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CMC campus struggles after recent deaths of two students

The Claremont McKenna College community is in mourning after two students were found dead on campus in consecutive weeks.

Jeremy Peterson, 22, was found in his dorm room early in the morning of February 19, according to a release from CMC.

In a letter sent out to the CMC community, President Hiram Chodosh, Vice President of Student Affairs, Sharon Basso and Assistant VP of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dianna Graves noted that they have been in contact with Mr. Peterson’s family and expressed their deepest condolences.

“We mourn our dear student and friend Jeremy. We must all be here for each other,” they wrote.

A cause of death has not yet been determined.

Eric Cramer, 22, was found in his dorm room at Beckett Hall on February 26, according to an email from Mr. Chodosh sent out Tuesday evening.

“Words cannot express my deepest sadness,” Mr. Chodosh wrote. “This is so difficult for all of us, especially in the wake of our loss last week. I am so proud of our community and the care we provide to one another.  Know that you are not alone. We are all here. “

Peter Uvin, dean of faculty and vice president for academic affairs, also reached out to CMC staff and faculty by email.

“The community has now suffered two serious harms in a short time, the second of which appears to be self-harm,” he wrote. “The hurt among our students is immense, as it is among us faculty and staff. This is a tight community, and everyone is affected.”

The Los Angeles County Coroner determined Mr. Cramer died by suicide.

CMC administrators offered two opportunities for faculty and staff to meet with counselors to help them think about strategies for dealing with grief and loss in class.

The Athenaeum was open until 10 p.m. on Tuesday to serve as a gathering spot for students, faculty and staff to come together. Counselors and chaplains were also available throughout Wednesday.

A candlelight vigil has been scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday night in Butler Plaza by the Bauer Center.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

—Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com

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