A student was found dead at the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity house Wednesday morning, according to the Department of Public Safety.
The Los Angeles Police Department and DPS responded to a call at 4:20 a.m. for a death investigation. LAPD said there is no criminal investigation at this time. The department also confirmed that the student died by suicide.
President Carol Folt and Vice President for Student Affairs Winston Crisp identified the student as sophomore Benjamin Garrett Duma in a letter to the USC community Wednesday afternoon.
“Ben touched so many people during his life, and we grieve with all of them,” they wrote in the letter. “We encourage classmates, friends, faculty, staff,and all who wish for help to reach out to our counseling resources.”
The Undergraduate Student Government, Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council also released a public statement welcoming students to a discussion space for those affected by Duma’s passing in the TCC Ballroom Wednesday.
“We aim to support every member of the USC community and are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our peers,” the statement read. “We encourage a thoughtful and caring atmosphere at USC, particularly around those impacted, that focuses on the wellbeing of all students.”
Tau Kappa Epsilon’s national chapter said in a statement to the Daily Trojan that its CEO and another professional staff member came to the USC chapter Wednesday to show its support.
“Tau Kappa Epsilon is saddened to learn that a member of our Fraternity took his own life overnight,” the statement read.
The national chapter also stated that it reached out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline to discuss how to educate the organization’s members about issues like suicide.
Students who feel that they may harm others or themselves are encouraged to call the Engemann Student Counseling Center at 213-740-9355 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255. Faculty and staff who wish to seek help can reach out to the Center for Work and Family Life at 213-821-0800.
The article was updated to reflect the new Engemann Student Counseling Center phone number.
This article was updated at 1:50 p.m. with a statement from the Tau Kappa Epsilon national chapter.
This article was updated at 4:54 p.m. with a statement from President Carol Folt and Winston Crisp and another from the Undergraduate Student Government, Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council.