6th NYU Student Jumps To Death

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A graduate student at New York University jumped to her death Monday from the rooftop of its prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, police said.

Joann Leavy, 23, was the sixth NYU student to die in a fall from a building this year. Five of the deaths appeared to be suicide. The sixth – a student who jumped to his death from the school library – was ruled an accident because of the student's use of hallucinogenic mushrooms, Newsday reported.

"The incidents of the past year have given us a lot of pause and time for reflection," NYU spokesman Josh Taylor told Newsday. "While we'll never really know what causes someone to take an action like this, it's critical for members of the NYU community to remember that taking one's own life is never the right solution."

Police and university officials said Leavy was found unconscious in front of 286 Mercer St., across from the Tisch School, at 721 Broadway, in Greenwich Village. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Leavy lived with her parents at nearby Waverly Place, police spokeswoman Detective Mindy Diaz said. The NYU community's "deepest sympathies go out to the student's family and friends," Taylor said.

On Sept. 12, John Skolnik, 19, of Evanston, Ill., leaped from the 10th floor of the university's Elmer Holmes Bobst Library. On Oct. 10, Stephen Bohler, 18, of Irvine, Calif., jumped from the same library floor. On Oct. 18, Michelle Gluckman, 18, jumped off the sixth floor of a Greenwich Village apartment building.

On March 6, Diana Chien, 19, a transfer student from the University of California at Los Angeles, jumped from the roof of her boyfriend's apartment building in midtown Manhattan. In late June, a graduate student died in a fall from a midtown building; that student's name was not immediately available.

The medical examiner said Bohler's death was accidental, related to his use of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

NYU has expanded counseling hours for students and established a 24-hour hot line to connect students to counseling and health services.
  • Dan Collins

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