George Desdunes, a 19-year-old freshman at Cornell University, was found dead outside a fraternity house on Friday, according to the Cornell Daily Sun. Desdunes was from Brooklyn and a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
The cause of death has not yet been specified and is expected to be released after the autopsy.
I hope this student didn't die in an alcohol-related incident. As a college professor, I've grown weary of the alcohol-infested culture that exists on many college campuses. Cornell is not an exception to the drug and alcohol game, as a student was recently arrested with tens of thousands of dollars worth of heroin in her possession. Also, fraternity life can be one of the riskiest, most self-destructive activities that students are indoctrinated into as they enter college in their freshman year. The shooting death of Jamail Johnson, a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity, is a significant case-in-point.
I won't speculate on the cause of death for George Desdunes until I hear the final results, but given that he was found dead in a frat house on a Friday night, I wouldn't be surprised if the answer is the obvious one. I spoke last night to graduating seniors at the Black Achievers Scholarship Banquet in Louisville Kentucky. One thing I told them is that the distractions and challenges of college can be unspeakably alarming. College is not a place to die, but unfortunately, it happens all too often.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and author of "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about College." To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. To follow Dr. Boyce on Facebook, please click here.