Roosevelt sophomore found dead in apartment

    Eleanor Roosevelt College sophomore Christina Cho died after ingesting self-administered over-the-counter sleeping medication on the evening of Nov. 15, police believe.

    Cho’s roommate contacted the UCSD Police Department after discovering Cho’s body in their Oceania Hall apartment, according to Sergeant Bob Jones.

    “She was pronounced deceased at the scene and, because it is an unattended death, this requires a coroner’s investigation as well,” Jones said. “Pending the findings of the coroner’s office, it is an apparent suicide.”

    Roosevelt administrators have arranged for special counselors to help close friends with the grieving process, according to Provost Ann L. Craig. Psychological and Counseling Services will also continue to provide regular and emergency help for students all over the campus.

    “In their colleges, there are people ready to help them deal with this,” Craig said.

    In a letter to the college’s students, Roosevelt Dean of Student Affairs Patricia L. Scott forwarded the Cho family’s request for privacy and sensitivity.

    “To all of you who knew Christina, we extend our sincere condolences and recognize that this is a loss particularly for you but also for the entire ERC and UCSD community,” Scott stated. “A death of someone so young is always a tragedy and saddens us all.”

    Prior to her death, Cho exhibited symptoms of depression, according to Jones.

    “There were some signs of depression,” he said. “People don’t do these things in a vacuum, they do it for a reason. It’s an unfortunate, permanent solution to a temporary condition.”

    Friends said Cho had struggled with the recent accidental death of her boyfriend and was under stress from other personal challenges.

    However, she had not sought help from campus resources, according to friend Hannah Tchon, a Roosevelt sophomore, and she had never discussed with friends any plans to take her own life.

    Though naturally quiet, Cho opened up her heart to a small group of intimate friends, but even they did not know the degree of her sorrow, Tchon said.

    “Everyone has family problems, everyone has issues in their lives, but nobody voices them,” she said. “No one knew how serious it was.”

    Tchon first met Cho — a resident of San Pedro, Calif. — in fall 2003, and the friendship between the two grew since that time. Among her friends, Cho was known for her singing, including songs she recorded and later streamed from her Web site, Tchon said.

    Though she remains devastated by the tragedy, Tchon said she has begun to understand the reasons behind Cho’s decision.

    “In a way, I feel like I understand why [she took her life], but I feel like there could have been an alternate way to handle this,” she said.

    Police also found a hand-written suicide note, Jones said.

    Since 1983, the UCSD Police Department has recorded 17 suicide deaths on the campus, according to Jones. However, the figure does not include incidents that took place off-campus, outside of the department’s jurisdiction. For example, it does not consider the Oct. 4 death of Earl Warren College junior Kunal Patel.

    Across the country, annual data suggests that approximately 7.5 out of every 100,000 college students end their own lives, and that most suicides occur among students between ages of 20 and 24, according to the National Mental Health Association. The number has tripled in the past 60 years, making suicide the second-leading cause of death for college-age students.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $210
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $210
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal