office of University Chaplain, and Residential Life will be present.

The email can be read in full below.

Dear Students,

With a heavy heart, I am writing to let you know about the loss of a member of our community. Yi-Chia “Mia” Chen, an exchange student at Columbia College from Waseda University in Japan, has died in an apparent suicide.

We have begun reaching out to Mia’s friends and classmates whom we could identify to provide support and assistance during this difficult time. Whether or not you knew Mia, you may wish to gather with other community members. We have set up a space for reflection and conversation from 7-9 p.m. on Broadway 14th floor East and McBain Main Lounge.

This is an especially difficult time for all of us. As you know, we mourned the loss of another Columbia College student in December. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your advisers, your Residential Life staff, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Office of the University Chaplain, your faculty members, and family and friends for support.

The following resources are available to you:

  • The Broadway Residence Hall 14th Floor East Lounge and the McBain Main Lounge will be open as gathering spaces from 7-9 p.m. today. Staff from Counseling and Psychological Services, the Office of University Chaplain, and Residential Life will be in attendance. Anytime before 7 p.m., staff from Residential Life will also be available in Broadway 103 for drop-in visits.

  • In addition to their regular hours, Counseling and Psychological Services (212-854-2878) will offer extended walk-in hours:

    • 5-10 p.m. tonight and tomorrow in the CPS office in Broadway Hall

    • All day today and tomorrow until 10 p.m. on the fifth floor of Lerner Hall

  • The Office of the University Chaplain (212-854-1493) in Earl Hall and St. Paul’s Chapel will be open until 10 p.m. for individual or group counseling.

  • Your advisers in the Berick Center for Student Advising (212-854-6378) are available to talk with you about any concerns.

  • You can seek support from Residential Life staff at any time, who may connect you with additional resources.

I know that all of you join me in sending our deepest condolences to Mia’s family and friends.

Sincerely,

James J. Valentini

Dean of Columbia College and

Vice President for Undergraduate Education

cc: Mary C. Boyce, Dean of The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science

Resources

jessica.spitz@columbiaspectator.com | @jjspitz1

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