Claremont McKenna College grapples with second student death in a week

A Claremont McKenna College student was found dead in their room Tuesday, Feb. 26. (Courtesy: Craig Stanfill via Wikimedia Commons)

CW: Recent student death

A Claremont McKenna College student was found dead in their dorm room in Beckett Hall Tuesday, Feb. 26, CMC spokesperson Peter Hong said in an email to students, faculty and staff.

The student was identified as Eric Cramer, CMC President Hiram Chodosh said in an email to the CMC community. Cramer entered CMC with the class of 2018, Hong said.

“Words cannot express my deepest sadness,” Chodosh said. “We must all endure this together.”

Cramer died by suicide, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. He was 22.

CMC Dean of the Faculty Peter Uvin said in an email to faculty and staff that he considered canceling classes Wednesday, but after consulting with experts, he decided that was not the best option.

“Everyone deals with stress and trauma in different ways, and some may seek the normalcy of a regular class or work schedule while others may wish to take time to process their emotions,” Uvin said. “I encourage faculty to please hold your classes, but be mindful that students may either not attend or may have reactions and need additional support. For those who choose not to attend, please make all accommodations and do not hold their non-attendance against them. This includes examinations and tests.”

Counselors are available in CMC’s Heggblade Center Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Chodosh said.

Uvin said two psychologists will be on campus Wednesday for faculty and staff, one from 8 to 9 a.m. in the Dean of the Faculty’s conference room above the Athenaeum, and another from 12 to 1 p.m. at a location that has yet to be decided.

For students across the 5Cs, Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services is located in the Tranquada Student Services Center, while an on-call therapist is reachable 24/7 for after-hours support at 909-621-8202. Staff and faculty can call the 24/7 Employee Assistance Program number at 800-234-5465.

Cramer’s death comes a week after another CMC student, Jeremy Peterson, was found dead in his dorm room in Phillips Hall.

“This is so difficult for all of us, especially in the wake of our loss last week,” Chodosh said. “I am so proud of our community and the care we provide to one another.”

A candlelight remembrance will be held Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Butler Plaza, the space outside between Bauer Center and CMC’s north quad dorms, to honor both Cramer and Peterson.

The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women’s lacrosse and women’s water polo teams have also postponed their Wednesday home games against Chapman due to the student deaths, according to CMS Athletics’ website.

Additionally, ASCMC canceled a Thursday party and Wedding Party, which was scheduled for Saturday night, ASCMC told students in an email. All students who bought Wedding Party tickets will be refunded.

It is our belief that in this time of grieving it would be inappropriate to host a major event in the center of campus that would take up space, physically, emotionally and mentally, from individuals in our community that need it,” the email said.

ASCMC will instead host an event in Marks Lounge Thursday from 8 to 11 p.m. with board games, coloring supplies and a free food truck, and a community gathering with the Dean of Students staff, the Resident Adviser team and the College Programming Board in the Athenaeum Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

This article was updated Feb. 27 at 10:02 a.m. to include information about Eric Cramer’s class year.

This article was updated Feb. 27 at 11:36 a.m. to include information about Eric Cramer’s cause of death and a candlelight remembrance. 

This article was updated Feb. 27 at 11:54 a.m. to include information about postponed sports games.

This article was updated Feb. 27 at 12:09 p.m. to include Eric Cramer’s age.

This article was last updated Feb. 27 at 7:03 p.m. to include information about canceled parties.

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Hank Snowdon

Hank Snowdon CM '21 is an economics major with a data science sequence from Columbus, Ohio. He previously served as TSL's managing editor and as sports editor.

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